Demographic differentials and demographic integration of Turkish and Kurdish populations in Turkey

KOÇ İ., Hancioglu A., Cavlin A.

POPULATION RESEARCH AND POLICY REVIEW, vol.27, no.4, pp.447-457, 2008 (SSCI) identifier identifier


The objectives of the study are threefold: (1) to provide estimates of the total populations and spatial distributions of different language groups in Turkey, (2) to test whether the commonly held belief that Turkish-speaking and Kurdish-speaking populations are "actors" of different demographic regimes is true, and (3) to assess whether a process of integration, in the form of intermarriage of Turks and Kurds is under way in Turkey. Data come mainly from the 2003 Turkish Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS-2003). Based on the assumption that the mother tongue composition of women is also representative of that of the whole population, the results of the TDHS-2003 imply that of the population of Turkey, 83% are Turkish-speaking, 14% are Kurdish-speaking, 2% are Arabic-speaking and the remaining 1% belong to other language groups. Results show that despite intensive internal migration movements in the last 50 years, strong demographic differentials exist between Turkish and Kurdish-speaking populations, and that the convergence of the two groups does not appear to be a process under way. Turks and Kurds do indeed appear to be actors of different demographic regimes, at different stages of demographic and health transition processes.