Armenia debate could be scrapped if genocide denier is only speaker

The Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Scientist-100). (The Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Scientist-100))

The Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam wants to cancel the Armenian Genocide debate organized for Friday, April 24th, now that Justin McCarthy, considered a genocide denier, is the only speaker, The Post Online reports.

The event was organized by Turkish student association Antolia, which is connected to the university. When Antolia reported the event to VU in February two speakers were listed, VU spokesperson Aukje Schep told the newspaper. Erik-Jan Zurcher, the Leiden professor of Turkish language and culture, would also have been a guest and would have debated the topic with McCarthy. According to Schep, now that McCarthy is the only guest, the event does not satisfy the requirements of an academic debate. UV is trying to get in touch with the students.

A century after the war, Turkey and Armenia are still arguing about whether genocide was committed against the Armenians. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians were killed by deportations to the desert, violence and hunger. Turkey denies that there was a genocide and insists that the number of victims is exaggerated and they were victims of war.