Prison as Site for Political Education: Educational experiences from prison narrated by members and sympathisers of the PKK
TypeJournal article; Peer reviewed
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This article is based on a qualitative interview study among former political prisoners in Turkey sentenced to years of imprisonment due to their links to the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party). In the aftermath of the 1980 military coup in Turkey, the Turkish left was prosecuted – and nearly eradicated– by the military; accusing thousands of being sympathisers of the PKK. These detentions continued during the 1980ies and 1990ies. Since the foundation of the PKK in 1978, educational activities have constituted a major part of its political program, and PKK members were expected to educate themselves and others inside the prison walls. The four informants in this study, who were imprisoned at different stages of the struggle and served in various prisons in Turkey, narrate the impact political education has had on their personal development and life perspectives and also on the overall struggle of the movement.