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Fruitless Attempts? The Kurdish Initiative and Containment of the Kurdish Movement in Turkey

  • Marlies Casier (a1), Joost Jongerden (a2) and Nic Walker (a3)

Abstract

Following the victory of the Kurdish party DTP (Demokratik Toplum Partisi, Democratic Society Party) in Turkey's southeastern provinces in the local elections of March 2009, Turkey witnessed the AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, Justice and Development Party) government's Kurdish initiative, the closure of the victorious Kurdish party, and waves of arrests of Kurdish activists and politicians. This rush of action constituted a renewed effort to contain and roll back the political and societal influence of the Kurdish movement. But what is it exactly that the government and the state were attempting to contain, and why? This article considers the recent moves of the ruling AKP, the judiciary, and the Turkish Armed Forces in regard to the “Kurdish problem” in Turkey's southeast, interpreting them as different responses to the regional success of the Kurdish movement.

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