Kurdish Notables and the Ottoman State

Hakan Ozoglu, University of Chicago

Examines early Kurdish nationalism within the context of the demise of the Ottoman Empire.
Kurdish nationalism remains one of the most critical and explosive problems of the Middle East. Despite its importance, the topic remains on the margins of Middle East Studies. Bringing the study of Kurdish nationalism into the mainstream of Middle East scholarship, Hakan Ozoğlu examines the issue in the context of the Ottoman Empire. Using a wealth of primary sources, including Ottoman and British archives, Ottoman Parliamentary minutes, memoirs, and interviews, he focuses on revealing the social, political, and historical forces behind the emergence and development of Kurdish nationalism. Contrary to the assumption that nationalist movements contribute to the collapse of empires, the book argues that Kurdish leaders remained loyal to the Ottoman state, and only after it became certain that the empire would not recover did Kurdish nationalism emerge and clash with the Kemalist brand of Turkish nationalism.
.“…both expands on existing studies and revises previous accounts in a concise, nuanced fashion.” — International Journal of Middle East Studies”
The author’s discussion of the Kurdish notable families and the evolution of their ideologies is original and constitutes an important contribution to the literature.” — Resat Kasaba, author of The Ottoman Empire and the World Economy: The Nineteenth Century”
The topic of the emergence of ethno-nationalism among a class of notables closely linked to the imperial state is significant, making this book of interest to students of ethnicity and nationalism, Ottoman historians, and specialists of Kurdish affairs.” — Martin van Bruinessen, author of Agha, Shaikh, and State: The Social and Political Structures of Kurdistan
Hakan Ozoğlu is the Ayasli Senior Lecturer in Turkish Studies at the University of Chicago.
Table Of Contents
Acknowledgments
Note on Transliteration and Translation
List of Illustrations

1. Introduction
The Role of Kurdish Nationalism in the Emergence of the Turkish RepublicA Brief Discussion on NationalismDifferent Interpretations of NationalismEthnicity, Nationalism, and the Development of IdentityNationalism in the Kurdish CaseNationalism and Notables in the Ottoman EmpireBoundaries of the ResearchOrganization and General Arguments of the Chapters
2. Evolution of Group Identity: The Kurds and Kurdistan in Historical Texts
Origin of the KurdsKurds and Kurdistan in Medieval SourcesSerefhan BitlisiThe Seventeenth Century: Ahmed-i HaniEvliya Çelebi: A View of an Ottoman TravelerKurds and Kurdistan in the Late Ottoman PeriodKürdistan: The First Kurdish NewspaperSemseddin SamiThe Post-World War I PeriodConclusion
3. State-Tribe Relations: Ottoman Empire and Kurdish Tribalism Since the Sixteenth Century
Tribe, Emirate, and the KurdsTheoretical FrameworkDefinition of Kurdish TribesKurdish Tribalism Prior to the Ottoman ConquestOttoman-Safavid Relations and “Kurdistan”Ottoman Administration in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth CenturiesClassical Ottoman AdministrationOttoman Administration in KurdistanDecreasing Level of Kurdish AutonomyOttoman Administrative Policies in Nineteenth-Century KurdistanConclusion: Consequences of Ottoman Rule
4. Kurdish “Protonationalism”?: The Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
The Nationalist Dimension of Kurdish MilitancyBedirhan Pasha and His Revolt of 1847The Naqshbandi Semdinan Family and Sayyid UbeydullahA Transformation to Nationalism: Two Kurdish Cultural and Political Organizations, 1908–20Kürt Teavün ve Terakki Cemiyeti, or the Society for the Mutual Aid and Progress of Kurdistan (SMPK)Kürdistan Teali Cemiyeti, or the Society for the Advancement of Kurdistan (SAK) of 1918
5. The Role of Preexisting Ties and Notables in the Emergence of Kurdish Nationalism
The Naksibendi Semdinan FamilySayyid AbdulkadirThe Bedirhani FamilyEmin Ali BedirhanCeladet Ali and Kamuran Ali BedirhanOther Members of the SAK in the Bedirhani FamilyThe Cemilpasazade FamilyEkrem CemilpasaKadri Cemilpasa (Zinar Silopi)Shaykh Sefik EfendiMehmet Serif PashaBediüzzaman Said NursiHizanizade Bitlizli Kemal FevziConclusion
6. Concluding Remarks and Suggestions for Further Research
Directions for Further Research in the Republican Period
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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First chapter available, click here.
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Will Turkey Seize Northern Iraq?
By Hakan Ozoglu
(History News Network)
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