Zaruhi Postanjyan has been elected new head of the opposition Heritage faction in parliament. The change comes after Ruben Hakobyan announced his decision to resign as faction leader earlier today.
Talking to media in parliament Hakobyan said Heritage Party leader Raffi Hovannisian had been notified about his move well in advance. He left questions about reasons for his step without commentary, only saying that he had decided to step down as faction leader before the recent scandal around Postanjyan in the wake of her controversial question to President Serzh Sargsyan about his gambling habit at the PACE plenary session in Strasbourg on October 2.
Unlike a majority of Heritage members Hakobyan then was critical of Postanjyan’s behavior. Representatives of the ruling party in Armenia called her statement in Strasbourg slanderous and the parliament speaker threatened to expel her from the Armenian delegation to the PACE.
Postanjian, meanwhile, would not be drawn into speculation about the reasons for Hakobyan’s decision either.
Source: Armenia Now – Originial Article
No related posts.
00:42, October 21, 2013
Let us consider for a moment the letter of protest by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Archbishop Nourhan Manougian—addressed to his Holiness Karekin II—and its impact on the psyche of the clergy.
According to historical accounts, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem was established almost at the same time as theMother See Holy Etchmiadzin. The Patriarchate had its own special position as ecclesiastical/spiritual center in the Hierarchy of the Armenian Church. In an environment, frequently hostile to Armenians, it was able to retain its preeminent position among all other Christian denominations, and because of the politically favorable conditions, was able to become a fortress of enlightenment where our church traditions were kept safe.
However, under ne-political conditions, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem is struggling to keep its own traditions, independence and identity, and is ill-prepared to guide new generations of priests.
Today, as a nation, we live under tragic conditions. Our laissez-faire approach to addressing issues and solving problems within our communities puts us face to face with very serious dangers such as dysfunction, corruption, and ultimately, the loss of identity. Unfortunately, however, we have no grasp of these dangers. The theatrical performance of our clergy has found more ground in our hearts than in understanding of the laws, which are the foundations of a healthy church.
Let us examine and understand these laws.
The law of the jungle–a place where there are no principles, other than “mightmakes right”.
The law of nature – inherent balance and regularity between all living entities innature.
The law of the mob – where the accused is judged by the mob and not in a court oflaw, and is summarily sentenced to death.
The constitution – the law that governs the relationship between the governmentand its citizens.
International laws – those that govern the relationships between countries anddefine their duties to each other.
Civil law – body of laws which sanction the supreme authority of the state.
Criminal laws – hose enacted to preserve the public order by defining offensesagainst the state and public, and imposing a penal sanctions.
Furthermore, there is another incomprehensible and unacceptable condition in life whereby man impugns all laws and creates his own scheme of rationalizations to impose his will upon all others.
Having looked at the various types of law that govern the human condition, how should one regard the relationship between the Holy See of Etchmiadzin and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem? We maintain the public be the judge.
Before analyzing Nourhan Patriarch’s letter of protest, it is important to pay attention to the sentiments and discontent of our readers, i.e., that the relationship between the two patriarchates of Jerusalem and Istanbul is in a state of discord. During the last Jerusalem patriarchal elections, Catholicos Kareken II attempted to interfere and manipulate the situation but was thwarted.
Furthermore, while late Torkom Patriarch was the Locum tenant in Etchmiadzin, he attested to the corruption of the Nersisyan clan and was courageous enough to express his opinions and make recommendations, which were not cordially received by Archbishop Karekin Nersisyan and his clan.
Let’s return to the protest letter dated August 3, 2013, and analyze the impetus for Nourhan Patriarch to officially pen and submit such a letter.
Foremost, the letter was written in a brotherly spirit, a letter addressed to his big brother, Catholicos Karekin the II.
Second was the final decision of the Supreme Religious Council to accept Archbishop Norvan’s resignation from his post as Primate of France. The non-elected and irresponsible members of the Religious Council, did not have the courage and integrity to question His Holiness Karekin the II and under duress and pressure, took the degrading decision to accept the resignation of Archbishop Norvan. What would they think if, instead of Archbishop Norvan, one of them had their own integrity questioned and their spineless “brothers” took such a heartless decision? They would probably curse the day they joined the ranks of the clergy.
It is understandable and only just that a brother should be able to advice his older brother to be lenient and considerate of another brother, even though there are some misunderstandings, and that the latter deserves punishment commensurate with his transgression. But in a situation like this, where there is injustice perpetrated, it is unconscionable to stand by and let a brother be sacrificed and become the target of vengeance. After mentioning in his letter that the decision was “unacceptable and unjust”, Patriarch Nourhan suggests that his Holiness should act with forgiveness towards his younger brothers.
“Two years ago you tried to convince Torkom Patriarch to electCo-adjutorand when Archbishop Aris Shirvanian objected saying that there is no such Article in the Jerusalem Patriarchal constitution, you were furious and declared ‘I will defrock all of you’, and furthermore you repeated the same to me and my answer was ‘Is this how you will threaten every one? Don’t you know anything else’?”
It is very likely that this threat has seriously affected all members of the Jerusalem Patriarchate. Indeed it is very sad, but it reflects a reality, a reality that is unlawful, unjust and non-Christian, and unfortunately this kind of behavior is practiced in both Catholicosates–Etchmiadzin and Antelias.
The last piece of advice given by Nourhan Patriarch, where he says that “it is impossible to bring up and prepare a healthy- minded new generation of clergy under pressure and dictatorship”, is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in the church, which is not only widely expressed in the general newspapers, but is also expressed by members of the clergy, who are currently suffocated and muzzled under the dictatorship of the Catholicos.
The bishops that participated in the conference, especially those who grew up in the Jerusalem Patriarchate, knew all these facts, but did not have the courage to bring this subject up for discussion at the Bishops’ conference. What will the young generation of clergy think? One can only shudder to imagine what the impact of that letter will be on the psyche of the clergy.
Some people adhere to the belief that such subjects should not be discussed openly. We disagree completely. It is time to address all issues openly and publicly if we are to believe that the Armenian Church should be governed democratically–of, by, and for the people.
The Armenian Church is becoming dictatorial institution, ignoring all democratic laws and canons. Even though there is a small contingent of humble clergy that opposes these unjust practices, they do not have the power to voice their opinions, and regrettably, are relegated to self-imposed isolation.
Do we have to constantly reiterate this one indisputable truth: that the Armenian Church is the sole force that led our nation throughout the troubled years when we lost our political independence? The Armenian Church molded the spiritual character of our nation and kept our identity in tact to parallel the exercise of our political powers.
Although this is the sad reality of our times, we should, nevertheless, declare openly that some leaders are hesitant to uphold our religious constitution by criticizing the lifestyles of corrupted clergy and admonish them to stay within the boundaries of their vows.
The ultimate authority in the Armenian Church is the Catholicos, who is obligated to uphold the constitution down to its very detail. The absence of such practice is an insult to democracy and the sacred rights of the Armenian people.
to be continued
OCT. 20, 2013
Source: Hetq – Originial Article
No related posts.
17:16, August 14, 2013
Department of Information and Public Relations of Armenian Ministry of Defence has spred the following press release:
”On the night of August 8th, the citizen of the Republic of Armenia Hakob Gevorg Injighulyan who lost his bearings on the terrain and inadvertently crossed the Line of Contact was subsequently found in the area of protection of Azerbaijani troops and captured by the latter.
As of today ICRC Baku office has not been granted an access to the Armenian citizen kept in Azerbaijani captivity which we find at least perplexing given the mandate and prestige of ICRC.
Moreover we would like to inform you that the Azerbaijani media outlet ”Haqqin.az” uploaded and disseminated on the Internet Hakob Gevorg Injighulyan’s ”interview” with an Azerbaijani information agency. In this footage as it was later confirmed cynically by Eldar Sabiroghlu, Press Secretary of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan in his interview on August 13th Hakob Injighulyan was dressed in Azerbaijani uniform “to understand the difference between the Armenian and Azerbaijani uniforms” which was aimed to put moral and phycological pressure on him and abuse his dignity.
This comes in violation of numerous provisions of Geneva Conventions:
Particularly, Article 13 of the Geneva Conventions. (III) constitutes that POWs “…must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity” by the detaining power. In other words, the detaining power has to keep a Person under the protection from the curiosity of media and has to prevent the publication of images and videos in which this person can be recognized.
Further, the commentary of Article 27 Geneva Convention (III) states that “…Prisoners may in no case be obliged to wear the uniform of the Detaining Power if they consider that their honor does not so permit.”
Article 7, Geneva Convention (III) says that persons under protection “… in no circumstances renounce in part or in entirety the rights secured to them by the present Convention…”.
The Armenian authorities have been informed by the ICRC that its Baku office is pursuing its efforts to visit Hakob Gevorg Injighulyan through its on-going dialogue with the detaining power. Hopefully the ICRC will succeed preventing any unwanted consequences. Outrageous deaths of the citizens of the Republic of Armenia Gor Manasaryan and Manvel Saribekyan captured in 2008 and 2010 and killed while being under the protection of the detaining power whom the ICRC failed to visit and the fact that none of the perpetrators of these fearsome crimes has been punished as of today are tragic precedents. These kind of crimes should be condemned and prevented by all means.
Thereby, the Armenian Commission on POWs, Detainees and missing in action express their concern about the situation and asks the ICRC to strengthen its efforts to visit Hakob Gevorg Injighulyan.
Once again it is reiterated plea to ICRC to assure Hakob Injighulyan that the case will bear no legal consequences for him despite the recent footage on Azerbaijani media outlets and to facilitate the secure and prompt repatriation of the citizen of Armenia should the Azerbaijani side show willingness.”
Source: Hetq – Originial Article
- Armenian soldier that crossed into Azerbaijan brought to Baku
- ICRC representatives visit Armenian POWs
- Azerbaijan/Armenia: Civilian Internees Repatriated Under ICRC Auspices
- First Deputy Minister of Defence Davit Tonoyan met with International Committee of the Red Cross
delegate in Armenia Ms.Dragana Rankovich
- ICRC Holding Talks With Azerbaijan on Return of Armenian Youth’s Body
11:55, July 24, 2013
After brutally quelling massive domestic protests against his increasingly despotic rule, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now facing another serious problem: His unexpected ‘success’ in uniting Arabs and Jews against him!
The Turkish Prime Minister had already antagonized Israel and Syria with his hostile actions and statements. In recent days, he also managed to offend millions of Egyptians by rejecting their new government after Pres. Morsy was deposed by the military. Despite Erdogan’s professed objection to the overthrow of Egypt’s ‘democratically elected President,’ it is evident that he is far more concerned about saving his own neck, fearing a similar takeover by the historically coup-prone Turkish military.
Last week, Aleppo University stripped Erdogan of his honorary doctorate in international relations, awarded to him in 2009, when Syria and Turkey were enjoying a short-lived love fest. Khodr Orfaly, President of the University, accused Erdogan of instigating “plots against the Syrian people” and using “arbitrary” violence against protesters in Turkey.
After losing an Arab award, the Turkish Prime Minister may next be deprived of the “Profiles in Courage” prize given to him by the American Jewish Congress (AJC) in 2004 for “promoting peace between cultures.” In an article published last month in the Jewish “Commentary” magazine, Michael Rubin urged the AJC to revoke its award, describing Erdogan as “Hamas’s leading cheerleader, a promoter of terrorism, and a force for instability in the region. Rubin further asserted that “Erdogan already had a history of embracing rabid anti-Semitism and harboring conspiracy theories during his tenure as Istanbul’s mayor.”
Rubin also criticized Pres. Obama for “toasting Erdogan” and the 135 members of the Congressional Turkey Caucus for running “interference for Turkey’s worst excesses,” including “arbitrary arrests, police violence, launching tear gas into hotels and consulates, attacking the free press, launching anti-Semitic diatribes, and ordering the arrest of medical personnel.” Rubin questioned the motives of these House members and wondered whether they “enjoy the wining and dining Turkish authorities arrange on trips to Istanbul or Ankara as a reward for membership” in the Turkey Caucus. He urged the members of Congress to “suspend if not resign their membership.”
Rubin strongly advised the American Jewish Congress and other Jewish organizations to “base awards on lifetime achievement, not only wishful thinking. The risk of bestowing legitimacy on platforms that run contrary to the AJCongress’ mission is otherwise too great. The AJCongress’ award to Erdogan not only did not stop Erdogan’s anti-Semitism, but rather it for too long provided cover for it. Perhaps the organization can now mitigate the damage it has caused — and also deflate Erdogan’s buffoonery — by publicly revoking its award.”
Regrettably, Rubin is nine years too late in criticizing AJC’s honoring of Erdogan. Back in 2004, within days of the award ceremony, I wrote a column critical of AJC and its President Jack Rosen who had absurdly announced that his organization was honoring Erdogan as leader of “a model Moslem country.”
Now that the whole world has seen Erdogan’s true colors under the faade of leading “a model Moslem country,” many others need to reconsider the awards they had lavishly heaped on this undeserving leader.
For example, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) should revoke its prestigious “Courage to Care Award” presented to Erdogan in 2005. On that ‘happy’ occasion, the Prime Minister pointed out to Abraham Foxman, ADL’s National Director, Turkey’s “close relationship with Israel,” and pledged “zero tolerance” for “anti-Semitic diatribes.”
Here are some other honors given to Erdogan that should be rescinded:
– Russian state medal from Pres. Vladimir Putin (June 1, 2006)
– Crystal Hermes Award from German Chancellor Angela Merkel (April 15, 2007)
– Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest civilian award of Pakistan (Oct. 26, 2009)
– King Faisal International Prize for “Service to Islam” (Jan. 12, 2010)
– Georgia’s Order of Golden Fleece (May 17, 2010)
– Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi’s International Prize for Human Rights (Nov. 29, 2010)
– Kuwait’s “Outstanding Personality in the Islamic World Award” (Jan. 11, 2011)
– St. John’s University, New York (Jan. 26, 2004)
– European University of Madrid (May 18, 2010)
– Moscow State University (March 16, 2011)
– Shanghai International Studies University (Apr. 11, 2012)
– University of Algiers (July 5, 2013)
– South Korea (February 2004)
– Iran (February 2009)
– Kosovo (November 2010)
All those who have honored Erdogan have simply dishonored themselves. The sooner they revoke their accolades, the sooner they will redeem themselves from their disgraceful acts.
By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
Source: Hetq – Originial Article
No related posts.
“Who were they? Were they actually Armenian? Did they look like us? Were they different, very different? What an exotic thing – people who are Muslim, but speak Armenian,” these were the questions and thoughts that prompted journalist Vahan Ishkhanyan to search for answers in the land of disputed identity and present it all in his lengthy new commentary about Hamshen Armenians.
Ishkhanyan’s grandfather was from Hamshen, as the reporter learned when Hamshen expert Hovan Simonyan took a gene sample from Ishkhanyan for his Armenian gene project.
“It turns out that my genetic group is G1, the same group to which Avik Topchyan, another Hemshin belongs. While I do not know Mr. Topchyan, it would appear that we are in fact related and that generations ago our relatives were brothers.
“I was just a young child when I heard others in the house talk about how there were still Muslim Hamshens living along the Black Sea coast and that they spoke the Hamshen dialect. Different numbers were tossed about as to how many there were – one hundred thousand, one million,” recalls Ishkhanyan.
Two years ago, Iskhanyan won a Eurasia Partnership Foundation grant and took a trip to Turkey’s eastshore of the Black Sea, where he spent 12 days at the Armenian-speaking Muslim Hemshen settlements and wrote a story, titled “Who Are They? The Muslim Hamshens Who Speak Armenian”.
Based on Ishkhanyan’s “Muslim Hemshin Armenians” project a trilingual (Armenian, English, Turkish) CD and website (www.hamshesnak.com) have been created, where besides texts, multimedia aids, such as video material and photographs, interactive maps, tell the fascinating story of the Hamshens, their lifestyle, cuisine, perception of their identity, political outlook, and their dialect.
Historical Hamshen is located in the northeast region of present-day Turkey. Scholarly research says that the Islamization process of the Hamshens began in the 1700s. Many scattered to settlements along the Black Sea Coast – Trabzon, Ordu, etc – to avoid religious conversion. There are no records preserved from that period as to why and how they converted to Islam. All such information was recorded some 100-150 years later.
The Hamshen people today can be divided into three main groups: The Christian Armenian Hamshens, who live in Abkhazia and Russia’s Krasnodar District. They speak the Hamshen Armenian dialect; the Sunni Muslim Armenian-speaking Hamshens, (Hopa-Hamshens) who live in the Hopa and Borçka regions of the Turkish province of Artvin and call themselves, Hamshetsi or Homshetsi; and Sunni Muslim Turkish-speaking Hamshens (Bash-Hamshens) who mostly live in the Turkish province of Rize and call themselves, Hamshil.
“Hopa-Hamshens have lost the religion and many traditions, they have taken everything from the Turkish environment, but have preserved their own language, and it is due to that language that they know about their Armenian roots, many consider themselves Armenian. This shows that any community, having lost everything else, but having preserved the language, will not merge and can always return to its roots,” says Ishkhanyan.
Ishkhanyan’s guideswere his Turkish colleagues, CemilAksu, President of the BirYaşam (One Life) Cultural and Environmental Organization, and Harun Aksu.
63 year-old Cemal Vayiç, (the father-in-law of Hopa researcher Cemil Aksu) considers himself Hamshen, says he knew the language since childhood and wants to preserve it.
“We knew that language as young kids and want to preserve it. We aren’t renouncing our identity. I will live as a Hamshen till the end. We know that the Hamshens are descended from Armenians. If Armenians visit and relate with us more often, we will be able to improve our language skills.” says Cemal Vayiç.
At his house all present told that before going to school they did not know Turkish and spoke only Hamshesnak. They learnt Turkish at school. Aksu says the assimilation policy of Hopa-Hamshens started in the 1980s and the Hamshen dialect gradually gave in to the Turkish language.
At the revolutionary Hayteh Bar owned by Harun Aksu, Ishkhanyan meets Mumi Yılmaz. As soon as they step foot into the bar he holds out his hand in welcome and says – I’m also Armenian. “We know about your cause, we are of the same blood,” he says.When asked how he knew he was Armenian without knowing any of thehistory, Yilmaz responds:
“I don’t need to know the history to say that I’m Armenian. My grandfather is my history. He told me that it’s the truth. Whatever I know comes from him. My grandfather came down from the mountains to sell whatever he had, a bit of milk, oil, whatever. They caught him, called him Armenian, and bashed his head in. They stole his belongings, his horse, everything.Before, in the mountains, they made our life miserable. We were hungry. When we came down they beat us constantly. They singled us out as Armenians. But now we’ve come down and they can’t persecute us anymore”.
A shop owner glows upon learning that the reporter was Armenian and asks whether people in Armenia know about them. Then he adds “Eh…we sold our religion. We sold our Christianity and became Muslims.”
Even those Hamshens who avoid calling themselves Armenian and regard themselves as Turks can’t escape the scorn heaped upon them by the other peoples of the region, calling them ermeni (“Armenian” in Turkish) in contempt.
As opposed to Hopa-Hamshens, who accept their Armenian identity, Turkish-speaking Bash-Hamshens deny their Armenian descent, but celebrate Vardavar (an Armenian Christian holiday with elements dating back to pre-Christian era) and bury the deceased in coffins, unlike Muslims who only use a shroud.
“If you ask a Hamshentsi what he is, he will answer “Hamshen’. If you then ask what a Hamshen is, he’s at a loss. In this country, not calling yourself a Turk is an act of courage,” says Bash-Hamshen Selçuk Güney, who owns the guesthouse in Samsun.
Ishkhanyan writes that on the one hand the Turkish authorities made up their version of history to cut the Hamshens from their Armenian roots, while on the other hand the local government and residents of other Muslim nationalities called Hopa-Hamshens Armenian and oppressed them, which made them preserve their language and their Armenian descent as a form of resistance. They had two ways out: resist and remain the “the cursed ones”, adopting the ideology of oppressed masses, i.e. communism, or become more catholic than the “the Roman Pope, i.e. Turkish nationalists”.
“Leftists (Marxists) are very courageous, when they learnt I was Armenian, they would come up, talk to me without fear. Others, who are now facing their Armenian identity issue, were very friendly, but asked not to record their names as soon as I was about to take notes. They asked not to cite them, they were scared. I saw that in Turkey people are afraid because of their Armenian descent, maybe in Istanbul it is not so, but in Hamshen it was,” says Iskhanyan.
He also speaks about the Hamshesnak (the Hamshen dialect is referred to as such in most scientific researches) and says if one listens to it carefully Armenian words can be detected and after some getting-used-to it becomes clear that it is Armenian.
And it is probably not accidental that Yılmaz Topaloğlu, former mayor of Hopa, told him: “I feel uncomfortable conversing through a translator. We can speak that language fairly well, but sadly we’ve been subjected to assimilation and various pressures. That’s why we have difficulty understanding each other.”
“The language he refers to is Armenian. Yılmaz wouldn’t say such a thing to anyone else in the world except for an Armenian who speaks it – ‘I feel uncomfortable conversing through a translator’,” writes Ishkhanyan.
In the end, Ishkhanyan answers the question: “Who are they?”
“They’ve demolished the Hamshen Kachikar Church so that no traces are left. You won’t find it. The unknown location of the church symbolizes the destruction of the Black Sea Armenians. Successive Turkish regimes have dug down deep to eradicate all Armenian roots so that none ever grows again. But one stubborn branch, long overlooked, has sprouted again, trembling with fear. The Armenian words that flutter from the lips of this 30,000 Muslim community is the last vestige of a past when Armenians once lived on the Turkish shores of the Black Sea.”
Source: Armenia Now – Originial Article
- Are Turkish-Armenians Diaspora?: Istanbul journalist says Turkey’s Armenians live in their historical lands
- Turkey’s Islamized Armenians Grapple with Tragic Roots
- Australian Armenians concerned with preservation of national identity in Armenian community
- Armenians call on Turkish journalist to return church
- Turkish expert explores Armenian archives