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Just sharing – Opening a Door for Return to Home: Impact and Effectiveness of Turkish Repentance Laws

conflict n terrorism journalTo cite this article: Mustafa Cosar Unal (2015): Opening a Door for Return to Home: Impact and Effectiveness of Turkish Repentance Laws, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, DOI: 10.1080/1057610X.2015.1093889

To link to this article:


This study analyzes the impact of the Turkish Repentance Laws in undermining the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Did the repentance laws increase the PKK surrender, thereby decreasing the PKK violence? Vector Auto-Regression analysis indicates that enactment of repentance laws did not have any significant impact on PKK surrenders, failing to significantly decrease PKK violence. Yet it does not establish any meaningful relationship between the use of force and PKK surrenders. Descriptive analyses show the significant number of surrenders took place in 199394, 2001, and 2003, while the highest number of penitents submitted to the “Return to Home Law” in 2003. These values relate to a specific context. This study, however, asserts that surrendered and applicant PKK members were too few to influence the overall conflict, concluding that, in addition to what these laws mean to the penitents, the success/failure of repentance policies are related to the nature of Turkey’s counterinsurgency and their respective context.


About Muhammad Haniff Hassan

Muhammad Haniff Bin Hassan is a Fellow. He holds a PhD and M.Sc. in Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (previously known as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies), Nanyang Technological University. He received his early education in Aljunied Islamic School. He then continued his tertiary education at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, with honours in Syar`iah and Civil law. Mr. Haniff is also active in social activities as a member of the Islamic Religious Council Appeal Board, HSBC Insurance Islamic Advisory Board from 2000 to 2014, Association of Islamic Religious Teachers and Scholars of Singapore (PERGAS) and Management Committee of Al-Irsyad Islamic School. He writes extensively in Berita Harian (a local Malay newspaper) and has also published articles in The Straits Times. He has published six books in his name, co-authored a monograph and helped publish two books for PERGAS and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. His personal website in Malay is at


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