In the Shadow of Kurdish

The Silence of Other Ethnolinguistic Minorities in Turkey

by Joan Smith/Kocamahhul
published in MER219

The arrest of Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the militant Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), at the beginning of 1999 and the almost instantaneous wave of protest across Europe, in Australia and later within Turkey briefly increased the prominence of the Kurdish struggle for autonomy in Turkey. As one of the most important symbols of Kurdish identity, the Kurdish language has been subject to legislation that curbs its use. While attempts by Kurds to preserve their language in the face of stringent prohibitions have received significant media and academic attention, the fate of other linguistic minorities in Turkey under the same prohibitions has been almost entirely overlooked.

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Litmus Test

Turkey's Neo-Islamists Weigh War and Peace

by Koray Caliskan , Yuksel Taskin | published January 30, 2003

Turkey's Ecevit

Hopes and Worries Arrive in Washington

by Ertugrul Kurkcu | published January 15, 2002

When Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit arrives in Washington, DC this week to meet with President George W. Bush he will come bearing a symbolic gift: a replica of a 16th century Koran, beautifully embroidered and written with real gold lettering. The original of this Koran comes from the Topkapi Palace Museum, once the seat of the Ottoman Sultans who ruled the Muslim world for over four centuries.

Turkey's Rivers of Dispute

by Hilal Elver
published in MER254

In the waning years of the twentieth century, it was common to hear predictions that water would be the oil of the twenty-first. A report prepared for the center-right Washington think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, forecast that water, not oil, would be the dominant source of conflict in the Middle East by the year 2000. This prognosis rested in part upon the estimate of US intelligence agencies that by that time “there will be at least ten places in the world where war could break out over dwindling shared water, the majority in the Middle East.” [1]

Almost Unnoticed

Interventions and Rivalries in Iraqi Kurdistan

by Isam al-Khafaji | published January 24, 2001