Nationalist Underpinnings of Turkey’s Damaging “Kurdish” Policy

Author
Max Erdemandi
Content Type
Special Report
Institution
Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
Abstract
Recent discussions on the Turkish state’s actions, which have devastated Kurdish people within and outside of its borders, suffer from a familiar deficiency: they neglect the historical and cultural foundations of the dynamics that placed the Kurdish people at the center of Turkey’s national security policy. Serious human rights violations and voter suppression in southeast Turkey, the massacre of Kurdish people in various parts of northern Syria, and purging of Kurdish politicians on false accusations are all extensions of Turkey’s decades-long, repeated policy mistakes, deeply rooted in its nationalist history. Unless there is a seismic shift in the drivers of Turkish security policy, especially as it pertains to the Kurdish people, Turkey is bound to repeat these mistakes. Furthermore, threat externalization with linkage to legitimacy of rule will further erode the democratic institutions of the state and other authentic aspects of Turkish identity.
Topic
Security, Nationalism, Ethnicity, Syrian War, Borders, Violence, Kurds
Political Geography
Turkey, Middle East, Syria, Kurdistan