Friday, 27 February 2015

Armenian News...The Armenians of the Ottoman Empire Nostalgic photos of a people and a life that no longer exists

Nostalgic photos of a people and a life that no longer exists

RFE/RL Report 
Armenian Defense Chief Attributes Relative Border Calm To 
`Improved Observation System'
Sargis Harutyunyan

Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian has put down the relative
calm recently observed at the border with Azerbaijan as well as along
the Line of Contact in Nagorno-Karabakh to improved observation
systems put in place by Armenian armed forces.

Speaking at a press briefing in Yerevan on Wednesday, Ohanian also
partly attributed reduced tensions to a more active negotiation
process conducted recently.

"It can be said that the border situation today is relatively calm
because the Armenian Army and the Defense Army of the [unrecognized]
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic have for years worked on improving their
combat duty services," the Armenian defense minister said. "Today we
have improved our observation system, which makes it possible to
conduct observations, detect [the enemy], make decisions and implement
them more efficiently."

In Ohanian's opinion, the more active efforts of international
mediators also contribute to reducing the tensions.

"I think that the political atmosphere, the meetings, the activity of
the three co-chairs [of the OSCE Minsk Group], the corresponding
efforts that should be made within the framework of a meeting of the
two countries' presidents also have an impact on the situation," he
said. "We, military leaders, have always urged international political
institutions to raise this issue - either we observe the ceasefire or

After the latest tour of the region on February 16-19, the American,
Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassadors
James Warlick, Igor Popov, and Pierre Andrieu, issued a joint
statement, saying that the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Serzh
Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev, had agreed to consider their proposals
aimed at strengthening the ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

They did not elaborate on the proposals, but said that they discussed
with the Armenian and Azerbaijan presidents and the two countries'
foreign ministers "next steps towards a settlement, as well as
preparations for a future Presidential meeting later this year."

Since the 1994 ceasefire agreement, dozens of soldiers on both sides
have been killed in border skirmishes in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
zone every year. The latest upsurge in violence was observed at the
beginning of this year. Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh reported more
than a dozen casualties in January alone. Azerbaijan also acknowledged
a number of casualties during the same period. The conflicting sides
blamed each other for the ceasefire violations. 

[a very cunning step by the Turkish authorities] 
16:44, 25.02.2015

In parallel with the forthcoming parliamentary election in Turkey,
the names of the MP candidates of the political parties are being
sketched out.

In the coming election, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)
has decided to nominate as MP candidate Istanbul Armenian journalist
Markar Esayan, who is a columnist in Yeni Safak daily, Aksam daily
of Turkey reported.

If Esayan makes it to the AKP's passing list, he will be elected to
the Turkish parliament and also become the first Armenian MP of the
party in power.

Turkey's next parliamentary election is slated for June 7. 
February 25, 2015
Gayane Sargsyan

There are 60 intravenous drug users registered at the Lori Provincial
Neuro-Psychiatric Dispensary in the northern Armenian town of Vanadzor.

Another 90 are registered as those getting medical counseling. Most
of the registered drug users are from Vanadzor and the Gougarq region.

There are no adolescent or women registered as users. The youngest
registered user is 21, the oldest 52.

Drug specialist Hovhannes Amirkhanyan, who has worked at the dispensary
for the past seven years, believes the number of drug users is several
times more than the number registered.

In the past two years, the number of in-patients at the dispensary has
dropped from 14-15 to 6-7. In-patient treatment, according to state
regulations, lasts for twenty days. The state pays 6,500 AMD (US$13.58)
per day of treatment (medications, meals, wages of staff, etc.)

Amirkhanyan believes the drop in in-patient cases is due to the
inclusion of methadone treatment.

There are 20-30 patients at the Lori dispensary receiving methadone
treatment annually.

"Most of the users who have filed for treatment and have been cured
have been in the methadone program," says Amirkhanyan.

However, many users avoid being treated at the dispensary given
that the drug unit isn't separated from other units. Those with
psychological problems get treated alongside drug users.

"It would be better for the drug unit to be separate, but given our
resources that isn't possible," says Amirkhanyan.

Every year, the number of patients receiving methadone treatment in
Armenia is inching up. In 2009 the number was 32. It rose to 111 the
following year, 160 in 2011, 116 in 2012, and 312 in 2013.

Overall, the number of drug users in Armenia has been on the rise
as well.

According to a 2014 national report on drug usage in Armenia, there
were 1,686 registered drug users in the country in 2009. The number
rose to 3,893 in 2011 and 4,922 in 2013.

Today, the number has passed 5,000. 

YEREVAN. - Corruption is at a stagnation phase in Armenia.

The Executive Director of Transparency International Anti-corruption
Center NGO of Armenia, Varuzhan Hoktanyan, stated the aforesaid at
a press conference on Tuesday

He recalled that in accordance with last year's data, the Corruption
Perceptions Index in Armenia is 36, which means the situation in the
country is similar to that in highly corrupt countries.

"Let's not forget that this refers not solely to bribery, but backing,
[and] misuse of official position," Hoktanyan said. "There are three
reasons why corruption is in this state in our country: Business
and politics have interwoven, monopolization is widespread, and the
branches of power are not free."

To note, Armenia is above Azerbaijan and Iran, but below Georgia in
the Corruption Perceptions Index. 

London art installation emphasises the inhumanity of the 
Khojaly tragedy
A poignant art installation has opened at the Chelsea College 
of Arts to commemorate the victims of the Khojaly Massacre 
in 1992 – which claimed the lives of 613 civilians aged from six 
months to 92 years. 
The artwork was commissioned by The European Azerbaijan 
Society, under the auspices of the Justice for Khojaly campaign. 
25 February 2015 

An emotionally-charged new art installation opened on 24 February 
at the parade ground of the renowned Chelsea College of Arts – in 
the shadow of the Houses of Parliament – to commemorate the 
victims of the Khojaly Massacre. This was the worst single atrocity of 
the Armenian–Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Taking 
place on the night of 25–26 February 1992, the massacre claimed t
he lives of 613 civilian victims in 1992, including 106 women, 63 children 
and 70 elderly people. The event was commissioned by The European 
Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) under the auspices of the Justice for 
Khojaly campaign.

The emphasis of the art installation was to demonstrate the tragedy 
of the death of each and every one of the 613 victims, whose lives 
were so cruelly cut short. It comprised 613 red T-shirts, each 
emblazoned with the name, date of birth and the same date of death 
– 26 February 1992. These were positioned on fences to form a 
maze, emphasising the tragic journey of death taken by the inhabitants 
of Khojaly on that fateful night. Smaller T-shirts represented the child 
victims, some of whom were just six months old, and more than 
60 shirts were emblazoned with the slogan ‘unknown victim’ 
– representing bodies that were mutilated beyond recognition. 

Christopher Pincher MP, Chair, Azerbaijan All-Party Parliamentary 
Group, commented: “Thank you for coming to commemorate the 
victims of the massacre in Khojaly that occurred 23 years ago and 
to support the Justice for Khojaly campaign. We are here to reflect 
on the 613 people who brutally lost their lives at the hands of the 
invading Armenian forces. The dead included women, children and 
elderly people. The T-shirts in this maze represent their lost lives. 
hope we will all remember and reflect on what happened to them, 
and seek justice for the dead through the withdrawal of Armenian 
forces from Nagorno-Karabakh, and for a proper, sustainable and 
peaceful solution to be found to the conflict.”

He then released red balloons with a list of all the victims’ names 
into the London sky. The guests and general public then toured the 
exhibition, and were able to see for themselves the number of 
victims from that fateful night. 

Despite the passing of four UN Security Council resolutions against 
 the invasion, Armenia continues to occupy Nagorno-Karabakh and 
 seven surrounding districts to this day. Currently nearly 20 per cent 
 of Azerbaijani territory remains occupied, and approximately 875,000 
 refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) remain spread 
 across Azerbaijan. The evening was dedicated to the memory of the 
 Khojaly victims and those Azerbaijanis who have one wish 
 – to return home.

By Nanore Barsoumian on February 23, 2015

Anti-Armenian Protests Held in Istanbul

Anti-Armenian banners celebrating the Armenian Genocide have been
displayed in cities around Turkey. Meanwhile, on Feb. 22, two protests
were held under the banner of "Demonstrations Condemning the Khojali
Genocide and Armenian Terror," in the Kadikoy and Beyoglu districts
in Istanbul. Some protesters chanted anti-Armenian slogans, while
others invoked the name of Ogun Samast, the ultra-nationalist youth
who gunned down Agos Editor Hrant Dink in 2007.

A banner in the southwest province of Mugla reads, "We celebrate the
100th anniversary of our country being cleared of Armenians. We 
are proud of our glorious ancestors. -Young Atsizs." (Atsizs refers to
Nihal Atsiz, a leading ideologue of Turkish racism and a proponent
of Turanism).

The banners celebrating the Armenian Genocide were spotted in different
parts of the country. In the southwest province of Mugla, a banner
declared, "We celebrate the 100th anniversary of our country being
cleared of Armenians. We are proud of our glorious ancestors.

-Young Atsizs." Atsizs refers to Nihal Atsiz (1905-75), a leading
ideologue of Turkish racism and a proponent of Turanism. The banner
was displayed in front of the Provincial Directorate of Youth and
Sports in Mugla. The Directorate claimed the banner was hung far
enough that they had not seen it, but that "responsible citizens"
had removed it, according to Demokrat Haber.

Similar banners were also displayed in Manisa (north of Izmir),
and Ordu (on the Black Sea coast). Demokrat Haber also reports that
similar posters were put up by the Mayor's office in Sogutlucesme,
Istanbul, as well as Marmara University's Goztepe campus.

"The Human Rights Association can only attempt to raise a voice
protesting these initiatives. As long as the Turkish public is not
upset, and feels no shame by these demonstrations, the discourse,
and the slogans, there will be no real response to these rabid
anti-Armenian initiatives," human rights activist Ayse Gunaysu told
the Armenian Weekly, adding, "This reality has been haunting me in
recent days."

Protests around Istanbul

In Kadikoy, an anonymous source observed around 1,000-1,500 protesters,
many waving Azerbaijani flags. The source said aside from nationalist
slogans, and chants about the "Khojali genocide," anti-Kurdish
slogans were also heard, presumably fueled by the recent killing of an
ultranationalist man who was partaking in an attack against members
of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) in Izmir. The
anti-Armenian slogans were more muted than what had been observed
during the Feb. 26, 2012 anti-Armenian protest, noted the source.

According to Gunaysu, a Weekly contributor, protesters might have been
deterred from chanting rabidly anti-Armenian slogans during the latest
rally due to the fact that those who had carried banners reading,
"You are all Armenians, you are all bastards," in 2012, had been
sentenced to 5 months in prison, which was later turned to a 3,000
TL fine by the court.

The police were present in large numbers in Kadikoy, and blocked
movement to main streets, including near the offices of the pro-Kurdish
People's Democratic Party (HDP).

According to Demokrat Haber, buses transported protesters--free 
of charge--from in front of the governorates of surrounding cities 
to where the Kadikoy demonstration was being held.

In the days leading up to the protest, the Human Rights Association
(HRA) of Turkey's Istanbul branch issued a statement condemning the
protest, calling it a "pretext to incite ethnic hate against Armenians
in Turkey."

The organization also petitioned the Istanbul Governorate, warning
officials of the anti-Armenian sentiments that were on the rise ahead
of the planned protest.

According to Demokrat Haber, despite the fact that the protest
organizers had claimed to have the proper permits to stage the rally,
the Istanbul Governorate had not been notified about the demonstration,
and had not received any permit applications.

Furthermore, official sources held that in keeping in line with clause
6 of the "Law on Rallies and Demonstration Marches," permits could
not have been granted for the location of the rally, since the area
is off limits as a public gathering space.

Similarly, the HRA received a fax from the Governorate of Istanbul,
stating that their office neither received a request for permission
for the protests, nor granted any such permission.

Meanwhile, according to a source, the Association of Reformist Youth
of Azerbaijan has denied involvement in these protests. Earlier the HRA
had reported that the protests were being organized by the Association
of Reformist Youth of Azerbaijan, together with the Turkish Hearths
Youth branches and the Turanist Movement Platform.

In Galatasaray Square in Beyoglu, a smaller protest was held with
participants from the Nationalist Turkey Party and the Turan Hearths.

According to the Turkish news outlet Haberler, the protesters shouted
slogans against Armenia; calling Khojali a "part of the homeland"
that was "under Armenian invasion." The protesters also condemned
the international community for supporting Armenia. Minor clashes
with the police were reported.

The Feb. 20 HRA statement cautioned that anti-Armenian sentiments
were on the rise, and that racist graffiti had been spray painted
on and near churches, with messages such as, "You are all Armenians,
you are all bastards."

The HRA statement added, "You, officials who refrain from criminalizing
racist slogans on church walls, who officially or unofficially permit
protests and demonstrations preannounced by such slogans, if you do
not enforce the law, you will become partners in the crime..."

Ayse Gunaysu and Burcu Gursel contributed to this report. 
The Case for Self-reconciliation 
20 February 2015 

We live in a time when money, opportunity and position are bestowed 
upon those who enter academia or careers under the rubric of “conflict 
resolution,” also known as “reconciliation.” A more fitting name is the 
“Reconciliation–Industrial Complex,” or RIC. 

Like the better-known term, “Military–Industrial Complex,” RIC refers 
to the overlapping aims and financial relationships that exist among 
government officials, powerful legislators, lobbyists, NGOs, think 
tanks, academia, media and creative fields, and the industries and 
corporations that support them. These parties provide funding and 
other support for government programs, public and private policy
initiatives, salaried positions, grants, and political access that will 
serve their selfish interests rather than the needs of the general 

Quite often, Armenians whose livelihoods depend on RIC ridicule 
or dismiss as “unrealistic,” “immature,” or “living in a fantasy world” 
those critics who advise against indiscriminately embracing so-called 
reconciliation initiatives without making absolutely clear that genuine 
Armenian goals include genocide acknowledgment, reparations and 
restitution from Turkey. 

Among the Armenian organizations that receive funding from Western 
interests and governments who themselves have agendas that may 
not agree with the Armenian national interest are the Caucasus Institute 
of Yerevan; the Civil Society Institute of Yerevan; the Civilitas 
Foundation; the Eurasia Partnership Foundation; the Golden Apricot 
Film Festival; the Hrant Dink Foundation; the Imagine Center for 
Conflict Transformation; the Regional Studies Centre; and the Yerevan 
Press Club. 

The pro-RIC interests who fund these Armenian organizations include: 
European Union; Council of Europe; British Embassy in Yerevan; U.S. 
Embassy in Armenia; U.S. Embassy of Azerbaijan; Honorary Consulate 
of Israel to Armenia; Embassy of Germany to Armenia; Kingdom of 
the Netherlands; U.S. Department of State; U.S Agency for International 
Development (USAID); Open Society Institute; Open Society Foundation
-Turkey; Eurasia Foundation; Global Dialogue Foundation; Heinrich 
Boll Foundation; Goethe Institute; Friedrich Ebert Foundation; Friedrich
 Naumann Foundation for Freedom; Enka Construction Company of 
Turkey; Turkey-Armenian Fellowship Scheme; and Turkish Economic 
and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV). 

How do we know that these pro-RIC Western interests are sincere if 
they and/or their governments will not even acknowledge the Armenian
 genocide, let alone approve of restitution of any kind? For example, 
a top member of the American Jewish Committee -- which works 
against Armenian genocide recognition and backs Israeli military and 
political support of Azerbaijan -- sits on the honorary board of the 
Civilitas Foundation. Given the strategy of the West (i.e. the U.S., 
Europe, and NATO) to use Turkey to penetrate the Caucasus and 
Central Asia, and use Armenia as a doormat, their grants to Armenian
 organizations should be viewed with considerable skepticism. 

Ironically, there are Armenians who sermonize about forging friendships 
with, and exercising forbearance towards, Turks but who will not, in 
practice, extend that very same courtesy to their fellow Armenians. 

Given the severity of Turkish barbarism that was unleashed upon 
the Armenian people before, during, and after the Genocide, it is 
paradoxical that Armenian reconciliationists seem willing to cooperate 
with Turks in a way that they are not willing to do with their own 

There are Armenians in the RIC camp who lack a brotherly attitude 
towards those Armenians who view so-called reconciliation efforts 
with skepticism. There is also no shortage of Armenians who hold 
grudges because of disagreements with fellow Armenians. And it 
is unfortunately common to encounter Armenians who envy, demean 
and hinder the efforts of, other Armenians. 

Such opponents could discuss their differences, empathize, agree to 
coexist, cooperate, or make amends. 

But then, should not understanding go both ways? Should not 
Armenian critics of so-called reconciliation try to find common ground 
with Armenian reconciliationists? This is difficult to accomplish if 
conflicts – whether intra- or inter-ethnic – are not dealt with and 
resolved but are instead swept under the carpet. Thus, we are left 
with pleas to “be nice to each other,” but not to discuss anything 
considered contentious. 

Everyone is entitled to his opinion. But, is it informed opinion? As 
evidenced by who funds “reconciliation” initiatives, misinformation 
can skew our opinions. For example, how many well-meaning 
reconciliationists are aware that many of the funders do not 
recognize the Armenian genocide and are, in fact, pro-Turkey and 

Because the passage of years can soften people’s judgments of a 
heinous crime, time is on the side of the perpetrator. Thus, the 
perpetrating side’s stonewalling may be rewarded with forgetfulness. 
Meaningful Armenian action, therefore, must be taken in the present 
and not in some vague future. 

It is supremely important that Armenian reconciliationists refrain 
from signing away Armenian rights to reparations and the restitution 
of Western Armenia. They should drop their minimalist “all we want 
is an acknowledgment or apology” plea. 

There really is no such thing as Turkish-Armenian “reconciliation.” 
The word means a resumption of intimate relations after a breach. 
This does not describe the relations Turks had with Armenians in 
the Ottoman Empire. The word better describes how we Armenians 
could and should unite to reach our greatest national potential. 

Today, the internal strangulation of our people in Armenia at the 
hands of corrupt government officials continues. How long will the 
global Armenian nation – including Diasporan organizations who 
silently condone the actions of the current regime -- tolerate the 
annihilation of what is left of Armenia? 

If we wish to survive as a nation and see the continued moral, 
spiritual, and material progress of Armenia and Armenians, true 
reconciliation with one another on the eve of our genocide centenary 
must begin now. In the words of poet-activist Yeghishe Charents, 
“O, Armenian people, your only salvation is in the power of your unity.”

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