Official Full Name: Republic of Turkey
Region: Middle East
Ethnic Groups: Turkish 70-75%, Kurdish 18%, other minorities 7-12%
Languages: Turkish (official), Kurdish, other minority languages
Religions: Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (Christians and Jews)
Government: Parliamentary Constitutional Republic
Legislature: Grand National Assembly
A. Turkey-PKK Conflict
Type of Conflict: Ethnic Conflict
Conventionally Dated Period: 15 August 1984 – Present
- Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK)
Since Turkey’s independence after World War I, its territory in the Eastern Anatolian region contained a significant amount of ethnic Kurds. It wasn’t until 1973 that a revolutionary group lead by Abdullah Öcalan released a declaration of Kurdish identity and attempted to have the Turkish government devolve more autonomy to preserve the Kurdish identity and culture.
Uneventfully, the Turkish government was unwilling to give in to the demands therefore prompting the PKK to start their first armed insurgency in their Kurdish home territory. Multiple attempts at peace negotiations have failed in the past.
Recently, tensions have escalated to an all time high as the Kurds blame the Turkish government for refusing to negotiate. PKK attacks on Turkish police and military forces happen throughout the country while in retaliation native Turks began to target Kurds in large cities such as Istanbul and the capital, Ankara.
Peace Process: No