CEFTUS Westminster Debate ‘Turkey, the Kurds and the crisis in the Middle East’

The Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS) is delighted to invite you to a Westminster Debate titled ‘Turkey, the Kurds and the crisis in the Middle East’. Keynote speakers are Bill Park of Kings College, Independent Analyst Gareth Winrow and Deputy Director of RUSI Qatar, Michael Stephens. 

Please see speaker biographies below.

Whilst the fight against ISIS is intensifying in Kobane by the US-led international coalition, the regional actors continue negotiating their interests. Turkey remains adamant in requesting safe havens in Syria for refugees and a strategy to oust al-Assad regime as well as designating Kurdish PYD as a terrorist organisation. Syrian officials oppose Turkey’s requests and the US and Germany of the international coalition consider sending arms to the Kurdish fighters. Relations between Turkey and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are tangled by developments in Kobane. Our keynote speakers, Mr Bill Park, Mr Gareth Winrow and Mr Michael Stephens will analyse the complex relations and interests among the regional actors and discuss the future of the crisis in the Middle East.

This CEFTUS Westminster Debate is kindly hosted by Jonathan Reynolds Labour (Co-op) MP for Stalybridge and Hyde.

Baroness Hussein-Ece and Dr Ayla Gol will co-chair this debate.

The event will take place on Monday 27th October, between 7PM and 9.00PM in Committee Room 12, House of Commons. Please note that security checks are required to enter the House of Commons. We kindly ask you to arrive at 6.30PM to allow the event to start and end on time. Booking is required for this event to ensure adequate seating availability.

Please click ‘register’ above. Alternatively, RSVP to [email protected]

Looking forward to welcoming you at this event.

Speaker/Chairperson biographies

Mr Gareth Winrow is an independent research analyst and consultant based in Oxford. He is also a part-time tutor at Oxford University. Previously, he worked in Turkey where he was a Professor in the Department of International Relations at Istanbul Bilgi University and also taught at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. A recipient of two NATO Research Fellowships and a US Institute of Peace Fellowship, he has worked as a consultant for Eurasia Group and Sidar Global Advisors, is a member of Chatham House, and serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Turkish Studies. He has published extensively on Turkish foreign policy and on energy and regional security issues. A regular participant at the UK-Turkey TatliDil Forum, he is the co-author of The Kurdish Question and Turkey: An Example of a Trans-State Ethnic Conflict (1997).

Mr Bill Park is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Defence Studies, King’s College, London University, and is based at the UK Defence Academy, Shrivenham. He is the author of journal articles, book chapters, and monographs on a range of Turkish foreign policy issues, including its EU accession prospects, Turkey and ESDP, the Cyprus problem, Turkey’s policies towards Northern Iraq, Turkey-US relations, the Fethullah Gulen movement, and the Ergenekon affair.  His book, ‘Modern Turkey: People, State and Foreign Policy in a Globalized World’, was published by Routledge in 2011. In March 2014, he published a monograph entitled ‘Turkey-KRG relations after the US withdrawal from Iraq: putting the Kurds on the map?’, with the Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College. He is currently conducting a longer-term study of Turkey and the regional Kurdish issue, which will be published in book form by Zed Books. He serves as a trustee and council member for the British Institute at Ankara and is on the editorial board of Mediterranean Politics.

Mr Michael Stephens is the Deputy Director of RUSI Qatar, having joined RUSI’s London office in September 2010, first in the Nuclear Security Programme, then in International Security Studies. His recent research has focused on Arab Shia identity across the Middle East and its relationship with Iran. He is also a specialist in Qatari foreign policy and Gulf security, writing about issues of society and security from his base in Doha. As a frequent commentator on Middle East affairs, his writing has appeared in many news outlets and he is also a regular broadcast commentator. Michael studied at King’s College London and in the Middle East.

Baroness Hussein-Ece was elected to Hackney Council as a Labour Party councillor for the Clissold ward in 1994 and became deputy leader in 1995 and 1996. She was the first woman from a Turkish/Cypriot background elected to public office in the UK. She then joined the Liberal Democrats and she was re-elected to Hackney Borough Council in Dalston ward in 1998. Baroness Hussein-Ece was awarded the OBE in the Queens New Year Honours 2009, for services to local government and was then appointed as a peer in the House of Lords in May 2010.

Dr Ayla Göl is a Senior Lecturer in International Politics; she joined the department in Aberystwyth University in 2005, having started her academic career at the Department of International Relations, LSE (2003-05). She was a Visiting Scholar at the Centre of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge, November 2009 and March 2010. She was also the inaugural John Vincent Visiting Fellow at the Department of International Relations, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University (2002-03). She serves on the editorial boards of Critical Studies on Terrorism, Mediterranean Politics and Centre for the Strategic and Research Analysis. Her research interests focus on Islamic studies, nationalism, identity politics, foreign policy analysis and Postcolonial politics with particular reference to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Eurasia, the Caucasus, and Turkey. She is the author of Turkey Facing East: Islam, Modernity and Foreign Policy, Manchester University Press, 2013.