The Kurds Will Decide Turkey's Fate

April 1, 2015 Topic: Politics Region: Middle East Tags: Middle EastTurkeyKurds

The Kurds Will Decide Turkey's Fate

The Kurds could be more important than ever in securing Turkey's democratic future.


Kemal Kirişci is the TÜSİAD senior fellow and director of the Center on the United States and Europe's Turkey Project at the Brookings Institution.

Melis Cengiz is a Brookings’ Center on the United States and Europe intern.


[1] The Turkish military had launched a very destructive campaign with massive human-rights violations in response to the PKK’s attempt. The PKK was then forced to retreat to northern Iraq and Öcalan was eventually caught and tried for treason.

[2] Demirtaş has managed to appeal to some outside the Kurdish electorate, partly thanks to a political agenda that promoted a more left-leaning agenda of social inclusion and minority rights (including women). It is possible that once in parliament, HDP could become a refreshing voice in support of a more liberal democracy in Turkey.