ISTANBUL (Agos) — A Municipality in Turkey has withdrawn its support to a Science Congress because of the use of the term “1915 Armenian and Assyrian Genocide” in its call for attendance.

The Karaburun Science Congress had announced the title for its 10th edition as ‘The Nature of Capital: Genocides, Massacres, Wars’. However, the Municipal Directorate of Karaburun, a district of Izmir, has refused to continue its support for the Congress that will be held from 2 to 6 September because of the term ‘the 1915 Armenian and Assyrian Genocide’ used in its call for attendance.

The Organization Committee of the Karaburun Science Congress has released a statement on the withdrawal of support:

“The lands we live on, and the people that inhabit these lands, are direct victims and witnesses of these crimes. From the 1915 Armenian and Assyrian Genocide to Soma and Ermenek [mining disasters] in 2014, a chain of countless, unforgettable and terrible massacres is the manifestation of this crime in Anatolia.”

“Although we repeatedly explained to the current District Mayor that the theme of the congress would be discussed in all its aspects and from various viewpoints, he declared that he would not support our congress. This means a considerable restriction will be imposed on the physical conditions necessary to hold the sessions.”

“Although we would like to offer our gratitude for the support they have given us so far, we regret to announce that Karaburun District Municipality will not feature among the supporting institutions of the future editions of our congress if they persist with this negative decision.”

The organizers stated that they perceived the Karaburun Peninsula not only as the site of the congress, but also as a “site of social uprising, and even more importantly, a historical site where the knowledge of the working class and all the repressed is produced collectively” and added that the 11th Karaburun Science Congress to be held next year would be dedicated to the memory of Sheikh Bedreddin and Börklüce Mustafa on the 600th anniversary of their rebellion against the oppressive regime of the Ottoman Empire.

The Karaburun Science Congress Organization Committee ended its statement by making a collective call for solidarity.

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