Kurdish Political Movement and the Akp in the Face of Political Transformation in Turkey

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 11:00
Oral Presentation
Gulay KILICASLAN, York University, Canada
In the last three decades, Turkish State and Kurdish political movement have concurrently gone through major transformational phases. Kurdish political movement restored its military position and remodeled its political and ideological outlook towards development and establishment of self-government in the early 2000s, which coincides with the coming into power of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey. With the AKP’s rule, Turkish state has departed from a Kemalist ideology to a structure redolent with commitment to social conservatism (political Islam) and a neo-liberal economy. Since 2002, the AKP has ruled the country based on various political strategies, such as an intensification of peace talk followed by a dramatic cooling off, then escalation to a state of war, and crackdown on the oppositional groups including academics, journalists, politicians and activists. In this context, this paper discusses the Kurdish Question in Turkey through the antagonistic relation between the political and organizational change of the Kurdish political movement, and AKP government’s policies towards election reversal and the crackdown on Kurdish civil society in relation to its road to regime change.