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Durham e-Theses
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Structural Change and the Trajectory of the Kurdish Ethno-nationalism in Turkey: 1999-2015

UNLU, SAVAS (2019) Structural Change and the Trajectory of the Kurdish Ethno-nationalism in Turkey: 1999-2015. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

Full text not available from this repository.
Author-imposed embargo until 03 January 2025.


By adopting a modernist understanding of nationalism, this study explores the impact of Turkey’s democratisation and decentralisation process on the trajectory of Kurdish ethno-nationalism in Turkey from 1999 to 2015. Through analysing the changes in the input and output sides of the Turkish political opportunity structure (POS), this study reveals the different effects these two sides of the POS had on the course of Kurdish ethno-nationalism. Moreover, by locating this two-sided POS conceptualisation in a macro-centred Social Movement Theory (SMT) framework, this study analyses the details of the interaction between the macro-level structural changes and organisational and cultural factors and reports the impact of this interaction on the trajectory of the Kurdish ethno-nationalism in Turkey during the specified time period.
The central argument of this thesis is that the level and nature of the policy outputs of Turkey’s democratisation and decentralisation process fell short of meeting the demands of Kurdish ethno-nationalism. Because these reforms resulted in an initial satisfaction among Turkey’s Kurds and led to diminishing interest in Kurdish ethno-nationalism, the PKK and legal Kurdish ethno-nationalist political parties perceived this democratisation process as a threat to its own survival. However, this process also provided new opportunities for Kurdish ethno-nationalist mobilisation on the input side of the POS. Kurdish ethno-nationalist actors also identified this opportunity structure and took advantage of it to further ethno-nationalist mobilisation. After an initial satisfaction with the democratisation process, the openness in the input side of the POS began to outweigh the level of the policy outputs in the latter half of the 2000s. The expansion of the Turkish POS and its use by the mainstream Kurdish ethno-nationalist actors thus paved the way for the spread of ethno-nationalism among the Kurdish-origin population in Turkey.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Kurdish ethno-nationalism, Political opportunity structure, PKK, Terrorism, Violence
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Government and International Affairs, School of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Dec 2019 12:35

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