'Exclusive recognition': the new dimensions of the question of ethnicity and nationalism in Turkey


ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES, vol.32, no.4, pp.640-658, 2009 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/01419870802065226
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.640-658
  • Keywords: Turkey, migration, Kurdish question, everyday life, Turkish Nationalism, neo-liberalism, KURDS
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


This article aims to unravel some common aspects of the recently intensifying antipathy towards migrants from Eastern Anatolia in certain Turkish cities. Based on the fact that every manifestation of this antipathy in everyday life involves a logic that recognizes and excludes these migrants as 'Kurdish', the article conceptualizes these sentiments as 'exclusive recognition'. This concept helps us see the fact that the rising anti-migrant discourse is not an ideology that is imposed by the state or any other political organization in Turkey but a historically specific ethnicization process that takes place in the everyday life of cities. As one of the new dimensions of the question of ethnicity and nationalism in Turkey, 'exclusive recognition' shows the insufficiency of reducing the Kurdish question to a problem of democratization of the Turkish political system, and encourages us to turn our attention to the transformation of urban life.