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June 25, 2019 at 12pm – June 26, 2019

Shifting Dynamics of the Kurdistan Question in a Changing Middle East

The 3rd International Kurdish Studies Conference is taking place at Middlesex University on 25-26 June, organised by the Department of Politics and Law, Middlesex UniversityMinority Rights Group International and the Centre for Kurdish Progress.

Conference Registration

Registration for the 3rd International Kurdish Studies Conference is now open. You can register for the conference by filling out the form in our registration website until 15 June 2019 here.


Over 35 million Kurds live under the national jurisdictions of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria where the Kurdish identity, culture, linguistic rights, homeland and own political representation are contested and contained in most cases by the force of arms. Consequently, the combination of authoritarian state ideologies, the systematic and recurrent use of state violence in these countries has led to the rise of Kurdish opposition. In turn, the ruling states have further used the Kurdish resistance as a pretext to reinforce draconian policies of negation, assimilation and elimination of Kurdish national aspirations.

The 20th century has marked the most repressive state policies against the Kurdish quest for self determination. At the turn of the 21st century, however, various political developments suggest a shift for the Kurds. The regime change in Iraq in 2003, the ongoing civil war in Syria and the emergence of ISIS were among the watershed events that have not only changed the balance of power in the Middle East but also the perception and position of the Kurds in the global political system.

The establishment of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Kurdistan-Iraq, the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria and the rise of pro-Kurdish political parties in Kurdistan-Turkey have given rise to the political visibility of the Kurds in international politics. The old borders and boundaries that separated the Kurds are becoming increasingly ineffective. These crucial developments have deepened the sovereignty crisis of the oppressive regional states. Simultaneously with this emerging new political geography and visibility of the Kurds, the number of scholarly studies on the “Kurdish Question” and “Kurdistan Question” has rapidly increased in recent years. The “Kurdistan Question” is growing into an international political issue that needs a global response to find a peaceful settlement in the region.

Please click here for the full program.

Keynote Speaker
Prof Abbas Vali, Emeritus Professor of Sociology

The Conference Organising Committee
Dr Janroj Yilmaz Keles, Middlesex University
Prof Joshua Castellino, Middlesex University and Minority Rights Group International
Dr Naif Bezwan, University of Innsbruck, Austria, and UCL
Ibrahim Dogus, Centre for Kurdish Progress
Ass.Prof Mehmet Ali Dikerdem, Middlesex University
Dr Tunc Aybak, Middlesex University
Dr Edel Huges, Middlesex University
Prof. Dr. Abdurrahman Gülbeyaz Nagasaki University
Dr Arzu Yilmaz
Dr Selim Temo, Associate professor
Dr Umut Erel, Open University
Dr Necla Acik, University of Manchester
Dr Kamal Soleimani, The College of Mexico, Mexico
Dr Mohammed Shareef, University of Exeter

Conference Details
Location: Middlesex University, London, UK


Abstract submission deadlineMarch 15th , 2019
Notification of acceptanceApril 1st , 2019
Conference DateJune 25-26, 2019

Conference Fee
Registration fee: £ 100
Discount fee for students (postgraduate and doctoral): £ 50
All delegates will be expected to make and pay for their own travel and accommodation arrangements.

Contact: For more information, please contact Dr Janroj Yilmaz Keles at [email protected] 


June 25, 2019 at 12pm – June 26, 2019


Middlesex University


Dr Janroj Yilmaz Keles · [email protected]


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