This chapter looks into the issues surrounding the construction and complexities of victimhood in Turkey’s Kurdish conflict, by primarily focusing on Kurds who have experienced state violence. Drawing on 24 in-depth interviews with individuals, who either have a victimisation experience or worked closely with victim groups, the chapter focuses on the connotations of the term victim and analyses (1) how victims identify and make sense of their victimhood and (2) what various perceptions of victimhood the grassroots actors hold. Most of my interviews entail an understanding of victimhood that imply the vulnerabilities of victims automatically means stripping the victims from their agency. However, the dominant understanding that emphasises the empowerment and resistance of the victims, risks ignoring some essential parts of the victimisation experience. Vulnerability and agency are not mutually exclusive; and difficult emotions such as pain, mourning, anger, and despair can coexist with agency, empowerment, and resistance. Instead of thinking in binaries, I propose a more complex, and multidimensional understanding of victimhood that leaves space for vulnerabilities as much as empowerment.
|Title of host publication
| The political psychology of Kurds in Turkey
|Ercan Sen, Elif Sandal Onal, Mete Sefa Uysal, Yasemin Gulsum Acar
|Published - 29 Nov 2023
|Palgrave Studies in Political Psychology