When Strategy Collapses: The Pkk’s Urban Terrorist Campaign

Ön Kapak
SET Vakfı İktisadi İşletmesi

This book is the result of a research project organized by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (Siyaset, Ekonomi ve Toplum Araştırmaları Vakfı, SETA) born out of the need to understand the context-specific dynamics of the violent radicalization of the PKK and its urban strategy between 2015 and 2016. The aim is to explore the causes, new dynamics, and effects of PKK terrorism, and to explain the failure of its urban warfare tactics in Turkey.
Such an exploration is timely in two significant ways. First, the Middle East is witnessing an appreciable rise in terms of the violent rhetoric and terrorist actions of certain violent terrorist organizations. While the unfamiliar dynamics of this new radical extremist trend may differ from country to country, and from region to region, the PKK case is a textbook example regarding the question of how a terrorist group devastates the daily life of ordinary people, and destabilizes the nature of the regional order. Secondly, understanding and addressing the PKK’s violent tactics require comprehending how the newly emerging regional geopolitical antagonism and disorder transform the strategy of a terrorist organization, and affect the nature of the conflict, especially in the post-Arab Spring period in the Middle East.



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Yazar hakkında

Murat Yeşiltaş completed his BA and MA at the Department of International Relations of Sakarya University, in 2003 and 2009, respectively. He earned his PhD at the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Marmara University in 2012. Yeşiltaş was a visiting researcher at the Department of European Studies and International Politics of Lancaster University between 2008 and 2009, and at Virginia Tech’s Institute of Government and International Affairs between 2010 and 2011. He served as an academic advisor for the Center for Strategic Studies (SAM) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey between 2012 and 2014. Currently, Yeşiltaş is an associate professor in the Middle East Institute at Sakarya University. He also holds the position of director of security studies at SETA Foundation, Ankara, Turkey. Yeşiltaş’s current research is on critical geopolitics, ethnic/religious radicalization, geopolitics of non-state conflicts, terrorism, and Kurdish affairs. He is currently working on a research project on Kurdish geopolitical space and on the New Regional Security Project (NRSP). His most recent books are Non-state Military Actors in the Middle East: Ideology, Strategy and Geopolitics (Palgrave McMillan, 2017); Türkiye Dünyanın Neresinde? Hayali Coğrafyalar Çarpışan Anlatılar (Where is Turkey Located? Imagined Geographies, Competing Narratives) (Koc University Press, 2015); and Geopolitical Mentality and the Military in Turkey (Kadim, 2016).

Necdet Özçelik has completed his MA at Atılım University and he is currently a PhD candidate at Middle East Studies at Ankara Social Science University. He retired from the Turkish Armed Forces in 2014 after serving 21 years. Özçelik completed numerous tours of duty in domestic and foreign operations in Turkey, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan during his service in Turkish Special Forces. He also served at Turkish Armed Forces Attaché Office at Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC, USA. In addition to national military trainings, he also trained at U.S. Army Special Forces at JFK Special Warfare Center and School in USA and NATO International Special Training Center in Germany. He has expertise in irregular warfare and his area of studies covers terrorism, C/T, insurgency, COIN, violent non-state actors and the nature of low intensity conflicts. Özçelik is a research fellow at the SETA Foundation in Ankara and he studies the PKK and other regional terrorist organizations. Özçelik is also the originator of Terrorism Analysis Platform (TAP) program which was developed by SETA and STM.

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