The Offensive Tactics of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey in 2004–2011
AbstractA major representative of Kurdish nationalism in Turkey, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) renewed its violent activities while ending a ceasefire that lasted for almost five years in 2004. The nature of its armed struggle is in many aspects different from that of the period of 1984–1999. The issue of the Kurdish question in Turkey has been once again becoming increasingly dynamic in the last years, and the violent manifestations connected with this issue have been increasing as well. The presented case study deals with the offensive tactics of the PKK during its armed struggle in Turkey in the period from 2004 to 2011. The activities of the PKK are framed in the concept of insurgency. The analysis is focused on a description and interpretation of the nature of the PKK’s offensive operations. On the basis of the analysis of the operational level of the PKK’s activities, the pursued insurgent tactics are identified. The PKK pursues and combines four kinds of typical insurgency tactics – provocation, intimidation, protraction, and exhaustion, with the first two being the most important. In the background of the PKK’s campaign, we can observe that the PKK plans and times its operations very carefully. At the same time the PKK focuses on getting and maintaining popular support for itself.
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