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Title: The tragedy of youth in conflict and post-conflict settings : preventing youth participation in violence and assessing their role in Turkey's Southeast (2009-2015)
Author: Duzcu, M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7968 8097
Awarding Body: Coventry University
Current Institution: Coventry University
Date of Award: 2016
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Among the greatest dilemmas faced by administrations in Ankara is youth involvement in political vio lence, first appeared in the student movements in the late-1960s, and gained new relevance during the recent political initiatives (2009-2015). From July 2009 onwards, the Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) government embarked on a new Kurdish policy, a political settlement and reconciliation process for the permanent resolution of the Kurdish issue. The management of the peace process has involved ebbs and flows since the acknowledgment of the Kurdish issue in 2005. A socio-politically fragile situa tion persisted after the formal inception of political initiatives in July 2009 and onwards, in which young people played a major role in the instigation of overt violence. As a result, the incumbent government was highly alarmed by the rise of radicalisation to and the level of violence fomented by conflict-affected youth when a political settlement was underway and a consensus was being reached amongst political actors. Therefore, this research study of the important roles assumed by young people during and in the after math of peace processes provides an evidence-based analysis of key issues and questions related to youth in the conflict-affected areas of Turkey's southeast and presents a set of recommendations for post-conflict programmes to support young people's role in peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts in the potential transition from conflict to peace situation. Data collected on the lived experiences of non combatant youth by field research undertaken in Turkey's southeast and the information gathered from secondary sources are used to gain a better understanding of the complex issues related to conflict affected youth. Thus the main argument in this study is that although the political environment since the inauguration of a solution process (2009-2015) offered the incumbent government the opportunity to settle the Kurdish issue peacefully, the presence of a disillusioned and frustrated youth cohort, cou pled with the limited capacities of conflict prevention and peacebuilding instruments, restrained the government's policy options and affected the outcome of its political initiatives. Also, it can be argued that without a conflict-sensitive peace project and a framework for addressing conflict drivers and issues related to young people at the individual, relational and structural levels, it is not likely to prevent young people's radicalisation into violence and violent extremism in Turkey's southeast with the existing youth policy or mechanisms. This argument is partly about the changing characteristics of the youth cohort in the 2000s, whose mobilisation was not caused solely by the structural deficiencies, past policies or so cio-economic inequality in society, but was a result of the interplay between structural and proximate factors, and shaped by their lived experiences of the conflict environment since early childhood.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available