were security personnel. In the meantime, about 25,000 terrorists were killed,another 1000 were injured, and about 6000 were captured and imprisoned.
In order to thwart the PKK-initiated violence, Turkish authorities haveimplemented many different countermeasures, ranging from repressive toaccommodative policies. Within the context of ethnicity-based political violence,suchpolicieshaveimpactsinthreemainareas:thelevelofviolence,publicopinion,and ethnic awareness. Analysis of the violence level identiﬁes the response of themovement behind the uprising (in this case, the PKK), while analyses of popularsupport and ethnic awareness reﬂect the perception and response of the relatedpublic (mainly the Kurdish people).In this article, the impact of macro-level government policies on popularsupport for the pro-PKK political parties between 1990 and 2010 is analyzed. Thecommon theme of the selected policies is that they are wide in their application tothwart terrorism in Turkey. While some of these policies are implementedparticularlyagainstPKKterrorism,othersarebroadpoliciesadoptedintheprocessofdemocratizationandfullmembershipofTurkey intotheEuropeanUnion(EU).However, all of the selected policies, by the concept and scope, have had greateffect on PKK violence in Turkey.This article attempts to identify the nature of Turkish policies and theirimpacts on public opinion/popular support for the PKK. It also provides a brief look at the relationship between PKK-initiated violence and elections. To thisend, ﬁrst, the characteristics of the PKK and Turkey’s conception of the PKK areanalyzed. Second, the theoretical framework for government policies and popularsupport in the context of terrorism is brieﬂy discussed. Third, the macro-levelstate policies that had potential impact on the PKK issue are examined. Fourth,elections and the pro-PKK political parties are reviewed beginning from the1990s followed by a brief discussion on the complexity of election results inTurkey. Next, using data from the Turkey’s High Election Board (YSK), theofﬁcial database of the Turkish National Police, and a composite dataset from theInstituteofStudiesforViolentGroups(ISVG)andtheGlobalTerrorismDatabase(GTD), the level of electoral support derived by the pro-PKK political partiesagainst the Turkish policies and the employed level of violence are analyzed.
The characteristics of the PKK
There exists heterogeneity in the conceptualization of the PKK, whether it is aterrorist organization,
an insurgent movement, and/or Kurdish guerrillas.
In thisregard, the PKK’s characteristicsare tobeexaminedtoanalyze andconceptualizethe problem in the right context. The examination of its characteristics indicatesthat the PKK can be considered a guerrilla insurgency using terror and guerrillatactics as brieﬂy discussed in the following paragraphs.As commonly known, an insurgency must have certain essential componentssome of which are (1) pursuit of a speciﬁc political goal (mostly territorialseparation or a revolutionary change in the regime); (2) a declared cause against
Small Wars & Insurgencies
D o w n l o a d e d b y [ M c G i l l U n i v e r s i t y L i b r a r y ] a t 1 3 : 0 9 0 1 A u g u s t 2 0 1 2