Tuesday, March 10, 2009

TCA, University of Utah announce new Turkish program

Today’s Zaman

The Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) and the University of Utah have announced a new academic program, "The Origins of Modern Ethnic Cleansing: Collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the Emergence of Nation States in the Balkans and Caucasus." The program has been established with the financial support of the TCA.

In the program, scholarship will be conducted on historical fluctuations at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century in the region, the results of which are still felt today. The program will be directed by Hakan Yavuz, an assistant professor at the department of political science at the University of Utah.

In a statement released yesterday by the TCA, Yavuz said the period had an impact on the formation of the identity of modern Turkey and it will be explored in conferences and research. He also added that the focus will be on the significant land loss suffered as a result of the wars the Ottoman Empire waged in the Balkans and the Caucasus before the foundation of the Turkish Republic. This loss impacted all the lands of the former empire, influencing the formation of the new republic, the ethnic cleansing of Muslim populations and other traumatic incidents that were a result of forced migration.

The statement also noted that TCA President Lincoln McCurdy believes the program is important because it will train new researchers who will influence regional studies in and around Turkey.

The advisory board for the program includes Dr. Şükrü Elekdağ, former member of the Turkish Parliament; Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, head of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB); Professor Norman Stone, historian and professor of international relations at Bilkent University; and Alev Alatlı, journalist and author.

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