Oppression, solidarity, resistance: the forging of Kurdish identity in Turkey

William Gourlay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the intersection of oppression and Kurdish resistance to the state in Turkey and the impacts these have on the formation of ethnic identity amongst the Kurds of Diyarbakır. It examines how repressive state measures imposed upon the Kurds, ostensibly to crush the PKK, rallied Kurdish political sentiment such that resistance to state hegemony expanded to encompass a much broader ‘popular resistance’. Resistance by ‘everyday’ Kurds to what they perceive as hegemonic projects, whether instigated by Kemalists or the AKP, continues to forge internal cohesion and highlight their differences from the majority Turks. In this way, resistance becomes a central pillar of Kurdish identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-146
Number of pages17
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2018


  • identity; Kurdish question; Kurds; resistance; Turkey

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