Important information regarding the 2016 EBCOG congress in Istanbul

November 5, 2015

We have been informed by the ICC Congress Centre in Istanbul that the Congress area or Congress 'valley' in Istanbul will now be closed for security reasons at the time of our Congress next year, because of a United Nations summit. During this period, the area will be considered to be United Nations soil. This means that unfortunately, the ICC is now no longer available.

The ICC has offered us alternative dates but the dates for the Congress cannot be changed, because there is no flexibility for FIGO, WHO and UNFPA or for the 70 speakers who have so far confirmed their attendance on the basis of these dates.  The ICC said that if we could not change the date it would refund any monies we have paid to them in full.

With the help of the TSOG, we looked at alternative venues in Istanbul for the same dates. However, despite all our best efforts, it has not proved possible to find a suitable alternative.

The economics have proved to be a major problem, as the cost of the venues we have looked at represents a significant increase (up to 100%) on the original ICC price on which our entire budget has so far been based. The cost of accommodation will also rise significantly and all of these additional costs are more of a problem because of a lack of sponsors, which means that the financial risk rests on EBCOG's shoulders. Unfortunately, as EBCOG's main additional source of income is from our Congresses, we cannot afford to take any risks.

I have had many long and thorough discussions with the Officers and the Chair of the Scientific Committee and, very reluctantly, we have come to the conclusion that, in this instance, we have no choice but to move the Congress venue.

I hope you will understand why we have taken this most difficult decision. I and the other Officers all hope that we can hold another Congress in Turkey in the future and I know you will all join me in sending EBCOG's sincere thanks and commiserations to our Turkish friends on Council and to the TSOG.

We are  actively looking at other possible options outside Turkey. Once that has been agreed, the EBCOG Congress will be held in conjunction with another National Society, but the logo of TSOG will also formally appear on the programme. We will keep you informed of all the developments.

I hope you will understand why we took this decision after a great deal of negotiations and exploration. This was a difficult decision and not one which we took lightly, but time really is pressing and we have only 6 months before the Congress, so I hope and trust that you will give the Congress your full support wherever it is held

Best regards,

Tahir Mahmood
President of EBCOG