Kurdish Transnational Politics and Turkey's Changing Kurdish policy: The Journey of Kurdish Broadcasting from Europe to Turkey

Ayata, Bilgin. (2011) Kurdish Transnational Politics and Turkey's Changing Kurdish policy: The Journey of Kurdish Broadcasting from Europe to Turkey. Journal of Contemporary European studies, 19 (4). pp. 523-533.

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The bulk of scholarship on EU–Turkey relations has focused mainly on intergovermental or state–society relations, while the larger literature on enlargement and Europeanization has hardly paid any attention to the role of diasporas and immigrant communities as relevant political entrepreneurs in Europeanization processes. In this article, I examine the role and impact of the Kurdish diaspora and the transnational politics of Kurds on recent policy changes in Turkey, with respect to Kurdish broadcasting. Until 1990, the Turkish state officially denied the very existence of Kurds, today Turkish state television broadcasts programs in the Kurdish language. Other reforms have taken place as well. This has often been explained as a result of EU conditionality, yet, no studies have explored the fact that all of these different aspects of Kurdish cultural and educational activities that have begun to take shape in Turkey were actually first developed and implemented in Europe, by Kurdish organizations themselves. The analysis of ROJ-TV in Europe shows that this Kurdish satellite channel is a paradigmatic example of how ‘the diaspora strikes back’. I argue that the emergence of a state-sponsored Kurdish channel in Turkey is a further reaction by the Government to the existence of ROJ-TV in Europe, after initial efforts to shut down the station failed. I conclude that for a comprehensive understanding of Turkey's reform process the transnational activism of the Kurdish diaspora has to be taken into account.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Politische Soziologie (Ayata)
UniBasel Contributors:Ayata, Bilgin
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:17 Nov 2021 10:41
Deposited On:17 Nov 2021 10:41

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