1. I would like to thank my advisor Prof. Stephen Blum from CUNY Graduate Center for his enormous help and contributions, as well as Martin Stokes and the anonymous reviewer for encouraging and helpful comments and corrections to this piece.

2. The PKK (Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Workers' Party) was an armed organization very active in Turkey from 1984 until the arrest of its president in 1999. The main goal of the party was to establish an independent Kurdistan. According to the Turkish officials' claims more than 30,000 people died during the civil war between Turkish troops and the PKK. Although after the arrest of its leader, the party changed its name to KONGRA-GEL 'Congress of People' and replaced its goal with demanding basic political, cultural and human rights like education in Kurdish, there are still guerillas in the mountains of Turkish Kurdistan.

3. “Apo” is the abbreviation used for Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the PKK.

4. Established in Istanbul in 1991, Kalan Müzik aims to gather music cultures not known widely in archives and establishing a market for such recordings. Kalan collected and re-printed lots of academically important recordings which have attracted many ethnomusicologists.

5. ‘Solidarity Nights’ have been important occasions for Diaspora musicians. As I personally witnessed, apart from wedding entertainment, Kurdish musicians could make living expenses by performing on those occasions. Many of those nights were aimed at collecting money for the host organization, raising funds and gathering the members to show solidarity.

6. Translations from Kurdish to English are by the author.

7. Cigerxwîn ("The bleeding heart") is a pseudonym for a Kurdish poet who was born in 1901 or 1903 in Mardin, a Kurdish city in Turkish Kurdistan. Until his death in exile in Sweden in 1984, he published several collections of his modern and ‘nationalistic’ Kurdish poetry.

8. Here it should be mentioned that after the arrest of Abdullah Öcalan, the right to education in Kurdish became the core issue for Kurdish cultural rights, as for many others in Turkey. After Turkey’s candidate status in the European Union, Turkey allowed "broadcasting in other mother tongues" and amended the Turkish constitution in accord with common EU criteria. Despite these legal changes, the Turkish government expelled thousands of Kurdish university students from their schools when they petitioned for education in Kurdish in 2002 (Yavuz 2003: 199).

Main page