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Board Members Quit Turkey-Funded U.S. Institute in Flap Over Armenian Genocide

By David Holthouse on July 8, 2008 - 8:07 am, Posted in Academic Racism

The Washington Post is reporting that four board members of the Institute for Turkish Studies (ITS) have resigned in protest over the apparent forced resignation of former ITS board of governors chairman Donald Quataert, who says he was ousted under pressure from Turkish Ambassador Nabi Sensoy after Quataert reversed his position on whether the mass killing of Armenians in 1915 fits the definition of genocide.

“State of Denial,” a story in the current issue of the Intelligence Report, details the key role that ITS plays in promoting denial of the Armenian genocide. Founded in 1982 with a $3 million grant from Turkey, ITS is housed at Georgetown University, which offers the nonprofit institution space on campus in exchange for its executive director teaching an International Affairs course at the university.

Quataert told the Post that a few years ago, he and other board members were surprised to learn that what they had been led to believe was a blind trust in fact “turned out to be a gift that could be revoked by the Turkish government.” Then, in late 2006, Quataert published a scholarly book review in which he declared, “What happened to the Armenians readily satisfies the U.N. definition of genocide.”

As a result, according to Quataert, he was pressured to quit his ITS post by Turkish Ambassador Nabi Sensoy, who told him that political leaders in Ankara were angered by his book review and were threatening to revoke the institute’s funding unless he either resigned or retracted his statement.

As a June 6 Hatewatch item reported, the troubling circumstances of Quataert’s departure from ITS did not come to light until almost a year later, when he spoke at a conference of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). MESA’s president this May 27 sent an open letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanding that Quataert be reinstated and that ITS funding be placed in an irrevocable trust to avoid political influence.

Since that letter was made public, the Post reported, four members of the ITS board of governors — Marcie Patton, Resat Kasaba, Kemal Silay and Fatma Muge Gocek — have resigned in protest of Turkey’s alleged political meddling.

This week Ambassador Sensoy issued a written statement in which he denied playing any role in Quataert’s resignation: “Neither the Turkish Government nor I have ever placed any pressure upon ITS, for such interference would have violated the principle of the academic freedom, which we uphold the most.”

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  • http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2008/06/2511-genocide-denial-website.html Seda Goulizar

    Labelling “Genocide Denial Websites”

    Ref: David Holthouse, Intelligence Report, Summer 2008

    To: David Holthouse and the Alabama Bar
    Subject: Formal Complaint Mr David Holthouse and the firm Southern Poverty Law Center, Montgomery, AL 361

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I wish to lodge a formal complaint about the unethical conduct of Mr David Holthouse but more importantly the firm of lawyers trading under the name of Southern Poverty Law Centre.

    The subject of my complaint is that this firm publishes on the world wide web (on their Official Website) highly felonious and defamatory material relating to several individuals. The ethics of this firm must be questionable, if the lawyers practising within this firm have sworn an oath and subscribed to the Alabama Lawyers Creed then they are clearly in breach of their sworn oath and the creed.

    The articles relate to the fallacious Armenian Genocide Claims, I reproduce for you a letter forwarded on by me to Mr Holthouse and the firm which will better describe the nature and details of the complaint I make. All lawyers in a civilised society MUST uphold the concept of ‘The Rule of Law’ which this firm in publishing such outrageous comments do not. .

    Continues at:

    http://armenians-1915.blogspot.....bsite.html

  • Skyblue

    Turkish officials controlled Institute of Turkish Studies pursestrings, limiting academic freedom

    The Armenian Reporter, July 19, 2008, p. 3

    http://www.reporter.am/pdfs/A0719-E.pdf

  • Elly

    Many cultures have committed atrocities on other cultures. What makes a culture mature is to admit wrongdoing. Turkey is not yet mature enough to join the EU. Sadly, American interests govern what the American public is permitted to know and think about Turkey. If they knew the breadth and depth of the savageries committed by the Ottoman Empire…Europeans don’t want Turkey in Europe, and Americans should know what their ally is really like.

  • simon

    TURKISH BLACKMAIL AND FOXY GAMES ARE NOT
    NEW TO THE WORLD,AMERICA SHOUOLD BE REALISTIC AGAINST TURKEY AND SHOULD BRING DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM TO PEOPLE LIVING THERE, MOSLIMS AND NONE MUSLIMS ALIKE.
    THEY(TURKISH GVT ) KNOWS THEY COMMITED GENOCIDE AGAINST ARMENIANS AND THEY SHUOLD
    ACCEPT IT.