By Cenk Saraçoglu

The function of the Kurds in Turkey has lengthy been a debatable factor, even if dialogue has regularly been targeted round the political and cultural rights and actions of the Kurds. This ebook goals to carry a brand new method of this contentious topic by way of transferring consciousness to the altering well known photograph of the Kurds in Turkish towns. It focuses rather at the ways that the middle-class in Turkish towns improve an exclusionary discourse opposed to the Kurds. Cenk Sara?oglu investigates the social origins of this type of notion by means of bringing into concentration how neoliberal financial regulations and Kurdish migration have reworked city existence in Turkey.

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Extra info for Kurds of Modern Turkey: Migration, Neoliberalism and Exclusion in Turkish Society (Library of Modern Middle East Studies)

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Therefore, focusing solely on these everyday life relationships cannot move us beyond describing the locus of exclusive CSbook:Layout 1 32 8/4/10 6:49 PM Page 32 KURDS OF MODERN TURKEY recognition. A more complete analysis of exclusive recognition makes it necessary to ask which relations and processes in urban social life facilitate the emergence of exclusive recognition and how these relations and processes have been historically formed. In my quest for the answers to these questions, I am guided by a historical materialist epistemology, which directs me to interrogate how the structural transformation of the capitalism in Turkey resonates with the urban social life of İzmir and prepares the ground for the emergence of exclusive recognition.

Although they did not become a part of the 90 anti-Kurdish middle-class people who were interviewed formally, these informal conversations were still useful for generating some insights about the topic. The answers to these standard introductory questions shaped the open-ended questions that were designed in the later stages of the interviews. Based on the narratives of interviewees in the initial stages of the conversation, I directed many other questions that invited them to express the logic behind their negative feelings about Kurdish migrants in the city.

The content of this process consists of the stereotypes and labels that are used to identify ‘Kurd’ in İzmir. Combining the subject, object and content of the ethnicising discourse, I can conclude that the research object of this book is the particular way in which the middle-class İzmirlis construct the category of ‘Kurd’ (or ethnicise Kurdish migrants) based on their social relationships with the Kurds who migrated to the city after the mid-1980s. Rather than being a phenomenon concerning only the local dynamics of İzmir, however, the ethnicisation of Kurdish migrants by middleclass İzmirlis is a significant vantage point for deriving some insights into the general structure of contemporary Turkish society as well as reaching some theoretical conclusions pertaining to ethnicity, migration, and the city more generally.

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