Turkey’s chronic “Kurdish problem” has always been a central issue in both the republic’s domestic and foreign policy since its very foundation. However, the armed opposition of Kurdish ethno-nationalism has become one of the biggest challenges to the Turkish state and democracy in only the last three decades following the emergence of the PKK. In recent months, dialogue efforts and peace negotiations between the Turkish government and Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the armed Kurdish separatist movement, have intensified with the official aim declared as the disarmament of the PKK after three decades of conflict and over 30.000 deaths. The process was led by the head of the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT) Hakan Fidan and took the full-support of the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP). This article aims to summarize historical details of Turkey’s Kurdish question, point out some ethnic elements incorporated into Kemalism and then to discuss main policy alternatives of Turkey in coming years.


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