In This Review

Turkey's Kurdish Question
Turkey's Kurdish Question
By Henri J. Barkey and Graham E. Fuller
Rowman and Littlefield, 1998, 239 pp

Barkey and Fuller suggest a solution to the wrenching question of Turkey's Kurds, who now constitute an estimated 20 percent of the population. Since 1984, the leftist Kurdish Workers Party (pkk) has resisted Turkish rule in the underdeveloped southeast, the traditional heartland of Turkey's Kurds -- even though the majority of them now lives in other parts of the country. Military efforts to quell the insurrection continue to drain the economy and budget, while allegations of human rights abuses aggravate Turkey's diplomatic relations, especially with Europe. After giving succinct accounts of the history and the current situation, the authors reject the extreme options of enforced assimilation on the one hand and Kurdish independence on the other. Instead, they argue that the Turkish state and society are mature enough to move toward considerable Kurdish autonomy within a decentralized state.