Looking beyond the state: transitional justice and the Kurdish issue in Turkey

J.P. Jongerden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Transitional justice has been promoted as an approach to peace through a strengthening of the democratic rule of law, including a recognition of the rights of victims and the promotion of trust in legal mechanisms, to deal with legacies of violence and repression. A main critique of the transitional justice approach is that it leaves untouched the injustices underlying conflict and the structural causes of abuse. This article looks at ways in which the state in Turkey applied a transitional justice approach to the Kurdish issue, focusing on how it handled the legacy of forced migration and village evacuations from the 1990s. These state remedies to deal with forced migration ignored political dimensions and continued injustices. Against this context, it is argued that the concept of self-administration as it emerged in the course of the struggle of the Kurdish movement may be considered as a form of “do-it-yourself” transitional justice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-738
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number4
Early online date2 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

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