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The Kurds and the Future of Turkey


Éditeur : St. Martin’s Press Date & Lieu : 1997, New York
Préface : Pages : 184
Traduction : ISBN : 0-312-17265-6
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 140x215 mm
Thème : Général

Présentation
Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
The Kurds and the Future of Turkey

The Kurds and the Future of Turkey

Michael M. Gunter

St. Martin’s Press

In his previous books and journal articles, Michael Gunter provided readers with two of the first analyses in English of the Kurdish problem in Turkey. In The Kurds and the Future of Turkey, he returns to the subject to look at the status of the Kurds now and what their future might be. Since August 1984, Turkey has suffered from an increasingly virulent guerrilla/terrorist insurgency led by the Partiya Karkaren Kurdistan (PKK), or Kurdistan Workers Party, headed by Abdullah Ocalan. By the summer of 1996, more than 20,000 people had been killed and, by the admission of the Turkish government itself, another 2,000,000 internally displaced and more than 2,000 villages destroyed. At present, the Kurdish problem in Turkey threatens to challenge the very future of the country itself. In The Kurds and the Future of Turkey, Gunter looks at the way in which the current Turkish government is dealing with the problem, analyzes the role of what he calls the authoritarian tradition in Turkey, and puzzles over the seeming inability of Turkey to take the final steps toward becoming a genuine democracy. He focuses on the PKK and its longtime leader, traces the Kurdish struggle as it has developed in Turkey since the publication of his last work, and looks at the roles of Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Western Europe. He concludes by looking at the future of the country and offers a solution that will allow the country to remain whole. Informed by extensive research done in Turkey up to and during the time that the U.S. State Department temporarily banned U.S. citizens’ travel to the southeast section of that country, Gunter’s masterly analysis and proffered solution is necessary reading for anyone interested in Turkey and its troubling problem.



Michael M. Gunter is a Professor of Political Science at Tennessee Technological University and a former Senior Fulbright Lecturer in International Relations in Turkey. His previous publications include The Kurds of Iraq (SMP, 1992) and The Kurds in Turkey, as well as numerous articles.

 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


I would like to thank the Non-Instructional Faculty Assignment Committee at Tennessee Technological University, where I have taught since 1972, for giving me a semester of released time during which I was able to do a great deal of work on this book. Angelo Volpe, the president of Tennessee Tech, encouraged and supported me, for which I am most grateful. Paul Stephenson, the chairman of the political science department at Tennessee Tech throughout my career there, not only supported and encouraged me. but also provided technical help with computing problems. The library staff at Tennessee Tech helped me obtain a number of useful books and articles, as well as access items over Netscape on the Internet.

My year spent as a Senior Fulbright Lecturer in International Relations at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey during the 1978-79 academic year first made me aware of the issues I have analyzed here. The Fulbright program was a tremendous educational experience for me. I hope it will always be supported, for it pays such rich dividends in international understanding and peace. I will never forget Turkey or the many wonderful people 1 met there, and will always wish the very best for them and their great country.

1 want to thank the University Press of Kentucky, the Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism, and the International Journal of Kurdish Studies for permitting me to use some material that appeared in earlier work I published for them. Thanks also go to Mehrdad Izady, the editor in chief of the International Journal of Kurdish Studies, for permitting me to use the map of Kurdistan in Turkey he constructed. Many others who helped me in the writing of this book are listed in the bibliography under interviews and correspondence. Others preferred to remain anonymous.

I will always owe a debt of gratitude to my late parents, Dr. Martin J. and Larissa Gunter. I miss them a great deal. Most of all, I want to acknowledge my wife, Judy, to whom this book is dedicated. She is very special.

I should also mention that I omitted the diacritical marks in foreign words to simplify the text; the meanings of the words have not been affected. I alone, of course, am responsible for any errors of fact or interpretation. Hopefully they are not too many, for it is my sincere wish that my book will help provide an objective analysis of the Kurdish problem in Turkey. Such an analysis might then help solve this problem to the benefit of Turkey and all its citizens of Turkish and Kurdish ancestry.

Michael M. Gunter
January 1997



Introduction

Since August 1984, the Republic of Turkey has been suffering from an increasingly virulent guerrilla/terrorist insurgency led by the Partiya Karkaren Kurdistan (PKK), or Kurdistan Workers Party, headed by Abdullah (Apo) Ocalan. By the summer of 1996, more than 20.000 people had been killed and—by the admission of the Turkish government itself—another 2,000,000 internally displaced and more than 2,000 villages destroyed.1 More and more the struggle was costing Turkey financially, diplomatically, domestically, and militarily. These costs, however, were just the tip of the iceberg, because it had become dear that Turkey's growing Kurdish population demanded long-term accommodations and solutions far beyond anything a military triumph over the PKK could offer.

In the summer of 19882 and the spring of 19903 I published two of the first analyses in English of the Kurdish problem in Turkey. In them, I warned that the conflict potentially threatened the very existence of Turkey, My work was well-received,4 and indeed proved prescient, because soon a number of additional studies appeared.5

Upon his return to the office of prime minister in November 1991, Suleyman Demirel described the Kurdish situation as “Turkey's top problem,"6 while shortly before his death in April 1993, Turkish President Turgut Ozal warned his successor, Demirel, that it was “perhaps the most significant problem in the republic's history."7

More than eight years have passed since my Middle East journal article appeared, and six since my book. During that time what was only a potential problem has, by the testimony of Turkey’s own leaders, grown to challenge the very future of Turkey. Because of my continuing interest in the situation, it seems appropriate and even incumbent upon me to compile a new analysis based on the events and revelations that have occurred since my earlier work.

Many of my sources will be cited in the notes and bibliography. Certain individuals, however, have preferred to remain anonymous for various reasons. These people include certain U.S. and Turkish government officials, as well as Turkish and Kurdish scholars and activists. Some of these people I was able to meet during my trip through southeastern Turkey in August 1993, which was precisely the time that the U.S. State Department had temporarily banned travel to that area by its citizens because of the precarious situation.

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