The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has started its struggle as a student movement during the period of 1960 and 1970 with the agenda of an independent Kurdish state and wanted to establish the rule of the working class rather than that of elites (cited in Anderson, 2009 p. 17-30). Because of the fast industrialization process in 1968, Turkey witnessed a lot of crisis like labor disputes and youth movements which have socialist agendas and support. To overcome this rebellion, the military took over in 1980 and crushed every opposing force. The cruelty was particularly severe in the areas where Kurds were in majority and occasionally, these brutal deeds need no reason to happen (cited in Anderson, 2009 p. 38).
The PKK fled to Lebanon, where it joined the PLO. At this point in time, the PKK adopted the policy of violence against the Turkish government and continued to use it. This leads to a story of extreme cruelty. Until 1990, the Kurds have to leave around 2,500 villages which are replaced by the other population. As a whole, almost 35,000 Kurds become victims of this warfare.
When the Soviet Union disintegrated, there left no support for the Syria and the PKK. This situation became very insecure for the Kurds. Then they sought the support from western powers, which was not the part of their policy previously. Jalal Talabani played the role of a liaison between the western powers and the PKK ring leader Öcalan, The negotiations between the Turkish President Özal and his US counterpart President George Bush senior was ended in fiasco and the oppression against the Kurds remained in action.
Now, again the PKK plead to the world powers, especially Europeans for help. Both Ocalan and Talabani unilaterally announced the ceasefire in 1993 and withdrew from the demand of a separate Kurdish state. In 1998, Ocalan had to abandon Syria but with the help of CIA, he was arrested and returned to Turkey. He was sentenced to death in Turkey.
After that, the PKK has been in the state of doldrums and could not devise a good strategy. The direct stake holders in this conflict are the Kurd population and the PKK, the Turkish Government and military and indirectly the world powers (cited in Anderson, 2009 p. 17-38). The Turkish military which is almost autonomous in its decisions want to maintain the unity and homogeneity of the Turkey and does not favor any self rule by the Kurds. On the other hands, Kurds and the PKK first aspires to have separate Kurdish state but when they realized that it is not any more possible to fight and win this war from the military, they started demanding their role as group in the broader dominion of Turkish politics.
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