Vigilance and Apprehension: Multiculturalism, Democracy, and the ‘Kurdish Question’ in Turkey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this paper is to discuss the ‘Kurdish question’ in Turkey within the framework of the current debates on the ‘death of multiculturalism’. Contra what I would call ‘multikulti-sceptics’, I contend that it is too early to compose an epitaph for multiculturalism, both as practice and as ideology, that there is no binary opposition between a form of rights-based multiculturalism on the one hand, and universal human rights, democratic constitutionalism or social cohesion on the other. The paper also focuses on ‘multicultural constitutional citizenship’, based on democratic deliberation and dialogue, as a solution to Kurdish demands for the public recognition of their identities. I juxtapose Kurdish claims with similar demands made by national minorities in other contexts, and conclude by delineating the normative contours of multicultural constitutional citizenship and outlining the practical measures that are required to sustain it.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Other Social Sciences


  • Turkey, Kurds, minority rights, nationalism, multiculturalism, Kurdish question
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalMiddle East Critique
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch