The influence of key international actors (U.S.-E.U.) and Kemalists on Turkey's attitude toward its Kurdish minority
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This thesis seeks to examine the way key international actors (U.S.-E.U.) and the Kemalists have shaped and currently influence Turkey's attitude toward its Kurdish minority. The tough negotiations on Turkey's accession to the E.U. since 2005, and the de facto establishment of an autonomous Kurdish entity in northern Iraq following the 2003 U.S. military intervention, have brought the Kurds' plight into the limelight. These developments have involved the United States and the E.U. in the management of Turkey's Kurdish question to an unprecedented extent. The research demonstrates that Turkey's concessions to the Kurds in the 2000s have been moderate and that Ankara is still reluctant to recognize the existence of a Kurdish minority that deserves special rights. The research also reveals that, despite U.S. rhetoric concerning human rights and the treatment of the Kurds, the United States, in line with the rationalists' approach, keeps viewing Turkish-U.S. strategic partnership as vital to America's interests. The E.U's socialization strategy seeks to reform Turkey's human rights regime, as the Europeans have reached the conclusion that Turkey's Kurdish question is an issue of denied cultural rights, as opposed to an issue of forced assimilation.
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