The Kurdish Question in Turkey

Issue Date July 2000
Volume 11
Issue 3
Page Numbers 122-135
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One of the greatest obstacles to the consolidation of democracy in Turkey has been the country’s treatment of its Kurdish citizens. Although Kurdish is the mother tongue of as many as one in five inhabitants of Turkey, the government prohibits the teaching of Kurdish in schools and the broadcasting of Kurdish radio and television programs. These restrictions attest to a continuing refusal on the part of the Turkish state to recognize the cultural identity of its Kurdish citizens, a policy that has generated widespread discontent among the country’s Kurds.

About the Author

Dogu Ergil is professor of political sociology at Ankara University in Turkey and president and director of the Center for the Research of Societal Problems (TOSAV), an Ankara-based nongovernmental organization created to address the tensions between Turks and Kurds. The author of numerous books on Turkish-Kurdish relations and reconciliation, including Turkey’s Encounter with Herself (1997) and The Eastern (Kurdish) Question (1995), he was a visiting fellow at the International Forum for Democratic Studies in 1999-2000.

View all work by Dogu Ergil