The Third Annual Conference
The Evolving Geopolitics in the post-ISIL Middle East
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
11:40 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The National Press Club
First Amendment Lounge
529 14th St NW Washington, DC 20045
* RSVP is required
All attendees will receive a valid QR code via email to pass through security gates at the entrance of The National Press Club.
We are pleased to announce the KPRC’s Third annual conference which will be held on November 14, 2018 at 12:00 at The National Press Club, in Washington, D.C.
The conference aims to bring together leading academics, journalists, commentators, politicians and policy makers to offer perspectives on the fast-evolving situation in the Middle East, and particularly on Kurdish people’s rise to political and military significance in the region against the backdrop of the fall of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the rise of Iran as the new regional power.
Deliberations will be on the following themes:
How is Tehran’s rapid rise in the Middle East and its interventionist foreign policy undermining regional and global power relations while posing an existential threat to the Kurdish political gains in Iraq and Syria?
How has the campaign of violence and intimidation become the basis for the grip on power that Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party maintain? What are the geopolitical implications of Turkey’s policies towards the crisis in the Middle East and the Turkish involvement in Syria, which are frequently at odds with U.S. policies? Could Turkey resume its so-called ‘Democratic Initiative’ or ‘Kurdish Opening’ as the country is suffering through one of its worst economic and political crises stemming from its anti-Kurdish position?
What will be the new phase of U.S.-Kurdish relations in the post-ISIL period as ISIL subdued leaving its place to a much serious and strategic threat posed by Iran and its proxies in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere? Will the Trump administration continue and consolidate its partnership with Kurds in an effort to compel Iran and its proxies to leave Syria and Iraq? How long the US will tolerate the Turkish occupation of Syria? Could an agreement that disregards the Kurdish interests remedy fundamental issues in the Middle East and serve long-term U.S. interests in the region?
We hope that you can join us for this exciting event that aims at offering a better understanding of the enduring conflicts in the Middle East and potential solutions.
11:40 a.m. Registration
Snacks and coffee available
12:00 p.m. Opening remarks by Dr. Deniz Ekici, Executive Director, Kurdish Policy Research Center (KPRC)
Panel I: Geopolitical implications of Turkey’s policies towards the crisis in the Middle East
Speakers: Dr. Aykan Erdemir, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Mr. Giran Ozcan, The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Representative to the US
Moderator: Dr. Nazan Bedirhanoglu, Postdoctoral Fellow, Wellesley College; Visiting Fellow, Middle East Studies at Brown University
Panel II: The new phase of US-Kurdish relations in the fast-evolving Syrian conflict
Speakers: Ms. Ilham Ahmad, Senior Member of the Syrian Democratic Council
Mr. Bassam Ishak, President, The Syriac National Council in Syria
Ms. Sarah N. Stern, The Founder and the President of Endowment for Middle East Truth
Moderator: Mr. Ethem Coban, Research Associate, Public International Law & Policy Group; Coordinator, Kurdish Studies Network
Panel III: Tehran’s growing influence in the Middle East: How did Iraq and Syria become satellite states of Iran?
Speakers: Dr. Najmaddin Karim, Former Governor of Kirkuk
Dr. David Pollock, Bernstein Fellow, Director of Project Fikra, The Washington Institute
Dr. Harold Rhode, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Gatestone Institute
Moderator: Dr. Amy Austin Holmes, Fellow, The Wilson International Center for Scholars; Visiting Scholar, Weatherhead Scholars Program, Harvard University