The quest for democracy in Turkey. Universal rights, Kurdish self-determination and the new constitu

The quest for democracy in Turkey. Universal rights, Kurdish self-determination and the new constitu




























Please find detailed inormation on how to enter the European Parliament below.


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The Quest for Democracy in Turkey – Universal Rights and Kurdish Self-Determination

and the Struggles over the New Constitution


European Parliament room ASP 1G2 Brussels

7th & 8th December, 2011


Interpretation available in
Turkish, English, French, German, Dutch, Danish


Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, South Africa


Dr. Shirin Ebadi
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Iran


Bianca Jagger
Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador
Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, UK


Professor Noam Chomsky
Writer, USA


Yasar Kemal
Writer, Turkey


Vedat Turkali
Writer, Turkey


Leyla Zana
European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

Rafto Prize Laureate, Turkey


Wednesday, 7th December 2011, 15.00-16.30
Opening Session, Room ASP 1G2

Opening Remarks and Greetings

Ms. Kariane Westrheim, PhD, Chair of the “European Union – Turkey Civic Commission” (EUTCC), Associate Professor at the University of Bergen, Norway

Video messages of Conference’s Patrons Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Mr. Vedat Turkali, and of Mr. Osman Baydemir, Mayor of Dyiarbakir, Turkey


Opening Speeches

Ms. Leyla Zana, European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, Rafto Prize Laureate, Member of Turkish Parliament, Turkey

Mr. Ahmet Turk (to be confirmed), Member of Turkish Parliament, Co-Chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), Turkey

MEP Jürgen Klute, Member of the European Parliament, Member of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, Coordinator of the EP-Kurds Friendship Group, GUE/NGL Group, Germany

Mr. Lincoln Davis, former USA Congressman, co-founder and former co-chair of the Kurdish Caucus in US Congress, United States

MP Jim Kakygiannis, Member of the Canadian Parliament, House of Commons, Liberal Group, Canada

Ms. Kathryn Cameron Porter, Chair of “Leadership Council for Human Rights” (LCHR), United States



Wednesday, 7th December 2011, 16.30-18.30
Panel I, Room ASP 1G2


Post-election Turkey and Kurdish Perspectives

MEP Alexandra Thein, Member of the European Parliament, ALDE Group, Germany & Ms. Nuray Mert, Associated Professor and journalist of Turkish daily “Milliyet”, Turkey

A. Kurdish perspectives: Assessments of political developments and the current situation

Ms. Gultan Kisanak, Member of Turkish Parliament, Co-Chair of BDP Party, Turkey


B. Kurdish Issue & the EU-Turkey Enlargement Process: implementation of the “Copenhagen Criteria” and the new Turkish constitution

MEP Hélène Flautre, Member of the European Parliament, co-Chair of EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, Greens-EFA Group, France

C. The Arab Spring – The democratic awakening in the region and the Kurdish question

Mr. Robert Lowe, Manager, Middle East Centre, London School of Economics (LSE), UK

D. Rise and fall of the Kurdish Initiative in Turkey

Mr. Michael Gunter, Professor of Political Science, Tennessee Technological University, Secretary General of EUTCC, United States

E. Building consensus: broad alliances with Kurdish & Turkish democratic parties and civil society organizations

Mr. Ertuğrul Kürkçü, Member of Turkish Parliament, Spokesperson of Democratic People’s Congress

Questions and discussion with moderators & speakers


Thursday, 8 December 2011, 09.30-13.00
Panel II, Room ASP 1G2


The New Democratic Constitution: a Legal and Institutional Challenge

MEP Søren Bo Søndergaard, Member of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group, Denmark & Mr. Jon Rud, human rights lawyer, Spain


A. Civil society organizations: proposals for a new democratic Constitution

1) Human rights and constitutional resolution of the Kurdish Issue in Turkey
Mr. Öztürk Türkdoğan, Chairperson of the Human Rights Association (IHD), Turkey

2) Key criteria for a new Constitution: minority and language rights
Mr. Ayhan Bilgen, human rights activist, journalist and writer, Turkey

3) The importance of promoting and protecting the rights of women: gender equality issues in Turkish law constitutional reform and politics
Ms. Aysegul Deveçioglu, women’s rights activist, journalist and writer, Turkey

4) Promoting the rights of religious groups and communities
Mr. Kemal Bülbül, Vice-chairperson of Federation of Alevi, Bektashi Organisation (ABF), Turkey

5) Political prospect for a new democratic Constitution
Mr. Ihsan Daghi, Columnist and Professor at Middle East Technical University, Turkey


B. Towards a democratic Constitution: history and past as well as current lessons of constitutions in countries in transition
1) The South African Experience of the Right to Self-Determination from Apartheid to Democracy
Judge Essa Moosa, EUTCC Board of Directors, South Africa

2) Peoples’ rights and constitutional struggles and debates
Prof. Dr Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

3) The Lessons from European experiments with Devolution of Power / Federalism and Confederalism
Dr. Gwenllian Lansdown Davies, former Chief Executive of Plaid Cymru


C. The Turkish Parliament and the new Constitution: what are the requirements for constitutional and political change?
1) Ms. Ayla Akat Ata, Member of Turkish Parliament, BDP Group, Turkey

2) MP / academic from CHP (to be confirmed)

3) MP / academic from AKP (to be confirmed)

Final remarks on Turkish Constitution’s debate by Mr. Yildirim Turker, columnist, “Radikal” daily newspaper, Turkey

Questions and discussion with moderators & discussants



Thursday, 8 December 2011 15.00-18.00
Panel III, Room ASP 1G2


Peace Building Initiatives for a Negotiated Political Solution

MEP Frieda Brepoels, Member of the European Parliament, Greens-EFA Group, Belgium & Ms. Banu Güven, Journalist, Turkey


A. Prerequisites for peace in Turkey
1) The Kurdish perspective
Ms. Songül Karabulut, KNK


2) What will Turkey do to show its commitment to the resolution of the Kurdish question?

Mr. Cengiz Çandar, journalist and writer, “Radikal” daily newspaper, Turkey


3) The International Crisis Group’s proposals for a solution to the Kurdish question

Mr. Hugh Pope, Project Director, International Crisis Group


4) Turkey: time to end the armed conflict and find a political solution to the Kurdish question

Mr. Selahattin Demirtas, Member of Turkish Parliament, co-Chair of BDP Party, Turkey



B. International experiences of peace & reconciliation-building measures and the recognition of direct and official negotiations between Turks and Kurds

1) The Right to Self-Determination in terms of International Law and how domestic Anti-terror Legislation impacts on such Right

Mr/Ms Irish Representative (to be confirmed)


2) The central role of Abdullah Öcalan in the peace process and political negotiations
Mr. Cengiz Çiçek, Lawyer, Law Office of Century, Turkey


C. Confidence-building measures and the removal of punitive measures such as the “black lists”

Mr. Jan Fermon, Lawyer, Progress Lawyers Network, Belgium


Thursday, 8 December 2011, 18.00-18.30
Closing Session, Room ASP 1G2

EUTCC Declaration for a New Constitution

Final Remarks by the Board of the EUTCC


The Conference will take place in the European Parliament in Brussels – Belgium, please use the main entrance of Place de Luxembourg (the so-called “Espace Simone Weil” and/or entrance “Altiero Spinelli”).

An official “European Parliament pass” will be provided to all participants.

All participants MUST provide the following information to:
[email protected]:

1) name and surname
2) date of birth
3) place and country of residence (if possible, the full address of residence)
4) number of a valid document (ex: passport, national ID, ecc…)

This information must be sent to the above-mentioned mail before the 1st of December 2011. Please note that NO ACCREDITATION will be accepted after this deadline, according to the rules established by the Security Department of the European Parliament.

Your “pass” will be ready and delivered to you starting from 7th of December 2011 at 12h00. It will be available at the main entrance of the European Parliament (Place de Luxembourg – main European Parliament building “Altiero Spinelli” – just after the sliding doors you’ll find a conference desk).


For more information please contact:

Gianfranco BATTISTINI: [email protected] +32 475 64 66 28

Stefano Squarcina [email protected]



The following are a selection of documents from the conference:

Arrests Storm KCK

Ayhan Bilgen speech

Chemical weapons

Chemiewaffen Turkei Jan von Aken

Draft final resolution 8th international conference

EUTCC Against blacklist

EUTCC information file

EUTCC on Arrests of Ocalan’s Lawyers

Gulten Kisanak speech

Gwenllian Lansdown Davies speech

Kamal Mitra Chenoy

Kariane Westrheim speech

Kemal Bübül

Lincoln Davis speech

Mahmut Sakar

Micheal Günter speech

Noam Chomsky greetings

Robert Lowe speech

Songul Karabulut speech

Speakers profiles

Vedat Türkali

Yasar Kemal speech