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“Barış Süreci ve Kürt Meselesi’nde Kimlik ve Dış Politika: Riskler ve Fırsatlar,” (The Peace Process and Identiy and Foreign Policy in the Kurdish Question)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Oriental Languages, Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies (SUITS). Koç University Istanbul, Turkey .
2013 (Turkish)In: Ortadoğu Analiz, ISSN 1308-7541, Vol. 5, no 57, 46-53- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

From a conceptual-theoretical as well as political perspective, this essay examines the interrelationships between the identity and foreign policy dimensions of Turkey’s Kurdish question and makes policy recommendations. Recent domestic and regional developments present both opportunities and great risks for Turkey’s social, political and territorial cohesion, peace and stability. In order to utilize the opportunities, Turkey needs to simultaneously achieve two goals. Domestically, it needs to successfully continue its present peace process and achieve genuine democratization. This process should culminate in a state of affairs whereby the complex social and political questions underlying the Kurdish question can be processed through the mechanisms of normal democratic politics and with the participation of legitimate Kurdish political actors. One crucial and insufficiently understood challenge the Turkish state and society have to manage during the peace process is the challenge of how to addressing the identity question, which is the formative basis of Turkey’s Kurdish question. This question consists of two separate but interrelated needs. The first is to address the Kurdish need and demands for ‘cultural-national’ recognition. The second is to address the need for a common national identity encompassing all ethnic-cultural groups, and to acknowledge that many Turks identify with Turkishness as such a common identity, which, they feel, should shape the state’s identity.  These two challenges can only be met by introducing new and flexible categorizations to which people can feel belonging under different names. In foreign policy, Turkey should consolidate its improved relations with regional Kurds based on interdependence and its redline should be the emergence of a hostile Kurdish statehood in the region, not Kurdish self-rule per se. This, however, should be done without alienating Arabs by defending any particular status for Iraqi or Syrian Kurds. If Turkey fails in these endeavors, however, major destabilizing developments can occur whereby the identity and belonging perceptions of many Kurds as well as Turks can experience significant shifts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Turkmen Cooperation & Cultural Foundation Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM) , 2013. Vol. 5, no 57, 46-53- p.
Keyword [tr]
Ethnic conflict; Identity; Economıcs; Kurds; Turkey; Iraq
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-99302OAI: diva2:686600
Available from: 2014-01-12 Created: 2014-01-12 Last updated: 2014-01-15Bibliographically approved

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