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When Conflict Traumas Fragment: Investigating the Sociopsychological Roots of Turkey’s Intractable Conflict

Adisonmez, Umut Can (2019) When Conflict Traumas Fragment: Investigating the Sociopsychological Roots of Turkey’s Intractable Conflict. Political Psychology, 40 (6). pp. 1373-1390. ISSN 0162-895X. (doi:10.1111/pops.12631) (KAR id:79396)

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This article investigates the historical processes contributing towards the specific development of Turkey after the 1920s that in turn established the main contours of Turkey’s conflict with the Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê (PKK). It first argues that the traumatic conflict memories of the Turkish leadership (1918–35) influenced its individual-level patterns of actions. These memories were used by the leadership to consolidate its imagined national agency in Turkey. The leadership perceived the traditional-conservative groups as ontological insecurity sources, jeopardizing this agency. It second claims that Turkey’s military apparatus is designed to silence these ontological insecurity sources. Finally, it claims these developments informed the ways in which the PKK’s narratives of rebellion were constructed. Empirically, it problematizes the impact of the Ottoman Empire’s collapse on the Turkish elites. Then, through a discourse analysis of elites’ speeches and legal documents, it traces their anxieties to the Ottoman Empire’s traumatic end. This article contributes to the trauma literature on ontological security and the emotions literature in International Relations in two ways. It first explores the particular national context in which traumatic memories are shaped and in turn articulated through emotional performances. Secondly, it shows the interplay between sociopsychological processes of security and agency making.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/pops.12631
Uncontrolled keywords: traumatic memories, emotional performances, narrative, ontological security, imagined national agency, Turkish-Kurdish conflict, International relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Umut Can Adisonmez
Date Deposited: 30 Dec 2019 10:07 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 13:16 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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