Tailoring strategies according to ever-changing dynamics: the evolving image of the Kurdish diaspora in Germany

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Abstract

Germany might be considered as the European country that has suffered the most from the spatial diffusion of Turkey's internal conflicts. It has received the highest number of Kurdish migrants in Europe and it became the core of Kurdish mobilization in transnational space. Germany's approach to the Kurdish Question on its own soil—combined with the strategies that the Kurdish activists used—determined the scope of opportunity structures for the mobilization of the Kurdish movement. This article explains how Kurdish activism has come to be perceived in Germany, and analyzes the German political environment by focusing on the criminalization and stigmatization of the Kurdish movement, especially during the 1990s. It then describes the discursive shift and change in framing strategies that the Kurdish diaspora experienced after the capture of the the Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK) leader in 1999. Lastly, it touches upon the recent developments in the Middle East, especially in Kobane, and their impact on the image of the Kurdish movement. The article is based on extensive fieldwork in Germany and includes testimonies of Kurdish diaspora activists, with a focus on their own perceptions about their situation and how they respond to securitization policies in the host country.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-691
Number of pages18
JournalTerrorism and Political Violence
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Terrorism and Political Violence on 12 August 2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09546553.2015.1060226

Keywords

  • Germany
  • Kurdish diaspora
  • PKK
  • political violence

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