Gunter book looks at evolution of Kurdish nationalism

Fresh off interviews in the Kurdish magazine, Gulan, and on Al Jazerra television, political science professor Michael Gunter is in the spotlight again as editor and author on the Kurdish plight in the Middle East.

Gunter edited the recently released "Evolution of Kurdish Nationalism" (Mazda, 2007) along with Mohammed M.A. Ahmed, plus authored the first chapter, "The Modern Origins of Kurdish Nationalism."

"The purpose of this collection of tightly integrated essays written by recognized experts in the field is to trace systematically the evolution of Kurdish nationalism in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria to its present stage of geostrategic importance," said the publisher.  "There is no other work that deals with this current situation. Thus, this work is distinctive and original."

Kurdish nationalism has a direct effect on both Middle East and international politics because it affects the future of Iraq and influences the foreign policies of the United States along with Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.

"All these Middle Eastern states see the development of Iraqi Kurdish nationalism as challenging their territorial integrity," said Gunter.  "Kurdish nationalism is also profoundly influencing Turkey’s candidacy for membership in the European Union. Turkish membership in the EU has major implications for the future of European and international politics."

As the only American among a few hundred participants in the Second International Conference on EU, Turkey and the Kurds, Gunter spoke as one of a dozen advisors to the EU Turkey Civic Commission seeking to encourage EU members to allow the Muslim state into the union.

"There are two overwhelming reasons why Turkey should be allowed to join the EU," said Gunter, ranked by Campus Watch as one of the top university-based specialists on the Middle East.  "First, it would solve the Kurdish problem because Turkey would have to meet the EU standards of democracy. Second, it would put to rest the lie that Christian and Muslim nations will always be in conflict."

Gunter is a prolific writer with more than 75 articles in scholarly journals and books including Middle East Journal, American Journal of International Law and World Affairs. He has authored nine books about the Kurdish people of Turkey, northern Iraq, Syria and Iran, and two of those books were among the first analyses in English of the Kurdish unrest in the Middle East. He received the Kurdish Human Rights Watch’s “Service to the Kurds Award” in 1998.