The Kurdish “Phoenix” (2004–2012)
This chapter argues that two critical developments in 2003 can explain the rise of the PKK from its own ashes like a phoenix in 2004: the Iraq War and the AKP Phenomenon in Turkey. However, the new wave of violence differed critically from the vicious war in the 1990s. The chapter argues that both parties were pre-occupied with the consolidation of their influence inside the country vis-à-vis other contenders (the Kemalists for the AKP/the Hizmet and AKP for the PKK) and, therefore, a limited war unfolded which was repeatedly interrupted by ceasefires and (open and covert) peace talks. In 2012, the Syrian Civil War acted as a catalyst and the low-intensity conflict escalated into an all-out one.