Big Men Little Love

Categories: NationalismPolitics

As a matter of fact, the expectation of the Republic from the Kurds was different in the transition period from the multi-ethnic and cultural realities of the Ottoman Empire to the nation-state model. Republic of Turkey is dominated by the Official nationalism. Official nationalism has been based on the idea of nation-state, which tends to reject all kinds of differences and dualism that do not match the concept of a single nation, the concept of “language”. A part of the Kurds that could not be taken lightly was Turkified, but, the expectation of the Republican period from the Kurds in Turkish nationalism was that Kurds were literally viewed as the future Turks but then we can observe that the Turkish nationalism of today is not as strong as the confidence and expectation of the Kurds as the future Turks.

The reason for this is that the vast majority of Kurds resist assimilation, regime and unity of the nation. In fact, they even aimed at breaking the political unity of the country with Kurdish revolt activities.

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For this reason, the Kurds were perceived as a kind of “threat” and “problem” for Turkish nationalists. After the declaration of the Republic, political, economic, social and cultural change policies have been implemented. The purpose of these policies is to accelerate nationalization by strengthening authority. In the “İskân Kanunu” settlements issued in 1934, it was reported that the population whose mother tongue is not Turkish should not exceed 10%, and with this law, a collective and compulsory new assimilation policy for minorities came into force.

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The banning of Kurdish by law after the foundation of the Republic has paved the way for the Kurdish problem to get stronger. In this context, the Kurdish problem is not only limited to the present day or the history of the PKK, but a wider problem. The Kurdish problem, which caused many soldiers and civilian casualties throughout the history of the Republic, as a national public problem, in separatist, disorganized activities, also frequently appears in the perspective of the “Kemalist” phenomenon. Many thinkers who make studies on nation and nationalism think that the concept of “language” is a building block to become a “nation”. Among the implications of the “Kemalist” period, the studies on history and language theses and the policies based on these studies are very important in the “Turkish language” and “Turkish history” congresses held on the concept of ‘language’.

Because, within the framework of these policies, ethnic groups in the country are aimed to become homogeneous. In Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria “Kurdish” one can talk jointly by the community under the name of “language” creation request was noted and Turkey in a different “language” and a new “nation” to granting, always and in every sense an absolutely division and it was an agenda as a threat. Ultimately, nationalism policies built on the basis of unity triggered the separations at some point and facilitated the emergence of various conflict areas. It would be quite wrong to say that Turkey saw Kurds as an enemy and always declared Kurds as an enemy because the enemy group in Turkey, Kurds are not, and have always been supporters of the PKK.

Despite the fact that the Kurds were seen under the roof of Turkishness with their Muslims throughout the history of the Republic, PKK terrorism that developed in the 90s has removed the Kurds from being under the roof of Turkishness. On the other hand, “Ya sev ya terk et!” We can say that while slogans such as, want to be unifying, they tend to increase the exclusionary approach triggered by the ideology of Nationalism.  In this context, in the second part of the article, in order to better analyze the Kurds who are between the Turkish people, the state and the PKK problem, “Big Man Little Love”, which was screened and directed by “Handan İpekçi” in 2001, was nominated in 5 chapters at the “International Antalya Film Festival”, and was examined in the context of sociological film criticism.

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Big Men Little Love. (2022, Jun 03). Retrieved from

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