Home » Middle East » Latest Armenian News:

Turkish Internet bill to ‘deepen press freedom crisis,’ CPJ says

February 4, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Turkey No Comments
Image g_image.php

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has claimed that a new bill on the Internet currently being debated in the Turkish Parliament will further undermine press freedoms if it passes into law, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.“Parliament is on the verge of voting on radical censorship measures that, if approved, would allow the government to block individual URLs without prior judicial review, mandate Internet data retention for periods of up to two years, and consolidate Internet Service Providers (ISPs) into a single association, among other changes,” the CPJ said in a statement released on Feb. 3.The new arrangements caused serious concerns over the increase of power in the hands of the president of the Directorate of Telecommunication (TİB), who would gain the authority to block access to certain material if he decided that it breached the right to private life. A court ruling would not be necessary for such a decision to be taken.“Although URL blocking is arguably more targeted than an order blocking an entire website, it is also far less transparent, which enables more insidious control of free expression. Under the proposed amendments, social media accounts or Web pages could even be blocked without judicial review under some circumstances. In the absence of a court order, it is unclear what public record will exist that censorship has occurred,” the CPJ said.The press freedom association also stressed that the new amendments would mandate “data retention of between one and two years.”“Though far worse than existing law, the proposed amendments are in some ways unsurprising; Internet freedom has been deteriorating steadily in Turkey for some time,” the report stated.The government, nonetheless, maintains that the draft bill is designed to “protect the family, children and youth from items on the Internet that encourage drug addiction, sexual abuse and suicide.” It also says that similar laws exist in Western countries and rejects comparisons to China, notorious for its drastic censorship of the Internet.The bill comes as the government also faces massive graft allegations and strong criticism for having undertaken works on a judicial bill that increased the executive’s grasp over the judiciary.

Sarkisian Urges Turkey To Revive Normalization Deal With Armenia


President Serzh Sarkisian has urged Turkey to unconditionally honor landmark 2009 agreements to normalize its relations with Armenia and accused NATO of doing little to end what he sees as a Turkish threat to his country’s security.

In an interview with the Czech newspaper “Lidove noviny” circulated by his office on Tuesday, Sarkisian complained about Ankara’s preconditions for implementing the two protocols that were signed in Zurich, Switzerland during an unprecedented rapprochement between the two neighboring nations.

“We are ready to revive the process of normalizing relations if the Turkish side demonstrates the political will and steps off the ineffective path of preconditions,” he said. “The implementation of the signed protocols would also help to bolster stability in the entire region.”

15 per cent increase in passenger flow was observed at the “Zvartnots” International Airport of Yerevan

February 4, 2014 Armenia, Middle East No Comments
Image 32348.jpg

15:26, February 4, 2014

As compared to January 2013, a 15% increase in passenger flow was observed at the “Zvartnots” International Airport of Yerevan in the first month of 2014. In January 2014 the Airport served 128 919 passengers against 112 443 of the past year. The number of flights in the same period rose by 11%. Instead of the 1344 flights in past January the number of flights operated in January 2014 was 1492.

The largest number of passengers was observed in flights to the CIS countries and the Middle East, thanks to the entry of new airlines into the Armenian market in the second half of 2013. If 27 airlines operated regular flights to Zvartnots in January 2013, now their number is 32. Also  most of the airlines are increasing frequencies to all destinations which results in the reduction of the air ticket prices.

Genocide Denialism : Petition Against the Decision of the European Court of Human Rights

February 4, 2014 Armenia, Europe, Turkey No Comments
Image 32340.jpg

13:11, February 4, 2014

The European Court of Human Rights on Dec. 17, 2013 found that the right of Doğu Perinçek to freedom of expression had been violated when a court in Switzerland found him guilty of racial discrimination for publicly denying that the Ottoman Empire had perpetrated the crime of genocide against the Armenian people in 1915 and the following years.

Perinçek had described the idea of an Armenian genocide as an “international lie”.

In its ruling, (Perinçek v. Switzerland) the European Court found that Mr. Perinçek, who during various conferences in Switzerland, had described the Armenian genocide as an “international lie”, had not committed an abuse of his rights within the meaning of Article 17 of the Convention.

Armenian businessman involved in ‘offshore scandal’ case arrested in Tbilisi

February 3, 2014 Armenia, Business, Georgia, Turkey No Comments

Armenian businessman Ashot Sukiasyan, who has been charged in connection with an offshore scandal-related case last year, was arrested at the international airport of Tbilisi in what appeared to be a joint operation of Armenian and Georgian law-enforcement agencies.

According to Georgian sources, Sukiasyan was heading from Turkey to Armenia via Tbilisi and was apprehended after a passport control procedure revealed his name was on the Interpol list of persons wanted by police.

Last June Sukiasyan was charged with committing fraud on a particularly large scale in a case dubbed in Armenia as an ‘offshore scandal’ to which Armenia’s Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and Primate of the Araratyan Diocese Navasard Kjoyan were also linked by the media. Sukiasyan then was not in Armenia and a search for him was announced.

Yerevan’s Zvartnots Airport Reports 15% Increase in Passenger Flow

February 3, 2014 Armenia, Middle East No Comments
Image 32318.jpg

15:53, February 3, 2014

A 15% increase in passenger flow was observed at the “Zvartnots” International Airport of Yerevan in the first month of 2014, as compared to January 2013. 

 In January 2014 the airport served 128,919 passengers compared to112,443 last year.The number of flights in the same period rose by 11%.  . 

The largest number of passengers was registered in flights to CIS countries and the Middle East, thanks to the entry of a new carrier into the Armenian market in the second half of 2013.

32 airlines now operate regular flights to Zvartnots as opposed to 27. 

In January 2014, Air Armenia transported 16066 passengers onboard its 2 aircraft, while in the same month last year Armavia transported only 18 224, using 7 aircrafts.  

Fugitive Armenian Businessman Arrested In Georgia


Law-enforcement authorities in Georgia have arrested a fugitive Armenian businessman at the center of a high-profile fraud case that has sparked corruption allegations against Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian.

According to Georgia’s Office of the Prosecutor-General, the businessman, Ashot Sukiasian, was arrested at Tbilisi airport on Friday immediately after arriving from Turkey and will be extradited to Armenia in the coming days.

Sukiasian was charged by the Armenian police last June with three counts of fraud stemming from allegations made by another entrepreneur, Paylak Hayrapetian. The latter claims that the suspect misappropriated most of a $10.7 million loan which he borrowed from an Armenian commercial bank to finance a business project in Africa proposed by Sukiasian.

President Sargsyan defends quick Customs Union accession

January 31, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey No Comments

President Serzh Sargsyan sees no reasons why Armenia should not be seeking quick accession to the Russian-led Customs Union. The South Caucasus country’s leader expressed this opinion at a press conference with his Czech counterpart during a state visit to Prague on Thursday.

“If our decision is based on our national interests, then it must be put into practice as soon as possible,” he said.

During the press conference Sargsyan also spoke about Armenia-Turkey relations, reiterating that Yerevan advocates normalization without preconditions. He also stressed that despite the recent truce violations by Azerbaijan on the border with Armenia the Armenian military remain in control of the situation.

Armenian Genocide Recognition: Timid reaction in Turkey as world leaders speak on 1915 events

January 31, 2014 Armenia, Turkey No Comments

Over the past few days three top world politicians have made statements concerning the Armenian genocide, in response to which Turkey, contrary to tradition, did not protest vehemently or threaten to use sanctions.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad compared what is happening in Syria today with the genocide of Armenians and Assyrians in the Ottoman Empire. The California Courier publisher Harut Sassounian wrote that “this is the first time that any Syrian head of state has acknowledged the Armenian mass murders and identified the perpetrator as Ottoman Turkey.”

Syria was a reliable ally of Turkey, but after Ankara assumed the role of an ‘international prosecutor’ of Syria the Assad administration has not felt restrained in statements against Turkey. In this regard, experts do not exclude that in case of continued confrontational actions on the part of Turkey, Syria may recognize the genocide of Armenians and Assyrians.

RSS International News By CNN

  • Police: Texts from trapped survivors fake
    Disgust, anger and shock greeted statements from South Korean authorities that texts from survivors trapped inside the stricken ferry were fake. […]
  • Most endangered species in Africa
    Africa is home to much unique wildlife, but many of its iconic species are threatened. Find out more about its most endangered animals. […]
  • Drone strike in Yemen kills suspected al Qaeda militants
    A drone strike in Yemen killed at least 15 people on Saturday, including 12 suspected al Qaeda militants, three Yemeni Defense Ministry officials told CNN. […]
  • 4 French journalists freed after 10 months in Syria
    Four French journalists who had been held hostage in Syria for 10 months have been released, the French President's office said Saturday. […]
  • Death toll rises in Mount Everest avalanche
    Another Sherpa guide died in Friday's Mount Everest avalanche, bringing the death toll to 13, a Nepalese government official said Saturday. […]
  • Official: Flight 370 search to intensify
    Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 drastically changed course then soared to near its peak altitude, a senior Malaysian aviation source said -- adding yet another wrinkle to the enigma of the plane's last flight. […]
  • Pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine defiant
    Pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk dug in Friday despite an international deal aimed at being a key first step in resolving a crisis that has threatened to devolve into civil war. […]
  • Stunning international Easter eggs
    High-end Easter eggs are all the rage. See some of the most stunning creations from around the world […]
  • Nigerian military retracts claim
    In an embarrassing blow to its perception from an increasingly skeptical public, the Nigerian military Thursday retracted a report that nearly all the 129 school girls kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram militants had been released. […]
  • Earthquake strikes Mexico
    According to the USGS, the quake measured 7.5 magnitude and was centered north of Acapulco. […]

CNN International Explores the Secrets of Armenia’s Stone Henge


Recent Comments

RSS Middle East News By BBC

  • Holy Fire celebrated in Jerusalem
    Thousands of Christian worshippers celebrate Easter's Holy Fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. […]
  • Car blast kills two in Bahrain
    Two people killed and a third severely wounded after the car they were travelling in exploded in a village near Manama. […]
  • Anti-Semitic leaflets in Donetsk stir old fears
    Donetsk anti-Semitic leaflets may be fakes but stir old fears […]
  • Egypt left-winger to challenge Sisi
    Egyptian left-winger Hamdeen Sabahi submits his official bid to run for president, the only challenger so far to ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. […]
  • Syria-held French journalists freed
    Four French journalists held captive in Syria for months have been freed and are in "good health", says President Francois Hollande. […]
  • Al-Qaeda suspects killed in Yemen
    An air strike kills at least 13 suspected al-Qaeda militants in central Yemen, with some reports saying three civilians also died. […]
  • Algeria profile
    Provides overview, key facts and events, a timeline and leader profile along with current news about Algeria […]
  • Obama signs UN envoy visa ban law
    President Barack Obama signs into law a measure that would bar entry to any UN ambassador whom the US says has engaged in "terrorist activity", amid a row with Iran. […]
  • British teenager killed in Syria
    A British teenager said to have "died in battle" fighting with anti-government forces in Syria, is described as a "martyr" by his father. […]
  • Algeria's president gets fourth term
    Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke last year, wins a fourth term in office taking more than 81% of the vote. […]

RSS Sports News By The Huffington Post

  • Roger Federer Beats Novak Djokovic To Reach Monte Carlo Final
    MONACO (AP) -- Roger Federer ousted defending Monte Carlo Masters champion Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-2 on Saturday to set up an all-Swiss final against Stanislas Wawrinka. Djokovic complained of soreness in his right wrist at the start of the week and took to the court with it heavily strapped. Although he seemed to be fairly comfortable at the start of the semi […]
  • What Type Of Pot Smoker Are You?
    Like snowflakes or THC crystals*, no two pot smokers are truly the same. But even in a group as diverse as marijuana users, certain patterns do emerge. For example, does your pot use lead to endless pontification? You might be what we call the philosopher smoker. Or does your mind wander alone when you're stoned? If so, you're probably more the lon […]
  • Why Is Every College Party Turning Into A Riot?
    At Colorado State University last weekend, the hosts of a block party called 911 for help clearing out hundreds of attendees. Arriving officers were greeted by partygoers shouting, "F--k the police" and throwing beer bottles, according to the student newspaper, The Rocky Mountain Collegian. The same weekend, police used tear gas to break up a house […]
  • New Study Shows What Happens Inside Concussed Brain
    Using a novel technique to peer through the skulls of living mice, researchers at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland are observing concussed brains in real time, transforming ideas of what happens at the molecular level and pointing the way to possible treatment for mild brain trauma. […]
  • College Soccer Player Severely 'Allergic' To Her Own Sweat
    College student Caitlin McComish loves to play soccer. The only problem is, she's severely "allergic" to her own sweat. According to a report by ABC News this week, McComish, a student at the University of Toledo and a member of the school's women's soccer team, almost died last year after going into anaphylactic shock during a run. […]
  • Tell HuffPost Live What 'Boston Strong' Means To You
    Three runners preparing for the 2014 Boston Marathon joined HuffPost Live on April 18 to share their powerful definitions of what it means to be "Boston Strong," and we want to hear more. On Monday, April 21, HuffPost Live is hosting a conversation with members of our community, who will share their own experiences of being Boston Strong. Whether y […]
  • 1 Man, 2 Minutes, 100 Peeps
    Matt Stonie, the man who powered through four Chipotle burritos in three minutes, wants you to take a peep at his latest accomplishment. More specifically, his devouring of 100 Peeps. Yesterday, the competitive eater shared a video of himself eating 100 of the marshmallow Easter treats in a span of just more than two minutes. That's 50 yellow Peeps and […]
  • Mark Emmert's Clown Show
    NCAA president Dr. Mark Emmert was on ESPN"s Mike and Mike this morning with Jorge Sedano and Mike Golic to spout his increasingly desperate sounding pabulum about the NCAA's commitment to change and to its athletes. Some especially choice comments: 1) About transfer rules, Emmert purported to agree that they were unfair. He said: "You don […]
  • The Last Boston Marathon Survivor To Leave The Hospital Gets Married
    Marc Fucarile and Jen Regan were in the midst of planning their wedding when two bombs exploded near the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15, 2013. Fucarile was gravely injured in the attacks, breaking his spine and losing his right leg. He was the last of the survivors to leave the hospital after a 100-day stay. On April 17, 2014 -- just a little over a […]
  • Snowboarding With Jet Engines Is Apparently Possible, Definitely Really Fast (VIDEO)
    Olympic Snowboarder Jamie Barrow became known as "Britain's Fastest Snowboarder" after he set the world record for fastest speed on a snowboard towed by a vehicle. In his latest stunt, Barrow used electric jet engines to get moving at speeds greater than 80 KPH. "It might sound a bit crazy to begin with, oh yeah, I'm going to be prop […]


Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.


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.

Our Sponsors


Want to Write for Hetq?

Image 33145.jpg

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

Image 32562.jpg

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.