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The governmental policies and military methods against The Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK) in the 1990s?

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2009
Ay Hamdan, Zuhal
This study deals with the question of what governmental policies and military methods were adopted in the 1990s in order to overcome the PKK (Partiya Karkaren Kurdistan, or Workers Party of Kurdistan) that was regarded mainly as a terrorist organization against national security for it challenged Turkish state establishment via its ethno-political discourse. Based on this question, this thesis analyses each government’s approach and counterinsurgency policies as well as Turkish military’s tactics and operations in order to curb the PKK threat that complicated the Turkey’s Kurdish question, and challenged Turkish state from three directions; namely southeast Turkey, northern Iraq, and Western Europe. Therefore, the thesis evaluates the PKK’s armed and political activities; anti-terror measures in the southeast region and throughout Turkey; the social, political, and economic impact of these measures over the southeastern population; human-rights violations; each government’s southeastern policies; the impact of the counterinsurgency policies on Turkey’s foreign relations, particularly with Iraq, Syria, and the European Union. Although the anti-PKK policies during each governmental period did not differentiate much from each other, the aim is to show that Turkish civilian authorities failed to take the initiative on, and the military-dominated approach aggravated the social and political circumstances in the region, hence, strengthened the PKK’s anti-state discourse that led to the rise of Kurdish nationalism.