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Turkish Kurds

Written by Loya Demir

Turkish Kurds are Kurdish citizens living within the borders of Turkey. Although it is mainly in the Southeastern Anatolia Region and Eastern Anatolia Region, the country's they live in all other regions. During the Ottoman period, he settled in the villages of Central Anatolia, such as Konya, Kastamonu, Ankara, Kirsehir, Nevsehir, and Aksaray.

During this period, they migrated to other cities in Turkey, such as Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, Adana, Mersin, Gaziantep, Samsun, Tokat, Amasya, and Bursa. The total number of Kurds in Turkey constitutes 15-18% of the country's population and is between 12,500,000 and 15,000,000.

Cultural and Social Life

The basis of the culture of the Kurds, who speak a language belonging to the Iranian language group of Indo-European languages, is Mesopotamia. Kurdish culture has emerged from other Anatolian and Islamic civilizations by merging the new culture. A more hybrid culture emerged during the Seljuk and Ottoman periods.

With the reforms made in 1923, the Kurds, who lived mostly in the cities, adopted the Western lifestyle for reasons such as civil service. Religion in society and daily life relations with society were separated. On the other hand, the Kurds living in the countryside mostly stayed in the traditional Kurdish culture and protected tribes, customs, and religion.


The mother tongue of the vast majority of Türkiye's Kurds is the Kurmanji dialect of Kurdish. In addition, 1.4% of Kurds in southeast Turkey speak Zazaki, and 6.4% speak Turkish.

The proportion of Kurds who do not know or know very little Kurdish is 4.2%. 75% of families speak Kurdish at home, but it has been observed that almost half of the Kurdish children in the region do not speak Kurdish well.


Finally, according to a study conducted in 2015, 33.4% of the Kurds living in the region are members of a tribe, in the survey conducted among the tribal Kurds, the tribe members.

Its effect on economic life was 22.6%, and its effect on elections was 30.5%. In addition, 5.9% of the Kurds in the region stated that the people they would vote for should be from their tribe.


  1. Project, J. (n.d.). Türkiye (Turkey) people groups, languages and religions. Joshua Project: People Groups of the World | Joshua Project.

  2. ORTA ANADOLU KÜRTLERİ: Sahi, “Konya’da Kurt Mu Var?”. (n.d.). Bianet - Bagimsiz Iletisim Agi.


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