Multiculturalism, recognition and the "Kurdish question" in Turkey: the outline of a normative framework

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Abstract

Despite the ever-growing literature on various aspects of the Kurdish question in Turkey, there are practically no normative discussions of Kurdish demands for the public recognition of their identities. This is all the more startling given the ascendancy of philosophical accounts in the literature on minority rights. This article will try to redress the balance by proposing a normative framework that could be used to justify Kurdish demands for recognition, drawing on the broader debates that revolve around Charles Taylor's seminal conceptualization of "the politics of recognition". In this context, I will identify nationalism, a strategy used both by the state to suppress demands for recognition and by the minorities to put forward these demands, as the most serious hurdle in the way of the democratic resolution of the "Kurdish question" in Turkey and promote a form of recognition-based multiculturalism that (a) respects the basic rights of all citizens, not only those in whose name the said claims are made, but also those of the members of the majority against which the claims are voiced; (b) leaves room for alternative values or conceptions of the good life.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Social Sciences

Keywords

  • recognition, multiculturalism, Turkey, nationalism, Kurds, Kurdish, question
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1073
JournalDemocratization
Volume21
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes