After the fall of the Ottoman Empire following World War I, the Kurds in the Middle East became the largest ethnic group in the region without a state of their own. Divided between Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq, the Kurds have fought for their right to exist as a distinct national group, as well as for governing themselves. Turkey and the Kurdish Peace Process provides a historical and conceptual account of events in order to detail the key conditions, factors, and events that gave rise to the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) conflict in Turkey, as well as the conditions influencing the emergence, management, and collapse of the peace talks. Drawing from conflict resolution theories, this book investigates the transformation of key conflict actors and changes, over time, in their approach to the main conflict issues.
Moreover, Arin Y. Savran expands the concept of conflict transformation to encompass the ideological transformation of a movement as a result of a rigorous and deep intellectual epiphany on the part of the political leaders—a phenomenon that is unusual and little is known about, making it all the more relevant to include in future theoretical approaches in peace process studies. Methodologically, she rethinks conflict transformation/resolution approaches to focus on shifts in beliefs and relationships that occur prior to a peace process or the start of peace negotiations, when often much focus on peace processes is on the post-agreement phase. This book is among the first comprehensive, scholarly accounts to date (in the English language) that analyzes the Kurdish peace process.