Kurdish Studies

ISSN: 2051-4883 | e-ISSN: 2051-4891
Email: editor@kurdishstudies.net

Radical political participation and the internal Kurdish diaspora in Turkey

Francis O’Connor
European University Institute
Keywords: Kurdish migration; the PKK; political violence; diaspora; social movements..


This article analyses the political mobilisation of the Kurdish internal diaspora outside of the Kurdish region in Turkey. The paper engages with the long held proposition that diasporas tend to support more radical political actors. It discusses the PKK’s mobilisation in western Turkey and the manner in which it has contributed to the revival of a broader Kurdish collective identity. The paper considers historic patterns of Kurdish migration before detailing the role of state repression, ethnic alienation and socio-economic marginalisation on recent Kurdish migrants. It concludes by proposing that it was the specific ideological and spatial strategies deployed by the PKK rather than broader contextual factors which permitted the PKK to win mass support among Kurds in western Turkey.

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