USC Institute of Armenian Studies to host talk on Genocide

USC Institute of Armenian Studies to host talk on Genocide

PanARMENIAN.Net - The author of the book “Great Catastrophe: Armenians And Turks In The Shadow Of Genocide”, Tom de Waal will be the guest of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies at a lunchtime conversation to be held on Monday, Feb 23.

The book documents the troubled and deteriorating relationship between Armenians and Turks in the decades following the genocide, especially focusing on the last half century as Armenians became more vocal in demanding that the Turkish government acknowledge the crime of its predecessors, even as the Turkish government became more strategic and persistent in its denial of the historical events and culpability. The unresolved issues continue to affect relations between the two countries which share a (closed) border, and have a broader impact on relations in what is already a problematic region.

De Waal will be in conversation on the topics covered in his book and beyond with Professor Robert English, Director of the USC School of International Relations and an expert on the politics of Russia and the former USSR. English was in the region, including Armenia, in the years marking the collapse of the Soviet Union. He is the author of five books, including “Russia and the Idea of the West: Gorbachev, Intellectuals and the End of the Cold War”.

De Waal is a senior associate in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, specializing primarily in the countries and conflicts of the South Caucasus region, as well as in the wider Black Sea region. He has worked extensively as a journalist and writer, including for the BBC World Service in London, and continues to make documentaries for BBC Radio. He is the author of the authoritative book on the Karabakh conflict, “Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War”, which has been translated into Armenian, Azeri, Russian and Turkish.

Salpi Ghazarian, the director of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies, says, “We invite the community to the USC campus for this program. This, like our previous lunchtime programs, is not a lecture. It’s a conversation between two people who have spent many years studying the region and its challenges and concerns. It’s an especially important conversation to be having on the anniversary of the Genocide, as the term itself continues to be a serious political conflict.

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres and deportations, involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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