'Jewish-Kurds' or the new frontiers of Turkishness

Yegen M.

PATTERNS OF PREJUDICE, vol.41, no.1, pp.1-20, 2007 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 41 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00313220601118736
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-20
  • Keywords: Barzani, Jewish-Kurds, Kurds, nationalism, Turkey, Turkish nationalism, Turkishness, CITIZENSHIP
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


Yegen analyses the sudden appearance of the uncanny term 'Jewish-Kurds' in the language of Turkish nationalism. He sees the term as a symptom of a new idea of 'we-ness' (Turkishness) in Turkish politics. Analysing citizenship texts and practices in Turkey, he argues that the frontiers of Turkishness as designated by Turkish citizenship have always been precarious, and that Jewishness and Kurdishness played fundamental roles in their formation after the foundation of the Turkish Republic. Based on this analysis, he attempts to show that the recent emergence of the term 'Jewish-Kurds' has to do with Turkish nationalism's desire to reconstruct the frontiers of Turkishness, and that this rather bizarre term indicates that today's Turkish nationalism is determined to put a decisive end to the longstanding ambiguity of Turkishness.