ANKARA: Conference On Armenian Ottomans Ends In Istanbul


Anatolian Times, Turkey
Sept 26 2005

ISTANBUL – “This conference (the Conference titled “The Armenians
during the Collapse of the Ottoman Empire”) will have a positive
impact on the point of view of foreigners on Turkey”, Cem Ozdemir,
a member of the European Parliament, said on Sunday.

Taking the floor on the last day of the conference held at Istanbul’s
Bilgi University, Ozdemir said, “if this conference had not been
held, it would have caused extraordinary reactions. And, it would
have strengthened the hands of those who do not want to see Turkey
in the EU.”

Referring to Europe’s perspective on Armenian issue, Ozdemir said,
“Armenia is Turkey’s neighbor. Turkey’s relations with Armenia
should be just the same with its relations with Greece. Europe wants
opening of borders and trade. Also, it (Europe) attaches importance
to situation of non-Muslims in Turkey.”

Ozdemir pointed out that there were circles who were uneasy about the
resolutions adopted by foreign parliamentarians regarding the Armenian
issue, and said, “if we don’t want this, such conferences should be
held. The most important reason (of such resolutions) is that these
matters are not discussed in Turkey. If Turkey debates these matters,
the pressure on it will be reduced.”

On the other hand, Sabanci University’s President Prof. Dr. Tosun
Terzioglu said at the end of the meeting that this conference was
important because it showed that universities were autonomous in
Turkey. “It was also important because academicians and intellectuals
discussed each other’s views,” he added.

12 sessions were held in the two-day conference to which 786 people
were invited. Nine foreign journalists, including two from Armenia,
and many Turkish reporters covered the conference.


The conference titled “The Armenians during the Collapse of the Ottoman
Empire” was scheduled to be held last May, but postponed due to several
reactions. Then, Bogazici, Bilgi and Sabanci universities decided to
hold it at the Bogazici University between September 23rd and 25th.

Upon an application of a group of lawyers, the Istanbul Administrative
Court decided to suspend the conference to take place at the Bogazici
University. Later, Bilgi University said that it would host the
conference on September 24th-25th.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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