Largest academic conference on Ottoman Turkish genocides of Anatolian Christians

The largest academic conference ever held in Skokie, Illinois, focusing on the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides concluded on Saturday, May 11, after two days of presentations by more than a dozen scholars from Armenia, Australia, England and across North America.

The event, titled The Ottoman Turkish Genocides of Anatolian Christians: A Common Case Study, was organized by the ANCA of Illinois, the Assyrian Center for Genocide Studies and the Asia Minor and Pontos Hellenic Research Center, and was held at the prestigious Illinois Holocaust Museum and Educational Center in Skokie on May 10 and 11.

With more than 120 participants each day, the conference was filled to capacity with an enthusiastic audience.

“There was a great deal of new and interesting research presented during the conference,” said ANC of Illinois activist Greg Bedian. “This conference clearly demonstrated the many shared aspects of the Greek, Assyrian and Armenian genocides and helped to drive home the concept that these three tragic events were conceived by Turkish government to destroy the native Christian population and all traces of their existence from Anatolia.”

The conference was opened by Master of Ceremonies John Davis, Emmy award winner and long-time reporter and anchorman for CBS affiliate WBBM-TV in Chicago.

Davis then introduced conference moderator George Shirinian, Executive Director of the Zoryan Institute of Toronto, Canada. Shirinian’s introductory remarks focused on the importance of these types of conferences in the advancement of genocide research, and provided an outline of how the conference would proceed. He then opened the first session of the conference by introducing Dr. Paul Bartrop, the Director of the Center of Judaic, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University. Dr. Bartrop presented the topic “Considering Genocide Testimony: Three Case Studies.”

Dr. Anahit Khosroeva, senior researcher at the Institute of History at the Armenian National Academy of Sciences, spoke on the topic “The Assyrian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire,” discussing the massacres of Assyrians, and Christians in general, as a continuum from the time of Abdul Hamid to the Young Turks and into the Republican period, with the purpose of eliminating the Assyrian, Greek and Armenian populations from Anatolia.

Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) National Board Chairman Ken Hachikian said in his address that the ANCA has been able to make important strides in its lobbying activities because “we have the truth on our side.”

The other speakers at the event were: Dr. Hannibal Travis, Associate Professor of Law at Florida International University College of Law; Dr. Robert Shenk, Professor of English at the University of New Orleans; Thea Halo, author of the book Not Even My Name; Georgia Kouta, a PhD candidate at King's College in London; Steven L. Jacobs, Associate Professor and Aaron Aronov Endowed Chair in Judaic Studies at the University of Alabama; Dr. Gevorg Vardanyan of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute in Yerevan; Professor Dikran Kaligian of Worcester State University; Dr. Suren Manukyan, a Fulbright Scholar on Sociology of the Armenian Genocide at Rutgers University and Deputy Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute.

Source: PanARMENIAN Network