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Turkey's Kurdish Question

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Overview

The Kurds, one of the oldest ethnic groups in the Middle East, are reasserting their identity—politically and through violence. Divided mainly among Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, the Kurds have posed increasingly sharp challenges to all of these states in their quest for greater autonomy if not outright independence. Turkey's essentially democratic structure and civil society-ideal tools for coping with and incorporating minority challenge-have so far been suspended on this issue, which the government is treating almost exclusively as a security problem to be dealt with by force. For the West the situation in Turkey is particularly significant because of the country's importance in the region and because of the economic, political, and diplomatic damage that the conflict has caused. If Turkey fails to find a peaceful solution within its current borders, then the outlook is grim for ethnic and separatist challenges elsewhere in the region. This study explores the roots, dimensions, character, and evolution of the problem, offers a range of approaches to a resolution of the conflict, and draws broader parallels between the Kurdish question and other separatist movements worldwide.

Author Biography: Henri J. Barkey is associate professor in the Department of International Relations at Lehigh University. Graham E. Fuller is senior analyst at the RAND Corporation.

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Editorial Reviews

Political Science Quarterly
This is a first-class analysis of Turkey's continuing Kurdish problem.
— Erwin C. Hargrove, Vanderbilt University
Ethnic Conflict Research Digest
Amply covers the existing research-field.
— Eva &'slash;stergard-Nielsen, St. Antony's College, Oxford University
International Journal Of Millddle East Studies
Scholars, journalists, and policy-makers, as well as those interested in the field of conflict resolution or prevention, will find this well-written, cogently argued, and perceptive book very useful.
Choice
Barkey and Fuller, two eminent scholars, deal with one of the most important problems in the Middle East—the challenge of the Kurdish nationalist movement to the states of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria.... This first-rate book is must reading for all scholars, policy advocates, and general readers interested in the Middle East.
Ethnic Conflict Research Digest - Eva Østergard-Nielsen
Amply covers the existing research-field.
Erwin C. Hargrove
This is a first-class analysis of Turkey's continuing Kurdish problem.
New York Review of Books
By far the most serious and convincing study of Turkey's Kurdish question to date..
Booknews
Focusing on official Turkish policy regarding unrest among the Kurdish population in the country, looks at the Kurdish problem in the context of Turkish culture, politics, and society. Also offers some tentative approaches to a solution. Not concerned with human rights or Kurdish culture except when aspects of them can help strengthen the Turkish government and its alliance with the US government. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Michael M. Gunter
This is a first-class analysis of Turkey's continuing Kurdish problem...Barkey and Fuller have thoroughly mastered thier subject and write well.
Political Science Quarterly
Political Science Quarterly - Erwin C. Hargrove
This is a first-class analysis of Turkey's continuing Kurdish problem.
South European Society and Politics
The author's observations are certainly useful for those who are genuinely interested in Turkey's wellfare.
CHOICE
Barkey and Fuller, two eminent scholars, deal with one of the most important problems in the Middle East—the challenge of the Kurdish nationalist movement to the states of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria.... This first-rate book is must reading for all scholars, policy advocates, and general readers interested in the Middle East.
The New York Review Of Books
By far the most serious and convincing study of Turkey’s Kurdish question to date.
Eric Rouleau
Remarkably documented, this is a perceptive and courageous study of a crucial problem for the future of Turkey. It offers options for a lasting settlement.
Ethnic Conflict Research Digest - Eva &'slash;stergard-Nielsen
Amply covers the existing research-field.
International Journal of Middle East Studies
Scholars, journalists, and policy-makers, as well as those interested in the field of conflict resolution or prevention, will find this well-written, cogently argued, and perceptive book very useful.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Henri J. Barkey is associate professor in the Department of International Relations at Lehigh University. Graham E. Fuller is senior analyst at the RAND Corporation.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Introduction: Why Turkey Matters 1
1 Origins of the Problem: The Roots of Kurdish Nationalism 5
2 Enter the PKK 21
3 The Building of Kurdish National Consciousness 61
4 The Kurdish Issue in Turkish Public Opinion 97
5 Turkish Government Policies in the Southeast 133
6 The Kurds and Turkish Foreign Policy 157
7 Toward a Solution of the Kurdish Problem 179
Conclusion 221
Index 225
About the Authors 239
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