​Ozpek, Burak Bilgehan (2017) The Peace Process between Turkey and the Kurds: Anatomy of a Failure. Routledge, 80 pp + app.

ISBN: 978-1-138-56410-7

Bahar Baser

Coventry University

​The peace process (2013–15) between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to end the decades long armed conflict has collapsed and both sides returned to violence. Ozpek's book is the first comprehensive account of this peace process and its discontents, and will become one of the key reference books on this topic. Focusing on this two-year period, he discusses whether there has been a serious rupture in the Turkish state's approach to the Kurdish conflict under AKP rule. The book offers an excellent account of the conflict and Turkey's domestic and foreign policy dilemmas. The main arguments are: a) the Kurdish Question has been a useful tool to legitimize the authoritarian tendencies of the ruling elite, b) the solution of the Kurdish Question by peaceful means was securitized in order to maintain the hegemony of the ruling class and c) the continuation of the peace process would only be possible if the strategic interests of the negotiating leaders continued to overlap. Therefore, the main reason for the failure of the peace process was that strategic interests of the warring parties stopped overlapping due to domestic and external factors. An original aspect of the book is its theoretical discussion on deconstructing the concept of 'peace process' and creating a framework on 'strategic peace' and 'strategic war' in the Turkish context, drawing from a realist perspective. An account of the secret talks in Oslo, which paved the way to actual peace talks, would have significantly strengthened our understanding of the peace process and its ultimate failure. Nevertheless, the book offers valuable practical and theoretical insights into the current conflict in Turkey and peace processes generally.