The pro-Islamic challenge for the Kurdish movement
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Dağkapı Square in Diyarbakır, a Friday noon prayer time. Thousands of Kurds, who refused to pray behind the imams appointed by the Turkish state and listen to Turkish sermons prepared by the state’s Presidency of Religious Affairs (PRA), gathered to pray and listen to Kurdish sermons not in a mosque, but in the very square where Sheikh Said and his 46 friends had been hanged by the Turkish state in June 1925. This form of civil disobedience led by Kurdish meles (imams), later called “civilian Friday prayers,” has rapidly burgeoned in other Kurdish towns and cities and been underway since March 2011.
While Turkish pro-Islamic politics have left the streets and been incorporated into the neo-liberal global system by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) since 2002,1 such increasing public and political visibility of Islamist Kurds under the leadership of Kurdish meles once again put on the national agenda the relationship between Islam and politics in the Kurdish scene. In...
I would like to thank Zozan Pehlivan and Hisyar Ozsoy for their contribution to the elaboration of this article.
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