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PODCAST | Why Erdogan Removes and Replaces Kurdish Mayors

When we talk about the ‘Kurdish question’ in Turkey, two of the major problems being discussed are authoritarianism and anti-Kurdish racism. Kurdish people face state-sponsored discrimination and violence on the basis of their ethnic identity. They also lack access to meaningful democratic avenues by which to effect political change.

A timely new paper by Dr. Lisel Hintz and Harun Ercan, “Permissive prejudice in localized authoritarian consolidation: evidence from Turkey’s municipalities,” looks at how these two dynamics interact, with broader lessons for the struggle for democracy and equality in Turkey and worldwide. The paper is focused on the tactics that the Turkish state uses to crack down on political opposition at the municipal level, looking at the similarities and differences in tactics used against pro-Kurdish mayors and mainstream Turkish opposition mayors.

On this episode of the Kurdish Peace Podcast, KPI Director of Research Meghan Bodette speaks with Dr. Hintz about the findings of the paper, how these findings explain current developments in Turkish politics, and what lessons they provide for those seeking to promote peaceful, pluralist democracy in Turkey and other autocratic contexts.

About the Authors

Lisel Hintz


Dr. Lisel Hintz is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. After receiving her Ph.D. in Political Science from George Washington University she was a postdoctoral …

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Meghan Bodette - KPI Research Associate

Meghan Bodette

Director of Research

Meghan Bodette is the Director of Research at the Kurdish Peace Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, where she concentrated in international law, institutions, and ethics. Her research focu…

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