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National Education and the Kurdish Question in Turkey

Ince, Adem (2016) National Education and the Kurdish Question in Turkey. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis examines Turkey’s ‘Kurdish Question’ from an educational perspective, since this remains the most serious issue in Turkey today. In so doing, this study places emphasis on the experiences/challenges of Kurdish pupils in the eastern and south-eastern regions of Turkey. Furthermore, teachers’ perception of the Kurdish Question and the educational issues are also one of the main focusses of this research, since teachers are considered to be powerful actors in this study. Apart from this, in order to understand the challenges facing Kurdish pupils and the educational issues leading to the exclusion of non-Turks more generally, critical analysis of textbooks and policy documents is also undertaken. The findings of the research show that there is a serious issue of exclusion and even assimilation facing pupils within the existing education system, something which also affects their success and the reproduction of their culture. Furthermore, linguistic issues and the nationalist/ideological characteristics of the Turkish education have a huge effect on Kurdish pupils. Specifically, students starting school with no or little Turkish struggle to adapt, and their lives are ruined in the schooling system. Results also show that young teachers are courageous actors who attempt to bring a level of flexibility to the educational system so as to help students, despite the education system remaining strictly centralised. Lastly, critical analysis of textbooks reveals that the Turkish education system indoctrinates students by promoting the Kemalist ideology and Turkish nationalism. The findings can contribute to a better understanding of the struggle facing the Kurdish minority in Turkey. This research, therefore, provides a timely and necessary study of the national education system which is believed to lie behind many social problems existing in society.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Turkey, Kurdish question, education, Kemalism, Turkish nationalism
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Depositing User: Dr Adem Ince
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2016 12:28
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2016 12:28
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15451

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