Examines early Kurdish nationalism within the context of the demise of the Ottoman Empire.
Kurdish nationalism remains one of the most critical and explosive problems of the Middle East. Despite its importance, the topic remains on the margins of Middle East Studies. Bringing the study of Kurdish nationalism into the mainstream of Middle East scholarship, Hakan Özogálu examines the issue in the context of the Ottoman Empire. Using a wealth of primary sources, including Ottoman and British archives, Ottoman Parliamentary minutes, memoirs, and interviews, he focuses on revealing the social, political, and historical forces behind the emergence and development of Kurdish nationalism. Contrary to the assumption that nationalist movements contribute to the collapse of empires, the book argues that Kurdish leaders remained loyal to the Ottoman state, and only after it became certain that the empire would not recover did Kurdish nationalism emerge and clash with the Kemalist brand of Turkish nationalism.
Hakan Özogálu is the Ayasli Senior Lecturer in Turkish Studies at the University of Chicago.
"Özogálu has produced a well-written, valuable study of a period in the history of Kurdish nationalism … [his] study is significant not only for understanding the early history of Kurdish nationalism but also for its contemporary context. " — H-Net Reviews (H-Turk)
"…both expands on existing studies and revises previous accounts in a concise, nuanced fashion. " — International Journal of Middle East Studies
"The author's discussion of the Kurdish notable families and the evolution of their ideologies is original and constitutes an important contribution to the literature. " — Reşat Kasaba, author of The Ottoman Empire and the World Economy: The Nineteenth Century
"The topic of the emergence of ethno-nationalism among a class of notables closely linked to the imperial state is significant, making this book of interest to students of ethnicity and nationalism, Ottoman historians, and specialists of Kurdish affairs. " — Martin van Bruinessen, author of Agha, Shaikh, and State: The Social and Political Structures of Kurdistan