Serra Hakyemez

Neubauer Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center


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Turkey's Failed Peace Process with the Kurds: A Different Explanation

Serra Hakyemez
Middle East Brief 111, June 2017


In 2013, the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) entered into historic peace talks that signaled the possibility of an end to the Kurdish question in the Turkish republic. However, by July 2015, the Turkish government, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP), launched an unprecedented military offensive against the PKK. These military operations have claimed the lives of two thousand people and displaced half a million others. In this Brief, Serra Hakyemez argues that the failed peace process between the Kurds and the Turkish government is due to the discrepancy between the popular support for peace and the absence of legal support, which allowed the strained negotiations between the AKP and PKK to fall apart when the political circumstances changed. The Brief concludes with some reflections on the possibilities of restarting negotiations between the AKP and PKK in the aftermath of Turkey’s 2017 constitutional referendum.

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