The nature of PKK terrorism in Turkey
Studies in Conflict and Terrorism
Taylor & Francis
17 - 37
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This study is undertaken to evaluate the profile of the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) and Kurdish political behavior separately in an attempt to distinguish the Kurdish issue from terrorism. PKK's profile has changed between 1978, when it was founded and now, depending on Turkey's internal politics as well as the changing international environment. Basically, it started out as a Marxist‐Leninist separatist organization, but by 1990 switched to demanding a federation of Kurds and Turks, and simultaneously bidding for a role in an independent Kurdestan comprising southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq. PKK's only consistent policy is to have remained a Marxist‐Leninist organization so far. The first part of this article addresses the roots, objectives, and methods of the PKK. The second part assesses the problem within Turkey's domestic environment, with a focus on whether PKK truly represents Turkey's Kurds. The third section tries to answer the question of who provides the logistical and financial support for PKK, thereby exploring the issue's international dimensions. The last section evaluates prospects regarding a “political solution” to the problems of the southeast, which is now being voiced in both Turkey and Western capitals.