ISTANBUL—An international conference on “Social, Cultural and Economic History of Kayseri and the Region,” which was set to take place at the Hrant Dink Foundation’s Havak Hall from October 18 to 19, has been banned.
Initially, the conference was organized to take place in Kayseri, Turkey, yet was banned due to the interference of the local government. Consequently, the Hrant Dink Foundation’s Board of the Directors made the decision to move the conference to Istanbul.
As conference organizers were patiently waiting for the start of the conference, and speakers from Turkey and all around the world had already arrived in Istanbul, when, on Thursday, October 17 an official notice was delivered by the Sisli District Government to the foundation – the conference was banned from taking place in Kayseri. However, the notice does not mention any justification for the decision made.
The foundation released a statement explaining their decision to move the conference to Istanbul. The full statement is available below:
“The conference on ‘Social, Cultural and Economic History of Kayseri and the Region’, to take place at the Hrant Dink Foundation’s Havak Hall on October 18-19, has been banned!
As has been closely followed by the public, the conference had been initially planned to take place in Kayseri, yet was banned due to the interference of the Kayseri Governorship. Upon this development, the Board of the Directors of our Foundation decided to hold the conference in Istanbul.
At a time when all the preparations have been made, all speakers from Turkey and all around the world have already arrived in Istanbul for the conference to take place tomorrow; today on October 17th, Thursday at 17:08, an official notice of ban was given by the Sisli District Governorship to the Foundation, which does not mention any justification for the ban decision.
We regret to announce that the conference on ‘Social, Cultural and Economic History of Kayseri and the Region’, which was supposed to take place in light of the valuable scientific contributions by numerous scholars from Turkey and abroad, has been banned.”