Preventing the development of an ethnic Kurdish cultural and political movement has been a priority of the Turkish state since the Kurdish-led Shaykh Said Rebellion of 1925.' Nevertheless, beginning around 1959 this effort was steadily if slowly undermined, and events of the past ten years suggest that it has indeed failed. Not only have Kurdish activists gained some measure of international recognition for themselves and for the concept of Kurdish ethnic rights,2 but promoting the notion of specifically Kurdish cultural rights has almost become a standard litany for a wide array of Turkish civic and state actors, from Islamist political parties to business organizations, human-rights groups, prime ministers, and mainstream newspaper columnists. Although the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its insurgency against Turkey have claimed a great deal of academic and popular attention, it is these diffuse but public re-considerations of minority rights taking place within legitimate Turkish institutions have contributed the most to the sense that past policies of coping with the “Kurdish reality” are ultimately unsustainable, and that it may be difficult, if not impossible, to return to the climate of earlier years, when discussions of ethnic difference were suppressed, limited to the private realm, or confined to the fringes of radical politics.
Author's note: I am greatly indebted to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Program on Peace and International Cooperation, which provided the seed money for the research that made this paper possible. I also thank professors Reşat Kasaba and Joel Migdal (University of Washington), and especially Ralph Squillace, for their suggestions and unflagging support. Translations from Turkish are my own unless otherwise specified.
1 Recent accounts of official Turkish policies toward Kurds can be found in Kirişci, Kemal and Winrow, Gareth M., The Kurdish Question and Turkey: An Example of a Trans-State Ethnic Conflict (London: Frank Cass, 1997);Barkey, Henri J. and Fuller, Graham E., Turkey's Kurdish Question (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998);McDowall, David, A Modern History of the Kurds (London: I. B. Tauris, 1996); and Nicole, and Pope, Hugh, Turkey Unveiled: A History of Modern Turkey (Woodstock: Overlook Press, 1998), chap. 15.
2 European uncertainty over whether PKK Chairman Abdullah Ocalan should be treated as a leader of Kurds or a terrorist helped prevent Öcalan's extradition to Turkey in late 1998 after he fled from his base in Syria and flew to Italy. That he was not given permanent asylum in Italy or elsewhere in Europe constituted a severe blow to the PKK, especially when it helped lead to Öcalan's arrest by Turkish authorities, but the political discussions and Western media coverage concerning his flight and incarceration demonstrated the extent to which the notion of Kurdish ethnic rights, at the very least, has gained international legitimacy.
3 For a list of the seventy-seven people who signed the founding petition, see Cumhuriyet, 8 June 1990.
4 Because this paper is concerned with the evolution and activities of the HEP and DEP within the Turkish political system, it is beyond its scope to analyze the exact nature of relations between these parties and the PKK except as discussion about these relations pertained to the parties’ ability to work with mainstream Turkish parties. While evidence suggests the PKK backed some members of the HEP and the DEP after 1991, the parties represented far more than a PKK front in membership, methods, discourse and effect.
5 In the 1960s, the Turkiye Işçi Partisi (TIP, or Worker Party of Turkey) recognized the existence of Kurdish-speaking Turkish citizens, and at its party congress in October 1970 called for the recognition of a Kurdish people. While revolutionary for the time and in large part responsible for the party's closure in 1971, the party's focus was not on Kurdish identity. Also, leftist discussions concerning Kurds remained largely out of mainstream public discourse.
6 I use the term “pro-Kurdish” because it connotes a political rather than strictly ethnic identity. Kurdish identity is not a clearly delineated term and encompasses secveral different linguistic and religious groups. To some Kurds it is not necessarily meaningful in the political realm. In addition, not every member of the pro-Kurdish parties was an ethnic Kurd.
7 The observer is Heath Lowry, then the executive director of the Institute of Turkish Studies; the second statement is from Mary Sue Hafner, deputy staff director and general counsel of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe after listening to testimony from, among others, the human-rights group Watch, Helsinki: “Human Rights in Turkey: Briefing of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe,” Washington, D.C., 5 04 1993.
8 McDowall, , Modern History of the Kurds, 427.
9 See, for example, Kendal, (Nezan), “Kurdistan in Turkey” in A People Without a Country: The Kurds and Kurdistan, ed. Chaliand, Gerard (New York: Olive Branch Press, 1993), 72–79.
10 Scott, James, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1998), 7.
11 Zürcher, Erik J., among others, has a good analysis of nationalism's importance to Turkey: see Zürcher, Turkey: A Modern History (London: I. B. Tauris, 1993), 189.
12 Gellner, Ernest, Nations and Nationalism (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1983);Chatterjee, Partha, The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1993).
13 For descriptions of these assemblies, see Frey, Frederick, The Turkish Political Elite (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1965), 306; also, Olson, Robert, “Kurds and Turks: Two Documents Concerning Kurdish Autonomy in 1922 and 1923,” Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 2 (winter 1991).
14 1924/28 Turkish Constitution, reprinted in Suna Kili, Türk Anayasalart (Ankara: Tekin Yayinevi, 1982), 62–63.
15 Olson, Robert, The Emergence of Kurdish Nationalism 1880–1925 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1989). Also see Zürcher, , Turkey: A Modern History, 176–80.
16 Between 1925 and 1950 the state's high levels of support among many groups in Turkish society allowed it to limit political participation and carry out a series of wide-ranging and often brutal measures aimed at “Turkifying” the country. Nevertheless, official and elite discourse itself was surprisingly flexible as compared with later decades: although some politicians argued that even to discuss the existence of Kurds was to promulgate “foreign notions” designed to undermine Turkey, the existence of people called “Kurds” was tacitly and even explicitly acknowledged in newspapers and state documents such as censuses, which published the numbers of Kurdish speakers in the country.
17 Quoted in Geoffrey Lewis, Turkey, 3rd ed. (New York: Praeger, 1965), 92.
18 Özbudun, Ergün, “The Nature of the Kemalist Political Regime,” in Atatürk: Founder of a Modern State, ed. Kazanciğil, Ali and Özbudun, Ergün (London: C. Hurst, 1981), 91–92.
19 Aybay, Rona, “The International Human Rights Instruments and the Turkish Law,” in Turkish Yearbook of Human Rights, ed. Ergün, M. Turgay (Ankara: Institute of Public Administration for Turkey and the Middle East, 1979), 20–21.
20 State agencies also began monitoring themselves more carefully, eradicating mention of Kurds from the state's official discourse. For example, while censuses through 1965 published the number of Kurdish speakers in the country, this was no longer done after that.
21 Birand, Mehmet Ali, 12 Eylul Saat: 04:00 (Ankara?: Karacan Yayinlari, 1984), 288.
22 Article 13, for instance, read: “fundamental rights and freedoms may be restricted by law, in conformity with the letter and spirit of the constitution, with the aim of safeguarding the indivisible integrity of the republic.” For a full English-language text of the 1982 constitution, see Dodd, Clement, The Crisis of Turkish Democracy, 2nd ed. (Huntingdon, Cambs: Eothen Press, 1990), 154–222.
23 These included a ban on “any language which is not the first language of a country that recognizes Turkey” from use in public: MGK Tutanak Dergisi, vol. 11, B: 176, 19.10. 1983, O: 2, p. 76–81.McDowall also provides a brief summary in English of these laws: McDowall, Modern History of the Kurds, 443.
24 Bozarslan, Hamit, “Political Aspects of the Kurdish Problem in Contemporary Turkey,” in The Kurds: A Contemporary Overview, ed. Kreyenbroek, Philip G. and Sped, Stefan (London: Routledge, 1992), 105–9.
25 For example, Ahmet Türk, one of the HEP's founding deputies, had served several terms in Parliament prior to joining the HEP: see TBMM Albumu, 19. Dönem (Ankara: n.p., 03 1992), 117.
26 They joined the Harb-Iş union and visited shared Turkish and American defense installations in support of a strike taking place over contract talks, and supported thousands of striking miners from the industrial town of Zonguldak, for instance. See Turkish Daily News, 9 August 1990;see also Ölmez, A. Ahmet, Türkiye Siyasetinde DEP Depremi (Ankara: Doruk Yayinlari, 1995), 112–21.
27 Turkish Daily News, 14 November 1990.
28 Halkin Emek Partisi Program 1990, 18–19.
30 Ibid., 9–10, 16.
31 Cumhuriyet, 26 July 1990, 10.
32 Halkm Emek Partisi Program 1992, 17–18.
33 Yeni Üike, 19–25 May 1991.
34 The Anatolian (a special edition of the Turkish Daily News), 9–15 June 1991. For reports and opinion on the congress, see also Yeni Üike, 16–22 June 1991, and Ahnak, , Parlamentodan, 121–27.
35 Turkish Daily News, 11 June 1991.
36 At a HEP congress held in December 1991, hundreds of delegates were reported to have chanted pro-PKK slogans, and PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan's mother was received as an honored guest. The event did substantial damage to the HEP's public image and triggered a state security court investigation into its alleged links with the PKK. See Milliyet, 16–17 December 1991;Turkish Daily News, 16–20 December 1991.
37 See the statement by Ahmet Türk in Cumhuriyet, 17 November 1992, 5; also Turkish Daily News, 1 February 1992.
38 The 1994 formation of HADEP (again prompted by the DEP's imminent closure), led by Murat Bozlak, shifted the pro-Kurdish leadership back to a more publicly moderate stance. For more on this, see Ölmez, , DEP Depremi, 325–48, and Turkish Daily News, 1 May 1992.
39 See, for instance, Tansu Çiller, “TBMM DYP Grup Konuşmasi (22 Şubat 1994)” in Başbakan Tansu Çiller'in TBMM DYP Grup Konuşmalan (5 Ocak-23 Haziran 1994) (Ankara: Basbakanlik Basin Merkezi, 1994), 48–49.
40 On state involvement in the “unknown assailant” murders, see Kirişci, and Winrow, , The Kurdish Question and Turkey, 129; also “Top Fugitive's Arrest Reviving Turkish Corruption Inquiry,” New York Times, 15 October 1998.
41 A U.S. State Department report on human rights in Turkey in 1993 noted: “Turkish citizens have the right and ability to change their government peacefully. There are no restrictions in law or practice against women or minorities voting or participating in politics, with the notable exception of the harassment of Kurdish HEP and its successor, the DEP (emphasis added): Turkey Human Rights Practices 1993 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 1994).
42 Cumhuriyet, 20 July 1990.
43 Ibid., 11, 18, 20–23, 26 July 1990.
44 Following the HEP's first national assembly on 8–9 June 1991, nine administrators and seventy-six other party members were jailed (Yeni Üike, 28–29 June 1991). For details of one case involving the arrest of HEP members, see Cumhuriyet, 31 July 1992, 4.
45 Yeni Üike, 28–29 June 1991.
46 In Batman on 4 September 1993, “unknown assailants” fatally shot Mehmet Sincar, a DEP (formerly HEP) member of Parliament from Mardin, and Metin Özdemir, the local DEP chairman. They also wounded four others, including DEP member of Parliament Nizamettin Toğuc, and escaped. For information on the shootings, see Turkey Human Rights Practices 1993 and “Turkish Government Intensifies Attack on Freedom of Expression,” Amnesty International, 22 June 1994, Index: EUR 44/WU 13/94. By October 1995, at least 104 officials from the HEP, DEP, and HADEP had been murdered in a string of attacks known in Turkey as faili meçhul cinayetler (unknown assailant murders): see Aliza Marcus, “Turkey's Leading pro-Kurd Party to Contest Polls,” Reuters, 31 October 1995. The consistent targeting of Kurdish activists, along with mounting testimony of police involvement (and the fact that few if any perpetrators were ever arrested), led to widespread conclusions by many Turks and Kurds that some arm of the state was involved in a shadowy “counter-guerrilla” execution plan designed to stifle expressions of Kurdish nationalism. This is detailed by, among others, Hugh Pope in Middle East International (11 September 1992): 14, and by Turkey Human Rights Report 1994 (Ankara: HRFT Foundations, 1995), 130. These suspicions were largely confirmed by parliamentary and government investigations into the so-called Susurluk scandal of 1996, which revealed ties between security forces and ultranationalist members of “illegal gangs.”
47 See Cumhuriyet, 9–10 July 1991;Turkish Daily News, 9, 12, 13–14 July 1991.
48 Cumhuriyet, 15 July 1993. For the full text of the case against the HEP, see Gazete, T. C. Resmi, 18 August 1993, 11–234.
49 The six DEP deputies were Hatip Dicle, Orhan Doğan, Leyla Zana, Ahmet Türk, Selim Sadak, and Sirn Sakik. Former HEP-DEP deputy Mahmut Alinak, then independent, and Refah Party's Hasan Mezarci also had their immunity lifted.
50 Turkish Daily News, 28 April 1994.
51 TBMM Tutanak Dergisi, Dönem 19, Cilt 54, 2 March 1994, B: 78, O: 1, 273.
52 Ibid., O: 1, 274–76. 1 have quoted excerpts here from a long speech interrupted at various times by applause and objections.
53 Muller, Mark, “Nationalism and the Rule of Law in Turkey: The Elimination of Kurdish Representation in the 1990s,” in The Kurdish Nationalist Movement in the 1990s, ed. Olson, Robert (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky), 173. (Muller here does not differentiate between ethnic and political Kurdish representation in these institutions.) For more along these lines, see Observer (London) 21 May 1995; Financial Times (London), 11 July 1995; New York Times, 25 September 1996.
54 This is a point made forcefully by Hamit Bozarslan in his article “Political Crisis and the Kurdish Issue in Turkey” in Kurdish Nationalist Movement, 135–53. The article offers a sophisticated overview of the relationships between Kurdish politics and political crisis in Turkey.
55 See Briefing (6 April 1992): 6.
56 Personal conversation with Aydin Güven Gürkan, Ankara, 1994. Also see Turkey Almanac, 1991–1992 (Ankara: Turkish Daily News, 1993), 195–98; and Mango, Andrew,” The Social Democratic Populist Party, 1983–1989,” in Political Parties and Democracy in Turkey, ed. Heper, Metin and Landau, Jacob M. (London: I. B. Tauris, 1991), 180.
57 Turkey Almanac, 1991–1992, 196.
58 Turkish Daily News, 26 and 31 January 1989.See also ikibin'e Doğru, 19 February 1989, 19, for an analysis of Aksoy's expulsion.
59 Randal, Jonathan, “Soviet Kurds ‘Rediscovered’ by Kremlin,” Washington Post, 19 October 1989. Some Turkish analysts ascribe the formation of the pro-Kurdish political parties directly to the conference: see Solak, Ismet, Hürriyet, 15 July 1994, 12, for an example.
60 For more on the Paris conference, see Alinak, Mahmut, Parlamentodan 9. Koğuşa (Ankara: Tila Yaymevi, 1994), 1: 91–101;Paris Kurdish Institute, Uluslararasi Paris Kürt Konferansi, 14–15 Ekim 1989: Kürtler, insan Haklan ve Kültürel Kimlik (Istanbul: Doz Yayinlan, 1992); Jonathan Randal, Conference Highlights Plight of Kurds,” Washington Post, 16 October 1989; and Seven Greenhouse, “Paris Talks Seek Attention for Plight of Kurds,” New York Times, 15 October 1989.
61 Erdal Inönüşünceler (Istanbul: Idea Iletişim Hizmetleri, 1996), 1: 271–74;Cumhuriyel, 7 and 14 October 1989; and Nokta, 29 October 1989, 31. See also Alinak, Parlamentodan, 92. Inönü later told Milliyet (19 October 1989) that he had written a personal letter to Danielle Mitterrand, who helped organize the conference, explaining why he would not be attending. He reportedly told her that the SHP “will not attend meetings that give strength to separatist movements.”
62 Inönü, , Amlar ve Düşünceler, 273.
63 Turkish Daily News, 18–19 October 1989.
64 Cumhuriyet, 18 November 1989.
65 For details of the expulsion, see Cumhuriyet, 11, 15, 18, and 26 November 1989; Turkish Daily News, 9 and 15 November 1989.
66 Cumhuriyet, 11, 15, 18, and 26 November 1989; Turkish Daily News, 9 and 15 November 1989.
67 Turkish Daily News, 6 November 1989.
68 Cumhuriyet, 24 November 1989. One statement to the press signed by Aydin Güven Gürkan and fifteen other deputies emphasized the need for a “democratic structure” representing all ethnic groups and cultures. In response to a reporter's question, Gürkan said: “The official-language status of the Turkish language and the unitary nature of the state should not obstruct a democratic solution to the Kurdish problem. Our friends believe that to defend the idea of a federal state must not be regarded as separatism” (Turkish Daily News, 13–14 January 1990).
69 Cumhuriyet, 24 November 1989.
70 Although some did express reservations. Mahmut Alinak wrote that a party founded in the wake of the Kurdish conference would become a “Kurdish Party” and might distance pro-Kurdish deputies from the mainstream public; see Alinak, , Parlamentodan, 99. Gürkan also stated (with the benefit of hindsight) that he resisted founding a party for the same reasons: personal interview, Ankara, 1994.
71 See, for example, the open and generally positive coverage of the HEP's formation in Cumhuriyet, Milliyet, and the Turkish Daily News.
72 Cumhuriyet, 4 March 1990;Ikibin'e Doğru, 11 March 1990, 22.
73 Ikibin'e Doğru, Ibid.Cumhuriyet confirmed the figure, but how the reporters determined this is not clear.
74 Ikibin'e Doğru, 11 March 1990, 22.
75 Personal interviews with Aydin Güven Gürkan and Murat Beige, Ankara and Istanbul, respectively, 1994. See also Cumhuriyet, 14 March 1990.
76 Alinak, , Parlamentodan, 131–34.See also Cumhuriyet, 5 September 1991.
77 Inönü writes in his autobiography that although expelling pro-Kurdish deputies had lost the SHP representation in Parliament, a more important problem was “the widely accepted belief among our Kurdishorigin citizens in the southeast and other parts of the country that ‘the SHP administration is throwing Kurds out of the party, SHP is excluding Kurds'. Everywhere, I was trying to explain to our citizens in the new excursions that I undertook: ‘The event that occurred was a matter of discipline, it is our duty to protect party internal discipline, it is not a matter of taking a stance against Kurdish origin members.’ But no matter what I said … I saw that I could not make them believe me” (Amlar ve Düşünceler, 274).
78 Cumhuriyet, Milliyet, 6 September 1991.
79 Inönü, , Amlar ve Düşünceler, 283.
80 An exception was the SHP's Southeast Report of July 1990, which Inönü asserts was conducted in part to try and demonstrate to the pro-Kurdish, former SHP deputies that the party was willing to take concrete steps towards addressing the problem of the southeast and Kurdish rights. The report recommended permitting freedom of expression concerning identity and abolishing the state village guard system, among other items.
81 Cumhuriyet, 8 October 1991.
83 Leyla Zana, for instance, was the wife of former Diyarbakir Mayor Mehdi Zana, who headed the leftist Kurdish group Özgürlük Yolu and had spent many years in jail for his pro-Kurdish activities. Sim Sakik, another new deputy, was the brother of the well-known PKK commander Şemdin Sakik.
84 Cumhuriyet, 1 October 1991.
85 As did Nusret Demiral. The refrain varied: General Doğan Güreş, told the press that there was no need to look for the PKK in the mountains because they were under Parliament's roof: see “DEP Detention Causes Quake,” Turkish Probe, 10 March 1994, 3.
86 The difficulty the SHP would have with its pro-Kurdish allies was vividly illustrated during the nationally televised swearing-in ceremony, when the newly elected Diyarbakir deputy Hatip Dicle said he and other HEP members were taking the oath of office only under duress, and deputy Leyla Zana added a sentence in Kurdish to her oath. She later said it was a wish for peace between Turks and Kurds, Inönü writes that when HEP members agreed to the alliance with the SHP and stated they would remain with the SHP rather than return to the HEP, “I believed in the sincerity of our old friends. But we didn't know the youths who came together with them; no one could have known what these people would do in the days to come” (Amlar ve Düşünceler, 283). On the swearing-in ceremony, see Ahnak, , Parlamentodan, 157–58; also Turkish Daily News, Cumhuriyet, 11 November 1991. As the first openly Kurdish woman ever elected to Parliament, Zana, in particular, attracted the attention of the press: see, for instance, Cumhuriyet, 23 October 1991.
87 The deputies were charged with violating Article 125 of the penal code. The article prohibits activities aimed at dividing the unity of the state or country, and allows such activities to be punished by death.
88 Cumhuriyet, 10 April 1992, 4; see also Briefing, 27 January 1992, 7.
89 Cumhuriyet, 12 April 1992, 5.
90 Turkish Daily News, 23 May 1992;Briefing, 25 May 1992.
91 Hocaoğlu, a member of ANAP, apparently found himself under some pressure to defend his decision, insisting to Cumhuriyet that the decision was one made purely on the basis of his legal duties as acting speaker. In one of several stories concerning the decision, Cumhuriyet reported Hocaoğlu arguing that he had simply been carrying out the law and didn't have the authority not to sign the communiqué (Cumhuriyet, 24 and 25 May 1992, 4).
92 “Bonus to Nationalists and PKK from the Temporary Speaker,” Briefing, 25 May 1992, 6–7.
93 Requests for lifting of parliamentary immunity were common but rarely resulted in action. Cumhuriyet reported on 16 October 1992 that the joint commission had created three subcommunities to handle a total of thirty-five dossiers requesting the lifting of immunity of 112 officials, including Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel, CHP Chairman Deniz Baykal, and the HEP leaders. Many of the requests, the paper noted, concerned traffic violations.
94 See Inönü's comments in Amlar ve Düşünceler, 285, as well as his dissenting view submitted to Parliament.
95 Along with the communiqué requesting the lifting of the twenty-two deputies’ parliamentary immunity, the Public Prosecutor's Office had sent another eight communiqués asking for the lifting of immunity of three to four (depending on the petition) pro-Kurdish deputies so they might be charged with violating a law on public demonstrations and meetings. These communiqués were also rejected or put aside by the committee. For the text of the joint committee's decisions, see TBMM Tutanak Dergisi, Dönem 19, Cilt 54 supplementary documents (S. Sayisi 485–92 and 586–89).
96 Cumhuriyet, 17 July 1993. See also Ölmez, , DEP Depremi, 256, for more concerning Cindoruk and IŞiklar.
97 Demiral defended his actions in an interview with Turkish Probe. Conceding that he and Cindoruk, as speaker of Parliament, often seemed at odds with each other, Demiral said that although “all state bodies are equal …, there are times when one body is more prominent than others.” He continued: “If I have to take someone into custody, even if that person is within the walls of the Parliament or if he or she is a parliamentarian, I will detain them if I have the authority to do so” (Turkish Probe, 26 August 1994, 2). See also Nadire Mater, “Parliament Prevents Pro-Kurdish Deputies’ Arrest,” Inter-Press Service, 24 June 1994.
98 Cumhuriyet, 25 June 1994.
99 BBC, 8 November 1993. In an interview in 1998, Cindoruk stated that although the pro-Kurdish deputies’ behavior had created substantial antipathy both in and outside the government, he believed they should have the right to speak freely in Parliament (personal interview, Ankara, 15 October 1998. Thanks to Ali igmen for assistance in transcribing this interview).
100 BBC, 8 November 1993.
101 See “One Man's Struggle to Finish Off Kurdish MPs,” Briefing, 27 June 1994, 3; “DEP Detention Quake, Causes,” Turkish Probe, 10 March 1994.
102 Cumhuriyet, 3 March 1994, 5.
103 TBMM Tutanak Dergisi, Donem 19, Cilt 54, 2 March 1994, B: 78, O: 1, 263.
104 Milliyet and Cumhuriyet, 3 March 1994. The Turkish Probe of 10 March 1994 lists the names of parliamentarians and senators who have had their immunity lifted since 1920, when the Turkish Grand National Assembly was founded. Twenty-two were members of Parliament, and eleven were members of the Republican Senate of the pre-1980 period.
105 Milliyet, 4 March 1994.
106 Halkin Emek Partisi Program 1992, 17.
107 See Pope and Pope, Turkey Unveiled, 162.
108 Briefing, 16 December 1991, 3 and 10.
109 In both of these election-time cases, Turkish political support for the pro-Kurdish parties was roundly condemned as political opportunism by both Kurds and conservative Turks. The DEP and HADEP were encouraged to run in the elections primarily because politicians such as Tansu Çiller believed the pro-Kurdish parties might be used to divert votes from the Islamist Refah Party, which posed a substantial threat to the DYP in the elections. For a succinct discussion of the HADEP and its performance in the 1995 elections, see Barkey, and Fuller, , Turkey's Kurdish Question, 86–88.
110 Cited in Christ Kutschera, “Mad Dreams of Independence: The Kurds of Turkey and the PKK,” Middle East Report (July-August 1994): 15.
111 During the June 1996 congress, masked men dropped the Turkish flag and raised a PKK banner. The event was filmed and broadcast repeatedly on Turkish television. At its November 1998 convention, the HADEP's leadership worked closely with police and its membership to ensure similar events did not occur, and in décor and tone, the convention was decidedly a HADEP (not a PKK) affair.
112 Ecevit's Democratic Left Party took about 22 percent of the vote, and the ultra-nationalist National Action Party took 18 percent.
113 Mitchell, Timothy, “The Limits of the State: Beyond Statist Approaches and Their Critics,” American Political Science Review 85, 1 (03 1991): 89.
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