Kurds and the Ottoman state between national Identity and religious loyalty


There is an urgent need to re-read the history of Kurdish-Turkish relations away from any national or sectarian tendencies, and look for positive aspects in those relationships, just to strengthe bilateral ties, to secure the destiny of this region and the future of its people.Kurdish-Ottoman relations was an ancient one; it is back to 1514, when the Ottoman sultan (Selim I) made an agreement with the Kurdish princes, mediated by the Emir (Sharaf Khan al-Badlisi). The treaty gave the Kurds a semi- independent rule in return for fighting under the banners of the Ottomans. The Kurdish tribes played a major role in most of the battles that the Ottoman Empire fought down to the Crimean War of 1853 and the Russian-Ottoman War of 1877-1878. In addition to the Turkish War of Independence 1919-1922 and to the end of the First World War 1914.Despite the role played by Kurds in support of the Ottoman state, the Ottoman administration mistreated the Kurdish tribes and disregard their national feelings, this aroused bitterness among the Kurds and emergence of a number of armed Kurdish uprisings. The Kurds also established a number of societies to declare their national rights and autonomy.It is worth mentioning here that Sultan Abdul Hamid has recognized the importance of the Kurds for the Ottoman Empire and wanted to change his country's negative policy towards the Kurds in order to appreciate their courage, their adherence to the Islamic religion and their support for the Sultan as the Muslim Caliph. The formation of the so-called (Hamidi Knights) are evidence of his dependence on the Kurds. This led to the sympathy of many Kurds towards the Ottomans and established a spiritual and emotional ties between the Kurds and the Ottomans. This sympathy was clearly visible when the Ottoman Empire was exposed to crises and targeted by the enemies. In spite of the policy of cruelty adopted by some Turkish governors towards the Kurds, but to endanger the Ottoman state in response to the call of jihad declared by the Ottoman Empire, both when the Italian occupied Libya in September 1911 and with the British invasion of Iraq at the beginning of World War I. In Iraq, as an example, the Iraqis of all nationalities and sects fought the British troops, and the Kurdish tribesmen participated in this war.Hence the talk in this paper about the relationship of the Kurds with the Ottoman state, which was divided between religious loyalty as the Ottoman sultans Muslim leaders re-apply the provisions of Islamic law, and that the Ottoman Caliphate is an extension of the Islamic Caliphate, which dates back to the time of the first companions. Among the national affiliation, which evolved significantly after the overthrow of Sultan Abdul Hamid and the rise of the Union and Progress to power and their provocative attempts to the feelings of national Kurds, who responded to these provocations through the establishment of a number of national associations that have undertaken to achieve the national goals of the Kurdish people.