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2016 | 9 | nr 1 | 139--161
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Inter-regional Migration and Intermarriage among Kurds in Turkey

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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. (original abstract)
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  • Istanbul Arel University, Turkey
  • Regent's University London, United Kingdom
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