Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kurdish Question and the 2003 Iraqi War

By Mohammed M.A. Ahmed - Michael M. Gunter



The 2003 Iraqi war has heightened Kurdish nationalism not only in Iraqi Kurdistan, but also in Turkey, Iran, and Syria. Having enjoyed 13 years of self-government in the safe haven zone, which was created and protected by the United States, the Iraqi Kurds have embarked on an ambitious campaign to consolidate their political and economic gains.
The Kurds first sought safeguards from both the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), led by the United States, and from the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC), and now the Interim Iraqi Government with a view to preventing the recurrence of past atrocities committed against them by successive Arab governments in Baghdad. The Kurdish campaign has faced stiff opposition from their neighbors to their demand for the creation of a federal, democratic, and secular system of government in Iraq. While the Arab opposition inside Iraq is fearful that the introduction of such a system might lead to the disintegration of the country, the neighboring countries claim that granting the Kurds greater freedom in Iraq will incite their own Kurdish populations to demand the same. This book presents a balanced analysis of the pros and cons regarding the Kurdish demands.

Amazon

Surging out of Iraq?

By Steven J. Costel (Editor)



Due to political realities, America seems about to take steps to leave Iraq within 1 or 2 years in large numbers - an outward surge. Yet because of the geopolitical significance of the region, vast oil reserves and the rampant terrorist activities - wholesale retreat will not be easy and perhaps not even desirable. This book brings together important analyses dealing with the current status in Iraq as well as projecting a post-war Iraq.

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Trapped between the Map and Reality : Geography and Perceptions of Kurdistan

By Maria T O'Shea



Kurdistan exists as a cultural and political concept on many levels of discourse. Despite Kurdistan's divisions, lack of definition and the absence of a unified struggle for a Kurdish state, the concept survives the reality as a powerful mixture of myths, reality and ambition. This thesis analyses geographical and historical factors which have shaped Kurdish conceptions of identity. Historically, Kurdistan existed in the heart of an ethnically and geographically complex region, a marginal buffer zone between rival regional and colonial powers. Kurdistan's location was the key to its political and cultural developments. Many resultant features were to militate against the formation of a Kurdish state.

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From Empire to Republic : Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide

By Taner Ak├žam



The murder of more than one million Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish government in 1915 has been acknowledged as genocide. Yet almost 100 years later, these crimes remain unrecognized by the Turkish state. This book is the first attempt by a Turk to understand the genocide from a perpetrator's, rather than victim's, perspective, and to contextualize the events of 1915 within Turkey's political history and western regional policies. Turkey today is in the midst of a tumultuous transition. It is emerging from its Ottoman legacy and on its way to recognition by the west as a normal nation state. But until it confronts its past and present violations of human rights, it will never be a truly democratic nation. This book explores the sources of the Armenian genocide, how Turks today view it, the meanings of Turkish and Armenian identity, and how the long legacy of western intervention in the region has suppressed reform, rather than promoted democracy.

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The State and Kurds in Turkey

By Metin Heper



The current literature on the Kurds in Turkey is based on the assumption that since the 19th century the State has attempted to assimilate the Kurds and that this has been the cause of the intermittent "troubles" in Turkey. Metin Heper argues that this theory does not stand up to scrutiny given the many centuries of amicable relations between the State and the Kurds. He suggests that a theory of acculturation rather than assimilation better captures the real nature of State-Kurd interaction in Turkey, by not leaving any part of that interaction unaccounted for.

Macmillan

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