Understanding PKK, Kurdish Hezbollah and ISIS Recruitment in Southeastern Turkey
This study delivers a comprehensive picture of the causes of radicalization in the Eastern and Southeastern regions of Turkey. It demonstrates how regionally specific factors enable ideologically disparate terrorist groups to recruit and radicalize from the same population.
- Kerem Övet, James Hewitt & Tahir Abbas
- 23 February 2022
- Understanding PKK, Kurdish Hezbollah and ISIS Recruitment in Southeastern Turkey
This paper provides an explanation for how the PKK, Kurdish Hezbollah, and ISIS, representing distinct ethno-nationalist, Islamist and ideologically motivated political movements, radicalize and recruit supporters in the regions of Eastern and Southeastern Turkey. In doing so, this paper contributes to ongoing theoretical debates about radicalization and recruitment. This study reveals how various regionally specific structural factors encourage radicalization and recruitment into violent politico-ideological movements. In particular, state oppression of ethnic minorities, economic inequalities, geography, and local demographics. While existing literature on radicalization focuses on push factors (structural) combined with pull factors (ideology), this research demonstrates that structural factors in Eastern and Southeastern Turkey are both push and pull factors in processes of radicalization.