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Title: Change and continuity in Turkish state discourse : official debates on the contemporary Kurdish question
Author: Cesur, N. S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 5026
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis aims to analyse the discourses of the key actors who have the power and desire to bring about an official political solution for the "Kurdish question" in Turkey. Applying the methodology of poststructuralist discourse theory, as developed by Laclau and Mouffe, the research attempts to answer three questions; How has the Kurdish question been discursively constructed by these key actors - the European Union (EU), Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (AKP) (the Justice and Development Party) and the Demokratik Toplum Partisi (DTP) (the Democratic Society Party); How the discourses of these actors regarding the Kurdish question challenged the traditional discourse of the Turkish State?; Can we talk about change or continuity in the Turkish State discourse? The Turkish State discourse (TSD) perceived the Kurdish movement in Turkey as a threat to the indivisibility of state and nation. As such, the expression of "Kurdishness" has been systematically prevented by the State. The use of the Kurdish language was restricted, the pro-Kurdish political parties were closed, and any discussion of Kurdish rights was suppressed. In the 1990s the Kurdish movement pressured the State to recognize Kurdish identity. Then, after Turkey became an . official candidate for EU membership in 1999, the EU requested that Turkey grant the Kurdish rights. Finally, when the AKP came to power in 2002, the party initially pursued a different, discursive strategy; associating the Kurdish question with democratization of Turkey, the AKP recognized the Kurdish identity under a common Muslim unity between Kurds and Turks. In late 2009, it became clear that the AKP's discourse on the Kurdish question demonstrated its own limits with regard to the recognition of Kurdish identity and Kurdish rights. This thesis seeks to offer insights into how close an official solution for the Kurdish question which satisfies the Kurdish demands raised by the pro- Kurdish parties is to being reached and to question continuity/discontinuity of TSD with respect to exclusion Kurdishness.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available