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Syria's Impact on the Kurdish Peace Process in Turkey


Between the summer of 2015 and 2016 Turkey experienced the most violent year of the Kurdish conflict since 1999. The outbreak of the Syrian war, together with domestic Turkish politics, have had a crucial impact on the reconciliation process between the Turkish government and the Kurdish minority in Turkey. With a special focus on the battle of Kobane and the related increase in power of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), this paper examines how events tied to the Syrian civil war modified the cost-benefit calculus of both Turkey and the PKK, leading to a collapse of peace talks and a renewed outbreak of the conflict.