Essay Example on Research Paper Peace Conflict Studies

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Final Research Paper Peace Conflict Studies Winter 2018 Kurdish Turkish Conflict The historical root causes of the Turkish Kurdish conflict can date back to the separation of Kurdish populations after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1920 and the officially declared Turkish Republic in 1923 After the war the States of Turkey Syria Iraq and Iran became nation states after the treaty of Sèvres and Lausanne were established This new nation states created new boundaries Unfortunately the promise of a sole nation state was never established for the Kurdish population thus creating a displaced group with no official identity and recognition by any state After the war and creation of the Republic of Turkey national identity was sought after and ultimately created on the basis of different factors During the expansion and domination of the Ottoman Empire the Kurds had enjoyed time of autonomy while the Ottoman Empire fought against Persian Empires After losing some territory the Ottoman Empire began to consolidate their borders thus displacing Kurds that were located in the eastern front After the war the new reinstated Republic was limited to the borders of present day turkey to create a new identity for the nation Kemal Atatürk began envisioning an identity for the nation as he believed the meaning Turk itself was vague and needed to be defined He based his principles on the sociologist Ziya Gokalp He rejected the racial basis for constructing a nation on the grounds that there is no relationship between biological characteristics and social traits Since nationality is the sum total of social characteristics and is independent of racial traits the meaning must be sought elsewhere Saatci 556

Through his work he provided guideline to define the political and social principles of the nation In terms of ethnicity and culture Turkey is varied complex and intermixed Yet the myth which Ataturk bequeathed to his fellow countrymen insists that there is a single ethnic group the Turks Nowadays the effects of this myth can be brutal it can never in the the long run be successful The leader of the war of independence and first president of the Republic of Turkey Kemal Atatürk accelerated the process of homogenization between the Kurds and the new Turks The Kurdish Question which refers to the fact that the Kurdish do not have a homeland is one of the most divisive and conflicting issues affecting Turkish politics today For many decades Turkey has gone as far as deny the existence of the Kurds Under the government of Kemal the Kurdish language was banned the use of the word Kurd was eliminated and Kurdish names were replaced by Turkish names for children and towns Banning religious practices such as Islam which was practiced by the Kurds further separated the division These restrictions and new policies led the Kurds to revolt and create uproar causing the origins of conflict we see between the Turkish Kurdish today

The warfare between the Kurdish Workers Party PKK which emerged in the late 1970 s and government forces began in 1984 and lasted about sixteen years The PKK has turned into the most conspicuous Kurdish political interest group During the insurgency 4 049 civilians 5 121 security personnel and 17 248 people described as terrorists by the government were killed The war has indefinitely affected the growth of Kurdish consciousness and nationalism The war between the groups has caused the issue to reach a national and individual level of agreement that wishes to remove Kurds from the borders of Turkey and Turkish Identity The conflict today has resorted back to weapons and armed violence after a period of non violence had been distributed by the Islamic State whose seized control of the Syrian Kurdish City of Kobani Turkish policy of non intervention led to public anger and protests by Kurds residing in Turkey causing reheated tensions and in July 20th 2015 IS allegedly were to blame for a terrorist attack on Suruç district a Şanlıurfa Province in Turkey Approximately 33 people were killed and 104 reported injured After this attack many Kurdish groups in Turkey felt betrayed and blamed the state for having supported radical islamists and having no regard for Kurdish civilians Following the attack violent attacks have sprung out between the Turkish Government and the PKK terrorists

Today the conflict is considered to be unstable peace based on the Lund s Curve of Conflict Unstable Peace is a situation which the tension and suspicion among parties run high but violence is either absent or only sporadic A negative peace prevails because although armed force is not deployed the parties perceive one another as enemies and maintain deterrent military capabilities A balance of power may discourage aggression but crisis and war are still possible Through the struggle of having different goals and interests by the nation and the obvious division in the political system Turkey s current social and economic crisis will remain unresolved Despite Kurdish integration into the Turkish majority society state repression discrimination and economic disregard of the Kurdish regions has continuously plagued the community In conclusion the historical conflict and the search for a mutual agreement in terms of identity and respect each group has for each other is still a pressing issue effecting the government in Turkey The violent acts committed by the Kurds against the Turkish demonstrates their frustration and eagerness for a respected identity even though any political movement towards liberation would affect many countries not only in Turkey where Kurds reside Many Kurds have now joined IS with almost 50 percent of new recruits from Turkey being Kurdish The best possible solution for this conflict to be resolved is for the Kurdish and Turkish to segregate and establish their own nations

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