This article seeks to contextualize Kurdayetî (Kurdishness) in the broader debate on Kurdish nationalism. Existing accounts lack a clear definition of Kurdayetî and seldom contextualize it; yet treat Kurdayetî as a full-fledged Kurdish nationalism. As a result, the existing scholarship erroneously uses Kurdayetî and Kurdish nationalism interchangeably. In this article, I address this gap. I place Kurdayetî into the broader theoretical debate on the Kurdish nation, national identity, and nationalism. I argue that Kurdayetî signifies what Hobsbawm calls “proto-national bonds” or is equivalent to Smith's notion of “ethnie.” Therefore, Kurdayetî is not equivalent to or synonymous with Kurdish nationalism, and thus it should not be used interchangeably.
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