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Ethnic Tensions and Violence

27 October 2011
Amsterdam, CREA

Following the Amsterdam conference by Armenian and Turkish scholars (WATS), the NIOD institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the International Institute for Social History (IISH) will organize a public debate on legacies of mass political violence in the Ottoman Empire.

The relations between Armenia and Turkey remain one of the most complicated issues in contemporary international relations. The borders between the two neighbouring countries remain closed, and diplomatic relations are yet to be established. At the heart of those tensions lies the debate about what happened during the First World War to the Armenian minority in the Ottoman Empire. This issue is not just a problem of an already complex Caucasus and Middle East region, but with negotiations between Turkey and EU about membership, this complicated issue has entered European politics as well.

The aim of the debate is discussing the past relations between the Armenian and Turkish peoples on a scholarly basis. Such a dialogue is important to lay down the basic conditions for the demystification of complicated 'pages of history', and create the necessary conditions for reconciliation between Armenians and Turks, a pre-condition to peace and stability in the north-eastern edge of the Middle East and in the South Caucasus.

Speakers: prof. Ronald Suny (University of Michigan) and dr. Uğur Üngör (Utrecht University).