A checkmate, not a stalemate: Turkey versus the PKK
Naficy, Siamak Tundra
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Terrorism is based on the use of violence to achieve a goal, such as specific governmental policy changes. Sometimes terrorists win, sometimes they lose, and sometimes terror campaigns end in stalemates. The prolonged conflicts between states and terrorist organizations deplete human and financial resources, public support and time. This thesis aims to test under which conditions in terrorism cases both sides feel themselves caught in stalemates. A historical case study between Turkey and the PKK terrorist organization was used to test hypotheses. William Zartman’s Theory of Ripeness handles this question using the mutually damaging stalemate phenomenon as a condition of ripeness and one of the direct reasons for a decision to negotiate. While exploring the theory, the writer also came up with the idea of importing Mitchell and Crocker’s mutually enticing opportunities to model as a condition of ripeness for both sides. Actions taken during the 1990s and 2000s give insights into the two aforementioned phenomena, respectively. The former period shows how the Turkish state broke the stalemate and checkmated the PKK, and the latter focuses on internal and regional developments and opportunities as emerging rewards of this success.
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