chapter  5
10 Pages

Incapacitating PKK members

Incapacitation (a.k.a. decapitation in certain studies) is a policy that many states

confronting terrorism (or other types of political violence) consider in their coun-

terterrorism strategy. Incapacitation constitutes a major part of the strategy of the

Turkish state in its struggle against the PKK. In this regard, a specific analysis is

conducted of the incapacitation of PKK members and its impact on PKK violence.

A VAR concept is created to analyze the interrelated dynamics between two endo-

genous variables, the PKK-initiated violence and incapacitation of PKK members

(the endogeneity between these two variables is analyzed and verified through the

related statistical test in Appendix C). This chapter also includes the foundational

information (i.e., aim, scope, implementation, targeted population, and principal

category) of the incapacitating effort as a policy. It specifically analyzes the over-

all impact of incapacitating terrorists – as a result of deterrence-based policies –

on the violence induced by the terrorist group. It also draws conclusions on inca-

pacitation efforts in an ethnicity-based terrorism case (the PKK conflict) within

which there exists a strong psychological and physical bond between the core ter-

rorist group and sympathizing population in the context of an ethnic cause.