Why Turkey’s PKK Conflict Looms Larger than Ever in Local Election Aftermath

Source:Foreign Policy Research Institute Date:10Apr2019

Faced with a sweeping political rebuke, however, Erdogan’s party has found a silver lining in Turkey’s majority Kurdish southeast. There, it has touted unexpected victories as evidence that the government is winning hearts and minds in its fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The results, however, do not bode well for Turkey’s three-decade-long conflict with the insurgent Kurdish group.

For the AKP, a selective reading of the results has vindicated its security-focused approach in the region, neglecting the anti-government sentiment that seethes in population centers where state security efforts have been most intense.

Should the AKP follow through with its tacit pledge to replace newly elected mayors from the Kurdish-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP)—which triumphed in almost all of these cities—it risks further deepening a spiral of disillusionment and disenfranchisement that has long been a driver of the PKK conflict.


Read the analysis of voting patterns to understand the true cause of   AKP victories in the region