CRAG E-Alert - 26 May 2005
Dear Friends & Supporters:
The CRAG inbox was replete today with copies from different associates of the message sent by Genocide Watch about the last-minute cancellation of a conference at Bosphorus University in Istanbul.
The said conference was meant to assemble Turkish historians from across the world to discuss the theme of 'Ottoman Armenians during ther Decline of the Empire: Issues of Scientific Responsibility and Democracy'.
In the parliamentary debate, the Turkish Justice Minister, Cemil Cecik, attacked all the Turkish historians who had assembled in Turkey for the conference. According to ANA, he described this academic conference as "a stab in the back to the Turkish nation. This is irresponsibility. We must put an end to this cycle of treason and insult, of spreading propaganda against the nation by people who belong to it ..."
Given the high-level standing of many Turkish historians and academics slated to attend or speak at the said conference, one wonders what benchmark was used by the Minsiter of Justice in his blanket condemnation of free discussion in Turkey?
Freedom of information and speech aside, one vital question is the following: How can the Turkish Government speak about establishing an Armenian-Turkish joint commission to study the history of the Armenian Genocide when it cannot even tolerate a pan-Turkish conference with no Armenian or other partners?
Perhaps the EU could answer this simple question as it examines the facts? Perhaps the press would follow this story too?
For those of you who are interested in the details of the Genocide Watch message, we are pasting it hereunder. Can you profile it too?
CRAG is e-forwarding it to the UK Members of Parliament (both Houses) as a first response to the Turkish attempt to deprecate the veracity of the "Blue Book". A further campaign is planned for next week.
You might also wish to read a new 3-page article dated 25 May 2005 by Dr Harry Hagopian entitled 'Lessons of Genocide: 1915, 1994 & 2005'. The article is an edited version of a recent academic presentation, and examines his views on many salient points in the genocide discourse. It will be posted on the CRAG website (and possibly others) at www.crag.org.uk tomorrow.
From Genocide Watch:
Subject: Istanbul Historians Conference shut down by government
Begin forwarded message from Genocide Watch:
Dear IAGS members:
I just received the following from Prof. Stephen Feinstein who received a call from Taner Akcam, one of the first Turkish historians to acknowledge the Armenian genocide.
We should do all we can to mobilize protests by our governments, press, and professional societies. The very idea of Turkey becoming a member of the European Union should be put to rest by this blatant violation of human rights and the Turkish government's systematic denial of the truth about the Armenian genocide.
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