Emrah Karakus

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Arizona, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9822

Approve Date

April 30, 2019

Project Title

Karakus, Emrah (Arizona, U. of) "Kurdish Lubunyas: Securitization of Queer Subjectivities in Kurdish Turkey"

The conflict between the Turkish state and Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) that began in 1984 entered a cease-fire in 2010, but returned to re-intensified militarized conflict in 2015. This has led to massive infrastructural and human destruction in Southeast Turkey, accompanied by intensified surveillance and urban counterinsurgency against Kurds. As with many aspects of Kurdish identity politics, the ways in which Kurdish LGBTI folks are articulating, debating and living identities have been intimately and increasingly interwoven with these institutions, discourses, and practices of securitization. This study consists of 12 months of ethnographic research to understand how Kurdish LGBTI persons’ identities and daily lives are being restructured through a relationship to forms of securitization. I will conduct fieldwork in Kurdish LGBTI organizations and apartment settings rented by Kurdish lubunya sex workers in Istanbul and Diyarbakir, and in public gatherings and intimate spaces such as cruising parks, and cafes and bars in order to understand how daily habits and dynamics of social interaction among Kurdish lubunyas are being formed in relation to techniques of surveillance and securitization, and how the forms of securitization experienced by lubunyas link to broader securitization of both Kurdish people and LGBTI non-Kurdish people in Turkey.


Karakuş, Emrah. 2022. Chameleons of Kurdish Turkey: Ethnographic reflections on a queer counter/insurgency. Anthropology Today, 38: 13-17. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8322.12696