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5 Parties Win Seats In New Karabakh Assembly


Nagorno-Karabakh’s three main pro-government parties lost some ground to two opposition groups but still retained their comfortable majority in the local legislature in weekend elections strongly condemned by Azerbaijan.

According to Karabakh’s Central Election Commission (CEC), just over 70 percent of the territory’s 100,000 or so eligible voters cast ballots in Sunday’s elections.

The largest pro-government force, Free Fatherland, was their biggest winner, with preliminary official results giving it over 47 percent of votes counted under the system of proportional representation.

This means that the party will get around half of the 22 of the 33 Karabakh parliament seats contested on the party-list basis. Free Fatherland, which is led by Arayik Harutiunian, the Karabakh prime minister, also won 4 of the 11 seats distributed in single-mandate individual constituencies.

Preliminary Election Results: Five Parties to be Represented in Artsakh Parliament

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13:32, May 4, 2015

Artsakh’s Central Electoral Commission recently issued the following preliminary results regarding yesterday’s legislative election in Artsakh in which 68,915 voters went to the polls.

Azad Hayrenik Party – 47.35%

Artsakh Democratic Party – 19.1%

Armenian Revolutionary Federation – 18.1%

Zharzhoum 88 – 6.93%

Azkayin Veradznound – 5.38%

Nagorno Karabakh Communist Party – 1.65%

Peace and Development Party – 0.86%

Those parties which surpassed the 5% threshold will be represented in the Artsakh National Assembly.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Movement 88 MP – ‘Too Early to Say If We’ll be Part of the Opposition in Artsakh’

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16:26, May 4, 2015

Garnering 6.93% of the vote, according to preliminary results, in yesterday’s legislative election in Artsakh, the Zharzhoum 88 (Movement 88) will have two MPs in the next parliament.

Vitali Balasanyan, one of the two, told Hetq that the party should have won enough votes for five seats in the legislature but that the people have spoken and that the party must move forward.

“Every nation deserves who it has voted for. As to what extent the new parliament will justify the expectations of the people here, only time will tell,” said Balasanyan.

The first priority of the new parliament, he said, would be to transform the institution into a serious political body.

Artsakh Group in the European Parliament Election Observation Delegation to the Legislative Elections of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh

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11:50, May 4, 2015


Following an invitation sent by Mr. Ashot Ghulyan, President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Artsakh Group in the European Parliament decided to send a delegation to observe the legislative elections in Nagorno-Karabakh scheduled for 03 May, 2015. 

Despite the non-recognised status of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh and therefore, the absence of an official observation mission of the European Parliament or the OSCE, the Group decided to assess and witness the electoral process. In particular, we take into consideration its positive evolution and commitment in terms of democratic development and respect for human rights and rule of law since its independence in 1991.

A Civilization Destroyed: Istanbul Academic Conference The Wealth of Non-Muslims in the Late Ottoman Period and the Early Republican Era

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01:08, May 2, 2015

The Hrant Dink Foundation, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul Bilgi University and Sabancı University will organize an academic conference titled “A Civilization Destroyed: The Wealth of non-Muslims in the Late Ottoman Period and the Early Republican Era” scheduled for November 20-21, 2015.

Throughout the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire had integrated politically, economically, and culturally into Western capitalism. This was a fast-paced integration during which the Ottoman Empire was in a significantly passive position. This transformation had major impacts on the socio-cultural and economical fields in the Empire from commerce and industrial production to consumer culture, from institutional organizations to urbanization and the arts.  An important consequence of this transformation was the emergence of an elite segment among the non-Muslim population.  The leading figures of Ottoman modernization and Western integration were mostly members of this elite community. They became the representatives of an avant-garde lifestyle, with a distinctly high level of wealth, and new political and cultural dispositions. 

Rallies Held In Yerevan On May Day


Scores of people took to the streets of Yerevan on Friday in separate May Day demonstrations organized by the Armenian Communists, pro-government trade unions, unpaid workers of a troubled chemical plant and angry taxi drivers.

As always, the rally organized by the Armenian Communist Party (HKK) was the most high-profile event dedicated to the public holiday officially called Labor Day. Hundreds of mostly elderly HKK members and supporters holding red flags and banners marched through the city center behind a brand brass band playing Soviet music.

The band performed the tune of the Soviet and currently Russian national anthem when the procession reached the Russian Embassy in Yerevan. HKK leaders gave speeches there, praising Russian President Vladimir Putin for cobbling together the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) of ex-Soviet states, including Armenia.

Ecological Disaster Threatens Armenia’s Motkor Forest: Is the Former Environmental Minister Involved?

April 30, 2015 Armenia, Arts, Culture No Comments
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00:02, April 29, 2015

Larisa Paremuzyan
Kristine Aghalaryan 

Mine casts dark clouds over Motkor

A pristine corner of Armenia, 16,000 hectares of forest in the north-central section of Armenia, may be the next victim of commercial mining spearheaded by government officials.

An outfit called Victoria Silver Ltd. has been conducting geological surveys at the site since 2014. The area, in the Marts-Prvashen-Boudaghidzor triangle, is a gold and metals site slated for development.

If the survey results are promising, the mine will start operating, and the entire region near the town of Toumanyan in Lori Province will be affected.

Turkey’s EU Ambitions ‘Complicated’ By Row Over Armenian Genocide


(Reuters) – Turkey’s backlash against European countries that call Ottoman Turks’ 1915 massacre of Armenians genocide will complicate Ankara’s ambitions to join the European Union, the commissioner in charge of EU enlargement told a newspaper on Thursday.

Turkey denies that the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians in what is now Turkey, at the height of World War One, constitutes genocide and relations with Armenia are still blighted by the dispute. Turkey has also rebuked EU members, including Germany and Austria, whose parliaments used the word in resolutions marking the 100th anniversary of the event this month.

Commissioner Johannes Hahn told Austrian newspaper Der Standard that Ankara’s “very harsh” reaction should be seen in the context of elections coming up in June.

April on the Line of Contact – It’s Been a Tough Month

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17:31, April 28, 2015

The plain appears through the narrow opening of the observation post.

These posts are set apart at the same distance up and down the 180 border that separates Artsakh from Azerbaijan. Every day, thousands of soldiers are looking across the line of contact to the enemy beyond.

The commander in chief of the Artsakh Defense Army says that they are ready for anything, from whatever direction.

After the constant rains of the past month, colorful plants have grown as tall as a man. There are red poppies leading up to the observation post entrance. Enemy positions are hard to spot in all this green foliage. Our positions merge with the green as well.

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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.


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.