Shedding an ethnic identity in diaspora: de-Turkification and the transnational discursive struggles of the Kurdish diaspora
journal contributionposted on 14.12.2017, 13:34 by Ipek Demir
This article analyses how Kurdish diaspora (from Turkey) engage in de-Turkification, that is correcting, interrupting and shedding the intense Turkification and assimilation which Kurds have been recipients of in Turkey. As ‘everyday critical discourse analysts’ Kurdish mobilized actors identify, challenge and ideologically unpack the Turkishness manifest in their (Kurdish) interlocutors’ discourses via three means: inclusion, exclusion and repositioning. The article also identifies that self-definition amongst Kurds in London is shifting as previously self-identified ‘Turkish economic migrants’ over time become ‘Kurdish diaspora’. Rather than examining the often-discussed belonging ties of diasporas, it traces the critical interruptions and corrections Kurdish actors undertake in order to de-Turkify. The focus is on how an identity is being shed, rather than gained. In so doing, the article contributes to an understanding of the process of removal of asymmetric discourses rather than attempting to demonstrate their production or reproduction which have tended to dominate the critical discourse analysis literature.