The Turkish conflict between the state and the minority Kurds is often referred to in ethnic terms, but it’s an error to frame the two groups in such a dichotomous way.
To add to the complexity are interwoven elements of nationalism, political ideologies, cultural heritage and socio-economics. But it’s crucial first to explain the nature and difficulty of the struggle that began, essentially, with the founding of the Turkish republic and continues today, though the conditions and protagonists have changed.
The Kurdish-majority southeast of Turkey is an area roughly equivalent to 16 percent of the entire national territory and has a population of around 13 million. These two numbers are only quantitatively indicative of the importance of the region for the country. Although more economically depressed than other regions, it’s home to important resources and has a strategic position that Turkey and its allies do not intend to let go.
Turkey can be considered a fairly rich country in terms of water resources thanks to the Tigris and Euphrates river basin, which by itself represents about a third of the entire country’s water potential.