CEFTUS Westminster Debate on the Kurdish Issue: Is Peace Still on the Table?

5 09 2015

images-2Centre for Turkey Studies

27 October 2015, London

The Centre for Turkey Studies is delighted to invite you to a CEFTUS Westminster Debate with keynote speaker veteran journalist and author Mr Cengiz Candar and journalist and columnist Mrs Ezgi Basaran of daily Turkish paper, Radikal. This event will take place on 27 October 2015, between 7-9pm, in Committee Room 10 of the House of Commons.

Please see speaker biographies below.

Turkey’s hopeful Kurdish Peace Process that begun in 2013 may have come to an end in the summer of 2015. The start of the process had gained support across Turkey after having lost about 40.000 people in the conflict over 30 years. Following to June 2015 General Elections and ISIS bombing in Suruc, a town in eastern Turkey, violent clashes between Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkish security forces erupted. Turkish government has taken a strong stance against terrorism of all types and responded harshly, especially after the killing of two policemen in their beds. In the meantime, Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party, People’s Democratic Party (HDP), which could pass the 10% electoral threshold in June elections, has faced accusations of direct links with terrorism and its mayors/councillors have been detained as well as the party has been threatened to close down. Whilst there have been concerning developments for democracy in Turkey, President Erdogan has called for elections to take place in November 2015 and declared that it is impossible to continue the peace process.

Mr Candar and Mrs Basaran will address the questions regarding the Kurdish peace process and what lies ahead for Turkey. They will analyse the Kurdish issue and the current political developments.

This debate is kindly hosted by Tom Brake MP for Carhshalton and Wallington.

The event will take place between 7-9PM on Tuesday, 27 October 2015 in Committee Room 10, House of Commons. Please note security checks are required to enter the House of Commons, at the Cromwell Green Entrance. We kindly ask you to arrive at 5.45PM to allow the event to start and end on time. Booking is required for this event to ensure adequate seating availability.

Please click ‘register’ above. Alternatively, RSVP to info@ceftus.org

Speaker Biographies

Cengiz Candar studied political science and international relations at Ankara University. He began his career as journalist in 1976 in Turkish daily Vatan after living some years in the Middle East and Europe due to his opposition to the regime in Turkey following the military intervention in 1971. An expert for the Middle East (Lebanon and Palestine) and the Balkans (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Candar worked for the Turkish News Agency and for Turkish newspapers Cumhuriyet, Hürriyet, Referans and Güneş as a war correspondent. Currently, he is a columnist for Radikal. Candar served as special adviser to Turkish president Turgut Özal between 1991 and 1993. His interest was drawn to the events during the ethnic unrest in the Balkans between 1993 and 1995. From 1997, Candar lectured for two years on “History and Politics in the Middle East” at Bilgi University in İstanbul. Between 1999 and 2000, he did research work on “Turkey of the 21st century” as a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace. His description of the 1998 events in Turkey as a “post-modern coup” gained notice internationally, though Radikal columnist Türker Alkan had used the term two weeks earlier.

Ezgi Başaran is an Istanbulite journalist and the editor-in-chief of Radikal, Turkey’s liberal quality digital paper. While a reporter for the Hurriyet, she won the Turkish Society of Journalists award for best investigative journalistic work at the age of 27. She has reported from Pakistan, North Osetia (right after the Beslan massacre), Armenia and Iran. After working for Hurriyet for almost eight years, she has become a part of Radikal. Since then she has been writing a column five times a week and also serves as the editor-in-chief. Her writings focus on the human rights violations in Turkey, the Kurdish problem, the Armenian issue and LGBT rights. As a prolific writer on these issues, she is an active participant of the public debate through her writings and national/international media appearances.

For details click here. 

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