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Karabakh Negotiator Say No Progress Possible If Violence Continues


The escalation of violence around Nagorno-Karabakh over the last year undermines not only the international mediation efforts, but also the commitment of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents to resolve the conflict peacefully, Ambassador James Warlick, the United States co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, said in the first-ever interview of a peace broker with a Karabakh-based media outlet.

Warlick has answered a number of questions from Artsakhpress, a news agency in Stepanakert, concerning the Karabakh settlement process as well as the mediators’ latest tour of the region that included stops in the capitals of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Founding Parliament Sues Republican Party Member for "Turkish" Reference

February 18, 2015 Armenia, Arts, Azerbaijan No Comments
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12:36, February 18, 2015

Armenia’s ‘Founding Parliament’ (FP) organization has sued Republican Party parliamentary faction secretary Gagik Melikyan for slander.

The FP claims that Melikyan insulted the organization in an interview when he stated that the organizers of a recent car convoy to Artsakh under the banner “100th Anniversary without the Regime” were financed by Turkish-Azerbaijan sources.

(On January 31, the FB had organized a car convoy that was blocked and subsequently attacked by Artsakh police and masked Special Forces near the Artsakh border town of Berdzor.)

Photo: Gagik Melikyan

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Founding Parliament Calls for Establishment of National Liberation Movement in Armenia

February 17, 2015 Armenia, Arts No Comments
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18:20, February 17, 2015

Arguing that the current intensification of the domestic situation in Armenia proves that the regime is incapable of dealing with the systemic crisis and is attempting to complete the monopolization of authority and the economy by establishing political authoritariasm and a “one oligarch economy”, the Founding Parliament (formerly the Pre-Parliament) has called for the immediate creation of a national liberation front.

The Founding Parliament, in its communiqué, goes on to say that the forces who have become the target of the regime are equally incapable of thinking and working towards overcoming the crisis and are similarly inclined to hand over the natural and human resources of Artsakh and Armenia to foreigners in exchange for assuming the role of a colonial regime and getting a portion of the pie.

Karabakh Mediators On New Regional Tour


International mediators from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) continued their efforts to promote a peaceful solution to the protracted conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh as they paid fresh visits to Azerbaijan and Armenia this week.

On the second stop of their regional tour in Yerevan on Tuesday, the United States, French and Russian co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group met with the country’s leadership, including President Serzh Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.

While the mediators appeared to have brought no new proposals with them to the region, Ambassador James Warlick, the American representative in the group, told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun) that their tour was “another opportunity to talk”.

Diasporan Volunteer’s Journey in Armenia: Los Angeles Firefighter Paramedic Teaches First Aid in Villages

February 17, 2015 Armenia, Culture, Video No Comments
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12:37, February 17, 2015

By Jamie Kolar

It’s January, I’m standing on a platform in Yerevan waiting to board an 8 am train to Gyumri.

It’s cold and I brought along my Thermos coffee mug, an American habit that makes me stand out in a country where coffee isn’t a morning caffeine fix but rather a social drink to be enjoyed with others.

I am on my way to bring donated medical equipment to the Gyumri Ambulance Service, something I have been doing since the summer of 2013 when I first started volunteering at the ambulance company teaching emergency trauma care.

Armenia’s Official Position on 1915 Genocide: Ter-Petrosyan Calls For Face to Face Meeting with Sargsyan

February 17, 2015 Armenia, Arts, Asia, Karabakh, Turkey No Comments
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15:00, February 17, 2015

Levon Ter-Petrosyan has called for a one on one meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan to personally convey his concerns regarding the recently issued Pan-Armenian Proclamation on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

The proclamation was drafted by a state commemorative organizing committee and Ter-Petrosyan argues that the body has overstepped its authority by claiming that it speaks for the “united will” of all Armenians.

Armenia’s first president also argues that given that the proclamation was addressed to the international community it would have been imbued with greater gravitas and legal-political significance had it been signed by the presidents of Armenia and Artsakh and church ;eaders rather than some faceless committee.

Komitas Conservatory Instructor: Young Composers are Basically Forced to Leave Armenia

February 14, 2015 Armenia, Arts, Film, Music No Comments
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14:21, February 14, 2015

Hetq talks to Artur Avanesov, a pianist and instructor at Yerevan’s Komitas State Conservatory, regarding teh challenges faced by young composers in Armenia.

We have young composers who mainly perform overseas rather than here in Armenia. Is this a result of the general tendency to leave the country or are there other reasons?

I fully agree that we have very good composers. Of course, most live abroad. The question is whether or not we call them ‘our’ composers?

Yes, the link is maintained and their music is periodically performed here. Let’s specify what expectations we have from such composers. For me, it’s enough that they are professionals and that their music is interesting.

Another Artsakh Soldier Dies as a Result of Apparent Negligence

February 14, 2015 Armenia, Arts No Comments
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10:03, February 14, 2015

The Artsakh Defense Army reports the death of yet another soldier earlier today in as yet unspecified circumstances at a military outpost in the northeastern region of the country.

The dead soldier, Junior Sargent Arman Osipyan, is said to have died from gunshot wounds.

Hours later, the military investigative branch of Armenia’s Investigative Committee reported that Osipyan died as a result of violating sebtry duty protocol.

This latest incident follows the death of soldier Tigran Simonyan on February 10. Two days later, a senior lieutenant serving at the same military base as Simonyan was arrested for violating sentry duty protocol.

An investigation in this case alleges that Simonyan was shot as a result of the violation.

Senior Lieutenant Arrested as Suspect in Death of Armenian Soldier

February 12, 2015 Armenia, Arts No Comments
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19:03, February 12, 2015

Taron Gedoyan, a senior lieutenant serving in the Artsakh Defense Army, was arrested today as a suspect in the February 10 death of conscript soldier Tigran Simonyan.

Simonyan died from gunshot wounds sustained while serving at a military base, where Gedoyan was also posted, in the north of the country.

An official investigation has concluded that Gedoyan violated the sentry duty rules which, in turn, led to the death of Simonyan.

The report failed to specify what the violation was and how the soldier was shot. 

Source: HetqOriginial Article

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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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Capitalism Run Amok Is Just Plain Capitalism

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16:37, January 17, 2015

By Markar Melkonian

The source of Armenia’s misery and humiliation, we often hear, is not capitalism per se, but rather “gangster capitalism,” “a broken system,” “capitalism run amok.”

The goal for the future, then, is to “fix the system,” to reform capitalism, to make it more like regular, pure, genuine Free Enterprise, the kind of capitalism that works. But what if Armenia’s actually existing capitalism already is genuine capitalism?

An economist once observed that the only existential meaning of “enterprise” in the term free enterprise is “whatever capitalists happen to be doing at the time”–and “free” is the accompanying demand that they be allowed to do it.

Ukraine: Cops Go After Casinos, Suggest Yanukovych Connection

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21:45, December 15, 2014

Ukraine’s ministry of internal affairs has launched a campaign against illegal casinos amid fears that a large network of underground gambling dens could be providing an income source for the son of the country’s disgraced former president Viktor Yanukovych.

The new crackdown on unlawful casinos – an ongoing scourge for law enforcement agencies in Ukraine since regulation was made stiffer with a 2009 law – was launched on Dec. 8 after an announcement on Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov’s official Facebook page.

Avakov, who keeps a lively and occasionally angry Facebook commentary on current affairs, pledged to put a complete stop to the establishments within ten days; first in the capital of Kyiv, then the rest of the nation.

Yerevan Calling: A Weekly Roundup of Random Musings from Armenia

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13:05, October 3, 2014

Here it is dear readers, the debut of a weekly column I hope to maintain on a regular basis.

It’s sort of a catch-all of news snippets, irreverent commentary, and personal observations on what’s happened during the week here in Yerevan, and throughout Armenia.. Hopefully, you’ll find it interesting, if not slightly diverting.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Regards – Hrant

Oct. 2 – Protests Throughout Armenia: A Game of Numbers & Solidarity

Three separate protest rallies took place in Armenia today.

As Hetq reported earlier, business owners in the town of Sevan kept their stores and factories shut to protest changes to the so-called volume (sales) tax. Local residents flocked to the bread factory to wait on line for a loaf or two.

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.