Time for justice and a roadmap towards reconciliation


20 February 2013, The Law Society, London


In the early 1990’s the Turkish authorities were responsible for the wholesale destruction of over 3,000 villages in South
East Turkey, together with many other human rights violations against a Kurdish minority of some 20 million people.
Nearly 20 years later, and despite numerous judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), very few of the
perpetrators have been brought to justice. Much international criticism is also still focused on Turkey’s failure to address
the need to respect the cultural and language rights of the Kurdish people, and the “Kurdish Problem” remains one of the
greatest challenges faced by Turkey in its efforts to become an effective modern democracy with appropriate respect for
human rights, due process, and the rule of law. Continue reading “Time for justice and a roadmap towards reconciliation”

Papers from the 9th International EUTCC Conference

Several conference papers from last week’s EUTCC Conference, entitled The Kurdish Question in Turkey: Time to Renew the Dialogue and Resume Direct Negotiations, have been made available in English. The final resolution of the conference is also available, and you can download the opening speech by Kurdish MP Leyla Zana(pdf) and Dutch academic Joost Jongeden’s paper, Rethinking Politics and Democracy in the Middle East(pdf).

Dr Sabine Freizer, Europe Program Director for the International Crisis Group

“Negotiating peace: Requirements for a political resolution and the Road Maps to Peace in Turkey”


Thank you very much chair for inviting me to speak to you today and to present the recommendations that the International Crisis Group has developed to alleviate the Kurdish problem and help the Kurdish movement and the Turkish government reach a political settlement.

Just a few words on Crisis Group. We were created in 1995 during the wars in the Western Balkans when several international policy makers felt that an organization that could give practical recommendations, based on field research, to alleviate and solve deadly conflict was needed. The head of our organization is Justice Louise Arbour, former UN High Commission on HR and Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. We work in about 65 conflicts around the work with some 150 staff. Our main advantage over other organizations is our field presence with about 30 offices around the world. Personally I cover the Europe program (the Balkans, Turkey and the Caucasus, North and South) and am based out of Istanbul, where I work with two other colleagues, Hugh Pope and Didem Akyel. Our only product is our reports – we don’t do any of our own activities, like organizing conferences or providing aid.

Continue reading “Papers from the 9th International EUTCC Conference”

Seminar on Turkey, the Kurdish Struggle and the New Middle East

The significance of the continuing Kurdish struggle for the future of Turkey and the Middle East as well as its implications for politics in Britain were issues on the agenda at the Marxism 2012 conference and festival which took place in central London on 5-9 July.

A seminar, organised by the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign as part of the Marxism 2012 programme on 7th July, brought into focus the plight of Kurdish activists within Turkey and drew attention to the key democratic demands of the Kurdish movement.

Turkey, recognised as a key ally of the West in the reshaping of the Middle East in the aftermath of the “Arab Spring”, was currently stepping up its repression of Kurdish organisations; arrests of political and civil society activists were increasing and draconian legal manoeuvres were being taken against the main pro-Kurdish political party, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in an orchestrated attempt to render it incapable of operating effectively. The resilience of the Kurdish people in the face of decades of savage repression was widely seen as inspirational by participants in the seminar. Continue reading “Seminar on Turkey, the Kurdish Struggle and the New Middle East”

PUBLIC EVENT: Turkey, the Kurdish Struggle and the New Middle East


Turkey, the Kurdish Struggle and the New Middle East

Saturday, 7 July, 5.15-6.45pm
Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre
University College London, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT* How to find us.

Speakers: Akif Wan, Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) UK
Dr Felix Padel
,  Social Anthropologist, Author and Political Activist

Chaired by: David Morgan, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

Discussion organised by Peace in Kurdistan: campaign for a political solution to the Kurdish Question

The historic struggle of the Kurds in Turkey has reached a new intensity at a time when popular uprisings in the Middle East are overturning anti-democratic regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, in a social ferment that has left no state untouched. Continue reading “PUBLIC EVENT: Turkey, the Kurdish Struggle and the New Middle East”

Reviews of Ocalan’s new book published

Stan Newens speaks at our recent event

Following our successful event two weeks ago, ‘Open Discussion onThe Road Map to Negotiations’, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign is working hard to ensure Abdullah Ocalan’s proposals for peace are read and heard by as many people as possible. We hope to bring you photos and videos of the event for those of you who missed it – we’ll keep you updated. Two of our panellists from that day, Stan Newens and Prof Michael M. Gunter, have written reviews of book that are now available for you to read.

International Initiative  published the third volume in Ocalan’s Prison Writings series, called The Road Map to Negotiations, in February this year. It is this proposal that Ocalan had been discussing with the Turkish government between 2009 and June 2011, and that, it was revealed earlier this year, was being discussed in secret negotiations in Oslo between the Turkish intelligence agencies and senior leaders of the PKK. Right after talks between the Turkish government and Ocalan broke down, Ocalan was put into renewed isolation on the prison island of Imrali, without visits from friends, family or lawyers. Continue reading “Reviews of Ocalan’s new book published”