TURKEY: The Kurdish Issue. Limits of Security Methods

Kolcak H.

CONFLICT STUDIES QUARTERLY, no.29, pp.28-42, 2019 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 29
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.24193/csq.29.3
  • Page Numbers: pp.28-42


The Kurdish issue is a long-running political problem of the Republic of Turkey. It has two main dimensions, an identity rights dimension and its armed conflict counterpart. The Republic tries to resolve the issue via its securitization approach. According to this article, the securitization approach would prevent Turkey from resolving the identity rights dimension of the issue. This dimension would be solved by multiculturalist political arrangements that recognize, preserve and promote Kurdish identity in both public and private realms. The securitization approach would be problematic even for the resolution of the armed conflict dimension of the issue. It puts individual Kurds in an awkward position in the Kurdish-populated provinces, where they face various economic, educational and social problems. All these problems may significantly damage the brotherhood of Kurds and Turks, and accordingly, dampen the Kurds' desire for coexistence. Moreover, they may radicalize ethnic Kurds, especially Kurdish youth, who may begin to consider violent methods as the sole way of persuading Turkey to satisfy Kurdish demands, stimulating them to join the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). This radicalization would produce a constant and dramatic increase in the number of PKK recruits, making the resolution of the armed conflict dimension of the Kurdish question very difficult.