YEREVAN (Armenpress)–A team of Armenian scientists turned down an invitation extended by Istanbul Technical University to participate in a conference on the Armenian genocide slated for December 15-16.
Invitations were sent to Lavrenty Barseghian–director of the Yerevan-based Genocide Institute–Yerevan State University director Radik Martirosian and Ruben Safrastian–head of the Turkish Studies division of the National Academy of Sciences-affiliated Institute for Oriental Studies.
Radik Martirosian explained his refusal by saying that speakers invited for the conference are those who present the fact of the Armenian genocide as merely a "war tragedy," and claim that the deported Armenia’s were given food and even paid compensations.
"We have nothing to discuss with people with such views. Tens of countries have officially acknowledged the fact of the Genocide and there is no need to again prove this historical fact," Martirosian said–adding that a US-based Armenian historian Denis Papazian was also invited–but has not confirmed his participation.
According to Ruben Safrastian–the list of speakers is made up of deniers of historical facts and "we are not going to discuss the Armenian genocide issue with them."
The conference is organized by a Turkish non-governmental organization called Forum of 37 NGOs.