Ethnic History Writing: Rethinking Kurdish History in Mehmed Uzun's Novel

By:
Research Assistant Olcay Canbulat
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Nationalism and ideological sovereignty of the nation state’s history is built on its unique territory by effacing the all nations from the historical narration and by equipping needed neccesarry figures for the national ideology. Every nation adorns its own history by heroism.

The new history forms that raised today against to the dominant national history writing in multi-cultural and multi-etnical nations renders the contrary historical narratives unique and significant which is constrained and hidden by dominant history. The lack of opposite historical narratives in multi-cultural and multi-ethnical societies such as Turkey is because of the national history’s hegemonic and oppresive influences. This study aims to understand ethnic writing in Kurdish author Mehmed Uzun’s novels. He is the first Kurdish author writes his novels in his native language, Kurdish. He wrote the first novel of Kurdish culture, history and nation in Kurdish. Kurds is a nation that culturally and historically oppresed and restricted in Turkey.

This study aims to concentrate on Kurdish history in Mehmed Uzun’s novels that the history outside of the hegemonic history canon of Turkish nationalism. Nonetheless we believe the necessity of trying to reevaluate of the relationship between the ethnic nation and it’s history in Mehmed Uzun’s novelistic discourses. This reevaluation process starts with the understanding of this relationship that differs from the main concern of the ethnic history writing which intents to arouse its culture, history and native language. It should start with understanding of what kind of relationship between history and the nation is displayed in his novel. Ethnical history narratives opposite to hegemonic national histories and nationalisms face an important risk that to create the new forms of nationalism and to lean against the new nationalistic discourses. Historical writing should always emancipate itself from the intention of setting a “big narratives” either in history dicipline or in the novelistic discourses and should transfer to be the narrative of the ordinary people and their daily lifes. Merely in that way it could agitate the totalitarian view to the knowledge of the past.


Keywords: Ethnic History, Historical Narratives
Stream: Ethnicity, Difference, Identity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Research Assistant Olcay Canbulat

Research Assistant, Radio-TV and Cinema Department, Ege University Faculty of Communication
Izmir, Turkey

She had taken her Master Degree from Ege University Social Sciences Institute at Radio-TV Department in 1996. She is studying on PH.D thesis which is examining “Goverment Discourse in Turkey and its discourse on European Union in TV News”

Ref: H06P0516