EP conference: There are no plays to set up without the Kurds

The second day of the conference had presentations on “The Middle East, regional and international clashes and their echoes” in the first panel discussion.

The second day of the 15th Kurdish conference in the European Parliament is handling the Middle Eastern crisis and solution based around Kurds.

The first two panel discussions of the conference that started on Wednesday had presentations about the state of human rights in Turkey, the character of the regime, the isolation imposed upon Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan, the state of prisons and the importance of international solidarity with the Kurds. Human rights defenders and lawyers attending the conference, including IHD Co-chair Ozturk Turkdogan, said Turkey has lost the characteristic of being a state under the rule of law, there is no constitution in place, and that the country has turned into a semi-open prison.

Moderator Sarah Glynn, artist and activist, stressed solidarity with Kurds and said: “Leftist movements around the world have lost their way. And the Kurds have found a new one.” International Institute for Social Ecology Advisory Board Member and Imrali Peace Delegate Federico Venturini said: “We can’t abandon the Kurds, and we must take inspiration from them.” Cambridge University Faculty Thomas Jeffrey Miley stressed that Kurds have “revived revolutionary dreams”.

The second day of the conference had presentations on “The Middle East, regional and international clashes and their echoes” in the first panel discussion.

EP Greens/European Free Alliance MP Jean Lambert and Germany’s MP Gokay Akbulut moderated the conference.


London Kings College defense research department conference professor Bill Park gave a presentation titled “The role of regional governments in the Syrian conflict” and spoke about the role of Syrian and Turkish governments. “Syria has become a playing field for rivalries and global/regional powers to have at it,” said Park, pointing out that the alliances in the Syrian conflict are not made to last either.

Park added that Turkey’s priority has shifted from taking out Assad to suppressing Rojava: “When Rojava started to rise, Turkey’s focus changed.”

Park said that following their hostility against Rojava, Turkey got a lot softer on ISIS and avoided attacking them, while increasing attacks against Rojava: “Turkey supported jihadist groups at first. Even when the West had grown suspicious of these jihadists, Turkey continued to support them. Damascus and Moscow were also concerned about jihadist groups.”


Park said the Turkish state carried out the “Euphrates Shield” attacks to prevent two parts of Rojava from uniting, and added that they later invaded Afrin “along with jihadist groups”. Park said Turkey faced an issue of the US having an alliance with the YPG, and a second issue of Idlib.

Park called the Turkish invasion of Syria a “swamp” and added that even if there is a tacit agreement between Ankara and Damascus, the future of Syria will remain uncertain. Park concluded his speech by saying, “Nobody wants Turkey on Syrian territory.”


European Union Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) Secretary General Michael Gunter (from the US) spoke about “The crisis in the Middle East and NATO” and, pointed out that Russia has some big goals that would harm NATO and weaken the US. Gunter added that that is why Russia doesn’t object much to Turkey’s presence and forced Kurds to reach an agreement with Damascus. He also spoke about the Erdogan regime’s policies.

Gunter said Erdogan is trying to cut off US support for the Kurds and added that Turkey’s initiative to buy S-400 missiles from Russia caused problems in NATO. Gunter called the Manbij agreement between the US and Turkey “temporary”.