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INVITATION FOR THE 13th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON "TURKEY, AND THE KURDS" 7-8 December 2016

Dear Participant,

For 13 years the EUTCC has organised annual international conferences in the European Parliament, focusing on the Kurdish question and democratic processes in Turkey. With invited civil society organizations, academics, European, Turkish and Kurdish politicians, policy-makers and activists, these conferences have received international attention. The work of the EUTCC is unique, as no other organization has the same competence and approach to the issues concerning the Kurds and Turkey. The conference patrons include internationally recognised individuals like Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Noam Chomsky, Leyla Zana, Shirin Ebadi, Bianca Jagger, and Vedat Turkali.

The final resolution of each conference has urged the European Union (EU), the United States (US), the international community and all democratic forces to apply their political influence to encourage Turkey to find a peaceful and political solution to the Kurdish question. The conferences have provided a more accurate and objective picture to the public about the real situation in Turkey, and their final resolutions have been taken advantage of in the EU institutions’ annual reports. Finally, these conferences have constituted an important source of background information for the media outlets.  

This year, we have decided not only to focus on the Kurdish question in Turkey but to include the present crises in the Middle East and the situation of the Kurds and other peoples in the affected areas. The situation in the Middle East and the search for a political and democratic solution is a crucial issue to discuss. Almost all Western and regional states and the peoples in the area are involved in this process. On the other side are the radical groups like Al-Nusra and ISIS, who increasingly terrorise the entire region along with the whole world. There has, of course, been effective resistance against these groups, but in order to find a final and peaceful solution to the crisis more is required.

Peoples the Middle East along with a number of international institutions are currently discussing the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, which is seen as a reason for the current problems in the Middle East in particular by the peoples who lost their freedom and their basic democratic rights. The result has been a century of crisis, conflicts and wars.

In order to discuss these problems and point to possible solutions we have decided that this year’s conference should focus around these issues. With the support of most of the Kurdish political parties in all parts of Kurdistan, the EUTCC with its partners in the European Parliament (the socialist-leaning and left groups) wish to discuss this important state of affairs. Hereby, we are kindly asking you to participate in our conference as your participation will contribute to the quality of the discussions through which you have the opportunity to raise your short comments and questions to the speakers. Unfortunately, due to our limited budget, we won’t be able to cover your travel expense and accommodation cost.  

IMPORTANT TECHNICAL INFORMATION
"HOW TO PARTICIPATE AND ENTER THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT?" 

An official "European Parliament personal badge/pass" will be available for all participants to the Conference, all participants must communicate before the 28th of November to the email brusselsconferenceep@gmail.com the following mandatory information:

1) Name and surname
2) Date of birth
3) Nationality
4) Place and country of residence (if possible, the full address of residence)
5) Number of a valid document (ex: passport, national ID, etc.) 

This information must be sent before 28 November.
Email: brusselsconferenceep@gmail.com

Please note that NO ACCREDITATION will be accepted after this deadline, according to the rules established by the Security Department of the European Parliament.

Your "personal badge/pass" will be available at the main entrance of the European Parliament (Place de Luxembourg—main European Parliament's building "Altiero Spinelli"—just after the sliding doors you'll find a conference desk), during AND ONLY the following date/hours.

Please note that all participants must take a good care of their own "EP badge/pass" during both days. If someone loses the "pass/badge" it will be impossible for the conference's organizers to replace it, according to the EP’s internal rules.

For any additional information, please contact the conference's secretariat:
Email: brusselsconferenceep@gmail.com

Brussels 10 November, 2016

Respectfully yours

Kariane Westrheim                                                             Michael Gunter
Chair of EU Turkey Civic Commission                                     Secretary EU Turkey Civic Commission


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