Understanding the Kurdish conflict through the perspectives of the Kurdish-Turkish diaspora in Germany

Helin Unal, Danielle Blaylock, Özden Melis Uluğ

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Abstract

The perspectives of lay people within conflict settings are important because the ways in which they perceive and understand ongoing conflict can shape its course. While limited, existing research suggests that diaspora communities can also play a pivotal role in influencing conflict from outside their homeland; however, systematic examination of the different ways that members of diaspora communities frame conflict occurring within their homelands has not received attention. Using Entman’s (1993) systematic frames analysis, research by Uluğ and Cohrs’s (2016) examined conflict frames used by lay people from different ethnic groups in Turkey. The current research replicates and extends this work by examining conflict frames used by members of the Kurdish-Turkish diaspora in Germany following the same frame analysis: a) problem definitions, b) sources of the problem, c) moral evaluations, d) solutions to the problem, and e) barriers to the solution of the problem. Q methodology, a mixed-methods approach, was used to discover socially shared viewpoints regarding the Kurdish conflict with 43 people from the Kurdish and Turkish diaspora in Germany. Results highlighted four different conflict frames, labeled as a) a freedom for Öcalan frame; b) a
nation-state ideology and democracy frame; c) an independence and identity for Kurds frame; and d) a terrorism, economy, and foreign power frame. These diverse viewpoints are evidence of the importance of emphasizing the role of diaspora groups’ perspectives in conflict resolution and peace process. The article concludes with a discussion of similarities and differences across lay people in Turkey and diasporic communities in Germany.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPeace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted - 24 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • diaspora; Germany; Kurdish conflict; frame analysis; Q methodology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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