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January 9, 2010

Research By Turkish Police Official Finds Turkish Government PKK Anti-Terror Policies Fell Short

BALTIMORE – A Turkish National Police intelligence official researching the effects of Turkish government antiterrorism policies aimed at thwarting violence by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) concludes that those efforts fail to produce long-term reductions in violence, despite bringing about the PKK’s military defeat.

National Police Intelligence Department Superintendent Mustafa Cosar Unal completed his dissertation and received a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in December 2009. His research examined the effects of the Turkish Government’s anti-terrorism policies on reducing PKK violence from 1984-2007, the response of the PKK to those policies and the underlying causes of the violence.

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski called UNal's research “crucial to the world we live in today," during UMBC's winter commencement Dec. 22, 2009.

Based on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of Turkish government policies and the PKK’s internal dynamics and strategic decisions, Unal concluded that despite some short-term reductions in violence and the PKK’s eventual military defeat, Turkish government policies intended to eliminate PKK violence have been ineffective in the long term. He also determined that policies aimed at incapacitating PKK members resulted in increased retaliatory PKK-initiated violence for up to three months.

Unal emphasizes the role of the civilian population as key to reducing ethnic violence. He concluded the government’s failure to thwart PKK violence can be attributed largely to its reliance solely on criminological-based policies that disregard grievances buried in the social context and public sentiments that lead individuals to engage in terrorist activities. As a result, government policies are likely to be perceived as illegitimate by civilians and therefore increase anti-government hostility, Unal said.

“Regardless of whether or not government’s counterterrorism policies defeat the PKK and/or reduce the PKK violence, the PKK issue remains unresolved in Turkey and will be affected by internal and international events for some time to come,” Unal said.

Posted by kavan at January 9, 2010 8:20 PM