The exception within the rule: analysing the impact of the Turkish emergency legislation on the Kurdish case

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Giordani, Carlotta
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Starting from an historical and anthropological overview, necessary to understand the deep roots of the conflict between Turks and Kurds, the object of this study focuses on why and how the use of the State of Emergency and the related legislation implemented by Turkey, impacted the so-called Kurdish Question. The investigation conducted along this work is aimed at clarifying the consequences related to the Emergency Regulation phenomenon in this particular context. The definition of Kurds and Kurdistan raises several matters: Kurds are often considered as the biggest stateless population, a heterogeneous group geographically dislocated with a shared cultural identity. The analysis of the legislation implemented by the Turkish state started after the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey, in 1923: the constant use of the repressive measures can be considered as a reaction to the Sevrès Paranoia , the symbol of the Turkish fear of the state territory disintegration. The social changes occurred after the 1960 military Coup d’Etat definitely opened to the birth of the PKK and to the political use of the law, legitimized by the new constitution and made concrete by the 1971 Martial Act n. 1402. This juridical system and the collusion between the military and the civilian, brought to the 1980 Coup d’Etat, the draft of a new constitution (amended but still in force), the 1983 State of Emergency Law (N.2935) and to the creation of a the OHAL Region: the Kurdish areas since that moment were under the jurisdiction of a special emergency governor, so that making even crueller the PKK reactions. During the 90s the juridical system was reinforced by the adoption of more provisions aimed at limiting the PKK acts, such as the 1991 Law on fight against terrorism Act number 3713. A the end of the 90s occurred a political change that slowly started to modify the Turkish approach towards Kurds: the Turkey candidacy to the EU. Despite the AKP policies, the formal opening of the Turkish government and the weakening of the PKK, the still deep collusion between the military and the institutions is slackening the peace process. Moreover, the integration social path seems to be still limited by years of legitimized repression, mistakes and mistrust which need a long time to overtake the barriers of a common future.
Second semester University: National University of Ireland, Galway.
ethnic relations, Turkey, history, Kurds, national characteristics, state of emergency