Violence against the kurds in the Turkish Republic

Uğur Ümit Üngör*, Ayhan Işik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


This chapter examines the political violence carried out by the Turkish state against the Kurds, especially during the Republican period. For Turkish political elites, who aimed to establish a homogeneous nation state under the Turkish identity after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurds were considered a major problem to the unitary nation state. With the establishment of the Republic, violence became a routine policy adopted by the Turkish state against the Kurds in northern Kurdistan, but became much more pronounced at certain periods. The chapter separates state violence into three main periods: the single-party period of genocide and genocidal massacres (1923–1945); the 1980s and 1990s counterinsurgency violence period; and the 2015–2016 destruction of the cities. The chapter argues that the main politics of the Turkish state elites against the Kurds is political violence that is systemic, but with different methods in different periods.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook on Contemporary Turkey
Subtitle of host publicationDiscourse Analysis
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780429554599
ISBN (Print)9780429264030
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


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