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"What is the Dersim Issue?"
"What is the Dersim Issue?"

Turkish newspaper Kurun asking "What is Dersim Issue?" in 1937. "Dersim issue" occupied Turkish media almost on a daily basis in 1930s, but it disappeared from the public space after the Turkish army's violent transformation of the region in 1937-38. Here, the newspaper editors are asking "What is the Dersim issues?" in the midst of the genocidal operations that were underway at the time of this publication.

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"What is the Dersim Issue?"
"What is the Dersim Issue?"

Turkish newspaper Kurun asking "What is Dersim Issue?" in 1937. "Dersim issue" occupied Turkish media almost on a daily basis in 1930s, but it disappeared from the public space after the Turkish army's violent transformation of the region in 1937-38. Here, the newspaper editors are asking "What is the Dersim issues?" in the midst of the genocidal operations that were underway at the time of this publication.

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A historian with a background in political science and Middle Eastern studies, I combine an interdisciplinary and comparative line of argumentation with in-depth knowledge of the histories of understudied and marginalized peoples and places in the peripheries and borderlands. My scholarship is primarily concerned with the conjunctures and contingencies that gave rise to modern state-making policies at the intersection of religion, ethnicity, gender, and environment from the late eighteenth century onwards. My background in political science and Middle Eastern studies informs my research and teaching, which integrate theoretical approaches from multiple disciplines and apply them to the study of history. 

 

My current research explores the transition from indirect imperial to centralized nation-state rule through the case of Dersim, a region in Eastern Anatolia in contemporary Turkey with a rich and diverse natural environment and predominantly Alevi Kurdish population. The study covers the period from the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 to the Turkish state’s violent transformation of the region in 1937–38. My book manuscript tentatively titled Preparing for a Genocide “Inside Four Mountains” delves deeply into the details of Dersim's complex local history and establishes connections between the developments inside Dersim and the world outside it through the lens of critical race theory in three layers: with the Kurds, Armenians, and Alevis at large; with the centralization efforts of the Ottoman and Persian Empires and their successor states; and with the spread of nationalism and colonialism in and around the Middle East.

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Copyright @ 2022 Cevat Dargın
darginc@umich.edu

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