Whom Do They Recruit?: Profiling and Recruitment in the PKK/KCK

Ozeren S., Sever M., Yilmaz K., Sozer A.

STUDIES IN CONFLICT & TERRORISM, vol.37, no.4, pp.322-347, 2014 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/1057610x.2014.879381
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.322-347
  • Police Academy Affiliated: No


Terrorist organizations use a proactive strategy in identifying potential candidates for recruitment. In such a strategy, miscellaneous vulnerabilities, grievances, and feeling destitute, inter alia, render certain individuals perfect candidates for terrorist organizations. It is therefore crucial to have an integrative approach to understand the interplay between the profiles of terrorists and their reasons to join terrorist groups on the one hand and processes of recruitment on the other. Proceeding from such a fulcrum, this article provides a general profile of the Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK]/Kurdistan Communities Union [KCK] members and various recruitment techniques used by this group. To this end, records of 2,270 group members were content analyzed, in addition to face-to-face interviews with 42 group members and a range of individuals from public and private institutions. Our findings suggest that a variety of individual and organizational factors influence individual paths toward terrorism.