Plans to create Kurdology Institute

Turkish Historical Society (TTK) Chairman Professor Yusuf Halaçoğlu, speaking to Zaman daily, said recent statements about the possible Turkoman genealogy of Turkey's Kurds and the Armenian ancestry of Kurdish Alevis were deliberately misrepresented in th

Plans to create Kurdology Institute

Turkish Historical Society (TTK) Chairman Professor Yusuf Halaçoğlu, speaking to Zaman daily, said recent statements about the possible Turkoman genealogy of Turkey's Kurds and the Armenian ancestry of Kurdish Alevis were deliberately misrepresented in the Turkish press.


Halaçoğlu clarified his use of the word "unfortunately," while referring to his research on the ethnicity of Kurdish Alevis, whom he claims have Armenian ethnicity. The professor, whose controversial comments have been the subject of heated debate, noted that "unfortunately" refers not to the "fact" that Kurdish Alevis are Armenian but to the implied fact that Armenians had to convert or pretend to have converted. "There are a good number of Armenians who have become Muslim. These people are accepted as Muslims and have been incorporated into society. But these [Kurdish Alevis] could not integrate; hence, my use of the term 'unfortunate'," Halaçoğlu said while speaking to Zaman's Nuriye Akman.

The TTK chairman spoke about the lack of academic institutions in Turkey devoted to studying "Kurdology" and Armenian issues. Claiming that he was a ahead of his time in freely using the term "Kurdish" in his articles when use of the term was regarded as taboo in Turkey, Halaçoğlu said he had floated a proposition to the National Security Council (MGK) to establish a Kurdology and Armenian Studies Institute in 1988. "When I voiced this [proposal] at a meeting, everybody looked at me in a very unimpressed fashion," Halaçoğlu said. The MGK secretary-general at the time, Teoman Koman, was interested in the idea and had called the professor to his office and asked him to start work, he explained, and added: "A month later he became undersecretary of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT). And this task was abandoned."

The TTK chairman also informed Akman that as soon as a bill relating to the TTK is passed by Parliament, he will establish a Kurdology Institute, to include desks for the Caucasus, Black Sea region, Balkans, Middle East, Iran and Asia. Halaçoğlu said the Kurdology Institute would deal with archeological, social anthropological, linguistic, cultural and ethnographic research.

Today's Zaman

Last Mod: 03 Eylül 2007, 14:53
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