Sunday, 8 March 2015

Armenian News...A number of publications in one!...Including Jewellery from the time of Urartu Kingdom

Urartu Kingdom's High-Tech Jewelry As New Today As 
3,000 Years Ago
March 3, 2015 11:14
Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian

Yerevan. Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian has
stated that the international community should take immediate steps
to protect Christians in Middle East who can be considered as one
of the most vulnerable groups in the region which are on the brink
of extinction.

Edward Nalbandian said this addressing a speech at UN-initiated
discussion on "Support to Christians' Rights in Middle East" in Geneva.

"Unfortunately, Christianity in Middle East is seriously threatened
now. Beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts and brutal attacks against
Assyrians in Syria were only the recent episodes. Suffice it to say
that the number of Christians within the overall population decreased
from 20% in the early 20th century to less than 5% as of the early
21st century. Christians in Middle East can be considered one of the
most vulnerable groups which are on the brink of extinction demanding
immediate measures to protect and support them", said the Armenian FM.

According to him, the fight against Islamic State, al-Nusra and other
terrorist groups should be carried out in the context of preventing

Edward Nalbandian stressed that Armenia fully supports complete
fulfillment of relevant resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council.

The Minister recalled the attacks against Armenian-populated Kessab
town by Al Qaeda-related terrorist groups and acts of vandalism against
religious and cultural heritage of Kessab and Armenian Saint Martyrs
Church in Deir-ez-Zor.

"This crime against civilization is the blatant reminder of such
barbarian acts in the past- cases of destruction of Buddhas' Bamiyan
statues, Timbuktu Tombs and thousands of medieval Armenian khachkars
in Nakhichevan when thousands of monuments were demolished under the
Azerbaijani authorities' careful supervision", said the Armenian FM
calling for severely condemning such steps.

RFE/RL Report
Russia Adamant On Keeping Custody Of Gyumri Massacre Suspect
Satenik Kaghzvantsian

Russia has officially reaffirmed its refusal to extradite to Armenia a
Russian soldier accused of murdering the seven members of an Armenian
family in Gyumri earlier this year.

In a letter publicized on Tuesday by the opposition Zharangutyun
party, a senior official from the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office
said that the conscript, Valery Permyakov is "not subject to handover"
to Armenian law-enforcement authorities. He cited Article 61 of
Russia's constitution which prohibits the extradition to foreign
states of Russian citizens charged with crimes.

The official also argued that Russian and Armenian investigators are
"closely cooperating" in their ongoing separate inquiries into the
January 12 massacre that caused shock and outrage in Armenia.

Armenia -- YouTube screengrab from Investigation Committee's channel
showing Valery Permyakov questioned by Armenian investigator, Gyumri,

The letter was an official response to a written petition which Zaruhi
Postanjian, a Zharangutyun parliamentarian, sent to Russian President
Vladimir Putin shortly after six members of the Avetisian family were
shot dead in their Gyumri home. The seventh family member, a
6-month-old baby boy, died of his stab injuries a week later.

Echoing the demands of many Armenians and Gyumri residents in
particular, Postanjian petitioned Putin to ensure that Permyakov is
transferred to Armenian jurisdiction. Prosecutor-General Gevorg
Kostanian sent a similar letter to his Russian counterpart, Yury
Chayka, in early February.

Chayka's office said on February 20 that Kostanian's appeal is being
"considered." Its written reply to Postanjian dated February 16
suggests that the Russian authorities remain unwilling to hand over

The 18-year-old suspect has been kept at the Gyumri headquarters of
the Russian military base in Armenia ever since the gruesome
killings. Scores of Gyumri citizens took to the streets of Armenia's
second largest city on January 14-15 to demand his handover. Some of
them clashed with riot police near the local Russian consulate.

Armenia -- People surround the coffin with the body of six-month-old
boy Seryozha Avetisian after he died of his wounds in hospital,
following a killing spree last week, during a funeral ceremony in
Gyumri January 21, 2015
Non-partisan organizers of those demonstrations have pledged to stage
more street protests if Moscow remains adamant about keeping custody
of Permyakov and prosecuting him under Russian law. "The issue is an
extraordinary one and the solution to it must be just as
extraordinary," one of them, Armen Nersisian, said on Tuesday. "I
believe that the issue is on the political, rather than legal, plane."

Speaking to RFE/RL's Armenian service (, Nersisian
dismissed the references to the Russian constitution. He pointed to a
1997 Russian-Armenian treaty regulating Russian military presence in

The treaty stipulates that Russian military personnel charged with
crimes committed outside their installations shall be prosecuted by
Armenian authorities. It requires Russian investigators to deal with
offenses happening within the military base. 

Interfax, Russia
March 3 2015

Tensions have re-emerged on the Armenian-Azeri border, said Armenian
Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovannisyan said.

"The situation has deteriorated again over Azerbaijan's provocations.

Several subversive operations have been conducted. In one of them
the enemy approached our positions and two Armenian servicemen were
killed. The number of violations of the truce by Azerbaijan has
doubled over the past few days," Hovannisyan told the press on Monday.

"The situation, which was so hard to stabilize, is tense again through
the fault of Azerbaijan. We are drawing the attention of the mediators
to this situation and are issuing a fresh warning that responsibility
for the hard consequences will be borne by the Azeri side," he said.

Two servicemen of the self proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh republic's
armed forces were killed when they were resisting attempts by
Azeri servicemen to cross the border, the press service of the
Nagorno-Karabakh defense ministry told Interfax.

The incident occurred in the northeastern sector of the engagement
line on Saturday, it said.

"The enemy was pushed back to their initial positions," the press
service said. 

Associated Press International
March 3, 2015 Tuesday 3:10 PM GMT

ANKARA, Turkey - Turkey's state-run news agency says a court has
ordered President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to pay 10,000 Turkish Lira 
(US$4,000) in compensation to an artist for calling his sculpture - meant
to promote reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia - a "monstrosity."

Erdogan expressed his dislike in 2011 of Mehmet Aksoy's giant "Monument
to Humanity," which was being erected in the eastern city of Kars,
prompting local authorities there to dismantle it. Aksoy then sued
Erdogan for "insult."

Anadolu Agency said the court ordered Erdogan to compensate Aksoy
for the mental anguish caused.

Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic ties and are at odds over the
mass killings of Armenians under Ottoman rule.

Next month, Armenians mark the 100th anniversary of the start of what
experts deem to be genocide.
Satenik Tovmasyan

Armenia has denied the political context of the nation's entry in one
of Europe's biggest pop music contest in response to accusations made
by Turkish and Azerbaijani media.

The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Vienna, Austria,
on May 19-23. Armenia will present an original project called
Geneaology. It is a group of Diaspora Armenian singers representing
five continents. They will be joined by a six member representing
Armenia. The title of Armenia's Eurovision song is also chosen "Don't
Deny", but the lyrics have not been officially announced yet.

Turkish fans recently started a petition on, demanding that
Armenia be disqualified for the song title ostensibly constituting a
message on the 1915 mass killings of Ottoman Armenians that Turkey
denies amounted to genocide. At the same time Azerbaijan's Public
TV and Radio Broadcasting Company issued a statement saying: "This
contest cannot be an arena for any country's political ambitions. The
Public Television and Radio Broadcasting Company states that if the
news is confirmed, we will also take appropriate steps in the contest."

Gohar Gasparyan, the head of the Armenian delegation at Eurovision
2015, stated that Armenia as always will keep Eurovision rules and
will be represented with a decent performance. She said that Turkish
and Azerbaijani media's accusations are groundless until Armenia
introduced its product.

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, such
a reaction of neighbor countries was quite expectable, especially
when Turkey and Azerbaijan had already accused Armenia of presenting
a politicized song. In 2010 Turkish media saw elements of propaganda
in Armenia's representative Eva Rivas' "Apricot stone" song.

Such precedents are not rare in Eurovision history. In 2009, a year
after a Russo-Georgian war, the Georgian delegation preferred to
withdraw from the Eurovision after the incident when the contest
authority required that it change the song title reminding the name
of then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

The same year more than four dozen Azerbaijanis who voted for Armenia
in the Eurovision final were later summoned to the Azerbaijani National
Security Service for questioning.

Turkish and Azerbaijani media have also been troubled by another
Eurovision participant's entry this year. The song of France's
contestant Lisa Angell, 46, entitled N'oubliez pas or "Don't Forget"
also reminded about the slogan of this year's Armenian Genocide

According to the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest,
the song was first performed at a concert in November during the
commemoration period of the First World War, "while the singer
emphasizes that the song refers not only to this very special event
in history but to any kind of conflict". 
3 March, 2015

YEREVAN, 3 MARCH, ARMENPRESS. Armenia's participation in the First
European Games in Baku is pointless. This is what chief coach for the
Armenian national Greco-Roman style wrestling team Levon Julfalakyan
said in an interview with "Armenpress". "First, I doubt that Azerbaijan
will ensure our athletes' safety. Their safety comes first.

Today, there are shootings on the border every day, the Azerbaijanis
are downing Armenian helicopters or killing Armenians in their sleep,
and no international organization is applying sanctions against

After all that, I think it would be lack of self-respect for Armenian
athletes to show respect and go. Armenia has to let everyone know
that Armenians have self-respect. Participation in the Baku Games is
pointless and meaningless," Julfalakyan said. Julfalakyan also stated
that the Armenian Wrestling Federation has already made a decision
and has considered participating in those games meaningless. "The
Azerbaijanis will do everything possible to make sure the Armenian
athletes return without any medals," the team's chief coach said.
5 March, 2015

YEREVAN, 5 MARCH. Citizens of Armenia have been waiting for
this day for a long time. The opening of Carrefour hypermarket will
be held at Yerevan Mall on March 11, 2015, as posted on Carrefour's
Facebook page, as "Armenpress" reports.

Carrefour is the world's second largest retail network after
Wal-Mart. The largest package of shares of Carrefour group belongs
to famous French businessman Bernard Arnault. The company has nearly
15,000 hypermarkets, supermarkets and small stores in 32 countries
around the world. In 2012, Carrefour opened a hypermarket in Tbilisi,
making it the first Carrefour hypermarket in the region.

RFE/RL Report
Ruble Collapse Hurts Brandy, Wine Production In Armenia
Hovannes Shoghikian

After years of growth, production of Armenian brandy and wine, major
export items mostly sold in Russia, has decreased considerably in
recent months due to the sharp depreciation of the Russian currency,
the ruble.

Data from the National Statistical Service (NSS) show that show the
production volumes shrinking by just over 8 percent last year. The
downward trend seems to be accelerating this year, with output in
Armenia's export-oriented brandy industry plummeting by as much as 32
percent year on year in January 2015.

Industry executives say the Russian ruble, which has depreciated by
almost half over the past year, is the main factor behind the
production losses. Russia has long been the main market for brandy and
wine distilled in Armenia from locally grown grapes.

The weak ruble seems to have also affected other Armenian exporters
specializing in the Russian market. According to the NSS, overall
Armenian exports to Russia fell by about 8 percent to $308.5 million
in 2014.

"With the Russian ruble much weaker now, our products are not
competitive in the Russian market in terms of their price," said
Aleksan Petrosian, the owner of MAP, a major Armenian brandy producer
based in the southern Armavir.

"This is a very bad thing," Petrosian told RFE/RL's Armenian service
( "We have spent 20 years gaining a market share in
Russia and now risk losing it just because of the exchange rate."

Alik Gasparian, the deputy director of the Proshian Brandy Factory
near Yerevan, also reported major production losses. "We still export
brandy to Russia but on a small scale," he said. "We have shipped only
five truckloads [of the alcohol] so far this year."

"We keep sending stuff there only to make sure that we don't lose the
Russian market," added Gasparian.

Another, smaller liquor firm, Aregak, claims to have stood idle in
recent months for the same reason. "That is to do with the collapse of
the Russian ruble and low [dollar-denominated] prices," said Naira
Papoyan, the Aregak owner.

"We will somehow meet our contractual obligations for April and May at
old [ruble] prices, just to avoid being left out of the market," she

Both Papoyan and MAP's Petrosian agreed that the production fall could
force distilleries to cut back on grape purchases from Armenian
farmers this fall. Tens of thousands of farmers are dependent on those

Vineyards occupy a large part of agricultural land in southern Armenia
and some other parts of the country.
04 Mar 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

In the 1990s, the duduk found its way into movie soundtracks, radio
playlists and record collections of the west. Yet as Cara Rosehope
writes, the music of Armenia's national instrument might never have
survived the Armenian genocide were it not for Komitas--a priest,
musician, composer and so much more.

A report prepared by David Rutledge of ABC Radio National explores
the legacy of Komitas.

The Armenia of today is a tiny nation state in the Caucasus, but
historically Armenia stretched across eastern Anatolia, over the
Euphrates and Tigris rivers, past Mt Ararat, where Noah's Ark is
said to lie, on into the Caucasus. It was a land rich in poetry and
song from towns and villages in a varied and often rugged landscape:
rural work songs, life-cycle ceremonial music, nature songs, love
songs and ancient epics, as well as the sung liturgies and prayers
of its Eastern Orthodox Church.

Komitas was born in 1869 to a musical Armenian family in Ottoman
Anatolia. Orphaned in childhood, his beautiful voice and skill with
Armenian church music led to his being taken in by the church in
Echmiadzin, the high seat of the Armenian orthodoxy. At the prestigious
seminary in Echmiadazin, Komitas received the best general and musical
education that eastern Armenia could offer, and there he began research
into Armenia's national music which would last for decades.

As a student, Komitas developed an interest in folk music, and began
to methodically transcribe what he heard as he travelled through the
rural villages of Armenia. He used a 19th century Armenian notation
which captured the distinctive Armenian melodic modes, rhythms and
musical accents.

'Komitas' most important contribution to music was his collection of
folk music; they say he collected over 5,000 [songs],' says Harold
Hagopian, a New York-based Armenian-American violinist, folk musician
and producer who runs a renowned world music record label.

'Anybody who survived [the genocide] was five or 10 years old, they
were children ... a few people, you know, old timers remember the
songs, and who knows if they remember them right, because, after all,
they were five years old.'

>From 1896 to 1899, Komitas attended a music conservatory in Berlin,
where he studied European music theory, musicology, Byzantine chant,
folkloric music, and also the music of Armenia's neighbours,
which--like Armenia's--is modal. He began to explore ways of
introducing harmonies to the monophonic music of his homeland while
maintaining its distinctively Armenian character.

'Komitas is Armenia's Bach, Schubert and Bartok,' says Isabel
Bayrakdarian, an Armenian-Lebanese-Canadian opera singer and recitalist
with an international solo career. 'Bach, with his sacred music
revolutionised the style of what was to come after him. He's the
Schubert because he started something we never had: art songs.'

On his return to Echmiazin, Komitas began to write and arrange works
using the folk elements of Armenian music. The next two decades saw
the by now nationalistic Komitas studying, publishing, lecturing and
leading choirs in concerts across Europe and the Middle East, employing
both his knowledge of Armenian music and European musical theory. His
time in Paris between 1906 and 1909 was especially fruitful.

'He met people like Debussy, who was also a nationalist--at that time
there was a very strong nationalist movement in music in Europe,'
says Harold Hagopian. 'He said, "I can do the same thing, I can take
folk songs, folk melodies, folk scales, rhythms, and twist them around,
and write pieces."

'He established an Armenian national school of composition.'

After one of Komitas' choir concerts, Debussy is said to have remarked:
'Had Komitas only composed the one song, Adouni, even then, he would
have been recognised as a great artist.'

Despite Komitas' considerable international artistic success, he
thought of himself in more modest terms.

'Komitas thought of himself not as a musicologist, not as a composer,
but as a Khazaget, a person who is studying the khaz, the old Armenian
music notation system,' says Professor Mher Navoyan, a musicologist
and Komitas scholar at the Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan,
Armenia's capital.

Komitas had also begun to study medieval Armenian church music. This
had been transcribed in a neume-like system of musical notation
which was no longer understood, and Komitas sensed that the music
from isolated Armenian villages could act as the key to their
understanding. In his published articles, he stated that his concern
was to filter out the influences of other Middle Eastern music and
to return to what he felt was authentically Armenian.

In 1910 Komitas moved to Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman
Empire, and during a 1912 trip to Paris, he made his first foray into
recording onto wax cylinders.

In 1915 Ottoman Turkey entered WWI and, for the Ottoman Armenians,
everything changed. Genocide reduced the Armenian population in
the Anatolian heartland to almost zero. Komitas was among its first
victims. A century on, Armenia is one sixth of the size that it once
was, and the majority of Armenians live elsewhere in the world. For
most, all that remains of their homeland are the songs.

'When I talk about Armenian culture, folk culture, that's Komitas,'
says Hasmik Harutyunyan, a singer, educator, and folklorist.

'Anything you do, anything you play, it's connected to Komitas'
work ...

this folk culture is very important to us as a nation, as a people. We
think the folk culture is the road for us to go back.'

Since the genocide, Komitas' reputation and importance to Armenia
has only grown. His work has also been the means to move forward from
the tragedy of the genocide.

'For me, it was very important for the whole Armenian world that
Komitas was able to establish a new way of musical thinking,' says
Professor Mher Navoyan

'When we talk about his music, first, his artistic value is the
most important ... Armenian people, they accept it as folk music,
and on the other side, it is the highest level of the Armenian school
of composition.'

Public Radio of Armenia has contributed to the preparation of the

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