KURDS IN THE CHANGING MIDDLE EAST CONFERENCE
The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
The establishment of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in 2003 together with the recent events in Northern Syria (Western Kurdistan) have greatly enhanced the significance of the Kurds. The main challenge to the existing political order, however, has been presented by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Almost three decades have passed since conflict and political violence erupted in Turkey’s Kurdish regions. The conflict has cost the lives of 40,000 people (including soldiers, guerrillas and the civilians). According to estimates made by Turkish and international human rights organisations, between 2 and 3 million people were internally displaced as part of the state’s counter-offensive operations.
The conference will explore the following subjects in greater depth:
- Emerging alternative political systems, including the Kurdish movement’s proposal of democratic autonomy in Syria and Turkey;
- The opportunities for a Kurdish statehood;
- The role of international powers and the Middle East;
- Social Movements in the changing Middle East;
- Conflict Resolution in the Kurdish context and;
- The Kurds’ role in Turkey’s democratisation process.