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Title: The mobilisation of the tribal Kurds under the PKK : how the Kurds of Turkey were revitalised
Author: Ozcan, Ali Kemal.
Awarding Body: University of Kent at Canterbury
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2002
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This study attempts to analyse the internal dynamics of the most recent Kurdish resistance movement in Turkey. The main focus of analysis is the PKK's organisational existence - its ideational and material structure. As the leading entity of the Kurdish movement, the research focuses on the PKK's recent growth - asking how it became capable of revitalising the "buried" body of Kurdishness in Anatolia that has been incorporated (in both demographic and geographical terms) into the Turkicized Republic. Within the framework of the case study method, much of the research is devoted to answering an indirect question: why wasn't it the other Kurdish "national" configurations that came to prominence? To this end, the study tries to appraise the extent of national and non-national ingredients in the make-up of the movement - the leadership, the grassroots and the masses that give their support. The conclusion reached is that the successes and failures of the PKK in bringing about Kurdish opposition in Turkey are fundamentally related to its philosophy of recruitment and organisational diligence, rather than to its scrupulous use of arms or other contextual factors. The form, content and intensity of educational activities give the organisation its strength. This "education war" - concomitant with the contextual tension of Turkey's Kurdish question - produced a "sparking" Apo charisma. In its originating period, the "pure form" of this charisma contributed much to the PKK's ability to mobilise the Kurds. The later "routinised" form of the very charisma has become one of principal determinants in what is known as the movement's "shrinkage process". It was also found that the substance of the party education - mainly involving Öcalan's talks - embodies a philosophy of human nature (rather than a strictly nationalistic content) in search of the re-appropriation of "human naturalness". In the party leadership's view, this human naturalness has to be extricated from the plague of civilisation's property mechanisms, which apparently have degenerated the humane faculties of man's spiritual structure. However, it ought not to be understood that the intensively worded philosophy depicts the extent of such extrication in the personalities of the cadre body of the Organisation. And the field research indicates that this is the Party's greatest internal contradiction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Kurdish resistance movement Political science Public administration History Sociology Human services