The Transformation of Turkey’s Pro-Kurdish Democratic Movement

Gunes, Cengiz (2020). The Transformation of Turkey’s Pro-Kurdish Democratic Movement. Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, 22(6) pp. 746–761.



In the past decade, the pro-Kurdish democratic movement in Turkey managed to build an extensive organizational network and, with the rise of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) since 2012, has established itself as a key political actor in Turkey. This article discusses its emergence and transformation since 1990 by firstly reflecting on the movement’s key political demands to highlight the type of political project it seeks to develop in Turkey, and secondly providing an account of the movement’s organizational evolution during the 1990s and 2000s. Finally, it provides an explanation of the HDP’s rise and discusses the challenges it has been facing in an increasingly authoritarian Turkey since the summer of 2015.

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