Armenian Genocide Talk Nov. 4

Genocide and human rights experts on denial and national security regarding the Armenian Genocide.


By Eileen Thornton

Special to USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 1, 2011) - On Nov. 4, noted Turkish-born scholar Taner Akçam headlines the USF Libraries Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center’s second annual Armenian Studies symposium with a provocative topic: Turkish government treatment of the Armenian Genocide (1915-23) in the name of national security policy.


The keynote talk will be followed by a panel discussion featuring USF scholars Edward Kissi (Africana Studies), Rachel May (Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean), and Steven C. Roach (Government and International Affairs), and inviting audience participation.


Akçam has spent the past 21 years critically examining Turkey’s historical treatment of the genocide. He is appreciated by the Armenian community for shedding factual light on an oft-obscured catastrophe. His November 4th talk seeks “to show that pitting ‘national interest’ against ‘morality’ as mutually exclusive is just plain wrong.”


This excerpt from an abstract of the Clark University professor’s November 4th talk presents a lesser-known facet of what most in the U.S. think of as a modern democracy:


In a judgment in 2007 against two Turkish-Armenian journalists the Turkish court stated that: “Talk about genocide, both in Turkey and in other countries, unfavorably affects national security and the national interest (of Turkey).” Due to this these national security concerns, the court declared that the claim of genocide in 1915 is not protected speech and “the use of these freedoms can be limited in accordance with aims such as the protection of national security, of public order, of public security”.


The Politics of Genocide event takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4, in the USF Tampa Library’s Grace Allen Room on the 4th floor. It is free and open to the public. RSVP is appreciated but not required.


Eileen Thornton  can be reached at (813) 974-5004.