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Time Matters: CU nations to announce establishment of Eurasian Union; will Armenia be co-founder?


On April 29, Minsk will host a summit of the Customs Union (CU) and the Eurasian Economic Council to be attended by the presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. It is assumed that at the summit they will announce the signing of an agreement on the establishment of the Eurasian Union in late May, as well as about Armenia’s entry into this Union. As of Monday morning, nothing official was reported about plans of the Armenian president to visit Belarus.

Zabel Yesayan’s Book on Armenian Massacres in Adana Now Published in Turkish

April 29, 2014 Armenia, Europe, Turkey No Comments
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12:28, April 27, 2014

Translator Kayuş Çalıkman Gavrilof: “The Turkish state always nurtures my pessimism”

The first Armenian documentarian, Zabel Yesayan’s Among the Ruins (1911) was published in Turkish a month ago after being translated by Istanbul-Armenian Kayuş Çalıkman Gavrilof.

The book — now available in Turkish bookstores — tells the story of the massacre of Armenians in Cilicia in 1909, which occurred months after Turkey entered the Second Constitutional Era. 

During that time, under the cover of the Constantinople Patriarchate, Yesayan visited Adana with the aim of establishing an orphanage. During the three months she stayed there, she described what she saw, including the families of victims of the massacre. She wrote letters to her husband about her emotions, asking him to keep the letters because “they might be needed.” And in 1910, she wrote the book based on these letters of emotions and testimonies. The book was published a year later. 

Armenia Keeps Up Cooperation With NATO


Armenia has indicated no plans for any suspension of cooperation with NATO that has been announced by the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russian-led military alliance of which it is a member.
“We will stop for now all efforts to forge links aimed at launching joint activities with NATO given the position adopted by NATO on the crisis in Ukraine,” the CSTO’s Russian secretary general, Nikolay Bordyuzha, said on Thursday. According to Russian news agencies, he accused NATO of “blackmailing” the CSTO member states as part of the West’s deepening standoff with Russia.


Alone, singing ‘Not Alone’: Armenia’s Eurovision participant to dispense with backing vocals at Copenhagen stage

April 28, 2014 Armenia, Europe, Music No Comments

Armenia’s Eurovision 2014 participant Aram Sargsyan, better known by his stage name Aram Mp3, has revealed some particulars of his upcoming performance in Europe’s biggest pop music contest next month as he is starting rehearsals in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, the host city, this week.

“I will be alone on stage. But I will sing Not Alone,” the 30-year-old singer and entertainer said jokingly, referring to his entry song, according to eurovision.tv.

“Originally my song did not have backing vocals, so we thought it would be both nice and unique for me to perform it all alone on stage, also without additional artists or dancers,” he added.

Report: Turkey’s Armenians suggest Erdogan for Nobel Prize

April 28, 2014 Armenia, Europe, Turkey No Comments
Armenian News

A number of representatives of Turkey’s Armenian community have suggested that the country’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan should be given the Nobel Prize for his efforts to make peace between Turks and Armenians.

Bedros Sirinoglu, the leader of the Armenian congregation in Turkey, in particular, has expressed his thanks to Erdogan for his recent speech about the “incidents during the First World War in 1915, in which many Armenians lost their lives in clashes with Turks towards the fall of the Ottoman Empire,” according to worldbulletin.net.

Describing Prime Minister Erdogan as a leader who has responded to all of the Armenian communities’ requests, especially in regards to the return of confiscated community-owned properties, Sirinoglu said that Erdogan’s words of condolence was a “first” in Turkey.

US to try to persuade Ukraine’s authorities to ease tensions in country – Kerry to Lavrov

April 27, 2014 Diaspora, Europe No Comments
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US Secretary of State John Kerry has assured Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that the US will try to persuade Ukraine’s authorities to undertake concrete steps to stop tension in eastern Ukraine, Mr. Kerry said this during his phone talk with Mr. Lavrov on Saturday, the Voice of Russia reports.The talk took place on the initiative of the American side.A statement published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website says that John Kerry promised that the US will try to use its influence on Ukraine’s authorities to persuade them to undertake some anti-crisis measures. He hopes that residents of Ukraine’s southern and eastern regions will support peaceful initiatives of the Ukrainian government if there are any.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry have discussed the Ukrainian crisis during a telephone conversation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “Lavrov has emphasized the necessity to take urgent measures to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine, firstly to cease the military operation against protest participants and stop aggressive actions of radical nationalists of the Right Sector,” the document said.The Russian foreign minister has also raised “the issue of political prisoners and urged the United States to use its influence for the release of protest movement leader arrested in southeastern Ukraine,” the statement said. “The attention of the Secretary of State has been drawn to the proposals of the Party of Regions and public movements of the southeast regarding the beginning of all-Ukraine national dialog and constitutional reform,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.”Kerry gave assurances that Washington will aspire to use its capabilities to encourage the Kiev authorities for certain steps to decrease tension and expressed hope that the southeastern regions will respond to these steps,” the statement said. “The parties have also discussed the measures being taken to resolve the situation with the detention of military monitors of European countries, who arrived to Ukraine upon the invitations of the Kiev authorities in the framework of procedures stipulated in the Vienna document of 2011 on measures to enhance trust and security and who went to the southeast without appropriate notification of public structures controlling the situation on sites,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.Lavrov and Kerry have also “exchanged opinions on the operation to destroy the Syrian chemical weapons and its components, having noted that, as of today, 92% relevant materials have already been moved from Syria,” the document said. The telephone conversation was held upon the US initiative, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.In a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday, April 26, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for an end to the army operation against protesters in southeastern Ukraine and for stopping aggressive actions of ultranationalists from the Right Sector.Lavrov also urged Kerry to use his influence for getting arrested protest leaders released.

Armenia’s New Prime Minister Speaks French…Sort Of

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17:04, April 26, 2014

A French-Armenian approached Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan on the street today in Yerevan and greeted him saying ‘bonjour’.

Not missing a beat, Abrahamyan, who was hurrying to the parliament, responded in kind.

The man then asked the newly appointed prime minister what he’d be doing for Armenians in Europe. Abrahamyan said that Armenia intended to continue its cooperation with European Union countries, adding that joining the Russian-led Customs Union wouldn’t prevent Yerevan’s ties to the EU.

The French-Armenian continued to pepper Abrahamyan with questions in broken Armenian. The prime minister confessed that he didn’t understand the man’s queries.

Sarkisian Calls For New EU-Armenia Pact

April 25, 2014 Armenia, Europe, Top News No Comments

President Serzh Sarkisian called on the European Union on Friday to continue to deepen its relations with Armenia through a new cooperation framework that would be “compatible” with his country’s upcoming accession to a Russian-led alliance of ex-Soviet republics.
“We are committed to taking further steps with our EU partners in order to form a new legal foundation regulating our relations, which on one hand will reflect the contents of Armenia’s preceding discussions with the EU, and on the other hand will be compatible with other formats for cooperation,” Sarkisian told a gathering of the EU’s Eastern Partnership program held in Prague.
“It is our conviction that none of the partner countries should be forced to pay a price for the decision it makes regarding its participation level in one or another integration process. We do not want to make a choice between friends, but we want to have as many friends as possible,” he said.
Sarkisian clearly alluded to the EU’s decision to abandon a planned Association Agreement with Yerevan following his unexpected decision last August to make Armenia part of Russia’s Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan. EU officials had repeatedly made clear that the agreement’s dominant component — the creation of a Deep and Comprehensive Freed Trade Area (DCFTA) — is “not compatible” with membership in the Russian-led trade bloc.

Death of the car wash? Nissan develops the world’s first self-cleaning car

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Banish the bucket, sponge and hose.
Japanese giant Nissan has developed the world’s first ‘self-cleaning car’ which it predicts will make car-washing ‘obsolete,’the Daily Mail reports.
Its UK engineers are testing innovative ‘nano-paint technology’ which repels dirt before it gets a chance to take hold on the paintwork.For drivers who would rather run a mile than wipe down their dirty vehicles with a sponge or wince at the high cost of a car-wash, it means salvation may soon be at hand.
It is set to be an option on future models but is being tested in Britain on the new Sunderland-built Nissan Note which went on sale in October priced from 12,100 to 17,100.
No price has yet been set but it is likely to be around 450 ($750) – or similar to a metallic paint option.
A Nissan spokesman said: ‘The Nissan Note is first car to trial paint which could make car washes obsolete.
‘Washing a car can be a chore – and a costly one at that. In response, Nissan has begun tests on innovative paint technology that repels mud, rain and everyday dirt, meaning drivers may never have to clean their car again.’
Scientists have developed ‘super-hydrophobic’ and ‘oleophobic’ paint, which repels water and oils. It has been applied to the all-new Nissan Note supermini to create what it calls ‘the world’s first self-cleaning car’.
Nissan says it is the first carmaker to apply the trade-marked technology called Ultra-Ever Dry on automotive bodywork and will be testing it ‘in the real world’ over the coming months at its European Technical Centre at Cranfield in Bedfordshire.
Explaining how the dirt-repellent coating works, a Nissan spokesman said: ‘By creating a protective layer of air between the paint and environment, it effectively stops standing water and road spray from creating dirty marks on the car’s surface.’
The Note already features a ‘wash and blow dry’ function on its rear view camera. This uses water and compressed air to automatically keep the lens free of dirt and ensure the Notes’ safety sensors work in all conditions.
A spokesman said: ‘So far, the coating has responded well to common use cases including rain, spray, frost, sleet and standing water.’Chief marketing manager Geraldine Ingham said; ‘The Nissan Note has been carefully engineered to take the stress out of customer driving and Nissan’s engineers are constantly thinking of new ways to make families’ lives easier.
‘We are committed to addressing everyday problems our customers face and will always consider testing exciting, cutting edge technology like this incredible coating application.’
Nissan employs 8,500 people in Britain, including 7,300 at the Sunderland factory, 950 at the Cranfield Technical Centre and 50 at Nissan’s European design centre at Paddington in London.

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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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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


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.

Armenian Foreign Policies 2013: Customs Union, U-turn on EU accord, Karabakh, Turkey, regional developments


2013 became a milestone year for Armenia not only in its foreign, but also domestic politics. After nearly four years of negotiations with the European Union over the signing of an association agreement on September 3 Armenia unexpectedly announced its intention to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

This decision has had its influence not only on Armenia proper, but also on the processes elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Inspired by Armenia’s decision, Russia stepped up its pressure on Ukraine, which suspended the process of signing of the Association Agreement with the EU one week before the Vilnius summit of Eastern Partnership. As a result, on November 29 such agreements were initialed only by Moldova and Georgia.