chapter  7
12 Pages

The PKK’s ability to initiate violent incidents

This chapter analyzes the PKK’s ability (as an ethnic insurgency group) to initiate

violent incidents and/or to increase or decrease the level of violence after years of

intense military counterinsurgency operations that resulted in its military defeat.

As mentioned in the previous chapters, Turkey’s counterterrorism efforts have

revolved around deterrence, and the main responsibility in the struggle against the

Kurdish issue was granted to the Turkish Army. The army’s domination of the

counterterrorism efforts led to the incapacitation of around 25,000 PKK militants

through large-scale counterinsurgency operations. Many other militants were incar-

cerated through special courts and counterterrorism legislation (e.g., state security

courts). In this context, it is crucial to identify whether defeating the PKK through

the use of intense military action helped mitigate the PKK’s ability to initiate vio-

lent attacks against state troops in the context of the PKK as a guerilla insurgency

group fighting against a regular state army. To this end, the ceasefire periods are

examined in their effect on the overall violence trend. Particularly because the

Turkish Government did not respond to the PKK’s ceasefires, by using aggregate-

level data (both PKK initiated and as a result of military operations) the ceasefire

periods are analyzed to identify whether the PKK ceasefire declaration (by also

checking if the PKK stopped attacking in actuality) had an impact (decrease when

declare ceasefire, increase when the ceasefire ends) upon the overall violence.