Symposium The Challenges and Future Prospects of Mosul and its Environs

  • Tarihler: 23 – 23 Şub, 2019


Symposium The Challenges and Future Prospects of 

Mosul and its Environs

February 23, 2019 - IZU Museum Hall

Following the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the borders of the Middle East were drawn by the allied powers within the nation-state model, which may have been against the will of most of the people of the region. Mosul and its environs, formerly known as the Mosul Vilayet, was a distinctive case. Whether it would have been part of the new Republic of Turkey, or of British mandatory Iraq, it had been of great concern for the League of Nations for years, as the latter had assigned a special commission to determine its fate. Eventually, the region was conditionally attached to Iraq in 1926. The commission ignored the peculiarities of the people of the region in terms of identity, diversity, and affiliations. However, the conditional attachment in the commission’s report demonstrated that the efforts made by the League of Nations to protect the people of the contested area were within the religious, language and territorial aspects. The people in the Vilayet were diverse and included Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, and Jews. 

Since Iraq’s declaration of independence on May 30, 1932, some of these communities asserted that their various rights had been violated on several occasions, while subsequently the UN Human Rights Commission had condemned Iraq for widespread, systematic, and officially sanctioned human rights violations. In the past, with its rich history, diverse demography, and enormous resources, Mosul Vilayet was a symbol of trade and prosperity where different groups had lived in peace and harmony. Recently, it has represented one of the most troubled regions in Iraq and in the larger Middle East. Given recent developments since the 2003 invasion of Iraq in general, and the fall of Mosul by ISIS in 2014 in particular, as well as subsequent events, the region seems to remain as a problem area for both regional and world politics. Thus, its future has been a concern for the neighboring countries and the international community, as well as within the academic circles. In any case of conflict resolution, the grounded approach of academic studies has proven to be essential in understanding, analyzing, and resolving such conflicts.   

The Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) at Istanbul Zaim University (IZU) in Turkey, in cooperation with the Center for Local and Regional Politics (also at IZU), are organizing and sponsoring a workshop on February 23, 2019 in Istanbul, Turkey to closely examine this issue from different perspectives. 

The objective of the symposium is to bring distinguished scholars and academics in their respective fields in order to discuss the challenges and future prospects of the region. The scholars will engage in thoughtful discussions regarding the reexamination of the region from historical, cultural, sociological, religious, political and legal perspectives. The symposium will not only analyze these topics but will also attempt to present novel and practical solutions to the difficult challenges the region faces.

Symposium Program

The Challenges and Future Prospects of Mosul and its Environs

Saturday, February 23, 2019 - IZU Museum Hall

9:00-9:20  Welcome and Introduction    

Prof. Dr. Mehmet Bulut, IZU Rector  

Mr. Tarık Çelenk, Coordinator, Center for Local and Regional Policy Research, IZU   

Prof. Dr. Sami A. Al-Arian, CIGA Director

9:20-9:45  Keynote Address:

Prof. Dr. Numan Kurtulmuş, Former Deputy Prime Minister, Vice Chair, AKP

9:45 – 11:30  Theme I: Historical Overview and Present Status

Michael Provence, Department of History, University of California, San Diego 

Atheel al-Nujaify, Former Governor of Mosul

Othman Ali, Sakarya University, Task Center for Strategic Studies-Erbil

Mehmet Akif Okur, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Yıldız Technical University

11:30 – 12:00  Break

12:00 – 13:00 Theme I Discussion

14:15 - 16:00  Theme II: Future Prospects and Possible Scenarios

Richard FalkUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Alan Mumtaz Noory, American University in Iraq- Sulaimani

Erşat Hürmüzlü, General Secretary of the International Arab-Turkish Dialogue Platform

Husam Botani, Policy Making Center for International and Strategic Studies

16:00 - 16:30  Break
16:30 - 18:15  Theme II Discussion
18:15 - 18:30  Summary


Speakers’ Biographies

Othman Ali, an Iraqi born scholar who is a Professor of Modern History and politics of Kurds at Salahaddin University in Erbil. He is currently a research fellow at the Middle East Institute at Sakarya University.  He earned his masters and Ph. D degrees from the University of Toronto –Canada. He has written extensively on modern Kurdish history and politics in Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. Dr. Ali, has also co-authored, with the late Ahmed Essa, the Professor of Islamic Studies at Berkeley University in the US, a standard work titled Studies in Islamic Civilization: The Muslim Contribution to the Renaissance published in 2010, which has been translated into Turkish and many European languages.

Atheel al-Nujaifi graduated from the college of civil engineering from Mosul University in 1979. He went on to receive his law degree from the University of Mosul in 1998. Between 1985 and 2009, al-Nujaifi worked in the private business sector, and entered the political arena in 2005. In 2009, al-Nujaifi won one-third of the votes in Nineveh Province, with his party taking half the parliamentary seats in the province. He served as the governor of the province between 2009 - 2015. al-Nujaifi opposed the former Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, in his approach with Sunni regions and protestors. He witnessed the fall of Mosul to the hands of Daesh and was one of the last to evacuate the city after the withdrawal of military forces. al-Nujaifi has called for the residents of Mosul to be given support and the means to defend themselves against Daesh, without reliance on external forces. He was fired for his stances in 2015, and thereafter led a paramilitary force, the Nineveh Guards, to combat Daesh. al-Nujaifi is the President of Al-Ghad Foundation, a network of civil society organizations working in Mosul in the field of media, studies, and humanitarian aid. He is also a member of the Sunni political coalition, Muttahidoon.

Hussam Botani studied political science at the University of Mosul in Iraq, where he worked for four years before joining the University of Ghazi in Ankara, Turkey. He has been the head of policy making for international and strategic studies for two years. He is also the Editor in Chief of the Strategic Policy Journal which publishes in Arabic, Turkish, and English.

Richard Falk is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice Emeritus, Princeton University and currently a Distinguished Research Fellow, at Orfalea Center of Global Studies, UCSB. He was UN Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine, 2008- 2014. In 2017 Dr. Falk co-authored a UN report entitled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and Question of Apartheid” that generated controversy and widespread discussion. He is Senior Vice President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. In 2018 he was Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Institute of State Crime, Queen Mary’s University London, UK and Visiting Professor at International College, Torino, Italy. In 1972 he published This Endangered Planet: Prospects and Proposals for Human Survival (1972). His most recent book is Revisiting the Vietnam War: The Selected Writing of Richard Falk, ed. Stefan Andersson (2017). Other recent books are Humanitarian Intervention and Legitimacy Wars (2014), Palestine: The Legitimacy of Hope (2015), Chaos & Counterrevolution: After the Arab Spring (2015), Power Shift: On the New Global Order (2016); Waiting for Rainbows (poetry) (2016); Palestine’s Horizon: Towards a Just Peace (2017). In recognition of his work in the area of human rights, Euro Med Monitor has created an annual ‘Falk Award’ given to young refugees that overcome the challenges of their status. Falk has been annually nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize since 2009.

Ershat Hürmüzlü graduated from the Law School of Baghdad University. He received a diploma in Business and Insurance also from Baghdad University. He worked in the Baghdad Radio and prepared programs on Turkish Literature. He also received a diploma in the German language from Murnau-Germany. He served as General Manager for several companies in the Middle East. Mr. Hürmüzlü published six books in Turkish, Arabic and English on Turkish History and Middle East Affairs and translated four books. He was appinted as Senior Advisor of the President of Turkey for the Middle East in 2008, as well as acted as the special envoy for the President. During his seven- year tenure, He gave many presentations at many  conferences, published several papers in fifteen Arab countries as well as several European countries He was interviewed by numerous TV stations over 150 times. He was elected as the General Secretary of the International Arab-Turkish Dialogue Platform, which is an institution founded by a Ministerial Decree. He also writes for several Arab and Turkish Papers. 

Alan M. Noory received his MA and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science from the University of Missouri, St. Louis, (US) in 2008 and 2012 respectively. He also received  M.Sc. in Economics from Salahaddin University, Iraq in 1996. Dr. Noory has taught a wide range of courses in political science, sociology, business and law in multiple public and private universities in Iraq. He held multiple administrative positions in a private university in Iraq including as the Vice President of Academic Affairs. His main Research areas is the investigation of the role of modern Iraq’s land tenure structure in generating mass violence, and support for identity-based violent political mobilization in post-2003 Iraq. His research Interests include, Iraq’s Socio-Political History, Identity Politics in the Middle East, Land Tenure Conflicts, and the Economics of Civil Peace. He presented many papers in international conferences at the Middle Eastern Studies Association (US), Society for Anthropology of North America (US), and International Studies Association (US). He is a frequent political commentator with Iraqi and Arab TVs and newspapers.

Mehmet Akif Okur is a graduate of Boğaziçi University, Department of Political Science and International Relations. He completed his master's and doctorate at Gazi University, where he worked as a lecturer for many years. Currently, he is the Head of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the Yıldız Technical University. His books include “Emperyalizm, Hegemonya, İmparatorluk: Tarihsel Dünya Düzenleri ve Irak’ın İşgali” (Imperialism, Hegemony, Empire: Historical World Schemes and Occupation of Iraq) and “Yeni Çağın Eşiğinden Avrasya’nın Kalbine Bakmak” (Looking to the Heart of Eurasia through the Threshold of the New Age). His main areas of research include Turkish Foreign Policy, US Foreign Policy, Middle East and History and Civilization Studies. 

Michael Provence is Professor, Department of History, University of California, San Diego. He has been a visiting assistant professor in the AUB Department of History and Archaeology, an Alexander von Humboldt senior fellow at the Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin, and a fellow at the Institut d’Etudes Avancées de Nantes, France.  He was educated at the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley, and spent long periods living in Damascus, where he studied at Damascus University,  and Beirut. He has written two books, The Great Syrian Revolt, (2005, Arabic 2012) and The Last Ottoman Generation and the Making of the Modern Middle East, (2017), and many articles on the late Ottoman and colonial Arab East of the early twentieth century.