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Blood, Beliefs and Ballots: The Management of Kurdish Nationalism in Turkey, 2007-2009

Robert Olson has been a pioneering and prolific scholar of Kurdish nationalism. In Blood, Beliefs and Ballots, he analyzes Kurdish political activism and the Turkish state’s attempts to manage this activism between the July 2007 parliamentary and 2009 local elections in Turkey. Olson extensively documents political developments during this period on the basis of interviews he personally conducted, news sources in Turkish, and secondary literature. The fact that Olson gives voice to a variety of actors ranging from the Turkish political elite to Kurdish nationalists to liberals substantially enriches the book. He convincingly demonstrates how increasing political pluralism and competition in Turkey makes the Turkish political elite and Kurdish nationalists develop new positions. Interestingly, these actors may adopt more moderate and radical stances depending on the nature of criticisms and political competition they are faced with.

 

Robert Olson has been a pioneering and prolific scholar of Kurdish nationalism. In Blood, Beliefs and Ballots, he analyzes Kurdish political activism and the Turkish state’s attempts to manage this activism between the July 2007 parliamentary and 2009 local elections in Turkey. Olson extensively documents political developments during this period on the basis of interviews he personally conducted, news sources in Turkish, and secondary literature. The fact that Olson gives voice to a variety of actors ranging from the Turkish political elite to Kurdish nationalists to liberals substantially enriches the book. He convincingly demonstrates how increasing political pluralism and competition in Turkey makes the Turkish political elite and Kurdish nationalists develop new positions. Interestingly, these actors may adopt more moderate and radical stances depending on the nature of criticisms and political competition they are faced with.

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