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The Emergence of Minorities in the Middle EastThe Politics of Community in French Mandate Syria$
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Benjamin Thomas White

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748641871

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748641871.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 16 September 2021

The Border and the Kurds

The Border and the Kurds

(p.101) Chapter 4 The Border and the Kurds
The Emergence of Minorities in the Middle East

Benjamin Thomas White

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines how borders define minorities (and a majority), and how borders are related to state authority and ‘identity’. It serves as a continuation of the analysis of the relationship between state authority, population, territory and identity. The first section determines the material presence Syria's border had in the mandate period: that is, how the state's authority was manifested concretely at its boundaries. The second section discusses the relationship between the border and state authority across the whole Syrian territory and the population through the lens of the ‘Kurdish question’ that emerged in the region following the First World War as nation-states begin to replace the Ottoman Empire. In this second section, the focus is on the Syrian-Turkish border during the mid-to late 1920s, when the border was created. The chapter ends by showing how the drawing of Syria's borders came to ‘minoritise’ all Kurds resident in the country.

Keywords:   borders, state authority, identity, Syrian territory, Syrian-Turkish border, Kurds

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