How do young Kurds experience life in Turkey’s largest city Istanbul? This question, coupled with a gender perspective leading to a focus on young women, was the outset of this dissertation. Within the context of the ongoing conflict between the Kurdish minority and the Turkish state, what I describe and analyse is the everyday lives of differently situated young Kurds in Istanbul. The dissertation is based on a seven month fieldwork in Istanbul. I describe how the Kurds in Istanbul communicate their Kurdish identity through a set of common symbols, creating a sense of belonging and commitment to ‘the Kurdish struggle’. These symbols of community are: (1) Kurdish language as an ‘imagined mother tongue’, (2) Kurdistan, (3) village life, (4) those who died for the cause, and (5) the concept of ‘our freedom’. Applying an intersectional perspective, I explore how these symbols of collective identity naturalise the difference of power within the group, while obscuring differences deriving from individual positionings on grids of power connected to other social divisions, such as gender, age, level of education, or economic status.