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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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Fifth International Conference on the EU, Turkey and the Kurds Opens at European Parliament

Speeches get underway at the conference

The Fifth International Conference on the EU, Turkey and the Kurds was launched at the European Parliament in Brussels today, with opening remarks by Kariane Westrheim, the Chair of the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) which hosts the event.

Comments followed from, among others, Vice President of the European Parliament Luisa Morgantini and EUTCC patron and 1995 Sakharov Prize winner Leyla Zana.

KHRP Executive Director Kerim Yildiz opened the first session on 'EU/Turkish accession: International Perspectives' by reviewing the progress of Turkey's accession bid. He urged the EU to 'play a more constructive role in assisting Turkey’s reform, leading it to become a country which lives up to European standards of human rights protection, democracy and the rule of law.'

Sessions later in the day included discussion of the role of Europe in promoting democratic changes and the prospects for long-term socio-economic development through the EU accession process. The conference continues with two further sessions tomorrow on human rights, the rule of law and the ongoing conflict.  

The EU-Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC), formed in 2004, aims to both promote and provide suggestions for Turkey’s bid for EU accession, and to help guarantee respect for human and minority rights and a peaceful, democratic and long-term solution to the Kurdish situation. Founding members of the EUTCC include the Kurdish Human Rights Project, the Bar Human Rights Committee, Medico International and the Thorolf Rafto Foundation for Human Rights.

A translation of this press release into Arabic and Sorani is available here.