Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, Jerusalem
Prof. Israel Charny, Executive Director
Prof. Yair Auron, Associate Director
Marc Sherman, M.L.S., Assistant Director
Contact: P.0.B. 10311 91102 Jerusalem, Israel
TEL/FAX: 011-972-2672-0424 phone/fax

Email: [email protected]

PRESS RELEASE MAY 30, 2005

The Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem, Israel
protests the Turkish Government's cancellation of an important
scholarly conference on "the Armenian question" sponsored by a
consortium of Turkish universities, which was to have been conducted
in Turkish at one of the universities with an expected attendance of
more than 700 registrants.

The program titles of many of the presentations made it very clear that
many of the scholars addressing the conference intended to recognize
the historical validity of what is known in history in the free world
as "the Armenian Genocide."

They were going to do so despite the fact that current Turkish law
prescribes jail sentences of several years for statements either
about the Armenian Genocide or calling for Turkey withdrawing from
Cypress. These speakers are loyal Turks who love their country and
want to see it advance and grow. Several of them have written about
the importance for Turkey itself to achieve a free society, with
guaranteed academic freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom of ideas;
and thus also for Turkey to demonstrate its readiness to be accepted
in the European Union.

Our Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem was perhaps
the first in the world to hold an interdisciplinary, multiple ethnic
conference on the genocides of all peoples when we convened the "First
International Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide" in 1982.
Six lectures out of a total of 300 at our conference were scheduled
to deal with the Armenian Genocide. As reported in many stories in
the New York Times and other world press, Turkey pressured Israel
to remove these six lectures, the government of Israel shamefully
complied, and when we refused to do so the government attempted with
considerable use of government powers to close our conference down
entirely. Fortunately, even when Israel errs, it is overall a genuine
democracy, and our insistence on holding the conference including the
lectures on the Armenian Genocide could not be broken. The process
of our resistance and success has been honored many times in articles
and books by many writers ever since (for example, in the Yale Review).

The Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide calls on all governments
of the world to strive for a high level of accuracy, objectivity and
transparency about genocidal massacres and genocides, including by
its own peoples for many of our peoples in our shared Earth-world
have committed genocidal atrocities against others. In the long run,
the goal of human life, and all government, should be to protect
human lives more and more.

Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, Jerusalem

Prof. Israel Charny, Executive Director
Prof. Yair Auron, Associate Director
Marc Sherman, M.L.S., Assistant Director

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