Despite the significant differences between the issues under contention, the Oslo peace process between Israel and the Palestinians and the “solution process” between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were plagued by common dysfunctions that militated against their success. A comparative investigation points to several salient common denominators that rendered both peace processes susceptible to collapse, including the inadequate identification of the end goals of negotiations by the conflicting parties, mistrust and societal polarization. Over-reaching security measures enacted by the stronger side in each conflict (Israel and Turkey) that stifled freedom of expression, conflated lawful dissent with criminality, tended towards collective punishment and undermined the ability of the weaker parties to organize in the political arena and negotiate effectively also contributed to the breakdown of negotiations. Systematic analysis of these peace process pathologies will suggest critical “lessons learned” from which fellow researchers and policymakers can glean valuable insights.
Keywords: Turkey, Kurds, Israel, Palestinians, Arab-Israeli Conflict, Peace Process