The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is infamous for its violence. The struggle it has waged for Kurdish independence in southeastern Turkey has cost in excess of 40,000 lives since 1984. A less-kwn fact, however, is that the PKK w embraces a n-violent end to the conflict, with its leader Abdullah Ocalan having ordered a ceasefire and engaging in a negotiated peace with the Ankara government. Whether these tentative attempts at peacemaking mean an end to the bloodshed remains to be seen, but either way the ramifications for Turkey and the wider region are potentially huge. Charting the ideological evolution of the PKK, as well as its origins, aims and structure, Paul White provides the only authoritative and up-to-date analysis of one of the most important n-state political players in the contemporary Middle East.
Dr Paul White works as an independent consultant in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has taught Middle East Politics courses at Deakin University in Melbourne; at Macquarie University in Sydney; and at the University of Sydney's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. He is the author of Primitive Rebels or Revolutionary Modernizers? The Kurdish National Movement in Turkey (Zed Books, 2000). He was a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and serves on the board of directors of the Kurdish Institute, Washington DC.