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On November 4th, 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 University of South Florida (USF) scholars Edward Kissi, Rachel May, and Steven C. Roach, and inviting audience participation.
Dr. Akçam has spent the past 21 yearscritically 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 US 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 1-5 PM on Friday, November 4th, 2011, in the USF Tampa Library’s 4th floor Grace Allen Room. It is free and open to the public.RSVP is appreciated but not required.