The Effects of the Iraq War on the Kurdish Issue in Turkey

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

(2005) The Effects of the Iraq War on the Kurdish Issue in Turkey, Journal of Conflict, Security and Development 5(1): 69–86.

​​This article examines the potential repercussions of the Iraq War on the Kurdish issue in Turkey. An introduction to the Kurdish problem and its securitisation in Turkey precedes an analysis of the Gulf War’s impact on Turkey’s policies towards the Kurds – both in Turkey and Iraq. The article briefly documents the struggle between the EU’s pressures on Turkey after 1999 to improve Kurdish rights and the state’s reluctance to implement reforms. Impacting reforms is the heightened sense of insecurity in Turkey after the Iraq War and the perceived threat of greater autonomy for the Kurds in Northern Iraq. In response, Turkey has identified the Turkmen minority as a key strategic concern. Nonetheless, increasingly the ruling Justice and Development Party’s attitude towards Iraqi Kurdish groups indicates the evolution of a more pragmatic approach. In conclusion, two possible options emerge: The continued desecuritisation of the Kurdish issue in Turkey or its re-securitisation.