The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Kurdish Political Parties in the 1970s

Authored by: Joost Jongerden , Ahmet Hamdi Akkaya

Routledge Handbook on the Kurds

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138646643
eBook ISBN: 9781315627427
Adobe ISBN:


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The Kurdistan Workers Party (Partîya Karkêren Kurdistan, PKK) was formally established on 26–27 November 1978, announcing its name and existence in July 1979 (Akkaya 2016: 220), 1 but it has often been looked upon as a latecomer in the family tree of parties politicising the Kurdish issue that emerged in the 1970s. In fact, a process of group formation had started years before, as early as 1972–73 (Jongerden and Akkaya 2011). By the time the PKK was established as a party in 1978, it already had a committed cadre with strong convictions. The process of group formation had started in Ankara after the 1971 coup and the elimination of the cadre of the revolutionary left 2 ; its organisation was built throughout the Kurdistan region in Turkey from the end of 1975, with the 22 participants at the 1978 founding congress considered delegates, each responsible for a particular region. 3

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