Author: Balaban, Gökçe Title: Tracing Turkey’s Security Discourses and Practices vis-a-vis The Kurdish Issue Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ahmet Nuri Yurdusev Department: International Relations Date: April 2016 Abstract: This study analyzes Turkish state’s security discourses and practices vis-à-vis the Kurdish issue from the perspectives of traditional and critical (emancipatory) security studies. The analysis is undertaken in two periods: the past and the present. Accordingly, the thesis argues that, in the Kurdish issue, Turkish state’s discourses and practices in the past could best be understood by traditional understanding of security. This means that, in state security discourses and practices the state was constituted as the only referent object of security and in security politics the use of force was seen as the only provider of security. However, such a restricted approach was unable to bring about security for myriad of actors, including the state itself. In the present period, on the other hand, there are signs of ruptures from this traditional conception of security towards a more emancipatory approach in the Kurdish issue. As a result, security discourses and practices better addressed insecurities of various referents. This demonstrates the potential of emancipatory approach in bringing about security in the Kurdish issue and this thesis also analyzes the role of the non-state and external agents in the present context that could transform state discourses and practices in more emancipatory ways. 3