MESOP ANALYSIS -Resurgence of the Kurdish Conflict in Turkey: How Kurds View It / Rethink Institute | February 2016

 The ongoing  conflict in Syria and the Kurdish struggle in the northern part of the country have triggered increased participation of Kurdish youth in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The Turkish government, initially, did not perceive this as a domestic threat because of the ongoing peace process. However, with the latest resurgence of conflict in southeast Turkey, this has become a serious concern for the Turkish government.

Kurds in Rojova (northern Syria) plan to declare an autonomous region with the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is guided by the PKK.

This plan conflicts with Turkey’s policy of protecting the territorial integrity of Syria. Moreover, recent domestic political developments in Turkey have put an end to the peace talks. In June 2015, the armed conflict resumed and the PKK branch for urban youth, the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H), began to entrench and barricade in the Kurdish towns in southeastern Turkey. This strategy portrayed as “the people’s self-defense” by Kurdish nationalists drew to a heavy response by Turkish security forces and within six months, the conflict cost the lives of more than 100 security forces, around 100 civilians, and more than 800 PKK members. More than 250,000 people have been forced to migrate or leave their homes. Curfew has been imposed on the cities and because of ongoing clashes and boycotts of the PKK, the socioeconomic life of the region has come to a halt.

This work by MEHMET YANMIS aims to investigate how Kurdish perceptions have changed since June 2015 in the face of the entrenchment-barricade strategy and the Turkish government’s response with military operations and the curfews. It includes detailed interviews with opinion leaders in the cities of Hakkari, Şırnak, Mardin, Diyarbakır, and Şanlıurfa.

Turkish text :