Language shift among Kurds in Turkey: A spatial and demographic analysis


Kurdish Studies, vol.4, no.1, pp.25-50, 2016 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 4 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.33182/ks.v4i1.405
  • Journal Name: Kurdish Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.25-50
  • Keywords: Language shift, ethnicity, internal migration, Turkey, Kurds
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: No


This study explores language shift and interregional migration among Turkey's Kurdish-origin population using census data as well as TDHS data. First, the geographical retraction of the Kurdish language between 1945 and 1965 is depicted using respective censuses as data sources. Second, patterns of intergenerational language shift and the effects of migration and education on this shift are elaborated utilising 2003 TDHS data and the 2000 Census data. Interregional mobility by birth regions and language concentration across Turkey has also been mapped. The Kurdish population in Turkey appears to be on the verge of near-universal bilingualism prompting concerns about the future of the language.