Understanding PKK, Kurdish Hezbollah and ISIS recruitment in Southeastern Turkey

Kerem Övet, James Hewitt, Tahir Abbas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper provides an explanation for how the PKK, Kurdish Hezbollah, and ISIS, representing distinct ethno-nationalist, Islamist and ideologically motivated political movements, radicalize and recruit supporters in the regions of Eastern and Southeastern Turkey. In doing so, this paper contributes to ongoing theoretical debates about radicalization and recruitment. This study reveals how various regionally specific structural factors encourage radicalization and recruitment into violent politico-ideological movements. In particular, state oppression of ethnic minorities, economic inequalities, geography, and local demographics. While existing literature on radicalization focuses on push factors (structural) combined with pull factors (ideology), this research demonstrates that structural factors in Eastern and Southeastern Turkey are both push and pull factors in processes of radicalization.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalStudies in Conflict and Terrorism
VolumeLatest articles
Early online date23 Feb 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Feb 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding PKK, Kurdish Hezbollah and ISIS recruitment in Southeastern Turkey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this