Violent Re-entrenchments: The tensions within the Power Bloc as revealed in Imrali Minutes.

Authors: Kumru Toktamis*,
Topics: Middle East, Ethnicity and Race
Keywords: Kurds, Peace, Contentious Politics, Turkey
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Balcony N, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Peace/Resolution negotiations of 2013 and 2015 at Imrali with A Ocalan were actually a process of contentious re-entrenchment, including a severe settlement of accounts within the power bloc of the ruling party. Their tag of war which became somehow public in late 2013 and came into light during the coup attempt of July 2016, was already well known and persistently expressed by the Kurdish interlocutors throughout the negotiations because already existing violent aspects of that tension were part of the everyday life in the Kurdish town and cities. A close reading of the minutes of negotiations between 2013-2015 reveal that, in this contentious entrenchment government actors aimed disarm the rebels and at the same time engage in a face-off to eliminate one another.

Following the relational traditions of the Contentious Politics perspective, and inspired by Gramscian “war of positions,” my paper argues that the Peace/Resolution process was a dynamic and violent (re-)entrenchment. An entrenchment is interplay between seemingly fixed and steady yet fluid positions due to its transgressive nature. The Peace/Resolution process was a dynamic re-entrenchment of the state’s policy regarding the Kurdish population that shifted from a “security-coercion” paradigm to a “security-brotherhood” paradigm. Such re-entrenchment revealed the cracks within the power bloc, re-positioned power alliances within the state, and established a new policy vis-à-vis the Kurdish politics which incorporates new forms of violent repression and co-existen

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