A landmark Armenian-Kurdish Conference held in the UK

Establishment of a permanent Kurdish-Armenian dialogue.

This week marked a development in Armeno-Kurdish relations with a major Conference held in the UK parliament. Nearly all of the UK Kurdish organisations were represented.

On Tuesday (08 July 2008), in the House of Commons, Prof. Kamal Mazhar Ahmad, former Professor of history at Baghdad University gave a presentatiion based on his book on the Kurds in World War I and the Armenian Genocide. He had quoted from witnessess such as Faez Al-Ghosain who was in Turkey at the time of the Genocide.  He maintained that the killings were premeditated by the Turkish state, rather than being outbursts of violence at local level. His presentation (delivered in Arabic and translated) was well received and several Kurds in the audience rose at the end to say that Kurds should apologise for the involvement of many of them in the Genocide. Several expressed their desire to become involved in the work for Recognition of this Genocide.

It was decided unanimously, at the suggestion of Adnan Kochar, director of Centre of Halabja against the Anfalization and Genocide of Kurdish People (CHAK), that we should  write to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) [in Northern Iraq] to ask for official recognition of the 1915 Genocide of the Armenians and the Assyrians, and also to the Armenian Government to ask for official recognition of the Anfal Genocide. 

The other speaker, eminent  Kurdish writer Rebwar Fatah concentrated on issues of Human Rights related to Genocide.

On Wednesday (09 July 2008) in the House of Lords, the issue of the betrayal of Armenians, Kurds and Assyrians by the Great Powers in the Treaty of Lausanne was addressed (close to its 85th anniversary). The speakers were researcher Tony Kahve, writer Dr Kemal Miredali and researcher Ms Soma Mallzada. The legitimacy of the Lausanne Treaty was challanged and questioned from the perspective of the three nations which were not allowed to participate in its creation. It was noted that Turkey has continually broken the terms of the treaty, rendering it even more invalid. The speeches will be ready for distribution soon.

One valuable contribution was sent to the Conference by Haydar Issik, a Kurdish writer now in Germany. (See the article here)

– Armenian Solidarity with the Victims of all Genocides (
[email protected])
– Nor Serount Cultural Association
– Centre of Halabja against the Anfalization and Genocide of Kurdish People
– Seyfo Centre
c/o The Temple of Peace, Cardiff, Wales  07718982732