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Dreams and reality: the Kurdish issue

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  1. The complexity of the issue implies to study its origin and the roots of the conflicting relations between Turks and Kurds in the one hand, and between Iraqi Kurds and Turkish Kurds on the other hand
  2. The nineties represent a turning point: since the first Gulf War in 1991, new stakes have emerged, making even more complex the resolution of the conflict

The current Turkish incursion into Northern Iraq, within the framework of the struggle against the Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK and its activities, is reflective of the strength of the tensions at the border between Iraq and Turkey, as well as the stakes underlying the Kurdish issue. The Kurds are a people without a state of their own: they are mostly divided between Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey where half of them live, especially in the South, next to the Iraqi border. The Kurds have always been claiming the recognition of their cultural specificities and a status of autonomy, to underscore the difference with the people of the countries they live in. The Kurdish issue is controversial, especially in Turkey: the PKK, the Kurdish party, as well as its activities, is considered illegal by Turkish authorities, and its leaders like PKK were imprisoned. The PKK members are actually viewed as terrorists by the international community, and there is a consensus over the qualification of this party.

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