Issue 29 – Kurdish Issue/Dynamic in the Axis of History, Class and Geography 2

Editors: Cenk Saraçoğlu – Ali Ekber Doğan

New Constitution Debate in the Context of the National Question
Mustafa Bayram Mısır

The article puts forward that the national question is a political question and self-determination of nations is formulated as a political right destined for solution of this political question. In this
context, it assesses opportunities and issues for a solution of the national question as created by current constitutional discussions in Turkey. The author argues that a new constitution on the basis
of ‘constitutional citizenship’ that safeguards Kurdish national existence and enables a framework of self-development and self-rule through the system of regional autonomy may provide a political and democratic solution to Turkey’s national question. According to this analysis, such solution that historically signifies a Kurdish self-determination favouring the choice of co-existence and has its legal grounds in United Nations and European Union norms is not an illusion; on the contrary, it constitutes the condition for Turkish and Kurdish co-existence within a unitary political structure.
Keywords: Self-determination of Nations, Kurdish Question, New Constitution Debate, Principle of Decentralised Governance, Regional Autonomy.

Violence and Democracy Dilemma in Kurdish Issue: Global Processes and Street Protests
Deniz Gökalp

This article presents a provisional perspective on the political nature of the “struggle”, “protest” and “civil resistance” repertoires observable in urban spaces across Turkey following the end of the unilateral ceasefire by the PKK in 2004. Besides conventional party politics and decades-long guerilla war in the rural, the Kurdish national movement with its autonomy-oriented new political agenda depends strategically on the political power of its civilian constituency in city centers. Peace and Democracy Party claims legitimacy for “autonomous Kurdistan” relying on politically assertive and discontented urban masses mobilized and visible on the streets as actors with democratic leverage. The article attempts to interpret the recent phase of the Kurdish question ethnicized and caught in violence during neoliberalism’s penetration in Turkey, grounding it in a theoretical framework. It then discusses the political meaning and repercussions of the emergence of new political spaces of resistance in cities that carry out the struggle of the Kurdish national movement for legitimacy and authority in Turkey.
Keywords: Kurdish Movement, Neoliberalism, Democratic Autonomy, Street Protests, State Strategies, Socialist Movement.

Literature on Scale and Understanding the Local: Neoliberal Experience and Class Relations in Southeast of Turkey
Ayşe Seda Yüksel
Translators: Duygu Canan Öztürk, Duygu Tanış Zaferoğlu

With the help of ethnographic data collected in 2007 and 2008, this article aims to provide a critical analysis of the material conditions of place-making processes in southeast Turkey, by focusing on
Diyarbakır, a newly emerging cultural centre in the region. Through an analysis of the various state spatial strategies and tactics of the local actors for challenging or cooperating with the state, it is argued that urban meaning contested between local political and economic elites, and constructed around terms such as economic prosperity, efficiency and tourist attraction, has a great risk of turning Diyarbakır into a “divided city”. As the analysis also demonstrates, through its spatial mechanisms and strategies, the Turkish state still plays an important role in the localization of neoliberalism. State-led interventions into urban space and land/ housing markets not only facilitate the marketing of urban land to capital, but they also redefine the boundaries of the “culture”, the
“sacred” and the “heritage” under neoliberal demands.
Keywords: Neoliberalism, Urban Space, Place Making, Diyarbakır, Kurdish Movement.

A Contemporary View on Transformation Dynamics of Tribal Social Organization Structures in Kurdish Communities
Ahmet Kerim Gültekin

This study scrutinizes the life style, socio-cultural structures and organizing ways of inhabitants
of Beğendik/Bêdar, a town of Pervari, Siirt. The Kurdish town where tribal hierarchies and social statues based on kinship have determined daily life to a large extent, is in danger of being submerged by waters of Pervari Hydroelectric Power Plants (HPP). In this anthropological research, Beğendik/Bêdar will be handled as a place of conflict among local governors, representatives of the HPP company, local powers such as ağas and şeyhs and the new political power, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) affecting especially inhabitants independent of big tribes. This paper seeks to introduce, via the case of the anti-HPP movement of Beğendik/Bêdar, the dissolution of ancient local actors who have controlled and governed political and economic life of the town and to analyze the rise of the political power of Kırmanc people in parallel with the development of the Kurdish national movement.
Keywords: Tribal Hieararchies, Kurdish Movement, Hydroelectric Power Plants, Local Politics, Resistance.

Motherhood as a Different Kind of Subjectivity Practice in Recent History of Turkey
Gözde Orhan

This study scrutinizes the mobilization of mothers in Turkey whose children were subjected to state violence or to abuse of rights for a variety of reasons, relying on the “natural” legitimacy rooted in being a mother, and their entrance into the political sphere with which they had not been familiar. How individual attempts having the aim of saving / finding a child evolved towards collective action, how the pain experienced brought women a collective identity, and how the struggle process transformed the mentality of the mothers are the basic questions of this study. How the title of “mother,” which serves to confine women in the home and which is shown as the reason for woman’s oppression by some feminists was used as the “weapon of the weak” by the mothers and how it led to reverse their disadvantageous position in the public sphere are analyzed. The study, which examines the way of organization, the demands, and the dynamics of the motherist movements in Turkey by classifying those in four periods, highlights the contribution of the motherist movements to the struggle of human rights.
Keywords: Mobilization Of Mothers, Gender Relations, Feminism, Human Rights, State Violence.

A Kafka Pretending to Be Unruffled: Neoliberal Politics as an “Expectation of Harmony ”
Kadir Gülen

Bourgeois perception of politics, in the aftermath of the collapse of the USSR, has been characterized by the notion of “the end of politics” formed according to certain features. That the regime of
capital accumulation can avoid effortlessly all barriers is a significant part of the current historical moment. The article aims to present that the neoliberal fiction of politics, which emerged out
of the financialization of capitalism, attempts to supersede social/political relations via certain “enjoyment categories” and “technical instruments”. What is expected from the political is to divert antagonistic relations formed according to the notions of hegemony, antagonism and ally/enemy difference into the hedonistic channels of collective agreement, problem solving and
individualization. The cumulative effects of ethnic conflicts, exploitation and ecological threats have substituted the joyful tableau, which was long expected after the collapse of the Berlin Wall. This process proves the fact that the problems of the political life in capitalist societies cannot be superseded via technical procedures.
Keywords: Neo-Liberalizm, Politics, Enjoyment, Antagonism, Financialization.