Islam has returned to the Turkish and Kurdish public and political spheres, becoming an effective means to mobilise voters and recruit supporters during the AKP era.
In this talk, Mehmet Kurt highlights two distinctive approaches to the Kurdish issue adopted by Kurdish Hizbullah (Huda-Par) and the wider Kurdish movement. While the former relies on an explicitly Islamist political agenda to subsume Kurdish society into part of a pan-Islamist entity, the latter pursues a secular but increasingly pluralist agenda to expand its base among religious Kurds.
This in turn determines both groups’ connection to Kurdish political identity. While Hizbullah embraces a form of ‘Kurdishness’ that mainly makes reference to Islam, the wider Kurdish movement incorporates Islam into its pluralist notion of ‘the people of Turkey’.
Dr Mehmet Kurt is a Marie Curie Global Fellow at the London School of Economics and Yale University. His research lies at the intersection of political science, sociology, and political ethnography with a specific focus on political Islam and civil society in Kurdish Turkey and among the Turkish diaspora in Europe.
Robert Lowe is Deputy Director of the Middle East Centre. He joined the Centre when it opened in 2010. Robert is responsible for running the Centre's operations, research activities, fundraising and development.
This event is part of the Kurdish Studies Series at the LSE Middle East Centre. Convened by Zeynep Kaya and Robert Lowe, the series will encourage dissemination and discussion of new research on Kurdish politics and society and provide a network for scholars and students with shared research interests. Public lectures and research seminars will be held regularly during term-time. If you wish to join the mailing list for the series, please contact Robert Lowe: firstname.lastname@example.org
From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend checking back on this listing on the day of the event if you plan to attend.
Image: 2016, Diyarbakır. The Blessed Birth of Muhammed celebration (Kutlu Doğum) organized by the Hizbullah affiliated organizations each year in April in Diyarbakır. Image courtesy of Mehmet Kurt