Next: Free Zazaistan?

A reference in a recent post on ethnic politics in eastern Anatolia to “the two Kurdish dialects of zaza and kurmanci” prompted the following letter from a reader, which we produce verbatim:

Zaza(Sassaniden)’s are not Kurds and not Turks

We fight for our liberty !
We fight against Turkish and Kurdish Fascism !
We fight against Turkish and Kurdish SS !

thes artickle is not correckt: /node/352

The note was followed by a series of links “for more info,” which open a window on yet another submerged nationality struggling for survival and autonomy against more powerful peoples who would deny their existence.

According to the world language map at Ethnologue, Zaza is indeed a distinct language from what they render as “Kirmanjki” (Kurmanci), or Kurdish (also known as Sorani in parts of northern Iraq). Zaza is closer to Iranian (Persian or Parsi), from which Kurdish differentiated centuries ago. A State Department “Background Note” lists Zaza as one of the languages of Turkey, along with Kurdish, Armenian, Arabic and Turkish (official). provides a comparison of cognate words in Zaza, Kurdish, Iranian, Indian (Hindi) and English—as well as samples of Zaza music. It notes that Zaza is also known as Dimili and Gorani, and that the Zaza are sometimes (inaccurately) called the “Alevi Kurds,” because of their embrace of the Alevi sufi order: “Dimili is an Iranian language, part of the Indo-Iranian subgroup of Indo-European. It is spoken in central eastern Turkey by perhaps as many as one million people. The Turks and Kirmanji Kurdish speakers around them call the language Zaza which has pejorative connotations.” The distinction between these regional tongues is poorly understood partially because of “the ban on debating Kurdish issues especially in Turkey, Iran, and Syria. When Kurdish intellectuals gradually learned about the identification of ‘Gorani’ as a non-Kurdish speech, the response was, generally, resentment and resistance.” So both Kurdish and Turkish ethno-nationalists have sought to deny the existence of Zaza: “Naive attempts to prove that Kurdish and Zaza are essentially Turkish languages have not been given up, and have after 1980 [with the emergence of the PKK insurgency] even received a new impetus. Kurds, on the other hand, have emphasized the Iranian element in the religion of the Alevis and suggested that even the Turkish Alevis must originally have received their religion from the Kurds.” (The Alevi order is rooted in Shi’ite Islam, as we have noted.) also makes reference to Zaza tribal rebellions which sparked “Turkish military operations in Tunceli and western Bingöl [provinces] in the autumn of 1994, which were continued through 1995.”

The AtlasGeo site quotes the work of Martin van Bruinessen, of the Turkish and Kurdish Studies Department, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. He finds that even as the Kurdish and Zaza languages were being repressed in Turkey in the 1980s, a Zaza cultural identity was being reborn in the freer atmosphere of the exile community:

“Meanwhile in Europe Zaza-speaking Kurds – some of them Sunnis, other Alevis – were bringing about a minor revival of Zaza literature, in the margin of the remarkable resurgence of Kurmanci literary activities. A minority among them began perceiving the Zaza as a distinct ethnic group that had to liberate itself from cultural domination by Kurds as well as the Turkish state. This Zaza ‘nationalism’ still is largely a matter of exile politics, and it may still appear as a marginal phenomenon, but gradually it is also influencing the debate among Dersimis [residents of Dersim region] inside Turkey.”


“This debate on the development of, or ban on, written Zaza made a strong impact in the small circle of Zaza intellectuals in exile, causing a parting of the minds among them. In the late 1980s, the first Zaza journal was published, and it was emphatically non-Kurdish. It carried articles in Zaza, Turkish and English but not in Kurdish, it spoke of the Zazas as a separate people, whose identity had too long been denied not only by the Turkish state but by the Kurds as well, and it coined the new name of Zazaistan for the ancient homeland of these Zazas, indicating its rejection of the term Kurdistan as a geographical name. The journal at first had only a very small circle of readers, but the many angry Kurdish reactions suggested that the journal did have a point after all, and gradually growing numbers of Zazas were won over to its views. There appears not to be an organized Zaza nationalist movement yet, but the publishing activities go on increasing, with two new journals appearing in Europe and recently a series of booklets in Turkey, all of them proclaiming the Zazas to be different from the Kurds.”

The site notes that the Zaza took up arms against the Turks and briefly declared an independent state in 1917, and were called by the Turks Kizilbach (Red Heads). Presumably, this is the same as the Kizilbashi of Iran who played a key role as mercenaries for the British in the First Anglo-Afghan War (1842). Centuries earlier, the Qizilbash (another variation) had served as an effective fighting force for the Iranian Safavid dynasty (1502-1729) against the Ottoman Turks. (The Persians evidently adopted this pejorative name for the Zaza from their mutual Turkish enemies.) The Zaza/Kizilbashi began their career as a semi-autonomous martial caste for the Persian empire when they revolted against the Ottomans, expelling them from their lands. The Ottoman-Safavid border went back and forth through their territory over the centuries, and some of the Zaza/Kizilbashi seem to have resettled in contemporary Iran when their homeland was re-taken by the Turks. The British apparently inherited this tribal fighting force as Persia fell under their influence in the nineteenth century, and moved them still further east for imperial policing in Afghanistan. The Country Studies website indicates that there are still scattered Kizilbashi communities in Afghanistan, left over from the Anglo-Afghan Wars—and because of their historical association with the British they have faced persecution. Are there still Zaza/Kizilbashi in Iran today, and how are they faring?

Also thought-provoking is our letter-writer’s use of the word “Sassaniden” in parenthesis after “Zaza.” Sassaniden is the German rendering of Sassanid, the last great Zoroastrian dynasty of ancient Persia (c. 100-637 CE), which briefly extended its rule to Jerusalem and Egypt before being overrun by the Arabs under Caliph Umar. (Many of these web sites are maintained from Germany, where the Zaza, like Turks and Kurds, have begun to emigrate for work in recent decades.) The Sassanids are generally held to have been Persian, but the ethno-linguistic differentiation may have been less advanced back then. Is there a cognate relation between Zaza and Sassa-nid? Are the contemporary Zaza the inheritors of the ancient Sassanids?

More Zaza music is online at Radio Zaza, and those who wish to take a stab at learning the tongue can also check out, through which one can order books of Zaza poetry and grammar. (Once you build up your proficiency, you can participate in the Zaza Forum.) is mostly in the Zaza language, but worth checking out for the map, which shows the historic location of “Zazaistan” between Erzurum and Sivas, around the central town of Dersim. Prof. van Bruinessen notes that Dersim was the scene of an Alevi rebellion in 1937, which was put down brutally by the Turkish regime of Kemal Ataturk. Note that Dersim is rendered on most maps by its Turkish name Tunceli, and that no contemporary Turkish province corresponds to the territory claimed as the Zaza homeland. Welcome to Zazaland is also mostly in the Zaza language, but provides some photos of the region’s mountainous and fairly green landscape.

Why should we care about any of this? Because eastern Anatolia is one of the most ethnically diverse regions of the world, despite the official fiction that the population is entirely “Turkish.” It borders both the Caucasus and Iraq, as well as Iran, which the US would love to destabilize—and where the CIA may seek to avail itself of local ethnic greivances to make trouble for Tehran. Turkish ethno-nationalist hegemony in eastern Anatolia is building a backlash—just as a backlash against official Sunni Arab ethno-nationalism has now brought Iraq to the brink of civil war (or perhaps over it). The vying claims of eastern Anatolia—Turkish, Kurdish, Iranian, Armenian—could help tilt the balance towards a devastating war that would draw in the neighboring powers and potentially engulf both the Middle East and Caucasus. Or, if the various ethnicities of this region can work out some kind of decentralized pluralistic federalism that respects cultural rights and survival for all, it could provide a model of peaceful co-existence for a dangerously polarizing, highly geo-strategic part of the world.

See our last post on the Kurdish struggle and WW4 Report editor David Bloom‘s first-hand account from eastern Anatolia. (We eagerly await his next installment.)

  1. As a Zaza individual, I want
    As a Zaza individual, I want to thank you for giving a voice to Zaza identity. Today, Zazas are struggling for keeping their identity alive. Although Zaza people have a different culture and language, other powerful ethnicities in the region try to assimilate them. However, I do not want to see a war in my region as most of the inhabitants of the region. I am willing to live in Turkey as long as we can live our culture and speak our language beside mainstream culture and language. The peace in this region is not only important for us, but also important for the US and EU’s security.

    1. Proud Kurdish Zaza
      You guys get a life please, what the hell you talking about? who is Seyyid Rizo? Who is Seykh Said? are you mad? these people fight for Kurdish not for zaza? if you are that blind then i will think you are one of these Siddika Avar s follower as you mightn’t know her she is the missioner been sent to Dersim after the 38 genocide, and Seyyid Rizo sends a letter to British government and asking for help and his assistant is Nuri Dersimi and here is the link for Nuri Dersimi listen what he says! as you all liar and supporting murderer Turkish Republic as I am zaza and proud to be Kurd! watch:

      1. “supporting murderer Turkish Republic”?
        We are aware of claims that the Turkish government is encouraging a separate Zaza identity as a means of dividing the Kurds. But please note the line:

        We fight against Turkish and Kurdish Fascism !

        This doesn’t sound like something from a “supporter of the murderer Turkish Republic.”

        1. Plausibility…?
          Hi Bill,

          Thank you or your article.

          Kirmancki is another name Zazas use for “Zazaki.” Other names used are Dimili, Dimilki, Dersimki, etc.. Some of these are dialects of Zazaki. Zazaki spoken in Siverek is different than Zazaki spoken in Dersim, and both these are different than Zazaki spoken in Amed (Diyarbakir). But “Kirmancki” is NOT “Kurmanci” as you have indicated (or whoever has indicated it for you). You can confirm this with any well-developed Iranian Languages faculty of any top university (preferably the faculty in Sweden’s Uppsala University or why don’t you try MIT’s faculty [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and not the Turkish intelligence service :)]). That is EXACTLY what the link you have posted shows. KIRMANCKI is listed UNDER the “Zaza-Gorani” branch. But you didn’t read it correctly and wrote that it was “indeed distinct” from “Kirmancki.” Incorrect, incorrect, incorrect.

          Secondly.. Whoever told you that Kurdish is also called “Sorani” is ignorant and doesn’t seem to know much about the ethnicity in the Middle East. This is a TYPICAL mistake a Turk would make, and I’ve seen this claim written in plenty of Turkish-sponsored psychological warfare webpages (most of them now defunct, a topic I will explain in the end of this comment).

          There are two versions of Kurmanci. One is called “Northern Kurmanci” [colloquial: Kurmanci, Behdini] which is spoken in northern Syria, the northwestern-most part of Iran, 80% of southeastern Turkey, and northernmost Iraq. The other is called “Southern Kurmanci” [colloquial: Sorani] which is spoken in southernmost of “Northern Iraq” and in most of the “Kordestan” province of Iran. Then we got Gorani which is spoken in the southern parts of generally Sorani-speaking areas (both in Iraq and Iran).

          Kurdish IS an Indo-Iranian language, just like Zazaki-Gorani. Do you see how Zazaki and Gorani is connected in the language tree? (Refer to the link you posted.) Why is it that two languages so close to each other linguistically (as to be referred as “Zazaki-Gorani”) is geographically so far away from each other? Where is shouts and screams for “Goranistan” by these Zaza “nationalists”? It just doesn’t make sense that this “revival” of “Zaza nationalism” is only driven by some Zazas in the diaspora (and I really mean SOME, it is completely marginalized, as also mentioned by van Bruinessen in the AtlasGeo link you gave). If this had made sense to the rest of the 99.9999% of the Zazas (me included, oh, by the way, I’m also Zaza), the Zazas in Europe would have had an exile government with an organization as strong as PKK by now, and even their own guerrilla movement in the mountains of “Zazaistan.”

          I’ll tell you of what I believe is the story of how this “Zaza nationalist revival” came about.

          The Turkish government, denying the existence of the Kurds, tried very hard to suppress any efforts of Kurdish nationalism. They initially divided the Kurds into Sunnis and Alevis (pseudo-Shiites). The Alevis, not being as attached to Islam as the Sunnis, were embraced by Mustafa Kemal Ataturks party CHP (Republican People’s Party). CHP, after suppressing plenty of Kurdish uprisings in Dersim (the main stronghold of the Zaza Kurds in Turkish Kurdistan), which means “The Silver Gate” in both Zazaki and Kurmanci (although Kurmancs say “ziv/siv” instead of “zim/sim), did what they were/are best in. They scattered and exiled the clans that were prominent in the uprising, leaving the rest of the Kurdish population without leadership. After the crushing of the uprising, they then went into Dersim and occupied it for the first time in 1937 (and people generally think that the Turkish military had complete control over Kurdistan in 1923). Without their leadership and intelligentsia, the Kurds could not stop the Turkish governments propaganda drive. The Sunnis were the big threat, the Arab-supporting “Fifth Column” (Sunni Kurds) wanted to infiltrate and destroy the Alevis (stuff that they still say today by the way), and the Alevis had to ally themselves with Ataturk’s party in order to stop the “Sharia-loving” Sunnis.

          1980 came, and by this time, the Alevi Kurds [absolute majority were Zazas] had found a new lover in the Communist movement in Turkey and Kurdistan. They had slipped away from the hands of the CHP. They were once again (first time since 1937) getting closer to the Kurmancs in the rest of Kurdistan. So what to do about it? They couldn’t use religion again, because Communists and leftists don’t adhere to religion. Invent Kurdish fascism. So after the military coup de etat in 1980, the PKK and its Kurdish independence movement emerged as a reaction against the Turkish military coup and its ruthless purges in Kurdistan. They gained enormous support in Dersim (which they still have, and this is why the PKK can maintain and sustain their greatest numbers outside of northern Iraq [appx. 1,000 guerrillas] in the mountains of Dersim). So, they called PKK “the Kurdish fascists.” The Turkish military was already representing Turkish fascism (rightfully so), and there was no hope to win over the Alevis to Ataturk’s cause. So rather than having a win-lose situation in favor of the Kurds, they were more than content with a lose-lose situation. The “death to Turkish and Kurdish fascism” is not a typical Zaza slogan. It’s a typical Turkish leftist slogan, once again revived sometime in 2001-2002 by groups that today were exposed as part of the Turkish “Ergenekon” conspiracy. (I believe you might know the story of the “Ergenekon” conspiracy.)

          But MOST Kurds know the tricks used by the Turkish government. We’re an oral people. Our history is told from generation to generation by the elders. I for one, as a Zaza Kurd, have heard the stories of the “Ottoman Fox” and his tricks by my elders. I was never taught to ignore the oppression the Sunni Kurds went through, and I know that the Sunni Kurds were never taught to ignore the oppression the Zaza Kurds went through. We see our cause as one, despite a difference in dialect. Just because I say “verg” (for “wolf”) and a Kurmanc says “gur,” doesn’t mean that we’re different people. What’s the difference between a “pocket purse” and a “handbag”? Nothing, except that it’s two different names for the same thing depending on which U.S. coast you live on.

          I was going to mention the psychological propaganda (information warfare) websites that were run by the Turkish military. Sure, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but only until it’s not a theory anymore. Well, it’s not a theory anymore. The Turkish military was exposed this year for having set up an unknown number of websites to battle “online Kurdish separatism” and pro-Kurdish sentiments online. The list of some of the websites were published, and those websites were taken down. The case is now classified and we don’t know exactly how many websites there were out there.


          (Zaman is a Turkish newspaper)

          The above link tells about a Turkish scholar in the US that was attacked by one of the Turkish military run sites called “Tall Armenian Tale,” and how his name was defamed. This is from 2007, and this guy claimed even back then that he was threatened by Turks “with the backing of the Turkish embassies” in the US.

          Partial list of the websites that were run by the Turkish military. Check every single one of them. They’re all shut down. Interestingly, the “” website you had linked to in 2005, was also shut down in a similar manner. It was actually up and running a couple of months ago. I like to monitor the information warfare sites (Kurds who has been politically active for many years can smell them from miles away :)). Usually, people redirect or put a single page placeholder there, but it’s DOWN, as in completely removed and the domain parked.

          I have the full list of the websites that were monitored daily by the Turkish military. I used to run a website myself, and interestingly, my website is on that list. 🙂 If I find a link to them, I’ll email them to you.

          Our friend above who shouted “Turkish murderers” is perhaps a bit hot-headed and his/her accusation of you working for the Turks is definitely misplaced. But the person has a point. The Zaza Kurds know their history, and most of them know the Turkish propaganda drives in Dersim and other Zaza areas in Kurdistan. You just have to forgive people who can’t get their point through without shouting. I think it’s an age thingy. 🙂

          Good luck, and thank you for your great work!


          1. Still not understanding…
            …a few things.

            If “Gorani is spoken in the southern parts of generally Sorani-speaking areas (both in Iraq and Iran),” how can it then be the language of the Zazas, who are in northern Kurdistan (in Turkey)?

            Why does Ethnologue list Kirmanjki, one of the big two Kurdish tongues, under Zaza-Gorani, a small minority tongue? And why doesn’t it list Sorani, the other big Kurdish tongue?

            Gorani and Sorani are presumably variations of each other, or at least cognate. So why is the former associated with the Zaza, a small group who live well to the north of the Sorani heartland?

            Why are the Alevi “pseudo-Shi’ites”? I’m not sure I like the sound of that.

            1. Explanation…
              Hi again Bill,

              Well, I couldn’t put it as well as a scholar on the subject, so I found a good work on Gorani (and its relation to Zazaki and Sorani, etc). I mean, I could’ve confused the matter by throwing in Hawrami (which is closer to Gorani than to Zazaki, and belongs on the same branch as Zaza-Gorani).

              “Gorani Influence on Central Kurdish”

              There will always be somebody with a strong opinion on what level of nationhood the Kurds really has reached. There is valid claims that Zazaki is perhaps a “distinct” language in the sense of differences inside its lexicons. But is it really so different linguistically? There are other properties within linguistics other than a lexicon. How about syntax and grammar? How about something such as intransitive verbs and ergativity? Kurdish, unlike many other Iranian languages, has kept its ergative property, with both Zazaki and Kurmanci having this property. Ergativity, mind you, is a very uncommon property in a language. Kurdistan is a very isolated place with huge pockets of isolation within its geography. We have for example, at least, 15 different names for butterfly. This will create a huge difference in lexicon. Dig deeper and you will see other linguistic properties that will unite the Kurdish languages (dialects), and instead distinguish them from other neighboring languages. There are, as you can see, much more arguments that one can easily use against the “Zazaistan” proponents, and they won’t have any counter-arguments, other than that there are differences in lexicon and that “obviously there are differences, because we said so.” On top of it, there are very few efforts by the Zazaistan proponents to save Zazaki. Which actually allows a proper segway into an important matter…

              Zazaki is under threat as a dialect. That is very true. It has been neglected by Kurmanci intellectuals (who generally have sought to spend their efforts saving the biggest dialect). This has created animosity among some of the Zaza intellectuals, who have accused the Kurmanc intellectuals of deliberate neglect. Most of the animosity from the Zazaistan proponents is derived from that bitterness. The criticism might seem valid, and is in some ways. But there are Zaza intellectuals who decided that one can’t rely on a speaker of Kurmanci to save Zazaki. It wouldn’t make sense. To do so would actually mean that you would see Kurmanci as Kurdish, and therefore Zazaki as a dialect of Kurmanci.

              So, the famous Zaza Kurd (he calls himself Kurd) linguist Malmisanij singlehandedly saved the Zazaki dialect. He’s currently working on the monthly Vate (an excellent project), and he and the other editors have even openly invited Zazaistan proponents to come and join the project, of whom VERY FEW have accepted the invitation. Why wouldn’t the rest want to join a “bipartisan” project, unless their agenda was different (that is, if their only business was to divide Kurds and not save Zazaki). And nowhere will you see Malmisanij work be given as source by the Zazaistan proponents, despite him being the foremost expert on Zazaki.

              Here is a good presentation of Malmisanij:


              (One could perhaps say that he’s the Noam Chomsky of Zaza language.)

              To you question regarding Zazaki named as Kirmancki. Yes, that’s what the Zazas call Zazaki. They call Kurmanci “Kirmanci” (mark: NOT KirmancKi). It definitely adds to the confusion, but I’ll let the linguists untie those knots. I’m myself confused about why the Zazas have named these languages/dialects that way. Perhaps it’s another hint that they’re actually not so different as it is portrayed. Even Van Bruinessen (whom you quoted) is confused. You can read the paper you quoted here:


              There are no conclusions in his paper, a similar result in many Western (WESTERN!) scholar’s papers, as they have not decided on exactly what to think regarding the matter “Zazas vs. Kurds”. I think the problem lies in them trying to look at the question with a Western mind, where nationalism is defined a bit differently… Well, I bet they’re equally confused in trying to put Filipinos (who speak 1000 different languages/dialects within the borders of equal amount of islands) in a national category. Although, they do ignore the greater differences between Filipinos, than the ones Zazas, Kurmancs, Sorans, and Gorans have, and call them all Filipinos.

              Regarding me calling Alevis “pseudo-Shiites.” Well, I’m sorry. I should’ve said “heterodox Shiites” (had to dig deep to find that “heterodox” word). It’s just that they’re not really adhering to Islam. Although following the Prophet Ali, they’re SECULAR. I really mean SECULAR. The only similarity I’ve seen between Alevis (I’m by the way Sunni Zaza, as most Zazas are in the Diyarbakir, Bingol, Siirt, and Siverek regions) and Shiites such as the ones in Iraq and Iran, has been that they both follow Ali. Everything else is completely different. They were deliberately targeted as perfect recruits by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk just because of them being secular. He fit their agenda perfectly, and that’s why CHP has spent huge amounts of energy on the Dersim region.

              A good article on Alevis is:

              “ALEVISM” by Mehrdad R. Izady (Harvard University)

              Another article to consider is:

              “Is Ankara Promoting Zaza Nationalism to Divide the Kurds?”

              As a final note: I don’t expect you to swallow everything I’ve written. But I will definitely (as a Zaza myself) give my point of view, and I can confidently claim that my view is supported by the majority of the Zazas. Does it mean that it’s true? Well, that part is up to you to decide. All my life I’ve seen myself as a proud Kurd and a proud Zaza. I’ve never been treated differently by Kurmancs for being Zaza, but I’ve been treated differently by Alevis for being a Sunni Zaza (although I reject Islam, and call myself a very secular Deist). Is perhaps this “religious” difference what has created this rift, that is sometimes expressed as Zaza nationalism? Maybe. But this is what I can do for “my side,” and you’ve heard the other side, and you won’t have trouble finding more information written by Zazaistan proponents.

              If you got more questions, please e-mail me. You can also e-mail me if you got any questions about Kurds in general (and in particular the PKK). I don’t run my website anymore, but I can help you as a Kurdish source. I won’t mention what website I ran, as you (and whoever is between us) will definitely have my IP number, and I feel comfortable with the level of anonymity I have today. 🙂

              Another good source (from “my side”) who does her homework is Mizgin at There are plenty of gems there (lots and lots of translated text from Kurdish media in Turkish Kurdistan).

              Take care Bill!


  2. Zazas under pressure from Turks and Kurds.
    We are Zazas and have our own identity and history. The Turks und Kurds are always trying to suppress us. They want that we deny our origin.

    I hope someone will publish on TV, who Zazas are. We want back our land. That´s Zazaistan. We want back our language. Lots of young Zazas haven´t learned their mother tongue. This makes me sad. Turkey has no respect for other ethnies. Please help us!

    1. :)).
      I smell a Turkish nationalist expression from this who pretend as Zaza!:)) you are really desperate people, I am zaza Kurd and fighting with Turkish state and that will end till my death.

  3. Your description on Alevi
    Your description on Alevi belief is not correct. Alevis in Central Anatolia have no ties with Islam, this minority group have hidden behind or have put on a blanket to protect themselves from continuous messacres that they have encounted it history.

  4. Zazaistan?
    This Text is total nonsense! Iam a Zaza and i have never seen a zaza calling himself not kurdish. This Zazaistan thing is made up by a very small diaspora zaza group and has nothing to do with the real zazas.

    Iam a Zaza from Erzincan and proud of beeing kurdish!

  5. Zazas are Kurds
    Dear Bill

    the zazaki language is no way closer to any persian dialekt than to kurmanci. Your articel is full of mistakes.

    here are some maps of language trees. As we can see kurmanci sorani leki (called kurdish on this maps) are closer to zazaki and Gorani than persian or any other language.

    and also note the term used as Zaza was a denigration and means something like “bla bla” acording to paul horn. The majority of us call our own language kirmancki or kirdki both terms are equal to kurmanci and kurdi and mean just simply “Kurdish” I have never seen my mother or dad calling our language Zazaki thats a term used only by turks in former times. And their is also no organisation called Zaza-Natiolism it only exist here on the Internet i have never heared about them anywhere else. There are only to arts of kirmanckis(zaza´s) one of them feel like kurds (like me and the big majority) and the other feel like turks(assimilated very small minority)

    even western ethnologs recognized this i quote

    “The Zazaki language used to be classified as a dialect of Kurmanji, however it is now considered to be separate and not a Kurdish language (Paul, 1998), but rather belonging to the Zaza-Gorani group of northwest Iranian languages (ethnologue, 2000). Since the Zazaki-speakers analyzed here self-identify as Kurds (Donald Stilo, personal communication), we included them in the analyses of the groups speaking Kurdish languages.

    the majority of us kirmancki speakers feel kurdish. You can compare us to gilakis and mazandaranis of Iran who are also not classified (linguisticly) as persian but still are a part of them. So why not we?

    here some videoclips of zaza

    there is no Zaza-Nationalism it only exists in youtube and on the Internet and if someone claim something else than he should prove it and show me at least such a big group of zaza which doesen´t feel like kurds but only as zaza.

    Ma Kurda. Kurdistan welatĂŞ mao! Kirmancki ziwanĂŞ mao!

    1. No terror in Zazana ZAZAs are not kurds; no terror agaisnst zaza
      Zazas are not kurds.

      Let us make clear our history by ourself; with no colonial intensions; we know there is no etimology of kurdish the colonyalists are intending to establish one.
      These are different iranian languages you mention above; let us define oourself clealy.

      We are zaza people, no kurds at all; What is zaza? Or Zazana? people names came from history; like names of China, Indi, Iran, Greeks (Yunan), Arab, all a result of history, Likewise our name is coming from History.

      Zazas are are 6-10 milyon people living under the tyrani of kolonyalist.
      We are zaza people; long live zazas and zaza people.

      Look at behistum inscriptions,, you see ZAZANA and about 40 other countries and region names.

      Ma zazaye (zazayme); urmunc (kirdas nime (niye).

  6. I am zaza speaking Kurd.
    I just came across to this article and wanted to share my opinions and the reailty of our country; first of all without going back to history of Kurds there is no way to understand what Kurds terminology used for, Kurds in Median Empire were konfederation of different aryen people and so Kurds today are the same, I am zaza speaking and that doesnt mean I am not Kurd as if Kurmanc and soran differentiate themself then there is no kurds exist on the earth! and if people think to speak different dialect or relative language means different race, then this is totally wrong as Goran and Zaza is one, Kurmanji and Sorani is another group of northwest iranian languages, so if Gorans all considering themself as Kurd why zaza would not be Kurd? the Turkish state propaganda might have been influenced some of supported zazas? as in history there is no any movement considering themself zaza but after coup de etat of 1980 in Turkey, some of Turkish origin Turkish intelligence agency agents considering themself as zaza started to propaganda of zaza among the Kurds to destabilise the Kurdish movement against Turkish facist state, I do respect to those who considering themself as zaza only but its not realistic and have no ground, therefore I beleive this idea will disappear after a while and I am from Dersim and we know most of our children brainwashed since 1938 pogrom as most of our children were given to generals and Turkish army members as a slave or adopted! and as soon as people learn about their root they will see the truth of our lands that is Kurdistan as I said before distinct zaza identity has no ground on any soil or part of Kurdistan and only being supported by some Germany based group that being subvented by Turkish nationalists themself and I know myself how Turkish nationalists introduce themself as zaza without speaking a word of zaza language, and thats makes me laugh as this is Ottomans last game! but we are going to win as zaza, Kurmanc, soran and goran that called Kurdistan;).

    1. ZAZA is Zaza, no ‘kurd’ at all
      Zazas are not kurds.

      Let us make clear our history by ourself; with no colonial intensions; we know there is no etimology of kurdish the colonyalists are intending to establish one.
      These are different iranian languages you mention above; let us define oourself clealy.

      We are zaza people, no kurds at all; What is zaza? Or Zazana? people names came from history; like names of China, Indi, Iran, Greeks (Yunan), Arab, all a result of history, Likewise our name is coming from History.

      Zazas are are 6-10 milyon people living under the tyrani of kolonyalist.
      We are zaza people; long live zazas and zaza people.

      Look at behistum inscriptions,, you see ZAZANA and about 40 other countries and region names.

      Ma zazaye (zazayme); kurmunc (kirdas nime (niye).

      There is no clear etimolojie of ‘KuRD’ Zaza is zaza you yourself doing lik turks are doing making everything ‘kurd’, do not mix iranin languages with each other; Zaza langauge is differendan kurmanci langauge, an Baddinis, respect Zazas and Zaza langauage, in Zaza language there is no word ‘kurd’ this is being used for their political aims. ZAZA word is clear, it comes from old persian inscriptions, ZAZANA, see behistum inscrictions. Respect zaza langauage help them to liberate from tyrants.