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The reconstruction of the countryside in the Kurdistan region in Turkey

An Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies seminar
Date15 March 2012
Time17:15 to 18:30
PlaceHarrison Building 203

A talk by Joost Jongerden

The subject of reconstruction efforts in war-affected societies, mostly referred to as ‘post-war reconstruction’, is attracting increasing attention from the social sciences, yet few studies have taken up the issue of intimate linkages between reconstruction and the geopolitical objectives of the benefactor. This is strange, since, as Jacoby and James (2010: 534) emphasize, destruction and reconstruction can be linked to ‘grander strategies’. This lecture will discuss reconstruction in a war affected region from the perspective of protracted attempts to produce state control over a territory. The case considered here is that of the Kurdistan region in Turkey, a region heavily affected by an armed conflict between an insurgent movement called the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) with associated paramilitary and clandestine forces. The countryside in the Kurdistan region in Turkey has been affected in particular by village evacuation and destruction, implemented by the state military as part of its counter-insurgency campaign in the mid-1990s. It is argued that interventions proposed in reconstruction plans aim at the production of spaces that are legible and controllable. Differently said, space is not the scene of action, but the main object of intervention through which the production of control takes place and a central theme in this talk. 

 


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