Projects in form: Monuments and Parks
A new political period began in Turkey in the 1960s, as a result of the emerging activities of social movements from nearly every sector of society. Unlike the previous periods, for the first time, segments of society such as workers and youth began to engage in sustained social and political activism, demanding political and economic change and going beyond merely [...]
The Kurdish question in Turkey entered a new phase after 1999, following the imprisonment of Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the armed guerilla forces (PKK) and the Kurdish political movement in Turkey. Most of the PKK guerillas retreated to their main bases in Southern Kurdistan (Iraq and Syria) to show that the Kurdish movement supported attempts to begin a peace [...]
After decades of denial, assimilation and repression of the Kurdish population by the Turkish state, the Kurds, estimated to constitute 15 to 20 percent of the overall population of Turkey, began to demand recognition in the late 1950s. However, the state did not tolerate these peaceful demands and increased the level of repression, furthering the radicalization of the Kurdish movement’s [...]
The Dersim region, overwhelmingly populated by Alevi Kurds, resisted the centralization policies of the Ottoman Empire for many decades. While the Alevi Kurds wanted to continue their indigenous cultural and political autonomy, this was considered a threat to the sovereignty of the newly established Turkish Republic (1923). Seyit Riza was one of the most prominent figures in the region, not [...]
Although the Turkish nation-state was established according to secular principles on a constitutional basis, ethno-religious groups like the Alevis in Turkey have nevertheless been subjected to systematic discrimination and massacres because of their identity. Beginning with the Ottoman Empire, only Sunni interpretations of Islam were considered authentic; Sunni Islam remained the official religion of the state, while others were rejected [...]
After decades of intense armed conflict in the 1980s and 1990s, no resolution of the Kurdish question in Turkey was forthcoming. The civil war in the Kurdish region caused the deaths of approximately 50,000 people, among them thousands of civilians. Of the civilians killed in the course of the civil war, the number of children has been quite high. According [...]
An armed conflict between the Turkish state and the Workers’ Party of Kurdistan (PKK) emerged in the mid-1980s and peaked in the 1990s as a result of the decades-old denial, assimilation and repression policies targeting the Kurds. Although the full truth of the devastation caused by the civil war is still not known, approximately 50,000 people lost their lives and [...]
Demographically, Dersim is a region overwhelmingly populated by Kurdish Alevis (a minority religious group). Due to this ethnic makeup, the people of Dersim have traditionally been perceived as “the other” by central governments with Islamic or nationalist leanings. The Ottoman Empire’s attempts to eradicate the autonomy of the Dersim region through centralization escalated during the Abdulhamid II period (1876-1908). Following [...]
After decades of one-party rule in Turkey following the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923, a transition towards multi-party rule took place after WWII. The first democratic election was held in 1950, as a result of demands for democracy within the country as well as US pressure on Kemalist forces for a transition to a multi-party regime. After promising [...]
Assyrians are one of the oldest communities in Mesopotamia and one of the earliest Christian communities in history. Although the relationship between Muslims and Christians was not free of problems during the Ottoman period, different religious communities were able to co-exist for many centuries. Nevertheless, following the collapse of the empire and World War I, the centuries-old grievances of Assyrians [...]