Setting the Record Straight on Turkish Historian at GCC


Last April, Turkish historian Dr. Taner Akcam gave a speech that was, in many ways, unprecedented at GCC. In last semester’s June 3 issue, El Vaquero ran a news item on this event by Dr. Levon Marashlian, but several errors were inadvertantly introduced. We are running the news item again, as it was submitted by Marashlian, to correct the innacuracies.

Additionaly, Marashlian has informed us that since the time he submitted this news item in June, the international reaction to
the postponement of the conference at Bosporus University compelled the authorities to allow it to be rescheduled, and it is to take
place Sept. 23 to 25.

Turkish Historian who Spoke at GCC not allowed to speak in Turkey

Dr. Taner Akcam, the Turkish historian who spoke at GCC on April 7, 2005, at the invitation of the Armenian Student
Association, was denied the opportunity — along with other Turkish scholars — to speak in Turkey when authorities forced the postponement of a conference on the Armenian question.
“We must end this treason, the spreading of propaganda against Turkey” [by citizens of Turkey], declared Minister of Justice Cemil Cicek on May 24, the day before the conference was to open at Bosporus University in Istanbul.

Dr. Akcam is the first Turkish historian to openly acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.

The appearance of a Turkish historian here on campus was an unprecedented event for GCC.

To an overflow audience of over 200 students, faculty and staff, he lectured in the Student Center on Turkish nationalism, the Armenian Genocide, and obstacles to democratization in Turkey.

It is perhaps ironic that during his lecture, he announced his planned participation in the upcoming conference in Istanbul as a sign of gradual democratization.