Bilgi University makes Armenian Genocide conference statement, conference team responds

İstanbul Bilgi University has made a statement regarding the blocking of the conference titled “The Armenian Genocide: Concepts and Comparative Perspectives” planned to be held at the university on April 26.

The statement claims that it is not true that the university has cancelled the aforementioned conference, adding that an official request to organize the conference was never submitted to the rector’s office, and that therefore the university could not be said to be hosting such an event.

Reservation application made months ago

However, the conference organization team, in their statement to Agos, explained that the university’s statement did not reflect the truth and that the application for venue reservation was made months ago. The statement read, “In accordance with the official procedures of Bilgi University, first a venue reservation was made, and when the program of the event became clear, the event application was prepared, signed and presented to the events department under the General Secretary on 17 March 2015.” The team added that the conference had been announced on the events page of the university, but that it was then removed when they had been notified by e-mail that the venue reservation had been cancelled.

The conference organization team concluded their statement with the words, “The blocking of this conference, which we aimed to realize as a necessity of our profession, is an intervention to and breach of academic freedom and freedom of expression. This prevention unfortunately also harms the well-deserved, positive image of our university built over many years.”


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Emre Can Dağlıoğlu