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LUC The Hague - 'Use of Force Against Terrorism: Legality, Legitimacy and Politics of the Turkish Operation in Syria'

Tuesday 22 May 2018
Anna van Buerenplein
Anna van Buerenplein 301
2595 DG The Hague

Terrorism is not a new political phenomenon. Physical force has been used for political motives throughout history. Currently, there are a number of global as well as regional conventions for the suppression of terrorism. Notwithstanding, prevention of terrorism has not been without problems in international arena. Generally speaking, there has been disagreement about what is to be regarded as ‘terrorism’. The tragic events of 9/11 added to this debate further differences on whether states may respond with force if they are subjected to a terrorist attack emanating from inside the borders of another state.

On 20 January 2018, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch into Afrin, north-western Syria. Turkish government declared that the primary objective of the campaign is self-defense against attacks from terrorist groups along the Turkish 931 km long border with Syria, more specifically to repel the Democratic Union Party (PYD) –the Syrian counterpart/offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist organization–and its armed–wing, People’s Protection Units (YPG), from Turkey’s borders.

This lecture disscusses the extent to which latest Turkish military campaign in Syrian territory is permitted under international norms and approved by the international community with reference to the normative trends in unilateral use of force as a response to terrorism. Secondly, it explores the domestic and regional political determinants of Operation Olive Branch, and inquires the politics of the military intervention.

The event will take place on Tuesday 22 May 5-7pm in the Auditorium. Two discussants are Dr Corinna Jentzsch from Politics and IR Faculty and Dr Aurora Sottimano, Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, and Dr. Beatrix Futák-Campbell will chair the event.

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