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In this volume, leading scholars on the history of the Kurds lay out the case that the Kurdish Question looms as one of the largest threats to peace and stability in the Middle East. With the majority of Kurds living within its borders, no country faces this threat more squarely than Turkey, whose concept of a unified, cohesive nation—in which the existence of ethnic minorities is not acknowledged—makes the powder keg more difficult to manage than elsewhere. Separate sections examine the development of the movement and explore its influence on Turkey’s foreign, domestic, and human rights policies, in the end questioning the viability of the Turkish state as presently constituted.

Robert Olson, professor of Middle East and Islamic history at the University of Kentucky, is the author of several books, including The Ba'ath in Syria, 1947-1982, and The Emergence of Kurdish Nationalism, 1880-1925.

"Readers struggling to understand the renewed presence of U.S. Cruise missiles and B-52s in the skies over Iraq . . . and willing to invest time and effort to achieve a better grasp of this complex and troubled region will find useful data and insights here."—Booklist

"The Kurdish question is poisoning the body-politic of the whole country."—Middle East International

"An invaluable briefing on one of the Middle East's most complex, enduring, and tragic conflicts."—Midwest Book Review

"Accomplishes what we cannot do in this country and which will cause eyebrows to be raised in official circles."—Milliyet

"The book's essays are not only informative but impressive."—Perspectives on Political Science

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Kurds, Nationalism, Turkey


Islamic World and Near East History

The Kurdish Nationalist Movement in the 1990s: Its Impact on Turkey and the Middle East
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