Case 248 - Turkey's Kurdish Troubles: An Intractable Conflict?
Kubicek, Paul A.
Since 1984, fighting between the Turkish government and the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) has claimed tens of thousands of lives in southeastern Turkey. Despite the rising costs of the conflict, successive Turkish governments refused to negotiate with the PKK or to make significant concessions to the Kurdish population. This case study traces the issues and history of that struggle, focusing on the missed opportunities to find a political settlement. It illustrates the complexity of resolving civil/ethnic conflict, asking students to assess the positions of the two sides and the role of the international community, and to evaluate the obstacles to a settlement and the possibilities for resolving the conflict.