Sunday, 12 September 2010

News from Armenia's 'Zero Problem' Neighbours

Hurriyet Daily News
Sept 6 2010

The Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul is surprised that the spiritual
center of the Armenian Apostolic Church has rejected an invitation
to attend a historic service on Van's Akdamar Island on Sept. 19,
Istanbul's deputy patriarch said Monday.

The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the headquarters of the Armenian
Apostolic Church, changed its decision after learning that no cross
had been affixed to the top of the Surp Hac (Holy Cross) Church in
the eastern province ahead of the service.

"I still believe that they will participate," said Istanbul Deputy
Patriarch and Archbishop Aram AteÅ~_yan, adding that he had not yet
received any official information from Etchmiadzin.

"But if they retreat [from their earlier decision to attend], there
is nothing I can do but respect their decision. In this service I
would like to mark our church's unity," he said.

"We had decided to send two spiritual leaders to the service because
we were told that the cross would be put over the top of the church's
dome for the ceremony. But Turkey did not honor its word and we learned
that the cross would not be placed," Bishop Sebouh Chouldjian, primate
of the Church's Diocese of Gougark, told the Hurriyet Daily News &
Economic Review on Monday.

"It is claimed that the cross will not be placed on the dome. However,
a promise has been made to the Patriarchate. If it does not happen for
the service, it would absolutely be placed just after it," AteÅ~_yan
said, criticizing debates in Armenia and the diaspora over the lack
of a cross.

Turkish Culture Minister Ertugrul Gunay told the Daily News last
Sunday that despite the possibility of delays due to work on the
country's constitutional referendum on Sept. 12, the cross would be
placed on the dome.

Journalist Levon Barseghyan, the head of the Journalist Club Asbarez
in Gyumri, Armenia, criticized the decision of the Etchmiadzin,
saying he found the move extremely political.

"Unfortunately the Etchmiadzin deals more with political matters than
fulfilling its spiritual duty. Etchmiadzin has long been a place for
politics rather than being a religious center," he said.

People have not given credit to calls in Armenia to boycott the
service, said Barseghyan. "If I weren't in another country for work,
I would attend the service, no doubt."

Political scientist and author Manvel Sargsyan also criticized
Etchmiadzin for dealing with politics, criticizing the calls for
people to avoid the service.

"They should leave people to their own will. Etchmiadzin should take
care of its own business and remain away from politics," he said.

The Surp Hac Church in the eastern province of Van has been a subject
of debate in Armenia and the Armenian diaspora because it was opened
as a museum and no cross was placed on its dome. Turkish and Armenian
experts restored the church in 2007 at the initiative of Atilla Koc,
the culture minister at that time. The church then opened as a museum.

Armen Hareyan
Sept 7 2010

Date of worship in the Armenian Church Island Akhtamar near Van may
be postponed indefinitely by the authorities in Turkey, due to the
increased terrorist threat.

Regnum News Agency today published a story, according to which the
security forces in Turkey have received information about a possible
provocation by an Azerbaijani -Turkish organization called "The Union
Against Unfounded Claims of the Armenians." Regnum makes reference
the the online version of Yerkramas newspaper.

Turkey fears provocation at the opening of Armenian church According
to the source of Yerkramas Turkish authorities may fear that special
police and army forces, who sympathize with Turkish nationalists
opposing the conduct of a Christian worship in the Armenian Church,
may be involved in the preparation of a possible provocation.

"We note that the protest movement against the September 19 liturgy
in Holy Cross church increases with each passing day. Turkish
nationalists , who oppose the placing of a cross atop the church,
require the government to stop the coming of the Armenia pilgrims from
Armenia and the diaspora to participate in the worship service. This
ant-Armenian campaign involves not only the above-mentioned
marginalized organization, but also a serious political force. In
this regard, the statement by the Turkish authorities about the
impossibility of installing the cross on the top of the Holy Cross
church, allegedly due to technical problems, can be interpreted as
a concession to nationalists," Regnum writes.

According to Today's Zaman, the Turkish government had spent 1.7
million U.S. dollars renovating the 10th century Armenian Church in
the island of Akhtamar in Eastern Turkey. However, few days ago the
Turkish authorities in Van, told the Armenian archbishop of Istanbul
Aram Ateshian that the cross won't be erected on the the top of the
dome. The worship service was going to be allowed only one time on
September 19.

Holy Etchmiadzin, the Mother See of the Armenian Apostolic Church was
going to send two high ranking church officials to participate int he
service from Armenia. However, on Saturday, September 4th, the center
of the Armenian Church announced that it cancels its earlier decision
on the participation of its two representatives at the worship service
in Akhtamar due to the fact that Turkish authorities refused to erect
the cross on the top of a Christian church due to invalid reasons.

Turkish authorities say they won't have time to install the 200kg
heavy cross on top of the church. However, the renovation of this
church was ended in 2007 and three years has passed.

Sept 6 2010

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahceli has
increased his personal attacks on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
targeting his son, Bilal, in an ongoing row over ethnicity, Today's
Zaman reports.

At a party rally in Konya on Saturday Bahceli claimed that Erdogan was
originally a Georgian while his wife, Emine, was an Arab. "So, what
shall we call Bilal? His mother is an Arab; his father is a Georgian.

So what is he personally?" the MHP leader asked.

According to him, Erdogan gives examples from his own life. He
says his wife is an Arab and that he personally is a Georgian who
comes from Batumi. And then he stirs provocation among 35 different
ethnicities. "Don't do this, esteemed prime minister, this is not
right. This nation is living in fraternity," he noted.

Turkey has for some time been witnessing dirty campaigns between
politicians over ethnicity. Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek recently claimed
that the mother of Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal
Kilicdaroglu was an Armenian in an attempt to demean him. Similarly,
CHP Izmir deputy Canan Aritman said the mother of President Abdullah
Gul is Armenian.

10:21 07.09.10

Turkish-Armenian entrepreneur and scholar Sevan Nishanyan is appealing
to the European Court for Human Rights to stop the demolition order
on his hotels.

Nishanyan told the Armenian Weekly in an email that he is "now
appealing to the European Court for Human Rights."

The Nishanyan Hotels are located in Sirince, Izmir, a village of
around 600 inhabitants in the Aegean hills. Nishanyan settled there
15 years ago, and almost single-handedly turned the small village
into a booming tourist spot.

Nishanyan purchased and renovated many houses in Sirince, using
traditional methods of building while preserving the aesthetics that
are authentic to the area. He then converted them into what are known
today as the Nishanyan Hotels.

Nishanyan noted that to date, 16 criminal charges have been brought
against him-all related to "unauthorized construction," "unauthorized
repair work," and "defying government orders"- calling for a 50-year
prison sentence. Five cases have concluded, serving him with a total
of 10.5 years in prison. His appeals are pending.

Nishanyan, who was awarded the 2004 Freedom of Thought Award by
the Human Rights Association of Turkey, has often voiced views that
are controversial in the tightly censored Turkish society. His last
comments about the Armenian Genocide, made during a Turkish television
debate program, resulted in the punishment of the airing station by
Turkey's Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK), which claimed
Nisanyan's comments were excessively critical and "humiliated the
Republic of Turkey."

Many believe that the demolition order is meant to punish Nisanyan
for his outspokenness.In Nishanyan's own words to the Weekly, "'The
Armenian who openly defies the Turkish state is something they cannot

September 7, 2010 - 14:10 AMT 09:10 GMT

Turkey doesn't stop distorting the history and misappropriate Armenian
cultural heritage, stated a senior fellow of "Stars & Stones 2010:
Oxford University Expedition to Qarahunge, Armenia".

"Presently, Turkey presents the Armenian religious complex of Portasar
as a Turkish Stonehenge," Vachagan Vahradian told a news conference
in Yerevan. "According to research, Portasar is over 18 thousand years
old and is one of the most ancient religious complexes in the world."
Kristine Aghalaryan
2010/09/06 | 13:38

Visiting Bogazici University Professor Behul Ozkan said yesterday that
Turkey would rather spend money to organize anti-Armenian lobbying
efforts than on possible compensation stemming from Ankara's official
recognition of the events of 1915 as "genocide".

Professor Ozkan, whose field of expertise is foreign relations,
made the remark at a seminar entitled "Discussions about Turkey"
organized by the Eurasia Partnership Foundation in Yerevan.

He argued that Turkey most fears the threat of compensation if it ever
were to officially recognize the 1915 Armenian Genocide. Professor
Ozkan added that such a fear was unfounded and brought the example
of the 1974 Turkish military incursion in Cyprus. He said that the
Greeks left their homes and possessions and that these were later
appropriated by Turks and pointed out that even though the Turkish
incursion was illegal, those Greeks who were dispossessed have never
been able to reclaim what they owned.

Professor Ozkan argued that when it comes to international rights it
isn't the pursuit of justice that prevails but rather sheer power.

He added that if Armenians were to make their demands more effectively,
it would serve as a precedent for other dispossessed people as well.

Azerbaijan Business Center
Sept 6 2010

Baku, Fineko/ The delegation of the Azerbaijani parliament,
consisting of members of the Azerbaijan-British working group on
inter-parliamentary communications Chingiz Asadullayev, Aydin Abbasov
and Fuad Muradov and head of the parliament's apparatus Safa Mirzoyev,
is on a visit to London.

The Azerbaijani parliament informs, the visit will last till
September 7. Meetings will be held with members of the working group
on cooperation with Azerbaijan of the British parliament, secretariat
and members of the parliament within the framework of the visit. A
subject of negotiations will be interparliamentary connections,
prospects for cooperation, situation with the Armenian-Azerbaijan
conflict, Azerbaijanu election system and so on.

Sept 6 2010

The situation in the frontline remained tense.

Units of the Armenian armed forces fired on the positions of
Azerbaijani Army from the posts in uplands of Azerbaijan's Khojavand
region at 11.15-11.35 on September 5, near Chilaburt, Goyarkh, Seysulan
and Gizil Oba villages and in uplands of Azerbaijan's Terter region at
07.25-08.15, 19.00-19.25, 20.45-21.25 on September 5, at 00.45-00.55,
01.00-01.20, 03.45-04.15 and 04.10-04.30 on September 6, in uplands
of Azerbaijan's Dashkesan region at 13.00-13.15 on September 5, at
02.35-02.55 on September 6, near Javahirli village of Azerbaijan's
Aghdam region at 22.50-23.05 on September 5, in uplands and near
Tapgaragoyunlu village of Azerbaijan's Goranboy region at 14.30-15.00
on September 5 and at 03.30-04.00 on September 6, press service of
the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan said.

The enemy was silenced with reprisal fire and no casualties were

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