Mapping action and identity in the Kobani crisis response
An independent researcher based in Duhok, Kurdistan Region-Iraq
This article compares humanitarian operations associated with Turkish state and pro-Kurdish movement actors in response to the large cross-border displacement of Kurdish-Syrians into Turkey from the September 2014 Kobani crisis. Analysis draws on actor mapping methodologies and fieldwork conducted in the Kurdish-majority town of Suruç in southern Turkey. Parallels with the 2011 Van earthquakes highlight the ethno-national complexities and potential controversy encountered when responding to humanitarian needs of predominantly Kurdish populations in Turkey. The alternative territorial identities generated by practices of Kurdish municipal-level “governmentality” (through camp management and humanitarian assistance) trouble the assumed hierarchy between Turkish state authorities and Kurdish challengers.