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The Historic Istanbul Conference on the Fate of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire – A talk with Taner Akcam

A discussion with Dr. Taner Akcam, Visiting Associate Professor of History University of Minnesota.

On September 25 and 26, three Turkish universities Bilgi, Sabanci and Bocazi, hosted a historic conference on the fate of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. This was the first time that the subject has been discussed in Turkey in such a public, high-profile, scholarly setting. Papers were presented by 44 scholars who are Turkish citizens; more than 300 observers from the universities, government, and the media were also in attendance. Twice opponents of the conference had forced its postponement, but they could not achieve its canellation. The major Turkish newspapers devoted much of their issues to the conference, both the scholarly proceedings and the present-day controversy surrounding the issue of the Armenian Genocide. An event that occurred 90 years ago continues to have major consequences for Turkish politics and society today, with a direct impact on the negotiations set to begin this month on Turkey’s possible admission to the European Union.

Taner Akcam is one of the major organizers of the conference and an internationally-recognized expert on the history of the late Ottoman Empre and the Armenian Genocide. Prof. Akcam will share his impressions of the conference and the major issues confronting Turkey today.

Sponsored by the: Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Chair in the College of Liberal Arts, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Department of History, and the Center for German and European Studies.

Taner Akcam returned to the IAS on November 29, 2006 to present “A Shameful Act: Armenian Genocide and Turkish Responsibility” and the talk was recorded and is frequently rebroadcast on TPT, Twin Cities public television.

 

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