Middle East Research and Information Project: Critical Coverage of the Middle East Since 1971

The arrest of Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the militant Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), at the beginning of 1999 and the almost instantaneous wave of protest across Europe, in Australia and later within Turkey briefly increased the prominence of the Kurdish struggle for autonomy in Turkey. As one of the most important symbols of Kurdish identity, the Kurdish language has been subject to legislation that curbs its use. While attempts by Kurds to preserve their language in the face of stringent prohibitions have received significant media and academic attention, the fate of other linguistic minorities in Turkey under the same prohibitions has been almost entirely overlooked.

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How to cite this article:

Joan Smith/Kocamahhul "In the Shadow of Kurdish," Middle East Report 219 (Summer 2001).
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