The era culminating in World War I saw a transition from multinational empires to nation-states. Large empires such as the Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman searched for ways to cope with the decline of their political control, while peoples in these empires shifted their political loyalties to nation-states. The Ottoman Empire offers a favorable canvas for studying new nationalisms that resulted in many successful and unsuccessful attempts to form nation-states. As an example of successful attempts, Arab nationalism has received the attention that it deserves in the field of Middle Eastern studies.1 Students have engaged in many complex debates on different aspects of Arab nationalism, enjoying a wealth of hard data. Studies on Kurdish nationalism, however, are still in their infancy. Only a very few scholars have addressed the issue in a scholarly manner.2 We still have an inadequate understanding of the nature of early Kurdish nationalism and its consequences for the Middle East in general and Turkish studies in particular. Partly because of the subject's political sensitivity, many scholars shy away from it. However, a consideration of Kurdish nationalism as an example of unsuccessful attempts to form a nation-state can contribute greatly to the study of nationalism in the Middle East.
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