KIRMANJKI (ZAZAKI) SPEAKING KURDS AND THEIR ETHNIC IDENTITY*

Munzur Çem (Chem), Writer

1. Introduction:

Kirmanjki (Zazaki) speaking Kurds are living in the areas along Turkish State Boundaries namely, in northern Kurdistan. As like the population of all Kurds, because of suppressions and prohibitions there are no exact figures for the population of the Kirmanjki (Zazaki) speaking people. According to my opinion this group is ranging between 3 – 3.5 million.

The majority of Kirmanjki speaking Kurds live mainly in the provinces Çewlig(Bingöl) and Dersim(Tunceli) with smaller populations residing in the provinces Erzirum(Erzurum), Erzingan(Erzincan), Qers (Kars), Muş (Mush), Xarpet (Elaziğ), Diyarbekir, Ruha (Urfa), Semsur (Adiyaman), Bedlis (Bitlis), Sert (Siirt), Nigde, Kayseri, Gümüşhane and Sivas as well as in the central parts of Turkey. (1).

Only in Tunceli and Bingöl provinces the Kirmanjs (Zazas) are majority, in the other provinces they are minority.

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Şahîya Kulturê Kirmancan