Assessment report on the Efforts to Solve the Kurdish Question: The Standpoints of the Parties and the Opposition (2002-2019)

This assessment paper provides an analysis of the political efforts in relation to the Kurdish question in Turkey since the first AK Party government in 2002. It considers the initial steps, including lifting of the State of Emergency in 2002 and explicit addressing of the Kurdish question from 2005 onwards. It goes on to consider different steps including in media, education, and direct engagement towards negotiations. The paper addresses the democratic opening in 2009 and the failure of these first efforts later in the same year due to the events at the Habur border crossing. A timeline of decline in the resolution process is presented, ending with the 2015 return to conflict. The author also looks at the position of the opposition during all of these different stages of the process, and highlights opportunities and barriers from the point of view of resumption of a resolution process. The author concludes that although the three initiatives of the government ultimately failed, they laid a foundation that their absence would not have provided. Hence, the overview warrants not only pessimism, but provides the benefits of hindsight that can help to overcome similar issues in the future. This assessment was prepared by journalist and media critic Alper Görmüş. The views and opinions expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of DPI.