The political approaches against the Kurdish identity

By Hemin  Marvani


The paper uses a selective review of archaeological and written articles/sources to show Iranian government and security of position and ministry of culture and guidance don’t care about multi-culturalism and justification, integration between different nations and cultural in Iran and Iranian regime just care about Persian cultural heritage and their legacies. In contrary they ignorer another culture and being nation.

The paper has focused most on the Iranian political approaches against Kurdish culture and their being/existence as an independent nation whereas government just emphasis on the one nation and one culture and official media, daily news/magazine

Just cover this type of attitude to culture and they don’t accept other culture in Iran at all. The long-term one nation-one culture in this landscape, political and military power, silence and position are unclear and passive of Iranian intellectual and elites contributed to shape and reshape a heterogeneous perspective while some features in this perspective such as territorial integrity and monolingual have remained stable over time, there have also been major transformation in issues/areas like poverty, deprivation and lack of the political partnership, cultural and outreach to usual facilities.

The lack of multi-media, multi-voice have been decreased over time and these issues are reflected in the perspective within archaeological sites, the pollen record and in the modern perspective. Paper also will present a series of violation human and cultural rights through Iranian late sites in Kurdistan. The article demonstrates how dominant culture act as a medium for representing collective memory and therefore forger identities that are not real and noble/original and static, but in a constant curse/process of forgery in due to non-scientific resources.

Persian and state (governmental) culture aims to display an idealized and fantastic past. In contrary, the ethnics mostly and specific Kurds, now uses culturally identifiable features to convey humanity and at least minority and ethnicity rights, fluidity, transformation, pathologization dominant culture.

The paper focuses on the politicization of the cultural heritage using as a case study the ongoing debate on the….

Keywords: Political Archaeology, Kurdish Identity, One-Nation, One-Culture


Age of archaeology in Iran it’s not more than100 years, but in this period component nationalistic were created by king advocators against Iranian multiple culture and identity.

In first it were the European orientalists which came to Persia and excavated in all parts of the country.

Notion, imagine the most of the Iranian people about the archaeology are mixed with seeking the gold, silver and precious artefacts and they have not a realistic attitude of this science unfortunately. Since the intellectual and graduated students of archaeology has mixed also this field with nationalism and politic, even in some cases and occasions, it’s transformed to chauvinism and maybe racism. In terms of political approaches they see archaeology as a tool to display by it their nationalism pseudo pride and boasting to another minority and cultures in the country. In period of Reza Shah Pahlavi was started this process in orientation to ignorance otherness in Iranian culture except Persian language and ethnic in practice.

Non-realistic and destructive approaches of this political attitude were caused the Iranian king to represent and grandiosity Achaemenid monarchy period and its king to name Korush as a boasting symbol and as a most important and mighty reign in Iran and Middle East.

(Mc,Cann1990) in his book emphasis that the political phenomenon of the nationalism and nationalistic identity in archaeology in the last decay in parallel with political and expedite changes were caused attention of researcher and archaeologists same time.

A look in the Iranian discrimination and ignorance Kurdish identity and culture:

Since Reza Shah got over power in Iran, he wanted to modernization of country by blindly pattern. In this process he severely suppressed different ethnics in all of Iran, for example he campaigned against kurds in Kermanshah, Urumiyeh and kurds of Khorasan and in period of his region’s son also he attacked to Mehabad in west of Iran and suppressed the Kurdish republic in 1946. Reza Shah the first did a white genocide against all of kurds in Iran and has changed demography of them, for example he changed name of the Kurdish cities of Mehabad, Bukan, Sindus, urumiyeh, Piranshahr, Sardasht and Tikab to the artificial name of West Adjerbaijan.

If it’s not a white genocide, so what can man say it?

The Ignorance of the Archaeological orientation against Non-Persian origination

So we can see and understand why Iranian government and his intellectual have this tendency and sensory attitude about non-persian culture and its’s just comes back to the roots of Iranian political wisdom. This wisdom if will be pathologization and criticize we have to go back to the origin and depth of the ancient history of Iran.

As we know as the first state and kingship in ancient times was created by Median people which were settled in the west of Iran in Zagros mountain .They could get rid of after the many years misery and suffering under Assyrian dominant and were defeated Assyrian empire and it was a great turn point in all of the middle east.

This Median kingship after circa 150 years regain collapsed by Persian ethnic under name of Korush Achaemenid.

From this point of view Reza Shah and advocators and intellectuals made a doctrine based of the language and culture of Persian ethnic and imposed that over all of parts of country.

The Legacy of the ancient civilizations in the Kurdistan:

This paper just is focused on the negative aspects of Iranian archaeological governmental and not more about another issues such as violation of the human rights or occupy the kurds land by Iranian government. On the negative points of the archaeological is kurds regions. Its’ should be pointed out in this 100, a century we see any project or serious excavation which are waiting of government to do never. In contrary we often see the most important and huge project and scientific excavation have done and are doing still in central parts or in Persian regions specially and with former plan.

I have to mention to the destructive role of a person which has looted and plundered many of the Kurdistan ancient sites by abusing of his illegal power because his attribution to the being his son of previous Iranian president to name “Hashemi-Rafsanjani”.

Many of the local people and some informed persons confirmed this news seriously. So, plundering, looting and smuggling of Kurdistan antique artefacts is a way for to destroy Kurdish culture and identity.

In following, Persian researcher and authors always tried to ignorance the non-persian culture materials, artefacts and sites. In publishing archaeological books also attempted to deny any Kurdish culture materials and genealogy of that.

The newst case is about some rescue excavations in the west of the Iran for several years ago government officials has started a new archaeological to make some dam especially on the archaeological mounds in the Kurdistan. It’s notable that government just decided to do a few rescue excavation and to explore these mounds for private aim and goals.

Within these rescue excavation it was found the most of the mounds are belong to Parthian empire who came after the Achaemenid Empire. These sites were different cemetery of the Parthians .But now, unfortunately we are witness that by making dams how are destroy these important ancient sites in Kurdistan region by the neglect and intentional of governmental officials.
In 2006 nearly 1300 Sassanid coins were explored accidentally in the west of Iran (Kurdistan) in the city of Piranshahr. This great materials urgently were sent to Tehran. Then an Iranian scholar to name Darush, Akbarzadeh after preliminary study of coins, are sending to the Austrian country to the Nikolaus Schindel
After some years studying Nikolaus publishes this collection to the name of (Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum: The Schaaf Collection).

The important point which should be emphasis on, it was the Iranian scholar (Darush. A) which in term of the identification of these ancient coins ignored Kurdish-identity and exact the place of foundation of coins, here one can ask why he did?

As I mentioned in the first of my paper, its root comes back to the Iranian political wisdom.

They always ignore everything and materials if it is be non-persian or at least are don’t mention to the origin and source of these ancient goods.

As I followed works of the mentioned Iranian author, it was found he did not explain about place and origin of these coins and in following of his studies has mentioned the coins to the city of Urumiyeh instead Piranshahr in Kurdistan because the original place of them is called piranshahr.

So, if it is not a type of the white genocide, what can man call that?!

Another important point is about museums in Iran. Unfortunately, we have not in Kurdistan any museum. There is just one cultural place in Sanandaj city (Kurdistan) which wrongly call that museum! It is a simple place about local costume and clothing and not at all a museum.

The lack and shortage of museums in Kurdistan region is another aspect of the Iranian political wisdom against minority and especially Kurdish nation. In concern with this issue we can see a big discrimination by the government of Iran. While after Persian nation in Iran, Turks (Azari) stands as the second power and in the most of the Turkish cities there are many big museums with different facilitation. One can understand this big discrimination and injustice in terms of religions factors because Turks and Persian have same religion (Shia) but Kurds and Baluchs and Turkmans are Sunni in religion. Security view to the minority in Iran caused to the deprivation and poverty in many different fields and areas.

Ideology of one-nation, one culture has not succeeded in his goals but instead caused too many problems and discontent among minorities.


So, now, I can determine a short about my paper description.

In generally, I pointed out to most important political approaches which is lunches systematically by the power and also action rooms in Iranian governmental officials.

However the ignorance Kurdish and other identity in Iran is one of the major discrimination which caused a much problems and conflicts between regime and minorities.

Same time to neglect and not attention to ancient heritage and sites particularly those which are belongs minorities is another important subject. The restoration and renovation are never doing in the ancient monuments and heritage that don’t belong to Persian culture, unfortunately.


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