MONTREAL — Concordia University cancelled an event scheduled on March 19, during which the Turkish Ambassador to Canada, Kerim Uras, was to speak on Karabakh.
The cancellation of the event was organized by International Relations Society and the Strategic and Diplomatic Society, two subsidiaries of Concordia Political Science Students Association – PSSA, reported the Quebec Armenian Students’ Association.
“The ASAs acknowledge the efforts made by the aforementioned organizations to rectify the errors of inviting a Turkish official to spread misinformation and propaganda on the subject, in addition to the clear Armenophobia that is codified in Turkish policy,” the ASAs said in a Statement on Saturday, March 20.
“Following our efforts to restructure the biased event into a more diplomatic dialogue presented as a series of conferences on Nagorno-Karabakh, the societies sought permission from the Turkish Embassy to invite her Excellency, Anahit Harutyunyan, the Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Canada, for a completely separate event. Furthermore, by deleting Armenian students’ comments which questioned the ethics of this event on Facebook and Instagram, the moderators countered their declared neutrality, obstructed free speech, and exhibited clear favoritism. In an academic setting, we condemn any efforts to present a biased and one-sided argument, all while silencing the other party.
“It is important to note that any steps taken to raise awareness on Nagorno-Karabakh is praiseworthy, but this awareness cannot come from the side of the aggressor’s accomplice, the misinformation spreader, and genocide perpetrator. The ASAs remind their audience that the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) conflict is not a matter of controversy or contention; rather, it is a matter of human rights violations, a denial of inalienable right to self-determination, and cultural genocide. By choosing to provide a free platform to a representative of a State with an official policy of Armenian Genocide denial, and invite them to speak about the Artsakh conflict, the IRS and SDS failed to evaluate the harmful and offensive consequences of the “perspective” of the Turkish official.”