Searching for transitional justice mechanisms in the Kurdish question in Turkey: addressing violations of social, economic and cultural rights

Ardic, Zeynep (2019) Searching for transitional justice mechanisms in the Kurdish question in Turkey: addressing violations of social, economic and cultural rights. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

Transitional justice has tended to prioritise civil and political rights (CPR) violations over economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) violations and often left structural violence and root causes of violence un(der)addressed. This thesis advocates that when addressing violations of ESCR, the examination of structural violence and roots causes of violence is critical for transitional justice processes to provide a fully-fledged response to past wrongs. The Kurdish Question (rising from problems regarding the Kurdish identity and the protracted conflict between the Turkish state and a Kurdish separatist organisation) has long troubled Turkey. Although the Kurdish Question is mainly rooted in political and identity-based problems, the Turkish state discourse has framed it as a socioeconomic and terrorism problem. This makes the conflict and solution complex since even if the conflict is based on political problems, there remains a pressing need to deal with socioeconomic issues. Considering that transitional justice contexts are often complex (and they require complex solutions), this thesis advocates an approach to transitional justice which goes beyond pure legalism.
This study examines transitional justice processes of East Timor and Peru to draw lessons from their experiences. East Timor and Peru provide important insights for Turkey as they also faced serious socioeconomic problems (violations of ESCR, and in particular forced displacement) during their transitional processes. This thesis argues that ESCR violations (especially forced displacement) and socioeconomic inequalities need to be addressed through a set of mechanisms which must be designed and implemented through a participatory, holistic, and grassroots approach. The local actors including victims and survivors must have a role in decision-making, design, management and implementation processes of transitional justice mechanisms to ensure that the response to past wrongs really answers the needs and demands of the affected people and communities. It must be noted that this thesis does not draw a roadmap for a future transitional justice process in Turkey as that needs to be done through a thorough consultation process with relevant actors. Given that the conflict is ongoing in Turkey and the country (unlike many transitional countries) has substantial resources (financial and institutional) to allocate to transitional justice efforts, Turkey is a significant case study for the field. The original contribution of this thesis to knowledge is addressing the Kurdish Question from a transitional justice point of view incorporating ESCR.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law in General. Comparative and uniform Law. Jurisprudence > K0520 Comparative law. International uniform law > K3154 Constitutional law > K3224 Individual and state > K3240 Human rights. Civil and political rights
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2019 14:34
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2019 14:34
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/82255

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