The European Parliament’s 16th International Conference on “The European Union, Turkey, the Middle East and the Kurds,” to be held Feb. 5-6 in Brussels, will be hosted by the European United Left–Nordic Green Left and will focus on the migration crisis, Ankara’s military operations in northern Syria and the influence of these events on the Kurds.
The conference will be simultaneously translated into Kurdish, Turkish, French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Greek.
Patrons of the conference include South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu, linguist, philosopher and political activist Noam Chomsky, Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador Bianca Jagger, Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi and former deputy for the Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Leyla Zana.
A host of deputies from Turkey’s parliament to speak
Yıldırım Kaya, main opposition Republican People’s Party deputy, will give a talk on “The Centre of Power and The Opposition in Turkey” during the session titled “Oppression and Resistance in Turkey.”
Cihangir İslam, a deputy from the Felicity Party (SP) will give a talk on the “Opposition Between Unity and Division” in the same session.
HDP deputy Gülistan Koçyiğit will speak about the highly anticipated general elections in her talk “Turkey 2023: Dictatorship vs. Democracy.” The elections, which many speculate may be called earlier than 2023, will be the first following the defeat of the ruling Justice and Development Party in Turkey’s major cities in the local elections of 2019.
Political scientist Cengiz Aktar will moderate the panel on “The EU – Turkey Relationship: Accession Talks, Refugee Crisis and The Kurds” where one of the attorneys of Abdullah Öcalan, the founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), will give a speech.
Titled “Key Point Imrali: The Power of Freedom,” attorney Newroz Uysal’s speech will focus on the two-decade incarceration of the PKK leader as well as the intertwined Kurdish-Turkish peace process.
Other panels will discuss “The Middle East in The Context of Turkey’s Invasion of North-East Syria / Rojava,” “The Turkish Invasion of Rojava and its Impact on Women and Gender Equality,” “Europe and the Middle East: Self-Interest vs. Democracy” and the future in the last panel, “There Are Alternatives!”