Martin van Bruinessen Papers

Biographical / Historical Note

Born in Schoonhoven, the Netherlands 1946; studied theoretical physics and mathematics at Utrecht University; switched later to social anthropology; spent two years doing fieldwork in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey studying social organisation and social change among the Kurds; did research in Ottoman history and taught at the Department of Turkish Studies of Utrecht University; from 1982 on he concentrated on Indonesia as a second area of research, spending altogether nine years there in research and teaching on various aspects of Indonesian Islam; returned to the Netherlands in 1994 as an assistant professor of Kurdish and Turkish studies at the Department of Arabic, Persian and Turkish Languages and Cultures of Utrecht University; retired formally from Utrecht University in 2011 but he continues PhD supervision there as well as at several other universities. See for his Curriculum Vitae the Website of Utrecht University.


The collection contains some research notes, a limited number of drafts and typescripts of articles from an early phase of his career. Documents of an inquiry into the activities of Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi ( MHP), the so called "Grey Wolves", principally in the Netherlands at the end of the 1970s. The bulk of the collection consists of leaflets, pamphlets, bulletins and other media of leftist and Kurdish organizations from Turkey and Kurdish organisations from Iran, Iraq, Syria en their branches in Western European countries: Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan ( PUK), Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDP-Iran), Komala, Partiya Karkarên Kurdistan (PKK) among others. Pamphlets published by Turkish and Kurdish exiles in Syria. The materials from Indonesia consist of papers gathered at conferences on sufism and political islam in the democratisation process after the waning of the military dictatorship. Various magazines, newspapers and islamist periodicals from the end of the nineties and the start of the millenium.

A large number of periodicals are added to the existing collections of the IISH.

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