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    Armenian conference continues

    Hürriyet Haber
    25.09.2005 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    The two-day conference called ''The Armenians during the Collapse of the Ottoman Empire'' got underway at Bilgi University on Saturday against all odds. The conference, which was scheduled to be held at Bogazici University had been suspended by the Istanbul Administrative Court no:4 in a last minute decision on Thursday evening. However, Bilgi Univeristy went ahead and held the conference for the sake of freedom of thought, research and expression. The conference was largely supported by the government. Speaking at the conference associate professor Hali Bertay of Sabanci UNiveristy said on Saturday that the word "genocide" should be left aside and noted that everybody should try to understand what had happened in 1915 and 1916. Professor Fikret Adanir of Faculty of History in German Ruhr University said, ''a Turkish government may have to accept genocide accusation one day due to impositions. This may please some circles. But, I don't think a concession made as a result of such impositions will be beneficial for the future of Turkish-Armenian relations.'' Adanir said that ''he was using the expression 'Armenian genocide' in his academic works'', and added, ''the dimension of the 1915-16 relocation is far beyond than mass killings. A whole nation, regardless of whether they were women, men, elderly or children, were relocated and died on the roads. Their properties were seized, while those who survived this incident were not allowed to return. There was an Armenian nationalism and a project to establish an Armenian state. Majority of the Ottoman Armenians might have a sympathy towards the enemies of the state (Ottoman Empire) those days. But, all these cannot compensate the tragedy which was intentionally caused by the Ottoman government and which it (the empire) ignored.'' Associate professor Oktay Ozel of Bilkent University said that days between the War of 93 and 1923 was a period of tension and clashes. ''At the end of this period, the Black Sea region was purified from non-Muslim population,'' added Ozel.
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