The role of conflict has been integral to the state and nation formation in Turkey since the inception of the Republic in 1923. Faced with the twin tasks of democratic legitimacy and maintaining control, or security and civil-centered politics, the state has historically opted for authority and control. Ironically enough, while Republican politics has emphasized unity and uniformity to limit diversity and conflict caused by class, ethnicity and Islam, the result has been the opposite. So much so that the present conflict between the state and the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), which has cost nearly fourteen thousand lives since 1984, has reached an abysmal point: “in the end Turkey's victory may be a Pyrrhic one. If the conflict continues without exploration of other avenues, it will most likely jeopardize Turkey's relations with Europe and the United States” (Brown 1995, p. 128). Moreover, it has become increasingly clear that Kurdish nationalism is not just a simple expression of discontent and opposition but also a challenge to the very premises on which the Turkish nation-state has been built. In that sense, the resolution of the Kurdish “problem” is of concern not only to the Kurdish population of the Republic, but involves the future shape and substance of the Turkish state and society in their entirety as well.