Erdoğan, Turkey’s Kurds and the Regionalisation of the Kurdish Issue

Anthony Derisiotis


The AKP (Justice and Development Party) government in Turkey was committed from the very beginning of its rule to address the longstanding Kurdish issue in a conciliatory approach rather than a confrontational one, rejecting the Kemalist governments‟ dead-end conflict policies. However, the collapse of the Peace Process in September 2014, which followed the spill-over of the Syrian Civil War and the developments related to the Kurdish town of Kobane in northern Syria, have marked the end of this particular attempt to solve the Kurdish issue, probably ending any potential productive dialogue between AKP and the militant Kurds. The aim of this article is to study the AKP government policy towards Turkey‟s Kurdish population, from the early and ambitious years, all the way to the Kurdish referendum in Iraq and the effects of the regionalisation of Turkey‟s Kurdish issue. There are two questions to be addressed: To what extent is the Syria War to blame for the failure and the subsequent shift of the government‟s policy to the old, confrontational approach? How much of this could be a predetermined political decision, related to Ankara‟s internal politics, rendering the process Turkey‟s Kurds expendable?


Erdoğan; Turkey; Kurds; Regionalisation; Kurdish Issue; Syria; PYD; AKP; KRG

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