Effectiveness of back-track mediation in resolving protracted intractable conflicts : the case of Turkish-Kurdish peace process in Oslo

Deniz, Mehmet and Misra, Amalendu (2020) Effectiveness of back-track mediation in resolving protracted intractable conflicts : the case of Turkish-Kurdish peace process in Oslo. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Eruption of Kurdish question in Turkey dates back to the early years of the Republic, and since then, this problem has constituted as one of the most chronic and entangled issues of the Turkish political life. Regional dimensions of Kurdish question made this conflict much more complicated and hard-to-resolve. Cross-border facilities in the south (Syrian border), south-east (Iraqi border) and east (Iranian border) of Turkey have greatly been benefitted by the Kurdish insurgent groups. It is the Partiye Karkeren Kurdistane / Kurdistan Worker`s Party (Kurdish terrorist organisation founded by Abdullah Ocalan in the late 1970s, and henceforth, the PKK) that benefitted these regional blessings in terms of operations, logistics and recruitment in its insurgency against Turkey. So, thanks to the regional convenience, the PKK was able to survive and sustained its fight. Long-standing nature of the conflict kept snowballing by creating new issues till the early 2000s, each of which contributed to the conflict`s transforming into an intractable one. The Turkish and Kurdish conflict can be considered as one of the most violent and destructive conflicts of the last four decades. The conflict cost 40.000 people`s lives. However, the deadliest period of the conflict was experienced in the early 1990s between the state and the PKK. Turkish state started to change its policy in the early 1990s thanks to the initiatives of Ozal, former PM and President. Since then, the parties tried to settle the issue through launching peace initiatives. All of these former peace initiatives were embarked on thanks to a third-party / a mediator, and they were all launched via back-track diplomacy within the pillars of mediation. In the late 2008, the parties came together once again via back-track diplomacy in Oslo under the supervision of a third party. The parties were successful in closing the gap between themselves and the peace process was moving on despite some interruptions. However, it ended due to the adverse effects of the Syrian Civil War that broke out in the early 2011. Main objective of this thesis is to analyse how the back-track enterprise of mediation was instrumental in Turkish and Kurdish negotiation process in Oslo. Even though the Oslo Peace Process was not concluded with an agreement, this thesis still argues that it was a success, albeit limited.

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23 Jun 2020 17:15
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 05:51