Djene Rhys Bajalan explains to Ozan Ozavci why we need to challenge traditional accounts of Kurdish political (in)activity around the Paris Peace Conference.

Djene is Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History at Missouri State University

For Djene Rhys Bajalan, the mainstream narrative about Kurdish political activism in the 1920s needs to be revised. The Kurdish pathway to statehood was blocked, we are told, mainly because they didn’t unite or lobby sufficiently in the aftermath of World War I. Djene argues that the Kurds actually lobbied “pretty effectively”: they secured a clause in the Treaty of Sèvres which delineated the path to an independent Kurdistan after the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire.

In the first part of this episode, Djene and Ozan Ozavci discuss the leading Kurdish political organisations and figures such as Abdürrezzak Bedirhan, Mehmed Şerif Paşa and Said Nursi, their agendas and reception of Sèvres.

Episode 19 – Part I: What did the Kurds want?

Podcasts are published by TLP for the purpose of encouraging informed debate on the legacies of the events surrounding the Lausanne Conference. The views expressed by participants do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of TLP, its partners, convenors or members.