Armenian Cause To Be Discussed In Venice?


28 Oct 04

The Azg Daily informed readers in its October 26 issue about
a scientific conference titled “Armenians and Turks Throughout
History. Millennium-long Relations” to be held in Venice on October

The Turkish Akos wrote about the conference in October 15 issue without
giving any information on the organizers but telling where it will
launch and also mentioning the names of participants. The fact that
Levon Zekiyan and Ramon Gevorgian were engaged in organizing the
conference evidences that the initiative came from the Armenian side.

Ruben Safrastian, head of the Turkish department of Oriental
Studiesâ[email protected]~Y Institute of Armenia, will also participate at the
conference but his name together with the names of Zekiyan and
Gevorgian were not included in the list of reporters. Taner Akcam,
a Turkish scientist, will lecture on “Ittihad Solution to Armenian
Cause and the Problem of Republican Turkâ[email protected]~Ys Identity”, Iv Ternon
on “Psychology of Denying”, Murad Belge on “Armenian Cause and
Human Rights”, Bask?n Oran on “The Origin of a Taboo. Historic and
Sociological Barrier in Turkish Public Opinion Concerning the Armenian
Cause”, Ferhad Qemal on “The Art of Being Armenian in Turkey”, Rag?p
Zaraqolu on “From Ottoman Multinational Society to National Monopoly
of a Republic. Where is the way out?”

All of the reports touch on the Armenian Genocide either directly
or indirectly. The reason for this is that the Armenian Cause,
especially in Turkish perception, includes this issue. The Turkish
taboo and the problems Turkish public opinion faces directly result
from the Genocide.

According to Akos, the conference is envisaged to seat Armenian and
Turkish scientists at the table to discuss the Armenian Cause and to
bring closer the sides.

Itâ[email protected]~Ys obscure what the newspaper means with “bringing the sides
closer”. We may presume that Turkey understands that the Turkish
policy towards Armenia stands for bad relations. Even if the Venice
discussions have no influence on Armenia its results will certainly

The influence will be notable as regards the Armenian Genocide
acknowledgment. There are organizational minuses in the conference
preparation, besides the fact that the scientist representing Armenia
will have no report in Venice which turns him into observer. The
major miscount of Armenian organizers is in representing only 4
scientists with only one report whereas Turkey has 6 participants
with as many reports.

This fact makes us worry especially while considering the possibility
that the Genocide issue may come up during discussions and especially
if these discussions are aimed at “bringing closer the nations”.

Besides the quantitative inconsistency there is another bothering
circumstance, i.e. the tendency of discussing Armenia-related issues
(Armenian Genocide, Armenian-Turkish relations) in isolation from
Armenia. Will the Venice conference continue the tragic practice of
solving the Armenian Cause without Armeniaâ[email protected]~Y s participation? Time
will show.

By Hakob Chakrian