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Reality Check: Teams of 2013 presidential rivals assess situation on anniversary of ‘dueling inaugurations’

April 9, 2014 Armenia, Europe, Sports No Comments
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One year after the ‘inauguration’ ceremonies of “Secure Armenia” and “New Armenia” held by official winner of the 2013 presidential election Serzh Sargsyan and his top challenger Raffi Hovannisian, representatives of the two men’s parties differ in their evaluations of the past 12 months that have seen some very significant political events. Representatives of the ruling party say the past year has been a period of achievements, the opposition sees only losses and missed opportunities.

Sargsyan, who officially gained more than half of the vote in the February 18, 2013 election was sworn in for his second and last five-year term as president in the Sports and Concert Hall in Yerevan on April 9 that year. He took an oath on the Bible and the Constitution. In the meantime, the official runner-up, Hovannisian, gathered supporters in Yerevan’s Liberty Square for a ceremony of “inaugurating a New Armenia”.

Faster Growth In Armenia Still Likely, Says World Bank

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Armenia – Workers at a plastics factory in Yerevan, 30Oct2013.

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ECHR finds Turkey guilty over lengthy detention

April 9, 2014 Armenia, Europe, Turkey No Comments
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The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has found Turkey guilty in another case about the length of a pre-trial detention, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.The ECHR ruled that Turkey breached both the right to liberty and security and the right to a fair trial.Ziya and Mehmet Ergezen, a father and a son, were detained in 2005 after several kilos of explosives were seized in a search at their home. The following year they were sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for membership of an illegal organization (the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK) and possession of explosives.After the judgment was quashed in June 2007, the court ordered for the applicants to be held in pre-trial detention until November 2007, when it upheld their conviction on the same terms.In February 2009 the Court of Cassation again quashed the judgment of the Assize Court, which ordered the applicants to be kept in pre-trial detention, until September 2010, when Ziya Ergezen was released on the grounds that he was suffering from cancer and unlikely to survive. Ziya Ergezen died later that year.The following month, the criminal proceedings against him were interrupted on grounds of his death and his son was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment. Taking account of the length of the latter’s pre-trial detention, the Assize Court released him.An appeal against that judgment was dismissed by the Court of Cassation in December 2010.In the end, the ECHR ruled that Turkey must pay 4,000 euros to Mehmet Ergezen and 4,300 euros jointly to the heirs of Ziya Ergezen.
 

Focus on Kessab: Armenian PACE delegation member makes statement on beleaguered town in Syria

April 9, 2014 Armenia, Europe No Comments
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A member of the Armenian delegation at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) made a statement on the events in and around the Armenian-populated town of Kessab in Syria at the Strasbourg-based body’s spring session that opened on Monday.

In her statement Naira Karapetyan, representing the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, informed European lawmakers that more than 700 ethnic Armenian families had to flee from their homes in Kessab, in the north-west of Syria, after their villages came under “barbarian attack of Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups that crossed from the Turkish territory.”

Family from Azerbaijan granted political asylum in Armenia

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Authorities in Yerevan have granted political asylum to an Azerbaijani family that crossed into Armenia through Georgia earlier this year.

Javid Orujev, his wife Roya Mirzoyeva and three children arrived in Armenia in late January, saying that they fled persecution in Azerbaijan.

According to Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS), Orujev claimed to have been forced to spy for Azerbaijani intelligence because of Mirzoyeva’s ethnic Armenian origin. The 38-year-old told the NSS that he had unsuccessfully sought political asylum in a European state for that reason.

Gagik Yeganyan, head of Armenia’s State Migration Service, was quoted by Armenian media as saying that the Azeri family’s request for political asylum had been granted.

Source: Armenia NowOriginial Article

The Armenians in Estonia: A visit to Tallinn

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The dawn over the city of Tallinn, anchored on the coast of the Baltic Sea, is sunny and blue just as it is chilly and damp. The traditional tram lines separate the modern parts of the city from the old ones.

Ages speak through the tiled, triangular, pointed roofs and the colorful towels aiming towards the sky, while new Tallinn has now modern skyscrapers and avant-garde structures.


Presidential Residence of Tallinn


Razmik Ivanyan


Armenian church in Tallinn

Part of the city is distinguished with the Soviet heritage architecture – one building repeating the other, built by the same template.

Weightlifting: Armenian athletes win silver, bronze at European championships

April 8, 2014 Armenia, Europe No Comments
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Armenian weightlifter Vanik Avetisyan has won a silver medal at the European championships taking place in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Performing in the 69-kg weight division, Avetisyan lifted 315 kilograms in snatch, clean and jerk combination (140kg+175kg). Thanks to his personal weight the Armenian managed to beat Moldova’s Sergey Cheshir and Russia’s Felix Khalibekov.

The gold medal was won by Russia’s Oleg Chen, who lifted 327 kg in total (151kg+176kg).

Avetisyan’s was second medal won by an Armenian during the current championships. Earlier, Smbat Margaryan won a bronze medal in the 56-kg weight class.

Source: Armenia NowOriginial Article

3 Azeri Soldiers Killed Near Karabakh

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Three Azerbaijani soldiers were killed and six others wounded near Nagorno-Karabakh in disputed circumstances late on Monday.

Genocide Recognition: New resolution in U.S. ahead of April 24 commemoration

April 8, 2014 Armenia, Europe, Turkey No Comments
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On April 3, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) introduced legislation, calling upon the United States President to work toward an Armenian-Turkish relationship based on Turkey’s truthful acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide.

In a statement issued upon introduction, Chairman Menendez noted: “The Armenian Genocide is a horrifying factual reality that can never be denied. This resolution reaffirms in the strongest terms that we will always remember this tragedy and honor the memory of innocent Armenian men, women and children who were killed and expelled from their homeland. The Armenian Genocide must be taught, recognized, and commemorated to prevent the re-occurrence of similar atrocities from ever happening again.”

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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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Commentary

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.

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

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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.