Euro-Who? Competition over the definition of Dersim’s collective identity in Turkey’s diasporas

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Abstract

This article focuses on the construction and competition over Dersim identity that takes place in Dersim’s diaspora, which also creates the necessity to critically engage with the concepts of Euro-Turks and Euro-Kurds. In doing so, it argues that while the activities of Dersimlis in the Dersim diaspora in Europe and in Turkey enable new identity claims, they also perpetuate a sense of belonging that builds upon ethnic, religious and/or linguistic domination. The first section broadly reviews the theoretical discussions on the complexity and fluidity of collective identities, diasporic movements, and the role the intelligentsia plays in the construction and competition over the definition of collective identities in diasporas. Building on this framework, the second section introduces the case of Dersim, the region and its history, and discusses the role Dersim diaspora and its intelligentsia play in (re)defining Dersim’s collective memory and competing over the definition of Dersim’s identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-73
JournalTurkish Studies
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online date2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Ethnology
  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)

Keywords

  • Turkish Politics
  • Kurdish politics
  • Diaspora
  • identity
  • Dersim
  • Social movements

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