(EVENT RECORDING) The Origins of the Kurdish Question

On October 29, 2020, the Middle East Center was privileged to host Dr. Djene Rhys Bajalan, who in conversation with Professor Brendan O'Leary, examined the existing historiographical debate pertaining to the question of a Kurdish state and called into question some of the underlying assumptions that have framed the debate over the last century.

Historians of the Kurdish question have often presented the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of the Great War as a ‘missed opportunity’ for Kurdish nationalists to establish and independent Kurdish homeland. Indeed, the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres, signed in the summer of 1920, provided the Ottoman Kurdish community with a pathway to independence. However, just three years later, the Treaty of Lausanne, a treaty that provided no provision on Kurdish statehood, superseded Sèvres leaving the Kurds ‘stateless’. Consequently, the question of why the Kurds failed to acquire a nation-state, at a time when the Middle East was being remade along ‘national’ lines, has both haunted Kurdish nationalists and animated scholarly discussion. 

For those unable to attend, CLICK HERE FOR EVENT RECORDING.