Current Turkey-PKK Tensions Endanger Peace Talks

Current Turkey-PKK Tensions Endanger Peace Talks

Last week, two protesters were killed during clashes between Turkish security forces and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey’s southeast. In an email interview, Michael M. Gunter, professor of political science at Tennessee Technological University, discussed the current state of Turkey-PKK peace talks.

WPR: Where did Turkey-PKK peace talks and Ankara's broader Kurdish initiative stand before the recent incidents in the southeast?

Michael Gunter: The current Turkish-PKK peace process, which began with cautious hope early in 2013, stalled soon after it was launched. With good reason, the PKK has put the blame on the Turkish government. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is first and foremost an adept politician whose main priority is to expand his electoral mandate as Turkey enters its next electoral cycle in 2014-2015. In so doing, he has many opposing constituencies to appease. If he goes too far in satisfying the Kurds, he will surely alienate other, maybe even more important elements of the electorate. As a result, he seems to have treated the mere agreement to begin the peace process as the goal itself, rather than as a part of a process to address the root causes of the conflict.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.