Ankara Conference on Genocide to Take Place as Scheduled

ANKARA (A.W.)—The symposium on the Armenian Genocide in Ankara—which was scheduled to be held on April 24-25, but was then canceled earlier this week—will take place as scheduled, the organizers announced.

It had proved to be impossible for the organizers to find a venue, as some venues had declined to host the conference because of security considerations. The Turkish Public Security Department, however, contacted the organizers on April 23 and assured it had resolved the matter with the hotel where the conference was scheduled to take place. The Security Department cited “technical” reasons (infrastructure, etc.) for the initial unwillingness of the hotel to host the conference.

The symposium, titled “1915 Within Its Pre- and Post-Historical Periods: Denial and Confrontation,” was canceled on April 21 after facing “political and bureaucratic hurdles,” the Weekly reported yesterday.

Organized by the Ankara Freedom to Thought Initiative (AFTI), the symposium was not only going to address history but explore issues like the confiscation of Armenian property and reparations.

Participants include Ragip Zarakolu (publisher), Recep Marasli (author of The Armenian National Democratic Movement and 1915 Genocide), Sait Cetinoglu (activist and writer), David Gaunt (genocide scholar, author of Massacres, Resistance, Protectors: Muslim-Christian Relations in Eastern Anatolia During World War I),  Henry Theriault (professor of philosophy, Worcester State University), Baskin Oran (author, professor of political science at Ankara University; one of the initiators of the apology campaign of Turkish intellectuals), and Khatchig Mouradian (doctoral student in Holocaust and genocide studies, Clark University; editor, the Armenian Weekly).

It is not clear at this point whether those participants outside of Turkey will be able to attend the conference on such short notice.

The conference will take place under tight security.

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