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Agha, Shaikh and State: The Social and Political Structures by Martin Van Bruinessen

By Martin Van Bruinessen

Exacerbated via the Gulf battle, the plight of the Kurds is among the so much pressing difficulties dealing with the overseas neighborhood. This authoritative examine of the Kurdish humans presents a deep and sundry perception into one of many biggest essentially tribal groups on the earth. It covers the cave in of the Ottoman Empire, the good Kurdish rebellion opposed to republican Turkey, the beginning of Kurdish nationalism and the location of the Kurdish humans in Iraq, Turkey and Iran this day. Van Bruinessen’s paintings is already famous as a key contribution to this topic. Tribe by means of tribe, he debts for the evolution of energy inside Kurdish spiritual and different lineages, and indicates how kinfolk with the kingdom have performed a key constitutive position within the improvement of tribal buildings. this is often illustrated from modern Kurdish lifestyles, highlighting the advanced interaction among conventional extended family loyalties and their glossy nationwide equivalents. This booklet is vital to any heart East assortment. It has critical implications for the examine of tribal existence somewhere else, and it files the historical past of what has till lately been a forgotten humans.

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Additional info for Agha, Shaikh and State: The Social and Political Structures of Kurdistan

Sample text

In Iraq and Iran, re-emergence of a Kurdish the Second Worid War caused the movement. ^'' In Iran, Mahabad was the centre of Kurdish nationalist activities, facilitated by the central government's weakness and a benevolent, even stimulating attitude on the part of the Soviet forces that had occupied Azerbaijan. In 1946 the Kurds of Mahabad declared an independent repubUc, in imitation of their Azerbaijani neighbours. They were also supported by Iraqi Kurds, among whom was Barzani with one or two thousand armed tribesmen.

Within months, a new guerrilla war had started, albeit on a very moderate scale. Once the news was out that there were Peshmerga in the mountains again, these were joined by peasants from elsewhere whose villages had been destroyed and by urban Kurds who were disaffected by the government's policies. The new guerrilla struggle in Iraq was, however, not only a reaction to the Baghdad government's undeniably harsh policies towards the Kurds, it was also waged against a background of rivalry between the would-be successors of Barzani as the sole leader of the Kurds.

Within a few days the Kurdish movement collapsed, not militarily but politically defeated. The population of entire districts fled into Iran, where the Kurdish leadership also took refuge. By early April, there were an estimated 250,000 Kurdish refugees in Iran. The Iraqi government offered an amnesty to all who had joined the Kurdish rebellion; many Peshmerga surrendered directly; another 150,000 refugees returned from Iran during the following months. Those remaining in Iran were spread over the country and expected to gradually assimilate.

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