Kurdish nationalism & New media

The Kurdish Question represents a longstanding battle between the state’s authority and cultural identity group demands in Turkey. The Republic of Turkey was created as a territorial-based form of identity, based on the modern understanding of citizenship.  However, as a result of the collapse of the multiethnic and multireligious Ottoman Empire, the state has struggled to build a cohesive territory-based form of identity and citizenship.

 

European colonial powers attempted to divide Turkey, and to create an independent de facto Kurdish state in the Middle East. However, powerful cultural groups across the Middle East such as Arabs, Persian and the Turks, placed the Kurds in a powerless position, therefore the Kurds have no friends but mountains. 

Kurdish nationalism is the political movement that holds that the Kurdish people are a nation deserving of a sovereign homeland, Kurdistan, partitioned out of the territories where Kurdish people form a majority. Currently, these territories lie in northern Irak, Iran, Turkey and small parts of northern and northeastern Syria.

Kurdish nationalist movements have long been suppressed by Turkey, Iran and the Arab-majority states of Iraq and Syria, all of whom fear loss of territory to a potential, independent Kurdistan. Since the 1970s, Iraqi Kurds have pursued the goal of greater autonomy and even outright independence against the Baat Partyregimes, which responded with brutal repression. In the 1980s, After the invation of Irak in 2003, Iraqi Kurdistan became an autonomous region, enjoying a great measure of self-governance but stopping short of full independence.

‘New media technologies’ have facilitated and advanced Kurdish unification and nationalism and will continue to do so by reducing barriers such as time and space. The Internet has connected the Kurdish diaspora to the land and people still occupying the Kurdish territories. This argument is built on the idea that people can share their common sense of identity and feelings of attachment without governmental censorship.

Kurdish use Internet for ‘long-distance nationalism’, r for esearchers, e-mail and social networking sites, for organizing protests, meetings, and nationalist projects. Moreover, the Internet give the Kurds with a forum wherein they can discuss issues and subjects that are otherwise banned. This is particularly true of the Kurds from Turkey who use the Internet to disseminate banned publications and to make them available to the Kurds in Turkey. Facebook, for example, is popular for creating groups that discuss the Kurdish language, culture, and history. Twitter has also become a popular destination for expressing Kurdish nationalism. For example, Twitter was used to organize a campaign to highlight the oppression of Kurds in Turkey and to garner attention and support for the Kurds.

 

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