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Drunken Azerbaijani forces emergency landing in Yerevan

August 26, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan No Comments
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A plane belonging to Russian air company Aeroflot had to make an emergency landing in Yerevan this morning because of a drunken Azerbaijani brawler.
News.az reports that the man started behaving rudely, speaking loudly and even molesting children at the time the plane took off in Dubai.
The plane, which made the landing at 5:00am. is said to have stayed at the Zvartnots International Airport for 2.5 hours. The pilots reportedly wanted to surrender the drunken passenger to the local police but the latter refused to take any action after knowing that he was an Azerbaijani citizen. The passenger is said to have been only handcuffed and later forced to sleep thanks to tranquilizers which doctors later gave him.
The website reports that the man was handed over to the police in Russia’s capital Moscow.

Russian Plane Forced To Land In Yerevan

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Armenian police neutralized but did not arrest an intoxicated and unruly Azerbaijani passenger of a Russian airliner that had to make an emergency landing in Yerevan on its way from Dubai to Moscow early on Tuesday.

The unidentified man, said to be in his 30s, reportedly shouted abuse and disturbed other passengers on board the Aeroflot flight. The RIA Novosti news agency quoted some of them as saying that several other male travelers helped flight attendants to overpower and tie him to his seat before the plane landed at Yerevan’s Zvartnots international airport.

“We stayed there for two-and-a-half hours,” one passenger said. “The pilots tried to hand over the Azerbaijani citizen to local police, but the Armenian authorities refused to take him. They only handcuffed him. Ambulance doctors who arrived at the airport injected him with a sedative and he fell asleep shortly afterwards.”

Repair Work on Yerevan to Dilijan Tunnel Road Nearly Complete

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14:04, August 26, 2014

Repair work on the Yerevan to the Dilijan tunnel section of the M4 (the main road running from Yerevan to Sevan to Ijevan to the Azerbaijan border) that commenced on July 16 is near completion, reports the Armenian Ministry of Transport and Communication. The work is expected to be completed by the end of August as planned.

Construction work on 6 kilometers of the 7-km and 480-m section of the road has already been completed. The road repair work is conducted using new technology, the ministry reports [AM], as a result of which the new road will be more lasting and of better quality.

Also being carried out is repair and restoration work on the water drainage system, exit ramps, retaining walls, and bridges.

Ruben Melkonyan: No Need for Sargsyan to Attend Inauguration of New Turkish President

August 26, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey No Comments
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13:38, August 26, 2014

When asked by this reporter if the upcoming visit by Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan to Turkey to participate in the August 28 swearing in ceremony of newly elected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would result in tangible developments in Armenian-Turkish relations, Ruben Melkonyan, Deputy Dean of Yerevan State University’s Faculty of Oriental Studies, responded that the visit would allow Nalbandyan to reiterate Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s invitation to the Turkish president to attend ceremonies in Yerevan next year marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Melkonyan said he expected Erdoğan to decline the invitation in a statement couched in diplomatic niceties.

What lies behind Europe’s murky oil deals with Azerbaijan?

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Republished from New Internationalist (blog)Author: Molly Scott CatoBeyond hosting the Eurovision song contest or Formula One, few of us in Britain, I suspect, know much about Azerbaijan. In fact, you may find yourself asking whether it really qualifies as a European country at all. Why then, is British prime minister David Cameron so friendly with Azerbaijani President Ilhan Aliyev? And why did government Energy Minister Michael Fallon visit the country just last month?
When you learn that Azerbaijan’s capital city, Baku, is almost floating on natural gas, and that oil giant BP has strong interests in the country, things become a little clearer.
But it’s not just Conservative party ministers doing the bidding. Former Labour prime minister and part-time Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair is also in on the act. He is understood to be advising a powerful consortium of energy interests and helping to secure a highly controversial oil pipeline from the former Soviet republic.
With its massive oil and gas reserves, the regime in Baku is hoping to attract the sorts of capital flows that swirl through the Middle East, and is explicitly positioning itself as the new Dubai. Unfortunately, it is also using the regimes of that region as the model for its approach to human rights. Those who criticize the government or try to build bridges with people in neighbouring countries are liable to be branded traitors and subjected to arbitrary detention.
The problems in Azerbaijan came to my attention in my role as Member of the European Parliament (MEP). I received an email from a constituent who told me about her friend Leyla Yunus, whom she first met about 15 years ago at a conference of women peacemakers. Leyla made a strong impression, demonstrating her love for her country and her strong desire to help it be at peace with its neighbours.“Leyla, like many other human rights activists in Azerbaijan, has suffered endless harassment, and she and her husband Arif were obliged to get their daughter, their only child, Dinara, to safety in the Netherlands, because of the threats against her life. Over the years I have done what I could to support them,” recalled my constituent after meeting Layla in Baku.Azerbaijan is keen to develop its economic relationship with the European Union (EU) and perhaps even become a member one day. The EU has a stake in the success of the country’s fledgling democracy, since it funds civil-society organizations in the country to the tune of more than $27.9 million given to more than 74 projects since 2007. The repression of civil-society groups has therefore been met with concern at the highest levels of EU institutions.When European Commission President José Barroso visited Azerbaijan’s capital city in June, he stressed the importance of a multi-party democracy, an open society and an open economy as the best way to achieve stability and prosperity. According to Catherine Ashton, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, he also stressed that a thriving civil society constitutes an essential component of a healthy society.Dunja Mijatovic, the Representative on Freedom of the Media for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), has gone even further. Sharing her ‘alarm’ at the criminal charges against NGOs supporting media freedom in Azerbaijan, she said: “These actions appear to be part of a campaign of targeted suppression of free expression and free media […] media NGOs provide essential support to journalists and the whole media industry. Any actions to intimidate them and interfere with their activities go against OSCE commitments and create a chilling effect on those who champion freedom of the media.”So what can we do? Perhaps most importantly we should not collude in Azerbaijan’s portrayal of itself as just another exotic tourist destination. If ethical tourism means anything, then it means not supporting countries whose governments deny their citizens’ basic rights. Formula One fans can write to the sport’s governing body to demand that they cancel the race scheduled for Baku in 2016. And you could also contact your MEP and MP, letting them know your concerns about the way Leyla Yunus and other activists are being treated.It is hard for those of us who live in Britain to understand what life is like in a country where your basic rights are routinely abused by an oppressive and undemocratic government. Just as Aung San Suu Kyi has represented the struggle against this sort of oppression in Burma, so Leyla Yunus is its figurehead in Azerbaijan. Her greatest protection lies in her story being known and shared. 

I don’t expect heated political autumn in Armenia, says ruling party MP

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A lawmaker of Armenia’s governing political force rules out the possibility of a heated political autumn in the country, saying instead that she expects the coming months to be a period of fruitful work.
Speaking to Tert.am, Karine Achemyan of the ruling Republican faction in parliament said she is sure that the government’s decision to work without vacations this summer will yield its positive results.
“I think it will be full of work for us, like every other autumn, given that there are many bills submitted by different National Assembly members. Also, the government worked without a holiday, which will also yield its results. We hope to strengthen our ties with the Eurasian Economic Union and the Customs Union. My forecast for a heated autumn is more of a working rather than a political nature,” she explained.
Achemyan said she wishes the opposition to work in collaboration with the parliamentary majority, especially after the recent border incidents that saw Armenian defense positions violently attacked by the Azerbaijani armed forces.
“Of course, if the opposition has decided to change its [political] course by proposing a new political program, it’s a matter of future. But I do not see any grounds for that at the moment,” she added.
The Republican MP said she thinks that it would be better for the parliamentary opposition to be more active in parliament, considering it the best platform for raising any problem. “That platform is the National Assembly, so they can voice all their concerns, plans and proposals at the National Assembly. And I don’t think this autumn will be any different from all other autumns in terms of being heated. On the contrary, I think we will have a fruitful autumn in terms of work,” she added.  

Karabakh reports 80 ceasefire violations

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The ceasefire maintenance regime along the Line of Contact between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan was violated around 80 times overnight.
According to a press release by the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army, the Azerbaijani troops released over 650 gunshots against Armenian defenses guards, using weapons of different calibers.
The frontline subdivisions of the Army are said to have remained committed to the ceasefire regime, resorting to retaliation only upon strict necessity.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Nagorno-Karabakh reports over 200 ceasefire violations

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The Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army reports that the ceasefire along the Line of Contact was violated 270 times in the past week.
The Azerbaijani troops have fired 2,200 billets against the Armenian defense guards, using weapons of different caliber.
The frontline subdivisions of the defense army remained mainly committed to the ceasefire regime, resorting to retaliation only upon strict necessity.  

Source: TertOriginial Article

Karabakh people will resolve long-lasting land-dispute, says minister

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Nagorno-Karabakh is going to be the place where the Armenians’ fate will be determined, the country’s defense minister said today in a press conference blessed by the Supreme Patriarch.
“That’s doesn’t mean, of course, that we have to direct all efforts to Karabakh,” Lieutenant-General Movses Hakobyan warned.
Addressing the past weeks’ cross-border skirmishes, the minister said that the Defense Army managed to resist and adequately react to the Azerbaijani attacks in all the directions.
“We have suffered losses, which we must avoid to the best of our efforts. We resorted to counteraction and preventive operations to prove that it wasn’t the right way. We are always ready to counteract to the enemy, be it today or tomorrow,” he said.
Commenting on Azerbaijani President Ilham Aiyev’s earlier statement that they are ready to “liberate” Karabakh, the Minister considered it an absurd move.
Hakobyan noted that the Armenians of Karabakh and the diaspora have drawn a very important conclusion by stating that the Armenian side “has nothing more to lose”. “All consolidated over one issue to prove that we are unanimous and united, and ready to solve a common problem. Our soldier gave us a signal today that it is it is necessary to be consolidated and give prevalence to the state interest,” he added.
Addressing the Armenian, Russian and Azerbaijani presidents’ recent meeting in Sochi (Russia), the minister stressed that their duty is to bring to life important foreign policy decisions made on the level of presidents and foreign ministers. “Any war finishes with negotiations; hence we hail any meeting of this kind. I think the presidents have agreed upon everything, so it would be good to realize all that,” he said, ruling out the possibility of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without the country’s direct participation in the process.
“Once Karabakh joins the talks, we can expect a solution in a just one year,” he added.
Asked about the Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan, the minister said the country isn’t positive about the deal. “Our country’s president has expressed a very tough position; it is, of course, very bad that our ally sells weapon to our enemy. The weapons will be used against the rival, no matter where they is purchased from. So it is very bad for us.”
Hakobyan, who is the commander of Karabakh’s Defense Army, said they are every day preparing for a possible war, adding that the country will come out as a winner in case the scenario turns real. “My soldier is ready even for that today. Our everyday activities are directed to that,” added the minister.  

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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.