The State’s Changing Role Regarding the Kurdish Question of Turkey: From Consistent Tutelage to Volatile Securitization
Özpek, Burak Bilgehan
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Disappearance of the established security paradigm of Kemalist state has not helped to create strong institutions and legal-bureaucratic structures that are supposed to prevent a certain political elite to dominate the political system and criminalize its adversaries by security reasons. Instead, survival concerns and political will of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has become replacement of the established paradigm. This has created a systemic crisis. On the one hand, the AKP has played the role of a regular political party, which is supposed to have equal rights and privileges with other players in the game. On the other hand, the AKP has been the tutelary actor that determines what national security is and who threatens national security. As a result of this picture, the AKP has exploited its monopoly over securitization to eliminate the criticisms of the opposition groups. Therefore, any political party or political group has not been viewed as a national security threat only if it has not threatened the political survival of the AKP. Such a crisis has also affected the AKP’s approach toward the Kurdish question. Unlike the established paradigm’s allergy toward the political demands of Kurds due to its commitment to nation-state principle, the AKP’s fluctuated policy toward the Kurds resembles to a political party’s survival strategy rather than a policy stemming from a consistent national security paradigm.