Round Table & Seminar

Challenges of National & Religious Minorities in Modern Turkey & Iraq

AIISA seminar hall


AIISA associate and partner experts on Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish and Iranian studies, political scientists, historians, journalists, representatives of Armenia's MFA,  international organizations and diplomatic corpsaccredited in Armenia, young researchers and students. 

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The event's guest speaker - Mr. Benjamin Abtan, the founder and the president of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM), the founder and the coordinator of the Elie Wiesel Network of parliamentarians, and former political advisor to France’s ministers of Foreign Affairs and Justice, will present his findings on modern challenges that national and religious minorities, as well as IDP's and refugees face in Turkey and Iraq amidst the civil war in the Middle East and war on ISIS. He conducted a field trip to Iraq and Turkey respectively in 2016 and 2017, which provided a solid background for comprehensive and in-depth observations and findings on national and religious minorities, their rights and situation on the ground in mentioned countries.  

The speaker’s briefing and presentation will be followed by Q&A and discussion.

The discussion will be held in English.



Styopa Safaryan 

Founder & head, Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs

Opening remarks


Benjamin Abtan

Founder & president of EGAM, founder & coordinator of Elie Wiesel Network,  former political advisor to ministers of Foreign Affairs and Justice, France

Challenges of National & Religious Minorities in Modern Turkey & Iraq




Discussion and speeches


Concluding & closing remarks




About AIISA discussion rules

  • Speaker's speech: 30 minutes;
  • Questions to speaker: 3-5 minutes;
  • Participants’ interventions: 5-7 minutes;
  • Speaker’s closing remarks: 10 minutes;
  • Journalists are kindly asked to take comments and interviews from the speakers only after the discussion.


About the speaker

Mr. Benjamin Abtan is the founder and the president of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement – EGAM, the founder and the coordinator of the Elie Wiesel Network of parliamentarians.

He has been the political advisor of Bernard Kouchner, minister of Foreign affairs of France, and of Christiane Taubira, minister of Justice of France.

He has been the advisor for international affairs of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, the main French public financial institution, in order to build notably the Long Term Investors Club. He has also been the advisor of several French luxury houses for their institutional affairs.

He has been very involved in civil society, as a member of the Board of SOS Racisme, the co-founder of the Save Darfur coalition, the president of the French Union of Jewish students.

He holds engineering and international business degrees, from French top-tier universities, Télécom Paris and ESSEC.


About EGAM & Elie Wiesel Network

Founded in 2010, the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM) is the largest network in Europe of human rights organizations. It mobilizes every year several hundreds of organizations, in more than 35 countries across the continent, including Russia and Turkey, for grassroots and institutional actions. It also works with strong networks of intellectuals, artists, journalists and local and national political leaders.

Founded in 2016, the Elie Wiesel Network is the largest network of parliamentarians in Europe. It is composed of more than 400 members, from various political trends, from 25 national parliaments and the European parliament, involved in the promotion of human rights and democracy and for the prevention of mass atrocities.

Event contact

Round Table & Seminar Events Team