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New oncology center to open in Nagorno-Karabakh capital

September 30, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Karabakh No Comments
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Plans for launching an oncology center in Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital, Stepanakert, were discussed Monday at a working meeting conducted by the country’s president.
Highlighting the importance of the project, Bako Sahakyan called for active efforts towards building a medical institution corresponding to all international standards.
According to a press release by Nagorno-Karabakh president’s press office, the meeting was also attended by President of the National Assembly Ashot Ghoulyan, Premier Ara Haroutyunyan and other government officials

Source: TertOriginial Article

Yerevan Sets No Deadline On Armenia-Turkey Accords

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Senior Armenian officials declined to clarify on Monday when President Serzh Sarkisian could act on his renewed threats to effectively invalidate Armenia’s 2009 normalization agreements with Turkey.

Sarkisian again denounced Ankara for linking their ratification by the Turkish parliament to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict when he addressed the UN General Assembly in New York last week. He said his administration is now “seriously considering recalling the Armenian-Turkish protocols from the parliament.”

Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian was unwilling to speculate about possible dates for such a recall. “If that already happened, the president of the republic may have announced it,” Nalbandian told reporters. “But he said what he said. We have nothing to add to that yet.”

OSCE to Conduct Monitoring along Artsakh Line of Contact

September 29, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Karabakh No Comments
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11:41, September 29, 2014

On September30, in accordance with the arrangement reached with the authorities of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, the OSCE Mission will conduct a planned monitoring of the Line of Contact between the armed forces of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan in the Askeran direction.

From the positions of the NKR Defense Army, the monitoring will be conducted by Field Assistant of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Khristo Khristov (Bulgaria) and staff member of the Office Peter Svedberg.

From the opposite side of the Line of Contact, the monitoring will be conducted by Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk and his Field AssistantYevgeny Sharov (Ukraine).

Game is coming to its end, Armenia beating Turkey all ends up – Eduard Sharmazanov

September 28, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Diaspora, Karabakh, Turkey 1 Comment
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Vice-Speaker of Armenia’s Parliament and Spokesman for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia Eduard Sharmazanov commented on the part on the Armenian-Turkish relations in Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s speech at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly.According to him, the game is coming to its end, with Armenia beating Turkey all ends up.“Yes, years ago, the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the ball was in Turkey’s court. Moreover, later Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said that the reasonable timeframe had a deadline. And you could see that by mentioning recall of the Armenian-Turkish protocols he suggested that the deadline is gradually approaching.”With respect to the phrase “to hell with your ratification” the Armenian president used during his speech, Mr Sharmazanov said:“We do not say ‘to hell with it,’ but we say that if Turkey keeps on disregarding the positions of not only Armenia, but also the international community, it shows its disrespect not only for Armenia’s position, but also for the positions of the mediators at the signing of the protocols in Zurich. It, first of all, disregards its own political decision by setting preconditions. Moreover, the Armenian president clearly stated in New York that any bargaining over our Homeland was out of the question. The Turkish political elite are gravely mistaken if they think one fine day may come and we link the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process with the Armenian-Turkish protocols.”As regard the possibility of Armenia recalling the protocols in the foreseeable future, Mr Sharmazanov said.“I think the Armenian president’s speech in New York was a conceptual speech of a national figure and statesman. He spoke not only as an Armenian national leader, but also as president if all the citizens of Armenia because he raised the issues of not only the Armenian Genocide or Nagorno-Karabakh. He not only called Nagorno-Karabakh free and independent at that high-level venue, suggesting that there is no alternative to Artsakh’s freedom and independence, but also raised the problem of Yezidis in northern Iraq. We remember well that Armenia’s Yezidi community appealed to the Armenian president a month and a half ago, and by his step he showed he is ready to listen to each citizen’s opinion and express the Yezidi minority’s opinion at the high-level UN venue.”With respect to the statement on the return of the Sis (modern-day Kozan) catholicosate to the Armenian Apostolic Church at the Armenia-Diaspora conference too suggested that an entirely different policy was being pursued in the Armenia-Turkey relations. Commenting on the relevant discussions in Armenia, Mr Sharmazanov said:“Armenia has over recent years been for a peaceful dialogue with Turkey. Turkey’s political elite and, after being elected Turkey’s president, Recep Erdogan have shown they have not such a political will. We once more state any preconditions are unacceptable to us. And President Serzh Sargsyan’s statement is evidence that Armenia and Armenia’s authorities are masters of the Homeland and claims.Armenia has invited Turkey to take part in the commemoration of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide. As to whether the latest statements and the invitation are in conflict with each other, Mr Sharmazanov said:“No, the invitation has nothing in common with Serzh Sargsyan’s latest statement. If Turkey’s leaders come and visit the Memorial to Armenian Genocide victims, Tsitsernakaberd, it means they acknowledge the heinous crime of Genocide. That is, they do not consider the butchers and their victims equal. If they do not come, we re-state that Turkey is continuing its denial policy.”As to the Armenian side’s further steps if Turkey continues its policy, Mr Sharmazanov said:“This is under the Armenian president’s jurisdiction. Armenia’s president has proved that he is a national figure and statesman. All his political biography is evidence thereof. He will make a decision in the interests of Armenians and of the state.” 

Serzh Sargsyan’s UN address was one of his best speeches, says politician

September 28, 2014 Armenia, Karabakh No Comments
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The Armenian leader’s speech at the UN General Assembly’s 69th session was one of his best speeches delivered ever, says Hakob Vardivanyan, a member of the Democratic Liberal Party (Ramkavar).
Speaking to Tert.am, the politician said he finds that Serzh Sargsyan managed to comprehensively address all the problems and challenges facing Armenia.
“The president’s speech at the UN General Assembly was really splendid. He managed to address all the key questions with all their aspects, including economic, political, security-related, and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I don’t think a more comprehensive speech would have been possible. It was one of his best speeches,” he said.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Armenia not far from raising issue of withdrawing its signature from Armenian-Turkish protocols

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Chairman of the European Integration NGO Karen Bekaryan commented on Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s speech at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly.He stressed that the UN General Assembly is the best venue for presenting you own nation’s positions to the world.With respect to the part of the Armenian leader’s speech that deals with Turkey and the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, Mr Bekaryan noted that it showed Armenia has no intention to wait forever in what concerns the Armenian-Turkish protocols, especially in the context of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.“Discussions on the protocols in Armenia were clearly signaled. The soft-line option was used – the one of withdrawing the protocols from the Armenian Parliament’s agenda. However, a harder-line options could have been used – the one of withdrawing Armenia’s signature. But we should realize the logic of diplomatic ethics. The issue of withdrawing the protocols from the Parliament has been raised. I am sure that if, within a reasonable timeframe, Turkey does not show any progress except for its hypocritical statements, we are not far from withdrawing our signature,” Mr Bekaryan said.With respect to the strong-worded statement on Armenian society’s harsh response to Turkey refusing to sign the protocols without preconditions, he said:“It was a clear signal, first of all to Turkey and, secondly, to all the mediators directly or indirectly involved in the Armenian-Turkish process and in the signing of the Armenian-Turkish protocols – the United States, European Union, Council of Europe, France, Russia and so on.“Turkey not ratifying the protocols or showing such a cynical attitude to the process is a slap in the face of all those behind the process, not Armenia alone. And it was also a call for the international community’s cautiousness – in a broader sense,” he said.The primary point is that Armenia has been living without the protocols, irrespective of its good will to launch the process without any preconditions, given the fact an unacceptable cost is demanded for that, especially by a state that has neither legal nor political or moral right.Bekaryan stressed the importance of the president’s word of gratitude to all the countries which have recognized the Genocide.“They called the international community’s attention to the fact that a failure to condemn the Genocide and eliminate its consequences is not only a moral or even a political issue but also a security concern, and the failure to punish it leads to other crimes of genocide,” he noted.The analyst further addressed the president’s remark regarding the Scottish referendum. “We see that the developments have not just begun; neither they have finished or will finish with Scotland. We see what is going on in our direct neighborhood – I mean the European community from where we hear signals,” he said, pointing out to the developments in Northern Ireland and the Basque Country.“This is only the first part of the big list. And if we understand that all this is actual in Europe, should we be surprised at all that the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic cannot think of being a part of Azerbaijan which continues behaving like an aggressor,” he added.
 

Armenian president’s speech at UN General Assembly focused on Armenian states’ security – Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan

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In an interview with Tert.am, political scientist Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan said that all the issues addressed in Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s speech at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly were focused on one fundamental issue, that is, the security of the two Armenian states.According to him, Armenia’s leader considered the issue from its different aspects – Armenian-Turkish relations, a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, Middle East developments, and so on.Asked about the “messages” Armenia’s leader tried to convey to the international community, Mr Melik-Shahnazaryan said:“The Armenian president’s speech dealt with many aspects. But all the issues addressed were focused on one fundamental issue, namely, the security of the Armenian states. This is the major problem President Serzh Sargsyan addressed at the United Nations, approaching the issue from its different aspects. Armenian-Turkish relations, a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, Middle East developments, and so on. All the developments in question are directly related to the aforementioned fundamental issue. And it is most important that our country’s leader thoroughly presented all the facts from the world’s highest rostrum. I am sure that Serzh Sargsyan’s speech should be ranked among his successful speeches. Yesterday we could see a president that has strong positions in the region and can make relevant demands, and has focused on not only the problems facing his own country, but also the developments in the neighboring regions.”Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s statements on the Armenian-Turkish protocols evoked a wide public response. He said official Yerevan is discussing the issue of withdrawing the protocols form the Parliament’s agenda. As to whether it was the Armenian leader’s threat to Turkey, Mr Melik-Shahnazaryan said:“Recent years have only seen regress in Armenia-Turkey relations. I do not think anyone in Yerevan still expects Turkey to ratify the protocols. Official Ankara’s position is clear. So is Yerevan’s. I am sure that a decision on withdrawal of the protocols from the Parliament’s agenda has been made. This game is just supposed to have a beautiful end for the world to make sure which of the sides derailed the rapprochement process.“It is a long period since the agenda of political relations with Turkey went beyond the limits of the protocols signed in Zurich. Now that we are nearing the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, we see Turkey goes on posing a threat to Armenians and to the Republic of Armenia. A few days ago, an Armenian church commemorating the Armenian Genocide victims was blasted in Deir ez-Zor. It is Turkey that is obviously assisting the so-called Islamic State’s activities. I am sure that the idea of blasting the church was suggested by Istanbul. Earlier, Turkey provided its territory to militants for attacking the Armenian-populated town of Kessab. That is, that state does not miss a chance to cause damage to Armenians. Therefore, it is necessary to step up efforts to get the Armenian Genocide internationally recognized and curb Turkey’s aggressive policy. This is the problem President Serzh Sargsyan dealt with at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly.”Armenia’s leader severely criticized Azerbaijan as well. As to whether it means the Armenian side has no serious expectations about the negotiation process, Mr Melik-Shahnazaryan said:“President Serzh Sargsyan expertly proved that Turkey and Azerbaijan are coordinating their actions against Armenia. In fact, he addressed his discontent to the international community rather than to Azerbaijan as it is the international community’s indifference on many occasions that has made President Ilham Aliyev think of his own impunity. The Armenian president has often used such high-level venues to make Armenia’s position and demands heard. He did the same at the UN, but, with Azerbaijan’s international reputation considered, in much more favorable conditions for us. Indeed, Aliyev’s regime has discredited itself. Azerbaijan’s authoritarian nature is openly talked about now. Striking evidence thereof is US President Barack Obama’s speech yesterday. And it would be wrong to fail to take advantage of this fact to isolate Azerbaijan’s leadership.“As regards the negotiation process proper, Serzh Sargsyan is consistently shattering the opponent state’s positions. The small-scale war that occurred in late July and early August changes the situation in the negotiation process. Armenian diplomacy is now capitalizing on the battlefield achievements in the negotiations. We saw Serzh Sargsyan scoffing at Ilham Aliyev’s claims that Azerbaijan’s only concession is not resuming hostilities and Azerbaijan allegedly can settle the problem in its favor in a military way at any moment. And it is now time to expose Azerbaijan’s policy of lies. It is important that it was at the UN General Assembly that the Armenian president spoke of the well-known UN resolutions frequently referred to by Ilham Aliyev. Serzh Sargsyan thus showed Armenia had no problems in this respect.“As to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem, President Serzh Sargsyan made an all-important statement in New York. He said that the Homeland is holy and no bargain is acceptable to us.“Serzh Sargsyan showed Armenia has its political interests and the Diaspora that champions these interests in Syria and other Middle East countries. Speaking of the tragedy in Syria and Iraq, the Armenian president noted ‘this is an instance of a peril to consider in the context of our joint commitments to preventing the crimes against humanity.’ Considering the fact that the statement was part of the president’s speech on the need for condemning the Armenian Genocide, it is clear that the Armenian president points to Turkey as a factor destabilizing the situation in the Middle East. Moreover, Serzh Sargsyan made it clear that Armenia will struggle against Turkey’s expansionist policy not only in our region, but also in any place Armenians have their interests.” 

President Sargsyan to Ankara: “To hell with your ratification”

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09:36, September 25, 2014

UNITED NATIONS— During his speech at the at the 69th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York yesterday, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan lashed out at Turkey for linking the normalization of the two countries to an Armenian pullout from Artsakh and ceding the second Armenian republic to Azerbaijan.

“Ankara declares publicly that it will ratify those Protocols only if Armenians cede Nagorno-Karabakh—Independent Artsakh–to Azerbaijan. In Armenia and Artsakh ordinary people often just retort to such preconditions: ‘To hell with your ratification,’” said Sargsyan. “This vernacular phrase concentrates the age-old struggle of the entire nation, and it unequivocally explains to those who attempt to bargain the others’ homeland that the motherland is sacrosanct, and they had better stay away from us with their bargain. It is in these circumstances that currently the official Yerevan is seriously considering the issue of recalling the Armenian-Turkish Protocols from the parliament.”

Sarkisian Slams Turkey Over Accords With Armenia

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President Serzh Sarkisian appeared to have renewed on Wednesday his threats to annul the 2009 Turkish-Armenian normalization agreements if Turkey continues to link their parliamentary ratification with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

In a speech at the UN General Assembly in New York, Sarkisian also criticized the Turkish government for refusing to recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire. He said Ankara is sending “ambiguous and ulterior messages in which the victim and the slaughterer are equated and the history falsified.”

“Armenia has never conditioned the normalization of the bilateral relations with Turkey by the recognition of the Armenian Genocide,” said Sarkisian. “In fact, Armenia was the party that initiated such a process which culminated in the signing of the Zurich Protocols in 2009.”

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Featured Books

Book Reviews

John Balian’s “Novel Approach” Brings the Armenian Saga to the Masses – An interview with John Balian by Lucine Kasbarian

Gray Wolves and White Doves cover art

Armenians often wish for a tale about the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath that would make a blockbuster film and draw attention to their cause. John Balian’s new book, Gray Wolves and White Doves (CreateSpace/Amazon.com), may be that tale.

 Largely autobiographical, this atmospheric novel is presented through the eyes of an innocent young boy trying to make sense of the world as he grows up amid repressive conditions in Western Armenia/Eastern Turkey during the 1960s and 70s.

 This fast-paced, multi-layered narrative takes readers from Hanna Ibelin’s (a.k.a. Jonah Ibelinian’s) close-knit family life in the perilous Asia Minor region of Palu to terror and tragedy while en route to Syria’s Kamishli, to a bleak existence on the mean streets of Istanbul.

New Children’s Picture Book From Armenian Folklore

Teaneck, N.J. and Belmont, Mass. –  An Armenian folktale retold by Armenian-American writer Lucine Kasbarian and illustrated by Moscow-based artist Maria Zaikina debuts with Marshall Cavendish Children’s Publishers in April 2011.

The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale is from the ancient Armenian oral tradition and culture, which was nearly obliterated during the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks in 1915. The author learned the tale from her father, editor and columnist C.K. Garabed, who would recite it to her at bedtime. He had learned it from his own grandmother, a celebrated storyteller from the Old Country.  The tale was first put to paper by Armenian poet Hovhannes Toumanian at the turn of the 20th century.

“We Need To Lift The Armenian Taboo”

Turkish writer and publicist Ahmet Insel labels the initiative of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party to pray namaz on the ruins of Ani as provocation.

In an interview with “A1+,” the publicist said the initiative was supported only by a small percentage of Turks.

“They offered namaz in Ani in protest against Christian rites carried out in Trabzon and Akhtamar. The leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, Devlet Bahceli said if Christians are allowed to pray inside museums, similarly he can pray namaz in Armenian churches,” said Ahmet Insel.

The Turkish writer arrived in Armenia to participate in a book festival. Presentation of Armenian version of Dialogue sur le tabou arménien (Dialogue about the Armenian Tabou) co-authored by Ahmet Insel and Michel Marian was held during the festival.

US Media Discusses The Armenian Genocide

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA –  KFI 640, a popular news/talk radio station hosted by Bill Handel on September 23 aired a live interview with Michael Bobelian, the writer of a new book titled  Children of Armenia: A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-long Struggle for Justice

The book chronicles the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, and recounts a people’s struggle for justice in the face of a century of silence and denial.

During the interview, which was aired during the prime morning time slot, Bill Handel addressed both the efforts within the United States to ensure that the US government appropriately acknowledges the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s ongoing denial.

Handel, a well known and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, has discussed the Armenian Genocide during past shows.

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Commentary

China: President Takes Action Against High Ranking Corrupt Officials

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21:31, July 30, 2014

Zhou Yongkang, one of China’s most powerful former leaders, is under investigation in the highest-level corruption inquiry since the Communist Party came into power in 1949.

Under current president Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is investigating Zhou for “serious disciplinary violations,” as the officialXinhua news agency reports. Media has not yet, however, specified the allegations against him.

The probe is an attempt to show the length to which Xi and the party will go in order to combat abuse of power reportsThe Wall Street Journal. 

A commentary published in the officialPeoples Daily makes the point that regardless of  an official’s rank or supporters, punishment will result for violating laws or the party’s discipline. 

Armenian Gangs: Caught between an Archetype and a Cliché

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19:15, July 12, 2014

By Marineh Khachadour

“The whole thing started with a scene straight out of a mobster movie. It was around 6 p.m. when more than a dozen men from two organized crime groups opened fire on each other in a North Hollywood parking lot. Witnesses say nearly everyone was armed, and the shootout quickly went mobile. The men took off in cars, exchanging fire as they weaved through the Whitsett Avenue traffic.”

Stories such as this are not unique to Armenians in the American press, but this investigative report recently published in the LA Weekly is about Armenian Power, the Los Angeles based Armenian gang that operates in the heavily Armenian populated communities of Glendale, Burbank, and North Hollywood.

Want to Write for Hetq?

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10:24, March 14, 2014

I’m looking for freelancers who can broaden the scope of Hetq’s English edition

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Politics, Civil Society, Interviews…

Anything interesting happening in your local community you’d like to share?

Write to me with your ideas and story suggestions.

Hrant at hg.hetq@gmail.com

Source: HetqOriginial Article

For Better or For Worse: Nature Protection Ministry Proposes Amendments to Water Use Laws

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16:44, February 14, 2014

With the goal of providing a systematic solution to issues of effective use of water resources in Ararat valley, the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia (RA) is proposing amendments and additions to the RA Water Code, and the RA laws on the Republic of Armenia’s National Water Program, on Licensing, and on State Tax.

The proposed legislative package has been sent to the relevant state agencies for their input.

Head of the Ministry of Nature Protection’s Water Resources Management Agency Volodya Narimanyan told Hetq, said that with this amendment package his ministry is attempting to clarify the ideas and the ambiguous commentary, as well as introduce new requirements. For example, one of the main points of the proposed amendments is if water use permit conditions are not met, the water use permit might be annulled.

2013 in Civil Society: Protests and more protests

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The struggle of civil movements this year has been comprehensive and diverse with limited success in certain fields due to unified efforts and active involvement of the civil society.

Despite the rather passive start of the year in terms of civil movements, the second half of 2013 turned out to be tense with active developments.

Some analysts believe that especially after the February 18 presidential ballot, when current president Serzh Sargsyan won a decisive victory over his opponents and was re-elected for a second term, despite the widespread poverty and atmosphere of injustice in the country, people became even more aware of the fact that is it impossible to achieve changes via elections and started practicing their constitutional rights to civil protest and disobedience more frequently.