The Kurds in Germany

Authored by: Vera Eccarius-Kelly

Routledge Handbook on the Kurds

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138646643
eBook ISBN: 9781315627427
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315627427-33

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Abstract

The Kurds in Germany offer a wide variety of responses to the question of what it means to be Kurdish. Depending on their families’ experiences with expulsion and migration, and their involvement with political activism, Kurds often lay claim to originating from Kurdistan. Many Kurds protest the denial of their existence and therefore reject the nationality listed on their passports. Sometimes Kurds refer to Kurdistan as “having been served up like a slice of pie” to the regional powers of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, but point to the recent successes of establishing Kurdish enclaves in Syria and the formation of the Kurdish region in Iraq. Some Kurds have long professed their commitment to what is called the “myth of return,” which allows Kurds to imagine the establishment of a full sociocultural and political life in Kurdistan after violence ends. Other Kurds insist that familiarity with cultural practices (social mores, music, dance, traditional peasant clothing, etc.) is a sign of an authentic commitment to Kurdishness, while most highlight the need for competency in the Kurdish language (predominantly Kurmanji in Germany).

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