A conference will be held on 28 June at the European Parliament to address the occupation of Afrin by the Turkish state.

The EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC), Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) and the Kurdish Institute in Brussel are promoting the conference with the support of the United European Left / Nordic Green in the European Parliament (GUE / NGL), the Greens and the Socialist-Democratic Progressive Alliance (S&D).

The Kurdish vision for a solution

“Turkey occupation of Afrin” and “Kurdish academics discuss their vision for a democratic solution to the Middle East crisis” are the main headlines of the conference which will see the contribution of politicians, academics, lawyers and representatives of the Northern Syria Federation.

EUTCC president, Karieane Westrheim, Gabi Zimmer, chairman of the GUE/NGL Group, Josef Weidenholzer, Vice Chairman of the S&D Group, Bodil Valero of the Green/European Free Alliance, Hilde Vautmans, from the European Liberal and Democrats Alliance (TBC) Group and Julien Dray from the Ile-de-France council in France, will all speak at the conference, to begin at 9.30am on 28 June.

Turkey’s Imperial Ambitions

In the first part of the conference Turkey’s “imperial ambitions” will be discussed. This first session will see many speakers, such as Foza Yusuf, Co-chair of the Executive Board of the Northern Syrian Federation, Kendal Nezan, President of the Kurdish Institute of Paris, Ferda Çetin, a lawyer and journalist, and İlham Ahmad, Co-President of the Democratic Syrian Council.

The Silence of the International Community

The second session of the conference will be dedicated to “The silence of the international community on the Turkish aggression and the EU’s bilateral relations in Turkey and the Middle East”.

Speakers in this session will be: from the S&D group, the Portuguese parliamentarian Ana Gomes, Mark Demesmaeker from the Committee of the European Conservative and Reformist Group; Cypriot MP Costas Mavrides from the S&D group, Julie Ward from the S&D group, Jean Lambert from the Greens/European Free Alliance, Martina Michels from the GUE/NGL and Marie-Christine Vergiat from GUE/NGL.

The dangers facing democratisation

The third session of the conference will be dedicated to the “New conditions, problems and threats to democratization”.

This session will see the participation of Eda Bektaş from Kurd-Akad in Germany, Thomas Jeffrey Milley from the sociology department of Cambridge University, Dutch academic Mariwan Kanie from Amsterdam University, Kamran Matin from the University of Sussex in the UK, Roskilde University in Denmark, human development student Mustafa K. Topal; graduate from the political and law faculty of Salahaddin University in Hewler, Kamran Mentik, and Bremen University social scientist Munevver Azizoğlu-Bazan.

The final session will be discussing the “Democratic Opportunities in a divided Middle East and the Kurds”.

Dr. Dilar Dirik from the sociology department of Cambridge University, Refik Gefur from the KNK Executive Board in Belgium and Arzu Yilmaz, from the German science and political foundation SWP will participate in this session.

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