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The Political Economy of the Kurds of Turkey
From the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic


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  • Author: Veli Yadirgi, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • Date Published: August 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316632499

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About the Authors
  • In recent years, the persecution of the Kurds in the Middle East under ISIS in Iraq and Syria has drawn increasing attention from the international media. In this book, Veli Yadirgi analyses the socioeconomic and political structures and transformations of the Kurdish people from the Ottoman era through to the modern Turkish Republic, arguing that there is a symbiotic relationship between the Kurdish question and the de-development of the predominantly Kurdish domains, making an ideal read for historians of the region and those studying the socio-political and economic evolution of the Kurds. First outlining theoretical perspectives on Kurdish identity, socioeconomic development and the Kurdish question, Yadirgi then explores the social, economic and political origins of Ottoman Kurdistan following its annexation by the Ottomans in 1514. Finally, he deals with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and the subsequent foundation and evolution of the Kurdish question in the new Turkish Republic.

    • Offers an examination of the economic and political development of the Kurdish regions of Turkey for those seeking a political economy approach to the Kurdish question, a previously absent area of research
    • An interdisciplinary approach on the Kurdish question for those dissatisfied with existing literature on economic development in the region
    • Examines the development of Kurdish identity in socio-political context, from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic
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    • Winner, 2018 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is an important book that is exceedingly well written and thus deserves a wide audience. Employing unpublished and published primary documents from British archival sources, published Turkish/English-language primary sources, interviews, and a large number of secondary sources, Veli Yadirgi traces the political economic history of the Kurdish provinces of Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia (ESA) from Ottoman times to the present. In so doing he deconstructs the generally accepted thesis that the autochthonous, feudalistic tribal structure and resulting primitive economic conditions it fostered basically caused the backward economic underdevelopment/de-development that continues to retard economic progress in ESA and plays such a huge role in Turkey's Kurdish question.' Michael M. Gunter, International Journal of Turkish Studies

    'Yadirgi successfully demonstrates the historical background of the ESA's economic development as well as the transformation of the Kurdish question over time … Yadirgi's book is an invaluable contribution to the field both in terms of its methodology and the well-researched, empirical data it offers the reader.' Nationalities Papers

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316632499
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 153 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus. 10 maps 47 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The Kurds, the Kurdish question in Turkey and economic development in ESA: an exploration of the central theoretical debates and outline of the methodological resources
    2. The formation of Ottoman Kurdistan: social, economic and political developments in Ottoman Kurdistan before the nineteenth century (1514–1799)
    3. The transformation of Ottoman Kurdistan: underdevelopment in Ottoman Kurdistan in the age of centralisation, Westernisation and crisis (1800–1914)
    4. The deformation of Ottoman Kurdistan and bordering regions: dedevelopment in ESA from the First World War until the 1980 Coup (1914–80)
    5. Turkey's Kurdish question in the era of neoliberalism: from the 1980 coup to the AKP's Kurdish overture (1980–2010s)
    6. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Veli Yadirgi, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
    Veli Yadirgi is a Research Associate and a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He has previously worked as a political correspondent and editor in a variety of European media companies, and is a member of the London Middle East Institute and the Centre for Ottoman Studies, and Neoliberalism, Globalisation and States (all at SOAS).


    • Winner, 2018 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
    • Runner-Up, 2018 British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize in Middle Eastern Studies

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