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Dengbêjs on borderlands: Borders and the state as seen through the eyes of Kurdish singer-poets

Author

Listed:
  • Wendelmoet Hamelink

    (Orient-Institut Istanbul & Orient-Institut Beirut, Lebanon; Leiden University, the Netherlands)

  • Hanifi Barış

    (Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom)

Abstract

This article investigates how the Kurdish home, borders and the state are depicted in one of the most important Kurdish cultural expressions in Turkey until 1980: the dengbêj art. The recital songs of the dengbêjs form a fascinating source to investigate how Kurds experienced life on the margins of the (nation-)state. We argue that the songs demonstrate that many Kurds perceived the political geography of the state they officially belonged to as foreign and not as a legitimate part of Kurdish socio-political reality. The Kurdish political geography created in the songs exists in small-scale local structures and alliances, and there is mostly no reference to a common Kurdish cause. Borders are presented as foreign interference in the Kurdish landscape. In the conclusion we suggest that Kurdish fragmented political structure should be understood as a deliberate means to avoid being incorporated in a state structure. This speaks against a (self-)Orientalist interpretation of Kurdish history that defines a lack of Kurdish unity as primitive. Dengbêj li ser sînoran: Dîtina sînor û dewletê bi çavên dengbêjan Ev gotar vedikolê bê welatê Kurdan, sînor û dewlet çawan hatine şayesandin di yek ji girîngtirîn derbirînên çanda Kurdî da li Tirkiyeyê, heta 1980yê: anku dengbêjiyê. Kilamên resîtal ên dengbêjan çavkaniyeka hijmetkar pêk dihînin bo vekolîna serboriyên Kurdan ku mane li qeraxên netewe-dewletan. Em angaşt dikin ku, herçend Kurd bi xwe bi rengekî fermî parçeyek ji erdnîgara fermî ne, kilam destnîşan dikin ku gelek Kurd vê erdnîgara siyasî ya dewletê wekî diyardeyekî biyanî dibînin, ne ku wekî parçeyek rewa ji rastiya sosyo-polîtîk a Kurdîtiye. Erdnîgara polîtîk ya Kurdîtiyê ku di kilaman da hatiye afirandin pile-biçûk e û, bi piranî bêyî dozeka Kurdî ya hevbeş, ji hevalbediyên deverî pêk hatiye. Di kilaman da sînor wekî destwerdanên biyaniyan li welatê Kurdan hatine berpêş kirin. Di dawiyê de em pêşniyar dikin ku a rast Kurd bi zanebûn vê siyaseta parçebûyî meşandine da ku xwe vebidizin ji bişaftinê di avahiya dewletê da. Ev nêrîn di derbarê dîroka Kurdan da li dijî şîroveyên (oto)-oryantalîst e, çikû ew nebûna yekîtiya Kurdan wekî diyardeyekî prîmîtîv dibînin. دەنگبێژانی سەرسنوور. سنوور و وڵات لە ڕوانگە ی شاعیر و گۆرانیبێژی کوردەوە. ئەم وتارە باس لەوە دەکا کە وڵاتی کوردان، سنوورەکان و دەوڵەت چۆن لە یەكێ لە گرنگترین چەمکی کولتوری کوردی لە تورکیا تا ساڵی ١٩٨٠ نیشان دراون: هۆنەری دەنگبێژی. گۆرانییەکانی دەنگبێژەکان سەرچاوەیەکی چڕ و پڕن بۆ لێکۆڵینەوە لەسەر چۆنیەتی ژیانی کوردان لەسەر سنووری دەوڵەتان. ئێمە دەمانەوێ بڵێین کە گۆرانییەکان باس لەوە دەکەن کە زۆرینەی کوردەکان ئەم جۆگرافیا سیاسی فەرمییەی دەوڵەتی تورکیایە وەکوو وڵاتێکی بیانی سەیری دەکەن، نەک وەک بەشێکی یاسایی لە چوارچێوەی کۆمەڵایەتی سیاسی کوردی. جۆگرافیای سیاسی کوردی ناو گۆرانییەکان لە کۆمەڵێک ناوچەی چکۆلە پێک هاتووە و تەنانەت شتێک بە ناوی کێشە و مەسەلەی کورد ئاماژەی پێناکرێ. سنوورەکان وەکوو دەستدرێژی بیانی سەر خاکی کوردان سەیر دەکردێن. لە کۆتاییشدا، چوارچێوەی سیاسی دابەشبووی کوردی دەبێ وەکوو کەرەسەیەکی ڕاستەوخۆ سەیر بکرێ کە پێش بە سازبوونی دەوڵەتێکی کوردی دەگرێ. ئەوەش دژ بە شیکردنەوەی باوەڕی سێلف ـ ئۆریێنتالیستە لە سەر مێژووی کورد کە باس لە نەبوونی یەکگرتوویی کوردی لە بنەڕەتدا دەکا.

Suggested Citation

  • Wendelmoet Hamelink & Hanifi Barış, 2014. "Dengbêjs on borderlands: Borders and the state as seen through the eyes of Kurdish singer-poets," Kurdish Studies, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 2(1), pages 34-60, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:ksjrnl:v:2:y:2014:i:1:p:34-60
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