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Turkish Warplanes Fly In Azerbaijan

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At least a dozen Turkish warplanes and helicopter gunships are carrying out flights in Azerbaijan in second joint Turkish-Azerbaijani military exercises conducted so far this year.

The F-16 fighter jets, C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft and Super Cobra and Black Hawk helicopters reportedly arrived in Azerbaijan on Thursday to take part in what the Defense Ministry in Baku called “large-scale” exercises of its ground forces that ended on Saturday.

A ministry statement released over the weekend claimed that they involved as many as 30,000 Azerbaijani soldiers, hundreds of tanks and artillery systems, dozens of military aircraft and helicopters as well as an unspecified number of Turkish military personnel. It said they practiced “offensive operations in different conditions, including in a mountainous terrain.”

Armenia unconditionally heading to Eurasian Union – ex-parliamentarian

September 22, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Europe, Karabakh No Comments
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Armenia is making confident strides towards the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) while the other members of the bloc are looking for ways to separate from Russia, says a former parliament member.
“The Customs Union and the Eurasian Union can be considered a single political bloc built on economic foundations,” Hovhannes Igityan, the former head of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Relations, told a debate in Yerevan, commenting on the advantages and disadvantages of Armenia’s Eurasian integration.
Addressing the western powers’ sanctions against Russia, the former parliamentarian said he believes that the country seeks to foster cooperation with allies – Belarus and Kazakhstan – in an attempt to demonstrate that it isn’t alone in the current battle. He described Kazakh President Norsultan Nazarbaev’s recent statement (saying that the country will leave the bloc should the membership turn out to fly in the face of its interests) as a good proof that the country will not interfere in the developments in Russia and Ukraine, being more concerned of the sanctions’ impact on its own economy.
Commenting on possible impacts on Armenia, Igityan said he finds that the authorities themselves have to seek an answer to that question given the country’s dependence on Russia in energy and investment projects, and natural gas services.
Asked how the EEU membership will influence Armenia’s future cooperation with the World Bank or European states (with which there are agreements), Igityan said he sees that the country has already made considerable concessions, with the unsettled Nagorno-Karabakh conflict still standing high on the political agenda. “Did Serzh Sargsyan resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh security issue with his September 3 [2013] decision or did the issue switch over to another sphere from the [OSCE] Minsk Group to become a concern for Russia?” he asked.
Speaking further, the Civil Society Institute’s board chairman, Artak Kirakosyan, said he doesn’t think the EEU membership is an economic process for an idea-centered country like Russia.
“Our judiciary suffers from the same ailments as does Russia’s, with convictions targeting the phenomenon rather than the human being,” he noted.
Kirakosyan said he is concerned that decisions in Armenia are often made without wide debates. “Economically, Armenia is of no interest to either Russia nor Europe,” he said.

Rebirth of Armenian statehood only way to real independence – opinion

September 20, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Diaspora, Karabakh No Comments
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Armenia’s independence cannot be considered an accomplished fact unless the country manages to reinstate its one-time big statehood, a veteran of the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) war has said, commenting on the achievements and losses of the post-independence period.
“My evaluation of the achievements will be regressive a little bit. As far Artsakh is concerned, we haven’t gained a full victory there. I ask a taxi driver, for example, if we live in an independent country, and the answer is ‘no’,” Arthur Buniatyan told reporters on Saturday.
“We are on the brink of extermination, with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin saying that Armenia is in Russia,” he added.
The war hero said he finds the reinstatement of the historical statehood the only way out of the current situation.
Levon Poghosyan, the Armenians’ Unanimity Movement’s chief also attending the news conference, said the Armenians’ success in the Artsakh liberation war marked a victory for not only the nation but also the statehood. “If those in power today do not have a sovereign country, then they do not have anything to rule. So what can it have to do with independence?” he asked.
Poghosyan said he doesn’t think that even the best efforts by the authorities can bring about positive changes in Armenia today, with the entire Soviet-time heritage (factories etc.) havng being destroyed. “Our statehood has been sold,” he concluded.

Karabakh reports 200 violations of ceasefire

September 20, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Karabakh No Comments
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Around 200 violations of ceasefire were recorded along the Line of Contact between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan in the past week.
According to a press release by the Defense Army, the Azerbaijani armed troops released over 900 gunshots against the Armenian defense guards, using weapons of different calibers.
Subsequent retaliatory operations by frontline subdivision have helped suppress the enemy activeness.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Turkey Vows To Keep ‘Serving Azerbaijan’

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Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu reaffirmed his country’s unconditional support for Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh during an official visit to Baku on Friday.

“As Turkey’s prime minister and a representative of the Turkish people, I declare that Turkey will stand by Azerbaijan until the liberation of every square centimeter of Azerbaijani territory,” Davutoglu said after talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

“I want to reassure you that even the slightest pain caused to Azerbaijan is a blow to Turkey’s heart,” he told the press, according to Azerbaijani news agencies. “We see no difference between Turkey and Azerbaijan. Serving Azerbaijan means serving Turkey and vice versa.”

Searching for the Subjects of Three Photos Taken in Three Wars

September 19, 2014 Armenia, Film, Karabakh No Comments
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13:28, September 19, 2014

Photo-journalist Oleg Klimov has covered numerous wars during his career.

Twenty years on, Klimov decided to locate the subjects in three photos he shot in three conflicts – Karabakh, Abkhazia and Chechnya.

Klimov confesses that the identity of people he’s photographed during war were unknown to him and merely served as characters caught up in a wider conflict.

In a film entitled “Letters to Myself”, the documentarian Masha Novikovachronicles the search of Klimov to track down these individuals, starting with Karabakh.

The photo is entitled – Madonna with Klashnikov in Hand”. Klimov can only remember that it was taken in Stepanakert, the capital of Karabakh.

Sarkisian Visits Vatican, Meets Pope

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President Serzh Sarkisian on Friday met with Pope Francis I and invited him to visit Armenia next year during an official trip to the Vatican that highlighted increased links between the Roman Catholic and Armenian Apostolic Churches.

Sarkisian also held separate talks with the Vatican’s Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and other cardinals representing the Roman Curia, the Catholic Church’s administrative body.

“During the cordial discussions, satisfaction was expressed for the development and strengthening of bilateral relations, highlighting the special role of Christianity in the history and life of Armenian society,” the Holy See said in a communique issued after the meetings.

Haykakan Zhamanak: Yesterday’s incident Baku’s response to US co-co-chair’s statement

September 19, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Karabakh No Comments
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The incident on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Line of Contact, when an Azeri sniper killed Armenian Senior Lieutenant Mher Hakobyan, was Baku’s response to US Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick, David Babayan, Spokesman for Nagorno-Karabakh President, told the newspaper.
The day before Mr Warlick spoke of a new stage in the negotiations in Yerevan.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Karabakh’s Healthcare Minister Encourages Armenian Diaspora to Come Work in Country’s Medical Industry

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18:46, September 16, 2014

Former healthcare minister of the Republic of Armenia Harutyun Kushkyan on March 14 this year was appointed the healthcare minister of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. Hetq spoke to the minister about the state of Karabakh’s healthcare sector and involving the Armenian diaspora to come work in Karabakh for several months and train staff.

You’ve been minister for six months now. If we were to classify the problems in Karabakh’s healthcare sector, what would they be?

The first is personnel — we need to replenish their numbers and increase their qualifications.

The other is organizational issues, beginning from the ministry. It’s not bad, but it needs to be better. It’s work with the population, preventative work.

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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.