Mincing Words: The Three Layers of the AKP's Narrative on Kurdish Politics


ÇELEBİ M. C.

NATIONALISM AND ETHNIC POLITICS, vol.26, no.2, pp.126-144, 2020 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13537113.2020.1754556
  • Title of Journal : NATIONALISM AND ETHNIC POLITICS
  • Page Numbers: pp.126-144

Abstract

In 2009-2015, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) put forward several initiatives to end insurgency in Kurdish majority areas. However, successive "openings" failed to make progress. The electoral and international goals of the AKP gradually became incongruent with the peace process, and the AKP espoused heavy-handed tactics in July 2015. The ups and downs of the process in 2009-2015 show that it was already fragile. Some causes of this fragility were external to the AKP, such as the opposition parties' eagerness to use the process to poach nationalist voters and the PKK's violence. However, I argue that the contradictory nature of the AKP's narrative was also a crucial factor. The party's earlier narrative required the strict separation of two layers: security policies to fight terrorists and democratization policies to address the legitimate grievances of citizens. However, the intersubjective strategies that it experimented later required a gray area between these two fields. The AKP, instead of changing strategies, has constructed a three-layered, contradictory narrative.