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Egypt condemns Erdogan’s ‘lies and exaggerations’ about El-Sisi

September 30, 2014 Armenia, Turkey No Comments
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Egypt’s foreign ministry has condemned another round of attacks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the country’s democratic transition following last year’s political upheaval.
It has called the accusations a “series of lies and exaggerations,” according to Ahram Online.In a statement posted on the ministry’s Facebook page early Monday, Egypt said that Erdogan is not in a position that allows him to “give lessons to others” about democracy and respect of human rights.”Followers of Turkey’s internal politics throughout the last 12 years will conclude that Erdogan – who claims to be defending democracy and the Arab Spring revolutions – has a record that is quite far from real democracy,” the statement said.In his speech at a World Economic Forum meeting in Istanbul on Sunday, Erdogan indirectly attacked Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi – the second time in a week that the Turkish president has taken aim at Egypt’s leader.”Unfortunately, we see that in one country where the will of the people manifested itself, those who were elected with 52 percent of the vote are toppled by one of the ministers of the cabinet,” Erdogan said.El-Sisi, who was defence minister at the time of Morsi’s ouster, agreed with other political and religious figures to remove the Islamist president from office amid mass protests against his turbulent one-year rule.”That coup is accepted and legitimised by the rest of the world, including countries which are governed with democracy,” claimed the Turkish president. 
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Yerevan Sets No Deadline On Armenia-Turkey Accords

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Senior Armenian officials declined to clarify on Monday when President Serzh Sarkisian could act on his renewed threats to effectively invalidate Armenia’s 2009 normalization agreements with Turkey.

Sarkisian again denounced Ankara for linking their ratification by the Turkish parliament to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict when he addressed the UN General Assembly in New York last week. He said his administration is now “seriously considering recalling the Armenian-Turkish protocols from the parliament.”

Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian was unwilling to speculate about possible dates for such a recall. “If that already happened, the president of the republic may have announced it,” Nalbandian told reporters. “But he said what he said. We have nothing to add to that yet.”

Host Turkey edges France in thriller at Women’s Basketball World Cup

September 28, 2014 Diaspora, Europe, Turkey No Comments
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Turkey started the 2014 FIBA World Championships for Women by defeating France 50-48 in a thrilling Group B game on Sept. 28 at Ankara Arena in front of a cheerful crowd of supporters, the Hurriyet Daily News reports. A less than a minute to go in the game, point guard Işıl Alben scored the winning 3-pointer to put Turkey up 50 – 48 at the end of a hard-fought last quarter. France could not use their chances in the remaining seconds of the game, giving Turkey their first victory.Turkey had started the game strong at defense but hesitant in offense. Scoring woes continued in the second quarter, during which the nicknamed “fairies” only managed to score 3 points as France increase the lead to 10 points after the first half, 27-17.But, boosted by its supporters, the Turkish team succeeded at the fairy tale comeback built with contributions from Alben and Lara Sanders. The American naturalized Turkish led the team with 13 points and 7 rebounds, while Alben added 12 points.For France, one of the favorites of the tournament, Sandrine Gruda was once again in the spotlight with a “double-double” of 11 points and 13 rebounds.Elsewhere, tournament favorites U.S. cruised past Chine 87-56 in Group D while European Champions Spains dominated Japan 74-50.

Game is coming to its end, Armenia beating Turkey all ends up – Eduard Sharmazanov

September 28, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Diaspora, Karabakh, Turkey 1 Comment
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Vice-Speaker of Armenia’s Parliament and Spokesman for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia Eduard Sharmazanov commented on the part on the Armenian-Turkish relations in Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s speech at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly.According to him, the game is coming to its end, with Armenia beating Turkey all ends up.“Yes, years ago, the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the ball was in Turkey’s court. Moreover, later Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said that the reasonable timeframe had a deadline. And you could see that by mentioning recall of the Armenian-Turkish protocols he suggested that the deadline is gradually approaching.”With respect to the phrase “to hell with your ratification” the Armenian president used during his speech, Mr Sharmazanov said:“We do not say ‘to hell with it,’ but we say that if Turkey keeps on disregarding the positions of not only Armenia, but also the international community, it shows its disrespect not only for Armenia’s position, but also for the positions of the mediators at the signing of the protocols in Zurich. It, first of all, disregards its own political decision by setting preconditions. Moreover, the Armenian president clearly stated in New York that any bargaining over our Homeland was out of the question. The Turkish political elite are gravely mistaken if they think one fine day may come and we link the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process with the Armenian-Turkish protocols.”As regard the possibility of Armenia recalling the protocols in the foreseeable future, Mr Sharmazanov said.“I think the Armenian president’s speech in New York was a conceptual speech of a national figure and statesman. He spoke not only as an Armenian national leader, but also as president if all the citizens of Armenia because he raised the issues of not only the Armenian Genocide or Nagorno-Karabakh. He not only called Nagorno-Karabakh free and independent at that high-level venue, suggesting that there is no alternative to Artsakh’s freedom and independence, but also raised the problem of Yezidis in northern Iraq. We remember well that Armenia’s Yezidi community appealed to the Armenian president a month and a half ago, and by his step he showed he is ready to listen to each citizen’s opinion and express the Yezidi minority’s opinion at the high-level UN venue.”With respect to the statement on the return of the Sis (modern-day Kozan) catholicosate to the Armenian Apostolic Church at the Armenia-Diaspora conference too suggested that an entirely different policy was being pursued in the Armenia-Turkey relations. Commenting on the relevant discussions in Armenia, Mr Sharmazanov said:“Armenia has over recent years been for a peaceful dialogue with Turkey. Turkey’s political elite and, after being elected Turkey’s president, Recep Erdogan have shown they have not such a political will. We once more state any preconditions are unacceptable to us. And President Serzh Sargsyan’s statement is evidence that Armenia and Armenia’s authorities are masters of the Homeland and claims.Armenia has invited Turkey to take part in the commemoration of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide. As to whether the latest statements and the invitation are in conflict with each other, Mr Sharmazanov said:“No, the invitation has nothing in common with Serzh Sargsyan’s latest statement. If Turkey’s leaders come and visit the Memorial to Armenian Genocide victims, Tsitsernakaberd, it means they acknowledge the heinous crime of Genocide. That is, they do not consider the butchers and their victims equal. If they do not come, we re-state that Turkey is continuing its denial policy.”As to the Armenian side’s further steps if Turkey continues its policy, Mr Sharmazanov said:“This is under the Armenian president’s jurisdiction. Armenia’s president has proved that he is a national figure and statesman. All his political biography is evidence thereof. He will make a decision in the interests of Armenians and of the state.” 

Armenian president shut the door on Armenian-Turkish protocols with credit – Meruzhan Ter-Gulanyan

September 27, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Diaspora, Turkey No Comments
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Writer and columnist Meruzhan Ter-Gulanyan believes that from Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s “football diplomacy” to his intention to recall the Armenian-Turkish protocols from Armenia’s Parliament – the entire process is extremely relevant.
Mr Ter-Gulanyan, in your article you note that it is time to “slam the door” for the Armenian-Turkish protocols, which Armenia’s president actually did. What did we have before “slamming the door” and what should we expect in the future?
By launching his football diplomacy the Armenian president showed courage. First of all, he discussed the matter with Armenians throughout the world, and the Armenian-Turkish protocols were not received with enthusiasm everywhere. But I think that our president’s step – extending a hand to Turkey after all that happened and without any preconditions – was real courage, considering the fact that he was well aware of the varied responses in the Armenian Diaspora. However, he made that step for the sake of a much more important task. But the issue has been back-burnered during the years. How long can we wait? And I think the president made a right and commendable step by slamming the door and saying ‘To hell with your ratification.’ I feel proud that our president acted with credit and put an end to this story by slamming the door, with the fingers of Turks and our neighbors, unaccomplished Turks, trapped in that door.
In slamming the door one should consider other ways of resolving the problems because it is with this end in view that the door was once opened. What steps are going to be made to resolve the problems?
I am sure an alternative way – even ways – is available. I am sure the president was well aware of the way or ways. Our president is also an excellent chess player and he knows well what he is doing.
Mr Ter-Gulanyan, we keep on speaking of Armenia as a small country. What is our strength to show it to Turkey and Azerbaijan as a counterbalance?
First, it is our unity inside Armenia. All kinds of parties, movements and organizations must be united round one idea, which is superior to each of us. It is clear that each political party has its own tasks and interests, seeking power. However, some things are far superior to all this – it is the Homeland’s interests.
Secondly, at the latest Diaspora Conference, the president dwelt on an important issue – and, incidentally, I had for years dreamt of that and even written about that – a need for a Pan-Armenian Parliament. The president called it a pan-Armenian council, which is supposed to unify the entire nation – 15 million people throughout the world. So we are not a small people. Fifteen million is not a small number, and when the 15 million are jointly involved in dealing with resolving Armenia’s gravest problems, they feel themselves Armenia’s citizens. Whatever its name may be, a pan-Armenian council is a great step. That is, the entire Armenian people will be involved in dealing with the gravest problems, no matter in what part of the world.
Mr Ter-Gulanyan, great effort is being exerted as part of the Armenian Genocide recognition process. A program of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide has been launched. What will be the result of recognition, and would not it be more advisable to focus on domestic problems?
Even if the Armenian people does not do it, the world will put our people to shame. A whole nation was destroyed and expatriated. And if we do not push the matter forward, do not make it a global problem, we’ll be to blame. I think all that is being done is right. The point is that it should be done in a flexible manner. Catholicos Aram was right when he said that it is a most sensitive issue. But our task is to be masters of our rights and country.
The First Republic of Armenia has parliamentary government. I think presidential government is the right system for Armenia. We need centralized power because we have unsolved problems. When major problems have been solved, let future generations decide on the government system.

Turkish authorities’ positive response to Catholicos Aram I’s statement may cause problems – expert

September 27, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Turkey No Comments
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Expert in Turkic studies Ruben Melkonyan has fears that Turkish authorities’ positive response to Catholicos Aram I’s statement on the return of property to the Armenian Church may cause a number of legal, political and organizational problems.
“Legally, the political authorities acknowledge the Constantinople Patriarchate. That is, if they return the land property they will return it to the Constantinople Patriarchate rather than to the Great House of Cilicia because it is not a legal entity in Turkey. Politically, there is no Armenian community in Sis (present-day Kozan), and even if the property is returned, what function it is going to perform? Moreover, it will be used for large-scale Turkish propaganda before April 24, 2015,” Mr Melkonyan told Tert.am.

Zhoghovurd: ARF-D urged president to address Armenia-Turkey protocols at UNGA session

September 26, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Turkey No Comments
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President Serzh Sargsyan’s address at the UN General Assembly’s 69th session, particularly his demand for recalling Armenia’s signature from the 2009 bilateral protocols with Turkey, was reportedly dictated by members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaksutyun (ARF-D).

Citing its sources, the paper says that the party had given the president to understand that he was obliged to voice such a demand in New York if he really wished to receive the ARF-D’s support in what they claimed to be a tense political situation. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Turkey’s Erdogan discusses ISIL with Obama, Biden

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The presidents of Turkey and the US discussed the threat of terror groups and the Syrian crisis Sept. 25, Hurriyet Daily News reports, citing officials.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Barack Obama spoke via phone before Erdogan met with US Vice President Joe Biden at a New York hotel on the sidelines of the UN Summit, Turkish sources close to the president said.The two leaders emphasized the partnership between Turkey and the US in fighting terrorist organizations in the region, including the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Erdogan and Obama also agreed to remain in close contact concerning the ongoing terrorist crisis in the Middle East, the source said.
The meeting between Biden and Erdogan was closed to the press and both meetings were initiated by the Americans, according to reports. 

Armenia not far from raising issue of withdrawing its signature from Armenian-Turkish protocols

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Chairman of the European Integration NGO Karen Bekaryan commented on Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s speech at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly.He stressed that the UN General Assembly is the best venue for presenting you own nation’s positions to the world.With respect to the part of the Armenian leader’s speech that deals with Turkey and the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, Mr Bekaryan noted that it showed Armenia has no intention to wait forever in what concerns the Armenian-Turkish protocols, especially in the context of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.“Discussions on the protocols in Armenia were clearly signaled. The soft-line option was used – the one of withdrawing the protocols from the Armenian Parliament’s agenda. However, a harder-line options could have been used – the one of withdrawing Armenia’s signature. But we should realize the logic of diplomatic ethics. The issue of withdrawing the protocols from the Parliament has been raised. I am sure that if, within a reasonable timeframe, Turkey does not show any progress except for its hypocritical statements, we are not far from withdrawing our signature,” Mr Bekaryan said.With respect to the strong-worded statement on Armenian society’s harsh response to Turkey refusing to sign the protocols without preconditions, he said:“It was a clear signal, first of all to Turkey and, secondly, to all the mediators directly or indirectly involved in the Armenian-Turkish process and in the signing of the Armenian-Turkish protocols – the United States, European Union, Council of Europe, France, Russia and so on.“Turkey not ratifying the protocols or showing such a cynical attitude to the process is a slap in the face of all those behind the process, not Armenia alone. And it was also a call for the international community’s cautiousness – in a broader sense,” he said.The primary point is that Armenia has been living without the protocols, irrespective of its good will to launch the process without any preconditions, given the fact an unacceptable cost is demanded for that, especially by a state that has neither legal nor political or moral right.Bekaryan stressed the importance of the president’s word of gratitude to all the countries which have recognized the Genocide.“They called the international community’s attention to the fact that a failure to condemn the Genocide and eliminate its consequences is not only a moral or even a political issue but also a security concern, and the failure to punish it leads to other crimes of genocide,” he noted.The analyst further addressed the president’s remark regarding the Scottish referendum. “We see that the developments have not just begun; neither they have finished or will finish with Scotland. We see what is going on in our direct neighborhood – I mean the European community from where we hear signals,” he said, pointing out to the developments in Northern Ireland and the Basque Country.“This is only the first part of the big list. And if we understand that all this is actual in Europe, should we be surprised at all that the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic cannot think of being a part of Azerbaijan which continues behaving like an aggressor,” he added.
 

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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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Commentary

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.

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.