Introduction This chapter aims to study repertoires of political violence in the Kurdish movement. There are several repertoires of violence and collective actions in the Kurdish conflict which include not only armed struggle, political murders, bomb attacks, but also civilian disobedience, demonstrations, strikes, sit-ins, legal assemblies and the like. Although each of them is worthy of serious attention, I will focus mainly on two repertoires: those of Kurdish insurgencies and selfsacrificial violence. I will beforehand explain the reasons why I privilege these two repertoires above others. The choice results from a constraint. Given that any research is a limited study in time and topic, it would be difficult to study the whole of repertoires. I preferred to study insurgencies and self-sacrificial violence which constitute two distinct forms of political violence. Kurdish insurgencies are a type of collective violence, whereas self-sacrificial violence is a form of individualized violence, knowing that at the same time it can occur collectively. Without an exhaustive study of repertoires of violence, studying two clearly different repertoires can help highlight the research topic from a perspective of two sides. In this respect, I will first explore insurgencies called “serhildan”1 by Kurdish participants, which entered in the repertoire of violence in the 1990s. Serhildan signifies troubles, popular assemblies including a multiplicity of violent actions – their possible outcomes are death, injury and physical damage – and can be defined as popular and local movements which precede or succeed armed struggle. I will return to this definition or hypothesis in the analysis about insurgencies. The study regarding serhildan consists of three parts. First, I will define what a Kurdish riot means. The second part is to study the institutionalization of the insurgencies in the Kurdish space through three mechanisms (1) diversion of rituals and traditional practices, (2) proximity and armed conflicts, and (3) scale change. I shall finally be interested in a specific characteristic of insurgencies, namely fluidity. In a second phase, I shall analyze the repertoire of self-sacrificial violence. I will proceed to define three ideal types of self-sacrificial action,which are fasting to death,2 self-immolation and suicide attack. The goal is to draw common points

and differences which have been rarely taken into account in the study of selfsacrificial violence. I will provide afterwards some hypotheses to explain the emergence of self-sacrificial violence, namely, mortification of the self, charisma of the leader of the PKK, militant habitus and politics of violence. Mortification of the self seems to impact suicide action, especially in prison. Furthermore, the charisma of the PKK leader appears to have played a role on self-sacrificial violence during some periods. There is also a linkage between militant habitus and self-sacrifice within the PKK. Finally, I will attempt to show why the politics of the PKK seems to be crucial in the organization of suicide actions.