Category Archives: Kurdish Events

Polat Can of YPG on November 1, World Kobane Day

YPH_Jazaa

Mutlu Civiroglu @mutludc

On November 1, protests in support of Kobane will be staged all over the world. How do you view these global efforts and support for Kobane as the spokesperson for YPG?  

On behalf of all our fighters, friends and commanders, we salute everyone who has expressed their friendship to us in a democratic and peaceful manner. We will never forget their goodwill and heartfelt support.

Today, Kobane is able to stand for two reasons: the first is the heroic resistance of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) fighters, and the second is the support pouring from all corners of the globe. Such conscious, democratic and peaceful efforts have motivated the international coalition against ISIS to help the Kurds, and significantly contributing to improvement of the situation on the ground.

Polat Cano

We would like these efforts to expand further. Kobane is no longer an issue for Kurds, Syria or Kurdistan, but it also belongs to the whole world. It is an expression of democratic and peaceful existence.

YPG is not a force made up of only Kurds. We have popular support from all ethnicities in the region, including Syriacs, Arabs, Chechen and Turcomans. We even have fighters from many other nations in our ranks, including those from the USA and Netherlands. We want their efforts to be recognized as well.

We want November 1st to be the day the world showed its ownership of Kobane, and for the resulting activism to be a success for the whole world. Today, those who fall in Kobane are YPG fighters, and we want the world to recognize this by carrying YPG flags and banners.

2nd Kurdish Conference in Washington Starts

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The New Kurdish Reality in the Middle East: Perils, Prospects and Possibilities

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Representative Office in Washington, DC

 Friday, September 26, 2014, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The National Press Club, Holeman Lounge

529 14th St NW Washington, DC 20045

 The optimism of the Arab Spring has too rapidly been replaced by a dramatic wave of violence throughout the Middle East. The whole geography stretching from Iraq to Libya has become a battlefield. The war in Syria alone has caused hundreds of thousands of casualties with no promise of peace in sight. Iraq is now fully a part of the Syrian war. While a process of Lebanonization has never been so imminent for Syria and Iraq, Lebanon, too, may be pulled into active warfare if no settlement is secured in these two countries. The latest violence in Israel-Palestine exacerbated the region’s tense political climate. The changing regional order presents opportunities as well as dangers: They carry a potential for instituting democratic citizenship while simultaneously planting the seeds of even more violent and dictatorial regimes.

Within this regional setting, Kurdistan is home to multiple perils, prospects and possibilities. The peace process in Turkey is underway, even if with complications and slow pace. The attacks of the so-called Islamic State on the Kurds in Syria and Iraq have motivated major Kurdish parties to act in relative unity. The “Kurdish problems” in the four Middle Eastern states have become further interconnected and more globalized, rendering the provision of justice for the Kurds essential for securing and sustaining regional peace and stability. Although regional powers and the West have typically viewed the Kurds as a “problem” people, there is now increasing awareness that Kurdish struggles for justice, democracy and sovereignty may, in fact, have much to offer for regional peace in the twenty-first century.

With such a vision, we invite you to our second Washington Conference, which brings together academics, experts and politicians from Turkey, Syria, Iraq and the US to discuss the situation of the Kurds in a rapidly transforming Middle East and to foster dialogue among conference participants as well as with policy makers and the general public in the United States.

Opening Remarks by Mehmet Yuksel, HDP Representative in Washington, DC

***

Session I:  Future of Ezidis and Christians in Iraqi Kurdistan? 

8:30 – 9:45am

              Moderator: Kirmanj Gundi, Prof. at Dept. of Educational Administration and Leadership, Tennessee State University

  • Vian Dakheel, Ezidi MP in Iraqi Parliament
  • Karwan Zebari, Director of Congressional & Academic Affairs at KRG Washington Office
  • Dakhil Shammo Elias, Director of American Ezidi Center – Washington, DC
  • Abraham Miksi-Sahdo, Director of Political Affairs, American Syriac Union

Question & Answer Session

 ***

Role of Syrian Kurds in Fighting against ISIS    9:45 – 10:15

Introduction by Natsumi Ajiki, Human Rights Activist

Keynote Speaker: Salih Muslim, Co-Chairman of Democratic Union Party (PYD) (via Skype)

Question & Answer Session

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Session II: The Kurdish Situation in Syria: A Democratic Model for the Future   

10:30 am – 12:00pm

                     Moderator: Gonul Tol, Founding Director of the Middle East Institute’s Center for Turkish Studies

  • Alan Shemo, Foreign Affairs Committee Member of the Democratic Union Party (PYD)
  • Rusen Cakir, Political Analyst on Turkey and the Middle East
  • Mutlu Civiroglu, Kurdish Affairs Analyst
  • Ruken Isik, PhD Student Concentrating on Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Maryland (UMBC)

 

Question & Answer Session

Session III: The Peace Process in Turkey

1:00 – 2:50pm

Moderator:  Hisyar Ozsoy, Assistant Prof. of Sociocultural Anthropology, University of Michigan-Flint

  • Kadir Ustun, Research Director at SETA Foundation, Washington, DC
  • Henri J. Barkey, Professor, Lehigh University, Department of International Relations
  • Nazmi Gur, Deputy Chairman of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP)

Question & Answer Session

***

Session IV: The United States, the Kurds, and the Future of the Middle East

3:00 – 5:00pm

Moderator: Luqman Barwari, President of Kurdish National Congress of North America

  • Selahattin Demirtas, Co-Chair of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP)
  • Sezgin Tanrikulu, Deputy Chairman of Republican People’s Party (CHP)
  • Najmaldin Karim, Governor of Kirkuk
  • Michael Werz, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

 Question & Answer Session

Countdown to 2nd Kurdish Conference in Washington, DC

Was_Konf

The New Kurdish Reality in the Middle East: Perils, Prospects and Possibilities

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Representative Office in Washington, DC

Friday, September 26, 2014, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The National Press Club, Holeman Lounge

529 14th St NW Washington, DC 20045

The optimism of the Arab Spring has too rapidly been replaced by a dramatic wave of violence throughout the Middle East. The whole geography stretching from Iraq to Libya has become a battlefield. The war in Syria alone has caused hundreds of thousands of casualties with no promise of peace in sight. Iraq is now fully a part of the Syrian war. While a process of Lebanonization has never been so imminent for Syria and Iraq, Lebanon, too, may be pulled into active warfare if no settlement is secured in these two countries. The latest violence in Israel-Palestine exacerbated the region’s tense political climate. The changing regional order presents opportunities as well as dangers: They carry a potential for instituting democratic citizenship while simultaneously planting the seeds of even more violent and dictatorial regimes.

Within this regional setting, Kurdistan is home to multiple perils, prospects and possibilities. The peace process in Turkey is underway, even if with complications and slow pace. The attacks of the so-called Islamic State on the Kurds in Syria and Iraq have motivated major Kurdish parties to act in relative unity. The “Kurdish problems” in the four Middle Eastern states have become further interconnected and more globalized, rendering the provision of justice for the Kurds essential for securing and sustaining regional peace and stability. Although regional powers and the West have typically viewed the Kurds as a “problem” people, there is now increasing awareness that Kurdish struggles for justice, democracy and sovereignty may, in fact, have much to offer for regional peace in the twenty-first century.

With such a vision, we invite you to our second Washington Conference, which brings together academics, experts and politicians from Turkey, Syria, Iraq and the US to discuss the situation of the Kurds in a rapidly transforming Middle East and to foster dialogue among conference participants as well as with policy makers and the general public in the United States.

***

Opening Remarks by Mehmet Yuksel, HDP Representative in Washington, DC

Session I:  Developments in the Iraqi Kurdistan and the Plight of Ezidis

8:30 – 10:00am

Moderator: Kirmanj Gundi, Prof. at Dept. of Educational Administration and Leadership, Tennessee State University

  • Vian Dakheel, Ezidi Member of the Iraqi Parliament
  • Karwan Zebari, Director of Congressional Affairs, KRG Washington Office
  • Ruken Isik, PhD Student Concentrating on Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Maryland (UMBC)

Question & Answer Session

Session II: The Kurdish Situation in Syria: A Democratic Model for the Future   

10:10 am – 12:00pm

Moderator: Gonul Tol, Founding Director of the Middle East Institute’s Center for Turkish Studies

  • Alan Shemo, Member of Democratic Union Party (PYD) Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Rusen Cakir, Political Analyst on Turkey and the Middle East
  • Salih Muslim, Co-Chairman of Democratic Union Party (via Skype)
  • Mutlu Civiroglu, Kurdish Affairs Analyst

Question & Answer Session

 

Session III: The Peace Process in Turkey

1:00 – 2:50pm

Moderator:  Hisyar Ozsoy, Assistant Prof. of Sociocultural Anthropology, University of Michigan-Flint

  • Nazan Ustundag, Assistant Prof. of Sociology, Bogazici University; Researcher at SAMER
  • Kadir Ustun, Research Director at SETA Foundation, Washington
  • Nazmi Gur, Deputy Chairman of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP)

Question & Answer Session

Session IV: The United States, the Kurds, and the Future of the Middle East

3:00 – 5:00pm

Moderator: Luqman Barwari, President of Kurdish National Congress of North America

  • Michael Werz, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
  • Sezgin Tanrikulu, Deputy Chairman of Republican People’s Party (CHP)
  • Najmaldin Karim, Governor of Kirkuk, Iraq
  • Selahattin Demirtas, Co-Chair of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP)

Question & Answer Session

Please RSVP at hdp.washington@gmail.com to confirm your participation