The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Kurdish Political Parties in the 1970s

Jongerden, J.P.; Akkaya, A.H.


The Kurdistan Workers Party (Partîya Karkêren Kurdistan, PKK) was formally established on 26–27 November 1978, announcing its name and existence in July 1979 (Akkaya 2016: 220), but it has often been looked upon as a latecomer in the family tree of parties politicising the Kurdish issue that emerged in the 1970s. In fact, a process of group formation had started years before, as early as 1972–73 (Jongerden and Akkaya 2011). By the time the PKK was established as a party in 1978, it already had a committed cadre with strong convictions. The process of group formation had started in Ankara after the 1971 coup and the elimination of the cadre of the revolutionary left; its organisation was built throughout the Kurdistan region in Turkey from the end of 1975, with the 22 participants at the 1978 founding congress considered delegates, each responsible for a particular region.