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Azerbaijan: Stop reprisals against rights defenders

October 25, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Europe No Comments
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The targeting of human rights defenders in Azerbaijan must stop, said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, at the end of a two-day visit to the country.“The urgency of this visit was dictated by the arrest and detention over last summer of virtually all the civil society partners of my Office, which makes it increasingly difficult to work on human rights issues in Azerbaijan”, a press release on the Council of Europe’s website quotes him as saying.The Commissioner had already highlighted important deficiencies in the protection of freedom of expression, assembly and association in Azerbaijan in a report he published last year following a visit in May 2013 and in an update he published in April this year, following a worrying deterioration of the situation in the above areas. “The recent repressive measures go in exactly the opposite direction from what I have recommended” he added.

Turkey: Woman murdered by husband in Istanbul

October 25, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Diaspora No Comments
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A 28-year-old woman was stabbed to death by her husband on a street on the Asian side of Istanbul on Oct. 23, Hurriyet Daily News reports.
Hulya Cadirci a mother of two, had been living separately from her husband, Gokhan Cadırci, while the legal process for their divorce was ongoing, the report said.
Cadirci was walking with her child in the Umraniye district before encountering her husband at approximately 4:30 p.m. The 40-year-old man stabbed Cadirci five times after a fight broke out between the two, dismissing passersby who tried to prevent the attack.
Paramedics immediately arrived at the scene and took Cadırcı to the hospital, but she ultimately succumbed to her injuries.
The husband was captured by police half an hour after fleeing the scene. 

Russia not to intervene in Armenia-Karabakh customs checkpoint

October 25, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Karabakh No Comments
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A senior Russian customs official said his country is not planning to intervene in the activities of a possible customs checkpoint between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, Regnum.ru reports.
“I have recently appointed a representative to Armenia. So [s/]he will soon leave there and probably visit the border. But we are not going to intervene in customs officers’ work,” Andrey Belyaninov told reporters when asked whether Russia will ensure the presence of customs office between the two countries after Armenia accedes to the Eurasian Customs Union.
Speaking at a news conference held at the international news agency Rossiya Segodnya, Belyaninov also stressed the importance of making Russian a working language in Armenia. “We use Russian as a working language in the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan; in Armenia, as we know, Armenian is being used,” he added. 

Russia Sees No Karabakh Customs Posts

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The chief of Russia’s Federal Customs Service appeared to have confirmed on Friday that Armenia will not start collecting duties from goods imported from Nagorno-Karabakh after joining the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev raised the possibility of Armenia setting up customs posts on its border with the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) earlier this year. Citing Azerbaijani concerns, Nazarbayev demanded in May that the accession treaty with Armenia mention its internationally recognized borders that do not include Karabakh.

The treaty, which was signed by Nazarbayev and his Russian, Belarusian and Armenian counterparts at an EEU summit on October 10, contains no such special references. Armenian officials have said that Yerevan does not plan to set up customs checkpoints with Karabakh.

Tsarukian Signals Caution In Anti-Government Campaign

October 24, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Top News No Comments
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Gagik Tsarukian avoided demanding President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation or snap elections on Friday as his Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and two other major opposition groups again rallied tens of thousands of supporters in Yerevan.

Tsarukian made clear that their ongoing anti-government campaign will not turn into nonstop street protests for the time being. “I’m declaring today that there will be no sit-ins until our trio reaches an agreement,” he told a large crowd that gathered in the city’s Liberty Square. “If there is a need for that there will be a sit-in. We will discuss that issue at the next rally.”

The tycoon stressed that “haste won’t lead to success.” He argued that Sarkisian has already made a concession to the opposition by deciding to “delay” controversial plans to amend the Armenian constitution.

Turkey not only Georgia’s neighbor but also strategic partner – PM

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Turkey is not only a neighbor of Georgia but also a friend and a strategic partner, said a statement covering a recent meeting between Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and the head of the General Staff of Turkish Armed Forces, Army General Necdet Ozel.Citing the Georgian Government, the Azerbaijani news agency Trend reports that the sides discussed possibilities of intensifying bilateral cooperation, including in the sphere of military education,”We have repeatedly said and proved that Turkey is not only a neighbor of Georgia, but also a friend and a strategic partner,” Garibashvili is quoted as saying at a meeting.The Georgian PM expressed hope that Turkey will have a maximum involvement in implementation of the Georgia-NATO rapprochement package.The statement also reportedly unveiled plans for organizing a military exercises as part of the Turkey-Georgia-Azerbaijan trilateral cooperation efforts. 

Contemporary American Writers’ Tour of Armenia Ends with Public Reading at AUA

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21:30, October 23, 2014

By Karine Aghajanyan

Introducing Armenians to the contemporary American literary scene plus a bit of Turkish-Armenian diplomacy

Peter Balakian was one of the five contemporary award winning American writers and poets who hosted a public reading at Yerevan’s American University of Armenia on October 22 – the culmination of a literary tour of Armenia to introduce Armenians to the contemporary American literary scene.

The five writers – Gish Jen, Mary Hickman, Peter Balakian, Chris Merrill and Gregory Orfalea –read from their works and explained the contextual background that compelled them to write the work in question.

The mostly young and enthusiastic audience, many students and budding writers, engaged the five American writers in a lively Q&A session that followed.

EU ‘Still Committed’ To Closer Ties With Armenia

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Armenia can forge closer links with the European Union even after joining a Russian-led alliance of former Soviet republics, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said during a visit to Yerevan on Thursday.

Steinmeier also insisted that the conflict in Ukraine will not cause the EU and Germany in particular to lose interest in other ex-Soviet states involved in the EU’s Eastern Partnership program.

“Despite the crisis in Ukraine, which we have discussed at length, Europe is saving no effort as we believe that it is because of this kind of crises that the other Eastern Partnership countries should not be forgotten,” he said after talks with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian.

Resolution to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict depends on Azerbaijani, Armenian presidents’ political will – James Warlick

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A resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict depends on the political will of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and not on treaties or alliances, US co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group, James Warlick told Trend on Thursday.He was commenting on the possible impact of Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.The co-chair said the government of Armenia has made its decision, which he respects.“We hope with the recent contacts between the presidents they will commit themselves to a settlement,” Warlick said.“Conditions along the line of contact and Armenian-Azerbaijani border have stabilized after the outbreak of violence this summer. But the situation remains tense,” he added.
 

Source: TertOriginial Article

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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

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.

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.