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The Olive Tree Programme

Crises on Turkey's Southern Border: What's at Stake?

Date: Tuesday 25 November 2014
Time: 6.00 - 7.30pm
Location: A130, College Building, 280 St John Street, London EC1V 4PB

Along Turkey's southern flank, refugees have been fleeing one way and volunteer fighters the other. Straddling the borders are different Kurdish communities, glimpsing the possibility of independence. In both Syria and Iraq the forces of Islamic State, with their exclusivist sectarian agenda, threaten to remake the political geography of the region. Ranged against IS are the Iraqi Shia militia, aided by Iran, as well as some Gulf Arabs, the Syrian regime, some Europeans and the United States. The implications are murky and complex:

On the panel:

Sami Zubaida is Emeritus Professor of Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck College University of London and a specialist in the religion,

culture and politics of the Middle East. The books he has written include Beyond Islam: A new understanding of the Middle East; Law and Power in the Islamic World and Islam, the People and the State.

Bülent G‘kay is Professor of International Relations and Head of School at Keele University, with previous posts at Cambridge University and Birkbeck College London. His book, written with Vassilis Fouskas, Global Faultlines and the Shifting Imperial Order was published in 2012.

Robert Lowe is Manager of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics, having previously managed the Middle East Programme at Chatham House. His own research interest is the Kurds of Syria and his latest paper on 'The Emergence of Western Kurdistan and the Future of Syria' was published in Romano & Gurses (eds.), Conflict, Democratization and the Kurds in the Middle East (2014).

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.