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  • General Founder and Publisher:

    Centre of Sociological Research


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    University of Szczecin (Poland)

    Széchenyi István University, (Hungary)

    Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania)

    Alexander Dubcek University of Trencín (Slovak Republic)

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Inter-regional Migration and Intermarriage among Kurds in Turkey

Vol. 9, No 1, 2016

Sinan Zeyneloğlu


Zirve University, Gaziantep, Turkey,

Regent’s Centre for Transnational Studies,

Regent’s University, London, UK,


Yaprak Civelek


Istanbul Arel University, Istanbul, Turkey,


Ibrahim Sirkeci


Regent’s Centre for Transnational Studies,

Regent’s University, London, UK,


Abstract.This study examines interregional migration and intermarriage of internal migrant Kurds  in Turkey using the latest available census data. Unlike many other studies, birth region is used as a proxy of ethnicity due to the apparent language shift among the Kurds in Turkey. To ensure comparability, only regions where both Turkish and Kurdish populations co-exist are selected for analysis of intermarriage. Analysis of language shift is based on the 2003 Turkish Demographic Health Survey data to ensure temporal comparability with the 2000 Census. Variables used for tabulation are sex, age group, region of residence and educational attainment. As prevalence of intermarriage remains rather constant within each education category, the increase in intermarriage of Kurds to non-Kurds at the aggregate level appears to be a product of rising education. Also the gender gap in favour of males appears to be a construct of differences in educational attainment levels, since Kurdish women out-marry more than their male co- ethnics once they have completed primary education or studied further. A similar picture is also observed among Turks, as the majority, intermarrying to Kurds in Turkey. The findings are in line with the modernization theory as opposed to the exchange theory.


Received: October, 2015

1st Revision: November, 2015

Accepted: December, 2015


DOI: 10.14254/2071- 789X.2016/9-1/10

JEL Classification: J12, I20

Keywords: internal  migration, intermarriage, language shift, universalism, Kurds, Turkey.