BBC1 TV, Monday 21 May, 8:30 PM, Panorama, "Eurovision's dirty secret".
The program is exposing the curruption and abuse of authority in Azerbaijan, specially during the preparations for the Eurovision contest.
ARMENIA'S NEW PM WILL BE APPOINTED WITHIN FIRST 10 DAYS OF JUNE
- JUSTICE MINISTER
May 17 2012
During a briefing on Thursday, Armenia's Justice Minister Hrayr
Tovmasyan explained the constitutional procedures for the formation of
a new government in the country following National Assembly elections,
He informed that the whole cabinet will resign on the first day of
the new National Assembly session, but it will continue as an acting
Within ten days after the new parliament's first session-that is, until
June 10-the President, consulting with the National Assembly factions,
will appoint a new prime minister who is supported by the majority.
Within twenty days thereafter, the President, upon the new prime
minister's suggestion, will appoint new Cabinet members.
Within twenty days thereafter, the Government will introduce its
program to the parliament and if approved, it will continue its
"These are the maximum terms: 50 days. But experience shows that
this is carried out in a shorter time period. I believe a new prime
minister will be appointed and a government will be formed within
first ten days of June," Armenia's Justice Minister noted.
IS HARISA ARMENIAN OR TURKISH DISH?
May 17, 2012 | 01:29
Harisa is an Armenian ritual dish which comes from the pagan era,
the president of Development and Preservation of Armenian National
Dishes NGO Sedrak Mamulyan told Armenian News-NEWS.am adding that
after adopting Christianity the Armenian cuisine became simpler.
Mamulyan is concerned with other issues. Last year Turkey managed to
register a variety of harisa as a Turkish dish in UNESCO. Georgia
is trying to be recognized as the birth place for pitcher works,
wine-making and apiary. According to Mamulyan, this means that soon
Armenian tonir will be recognized as the property of the Georgians
or another nation.
Mamulyan stressed, the strongest fact proving that harisa is an
Armenian dish is that Armenia is the fatherland of wheat which is
the main component of the dish. He stated that the word harisa has an
Armenian origin which comes from the word 'harel' which means to stir.
Commenting on the question why Armenia does not appeal to UNESCO
for recognizing a variety of harisa as a Turkish dish, he said that
currently UNESCO is financially dependent on Turkey, which is its
largest donor after Canada, since the United States refused giving
financial aid to UNESCO (after the recognition of Palestine).
Government-Subsidized Fuel Distributed To Armenian Farmers
Tens of thousands of farmers across Armenia have received this spring
diesel fuel for tractors and other agricultural machines at prices
subsidized by the government, a senior government official said on
The government approved the scheme in February as part of its promised
efforts to boost state support for the country's struggling
agricultural sector. The Armenian Ministry of Agriculture was
allocated 1.3 billion drams ($3.4 million) to offer a total of 12,600
tons of diesel to farmers for 350 drams per liter in time for the
spring crop planting. The ministry purchased the fuel from a private
company for 440 drams per liter.
According to Deputy Agriculture Minister Samvel Galstian, just over
8,300 liters of it has been distributed in all Armenian provinces
since then. Commenting on the less-than-anticipated volume of those
deliveries, Galstian said the government has supplied as much
subsidized fuel as the farmers were ready to pay for.
The program's implementation has clearly been less than smooth. Local
government officials complained in early March that many villagers
lack the money and storage facilities to buy large quantities of fuel
In at least one region, Ararat, some villagers claim to have been able
to buy even cheaper fuel from the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), a
junior partner in the governing coalition that engaged in
controversial benevolent activities ahead of the May 6 parliamentary
elections. Residents of the local village of Lusarat said the BHK
charged them only 300 drams per liter.
`Fifty drams is a lot of money for people here,' one Lusarat farmer
told RFE/RL's Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) as he worked at his
vineyards in a tractor. `The price is good, and that man buys our
grapes,' he said in an apparent reference to a nearby winery owned by
BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian.
Daniel Hakobian, the Lusarat mayor, insisted, however, that the BHK is
not responsible for the shortfall in the purchases of
government-subsidized fuel. `It's just that people had no cash,' he
Galstian, the deputy minister, told RFE/RL's Armenian service that
despite the shortfall the government will continue to subsidize diesel
prices for farmers in the coming months and next year.
The government has also been subsidizing the equally important prices
of fertilizers as well as interest rates on agricultural loans.
CONFERENCE TO EXPLORE ARMENIAN, TURKISH FILMS
Salt Galata will be hosting Sweet Confusion, a comparative project
that explores Armenian and Turkish cinematography of the 60s in
collaboration with AICA Armenia, Anadolu KÃ¼ltÃ¼r, International
Armenian Cinema Center, Armenia-Turkey Cinema Platform and tranzit.at.
The conference attempts to reread the socio-political and cultural
paradigms of two geopolitically estranged contexts, which, throughout
the 1960s, were in the process of self-definition and positioned
themselves by determining and shaping the â~@~\otherâ~@~] through
the complex correlation of cultural and political systems.
Sweet Confusion, which is supported by the Eurasia Partnership
Foundation, USAID, Erste Stiftung and Allianz Kulturstiftung, was
conceived in the framework of the international research project
â~@~\Sweet 60s.â~@~] The project explores, through contemporary
artistic and theoretical perspectives, the unknown, underestimated
and hidden contexts and territories of the 1960s that were omitted
from the meta-narrative of the â~@~\romantic revolutionary epoch.â~@~]
Hrach Bayadyan, Keti Chukhrov, Zeynep Dadak, Siranush Dvoyan, Dimitris
Eleftheriotis, Vigen Galtsyan, Ahmet GÃ¼rata, Nazareth Karoyan,
Nadire Mater and Fatih Ã~VzgÃ¼ven will be presenting during Sweet
Confusion. The films that will be screened as part of the program
include Barev, es em (Hello, itâ~@~Ys me!), Erankyun (Triangle), Menq
enq, mer sarery (We and our mountains), Hayrik (Daddy), VesikalÄ±
Yarim (My Prostitute Love) and Bir Gecelik Gelin (One Night Bride),
Hurriyet Daily News reports.
COMMENTARY: PRESIDENT GUL IS BEGGING FOR SYMPATHY
By Edmond Y. Azadian
Some people believe that with our scattered forces and with a homeland
struggling for survival, our efforts toward Genocide recognition are
futile against the growing strategic power of Turkey.
For many years, we waged our fight for recognition away from Turkey's
territory. Today, the issue of the Armenian Genocide is a topic for
national discourse within Turkish society itself, and the question
has acquired its own life, sometimes independent of Armenian activism.
Turkey is indeed on the defensive and that is the first step towards
victory. The wheels of justice will move at a low pace, but there is
no way that it will lose momentum.
Contrary to the adage that justice delayed is justice denied, an
inexorable course of perseverance will continue, even after the
centennial mark of 2015 for the final victory.
The Turkish government has mobilized its resources domestically and
internationally to deny or delay that final victory.
Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey's erudite foreign minister, has been trying
to give a human face to Turkey's growing international power. His
"zero-problem with neighbors" policy proved to be hollow; Armenia's
blockade is still continuing, Ankara is defying NATO to keep Israel
out of the organization's forthcoming meeting in Chicago, and freezing
negotiations with the European Union for the duration of Cyprus'
presidency and even threatening war with Cyprus over the latter's
gas explorations in the Mediterranean.
Now Mr. Davutoglu has concocted another trick to deflect the
recognition of the Armenian Genocide. He is talking of the "common
pain" between the Armenians and the Turks. He had repeated that
mantra on April 23, on the 97th anniversary of Ataturk's victory
in the Gallipoli campaign, where 25,000 Ottoman soldiers perished,
including drafted Armenian youth.
Incidentally, it remains one of history's mysteries why the Australian
ANZAC forces, under Winston Churchill's admiralty, could not win
that battle. Historians believe that as the allied Russian forces
were advancing on the Eastern front, the British subverted Russian
plans to overrun Turkey - a scenario which could have prevented the
Now Davutoglu's theme of "common pain" has been borrowed and elaborated
on by President Abdullah Gul. In an oblique manner, Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized to the Kurds for the Dersim massacres
of the Kurds in the 1930s (although his AK party's hands are not clean
of Kurdish blood), blaming Ataturk's party for the crime. In the same
way, President Gul has taken the theme of "common pain" because, in
line with Turkey's Genocide policy, he is trying to equate the Ottoman
losses in an imperial war with the murder of 1.5 million people of an
unarmed subject-nation and he begs for sympathy and understanding from
the Armenian side. This cynical policy has another sinister component,
which follows below.
During the ceremonies in Chanakkale (Gallipoli), President Gul
answered a journalist's question by stating that he defined the
1915 events as "a common pain," and then he continued magnanimously:
"Pain causes happiness to no one. In my opinion it is not right to
convert history into an instrument of animosity. If the pain is passed
on to the younger generations as a means of animosity and rancor,
there will be no end to it."
President Gul's statements have been reported by the journalist Sedat
Laciner, who had further discussed the issue the next day on a boat
trip with the president. In his comments on the Samanyolu Haber TV
network, he elaborated on the issue: "Both sides need solace and
understanding. The Turks have to understand that more than a million
Armenians were uprooted from their ancestral land, irrespective of
the causes. Consequently, the Armenians have to give up the notion
that they were the only losing party and they have to understand the
pain that the Turks have suffered at the turn of the last century.
The Turks fell under the ruins of a crumbling empire. Any Armenian
with a human conscience cannot deny the pain the Turks suffered from
the end of the 19th century to 1923, especially that Armenian armed
gangs were partially responsible for that pain."
It is not clear whether these comments were made by President Gul or
they are the interpretations of the journalist. However, they are in
the same line of thought that unless Armenians understand the pain
that Turks have endured there will be no reciprocal recognition.
Indeed Armenians seem to be "heartless" people, devoid of
"human conscience." How can they not understand how much Turks have
suffered fighting an imperial war against an equally powerful empire
to maintain the Ottoman rule of slavery? Further, how can they not
understand how much the Turkish gendarmes, Teshkileti Mahsusa forces,
the army and the irregulars have suffered in murdering one-and-a-half
million individuals. Their suffering was further aggravated by the fact
that under the rules of frugality, they had to save bullets and resort
to more primitive methods to slaughter children, women and the elderly.
Now we can understand why we cannot expect any sympathy from the
Turkish official quarters, as long as we observe history in such a
While the Turkish president is pleading for sympathy from the
Armenians, his government has mobilized massive forces to deny the
Genocide. In addition to the millions spent in lobbying foreign
governments, Turkey has undertaken the huge task of "educating"
its youth on this very sensitive issue.
Realizing that a mountain of scholarly works is piling up in world
historiography on the question of the Armenian Genocide, the Turkish
government has undertaken a frontal attack by organizing so-called
scholarly seminars. Indeed symposia were held in April in two
universities with the participation of 75 historians, including some
hired guns from the US, Norway, France, Russia, Tajikestan, Georgia,
Azerbaijan and Iran. The first symposium took place at Karatekin
University of Changere. We are not sure if the venue was selected
intentionally or unintentionally, because Changere happens to be
the place where the Turks crushed with rocks the skull of writer and
Ottoman Parliament member Krikor Zohrab.
The initiative was undertaken by an organization called The Society
of Future Academicians.
In that august gathering, Prof. Galib Chagh made one of the
most childish denialist arguments that: "the law of deportations
precludes the use of the term 'genocide' because that law protected
the properties of the deported Armenians." Never mind that after the
Genocide, Talaat Pasha appealed to the foreign banks and insurance
companies as the inheritor of those "protected properties."
Another symposium too place at Ataturk University of Erzerum under the
title, "First International conference on Turkish Armenian Relations
and the Great Powers."
Prof. Halouk Selvi from the University of Sakaria has devised
an earth-shaking argument about the Genocide. He has stated that
"instead of appealing to the courts, Armenians have been appealing
to different parliaments because they don't possess any document that
a genocide was perpetrated."
To add insult to injury, the honorable scholar has further stated
that the American missionaries had bad-mouthed the Turks, pleading
for the suffering Armenians in Anatolia, because they needed to raise
money for their own causes.
We are not sure how much these arguments impressed the participants and
aspiring young Turkish scholars, but the dean of Turkish journalists,
Ali Birand, head of CNN-Turk, does not seem to be impressed at all. In
his April 24 commentary, he made scathing remarks about Turkey's
denialist historiography. He stated that against the barrage of
criticisms and scholarly works: "Turkey, as it has done before,
will react harshly. It will utter threats, but they will remain
ineffective. Do you know why? It is because the Armenians have gotten
a significant part of the world to accept their claims of Genocide."
Then he cites one example and refers to a 1,000-page book compiled
by German writer and journalist Wolfgang Gust, published in English,
German, Spanish and Portuguese and recently published in Turkey by
Belge Publishing House, "in extremely comprehensible and beautiful
Birand continues: "Without going into detail, if you read the book
and look at the documents, if you are a person who is introduced to
the subject through this book, then there is no way that you would
not believe in the Genocide and justify the Armenians."
His telling conclusion: "Let us not deceive each other; if you can
give correct answers to these questions, then you will be able to
clarify some very key facts for us. "I know you will remain silent."
President Gul's verbal gymnastics and then the "scholarly" charades
staged at those universities amount to nothing. Perhaps the most
honorable position would indeed be to keep silence.