Today's Zaman, Turkey
June 28 2012
Turkish minister defends anti-Armenian remarks as `national response'
Education Minister Ã-mer Dinçer has thrown his support behind a book
accused of hate speech against both Turkey's Armenians and
non-Armenians who supported a campaign to apologize for the 1915
deportation of Armenians, referring to it as a natural `national
The District Governor's Office in Ä°stanbul was involved in a scandal
earlier this year when it distributed a book titled `I Am Closing This
File' to schools in the Kartal district. The book included
inflammatory remarks targeting artists, intellectuals and writers who
supported a petition offering an apology to Armenians for the 1915
incident, which Armenia and the Armenia diaspora around the world
claim amounts to genocide.
The book referred to the signatories of the petition as of `bad
blood,' `the devils among us' and similar phrases. Republican People's
Party (CHP) Ä°stanbul deputy Gökmen Ã-Ä?üt recently submitted an inquiry
to Parliament regarding the racist statements in the book, demanding a
response from Minister Dinçer. The inquiry demanded to know whether
the distribution of the book itself did not constitute a hate crime.
Dinçer in his response claimed that the contents of the book amounted
to a `humorous' musing on the Armenian issue arising from an automatic
However, an earlier statement from the Ministry of Education on the
book admitted that it contained hateful statements targeting certain
groups, and noted that it was likely to have adverse effects on young
readers. The ministry had also launched an investigation into the
claims that the book was being distributed free of charge.
Agence France Presse
June 29, 2012 Friday 3:19 PM GMT
UNESCO urgently lists Bethlehem church as world heritage
SAINT PETERSBURG, June 29 2012
The UN cultural body UNESCO overrode Israeli objections Friday to
urgently grant world heritage status to a church in the Palestinian
city of Bethlehem venerated as the birthplace of Jesus.
UNESCO's 13-6 secret vote to add the Church of the Nativity and its
pilgrimage route to the prestigious list was received with a round of
rousing applause and a celebratory fist pump by the beaming head of
the Palestinian delegation, and deep disappointment from Israeli ally
"These sites are threatened with total destruction through the Israeli
occupation, through the building of the separation wall, because of
all the Israeli sanctions and the measures that have been taken to
stifle the Palestinian identity," the Palestinian delegate said after
He called the vote a powerful sign that the international community
had rallied to the Palestinian cause and was ready to accept it as an
independent state with borders that included territories captured by
Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.
"It is testimony to the fact that the world as a whole is intent on
protecting Palestine... and making sure that the Palestinian state is
created within the 1967 border the capital of which would be east
The US delegation to UNESCO said it was "profoundly disappointed"
while stressing that "this body should not be politicised."
The Israeli delegate for his part said the Jewish state supported
awarding world heritage status to the ancient church under a
completely different procedure that carried no implications for the
Middle East peace process.
"The decision taken now was totally political and does great damage in
our opinion to the (UN) convention and its image," the delegate said.
The bid -- the first since the Palestinians won controversial
membership of UNESCO in October 2011 -- was submitted "on an emergency
basis" because the Palestinians say urgent restoration work is needed.
Their membership has cost the body tens of millions of dollars in lost
funding from the United States.
Israel said the "emergency basis" status essentially meant that the
United Nations as a world body was backing the Palestinian view that
the church was threatened by the Jewish state's troops.
It had proposed co-sponsoring the church's application at a future
date -- an idea whose prospects seem remote amid continuing stalemate
in the gruelling Middle East peace process.
The three Churches involved -- the Catholic as well as Greek Orthodox
and Armenian -- for their part have only given lukewarm approval to
the idea because of the dangers the move potentially poses to their
own rights to the shrine.
"It is impossible to inherently pass the sovereignty over the church
by fiat from the Churches to a non-existent state," the Israeli
delegate said after the vote.
"It is moreover irresponsible for the committee to cancel in a sleight
of hand the status quo that organised the management of the Church of
the Nativity for 500 years."
The Palestinian bid had faced other hurdles that included a negative
report from the body that evaluates sites for UNESCO and reported
disagreement among Palestinian leaders themselves.
The historic vote was preceded by an extended afternoon debate and
then more than an hour of heated discussion over procedures.
The motion had required a two-thirds majority because it was
overriding a draft recommendation by UNESCO not to support the
Bethlehem candidacy because of the evaluation committee's report.
The Palestinian delegation promised more battles at UNESCO in the years to come.
"Palestine is rich in world heritage and we are therefore going to
have other nominations," the delegate chief said.
Armenian officer detained over attempt to blow up Harsnakar restaurant
July 1, 2012 - 16:16 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - On the night of July 1, Armenian army colonel
lieutenant Vardan Samvelyan made an attempt to blow up Harsnakar
restaurant where 35-year-old military doctor Vahe Avetyan and two of
his colleagues were severely beaten by the guards of Harsnakar owner,
tycoon and MP Ruben Hayrapetyan (nicknamed Nemets Rubo) on June 17.
Avetyan died in hospital after being in coma for 12 days.
On June 30, dozens of people gathered at the restaurant demanding
justice and punishment for those guilty.
Police officers, who arrived at the scene, discovered two grenades,
cartridges and explosives, presumably belonging to Samvelyan. After
three hours of negotiations Samvelyan allegedly gave up the idea of
blowing up Harsnakar and was transferred to a police station.
At the moment, over 200 people gathered at the Armenian President's
residence in Yerevan calling for fair investigation into the case.
Istanbul Armenian is buried in accordance with Islamic rites
June 30, 2012 | 14:45
ISTANBUL. - Another news item published in Istanbul's Agos Armenian
bilingual weekly is widely covered by the Turkish press.
According to the news article, in order to organize the funeral
service of Istanbul Armenian Harutyun Kambarizoglu who died at the age
of 87, the Surp Garabet Armenian Church of Istanbul had asked for
8,000 Turkish liras (approx. US$ 4,420) from his daughter Anna
Tasciyan, but since she could not pay that amount, she buried her
father in accordance with Islamic rites and in a Turkish cemetery.
In an interview with Haberturk, Anna Tasciyan noted that she very much
wished to bury her father with Christian customs, but their financial
capabilities were insufficient for this, Beyazgazete website reports.
It is noted that Tasciyan had asked the Church to allow her to pay the
8,000 liras in installments, but she was denied this request.
`[So,] I had to accept that my father be buried in accordance with
Islamic rites and in a Turkish cemetery,' said Anna Tasciyan.
Armenian Church representative Osin Mumcuyan, on the other hand, noted
that they had informed the relative of the deceased about the price
list of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople and there was
nothing else to do.
But the Patriarchate's Spiritual Council Chairman, Reverend Father
Tatul Anushyan claimed they were uninformed of all this and had they
known, they would not have allowed it.
Over past 5 years Armenia increased green energy output for four times
Friday, June 29, 16:17
Over the past 5 years Armenia increased the electric power output of
small hydropower plants (HPPs) for four times, which is the main
achievement in the green energy production, Deputy Minister of Energy
and Natural Resources of Armenia, Areg Galstyan, told ArmInfo.
He said that four years ago the small HPPs of Armenia generated 120
mln KW/h of electric power, in 2011 - a bit more than 400 mln KW/h,
and in 2012 this index will approach 500 mln KW/h, which will be 8% of
the total energy output in the country. "This is a brilliant result
and it is the most essential achievement of Armenia in the green
energy production sphere for the past few years", said Galstyan.
He pointed out that renewable energy is pollution-free energy, as the
small HPPs cause the least damage to the environment. Galstyan thinks
the economically demanded and grounded potential for the small HPPs is
about 300 mln KW/h for the next few years.
According to Galstyan, Armenia is trying to develop the renewable
power generation, and observes all the environmental requirements at
the same time. "We word out all our programs with due regard for
environmental standards", he said. He also pointed out that the
Ministry sees that the HPPs are not built in national parks and
He said that according to the strategy of the Water Code, it is first
of all necessary to supply the communities with drinking and
irrigation water, and only after that to use the water for electric
power generation. He added that the prime cost of electric power of
the small HPPs is comparatively low, though it is higher than the
prime cost of the electric power generated by the Nuclear Power Plant.
To note, since last year the maximum admissible capacity for the small
HPPs in Armenia has been increased to 30 MW against the former 10 MW.
There are over 100 small HPPs in Armenia.
Azerbaijan has intentions to declare a law on considering NK visitors
`' persona non grata''
12:06, 30 June, 2012
YEREVAN, JUNE 30, ARMENPRESS: Parliament of Azerbaijan frequently
comes forth with absurd and ridiculous statement, `'decisions''
pertaining to Nagorno Karabakh Republic. This time they intend to
introduce to the international arena one droller draft.
Azeri MP Ganira Pasahayeva in Azerbaijani Parliament June 29
session proposed to declare a law on considering NKR visitors `'
persona non grata'', Armenpress reports citing SalamNews web site.
`' In recent years, different countries' parliamentarians,
politicians, business sphere representatives visit Nagorno-Karabakh
illegally, take part in elections and other activities. The same
parliamentarians, politicians, businessmen intentionally or
unwillingly violate international law, coming forth with groundless
statements and phrases in the areas not under the control of
Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan definitely announces its stance and qualifies
those people with '' persona non grata'' expression'' the MP stated.
According to Azerbaijani media, Ganira Pashayeva is considered the
"most intelligent and respectable" woman MP, who represents the
country in various international organizations and events. If the most
intellectual Azeri MP comes forth with similar suggestions `' punish
those who visit the land out of the control of Azerbaijan'', it
becomes clear what kind of intellectuality have the rest ones.
It is obvious that any person regardless being Armenian or foreigner,
MP or official, frankly speaking do not care what neighboring
Azerbaijan ponders of it.