One Hundred Years of the Kurdish Question: Ismail Beşikçi on the history of the continuing anti-Kurdish paradigm in the Middle East
Join us for an enlightening evening with renowned Turkish scholar Ismail Beşikçi, as he outlines the history of Kurdish aspirations for statehood, which predate the formation of the modern nation states of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. These states have ruled over Kurdistan by use of both soft and hard power; from outright denial of the existence of the Kurds to forced assimilation and genocidal policies. Despite the discernible denial of the most basic human rights, let alone the right to self-determination, the plight of the Kurds has, until recently, received little attention in the global arena.
Ismail Beşikçi is a renowned sociologist, Kurdologist, PEN Honorary Member and former Nobel Peace Prize candidate who is internationally sought after for his insights on the Kurdish Question and the continuing struggle of Kurds, including their right to national self-determination. He is the author of numerous anthropological studies on the social stratification of Kurds and Kurdistan, which in his analysis constitutes a kind of «international colony» under the joint occupation of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.
Ismail Beşikçi was imprisoned for a total of 17 years by the Turkish state for his research on the Kurds and the Kurdish cause, which consistently contradicted the denialist official historiography and political discourse of the Turkish state.
The discussion will focus on the Kurdish struggle for independence from Sykes-Picot to the recent Independence Referendum held in Iraqi Kurdistan in September 2017 and the reasons behind the lack of defence of the democratic will of the Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan by international actors.