SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

The Kurds in the Middle East: New Developments and Prospects

Kurds Conference Image

Date: 24 April 2015Time: 2:00 PM

Finishes: 24 April 2015Time: 6:15 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Conference

Since last summer, largely owing to the events in Kobanê, developments in those parts of Kurdistan that fall within the official boundaries of the states of Iraq, Syria and Turkey have drawn increasing attention globally, bringing to a new climax a century of violence which started with WWI and the Armenian genocide. Kurdish autonomy has become a fact in Northern Iraq for more than two decades. It is unfolding in Eastern Syria since the beginning of the uprising in that country in 2011. What future awaits the Kurds and the states of Iraq, Syria and Turkey? How to assess the ‘democratic autonomy’ project of the Kurdish movement in Syria and Turkey? What are the prospects of the peace talks in Turkey? Is the Kurdish movement in Iran immune to these developments? This half-day conference will address these questions and others pertaining to the same issue.


2:00-2:15 pm, Opening Remarks:

Dr. Hassan Hakimian (SOAS)

2:15-2:45 pm, Keynote Speech:

Prof. Hamit Bozarslan (EHESS) The New State of Violence in the Middle East and the Kurdish Issue

2:45-4:15 pm, Panel 1: ‘Conflicts and the Prospects for the Kurds in Syria and Iraq’:

Prof. Nadje Al-Ali (SOAS) Iraqi Kurdish Women's Rights Activists between Nationalism and Neo-liberalism

Prof. Gilbert Achcar (SOAS) Kurdish Struggle and Arab Uprising: A Complex Relation

Dr. Thomas Jeffrey Miley (Cambridge) The Rojava Revolution: Strengths and Challenge

Ms. Houzan Mahmoud (Women's Freedom for Iraq) The Struggle for National Liberation and the Women’s Question in Rojava

Chair: Nelida Fuccaro (SOAS)

4:15-4:30 pm, Coffee Break

4:30-6:00 pm, Panel 2: ‘Peace Talks in Turkey and the Future of the Kurdish Question in Turkey and Iran’:

Prof. Abbas Vali (Boğaziçi University, Turkey) In the Shadow of the Absolute Sovereign: Kurds of Iran and the Politics of Survival

​Dr. Özlem Galip (Oxford) Road to Peace under the AKP regime: an Opportunity or Fallacy?

Dr. Veli Yadirgi (SOAS) The Kurds and the Kurdish Question in Turkey: From Denial to Recognition, From Recognition to Autonomy?

Dr. Latif Tas (SOAS) What Kind of Peace? The Case of Turkish and Kurdish Peace Process

Chair: Prof. Sami Zubaida (Birkbeck)

6:00-6:15 pm, Closing Remarks

Admission: £10; Students (if booked before Friday 10 April): £3. To register please visit the SOAS Online Store

Organiser: London Middle East Institute

Contact email: /

Contact Tel: 020 7898 4330/4490