Crucial Images in the Presentation of a Kurdish National by Martin Strohmeier

By Martin Strohmeier

This paintings covers the discourse on Kurdishness and the advance of the Kurdish nationwide move from its inception on the finish of the nineteenth century to the past due Nineteen Thirties. It examines the efforts of aspiring Kurdish leaders to "awaken" their fellow Kurds to the need of the Kurdish reason.

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Additional info for Crucial Images in the Presentation of a Kurdish National Identity: Heroes and Patriots, Traitors and Foes (Social, Economic and Political Studies of the ... Studies of the Middle East and Asia)

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With these advan­ tages, they could easily rise against their neighbors with impunity. Although the experience of serving in a completely Kurdish regi­ ment doubtless had some positive effects on Kurdish unity,25 later nationalist leaders and scholars were unanimous in their assessment that the establishment of the Óamìdìye reflected the old pattern of encouraging factionalism by playing off the Kurds against one another. 28 Kurdistan, then, at the end of the 19th century, presented a pic­ ture of dissolution, fractionalization and tribal conflict.

On the level of the simple moral tale, the figures may easily be categorized as good and bad, heroes and traitors. 4 Their actions indicate paths to achieving various goals of self-realization. It is significant that all the characters are Kurdish, in contrast with 1 Nikitine (1975), p. 281. A˙mad-i Khànì was probably born in 1650–1 and may have died as late as 1707, see Shakely (1992), pp. 17 and 31. 3 The following authors are only a few of those referring to Mem ù Zìn in the framework of the Kurdish nationalist argument: Edmonds (1971), Nikitine (1975), Bruinessen (1992 a), Ghassemlou (1965), Ibrahim (1983).

21 It is doubtful that 'Ubaydullàh’s “nationalist” state­ ments reflected a new concept of goals and self-definition or moti­ vated the sheykh’s followers. 22 There seems to have been a degree of image-splitting in the attitudes of Kurds towards the sultan. To the extent he was associated with the govern­ ment, he might be perceived as weak and unsupportive. But Ottoman officials and Kurdish leaders’ efforts to control administration and trade functioned as a sort of smoke-screen between the people and the sultan.

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