Agha, Shaikh and State: The Social and Political Structures of Kurdistan
By: Martin van Bruinessen (author)Paperback
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Exacerbated by the Gulf War, the plight of the Kurds is one of the most urgent problems facing the international community. This authoritative study of the Kurdish people provides a deep and varied insight into one of the largest primarily tribal communities in the world. It covers the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the great Kurdish revolt against republican Turkey, the birth of Kurdish nationalism and the situation of the Kurdish people in Iraq, Turkey and Iran today. Van Bruinessen's work is already recognized as a key contribution to this subject. Tribe by tribe, he accounts for the evolution of power within Kurdish religious and other lineages, and shows how relations with the state have played a key constitutive role in the development of tribal structures. This is illustrated from contemporary Kurdish life, highlighting the complex interplay between traditional clan loyalties and their modern national equivalents. This book is essential to any Middle East collection. It has serious implications for the study of tribal life elsewhere, and it documents the history of what has until recently been a forgotten people.
Dr Martin van Bruinessen is a distinguished social anthropologist and a Fellow of the Kurdish Institute in Paris.
* Preface* Introduction* How this book came to be written* Subject of this study* A note on the written sources*1. General Information on Kurdistan* Geography* Geopolitical situation* Population* Other economic activities: crafts/industries and trades* Language* Religion* The Kurdish national movement, 1960-85* Iranian Kurdistan and the Islamic Revolution* The Iran-Iraq war and the Kurds* Saddam Hussein's solution to the Kurdish question* Recent changes in Turkey's attitude*2. Tribes, Chieftains and Non-tribal Groups* The tribe and its subdivisions* Kurdish terms* Blood feud and other conflicts* Higher than the tribe?* Leadership and conflicts* Leadership: titles and functions* The guest-house* Economic aspects: tribute to the agha* Leadership situation among a number of different tribes* Power as a process: the colonization of the northern Jazira* Subject 'non-tribal' peasantry and their relations with tribal Kurds* The guran and the Guran* Nomads and peasants: one or two peoples?* Conclusion*3. Tribes and the State* Introduction* The incorporation of Kurdistan into the Ottoman Empire* The political history of some Kurdish emirates* Administrative organization of Ottoman Kurdistan in the sixteenth* century* Internal organization of the Kurdish emirates* Political changes in the nineteenth century* The rise of Bedr Khan Beg and the fall of the emirate of Botan* The new land code and its effects* The establishment of Kurdish tribal militias: the Hamidiye* Mustafa Pasha of the Miran* Ibrahim Pasha of the Milan* Changes in the early twentieth century* Conclusions*4. Shaikhs: mystics, saints and politicians* Introductory remarks* God incarnate* Dervish and sufi orders* Sufi and dervish orders: organized popular mysticism* The history of the Qadiri order as an example* Qadiri shaikhs in Kurdistan* The Naqshbandi tariqa and the Naqshbandi order* Why did the Naqshbandi order spread so rapidly?* Rituals of the Qadiri order* The Naqshbandi ritual* Shaikh and khalifa: relations with other shaikhs* The shaikh and his followers* Millenarianism* Decline of the shaikhs' influence* Islamic revival: the Nurcu movement*5. Shaikh Said's Revolt* Introduction* History of Kurdish national consciousness* The end of the Ottoman Empire and the birth of the Republic of Turkey* The first Kurdish political organizations* Shaikh Said's revolt* External and internal support for the revolt* The Naqshbandi order and the revolt* The religious versus the nationalist character of the revolt
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