Los Angeles - A forum titled "Three Turkish Voices on the Ottoman Armenians" will take place on Sunday afternoon, November 6, from 2 to 5:30 p.m. The program is organized by Professor Richard Hovhannisian Armenian Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Armenian History at UCLA, with the cooperation of the G.E. von Grunenbaum Center of Eastern Studies. It will be held in the Court of Sciences 50 (Young Hall), will parking available in Structure 2, Hilgard Avenue at Westholme. The event is open to the public and free of charge.
Dr Hovannisian stated : "The forum will bring to UCLA three Turkish scholars who are examining the causes, responsability, and consequences of what happened to the Armenian population during the final decades of the Ottoman Empire and the first years of the Republic of Turkey. They figure among the growing number of Turkish intellectuals who seek to crack the wall of official Turkish denial. They are prepared to challenge the state-sponsored narrative of events and thereby advance the quest for truth and the evolving process Armenian-Turkish dialogue".
Dr Taner Akcam of the Department of History, University of Minnesota will speak on "A New Assessment of the Ottoman Documents" giving examples of the evidence that can be be found in the archives despite extensive purging.
He is a pioneering author of many publications in Turkish, German and English relating to fate of the Armenian people, including From Empire to Reublic : Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide.
Dr. Elif Shafak of the Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of Arizona, will discuss "Memory and Litterature". She is a novelist who writes and publishes both in Turkish and in English. The daughter of a member of the Turkish diplomatic corps, she has reflected : "Faced with hatred, I hated back. But that was as far my feelings went. It took me years to ask the simple question : "Why did the Armenians hate us ?"
Fatma Muge Gocek of the Department of Sociology and Program in Women's Studies, University of Michigan, will report on "The Recent Istanbul Conference on the Ottoman Armenians". She was among the organizers of that conference that convened belatedly in September and has also been co-organiser of Armenian-Turkish workshops in Chicago, AnnArbor, and Salzburg, Austria.
The UCLA forum promises to be informative and stimulating. A discussion period will follow the presentations. For additional information, e-mail Professor Hovhannisian at Hovannis@history.ucla.edu or telephone in the morning hours : 310-825-3375.