skip to primary navigationskip to content

Hakan Sandal

Hakan SandalHakan Sandal

The Kurdish LGBT Movement: Survival Under Colonial Practices

Supervisor: Dr Ayse Zarakol (Department of Politics and International Studies)


My doctoral research focuses on the intersection of ethnic and gender identities, particularly on Kurdish LGBT's. Studying how LGBT+ communities situate themselves in ethnic and class struggles presents a holistic understanding of identity construction processes and of the resistance practices. Understanding the boundaries and formation of identities in the Kurdish LGBT+ context, and studying the Kurdish struggle and the LGBT+ struggle together, will contribute to gender studies, queer politics, postcolonial studies and subaltern studies, and will engender new debates on the global LGBT+ movements. The research will eventually shed light not only on an LGBT+ struggle in the Middle East context but also make an alternative reading and historicization on Kurdish movement/society.


I am an editorial board member of Toplum ve Kuram Journal and an executive member of Istanbul Bilgi University – Kurdology Unit. I occasionally write about Kurdish and LGBT+ politics in various newspapers and journals. I am currently the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Representative for Cambridge University Students' Union LGBT+ Campaign. 

Research Interests:

My other research interests, in addition to Gender Studies, include Postcolonial Studies, Kurdish Studies and Critical Theory.

Selected Conference Papers:

2014, Turkish Migration Conference 2014, Regents University, London, Clash of Emotions /The Case of Roboskî                                 

2013, Turkey's Human Rights Agenda Conference, Istanbul, The Construction of the Sanctity of Death - Roboskî Case 

2012, Bilgi Media Conference, Istanbul Bilgi University, Istanbul, Conceptualizing Popular Turkish Nationalism through Twitter


2016, ZAN Institute for Social, Political and Economic Studies, The two faces of the destruction of Sur: Urban Transformation and the Siege /March 2016


March - April 2016, The Indefinable Fire: Newroz, Media, Discourse, Ritual Exhibition), (Member of Exhibition Collective)