This edited volume of eight essays, extracted largely from dissertations completed at Turkish and European universities, is an attempt to “internationalize” the “non-military” challenges Kurdish nationalist movements in Turkey face because the civil components of the resistance’s ideology of “democratic confederalism and democratic autonomy are largely left untouched.” With references to similar challenges in Iraq, Syria, and Iran, the book is organized around four main issues: women’s participation, paramilitary groups, space, and the infrapolitics of resistance, through which the authors examine often-ignored means of civil resistance, including the cross-border smuggling of clothes, guns, and heroin between Kurds in Turkey and Kurds in Syria, Iraq, and Iran. The strongest evidence that civil tactics of resistance are gaining traction in the movement's 40-year conflict with the Turkish state is the burgeoning production of novels written in the Kurmanji dialect of Kurdish, spoken in Turkey and Syria. The contributors argue that this development aids not only national liberation but also the liberation of minds and language from “the destructive forces of colonial powers.”
Summing Up: Recommended. General readers and graduate students.
— Choice Reviews
This volume presents in-depth investigations in a variety of unexplored fields and audaciously renews our reading of the Northern Kurdistan. The issues it deals with such as women participation to legal and armed struggles, para-militarization of state coercion and state apparatus, micro-level resistances and trans-frontier forms of resistance… are crucial to understand the very making of the Kurdish politics in Turkey.
— Hamit Bozarslan, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
Due to its scientific exigences, its remarkable inner coherence and to its stimulant richness of angles and sources, Kurds in Turkey: Ethnographics of Heterogeneous Experiences is a highly original contribution to the Kurdish studies (and beyond). Fueled by deep and always reflexively conducted field-researches, by a striking command of languages at play and by abundant first-hand materials, this groundbreaking book opens new perspectives on the topic, by entering in deep into till now neglected matters. Going far beyond the state-centered and “macro-identities” centered narratives generally available when ordinary dealing with “Kurdish issue”, Kurds in Turkey… provides vivifying, courageous and full of promise counter-narrative tracks, grounded on solid social-sciences methodologies and theories.
— Jean-François Pérouse, former head of the French Institute for Anatolian Studies (IFEA)
What distinguishes this excellent book on the Kurds in Turkey is its emphasis on what happens on the ground, on the everyday experiences of the Kurds, ranging from the activities of Kurdish women guerrillas to the adverse impact of Turkish paramilitary groups to Kurds smuggling for economic survival. A must read for all those interested in understanding what it means to be a Kurd in contemporary Turkey.
— Fatma Muge Gocek, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor