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Man arrested in Armenia for stabbing Turkish national to death

March 17, 2014 Armenia, Turkey No Comments

A man has been arrested in Armenia for killing a citizen of Turkey during what was allegedly their quarrel in Gyumri.

According to a police report, Maxim Bakoyan, 24, was tracked down and taken into custody in the early hours of Sunday for repeatedly stabbing Evliya Gumustek, a 54-year-old citizen of Turkey, in an incident that took place in the city’s Mush 2 district the previous day. Gumstek later died in hospital of the “numerous stab wounds”.

Police are currently taking measures to find the knife. Criminal proceedings have been opened against Bakoyan on the hallmarks of part 1, Article 104 of Armenia’s penal code (murder). No other details of the investigation are reported yet.

Facing history: Istanbul to host conference on Armenian Genocide

March 14, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Turkey No Comments
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A Turkish civic group composed of journalists, lawyers and human rights activists is going to hold a conference devoted to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
The event, entitled “One Minute to 2015”, is set to take place on March 16 in Istanbil. The organizers invite all interested sides to join their initiative.
Mehmet Gojekli, the editor of the Turkish website Demokrat Haber, has called on the Turkish nation to look into its past ahead of the tragic anniversary.
The group says that the state has already started preparing for the Genocide centennial. “If they are preparing [for the anniversary], we too are preparing to speak the truth and confront our past,” Gokceli said, adding that the topic is too important to be trusted to the government.
He said it is the duty of any person residing in Turkey’s territory ask himself or herself, what happened in 1915?.
“One hundred years ago, half of Hakkari’s population was Assyrian, with half of those residing in Van being Armenians. Where did those people go and why? Is it of no interest to you?” he said, calling for efforts to prevent tragedies in future.

Armenian church taken under protection in Turkey’s Van

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The authorities of Turkey’s Van province have promised to take under protection an historical Armenian church that has turned into a store for animal food.
Muzaffer Aktud, the head of the Provincial Administration’s Culture and Tourism Department, has promised that the building will be cleaned up within very short timeframes, Cihan News agency reported.
Reports that the church had turned into an animal food store appeared in the press last week.
A villager said that the local population, which is very saddened by the church’s deplorable state, wants the former tourist attraction site to be renovated. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Yerevan Hails Swiss Court Action On Armenian Genocide Denial


Armenia commended Switzerland on Wednesday for asking the European Court of Human Rights to reconsider a recent ruling that public denial of the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey cannot be deemed a crime.

The ruling was handed down in December as a result of an appeal lodged by Dogu Perincek, a Turkish pro-establishment politician.

Perincek was fined by a Swiss court in 2007 for declaring during a lecture tour in Switzerland that the 1915 slaughter of some 1.5 Armenians is an “international lie.” The punishment stemmed from Switzerland’s anti-racism legislation that bans any act of denying, belittling or justifying genocide. It was upheld by the Swiss Federal Court.

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Armenian Foreign Minister: Genocide Reconciliation Doesn’t Mean Forgetting the Past

March 8, 2014 Armenia, Turkey No Comments
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10:30, March 8, 2014

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian delivered the following opening statement at the high level panel discussion dedicated to the sixty-fifth anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide at the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 7, 2014.

”Ladies and Gentlemen,

First I would like to thank Madam Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and her Office for holding this High Level Panel Discussion dedicated to the sixty-fifth anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Armenian leader attends EPP summit, addresses Karabakh, Turkish blockade, Ukraine crisis


President Serzh Sargsyan, who was on a working visit to the Republic of Ireland, on Thursday attended the plenary session of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Dublin. Raffi Hovannisian, the leader of the opposition Heritage party, which is also a member of the EPP along with Sargsyan’s ruling Republican Party, also made a surprise visit to Dublin to attend the session.

Hovannisian, who was Sargsyan’s main critic and rival in last year’s presidential election and challenged his official victory in the polls, in his speech said that the transfer of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan was as unfair a step as the construction of the Berlin Wall. He urged European colleagues to recognize the legality of the correction of that blunder.

Stitching Together a Life: Syrian-Armenian sets example for business success


Women’s blue jeans on mannequins are skillfully worked with sand paper to get the partly worn-out effect of almost white faded-blue. Young Syrian Armenians Aram and Shant work in silence, instead their hands run quickly, and soon mannequins dress into their next pair of jeans.

Harout Papazian

“We import the raw jeans fabric, but the rest is done here, be it designing, sewing, washing, working with sand paper, etc…” explains textile worker Harout Papazian who has moved from Aleppo to Yerevan. Here, in the suburb of Nubarashen, for a year now he has been running a small workshop. Since early this year the workshop has been producing the first made-in-Armenia Max brand jeans.

Sarkisian Wants EU Ties ‘Compatible’ With Russian-Led Bloc


President Serzh Sarkisian has reaffirmed his stated commitment to closer partnership with the European Union but implied that it must be “compatible” with Armenia’s forthcoming membership of a Russian-led alliance of ex-Soviet states.

Sarkisian remained careful not to use the term “European integration” as he addressed a summit of the European People’s Party in Dublin late on Thursday. He spoke instead of his government’s “policy of complementing and harmonizing interests” of Armenia’s key foreign partners.

“We appreciate the assistance that the European Union and its member States have been backing Armenia in its social-economic and institutional development, strengthening of our government agencies, reform of the public sector, fight against corruption and reduction of poverty,” said Sarkisian. “About two weeks ago the National Security Council of Armenia approved an action plan for cooperation between Armenia and the EU in 2014 and 2015.”

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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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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.

Heritage reshuffle: Postanjyan becomes new leader of parliamentary faction


Zaruhi Postanjyan has been elected new head of the opposition Heritage faction in parliament. The change comes after Ruben Hakobyan announced his decision to resign as faction leader earlier today.

Talking to media in parliament Hakobyan said Heritage Party leader Raffi Hovannisian had been notified about his move well in advance. He left questions about reasons for his step without commentary, only saying that he had decided to step down as faction leader before the recent scandal around Postanjyan in the wake of her controversial question to President Serzh Sargsyan about his gambling habit at the PACE plenary session in Strasbourg on October 2.