The ideological reorientation and political reorganisation of the PKK has been a subject of debate. While some authors recognise that significant changes occurred within the PKK, others have dismissed the PKK’s transformation as a communication strategy and window-dressing. Based on interviews with key informants, this article reconstructs debates and developments within the party at the beginning of the 2000s. A main conclusion is that the transformation of the PKK was more than a reorientation involving organisational adjustment; it was no less than the development of a new mindset, one that involved the questioning of historically entrenched gender hierarchies anddeeply held political axioms. In the process of this major change, the PKK lost a substantial number of long-time activists and cadres. Although at times it looked as if the movement might fall apart, the result was a transformation that gave the PKK a new impetus.