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Gyumri Massacre Suspect Sentenced In Russian Trial

August 12, 2015 Armenia, Top News, Turkey No Comments
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A Russian soldier accused of murdering seven members of an Armenian family in Gyumri was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday in the first, Russian trial stemming from the gruesome crime.

A Russian military court found Valery Permyakov guilty of desertion, stealing firearms and ammunition, and illegally carrying weapons during the one-day trial held at the Gyumri headquarters of a Russian military base in Armenia. It also ruled that the defendant did not and does not suffer from mental disorders and was therefore fit to stand trial.

The court did not deal with the killings themselves, in line with the Russian authorities’ recent decision to transfer the most important part of the high-profile criminal case to Armenian jurisdiction.

Yerevan ‘Unaware’ Of Fugitive Turkish Prosecutors

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Immigration authorities in Yerevan on Tuesday did not confirm reports that two Turkish prosecutors who led a high-profile investigation into alleged corruption around President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s inner circle have fled to Armenia to avoid arrest.

Zekeriya Oz, the former chief prosecutor of Istanbul, and his colleague Celal Kara reportedly fled Turkey on Monday, just before the arrest warrants were issued for them on charges of an attempted violent overthrow of the government. According to the Reuters news agency, Turkish media published pictures that appeared to show Oz and Kara leaving the country.

A statement from the governor of Turkey’s northeastern Artvin province bordering Georgia said the two men crossed into the Georgian Black Sea region of Ajara before proceeding to Armenia. According to “Hurriyet Daily News,” official Ankara asked the Georgian authorities to track down and extradite them.

Azerbaijan: Journalist Dies of Injuries from Beating

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19:43, August 10, 2015

Azerbaijani journalist Rasim Aliyev died yesterday in a Baku hospital after being severely beaten by a group of attackers on Saturday.

Azadliq Radio, the Azerbaijani bureau of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), reports that Aliyev had four broken ribs and difficulty hearing in his left ear when he was first admitted to hospital.

His condition deteriorated sharply overnight and, after surgical intervention, he succumbed to his injuries early Sunday morning.

OCCRP partner Meydan TV has reported that Aliyev was beaten in connection with comments he made about soccer player Javid Huseynov.

Earlier last week Aliyev criticized Huseynov, who plays for the Azerbaijani team Gabala FK, for behaving inappropriately in an interview.

Aram I Hosts WCC and MECC Reps in Antelias

August 8, 2015 Armenia, Middle East No Comments
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01:02, August 8, 2015

On August 7, Catholicos Aram I hosted  Dr. Michel Nseir,  representative of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in the Middle East and Dr Michel Jalkh, acting general secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC).

The working meeting allowed for a general discussion regarding the potential for strengthening cooperation between the WCC and the MECC and the implementation of programs designed for such an objective. 

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Armenia’s Football Squad Climbs 1 Spot to 88th Globally

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15:51, August 6, 2015

According to today’s FIFA ranking, Armenia’s football squad is in 88th place, up one ranking over last month.

Argentina is in 1st place, followed by Belgium and Germany. The national teams of Columbia, Brazil, Portugal, Romania, England, Wales and Chile are also in the top ten.

In the Group 1 qualifiers for Euro-16, Armenia faces Portugal, now ranked 6th in the world. Armenia’s other opponents include Albania (22nd), Denmark (25th) and Serbia (66th).

Azerbaijan now ranks 106th, up two spots from last month. Iran dropped 3 spots to 41st place. Turkey climbed 3 spots to 45th. Georgia continues to fall in the rankings and posted a 1 place drop to 154th.

Cyprus Ambassador and Aram I Discuss Middle East Politics

August 6, 2015 Armenia, Middle East No Comments
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14:43, August 6, 2015

Cypriot Ambassador to Lebanon Homer Mavrommatis met with His Holiness Aram I at St. Mary’s Monastery in Bekfaya this morning.

The two discussed issues related to the Armenian community in Cyprus, activities linked to the 100th anniversary commemorations of the Armenian Genocide, as well as issues related to the situation in Cyprus, Lebanon and the Middle East.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Serbia: Police Arrest a String of Suspected Human Traffickers

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23:54, August 5, 2015

Police in the town of Subotica, in northern Serbia, have detained one person and charged eight on suspicion of illegal border crossing and human trafficking as they tried to smuggle Syrians through Serbia into the European Union (EU).

Police said on Tuesday that they were holding a 27-year old Serbian (unnamed by authorities) in detention on suspicion of driving four Syrians from Belgrade to the Hungarian border. The other eight people charged in Subotica were thought by police to have tried to smuggle another 24 Syrians some time in the past three weeks.

On Monday, police officers in the northern town of Kanjiza also charged two local men on suspicion of smuggling nine Syrian nationals through Serbia and, only two days before that, five more drivers were charged after fifteen Syrians were found in their vehicles.

Sixth Pan-Armenian Games Kick Off In Yerevan

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The Sixth Pan-Armenian Games have opened in Yerevan, bringing together over 6,300 athletes from Armenia and Armenian communities abroad.

The Games, currently held every four years, are designed to foster closer relationships between Armenia and its far-flung Diaspora.

Armenia is an ethnically homogenous country that has a population of about 3 million. But twice as many ethnic Armenians are believed to live abroad. Most of them are descendants of survivors of the 1915 massacres in Ottoman Turkey that more than two dozen governments of the world as well as many historians recognize as the first genocide of the 20th century.

Yerevan Raises More Concerns About Syrian Armenians’ Plight

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Authorities in Yerevan are not in a position to ensure an orderly evacuation of ethnic Armenians from war-torn Syria where the situation has lately gone from bad to worse, Diaspora Minister Hranush Hakobian said on Wednesday.

Talking to RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun.am), the official in charge of Armenia’s ties with ethnic Armenian communities worldwide said that no country in the world, including Armenia, organizes evacuations at a state level. “Because it amounts to telling the enemies where you are going to gather so that they can send bombs there,” she explained. “Both politically and in terms of security one should not say such a thing.”

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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.

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.