Understanding Kurdish ethno-nationalism in Turkey: socio-economy, religion, and politics

Ekmekci F.

ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES, vol.34, no.9, pp.1608-1617, 2011 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/01419870.2010.538425
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1608-1617
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


In his recent article in Ethnic and Racial Studies, entitled 'Curbing Kurdish ethno-nationalism in Turkey', Sarigil (2010) tests two rival hypotheses regarding Kurdish ethno-nationalism in Turkey and, using data from the World Values Survey (WVS), finds that socio-economic status (levels of income and education) better explains the individual roots of Kurdish ethno-nationalism in Turkey than does religiousness. In this paper, I offer both a methodological critique of Sarigil's research and a replication of his model with a more appropriate sample. I first argue that Sarigil's research design lacks internal validity because it studies Kurdish nationalism within a sample that predominantly consists of Turks, which invalidates his findings. I then replicate and expand Sarigil's model within a specific sample of Kurdish-speaking people in Turkey. The results show dramatic changes. Religiosity and political satisfaction seem to be better predictors of support for Kurdish ethno-nationalism in Turkey than do socio-economic factors.