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Before the nineteenth century the Ottoman Empire also embraced indirect rule.

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The administrative system consisted of two components: the central gov- ernment and the provincial administrations. In the provincial administration, administrative flexibility was the norm. The frontier regions enjoyed greater autonomy than the ones that lay closer to the Ottoman center. There was a loose connection among the Kurdish tribes and between the center and the subregional system of this borderland between the Persian and Ottoman Empires. The millet system was not based on an ethnic hierarchy but on a religious one.

Muslims were at the top of this hierarchy, and the term millet nation denoted the religious, not the ethnic, community. As Muslims, Kurds were also parts of this ascendancy. By the end of the eighteenth century, Spain was a composite of very diverse territories united under the monarchy. Many of these territo- ries kept not only their languages but also very distinct customary laws and legal codes. And, in some cases, such as the Basque provinces and Navarre, they retained political institutions of their own, such as governing assemblies and collective territorial privileges.

Gaining Turkish Citizenship

In the Basque provinces these privileges also exempted the local population from both military service and taxation while allowing the provincial assemblies the right to veto royal edicts. Nationalism has emerged in the European scene when the capitalist world-economy was in need of a more regular market, common legal bindings, clear frontiers, and a compromise between capital and coercion. This process was accompanied by rising nationalism and the nation-state. Monopolization of the means of coercion was in the hands of the state until the sixteenth century, but from the end of the eighteenth century the state has also taken over the monopoly of administration and jurisdiction.

State-building nationalism was embodied in the attempt to assimilate or incorporate culturally distinctive territories in a given state. Peripheral nationalism is spurred by these efforts of state-building nationalism. The nation-state formation has taken different forms in different regions. The same goes for the British, Spanish, and Turkish cases as well. However, the transformation of the center—periphery relations in each of these cases followed similar paths with different contents.

The growing pressure of the central authority on peripheral regions was conspicuous. Consequently, the peripheral regions not only lost their administrative autonomies; they were also under the threat of losing their different cultural identities under the expanding national identity construction of the state. While Ireland directly became part of the United Kingdom in ,22 Kurds23 and Basques24 also lost their autonomies in the nineteenth century.

Although they have different places in the capitalist world-economy, in terms of defining their identities Britain, Spain, and the Ottoman Empire were going through a similar transformation. Since then, supra-identities have merged with the national identity discourses of the state. Located in the European geography, while the British and Spanish supra-identities have turned into national identities, Turkish national identity had to be built both as national and supra-identity at the same time during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and foundation of the Turkish Republic.

Under these circumstances, the peripheral regions sought ways to organize resistance against the center by redefining their regional sub-identities as national identities. Therefore, two contentious nationalist discourses, one from the top the state and one from the bottom the minority had begun to clash at the end of the nineteenth century.

Peripheral nationalisms were outcomes of the tension between the forces of homogenization and the struggle to maintain cultural and local autonomy.

This tension is at the core of the politicization of the Kurdish, Irish, and Basque cultures. These experiences have been a cultural base for national- ist risings against the center in these territories. During the cultural awaken- ing era, the Irish, Basques, and Kurds rediscovered their regional differences like language, history, and culture through nationalist lenses.

The Nation, the first Irish nationalist weekly newspaper, was founded in Another newspaper, Jin, which was published in , represented a broad spectrum of Kurdish rhetoric. They were the leading voices of national- ists in their own communities. These similarities have exposed themselves during the next phase of the capitalist economy, the welfare state period. The national identity discourses in the center and periphery were revived under this new orientation. The first dynamic was closely linked with the regulatory role of the state in public and private areas.

While the state had turned into a major actor in economic life, it still maintained its critical position in defining national identity through the renewed discourse of citizenship. In other words, social policy was integrated into, and fed, national identity as a supra-identity.

Civic Participation and Empowerment

The developing social rights and relatively increasing incomes have expanded middle classes under the control of the welfare system. It has succeeded in creating higher levels of education, social security, remunera- tion, and employment. But while the level of education and incomes were on the rise in these regions as part of macro-level planning, as was the case in Northern Ireland, in the Basque provinces and Kurdish regions the political oppression did not cease to exist.

In the s, the welfare state in Northern Ireland undoubtedly benefited one of the poorest regions of the Britain. Among the social and economic improvements made, those concerning education must be highlighted, since they made it possible for increasing numbers of Catholics to attend university, which in turn led to a substantial improvement in life conditions.

The welfare politics created a relatively more prosperous, well-educated, and socially am- bitious Catholic middle class.

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But despite these improvements, Catholics con- tinued to be underrepresented in sectors such as the civil service, local gov- ernment, or the judiciary, having a greater presence in unskilled work. With the support of the working classes, a newly expanded Catholic middle class and students were at the front of this struggle and demanded equal citizenship rights as British citizens. But the reaction of the local and central governments against this unarmed movement was harsh.

In armed conflict between the Catholics and Protestants in- creased and replaced the peaceful demonstrations. The dictatorship of Franco in Spain also deepened the conflict between the center and periphery. Between and , any expression of Basque cul- ture, in particular the language, was severely oppressed. At school, in the post offices, and the town halls the use of Euskera was heavily sanctioned.

The Francoist civil servants and the hated Guardia Civil removed the language from the public domain through ruthless repression. It supported a vaguely specified expansion of the public. However, the young generation was not satisfied with the ineffective strategies of the PNV against the cultural oppression of the Franco regime. By gaining a wide-based support from the Basque provinces it dethroned the PNV and became the symbol of Basque nationalism until The leading role of the university students and newly expanded middle class could also be observed in the Kurdish issue in Turkey during the same time period.

The separate existence of Kurds had been denied by the Turk- ish nationalist discourse for many decades after the foundation of the Turk- ish Republic. Until , Kurdish nationalist activity in Turkey appeared largely dor- mant. However, with the spread of universal education and sociopolitical liberalization as a result of the constitution a new phase began for Kurds in Turkey. The Kurdish language and any other cultural representa- tion of Kurdishness were still forbidden; the oppression on Kurds did not soften. However, the constitution created an opening for freedom of expression in any way, and new modern intellectuals rather than tribal and religious leaders started to shape Kurdish identity in this atmosphere.

In s, Kurdish identity found a place for itself within the framework of the broader leftist movement in Turkey. It advocated political, civil, and economic rights for the people in the East and played an important role in reviving the modern Kurdish movement in Turkey in that short period. They focused around issues such as being recognized as full citizens by the state and being given the same rights as other citizens. The term was not just a commentary on the structure of territorial politics, but a critique of how modernizing forces of the central authority in the form of industrialization, urbanization, mass consumption, and mass education lead to integration of regional communities into homogenous societies.

The rising human rights activism and civil rights and antiwar movements in almost all the Western countries encouraged new nationalist movements as mentioned above. The appealing socialist ideas of the time had their influence on these movements, and as a reflection of the prevalent ideas nationalist movements in the peripheral regions acquired a class element. As a corollary, the nationalist rhetoric has been shaped not only against the center, but also against the capitalist mode of production.

Ironically, nationalism has gained a new dimension in the hands of periph- eral nationalists despite its roots that are embedded in the capitalist world- economy. Therefore neither the cooperation between the Turkish socialist factions and Kurdish movement nor the socialist debates in the IRA and ETA were exceptional. The third and the last phase of structural and historical similarities between the three cases that are analyzed here is the neoliberal era, which started during the late s.

This neoliberal turn in the capitalist world-economy was not just an economic recipe to its last crisis but was also a political path which genuinely transformed the classical meaning of the nation-state and sovereignty concepts, especially in the EU for member states. Surely, state institutions, both domestic and geopolitical, still have causal efficacy because they, too, like economic, ideological, and military institutions provide nec- essary conditions for social existence. The transformation of the nation-state has deeply influenced the center—periphery relations and therefore majority—minority relations.

The state, under the deregulatory pressures of the neoliberal turn, not only lost some of its critical functions in economic life but also began to lose much of its capacity to define limits of different identities in its borders. First is the growing attention to the minority rights in Europe after the collapse of the USSR and disintegration of Yugo- slavia. There was an extensive diffusion and institutionalization of minority rights culture in Europe, and a minority rights regime has stemmed from the EU, the Council of Europe, and the Organization for Security and Coopera- tion in Europe OSCE.

The development of this rights regime has involved the construction of a rights culture, which has put peripheral nationalist movements on stronger normative footing. European market integration has provided new opportunities for autonomy and self-govern- ment, although one constrained by the needs of economic competition.

A new political space has emerged for them in which they have found a chance to represent themselves. Under these new conditions, the peripheral nationalisms in Western Eu- rope have effected reconciliation with the new order. Contrary to the nineteenth century and welfare state period, the neoliberal system has supported their political demands unless they do not persist on armed struggle.

However, despite the basic structural and historical similarities in line with the evolution of the capitalist world-economy, there are also significant differences between Britain, Spain, and Turkey and be- tween peripheral regions which have differentiated the conflict resolution processes in these countries.

As argued above, nationalism and national identity con- struction, both in the center and periphery, are a product of the nineteenth century, and this process has reproduced itself during the welfare system and neoliberal era. However, looking closely, each case represents different identity formation processes that affect both citizenship policies and conflict resolution mechanisms in the peripheral regions. The first significant difference that could be examined between Britain, Spain, and Turkey are the etymologic roots of the supra-identity and the con- struction process of the supra-identity as a national identity.

When Britishness and Spanishness are compared with Turkishness, it can be seen that while the first two identities refer to a territory, the latter refers to an ethnic identity. The British national identity especially is not only different from Turkey but also from other countries in continental Europe because, unlike most of other supra-identity constructions, British supra-identity as a national identity has been built as a multinational identity from the beginning, without abandoning an imperial mentality.

It transformed the regime as it desired by forging a coalition with the aristocracy against the ruling monarchy, and a stable parliamentary regime could be built in the seventeenth century. In this context Britain has never been a typical nation-state, and British policies against its peripheral regions have never been shaped by an intense English nationalism; instead Britain, as the leading imperial power, had imperial concerns, and it approached its peripheral regions through a strategic thinking.

Therefore, London has rec- ognized the different cultures and distinct identities in the peripheral regions: the Irish are Irish; he or she has never been called English. London has en- forced centralization, but British centralization policies have been based on parliamentary sovereignty rather than national sovereignty with homogeniz- ing efforts. Thus, the effects of the British centralization policies on identity politics have been quite soft when compared with Spanish and Turkish cases. While the British Empire was at the peak of its power, the Ottoman Empire was in the process of breaking up, and the Ottomanism and Pan-Islamism was not able to prevent it from fail- ing.

Interestingly, the non-Muslim minorities, mostly living in the Balkans, had encountered nationalism before the Ottoman Turks, who were the ruling majority. However, towards the end of the nineteenth century, Turkish na- tionalism also emerged among some intellectuals, and in , after the Com- mittee of Union and Progress CUP seized power from the Ottoman sultan, it has become the main ideology of the new government. Nevertheless, instead of saving, they accelerated the fall and disintegration of the Empire, and Turkish nationalism was the founding ideology of a new state, the Turkish Republic, in Therefore, Turkishness has never had a plural content as has Britishness.

Spanish national identity as a supra-identity has also been built in a very different way than Turkish national identity. Spanishness has been defined as a national identity since the nineteenth century; however the internal political conflicts between political parties and early formation of periph- eral nationalist movements in the Basque provinces and in Catalonia have averted the development of a strong supra-identity in Spain. The cultural representation of their identities were limited and nationalist and regionalist political activities were forbidden in this period.

However, the Franco period — was much worse than that.

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The regional and cultural differences were violently oppressed, and Spanishness lost its plural meaning to Spanish nationalism. These practices under authoritarian regimes have strengthened Basque nationalism and led to the establishment of new underground organizations like ETA. But, even in these periods, the existence of a separate Basque identity has never been denied as with the denial of Kurdish identity in Turkey. Despite all the au- thoritarian experiences of the twentieth century, a historical mentality that acknowledges Spanish identity as a plural identity has been retained in the minds of Spaniards even in the Franco period.


The territorial references of British and Spanish identities have been inclusive of the subidentities. On the other hand, when initiatives for a reconciliation of the Kurdish issue were started by the government in Turkey, the first issue raised was about renaming the supra-identity. The Turkish experience in identity politics is also different from the British and Spanish cases in terms of its integration to the neoliberal accu- mulation regime.

The repressive policies of the central authorities and security forces, violations of human rights, and torture in prisons were widespread before the s in Northern Ireland and the Basque Country. The IRA and ETA were de- fensive armed groups against the antidemocratic politics of the British and Spanish governments in the eyes of local and international public opinion.

But, during the neoliberal era, as the democratic conditions improved and new political options have emerged, the IRA and ETA have begun to lose their legitimacy for armed struggle, and British and Spanish governments have adapted to new conditions and changed their approaches towards these regions. However, this was not the case in Turkey.

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The Turkish au- thorities have adopted severe policies that British and Spanish authorities have begun to give up, such as treating all Kurds as suspected terrorists, banning all kinds of cultural expression, and jailing many Kurdish activists. This oppression has only made the PKK more popular. It must also be stressed that Turkey was and is not an EU member like two others, and economic, social, and regional policies of the EU were not effective in Turkey as they were in Britain and Spain.

In this context, the third difference that should be taken into consideration is geographical location. It is obvious that the Northern Ireland and Basque issues are national minority issues within Europe. However, the Kurdish issue is an issue in the Middle East, although the EU has been interested in the Kurdish issue in Turkey and has urged Turkish governments to transform the legal procedure of minority policies and improve the implementation. The Kurds are an autochthonous people spread to four countries, namely Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

Their fate is closely linked to developments in the broader Middle East. But for those Kurds living in Turkey, the EU accession process is also as significant as the developments in the Middle East. The last difference that should be underlined is that not only Britain, Spain, and Turkey but also the peripheral regions represent geographical, historical, social, cultural, and economic differences which consequently affected the conflict resolution processes.

Northern Ireland is a peripheral region which was formed after the division of Ireland in When examined from a center—periphery perspective, it can be argued that it has never been a subject of British nationalism, but that the main problem was between the Protestant majority, which has been sup- ported by Britain since the seventeenth century, and the suppressed Catholic minority.

Therefore, the problem in Northern Ireland had always two interde- pendent dimensions: the first was a conflict between the center and periphery revolving around the demands for an independent Ireland, which then turned into a dispute of unification of Northern Ireland with Ireland. The second was a conflict of two communities within the periphery between Catholics and Protestants. However, this second dimension of the conflict have been more determinant in the Northern Ireland conflict, especially after Britain accepted the consent of the majority in However, neither in the Basque provinces nor in the Kurdish regions do intercommunal conflict exist.

In a search for a solution, the Basque model is much more appropriate as a model for the Kurdish issue than the Northern Ireland model. The Basque Country, contrary to the least-developed Kurdish regions in Turkey, is one of the most developed parts of Spain;57 however, except for this significant difference, the center—periphery conflict in each of them is more similar than that of Northern Ireland. Conclusion This chapter tries to develop a novel approach to majority—minority relations through the perspective of center—periphery relations within the framework of the capitalist world-economy.

It tries to reveal common global dynamics to observe the similar political discourses and actions during the national iden- tity formations in the center and periphery. Despite the apparent internal and local differences, these commonalities have the potential to provide a broader outlook to analyze the transformation of the national identity concept in gen- eral. Notes 1. Costa-Lascoux and P. Ignatieff, Blood and Belonging, 6.

Smith, Nationalism and Modernism, Add to GoodReads. Societal Peace and Ideal Citizenship for Turkey. Globalisation and neo-liberalism have been impacting the nation-state and leading the full citizenship concept into crisis, not only in Turkey but also in the world. While one reason for this crisis is the decline of the welfare state, another reason stems from the fluidity of borders that distorts the classical patterns of the nation-state such as meta-identity.

The existing Turkish citizenship inherited a strong state idea with passive citizenship tradition from the Ottoman Empire. However, this understanding is no longer sustainable for Turkish society. The definition of citizenship through state-led nationalism, secularism, and a free market economy creates societal crises in politics and society.

The aim of this book is to find out the answer of what should be the ideal citizenship regime for Turkey. Various scholars dealing with Turkish socio-politics analyze different aspects and problems of Turkish citizenship regime that should be tackled for finding a recipe for ideal citizenship in Turkey. Lexington Books. Chapter 1. Gypsies and Citizenship in Turkey Chapter 6.

Turks of African Origin and Citizenship Chapter 8.