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The Syrian conflict: A disruptive element in the Kurdish movement in Turkey

The Syrian conflict: A disruptive element in the Kurdish movement in Turkey

Date(s) - 11/11/2021
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

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by Institute of Middle Eastern Studies, School of Politics & Economics

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This talk will focus on the recent evolution of the Kurdish movements in Turkey and Syria, while exploring, for the first time, the negative impact of the Syrian Kurdish struggle on the Kurdish movement in Turkey.

From 2000 onwards, the Kurdish movement in Turkey has shifted its objective from creating an independent state to a willingness to work within the existing political system. This provided incentives to Kurdish activists to militate for constitutional recognition within the framework of a social movement.

Following the 2011 Syrian uprisings, the Kurdish movement in Syria has prioritised autonomy for the Kurds within a united Syria. Besides, the Kurdish fight against the Islamic state (Daesh) provided the Syrian Kurds with international assistance and legitimacy.

By suggesting a discussion on these themes, Dr Elsa Sen will argue that the Syrian Kurdish struggle has eclipsed the social aspects of the Kurdish movement in Turkey since 2015.



Dr Elsa Tulin Sen is a teaching fellow in geopolitics at the Ecole Polytechnique of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris and a visiting research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Divided Societies within the Department of War Studies at King’s College London.

Elsa holds a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies from King’s College London, an MA in Sociology and a BA in Philosophy from Sorbonne University.

Elsa’s research is at the crossroads of history, sociology and political science with a regional focus on the Middle East. It interrogates the relationship between nationalism and social movements, ethnicity and identity politics, conflict resolution and peace processes.

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