Briefing on the evolving nature of Turkey’s conflict with the PKK

30 November 2017

The conflict between the PKK and the Turkish state has shifted rapidly in recent years, but developments in Syria may see it take another violent turn

  • The beginning of 2016 saw unprecedented levels of violence in several predominantly Kurdish cities
  • The conflict has since shifted back to its traditional countryside setting, where the PKK is increasingly relying on IEDs and Turkey is turning to new drone technology
  • The potential for the PKK to access the heavy weaponry provided to Kurdish militants in Syria may transform the conflict again, posing an unparalleled threat to the Turkish military

Nearly 3,300 people are believed to have been killed in the two and a half years since the collapse of the ceasefire between the Turkish state and the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) amid an overspill of violence from the Syrian Civil War. The return to fighting has seen several shifts in the conflict, with an unprecedented period of urban warfare, giving way to new patterns of rural insurgency.

In previous phases of the conflict…

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Photo credit: Reuters