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Understanding the Kurdish conflict through the eyes of Kurds and Turks: New conflict reflections from lay people in Turkey

Özden Melis Uluğ (Department of Psychology and Methods, Jacobs University Bremen, Bremen, Germany)
Özen Odağ (Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, Bremen, Germany)
J. Christopher Cohrs (Department of Psychology and Methods, Jacobs University Bremen, Bremen, Germany)
Peter Holtz (Leibniz-Institut fur Wissensmedien/Knowledge Media Research Center, Tubingen, Germany)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Article publication date: 14 August 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

Conflict understandings of lay people mirror society in miniature. Although lay people and their conflict understandings in society may shape the course of an ongoing conflict, little scholarly attention is so far given to the understandings of everyday discourse in Turkey’s ongoing Kurdish conflict. The present research aims to examine the views of lay Kurds and Turks in two politically polarized cities in Turkey, Mersin and Diyarbakır.

Design/methodology/approach

To examine these views, the authors used focus group discussions and open-ended questionnaires with a total of 64 lay people from Mersin and Diyarbakır.

Findings

Qualitative content analysis revealed more conflict understandings than presented in the existing academic literature. Furthermore, multiple correspondence analysis suggested that both ethnic identity and the city in which people live are important factors influencing how people perceive the conflict.

Originality/value

The meaning of novel themes, differences and similarities within and between ethnic groups and two cities, and the usefulness of qualitative methods to examine lay people’s viewpoints are discussed.

Keywords

Citation

Uluğ, Ö.M., Odağ, Ö., Cohrs, J.C. and Holtz, P. (2017), "Understanding the Kurdish conflict through the eyes of Kurds and Turks: New conflict reflections from lay people in Turkey", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 483-508. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCMA-05-2016-0035

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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