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Understanding Diaspora: The Case of Kurds in London

'Understanding Diaspora: The Case of Kurds in London'
BSA Theory Study Group Symposium
Organised in association with the Department of Sociology, University of Leicester
14 May 2010, University of Leicester 

Organised by Ipek Demir (Leicester University)

This symposium will provide a forum for reflecting and discussing ‘diaspora’ by focusing on the case of Kurds from Turkey. Since the late-1980s there has been a significant migration of Kurds from Turkey to the various countries in Western Europe. Even though Kurds from Turkey make up a significant proportion of London’s ethnic minority population, they constitute an ‘invisible’ diasporic community, both in terms of the current ethnicity debates in the UK and in diaspora studies. The papers will consider theoretical and political dimensions as well as discuss current empirical work.


10.30 -11.00: Registration (tea and coffee)

11.00 -13.00: ‘Diasporic Experiences’

  • Dr Umut Erel, RCUK Academic Fellow, Open University
    ‘Kurdish Migrant Mothers in London’
  • Janroj Keles, London Metropolitan University
    ‘Community, Network and Ethnic Politics of Migrants in London: The Case of Kurds’
  • Dr Issa Tozun, London Metropolitan University
    ‘Educating Children of Kurdish Origin in Britain'

13.00 - 2.15: Lunch

2.15 - 4.15:  ‘Diaspora, Identity and Belonging’

  • Latif Tas, Queen Mary, University of London
    ‘Kurds in the UK: Legal Pluralism and Dispute Resolution in the Diaspora’
  • Dr Ibrahim Sirkeci, European Business School, London
    ‘Diasporas from Turkey: Transnational space between the Turkish and Kurdish’
  • Dr Ipek Demir, University of Leicester
    ‘Battling with Homeland’  

4.15 - 5.00: Wrap up Session (tea and coffee)