3 Kurds of Turkey Kurds make up about 15% of Turkey’s population About two-thirds of Turkey’s Kurds live in the country’s southeastern provinces; about one-third live in western TurkeyKurds are distinguished primarily from Turks by the fact that they speak Kurdish, but are physically indistinguishable from ethnic Turks
5 Why is there a conflict? State-building nationalism in Turkey 1923: foundation of Turkish RepublicTurkish nationalism & integration of KurdsRepression of those who resisted
6 Response: Kurdish peripheral nationalism Early uprisingsRise of a new counter-elite and the re-creation of Kurdish identity, 1960sPKK guerrilla activism, , and 2005-present
7 Kurds I can't talk because I don't know my language I'd like to tell you about my self but I don't know my history I have no education because there are no schools I don't have a brother, he was a politician, he got killed No I'm sorry, no friends either, they are all in prison I don't have a village because it's burned down I don't have a house because tanks destroyed it I couldn't stay in my land because mines cover it I have no sister, she was a journalist, she just disappeared No I'm sorry, no relatives either, they fled from the war I don't know any songs, they are banned I can't dance, it's forbidden I can't tell you any stories because no one ever told me any I don't have parents, they were hanged No, I'm sorry, no country either, it has been stolen S.W.Z
8 PKK guerrillas, early 1990s.Boys at a Kurdish New Year celebration in the early 1990s. Photo: Kevin McKiernan.
10 Who is involved? Turkish Armed Forces Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) Pro-Kurdish politicians in various political partiesLiberal Turkish media and civil society organizationsKurdish diaspora community and other transnational actorsOrdinary people
11 Modes of Conflict Guerrilla war Conventional politics Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)Conventional politicsPro-Kurdish political partiesCivil contention and protestKurdish newspapers, cultural organizationsHuman rights organizations
12 Effects of the conflict 35,000 deadNew attention to status of Kurds in Turkey on domestic and international agendaSome political gainsHuman rights abusesPro-Kurdish newspapers such as this one are often closed down for expressing support for PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.
13 Current status: stalemate & new conflict 1999 capture of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan; PKK guerrillas lay down armsPKK guerrillas in northern Iraqi mountainsSome democratic reforms BUT…Spring : new sets of attacks, and new anti-terror bill?PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan being returned to Turkey for trial, Feb