Chapter

The Border and the Kurds

Benjamin Thomas White

in The Emergence of Minorities in the Middle East

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780748641871
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653287 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748641871.003.0004
The Border and the Kurds

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This chapter examines how borders define minorities (and a majority), and how borders are related to state authority and ‘identity’. It serves as a continuation of the analysis of the relationship between state authority, population, territory and identity. The first section determines the material presence Syria's border had in the mandate period: that is, how the state's authority was manifested concretely at its boundaries. The second section discusses the relationship between the border and state authority across the whole Syrian territory and the population through the lens of the ‘Kurdish question’ that emerged in the region following the First World War as nation-states begin to replace the Ottoman Empire. In this second section, the focus is on the Syrian-Turkish border during the mid-to late 1920s, when the border was created. The chapter ends by showing how the drawing of Syria's borders came to ‘minoritise’ all Kurds resident in the country.

Keywords: borders; state authority; identity; Syrian territory; Syrian-Turkish border; Kurds

Chapter.  13177 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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