The A.K. Party and the Kurds since 2014: a discourse of terror

Martin, N. ORCID: 0000-0002-1036-5463, 2018. The A.K. Party and the Kurds since 2014: a discourse of terror. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. ISSN 1353-0194

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The Adelet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP) government in Turkey has made full use of terrorism legislation. Since 2007, it has been used to prosecute and imprison journalists, academics, military officers, the police, judiciary and political opponents. In short, terrorism legislation has closed off opposition voices within the Turkish political scene. It has also been used to justify the bombardment of civilians in the Kurdish east of the country but not used, to the same degree, against followers of the Islamic State. This paper uses Critical Terrorism Theory to examine the underlying power structures at play within this scenario. It takes a Critical Discourse Analysis methodology on public statements by senior government figures, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to argue that the Turkish government has redefined terrorist to mean "opponent" and thereby utilized it instrumentally to consolidate its political power. Furthermore, the AKP has used the legislation selectively in favour of those adhering to its religious identity. This inconsistent application of terrorism legislation exposes the varying allegiances in Turkish politics and can explain the current illiberal trend and volatility.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Creators: Martin, N.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 31 January 2018
ISSN: 1353-0194
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 02 Feb 2018 13:55
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2019 03:00

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