PRESS RELEASE: Joan Ryan MP secures parliamentary debate on Turkey

Issued for immediate release
1st March 2017
  Joan Ryan MP has secured a 90 minute debate in Parliament to discuss the human rights and political situation in Turkey.

The debate, on Thursday 9th March from 3pm to 4.30pm, will provide an important opportunity for Members of Parliament to consider the aftermath of last year’s attempted coup and the forthcoming national referendum, in April, on the new, draft constitution – the result of which could provide sweeping new powers to the Turkish President. Continue reading “PRESS RELEASE: Joan Ryan MP secures parliamentary debate on Turkey”

Over a hundred supporters of the HDP sign international appeal

Over 100 prominent politicians, writers, academics, lawyers and activists signed open letter in support of HDP in Turkey’s coming elections on 7 June

HDP-LogoLater this week, people in Turkey will vote in a general election whose outcome will determine the future direction and nature of the country for perhaps generations. The increasingly authoritarian approach of Erdogan’s presidency and the political dominance of his AKP will either be further endorsed or brought to a halt.

The HDP is seen as offering the greatest hope for a shift towards a more democratic, inclusive alternative. The HDP stands for a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish problem in Turkey, as well as democratisation, inclusiveness and openness that are attracting strong support from communities well beyond the party’s core base of supporters among the Kurds and the left.

In response to the coming election on June 7, over one hundred respected politicians, writers, academics, human rights activists, journalists and lawyers from around the world have supported an appeal in the form of an open letter calling for support for the HDP and for the world’s media to pay attention to this crucial election. Continue reading “Over a hundred supporters of the HDP sign international appeal”

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”

Ankara delegation report published

A recent parliamentary delegation to Ankara has published a report on their findings.

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Lord Hylton and Jill Evans MEP spent two days in Ankara on the invitation of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) meeting with Kurdish and Turkish representatives from the Grand National Assembly and a variety of NGO’s. Their report, which is available for you read and download, gives an account of a variety of concerns around the denial of Kurdish rights, the new Turkish constitution, state repression and the impact of recent arrests on the BDP and Kurdish democratic politics.

The report also pledges the delegation’s support Kurdish demands for full inclusion in the new constitution, and for the resumption of negotiations between the Turkish government and Abdullah Ocalan and the PKK.

Find further information on this delegation and others Peace in Kurdistan has been involved with in the past on our Delegations page.

Turkey 2011 Progress Report debated in EP

The European Parliament recently published the Resolution on Turkey’s 2011 Progress Report regarding Turkey’s bid for EU membership. The draft report, written by the EP’s Turkey rapporteur, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, was discussed at a plenary on the 28-29 March, and a summary of that debate has been released. We reproduce it here for you to read comments from representative from round Europe on the issue: Continue reading “Turkey 2011 Progress Report debated in EP”

Middle East Policy publishes new article by Michael M. Gunter

Middle East Policy has published Michael M. Gunter’s new article, Turkey: The Politics of a New Democratic Constitution. Dr. Gunter is a professor of political science at Tennessee Technological University and secretary-general of the EU Turkey Civic Commission, which advocates Turkish accession to the EU as a way to help further democratize Turkey. Continue reading “Middle East Policy publishes new article by Michael M. Gunter”

EU publishes draft 2011 Progress Report on Turkey

The European Parliament has published a draft of the 2011 Progress report on Turkey, prepared by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the E.P. The report will be discussed in a plenary on 28 March, and then finally adopted on Thursday 29 March, but we have made the draft available for download for you to look at.

The EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) has already responded to the report in a short statement:


10 March 2012

The EUTCC notes with approval the EU Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Resolution on the 2011 Progress Report on Turkey and hopes that it will contribute to Turkey solving its internal problems in a democratic and peaceful manner. Continue reading “EU publishes draft 2011 Progress Report on Turkey”

“A dying horse has a killing kick”: EUTCC 8th International Conference report

Melanie Sirinathsingh
Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

The 8th International EUTCC conference*, titled ‘The Quest for Democracy in Turkey – Universal Rights and Kurdish Self-Determination and the Struggles over the New Constitution’ and held at the European Parliament in Brussels on the 7th and 8th December, came at a critical time for Turkey’s Kurds. Six months on from the June general elections that saw 36 Kurdish politicians elected to the National Assembly, amidst promises of a new draft constitution in the autumn, it has been becoming increasingly clear that the struggle for Kurdish self-determination is far from over. Continue reading ““A dying horse has a killing kick”: EUTCC 8th International Conference report”

EUTCC conference final resolutions

The EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) held its 8th international conference in the European Parliament last week. With contributions from Leyla Zana, Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the BDP, Judge Essa Moosa from South Africa and journalist Cengiz Candar, among many others, the conference called both the Turkish government and the EU to action in the movement for peace and self-determination for the Kurdish people in Turkey. The final resolutions of the conference can be read below. Continue reading “EUTCC conference final resolutions”

EUTCC 8th International Conference: EU, Turkey and the Kurds

29 November, 2011

Press Release: For immediate release


“The Quest for Democracy in Turkey – Universal Rights and Kurdish Self-Determination and the Struggles over the New Constitution”

 European Parliament, Brussels, 7th & 8th December, 2011

  Continue reading “EUTCC 8th International Conference: EU, Turkey and the Kurds”