LOS ANGELES — 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Ottoman government’s systematic annihilation of its Armenian population. This state violence came to be characterized as ‘genocide’ when the term was coined several decades later.

The Turkish people remain, to a large extent, ignorant of the historic, political and social circumstances that led to and followed the genocide. The Armenian community in Turkey, especially those living in Istanbul, are on the front lines of explaining not just the Genocide but its consequences for Armenians, for Turkey, and for the Armenians of Turkey, specifically.

Rober Koptas, an Istanbul-born writer, editor, and until recently editor of the weekly newspaper Agos, is a guest of the University of Southern California Institute of Armenian Studies and will lecture at Professor Richard Antaramian’s “Colloquium in Armenian Studies: Social and Cultural Issues” course on March 2-4 and 9-11.

Professor Antaramian holds the Turpanjian Early Career Chair in Contemporary Armenian Studies and this class is a survey of Armenian-Turkish history and Armenian-Turkish relations.

Koptas will also speak at a campus luncheon talk on March 12, at 12:30 p.m. Entitled “The Past is Present: Armenians and Turkey,” Koptas will be in conversation with Marc Cooper, professor of communications at the USC Annenberg School and a long-time follower of Armenian and Turkish relations. Professor Cooper is an award-winning journalist and the author of several books about politics and culture from across the country and around the world. He had also served as translator and press liaison to Chilean President Salvador Allende immediately prior to his assassination.

Salpi Ghazarian, the director of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies, says, “We invite the public to sit in on the lectures, or follow them online. The luncheon talk will be a conversation between two people who have spent many years embroiled in the challenges and concerns of justice, good governance and democratization. It’s an especially important conversation to be having on the anniversary of the Genocide.

The event will be live streamed at: http://tinyurl.com/Koptas

 

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