Theory and Practice
Edited By Ephraim Nimni, Alexander Osipov and David Smith
Cengiz Güneş Accommodating Kurdish National Demands in Turkey
Cengiz Gunes Accommodating Kurdish National Demands in Turkey In their various guises, Kurdish nationalism and political activism have been significant aspects of Turkish politics since the proclamation of the Republic in 1923. In the past fifty years, this challenge has taken a more formidable and organized form, and in the 1980s and 1990s, it manifested itself in the form of an armed conf lict between the Turkish Army and the guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, PKK). The conf lict antagonized the relations between the state and the Kurds and led to the mass mobilization of a significant number of the Kurds. Following the capture and imprisonment of the PKK’s leader Abdullah Öcalan in February 1999, it entered and remained throughout the 2000s at a new stage characterized by conf lict management. In comparison to the 1980s and 1990s, the 2000s have witnessed sig- nificantly less armed violence, and while we are far from achieving a con- sensus on a political settlement to end the conf lict, this period was a time of ref lection and search. During the past decade, we have witnessed minor shifts and changes in Turkey’s Kurdish policy that can be seen as partial responses to Kurdish demands; however, such ‘attempts’ have been marred by various dif ficulties and so far have not led to a more comprehensive pro- cess of conf lict resolution. Moreover, a broad-based attempt to construct the much needed national consensus on what should be the status of...
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