Academic Conference on Armenian Genocide to Be Held in Istanbul

Bilgi University

ISTANBUL—Scholars from around the world will convene at Istanbul Bilgi University on April 26, 2015, to participate in an international conference entitled “The Armenian Genocide: Concepts and Comparative Perspectives” and co-sponsored by Istanbul Bilgi University, the History Foundation in Turkey (Tarih Vakfı), and the Modern Armenian History Chair at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The conference is part of the week-long series of activities commemorating the centenary of the Armenian Genocide in Istanbul organized by DurDe, a Turkish human rights organization, and Project 2015, a US-based group helping to organize Armenians visiting Turkey for the historic commemoration.

“This is a very important opportunity for scholars from around the world to address critical aspects of the facts and history of the Armenian Genocide here, in Istanbul, 100 years after it started,” said Bülent Bilmez, chair of Bilgi’s history department and the History Foundation in Turkey. “We hope that speaking openly about the shared history of Armenians and the other peoples of Turkey—something that has not always been possible—will help our society come to terms with the past.”

Among the scholars participating in the conference are Norman Naimark, Jay Winter, Dirk Moses, Müge Göçek, Cathie Carmichael, Keith Watenpaugh, Uğur Ümit Üngör, and Mehmet Polatel. The gathering will probe the concept of genocide from a comparative perspective, explore the forced transfer of children, and examine how the genocide has been mapped in historiography and memorialized and enshrined in collective and historical memory.

“To those who have suggested that historians review the history of the Armenian Genocide we say, ‘We are coming to Istanbul to do just that, with fellow historians in Turkey,’ ” said Sebouh Aslanian, Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair of Modern Armenian History at the History Department of the University of California, Los Angeles. “A frank and open discussion of the historical record is our way of contributing to knowledge and education about the Armenian Genocide in Turkey.”

Project 2015 will organize a bus service to the conference. It will depart from the Intercontinental Hotel at 9:15 a.m. and will return by 7:30 p.m. An optional dinner may be organized at Bilgi after the event.

The conference will be open to all Project 2015 participants who register by sending their information to and completing the registration form. Others wishing to attend should write to

The full agenda will be available through by the end of March.

Project 2015 has made study grants available to students wishing to travel to Turkey for the commemoration activities.

For more information about the conference, please contact:
In Istanbul, Daniel Ohanian (Armenian, French, Turkish, English):
In Los Angeles, Sebouh Aslanian (English, Armenian):

For more information about Bilgi and the History Foundation, visit, and

For more information about the Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair of Modern Armenian History of the Department of History of the University of California, visit

For more information about Project 2015 and a full list of planned commemoration events, visit and You can also follow them on Twitter through @2015_Project and write to with your questions.

For more information about DurDe, visit and and follow @DurDeTr on Twitter.


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  2. Vindicated Man said:

    I’m wary of such “academic” initiatives. Their archives have been heavily sanitized to support the denial, so there’s no way to gain any objective insight on this topic for a historian who uses the remaining Turkish sources. Plus, they are talking about establishing some kind of dialogue? Not before the Wilsonian award is honored, and the Turco-communist borderline is corrected. Until then, there must be absolutely no dialogue with the criminal country, sorry.

    • GeorgeMardig said:

      I agree. whoever opens dialogue who is not an official representative of Armenia, or Armenians should be held accountable