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Language, Technology, and the Decentralization of the State: Comparative Analysis of Turkey, Iran, and Iraq
Unformatted Document Text:  8 consuming for the new Iraqi government, leaving the process somewhat decentralized. Since CAII supplied the textbooks, it is possible that it will be easier for Kurdish controlled areas to enforce Kurdish language only policies, a potentially difficult issue for language minorities in the area. This issue will be discussed further in the section on Iraq. The following section will examine Kurdish efforts to create political space through the use of decentralizing technologies. Specifically, it will examine the symbolic significance of this effort. Political Space as Virtual Space Before the Kurds regained autonomy 22 in Iraq, controlling political space within a territory there, Kurds had made efforts to establish political space on the internet. As Dilan Roshani, a commentator for the Kurdish Computer Society, wrote: A forbidden language and a denied nation have both found the freedom to create a national electronic heritage online, where Kurds can freely document their history, geography and culture. The global communication offered by the Internet has paved the way for Kurdish scholars in all sectors of Kurdistan and abroad to make many positive efforts on behalf of their language and historical heritage. The Internet has opened a new door to the Kurdish cause in the Middle East. (Roshani 2001) The quotation above overstates the influence of the internet, access to which is extremely limited among the majority of Kurds. However, the new technology did offer some new opportunities for contact with other politically active minorities. It also provided new international arenas to engage in symbolic conflict with Irani, Iraqi, and Turkish policy agendas and pursue international recognition. Country-code top-level domains, which identify countries or dependent territories on the internet through an internationally recognized two-letter identifier, are one arena where some Kurdish activists have made attempts to use international institutions to create symbolic political space. In the article “.ku Top Domain for Kurdistan” the author argues that Kurds must obtain a country-code top-level domain because it implies territorial and administrative autonomy, creating the groundwork for future territorial authority. This author decided to pursue the 22 Before the 20th century Kurdish tribes had limited autonomy from central authorities in what are now Turkey and Iran and Iraq.

Authors: Gannon-Kurowski, Solveig.
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8
consuming for the new Iraqi government, leaving the process somewhat decentralized. Since
CAII supplied the textbooks, it is possible that it will be easier for Kurdish controlled areas to
enforce Kurdish language only policies, a potentially difficult issue for language minorities in the
area. This issue will be discussed further in the section on Iraq.
The following section will examine Kurdish efforts to create political space through the
use of decentralizing technologies. Specifically, it will examine the symbolic significance of this
effort.

Political Space as Virtual Space
Before the Kurds regained autonomy
22
in Iraq, controlling political space within a territory there,
Kurds had made efforts to establish political space on the internet. As Dilan Roshani, a
commentator for the Kurdish Computer Society, wrote:
A forbidden language and a denied nation have both found the freedom to create a
national electronic heritage online, where Kurds can freely document their history,
geography and culture. The global communication offered by the Internet has paved the
way for Kurdish scholars in all sectors of Kurdistan and abroad to make many positive
efforts on behalf of their language and historical heritage. The Internet has opened a new
door to the Kurdish cause in the Middle East. (Roshani 2001)
The quotation above overstates the influence of the internet, access to which is extremely
limited among the majority of Kurds. However, the new technology did offer some new
opportunities for contact with other politically active minorities. It also provided new
international arenas to engage in symbolic conflict with Irani, Iraqi, and Turkish policy
agendas and pursue international recognition.
Country-code top-level domains, which identify countries or dependent territories on the
internet through an internationally recognized two-letter identifier, are one arena where some
Kurdish activists have made attempts to use international institutions to create symbolic political
space. In the article “.ku Top Domain for Kurdistan” the author argues that Kurds must obtain a
country-code top-level domain because it implies territorial and administrative autonomy,
creating the groundwork for future territorial authority. This author decided to pursue the
22
Before the 20th century Kurdish tribes had limited autonomy from central authorities in what are now Turkey
and Iran and Iraq.


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