The Commentaries 2024-05-03T12:26:54+00:00 Joost Jongerden Open Journal Systems <p>The Commentaries is a journal that publishes analysis, evaluations and assessments of contemporary developments in Turkey, Turkey’s role in the MENA region, and Turkey-EU relations. It does so for a broad audience of scholars, policy-makers, professionals and students. The aim of the commentaries is to draw attention to current advances, discuss policies and practices, and to stimulate critical discussion and theoretical reflection. The Commentaries is an initiative of the European Union Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC). However, views expressed in The Commentaries do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the EUTCC (EU-Turkey Civic Commission) nor its members.</p> <p>Submissions to The Commentaries are reviewed by the editorial board. Commentaries are published online. Print copies of The Commentaries are published on a yearly basis.</p> <p>The Commentaries is an <a href="">Open Access</a> publication, allowing users to freely access, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to full-text articles for any lawful purpose without requiring permission from the publisher or author. </p> <p>Founded in 2021; launched in November 2021</p> <p>(Print) ISSN 2754-8791</p> <p>(Online) ISSN 2754-8805</p> Turkey's Kurdish Insurgency Reappraised (Part I) 2023-12-19T04:10:40+00:00 Michael M. Gunter Seevan Saeed <p>As the modern Republic of Turkey—officially established on 29 October<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span>1923—enters its second century and crucial national elections for president and parliament were held on 14 and 28 May 2023 in which the Kurds played a crucial role, this is a particularly important time to reappraise the county’s long-continuing Kurdish insurgency and related events. Over the years, two over-arching, seemingly contradictory themes involving change and continuity have characterised Turkey’s policy toward the Kurds. During Ottoman times (1261-1923) and even into the early Republican days (1923- ), the Kurds were granted a type of separate status befitting their unique ethnic identity. However, probably largely because of the Sheikh Said Rebellion in 1925, Kemalist Turkey abruptly cancelled this policy and instead initiated one of denial, assimilation, and force. The fear was that the Kurds would potentially challenge Turkey’s territorial integrity and divide the state. Only gradually beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, when this position of, denial, assimilation, and the fist had clearly failed, did Turkey cautiously and incrementally begin again reversing its policy and granting the Kurds some type of recognition. Thus this article also will cover the PKK insurgency, as well as Abdullah (Apo) Ocalan’s capture and its consequences. Subsequently, Part II of this reappraisal will bring events up to the present in 2024.</p> 2024-02-06T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Michael M Gunter, Seevan Saeed Turkey’s Kurdish Insurgency Reappraised (Part II) 2023-12-19T04:13:21+00:00 Michael M. Gunter Seevan Saeed <p><em>This reappraisal of Turkey’s Kurdish insurgency picks up from where the earlier Part I left off, by revisiting from the perspective of a decade the involved rise and fall of the Kurdish Opening (2009-2015), Erdogan’s continuing “train to authoritarianism,” the failed Gulenist coup on 15 July 2016, and the surprising presidential elections held in May 2023 that reelected Erdogan yet again despite the polls seemingly showing that Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the opposition leader whom the pro-Kurdish HDP supported, might win.</em></p> 2024-03-14T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Michael M. Gunter, Seevan Saeed The Politics of Gravelessness and Necropolitical Violence in Turkey: “The souls of deceased searching for a grave” 2024-05-03T12:26:54+00:00 Güneş Daşlı <p><em>After the collapse of the peace process between the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government in July 2015, Turkey rapidly returned to armed violence with the intensified deployment of military troops and heavy artillery in the urban centers. The curfews then declared by the Turkish authorities entrenched various forms of necropolitical violence. As a result, the right to mourn became a dominant demand in civil society’s justice agenda, alongside legal accountability, truth-seeking, and exhumation. This paper argues that to better understand the struggle of families and civil society actors and their demands for justice, it is essential to discuss the recent “politics of gravelessness” and necropolitical violence in Turkey. It examines the systematic erasure and dehumanization of Kurds through the destruction of bodies, graves, and cemeteries and restrictions to the public mourning process. The article highlights the Turkish state’s role in perpetuating a hierarchy of grief and discusses the erasure of selected stories from public mourning. </em></p> 2024-05-20T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Gunes Dasli