The Kurds: “A history of deliberate and reactive state-lessness” Cover Image
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The Kurds: “A history of deliberate and reactive state-lessness”
The Kurds: “A history of deliberate and reactive state-lessness”

Author(s): Hanifi Barış
Subject(s): Geography, Regional studies, Social development, Politics and Identity, Identity of Collectives, Peace and Conflict Studies
Published by: Transnational Press London
Keywords: Turkey; Kurds; statelessness; nation state; identity;
Summary/Abstract: I grew up listening to a story that did not strike me much at the time. My father, who was born in 1925, is a dengbêj (folk poet) and he told me a story explaining the reason for the statelessness of the Kurds in their ‘failure’ to unite under one leader and join a cause. It is a story about the famous Kurdish leader Cemil Çeto who prepared to fight the Kemalist movement. It was the moment when he saw an opportunity to call upon foreign powers to support the Kurds and assist them in founding a Kurdish state. He meets the leaders of seven tribal confederacies and claims that he can bring France’s air force to their help in seven days. Only, he insists that a leader must be chosen, either himself or someone else, who will represent the Kurdish coalition internationally and negotiate with the French. Eminê Ahmed, one of the leaders present, stands up and says that he will never relinquish his title or give his father’s legacy away to bow to anyone else. Others follow him in that decision. In short, according to the story the chance to establish a Kurdish state was missed because of the lack of unity among Kurdish leaders and such an opportunity was never obtained again.

  • Page Range: 89-99
  • Page Count: 11
  • Publication Year: 2016
  • Language: English