Encyclopedia of Diasporas

2005 Edition
| Editors: Melvin Ember, Carol R. Ember, Ian Skoggard

Creating a Diaspora within a Country: Kurds in Turkey

  • Christopher Houston
Diaspora Politics and Identity
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-29904-4_40


Diaspora is not created through the mere act of movement, either of migrants, refugees, or borders. Similarly, it is not a necessary outcome of a broken link between a place or territory and its inhabitants. More than this, diaspora requires the self-constitution and self-representation of subjects as a group in connection to a place, mapped or imagined. It is both the active constituting of that connection as well as the narrativization of its rending that create a diaspora. Because the formation of a diasporic community depends on the acceptance and elaboration of this connecting and disconnecting, the community of diaspora is always less than the population of the group declared in official censuses (if identified). In the modem period, this active imagining is invariably conducted in dialogue, however negatively, with rival processes of “place-making and people-making” (Ferguson & Gupta, 1997) pursued by nation-states. Making places and making people require more than...


Urban Space Military Coup Turkish State Kurdish Region Turkish Republic 
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The author gratefully acknowledges the support of the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, whose generosity financed the fieldwork carried out in Turkey for this entry. Special thanks go to Carol Ember and Ian Skoggard for their very helpful editorial comments, including suggestions for reorganizing the material.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Houston

There are no affiliations available