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Armenian Parliament vice-speaker receives Greek ambassador

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Armenian Parliament Vice-Speaker Eduard Sharmazanov received on Tuesday Greek Ambassador to Armenia Ioannis Taghis.Mr Sharmazanov highly appreciates centuries-old Armenian-Greek friendship. He highlighted Greece’s official position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.Armenia sees only a peaceful and negotiated settlement of the conflict within the OSCE Minsk Group. Mr Sharmazanov condemned Azerbaijan’s policy which poses a threat to regional security and stability.Ambassador Ioannis Taghis sees only a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the OSCE Minsk Group as well.Speaking of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey, he called it the greatest crime in modern history. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Hungary: Protesters Rally Against Prime Minister

November 20, 2014 Armenia, Business, Europe, Turkey No Comments
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11:01, November 20, 2014

More than 10,000 Hungarians protested on Monday, Nov. 17 against Prime Minister Viktor Orban, saying he is too close to the Kremlin and employs corrupt officials.

The protests took place outside the Hungarian Parliament building in Budapest on what organizers dubbed the “Day of Public Outrage,” summing up ordinary Hungarians’ concerns about the nation’s fate under a leader who in July provoked international outcry by saying he would end liberal democracy in the country.

According to Reuters, placards displayed by protestors read “We don’t pay tax to criminals” and “Europe! Europe!” One banner bore the slogan, “People against corruption, so much for the two-thirds,” referring to Orban’s political party Fidesz, which rules by a majority of two-thirds, reports Reuters.

Armenian FM in contacts over helicopter crew’s fate

Armenian News

21:38 • 19/11
Any state supplying arms to Azerbaijan is well aware they are aimed at Armenians – expert

20:58 • 19/11
Armenian FM in contacts over helicopter crew’s fate

20:47 • 19/11
Deadline for implementation of 12 point not over – Artsvik Minasyan

19:37 • 19/11
‘Back to the Future’ hoverboard fantasy becomes reality

19:23 • 19/11
WB to grant US$ 75 million loan to Armenia

19:05 • 19/11
ICRC negotiates with all sides over MI-24 helicopter crew

18:43 • 19/11
PACE condemns Azerbaijan’s use of prisoner transfer treaty in ‘Safarov case’

18:30 • 19/11
Armenian Constitutional Court’s ruling on EEU agreement political – Khachatur Kokobelyan

18:04 • 19/11
Honduras beauty queen Maria Jose Alvarado found dead

Turkey fears influx of 2-3 million more Syrian refugees

November 18, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Diaspora, Turkey No Comments
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Turkey could face an influx of 2-3 million more Syrian refugees if President Bashar al-Assad’s forces or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) insurgents advance around Aleppo, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Nov. 18, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.”Right now who is filling the void left by ISIL as a result of the coalition’s air attacks? It is the regime,” Çavuşoğlu told a news conference in Ankara. “But there is not that much difference between the ISIL and the regime. Both kill cruelly, especially civilians. And neither hesitate to use whatever weapons are available to them.”U.S. warplanes have been bombing ISIL forces in parts of Syria, but Assad’s military has intensified its campaign against some rebel groups in the west and north that Washington sees as allies, including in and around Aleppo.Rebels and Syrian government forces hold parts of Aleppo, Syria’s most populous city before the war. ISIL has seized territory from rival Islamist groups in a belt of territory north of Aleppo, threatening rebel supply routes. It also holds large sections of territory elsewhere in the wider Aleppo province.Turkey has been a staunch supporter of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), an umbrella term for dozens of armed groups fighting against both Assad and ISIL. It has also been pushing for the U.S.-led coalition to broaden its campaign to also tackle al-Assad.”A weakening of the moderate opposition, the FSA backed by the coalition, … will make the adverse situation in Syria worse and more unstable,” Çavuşoğlu said.”Fearful civilians are fleeing from areas where ISIL, terrorist groups and the regime are gaining ground. A possible advance in Aleppo would mean the influx of two to three million people to the Turkish border to seek asylum.”The Syrian civil war has killed close to 200,000 people and forced more than 3 million refugees to flee the country, according to the United Nations.Turkey already hosts more than 1.5 million refugees and has been pushing the United States and its allies to create a safe haven for displaced civilians on the Syrian side of its border. 
 

Turkey-Azerbaijan cooperation as seen by Armenian experts

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At present, like in 1993, no real preconditions are available for Turkey to intervene in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh as a third side should hostilities resume, expert in Turkic studies Vahram Ter-Matevosyan told Tert.am.“I do not see any conditions for Turkey to intervene and get involved in war now. Of course, it will provide political, economic, military, financial, moral and technical support. Both during the war and in later years Turkey provided essential support to Azerbaijan and will go on doing so in the future as well. On the other hand, it should be noted that the factors remain in force which kept Turkey from making an incursion into Armenia’s territory or intervening in the war in 1993,” he said.With respect to the opinions that by shooting down an Armenian helicopter on the Line of Contact Azerbaijan issued a war challenge, which is only possible with Turkey’s support, Mr Ter-Matevosyan said:“Should Azerbaijan embark on such a military adventure, it can hardly be done without Turkey’s approval or support.”Turkey’s Minister of National Defense İsmet Yılmaz, addressed the incident involving the Armenian helicopter at a debate on the 2015 budget. In commenting on Armenian officials’ pledges to retaliate, he said that “no one can say what is going to happen in that geopolitical territory the next day.”Expert in Turkic studies Levon Hovsepyan told Tert.am that Turkey and Azerbaijan have for years maintained dynamic cooperation. The recent period has seen cooperation in military industry both as direct purchases and as military industrial projects.“Monitoring shows this cooperation is dynamically developing, and recent mutual visits by high-ranking officials are evidence thereof. Turkish Special Forces Commander [Zekai Aksakallı] was on a visit to Azerbaijan a few days ago, followed by Turkish Gendarmerie General Commander [Abdullah Atay]. The two visits were preceded by a visit of the commander of the Turkish Third Army. That is, regular visits take place,” the expert said.Turkey has gained serious influence on Azerbaijan’s defense system.“It may also be the case in making military decisions, plans or tactical issues.”As regards the purchase of arms, Mr Hovsepyan said that Azerbaijan is purchasing different types of weapons from Turkey.“And one more important fact about Turkish-Azerbaijani military cooperation: Turkey has raised its military role in Nakhijevan as well, especially after the transformation of the 5th army corps,” he said.In response to Tert.am’s question about manifestations of pan-Turkism during Recep Erdogan’s presidency (in the context of permanent pan-Turkic sentiments in Turkey), Mr Ter-Matevosyan said that Recep Erdogan considers the year 2071 as a long-term target in the context of the Turkish state’s development, the actual aim being pan-Turkism.“At least a new presentation of the ideology, if not its revival. Turkey is known to be planning to mark the 1,000th anniversary of the battle of Manaskert, when Seljuks entered our region thus inaugurating their historical march toward the West,” the expert said. 

Indigenous Peoples and Thanksgiving: Getting at the Truth

November 17, 2014 Africa, Armenia, Turkey No Comments
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14:21, November 17, 2014

By AnoushTerTaulian

Armenians know how conquerors, who commit genocide against indigenous peoples,can fabricate lies that lead to miseducation and false celebrations.

On Thanksgiving Day, for three years,I have traveled to Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts to support the United American Indians of New England (UAINE) who have declared Thanksgiving a National Day of Mourning to expose the lie thata turkey dinner was shared by the pilgrims and natives.

Banjos and Bayonets: The Tale of a Holocaust Survivor

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14:57, November 17, 2014

By Arthur Hagopian

From the Red Desert to Jerusalem – The Odyssey ofElia Kahvedjian

Elia Kahvedjian’s adept fingers could tease the strings of his banjo and mandolin into seductive dances and renditions, just as skillfully and felicitously as they could coax his treasuredHasselblad and Leica into turning out irresistible photographic compositions.

A legend in his time, the mild-mannered Armenian photographer of Jerusalem, survived a horrendous ordeal of starvation, torture and genocide, and a run in with nefarious cannibals, by dint of sheer guts, determination and luck, to leave an indelible imprint on the cultural history of the Holy City.

Turkey behind any plots to provoke new war in South Caucasus – Artashes Geghamyan

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In an interview with Tert.am, Head of the Armenian delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Artashes Geghamyan commented on the statements by Thomas de Waal, Senior Associate, Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment, and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.According to Mr Thomas de Waal, the “incidents are an illustration of the increased militarization of the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire line over the last 20 years – the most militarized zone in Europe.”On the other hand, Armenia’s president stated that no war was going to break out.Even if any plans to provoke war in the region are being devised, it is certainly being done by Turkey because it is seeking to destabilize the South Caucasus to divert the international community’s attention from the activities of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant along the border of Turkey, Syria and Iraq.“Mr Thomas de Waal must have certain grounds for his conclusions. He studied at Oxford and later wrote a most interesting paper, Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War, which showed a more or less impartial approach. He has more contacts with Western experts and, as Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment, must have arrived at this conclusion. It is suggested that such plans may be devised, but President Serzh Sargsyan’s statement ruling our war in the region is based on much more reliable data. We should not forget the detailed talks over the problem between the Russian and Azerbaijani Presidents, Vladimir Putin Ilham Aliyev, in Sochi, between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Ilham Aliyev in Newport, Wales, and between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in Paris, mediated by French President François Hollande. In other words, the last two months and a half have seen talks between the Armenian and Azerbaijan presidents and the leaders of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing states. Moreover, following the Paris meeting our FM Edward Nalbandian noted positive aspects of the meetings. Therefore, the Armenian president stated (doing so during large-scale military exercises in Nagorno-Karabakh) there was no threat of war. I think that one of the reasons for Serzh Sargsyan’s statement is the fact that by unleashing war after the Minsk Group co-chairing states’ leaders reached certain agreements Azerbaijan would show its disrespect for the Russian president, the US Secretary of State and the French president. Another question is that our supreme commander-in-chief’s statement foiled the plots to destabilize the South Caucasus devised by Azerbaijani and Turkish strategists. Azerbaijan wanted Armenia to retaliate in such a way as to neutralize the extremely negative reaction to Azerbaijan’s act – downing a Nagorno-Karabakh MI-24 helicopter, which had not actually reached the Line of Contact. This is evidence that, even after Azerbaijan resorted to such a provocation, that their plot was foiled, and that country is in an unfavorable situation now. It is clear that Azerbaijan is well aware it cannot any more avoid honoring the agreements reached during the last two months and a half at the meetings with the Minsk Group co-chairing states’ leaders.As supreme commander-in-chief, President Serzh Sargsyan is well informed of the military potential and morale in the armed forces of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. A man who saw war, a victorious commander and hero of Artsakh [Nagorno-Karabakh] will never say anything absurd about such a serious matter. Moreover, by his statement he re-affirmed Armenia’s commitment to the agreements reached in Sochi, Newport and Paris. 

Nigol Bezjian’s Ceaseless Search for Truth and Discovery — An Interview

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17:52, November 14, 2014

By Christian Garbis

Filmmaker Nigol Bezjian is a master storyteller who conveys pathos and lust for life, introspection and emotional extremes of joy and sorrow in one sweep.

Born in Aleppo, Syria in 1955, Bezjian immigrated with his family to Boston in 1974. He earned a BFA in Cinema Studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and then further pursued his passion for filmmaking at the UCLA School of Film, Theatre and Television where he graduated with a MFA in Film Producing, Writing and Directing. 

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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

Capitalism Run Amok Is Just Plain Capitalism

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16:37, January 17, 2015

By Markar Melkonian

The source of Armenia’s misery and humiliation, we often hear, is not capitalism per se, but rather “gangster capitalism,” “a broken system,” “capitalism run amok.”

The goal for the future, then, is to “fix the system,” to reform capitalism, to make it more like regular, pure, genuine Free Enterprise, the kind of capitalism that works. But what if Armenia’s actually existing capitalism already is genuine capitalism?

An economist once observed that the only existential meaning of “enterprise” in the term free enterprise is “whatever capitalists happen to be doing at the time”–and “free” is the accompanying demand that they be allowed to do it.

Ukraine: Cops Go After Casinos, Suggest Yanukovych Connection

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21:45, December 15, 2014

Ukraine’s ministry of internal affairs has launched a campaign against illegal casinos amid fears that a large network of underground gambling dens could be providing an income source for the son of the country’s disgraced former president Viktor Yanukovych.

The new crackdown on unlawful casinos – an ongoing scourge for law enforcement agencies in Ukraine since regulation was made stiffer with a 2009 law – was launched on Dec. 8 after an announcement on Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov’s official Facebook page.

Avakov, who keeps a lively and occasionally angry Facebook commentary on current affairs, pledged to put a complete stop to the establishments within ten days; first in the capital of Kyiv, then the rest of the nation.

Yerevan Calling: A Weekly Roundup of Random Musings from Armenia

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13:05, October 3, 2014

Here it is dear readers, the debut of a weekly column I hope to maintain on a regular basis.

It’s sort of a catch-all of news snippets, irreverent commentary, and personal observations on what’s happened during the week here in Yerevan, and throughout Armenia.. Hopefully, you’ll find it interesting, if not slightly diverting.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Regards – Hrant

Oct. 2 – Protests Throughout Armenia: A Game of Numbers & Solidarity

Three separate protest rallies took place in Armenia today.

As Hetq reported earlier, business owners in the town of Sevan kept their stores and factories shut to protest changes to the so-called volume (sales) tax. Local residents flocked to the bread factory to wait on line for a loaf or two.

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.