Seminar Notice: The long road to peace and reconciliation in Turkey

SOAS Kurdish Society in association with Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

The long road to peace and reconciliation in Turkey: Opportunities for genuine dialogue between Ankara and the Kurds  

Seminar on Saturday, 16 November 4-6pm

SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H OXG, Room L67, Main Building

Speakers: Judge Essa Moosa, International Peace and Reconciliation Initiative, South Africa

Akif Wan, Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) UK Representative

Chair: Birgul Yilmaz, PhD Candidate in Linguistics & Teaching Fellow, SOAS, Faculty of Languages and Cultures

The key speaker at this seminar will be Judge Essa Moosa, a distinguished human rights advocate from South Africa, who is making a brief visit to London and will bring his considerable experience of involvement in the successful anti-apartheid struggle to contribute towards a peaceful democratic resolution of the Kurdish question, in this case in Turkey. Mr Moosa will discuss his work with the new International Peace and Reconciliation Initiative, established a year ago in response to a call from Archbishop Desmond Tutu for the Turkish government to begin negotiations with the Kurdish movement.

Continue reading “Seminar Notice: The long road to peace and reconciliation in Turkey”

PANEL DISCUSSION: Anti-terror Legislation and the Obstruction of Justice

Please find below information on our next  meeting, which is free and open to the public. All welcome!

Anti-terror Legislation and the Obstruction of Justice

The Implications of Mass Trials in Turkey for the Peace Process with the Kurds

Wednesday 9 October 2013, 6.30pm

Venue: Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincolns Inn Fields, London WC2A (closest tube Holborn)

Chair: Prof Bill Bowring School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London; President of the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH); International Secretary of the Haldane Society and Founder and Chair of the International Steering Committee, of the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC).

Panelists: Margaret Owen OBE, barrister/Door tenant, 9 Bedford Row Chambers; Bronwen Jones, barrister, Tooks Chambers; Tony Fisher, solicitor and Law Society Human Rights Committee member; Hugo Charlton, barrister, 1 Grays Inn Square Chambers; Ali Has, solicitor/advocate and member of the Law Society Human Rights Committee International Action Team; Mark Jones, barrister, St Ives Chambers.

Organised by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign and Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH)

Find the event on Facebook

Register here

Continue reading “PANEL DISCUSSION: Anti-terror Legislation and the Obstruction of Justice”

Mass trials of lawyers and politicians in Turkey – Legal and political obstacles to the resolution of the Kurdish conflict

PANEL DISCUSSION

Mass trials of lawyers and politicians in Turkey –

 Legal and political obstacles to the resolution of the Kurdish conflict

Thursday 18 April 2013, 6.30pm

Tooks Chambers, 81 Farringdon St, City of London, London EC4A 4BL

This event is free and open to the public.

Two distinguished lawyers, former president of the Turkish Human Rights Association (HRA) Ms Reyhan Yalcindag, and renowned defence lawyer Mr Ercan Kanar, as well as Prof Nazan Ustundag, of Boğaziçi University, will be visiting London to take part in this panel discussion. Following their participation in a conference at Queens University Belfast on the Kurdish question in Turkey, we are pleased to invite these lawyers, academics and activists to share their considerable expertise with us. The event has been called by Peace in Kurdistan campaign, CAMPACC and the Kurdish Federation UK, and will be chaired by Ali Has, solicitor advocate and member of the Law Society Human Rights Committee.

Continue reading “Mass trials of lawyers and politicians in Turkey – Legal and political obstacles to the resolution of the Kurdish conflict”

Time for justice and a roadmap towards reconciliation

EVENT

20 February 2013, The Law Society, London

Background


In the early 1990’s the Turkish authorities were responsible for the wholesale destruction of over 3,000 villages in South
East Turkey, together with many other human rights violations against a Kurdish minority of some 20 million people.
Nearly 20 years later, and despite numerous judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), very few of the
perpetrators have been brought to justice. Much international criticism is also still focused on Turkey’s failure to address
the need to respect the cultural and language rights of the Kurdish people, and the “Kurdish Problem” remains one of the
greatest challenges faced by Turkey in its efforts to become an effective modern democracy with appropriate respect for
human rights, due process, and the rule of law. Continue reading “Time for justice and a roadmap towards reconciliation”

Seminar on Syria and the Kurds announced

Kurdish American Education Society-Los Angeles  Seminar Announcement:

Democratization in Syria, Perspectives and prospects, Syria and Kurds at the Crossroads of Change

Hosted by the Kurdish American Education Society-LA  and co-sponsored by various departments and programs at California State University, Long Beach and Kurdish Community of Southern California

This seminar will provide a forum for those who have an interest in exploring the unfolding developments in Syria as the contending forces in the multi-ethnic and religiously diverse Syria are attempting to reshape the country in its challenging path to democratization. These developments have been both the source of inspiration and uncertainty for Syrians as a whole, ethnic and religious minorities including Kurds, in particular.  The program is based on the critical need for understanding the gravity and complexity of the humanitarian and political crisis both regionally and internationally. Our distinguished panelists consisting of academics, human rights activists, researchers, lawyers, journalists, and representatives of the Syrian and Kurdish opposition, will discuss the key issues that Syrians are confronting. Continue reading “Seminar on Syria and the Kurds announced”

Trials and Tribulations in Turkey

by David Morgan, Peace in Kurdistan

Turkey’s lamentable human rights record and, in particular its attempts to intimidate independent Kurdish organisations through mass show trials, was the theme of an important seminar held by Peace in Kurdistan on 18 September in Garden Court Chambers.

The briefing brought together leading legal experts, media professionals and human rights activists who had all been taking a close interest in the trials of fellow lawyers, journalists, academics and trade unionists taking place in Turkey over recent months.

The trials, which have involved the arrest of thousands of progressive and mainly Kurdish activists, and seen hundreds sent to trial, have collectively become known as the KCK trials after the Kurdistan Communities Union, an umbrella civil society association, which the Turkish state deems to be a front for terrorism.

The trials in fact amount to Turkey’s attempts to criminalise and eliminate all aspects of Kurdish legal political activity and are the state’s response to recent electoral advances made by the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, BDP, which has been gaining strength in the largely Kurdish southeast. Continue reading “Trials and Tribulations in Turkey”

Father Joe Ryan joins Freedom for Ocalan campaign

Father Joe Ryan joined the Freedom for Ocalan Initiative Committee on their first rally, on the week of the launch of the international campaign to demand freedom for the imprisoned Kurdish leader and all political prisoners in Turkey. The international campaign will be launched in Brussels with a press conference this Thursday, 6 September. Already over 1000 prominent people – politicians, political commentators, writers, Nobel Prize winners, and many more – have signed a petition to express their solidarity with the new campaign. Father Joe Ryan’s message to the campaign is below:

1st September 2012

FREEDOM FOR ABDULLAH OCALAN – PEACE IN KURDISTAN

Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party has been in prison since 1999.

He is still the significant leader of the Kurdish campaign for peace, justice and a key player in bringing about an end to the on-going conflict between Turkey and Kurdistan. Continue reading “Father Joe Ryan joins Freedom for Ocalan campaign”

PUBLIC EVENT: Turkey, the Kurdish Struggle and the New Middle East

PUBLIC MEETING AT MARXISM 2012, 5-9 JULY 2012

Turkey, the Kurdish Struggle and the New Middle East

Saturday, 7 July, 5.15-6.45pm
Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre
University College London, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT* How to find us.

Speakers: Akif Wan, Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) UK
Dr Felix Padel
,  Social Anthropologist, Author and Political Activist

Chaired by: David Morgan, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

Discussion organised by Peace in Kurdistan: campaign for a political solution to the Kurdish Question

The historic struggle of the Kurds in Turkey has reached a new intensity at a time when popular uprisings in the Middle East are overturning anti-democratic regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, in a social ferment that has left no state untouched. Continue reading “PUBLIC EVENT: Turkey, the Kurdish Struggle and the New Middle East”

Reviews of Ocalan’s new book published

Stan Newens speaks at our recent event

Following our successful event two weeks ago, ‘Open Discussion onThe Road Map to Negotiations’, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign is working hard to ensure Abdullah Ocalan’s proposals for peace are read and heard by as many people as possible. We hope to bring you photos and videos of the event for those of you who missed it – we’ll keep you updated. Two of our panellists from that day, Stan Newens and Prof Michael M. Gunter, have written reviews of book that are now available for you to read.

International Initiative  published the third volume in Ocalan’s Prison Writings series, called The Road Map to Negotiations, in February this year. It is this proposal that Ocalan had been discussing with the Turkish government between 2009 and June 2011, and that, it was revealed earlier this year, was being discussed in secret negotiations in Oslo between the Turkish intelligence agencies and senior leaders of the PKK. Right after talks between the Turkish government and Ocalan broke down, Ocalan was put into renewed isolation on the prison island of Imrali, without visits from friends, family or lawyers. Continue reading “Reviews of Ocalan’s new book published”

Event: Open discussion on the ‘Road Map to Negotiations’

PEACE IN KURDISTAN CAMPAIGN invites you to an

OPEN DISCUSSION ON THE “ROAD MAP TO NEGOTIATIONS” –

 towards a political solution to the Kurdish question in Turkey

Wednesday, 16 May 2012, 6.30-8.30pm

Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ

(Holborn tube station) Continue reading “Event: Open discussion on the ‘Road Map to Negotiations’”