ISSUE 1: SOLIDARITY | SEPTEMBER 2022 | | What would I present if Kayseri Conference had been held?


What would I present if Kayseri Conference had been held?

The conference on ‘The Social, Cultural and Economic History of Kayseri and The Region’, which Hrant Dink Foundation planned to hold on 18 and 19 October 2019, with the presentations of academics from both Turkey and abroad, was banned by the Governorship of Kayseri because it was deemed ‘inappropriate’. Following the ban, the Foundation’s Board of Directors decided to hold the conference on the same dates in Istanbul, at the Havak Hall of the Foundation’s Anarad Hığutyun Building. After all the arrangements were made, it was cancelled yet again the day before it was supposed to happen, on 17 October 2019 at 17.08, by a notice from the District Governorship of Şişli, Istanbul.

The Kayseri Conference was supposed to be a continuation to the series of academic conferences that the Foundation had previously organised on Adana, Diyarbakır, Mardin, Ankara, and İzmir. The plan was to present the Foundation’s earlier project and 2016 publication on Kayseri’s cultural heritage, which was supported by the European Union and the Turkish Ministry of European Affairs at the conference, and to share academic works that elaborate Kayseri’s multicultural past from a multidisciplinary perspective with the academic world. The proceedings and presentations had been selected by an international scientific committee specifically formed for the conference, and accordingly, there were going to be academic presentations by 27 different scholars from the US, France, Greece, and Armenia, as well as from different cities of Turkey. After the sessions, the guests would have had a first-hand chance to experience the rich history of Kayseri with a cultural heritage tour.

Some of the speakers of the conference talked about what they would present if the Kayseri Conference had been held.

*You can click the subtitles icon on the bottom right corner of the video to watch with English subtitles.