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The Margins of EmpireKurdish Militias in the Ottoman Tribal Zone$
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Janet Klein

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804775700

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804775700.001.0001

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The Hamidiye and Its Legacy

The Hamidiye and Its Legacy

Chapter:
(p.170) Chapter Five The Hamidiye and Its Legacy
Source:
The Margins of Empire
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804775700.003.0006

This chapter discusses the legacy of the Hamidiye. While the Kurdish tribal militia seems to have formally ceased to exist in the republican period, a similar institution was created in the form of what is now known as the Village Guards. The Village Statute, written in 1924–25, provided for village guards to protect and defend villages. The precedent for such an organization had existed in the early republic, and indeed a very contemporary parallel appeared just across the border in Iraq, in the form of the fursan units. However, it soon became clear that it was the Hamidiye Light Cavalry which served as the model and precedent most accessible in the minds not only of the creators, but also of the observers. The similarities between the organizations are plentiful and are suggestive of important aspects of historical continuity, particularly with regard to the relationships between the state and Kurdish tribal and nontribal populations, and also concerning the power dynamics within Kurdish society.

Keywords:   Hamidiye Light Cavalry, tribal militia, Kurdish tribes, Village Guards

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