AbstractsPolitical Science

How the expansion of the Islamic State influences the peace process between Turkey and the PKK and how it affects the prospects of an independent Kurdish state

by KM Bosch

Institution: Universiteit Utrecht
Year: 2015
Keywords: conflict; constructivism; independence; Islamic State; Kurds; peace process; PKK; power shift; realism; Turkey
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2065791
Full text PDF: http://dspace.library.uu.nl:8080/handle/1874/320424


Born out of the civil wars in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State (IS) astonished the world in 2014 by declaring the establishment of an Islamic caliphate. Soon, the IS became broadly labelled as a dangerous terrorist organisation that is presenting a great threat to the current world order. The expansion of the IS, and the role of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) adopted in the fight against this radical Islamist group, had consequences for the position and the public perception of the Kurdish movement. This thesis seeks to shed light on these developments, and hence the aim of this thesis is twofold. First, it attempts to investigate what the rise of the IS means for the peace process between Turkey and the PKK. Secondly, it analyses what the emergence of the IS means for the PKK in terms of its relative power position, and how this influences the prospects of an independent Kurdish state. The results of the study suggest that the evolution of the IS destroyed the peace process between the Turkey’s government and the PKK. Moreover, the thesis explains that while the PKK’s successes in fighting the IS boosted its image and brought together unlikely allies, the establishment of an independent Kurdish state seems to be improbable in the distant future. Advisors/Committee Members: Frerks, G..