Nov 11, 2015

UNPO announces European Parliament conference: Iraqi Turkmen Trapped in No-Man's Land: Between Assimilation, Exodus and ISIS

11 November 2015


Altiero Spinelli A5G-1

European Parliament, Brussels


The rapid advance of ISIS forces across northern and central Iraq since June 2014 has created an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe affecting not only the Middle East region, but also causing waves of mass migration that have become a rising challenge for the EU. Iraq’s Turkmen, the third largest ethnic group in the country, are among millions affected but thus far their plight has gone largely underreported.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg, as a review of their history over the past decades reveals a pattern of discrimination, targeted violence, assimilation and forced removal from cities and villages across northern Iraq.

Against this background, Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP (ALDE) in cooperation with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) will be convening a conference entitled ‘Iraqi Turkmen Trapped in No-Man’s Land: Between Assimilation, Exodus and ISIS’ at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, on 11 November 2015 from 10:00-12:30.

This conference seeks to build further on a series of initiatives by the European Parliament to raise awareness of the multiple violations of the human rights of the Iraqi Turkmen, including a hearing by the Subcommittee on Human Rights in 2011 and an urgent resolution on the matter in 2013, and to discuss possible ways forward in addressing these violations. It will seek to address recent developments in Iraq through a comprehensive ‘big-picture’ analysis, and assess the effectiveness of EU policies and initiatives in the region.

The conference will bring together academics, politicians, EU policy makers, practitioners and Turkmen representatives, and is open to the press.




Confirmed speakers include:

Panel I: Iraqi Turkmen and the Complex Reality of Iraq  

Mr Nick Grinstead from Clingendael Institute, Netherlands

Ms Sundus Saqi, Political Activist and Iraqi Turkmen Representative to the UK 

Dr Dirk Rochtus, Professor in International Relations, KU Leuven

Panel II: Local and International Perspectives and Strategies

Dr Kelsey Shanks fom Exeter University, UK

Ms Alison Smith, Director of International Criminal Justice Program, No Peace without Justice

Ms Rosamaria Gili, EEAS Deputy Head of Division MENA-5


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