International Seminar Series: Kurdish Independence and EU Aspects

28 10 2016

logo_university_leicesterThe School of History, Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester  initiates its ‘International Seminar Series’ on Kurds and the Middle East and is pleased to invite you on November, 1st 2016 in the event entitled Kurdish Independence and EU aspects: The Impact of a Confederate Model of Governance.

 

 

The Seminar will address:

  • The Project of Independence in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
  • The Kurdish Referendum: Challenges, Outcome and Impact
  • Confederation as potential model of governance
  • EU Views and Policies

With Guest Speaker:

Delaware Ajgeiy, Head of Mission to European Union, Kurdistan Regional Government

Attenborough Basement, University Film Theatre

To Register: Please email politics@le.ac.uk expressing your interest.

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Conference: Historical and Comparative Perspectives on Kurdish Politics

26 10 2016

buffett-logo-2November 2-4 2016, Scott Hall, Guild Lounge, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

The Kurds are one of the world’s largest ethnic groups without a state, constituting sizable minorities in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. They have recently become prominent in world politics due to their fight against the Islamic State in the midst of Syria’s civil war. Yet until now, their history has largely been one of marginalization, oppression, and resistance across borders.

It is estimated that about half of world’s more than 30 million Kurds live in Turkey, where they have struggled for self-governance through parliamentarian politics and armed conflict for more than 30 years. The three-year peace talks between the Turkish State and the PKK (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê, the main armed group of the Kurds) were terminated in July 2015 by the Turkish state, leading to yet another cycle of violence.

Hundreds of civilian casualties, thousands of displaced Kurds, and terrified Kurdish and Turkish societies thus joined the long history of violence and deprivation in Turkey. This international conference aims to bring together cutting-edge research examining the last hundred years of Kurdish existence in the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic in a historical and comparative perspective.

For details click here.





New Book Out: Kurdish Documentary Cinema in Turkey – The Politics and Aesthetics of Identity and Resistance

23 10 2016

0404344_kurdish-documentary-cinema-in-turkey_300Koçer, Suncem & Candan, Can (eds) 

Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016

978-1-4438-9798-3

Without a doubt, this decade’s most discussed and developed documentary productions in Turkey come from Kurdistan, a name that provokes nationalist panic in Turkey, yet delineates distinct cultural, linguistic, and political boundaries nonetheless. Documentary film productions by Kurdish filmmakers from Turkey determine the major tendencies of this emergent genre, with such productions offering a unique opportunity for a nuanced understanding of national cinema. The larger body of films, fiction and non-fiction termed as Kurdish cinema complicates the category of national cinema, a concept discussed heatedly within the field of cinema studies. Documentary film is proving to be a particularly complex tool for the Kurdish social and political existence, as Kurds lack the official tools of history-writing and cultural preservation that are categorically associated with the capacities of a state. By delving into Kurdish documentary films as products of complex societal, political, and historical processes, the articles in the volume highlight the intersections of media production, film text, and audience reception, and expand on vibrant debates in the field of film and media studies through situated case studies. Bringing these chapters together, this book will stimulate academic discussion around this emergent and lively genre of documentary film production, and encourage further research and publication.

For details click here.





New Book Out: Kurdish Diaspora Online – From Imagined Community to Managing Communities

9 10 2016

9781137513465Mahmod, Jovan

Palgrave Macmillan, 2016

  • ISBN 978-1-137-51347-2

The argument offered in this book is that new technology, as opposed to traditional media such as television, radio, and newspaper, is working against the national grain to weaken its imagined community. Online activities and communications between people and across borders suggest that digital media has strong implications for different articulations of identity and belongingness, which open new ways of thinking about the imagined community. The findings are based on transnational activities by Kurdish diaspora members across borders that have pushed them to rethink notions of belonging and identity. Through a multidisciplinary and comparative approach, and multifaceted (online-offline) methodologies, the book unveils tensions between new and old media, and how the former is not only changing social relations but also exposing existing ones. Living in two or more cultures, speaking multiple languages, and engaging in transnational practices, diaspora individuals may have created a momentum that discloses how the imagined nation is diminishing in this digital era.

For details click here.

 





Call for Abstracts: Gender, Violence and Displacement

13 09 2016

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Middle East Gender Forum, 7-8 April 2017, Iraqi Kurdistan Region, University of Sulaimani 

Recent wars, conflicts and human rights abuses have forced millions of people to flee their homes and move within or across boundaries. According to the United Nations Population Fund, the world is currently facing the worst refugee and forced displacement crisis since the Second World War. In the last decade, the Middle East has shown important geopolitical changes that has repercussion not only on people in the region, but on Europe and the Western world in general. Following the Iraq and Syria crisis highlighted by the Syrian civil war and the emergence of the ISIL, in Syria alone, millions of people have left their homes, become internally displaced or moved to neighbouring countries. While some of the displaced people are desperately trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea with disastrous consequences, many have been put in camps in Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan, Jordan and Lebanon. Iraqi Kurdistan, despite its small territory, has received and absorbed a disproportionate number of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP); KRG officials talk about 2 million refugees and IDPs currently living in refugee camps or non-camps settlements in the three governorates of Duhok, Erbil and Sulaimani.

The process of displacement have affected people in many ways; in addition to losing their homes, the displacement process has caused the breakdown of peoples’ social structures, shifted gender roles as well as the representation of masculinity with great impact on gender relations. According to UN agencies and international aid providers the prevalence of gender-based violence has sharply increased during displacement and emergency crisis [UNFPA]. In the refugee camps, the new unfamiliar living environments and requirements have challenged the traditional gender relations, old ties and social norms making women vulnerable to violence and discrimination. In Iraqi Kurdistan Region women and girls during their displacement and in- camps settlements have experienced many forms of gender-based violence, including domestic violence, honour-based violence along with different forms of sexual violence. The displaced populations in the region are not a homogenous group; they include different religious and ethnic groups, including Kurdish Yezidis, Christians, Turkmens, and Sunni Arabs. With their different historical background and the process of their displacement, each of these communities has been subjected to different experiences with great impact on gender relations. Following the ISIL attack on the Sinjar region, August 2014, thousands of Yezidi women have been kidnapped by jihadists and subjected to sexual and gender-based violence; those who fled their jailors or ransomed off by local authorities, have confirmed systematic rape, forced prostitution, child and forced marriage and sex slavery. The challenges, vulnerabilities and different forms of violence facing displaced women, have implications for policy makers within host countries as well as inside international aid and official development organisations. What is more, vulnerable and frustrated migrant and displaced men and women in different European countries have been affected by the propagandas of the ISIL and travelled thousands of miles to join the ‘terrorist group’.

The first Middle East Gender Forum (MEGF) will address different shifted boundaries within displaced and migrant communities, focusing on gender relations, new challenges facing women as well as the position and representation of men during the displacement and settlement processes. What are women’s experiences of gender-based violence and the consequences resulted? How do migration, the breakdown of social structures and old ties impact young men’s lives and their perception of identity and masculinity? Preliminary researches by the CGVR demonstrate that young men have found religion as the best way to get respected and to reconstructtheir“shatteredidentity”.1 Howcouldmen’sfrustration,theirpotentialandstrategic interests be addressed before they are deviated and turned into violence? And finally, what are the best responses different national and international agents should provide to help migrant and displaced women and men, address their frustration, easing their pain and their suffering that could lead to reducing violence. This first Middle East Gender Forum will create a platform for debate and deep analysis, bringing together a diverse group of scholars, activists, civil society representatives and policy makers within host countries as well as inside international aid and official development organisations. During two days of reflection, debate and exchange of ideas and experiences, the MEGF will look at the intersectional causes of displacement, gendered violence and extremism with the aim to learn, understand and gain an insight into the complexity of the displacement process and politics of belonging and social as well as political inequalities.

We invite submissions and expression of interest in participation from scholars, civil society representatives, women’s rights activists as well as international policy makers. The Forum focuses on specific themes, including:

  •   Gender-based violence, conflict and displacement
  •   Gender relations, boundaries and politics of belonging
  •   Gender narratives within displaced communities and men’s positioning
  •   Justice and empowerment mechanisms
  •   Transnational terrorism

    The Forum is organised by the Centre for Gender and Violence Research, University of Bristol; the Gender and Violence Studies Centre, University of Sulaimani and the Gelawêj Cultural Centre, Iraqi Kurdistan. It will be convened on 7-8 April 2017 in Iraqi Kurdistan Region, the University of Sulaimani. Accommodation and subsistence will be provided by the organisers. A modest travel assistance will be available for those who cannot obtain funds within their organisation/academic institutions.

    Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted before 15 October 2016 to Dr Nazand Begikhani and Dr Emma Williamson, University of Bristol.

    Email: nazand.begikhani@bristol.ac.uk





Call for Abstracts: Gender, Violence and Displacement

8 09 2016

emblem_of_university_of_sulaimaniMiddle East Gender Forum, 7-8 April 2017, Iraqi Kurdistan Region, University of Sulaimani 

Recent wars, conflicts and human rights abuses have forced millions of people to flee their homes and move within or across boundaries. According to the United Nations Population Fund, the world is currently facing the worst refugee and forced displacement crisis since the Second World War. In the last decade, the Middle East has shown important geopolitical changes that has repercussion not only on people in the region, but on Europe and the Western world in general. Following the Iraq and Syria crisis highlighted by the Syrian civil war and the emergence of the ISIL, in Syria alone, millions of people have left their homes, become internally displaced or moved to neighbouring countries. While some of the displaced people are desperately trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea with disastrous consequences, many have been put in camps in Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan, Jordan and Lebanon. Iraqi Kurdistan, despite its small territory, has received and absorbed a disproportionate number of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP); KRG officials talk about 2 million refugees and IDPs currently living in refugee camps or non-camps settlements in the three governorates of Duhok, Erbil and Sulaimani.

The process of displacement have affected people in many ways; in addition to losing their homes, the displacement process has caused the breakdown of peoples’ social structures, shifted gender roles as well as the representation of masculinity with great impact on gender relations. According to UN agencies and international aid providers the prevalence of gender-based violence has sharply increased during displacement and emergency crisis [UNFPA]. In the refugee camps, the new unfamiliar living environments and requirements have challenged the traditional gender relations, old ties and social norms making women vulnerable to violence and discrimination. In Iraqi Kurdistan Region women and girls during their displacement and in- camps settlements have experienced many forms of gender-based violence, including domestic violence, honour-based violence along with different forms of sexual violence. The displaced populations in the region are not a homogenous group; they include different religious and ethnic groups, including Kurdish Yezidis, Christians, Turkmens, and Sunni Arabs. With their different historical background and the process of their displacement, each of these communities has been subjected to different experiences with great impact on gender relations. Following the ISIL attack on the Sinjar region, August 2014, thousands of Yezidi women have been kidnapped by jihadists and subjected to sexual and gender-based violence; those who fled their jailors or ransomed off by local authorities, have confirmed systematic rape, forced prostitution, child and forced marriage and sex slavery. The challenges, vulnerabilities and different forms of violence facing displaced women, have implications for policy makers within host countries as well as inside international aid and official development organisations. What is more, vulnerable and frustrated migrant and displaced men and women in different European countries have been affected by the propagandas of the ISIL and travelled thousands of miles to join the ‘terrorist group’.

The first Middle East Gender Forum (MEGF) will address different shifted boundaries within displaced and migrant communities, focusing on gender relations, new challenges facing women as well as the position and representation of men during the displacement and settlement processes. What are women’s experiences of gender-based violence and the consequences resulted? How do migration, the breakdown of social structures and old ties impact young men’s lives and their perception of identity and masculinity? Preliminary researches by the CGVR demonstrate that young men have found religion as the best way to get respected and to reconstructtheir“shatteredidentity”.1 Howcouldmen’sfrustration,theirpotentialandstrategic interests be addressed before they are deviated and turned into violence? And finally, what are the best responses different national and international agents should provide to help migrant and displaced women and men, address their frustration, easing their pain and their suffering that could lead to reducing violence. This first Middle East Gender Forum will create a platform for debate and deep analysis, bringing together a diverse group of scholars, activists, civil society representatives and policy makers within host countries as well as inside international aid and official development organisations. During two days of reflection, debate and exchange of ideas and experiences, the MEGF will look at the intersectional causes of displacement, gendered violence and extremism with the aim to learn, understand and gain an insight into the complexity of the displacement process and politics of belonging and social as well as political inequalities.

We invite submissions and expression of interest in participation from scholars, civil society representatives, women’s rights activists as well as international policy makers. The Forum focuses on specific themes, including:

  •   Gender-based violence, conflict and displacement
  •   Gender relations, boundaries and politics of belonging
  •   Gender narratives within displaced communities and men’s positioning
  •   Justice and empowerment mechanisms
  •   Transnational terrorism

    The Forum is organised by the Centre for Gender and Violence Research, University of Bristol; the Gender and Violence Studies Centre, University of Sulaimani and the Gelawêj Cultural Centre, Iraqi Kurdistan. It will be convened on 7-8 April 2017 in Iraqi Kurdistan Region, the University of Sulaimani. Accommodation and subsistence will be provided by the organisers. A modest travel assistance will be available for those who cannot obtain funds within their organisation/academic institutions.

    Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted before 15 October 2016 to Dr Nazand Begikhani and Dr Emma Williamson, University of Bristol.

    Email: nazand.begikhani@bristol.ac.uk





Panel Discussion: Turkey’s Intervention in Rojava and Its Consequences

6 09 2016

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Friday, September 9, 2016, 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Board Source Conference Room 750 9th St NW, Suite 650, Washington, DC 20001

The Kurdish Policy Research Center (KPRC) is pleased to organize the panel entitled ‘Turkey’s Intervention in Rojava and Its Consequences’.

On Wednesday August 24 Turkish tanks entered the borderline territory in Rojava (Northern Syria) along with Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army. According to the Turkish sources the objective of the “Operation Euphrates Shield” is to ‘stabilize’ the situation by clearing ISIS from Jarablus, the last stronghold of ISIS on the Turkish-Syrian border that is less than a mile from Turkey. However, soon after capturing Jarablus, the so-called Free Syrian Army supported by Turkish tanks advanced south towards Kurdish held territories where they engaged in clashes with the Kurdish YPG-led Democratic Syrian Forces. Since then Turkish tanks and artillery have been shelling not only the YPG, America’s most trusted ally in the fight against DAESH, but also the civilian population in Jarablus and Manbij.

The latest Turkish attacks on YPG have made it crystal clear that the real motivation behind the Turkish invasion of Rojava does not stem from the threat from DAESH, as the Turks claim, but from Turkey’s desire to prevent an autonomous Kurdish region emerging in northern Syria. To this end Turkey threatened to intensify its attacks on the Kurdish YPG forces, if the latter does not comply with Turkey’s request to withdraw from Manbij, a town newly liberated from DAESH by YPG, and remain the east of the Euphrates River.

Our distinguished panelists will bring their expertise to our gathering and offer their views on the root causes of the current political crisis in Rojava, discuss the political implications of the recent Turkish invasion as well as the clashes between Turkish-backed FSA and the Kurdish YPG and explore ways to find a peaceful solution.

The KPRC hopes that you can join us on September 9 for this exciting event that is aimed at offering an understanding of the political implications of the recent clashes between Turkish-backed FSA and the Kurdish YPG-led Democratic Syrian Forces.

RSVP Required to attend this event.
For media inquiries and questions, please contact: info@kprc.us

Panelists:

Salih Muslim:

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Salih Muslim is the co-chairman of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in de facto autonomous Kurdish-controlled region of Rojava in Northern Syria. He is also the deputy coordinator of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change.

* Mr. Muslim will participate via Skype

Professor Dlawer Ala’Aldeen:

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Professor Ala’Aldeen is the Founding President of the Middle East Research Institute (MERI), a policy research institute and a think tank based in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.  He is a former Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Kurdistan Regional Government (2009-2012). Dlawer has been an advocate of, and published extensively on, human rights, good governance and democracy in Kurdistan, Iraq and the wider Middle East.

Aliza Marcus:

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Aliza Marcus is formerly an international correspondent for The Boston Globe and lives in Washington, D.C. She covered the PKK for more than eight years, first as a freelance reporter for the Christian Science Monitor and later as a staff writer for Reuters, receiving a National Press Club Award for her reporting. She is also a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation grant for her work (NYU Press).