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President Serzh Sargsyan’s address on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

April 24, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Turkey No Comments
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Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan issued an address ahead of the April 24 commemoration of the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. In his address published on the official website Sargsyan said:

“Dear compatriots,

Today we bow to the memory of the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide. One and a half million Armenians fell prey to such a crime which did not have a name at that time. Nor had a human language coined such an expression or a term yet. They were killed simply because they were Armenians. The crime designed minutely and in advance pursued a clear goal: to take possession of the home country, the property and the millennium-old heritage by exterminating the native people living there. By this they committed a monstrous crime seeking to once and forever annihilate Armenians as a political factor.

Washington welcomes Turkish PM’s “public acknowledgement” of Armenians’ suffering

April 24, 2014 Armenia, Turkey No Comments
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The United States welcomes Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “historic public acknowledgement of the suffering that Armenians experienced in 1915.”

“We believe this is a positive indication that there can be a full, frank, and just acknowledgement of the facts, which we hope will advance the cause of reconciliation between Turks and Armenians,” Jen Psaki, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, said at a daily press briefing in Washington on Wednesday.

“We welcome the event…we welcome the statement. We think it was a positive step,” Psaki added, without providing any further comment on the contents of Erdogan’s statement.

Turkish PM’s statement is “advanced form of Armenian Genocide denial”, says top official in Yerevan

April 24, 2014 Armenia, Turkey No Comments
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Vigen Sargsyan, the Head of Staff of the President of the Republic of Armenia, responded to the statement made by the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day marked on April 24.

Answering a question from Armenpress news agency at the Tzitzernakaberd Memorial, Vigen Sargsyan said: “We have read that statement by Turkey’s Prime Minister very attentively trying to find the first attempt to face with history, but unfortunately we have to state that the statement is another, perhaps a more advanced expression of denying and concealing the crime of the Armenian Genocide.”

Armenia Remembers Genocide Victims

April 24, 2014 Armenia, Top News, Turkey No Comments
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Armenia – An official ceremony at the Tsitsernakabert memorial in Yerevan marking the 99th anniversary of the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey, 24Apr2014.

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Obama Marks ‘Meds Yeghern’ Anniversary

April 24, 2014 Armenia, Top News, Turkey No Comments
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U.S. President Barack Obama again declined to refer to the 1915 mass killings of Armenians as genocide on Thursday, essentially repeating carefully worded annual statements on the subject made during his presidency.
 
Obama used instead the Armenian phrase Meds Yeghern, or Great Calamity, to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the start of the massacres in the Ottoman Empire
 
“Today we commemorate the Meds Yeghern and honor those who perished in one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century,” he said in a statement issued on Armenian Remembrance Day. “We recall the horror of what happened ninety-nine years ago, when 1.5 million Armenians were massacred or marched to their deaths in the final days of the Ottoman Empire, and we grieve for the lives lost and the suffering endured by those men, women, and children.”
 
“Today, our thoughts and prayers are with Armenians everywhere, as we recall the horror of the Meds Yeghern, honor the memory of those lost, and reaffirm our enduring commitment to the people of Armenia and to the principle that such atrocities must always be remembered if we are to prevent them from occurring ever again,” added Obama.
 
Obama also seemed to reiterate that he stands by statements on the events of 1915 which he made when running for president in 2008. “I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view has not changed,” he said.
 
In a January 2008 statement to the influential Armenian community in the United States, Obama called the Armenian genocide “a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence.” “America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that president,” he said at the time.

Obama backpedaled on that pledge after becoming president, anxious not to antagonize Turkey, a key U.S. ally. In April 2009, he implicitly cited the need not to undermine a U.S.-backed rapprochement between Armenia and Turkey. The Turkish-Armenian normalization process eventually ended in failure.

Erdogan Statement Hailed By West, Dismissed By Armenia

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Official Yerevan dismissed on Thursday Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s condolences extended to the descendants of Armenians massacred in the Ottoman Empire, saying that Ankara is simply switching to a “more sophisticated” tactic of genocide denial.
 
Erdogan’s unprecedented statement was welcomed by the United States and the European Union, however, with the U.S. State Department calling it “historic.”
 
“We welcome Prime Minister Erdogan’s historic public acknowledgement of the suffering that Armenians experienced in 1915,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a daily news briefing in Washington late on Wednesday.
 
“We believe this is a positive indication that there can be a full, frank, and just acknowledgement of the facts, which we hope will advance the cause of reconciliation between Turks and Armenians,” Psaki said.
 
Stefan Fuele, the EU’s enlargement commissioner, also praised the Turkish premier. “Reconciliation is key EU value. Hope steps in this spirit will follow,” Fuele wrote on his Twitter page.
 
In his unprecedented statement issued ahead of the 99th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, Erdogan admitted that Armenians suffered “inhumane consequences” during their “relocation” ordered by the Ottoman government. But he seemed to equate their suffering to the wartime deaths of many Turks and other Muslim peoples of the crumbling empire.
 
Erdogan also spoke out against “using the events of 1915 as an excuse for hostility against Turkey,” an apparent reference to the decades-long Armenian campaign for international recognition of the genocide.

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99 Years of Waiting: The “G-word” still too problematic for world power base

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On the eve of the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide political analysts and specialist in Turkish studies are assured that the world has long accepted the fact of the Armenian Genocide, though some countries still refuse to recognize it, because the agenda of the world – the international political rationality – demands so.

During the years of World War I more than two million Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire. Around a million and a half Armenians were killed through 1915-1923, the rest were forcefully converted to Islam or found refuge in other countries. Despite the ongoing process of recognition of the Armenia Genocide, Turkey continues fighting against it.

Ankara’s Financial Obligation: Today’s Turkey Created on Wealth Expropriated from Armenians

April 24, 2014 Armenia, Turkey No Comments
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19:47, April 23, 2014

By Anahit Astoyan

 It is a well known fact that preceding the First World War, the Armenians held crucial positions in the domestic and foreign trade, industrial production and banking areas of the Ottoman Empire. 

Due to their talents and entrepreneurship, Western Armenian bourgeoisie, bankers and industrialists, even under the conditions of the Ottoman despotism and arbitrariness, managed to come into possession of certain wealth and accumulate significant financial capital. 

Seeing a serious threat in such economic strengthening of the Armenians, the Young Turks, during their closed meetings, discussed the questions of liberation from their economic rivalry and establishing Turkish economic power in the country through the elimination of the Armenians, while at the same time developing measures for expropriation of private and common property of the Armenian nation. 

Turkish PM stresses “shared pain” in first-ever statement on “Armenian issue”

April 24, 2014 Armenia, Turkey No Comments
Armenian News

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has issued a landmark statement on the eve of April 24 when Armenians around the world will commemorate the 99th anniversary of the Ottoman-era Genocide.

Since 1915 when Ottoman Turkey committed the genocide, massacring around 1.5 million Armenians, the successive Turkish governments, including that of Erdogan, have refused to admit to the crime, at best describing it as a wartime tragedy that affected both Armenians and Turks, as well as other ethnicities living in the territory of modern-day Turkey.

In his statement disseminated by Turkish media Erdogan highlighted the “shared pain” endured during the “1915 events”, expressing condolences on behalf of the Turkish state to the grandchildren of Armenians who lost their lives “in the context of the early 20th century.”

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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

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.