Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 January 2011
This article analyzes the exercise of state authority in Kurdish areas in the early Turkish Republic and discusses the state's ineffectiveness in dominating these areas. It argues that the mere existence of a highly ambitious social-engineering project, increased state presence in the region, and military power does not mean high levels of state capacity. Based on primary documents, this article discusses the problems of autonomy, coherence, and implementation that the Turkish state encountered in its nation-building project. It shows how the state's ideological rigidities and its shortage of resources and dedicated personnel undermined its capacity to control and shape the Kurdish areas. While the state attempted to regulate citizens’ private lives in Kurdish areas, the local society also tried to mold state employees in accordance with its own interests. A blurred boundary between the state and society was one of the unintended consequences of increased state presence in everyday life.
Author's note: I thank Reşat Kasaba, Joel Migdal, Mary Callahan, Ellis Goldberg, and especially Jason Scheideman for their help and guidance on this project. I am also grateful to the four anonymous IJMES reviewers and to editors Beth Baron and Sara Pursley for their valuable comments on the earlier draft of this article. Support for this research came from Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Postdoctoral Program.
1 The school also recruited many girls who were orphaned during the Dersim rebellion.
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23 BCA 490.01-997.852.1, p. 228.
24 BCA 490.01-985.817.3, p. 7.
25 BCA 490.01-17.88.1, pp. 4–6.
26 BCA 490.01-1003.874.1, p. 22.
27 For more on the General Inspectorates and policies of resettlement, see Çağaptay, Islam, Secularism, and Nationalism.
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32 BCA 490.01-984.814.2, pp. 9 and 13.
33 For some examples see BCA 490.01-1001.866.2, pp. 123–25 and BCA 490.01-985.817.3.
34 According to the 1935 population census, only 1.5 percent of those whose mother tongue was Kurdish lived in areas with a population of more than 10,000 people. See Dündar, Türkiye Nüfus Sayımlarında Azınlıklar, 104.
35 BCA 490.01-571.2274.1, p. 85.
36 According to the population census of 1965, 1,415,895 people out of a total of 2,817,313 Kurdish speakers declared that they did not speak Turkish. See Dündar, Türkiye Nüfus Sayımlarında Azınlıklar, 113.
37 BCA 490.01-997.852.1, pp. 12 and 14. Also see Koca, Hüseyin, Yakın Tarihten Günümüze Hükümetlerin Doğu-Güneydoğu Anadolu Politikaları (Konya, Turkey: Mikro Yayınları, 1998), 361–62, 420Google Scholar.
38 This report can be found in Akçura, Belma, Devletin Kürt Filmi: 1925–2007 Kürt Raporları (Ankara: Ayraç Kitabevi Yayınları, 2008), 42–49Google Scholar.
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40 This report can be found in Bayrak, Açık-Gizli/Resmi-Gayriresmi Kürdoloji Belgeleri, 233–70.
41 BCA 490.01-985.817.3, p. 2.
42 BCA 490.01-571.2274.1, p. 84.
44 BCA 490.01-985.817.3, p. 5 and 490.01-998.856.1, p. 48.
45 BCA 490.01-1005.880.3, p. 40 and 490.01-1001.866.2, p. 83.
46 BCA 490.01-998.856.1, p. 57.
47 For an example, see BCA 490.01-841.326.2.
48 BCA 490.01-1001.866.2, p. 124.
51 BCA 490.01-998.856.1, p. 90.
53 BCA 490.01-841.326.2, p. 93.
54 Bayrak, Açık-Gizli/Resmi-Gayriresmi Kürdoloji Belgeleri, 253.
55 BCA 490.01-571.2274.1, pp. 48–49.
56 BCA 490.01-571.2274.1, p. 11.
59 BCA 490.01-1001.866.2, p. 8.
60 Bayrak, Açık-Gizli/Resmi-Gayriresmi Kürdoloji Belgeleri, 252, 266–67.
61 BCA 490.01-997.852.1, p. 16.
62 BCA 490.01-996.850.1.
63 Avar, Dağ Çiçeklerim, 39, 65, 266.
65 BCA 490.01-997.852.1, p. 12.
66 BCA 490.01-1001.866.2, pp. 8–10.
67 BCA 490.01-998.856.1, p. 51.
68 BCA 490.01-1206.229.1, p. 106.
69 BCA 490.01-997.852.1, p. 12.
70 BCA 490.01-997.852.1, pp. 12 and 14. Also see Koca, Yakın Tarihten Günümüze, 361–62, 420.
71 Quoted in Bayrak, Açık-Gizli/Resmi-Gayriresmi Kürdoloji Belgeleri, 251.
72 Koca, Yakın Tarihten Günümüze, 459.
73 BCA 030.10-69.454.36, p. 1.
74 BCA 490.01-996.850.1, pp. 60–62.
75 Yeğen, “The Turkish State Discourse,” 223.
76 BCA 490.01-998.856.1, pp. 51 and 87.
77 BCA 490.01-1004.875.1, p. 8.
78 BCA 490.01-997.852.1, p. 14.
79 BCA 490.01-841.326.2, p. 93; BCA 490.01-1005.880.3, p. 29; and BCA 490.01-844.340.2, p. 69.
80 BCA 490.01-844.340.2, p. 60.
81 BCA 490.01-832.284.1, p. 55.