Saturday, 24 January 2015

Armen/ag/ian News...
Gyumri Shocked: Candles in Windows
19 January 2015, 21:03 

In Gyumri people light candles in their windows. Today the seventh and 
last member of the Avetisyan family, six-month-old Seryozha died. 
Doctors were struggling for his life for six days. Today they 
disconnected the ventilator. 

The toll of the baby's death has deeply shocked everyone. From early 
morning the Ministry of Health and doctors of Saint Mary Medical 
Center have been sending sad news about the state of the baby. 
Apparently, they were preparing the public for the bad news, that they 
could not save the baby's life. 

Today the RA police have deployed a huge number of forces in Gyumri to 
cope with possible unrest. Streets, squares, the Russian military base 
are under control. And over the past few days the police have been 
busy with "preventive actions": on January 14 and 15 the participants 
of the demonstration were invited to police stations. 

Gyumri is mourning, sad and sorry. The people of Gyumri, the Armenian 
people are alone with their grief. They stood up for their dignity and 
their right to their own country unlike the Armenian colonial 
political class, intelligentsia, agents and different types of 
riffraff who are ready for anything to justify the blood of Armenians. 

The people of Gyumri are lighting candles. Gyumri has become a 
contracted nerve; the people of Gyumri demonstrated what was thought 
to have faded away among the Armenian people. 

Rest in peace, baby boy Seryozha.
UK Embassy: We light a candle for the soul of Seryozha Avetisyan

YEREVAN. - UK Embassy in Armenia offered condolences on the death of
Seryozha Avetisyan, the sole member of Avetisyan family to survive the
January 12 tragedy.

"We light a candle together with Armenian public for the soul of
six-month-old Seryozha Avetisyan, a child from Gyumri. Rest in peace
little boy," the embassy said in a message on Facebook.

As reported earlier, six-month-old Seryozha Avetisyan died on Monday.
Other six members of his family were killed last week. Valery
Permyakov, a serviceman of the 102nd Russian Military Base in the
city, stands accused in this crime.

The soldier is charged under Russian law, with "the murder of more
than two people," and "desertion with a service weapon." The
Investigative Committee of Armenia also has launched a criminal case
on the murders.
No conscripts will serve at the Russian Military Base #102 
in Armenia
from spring 2016
20 Jan 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Russia's 102nd military base in Armenia will be staffed exclusively by
personnel serving under contracts starting from the spring of 2016, a
source in the Russian Armed Forces' General Staff told Interfax.

The last conscripts will leave the 102nd Military Base in Armenia in
spring 2016," the source said.

This decision was adopted last year and was not prompted by the
suspected involvement of Russian base serviceman Valery Permyakov in
the January 12 murder of six members of one family in the northern
Armenian city of Gyumri, near which the base is located, the source

Russia's 201st military base stationed in Tajikistan has been staffed
exclusively by personnel serving under contracts since December 2014,
he said.

The psychological and mental health of soldiers who may serve at
Russian military bases in foreign countries will be thoroughly
examined at collecting stations in Russia's military districts, the
source said. 

RFE/RL Report
Russia, Armenia Agree To `Coordinate' Gyumri Massacre Probe
Satenik Kaghzvantsian

Russian and Armenian law-enforcement authorities agreed on Tuesday to
coordinate their separate investigations into the killing of seven
members of an Armenian family in Gyumri blamed on a Russian soldier.

The agreement was announced during a visit to Armenia by Aleksandr
Bastrykin, the head of Russia's Investigative Committee, a powerful
law-enforcement agency. He met with the head of a similar Armenian
body, Aghvan Hovsepian, and President Serzh Sarkisian to discuss ways
of solving the gruesome crime that has cast a shadow over close ties
between the two countries.

Bastrykin and Hovsepian ended their negotiations with a three-hour
meeting held at the Gyumri headquarters of a Russian military base
stationed in Armenia. Valery Permyakov, the Russian soldier charged
with slaughtering the local family, has been kept there since being
arrested on January 12.

Sona Truzian, a spokeswoman for Hovsepian, said the two men signed
there an agreement to set up an ad hoc Russian-Armenian body that will
coordinate the work of their investigators. "Serious work that needs
to be done to ensure that the investigation is comprehensive," Truzian
told reporters.

"In order to be able to properly answer all questions preoccupying the
public, the heads of the two countries' investigative committees
decided to carry out joint and coordinated actions," she said. "They
will set up a coordinating body for that purpose."

Vladmir Markin, the Russian Investigative Committee spokesman,
similarly announced in Moscow earlier in the day that the two sides
"agreed on joint activities for a comprehensive, full and objective
investigation of the criminal cases opened in both countries."
According to Markin, Bastrykin assured Armenian leaders that Permyakov
will stand trial "solely on Armenian territory."

It remained unclear whether the suspect will be tried in an Armenian
court or a Russian military tribunal located in Yerevan. Many in
Armenia fear that a Russian trial would increase the likelihood of a
cover-up. They are increasingly criticizing the Sarkisian
administration for its failure to secure custody of the detained

Markin said that the case, which has sparked unprecedented
anti-Russian protests in Gyumri, will be handled in accordance with
"international norms" and Russian-Armenian accords. He listed, among
other things, a 1997 treaty regulating Russian military presence in
the South Caucasus state.

The treaty stipulates that Russian military personnel in Armenia
charged with crimes committed outside their installations shall be
prosecuted by Armenian authorities. It requires Russian military
investigators to deal with offenses happening within the base. The
Russians have charged Permyakov with not only multiple murder but also
desertion, meaning that the 18-year-old conscript technically falls
under both Russian and Armenian jurisdictions.

Truzian said the agreement reached during Bastrykin's visit allows the
Armenian investigators to conduct a "full-fledged inquiry." In that
context, she did not deny reports that they have still not been
allowed by the Russian military to interrogate Permyakov.

Confronted by angry protesters in Gyumri on January 15,
Prosecutor-General Gevorg Kostanian said that Armenian law-enforcement
officers have visited the Russian base and taken various
"investigative actions" there. Kostanian also pledged to ask his
Russian counterpart, Yury Chaika, to transfer the case to the Armenian
Police chief submits himself to police over Dink murder case

A police chief accused of negligence in the murder of Armenian-Turkish
journalist Hrant Dink in 2007 has handed himself into the authorities
in Ankara, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

Ercan Demir was controversially assigned as police chief of the
southeastern province of Å?ırnak on Dec. 30, despite accusations of
negligence ahead of Dink's murder when he was the intelligence police
chief in Trabzon province, where the convicted killer and his
accomplices came from. Dink's family lawyer has accused him of failing
to monitor the killers despite receiving notices about the planned

After being assigned to Å?ırnak, Demir was then recalled to his
previous post at the General Security Directorate's Information
Technologies unit in Ankara, and he submitted himself to the police on
Jan. 16, the day when a court issued an arrest warrant for his role in
the Dink case. Demir is expected to testify in Istanbul.

On Jan. 13, an Istanbul court arrested Muhittin Zenit and Ã-zkan Mumcu,
two policemen involved in the inquiry into the killing of Dink.

Mourners are set to march in Istanbul to commemorate Dink on Jan. 19,
on the 8th anniversary of his killing.

Dink was assassinated by Ogün Samast, who is serving a sentence of 22
years and 10 months in a high-security prison, on a busy street
outside the office of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos in
Istanbul's Å?iÅ?li district.

Yusuf Hayal and Erhan Tuncel are accused of convincing Samast to shoot
Dink, in the Black Sea province of Trabzon.

Civil servants and institutions allegedly implicated in the murder of
Dink should be investigated, the Constitutional Court ruled on July
17, 2014. The ruling became a milestone in the case that has been
lingering since the killing in 2007.

The Japan Times
Jan 20 2015
Ankara quells clashes as Turkish-Armenian journalist's assassination
is remembered

ISTANBUL - Turkish police on Monday used pepper spray and water cannon
to disperse a protest in Ankara calling for justice over the murder of
Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was shot dead in broad
daylight outside his offices eight years ago.

Thousands of people had marched though central Istanbul earlier on
Monday in a peaceful demonstration to remember Turkey's most notorious
killing of recent years that sent shockwaves around the country.

However, police moved in to disperse a smaller rally in central Ankara
in the evening as the protestors sought to march on the justice

Twenty people were arrested as police used pepper spray and water
cannon to disperse the protest, the CNN-Turk television channel and
Radikal news site reported.

Holding signs in Turkish, Armenian and English reading "Justice for
Hrant," protesters in Istanbul had earlier rallied around the offices
of the Agos newspaper, a bilingual Turkish and Armenian weekly, which
he edited.

The Istanbul memorial rally is an annual event but was considerably
larger than in previous years.

Meanwhile, a young man brandished a gun at a rally for Dink in the
central city of Malatya -- where the journalist was born -- but was
rapidly arrested by police.

Dink, 52, was shot dead with two bullets to the head in broad daylight
outside the offices of Agos on Jan. 19, 2007.

Ogun Samast, then a 17-year-old jobless high-school dropout, confessed
to the murder and was sentenced to almost 23 years in jail in 2011.

But the murder grew into a wider scandal after it emerged that the
security forces knew of a plot to kill Dink, but failed to act.

A court on Monday remanded in custody Ercan Demir, who was police
intelligence chief of the Black Sea Trabzon region where the gunman
and his suspected accomplices came from, on charges of failing to act
on intelligence that could have prevented the murder.

Demir had been controversially named police chief of the southeastern
Sirnak province, but an arrest warrant was issued for him last week
and he turned himself into the police in Ankara.

Turkey had on Tuesday arrested two lower ranking policeman on charges
of negligence for failing to prevent the murder.

Dink, a major figure in Turkey's tiny but prominent Armenian
community, has long pushed for a reconciliation between Turks and
Armenians after decades of bitterness.

Armenians accuse Ottoman forces during World War I of carrying out a
genocide against their forebears that left an estimated 1.5 million
people dead. But modern Turkey has always vehemently resisted terming
the mass killings as genocide.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the tragedy and the date
appeared to give the Dink memorial march additional impetus.

Some at the Istanbul protest held banners referring to the events such
as "become conscious of the genocide along with Hrant Dink." Others
held cards reading: "We are all Hrant Dink, we are all Armenians."

Less than 10 percent of Turks believe their government should
recognize the mass killings of Armenians in World War I as genocide,
according to a survey published on Jan. 13.

Supporters of Dink's family have long feared that those behind the
murder were protected by the state and have asked for a deeper

Daily Sabah, Turkey
Jan 20 2015
PM DavutoÄ?lu hopes 2015 renews friendship between Turkey 
and Armenia

Prime Minister Ahmet DavutoÄ?lu wished Tuesday that 2015 would be the
year when Turkey and Armenia rekindled and shared their friendship
instead of regenerating animosity.

His remarks came a day after the eighth death anniversary of prominent
Turkish-Armenian journalist, Hrant Dink, who was assassinated in broad
daylight in front of his office in Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007. Dink was
one of the founders of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos.

"Hrant Dink was an invaluable Anatolian intellectual who, without
compromising either his Armenian heritage or his loyalty to Turkey,
sought to help find the ways and means through which Turks and
Armenians may build a common future," he told the media at the
Ritz-Carlton Hotel in London.

The year 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of 1915 events what Armenia
calls "genocide" and the Battle of the Dardanelles that took place in
Canakkale province's district of Gallipoli, which marked a turnaround
in favor of the Turks against Allied Forces during World War I.

DavutoÄ?lu said he wished 2015 would be the year of regenerating
friendships out of war grief of both peoples. "We all must make an
effort to build a new world for peace," he said.

About Turkish-Armenian friendship, he added that Turkey was making a
natural and humanitarian call as a moral duty, something which slain
journalist Dink always deemed was his "reason for being" throughout
his life.

Earlier Tuesday, Turkish premier issued a written statement to
commemorate the anniversary of Dink's murder. He called on all
Armenians and all those who believed in Turkish-Armenian friendship to
"contribute to a new beginning."

"Throughout his life, he strived, mind, heart and soul, to shed light
on one of the major issues that the Ottoman Empire passed down to the
Republic of Turkey. As someone who personified Turkish-Armenian
friendship, he worked selflessly and gave his all, so that the bonds
of a historic coexistence could be remembered, and the deep-rooted
suffering overcome," said the statement.

DavutoÄ?lu said they wished to open new paths into hearts and minds as
they commemorate the anniversary of his demise, and guided by the
seeds of friendship he sowed.

The premier reiterated that the relocation policies applied
essentially enforced under wartime circumstances yielded inhumane
consequences, including that of 1915. DavutoÄ?lu said Turkey shares the
suffering of Armenians and, with patience and resolve, is endeavouring
to re-establish empathy between the two peoples.

"Only by breaking taboos can we hope to begin addressing the great
trauma that froze time in 1915. For its part, Turkey has transcended
this critical threshold and relinquished the generalizations and
stereotypical assertions of the past," he added.

He believed that both Turks and Armenians, the two ancient nations,
can demonstrate the wisdom to understand each other and contemplate a
future together.

"Having shared the same geography and a long history, it is only Turks
and Armenians who can effectively address their issues together and
work jointly to find ways forward," he added.

Turkish premier also emphasized the need to foster a sense of mutual
trust and cooperation, to get reacquainted against the backdrop of an
800 years-old common history and promote human interaction.

He also invited their "Armenian friends" to pay more visits to Turkey
and do away with respective prejudices.

"We will press ahead with resolve to give due recognition to the
Armenian cultural heritage in Turkey and to those Armenian
personalities who made inestimable contributions to Ottoman/Turkish
culture," he said.

DavutoÄ?lu added that Turkey's desire to share in the pain, to heal the
wounds and to re-establish friendships is sincere. "Our course is set
towards a horizon of friendship and peace."

Relations between Turkey and Armenia have historically been poor
because of incidents that took place during World War I. The Armenian
diaspora and government describe the 1915 events as "genocide" and
have asked for compensation.

Turkey officially refutes this description, saying that although
Armenians died during relocations, many Turks also lost their lives in
attacks carried out by Armenian gangs in Anatolia.

Ankara has also long been calling for Armenia and its historians to
make a joint academic research and study into the archives of both

In April 2014, President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄ?an-at the time prime
minister - offered condolences for the Armenian deaths that occurred
in 1915-a first for a Turkish statesman.

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