Bilgi University Conference on Peace Initiative 9/4/2011

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Bilgi Universitesi
Bilgi Universitesi

Another controversial conference took place at the Bilgi University where several foreign Professors spoke about their yearnings for the Sevr Agreement, ignoring the accomplishments of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who prevented the establishment of a Kurdistan and Ermenistan, the dream of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. Among those who sent messages to the Conference were Egemen Bagıs, Faruk Nafiz Ozak and İstanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas.

The star attraction was Rachel Dink, the wife of late Hrant Dink, who had spoken at the same hall during the infamous September 24-25, 2005 Conference. She stated that discrimination based on ethnic or religious background still persists and claimed that the Turks owe an apology to the Armenians for the events of 1915, forgetting that the Armenian rebels started the massacres and were the cause of the Armenian re-locations. Perhaps, a collective apology, including all the Western powers who instigated the issue plus the Armenians together with the Turks should apologise for all the wrongdoings, as was suggested earlier.

The British professor Tove Skutnabb-Kangas claimed that Turks the massacre of Kurds was a genocide and the recognition of a separate Kurdistan in the Sevr Agreement was thrown out by the Lausanne Treaty. Admitting that both the British and the French had a hand in the poverty situation that the Kurds are, Kangas stated that Kurdistan was the poorest nation in the Middle East. She further suggested that education in Turkey should be carried out in three languages, Armenian, Arabic and Turkish.

Prof. Dr. Carol Benson proposed a Mozambique model fort he multi-language education system, also referring to a system in Vietnam. On the other hand, Petrus Meyer suggested an African model.

Hopefully, the proceedings of this important conference will be published in less time than it took the University to issue the Conference notes from the ill-advised conference on the Armenian issue on September 24-25, 2005, which was just recently made available to the public..

Yuksel Oktay
April 10, 2011

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