Interregional Migration and Language Shift Among Turkey’s Ethnic Kurds Cover Image
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Interregional Migration and Language Shift Among Turkey’s Ethnic Kurds
Interregional Migration and Language Shift Among Turkey’s Ethnic Kurds

Author(s): Yaprak Civelek, Ibrahim Sirkeci, Sinan Zeyneloğlu
Subject(s): Language studies, Geography, Regional studies, Sociolinguistics, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Migration Studies, Identity of Collectives, Turkish language
Published by: Transnational Press London
Keywords: internal migration; interregional migration; Turkey; ethnic Kurds; language shift;
Summary/Abstract: Analysing population patterns and behaviour of ethnic groups in Turkey is a challenge due to paucity of reliable data drawn upon representative samples as well as overall very sensitive political context. However, the ethnic differences in Turkey’s demography are significant as in many other multi-ethnic countries. Due to rapid urbanisation and violent ethnic conflict in the second half of the 20th century, Turkey has seen a major geographic shift of population which has also resulted in changes in ethnic mix of populations across regions. In this study, we aimed at mapping out these shifts. Nevertheless, finding the appropriate proxy to measure ethnic patterns is difficult as there has been no census or major survey data detailing language use published since the 1965 Turkish census while ethnic identity, as such, has been never been openly asked for in any census or major survey. Historically, mother tongue in surveys and censuses have been used as a proxy of ethnicity. However, we have first analysed a relatively recent survey data to raise concerns about the use of language as ethnic marker. Hence, we opted to utilise second language use as well as parental language besides birth-region as ethnic markers instead of mother tongue/main language as over the years Turkish has become the most commonly used language among the Kurds in Turkey.

  • Page Range: 369-373
  • Page Count: 5
  • Publication Year: 2015
  • Language: English