The Conflict Resolution and Counterterrorism Dilemma: Turkey Faces its Kurdish Question

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This article considers the relationship between two processes—conflict resolution and counterterrorism—which conceptually share many common points, yet in practice do not necessarily proceed together easily towards a common goal. Considering particular cases of ethnic conflict in which terrorist factions exist, the article argues that while neither conflict resolution nor counterterrorism alone can adequately address the problem, simultaneously conducting both must keep in mind the processes' inherent differences and avoid excessive prioritizing of one over the other. By exploring recent Turkish governmental initiatives to address the Kurdish question, the article attempts to provide an outline for how to successfully cope with the two processes simultaneously.

Keywords: Kurdish question; Kurds; PKK; Turkey; Turks; conflict resolution; counterterrorism; terrorism

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of International Relations, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey 2: Programme on the Changing Character of War, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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