Saturday, 14 March 2015

Armenian News...@...In the lead-up to the forthcoming parliamentary election in Turkey, another Armenian woman has submitted an application to become a member of parliament.

Istanbul Armenian Talin Ergunes Gazer has petitioned to Turkey's
main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), with a request to
be nominated an MP candidate from this party, reported Taraf daily
of Turkey.

If the CHP nominates this Armenian woman as an MP candidate and she is
elected, she will become the first female MP of this political party.

As reported earlier, several days ago, Istanbul-Armenian woman Nivart
Bakircioglu had announced that she wants to run for MP candidate by
the pro-Kurdish "Peoples' Democratic Party" (HDP), and from Van city.

Turkey's next parliamentary election is slated for June 7.

The chairman of the "Association to Fight Unfounded Armenian
" (ASIM-DER), Goksel Gulbey, has been nominated by 
Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) to run for 

This news has caused quite a stir, reported Gercekgundem website
of Turkey.

Gulbey is known for his anti-Armenian and racist statements and

Aside from organizing unethical protests against Armenians, he, in
2012, had publicized in social networks the addresses and data of
the Istanbul-Armenian organizations, thus making Armenians a target
for the Turkish nationalists.

In this connection, several NGOs had filed lawsuits against Goksel

YEREVAN, March 10. / ARKA /. Emigration from Armenia in 2014 increased
by 10-12% from the previous year to more than 47,000 people, a former
head of the Central Bank Bagrat Asatryan told a news conference today,
adding that emigration rates serve usually as a clear indication of
the deteriorating economic situation of a country.

"The difference between Armenians who left the country last year and
those who came back amounted to more than 47,000, up from 42,000 in
2013,' he said.

According to official data, 5, 510,900 people arrived and left the
country in 2014, up from 4,983,900 in 2013.

In 2014 some 2,734,596 people arrived in Armenia (an increase of 10.4%
from the previous year), and 2,776,268 left it (an increase of 10.7%).

According to official data of the National Statistical Service, on
January 1, 2015 Armenia's permanent population stood at 3,010,600,
by 6,500 less than on January 1, 2014.-0-
March 06, 2015

Most women in Armenian villages are harmed with pesticides. In rural
areas the men have to leave the country in the search for a job,
while women have to deal with agricultural activities using pesticides.

"There are pesticides, which tend to get accumulated. They come out
of the organism through sweating, while during pregnancy the pests
can infect the foetus and through milk during lactation..." said
experts of "Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment" NGO
Lilik Simonyan and Qnarik Grigoryan at the press conference held at
EcoLur Press Club on 6 March.

"Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment" NGO conducted
studies in 20 communities Ararat, Armavir, Tavush and Gegharkounik
regions and carried out surveys with 567 people, mostly women. As a
result, 70% of the surveyed is conscious of the hazardousness of the
pesticides, but all four regions use pesticides by almost 100%. When
visiting the medical institutions in the communities, it was found out
that most doctors are not aware how to help in case of such poisoning.

The NGO studies in 20 communities show that pest warehouses are not
controlled and the pests get spread. The pests should be accumulated
urgently together with the contaminated land area so as to manage
the hazardous substances in proper manner.

RFE/RL Report
Armenian Private Remittances Sharply Down
Sargis Harutyunyan

Private remittances to Armenia fell by more than 40 percent in January
as compared to the same period last year, according to the Central

In the first month of this year the amount of money transferred to
Armenia mostly by migrant workers abroad stood at some $72.2 million
compared to over $122.5 million worth of private remittances reported
for January 2014.

Remarkably, the amount of private remittances wired from Russia fell
by over 56 percent - from about $87.2 million in January 2014 to some
$38.4 million in January 2015.

Private remittances are known to be the largest source of hard
currency inflows into Armenia. In 2014, for instance, Armenian 
exports totaled a little more than $1.5 billion, while private 
remittances provided more than $2.1 billion. But even last year the 
private remittances fell by 7.7 percent as compared with 2013.

Economic analyst Ara Galoyan expects poverty to increase in Armenia
amid the falling money transfers and expected modest economic growth.

"It is patently clear that Armenia's main export item is labor
force. Every year our citizens go to Russia and send part of their
incomes back home,
" says Galoyan.

According to the economic analyst, despite the fact that this year
Armenia joined the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, which, among
other things, implies free movement of labor, Armenians have had fewer
opportunities for migrant work in Russia lately.

"The Russians are closing markets for our labor, and it has already
been stated officially that this year fewer people from Armenia will
go for migrant work to Russia," he said.

Another factor contributing to the fall in private remittances is the
deteriorating economic situation in Russia, which is currently under
Western sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine.

Amid the sanctions and falling international oil prices the Russian
ruble has lost over 40 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar
since early 2014, which also affected the incomes and opportunities of
Armenians working in Russia.

The Russian ruble's steeper depreciation than that of the Armenian
national currency, the dram, also affected Armenia's export
potentialities connected with Russian markets.

"The goods traditionally exported to Russia have become more costly
for the Russian market," Galoyan explains. "Armenian winemakers are
already concerned over the increased cost of their products and
Armenian wines and brandies already sell poorly in Russia. In other
words, even traditional exports will have problems in this regard."

According to a report published by the Central Bank last month,
Armenia's economic growth this year may be 10 times lower than
expected by the government. While the government plans to ensure this
growth at over 4 percent, the Central Bank evaluates the potential of
the country's economy to expand in 2015 at only 0.4-2 percent. The
Central Bank also expects that private remittances will fall by
approximately 30 percent this year.

RFE/RL Report 
Armenia Decides To Take Part In Baku Games

Armenia will participate in this year's inaugural European Games in
Azerbaijan, a spokesperson for the head of the Armenian National
Olympic Committee (ANOC) has confirmed.

Iveta Tonoyan said the decision was made by the ANOC's executive
committee on Tuesday.

In the Games to be held in Baku in June Armenia is expected to be
represented in sambo (unarmed self-defense), shooting, judo,
wrestling, boxing and taekwondo.

It appears, however, that it will be up to the federations and
eventually the athletes themselves to make decisions on their travel
to Baku.

Armenia has been hesitating about its participation in the Games in a
country with which it is in a de facto state of war over
Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian-populated region of Soviet
Azerbaijan that broke free of Baku's control in the early 1990s.

The ANOC did not give its definitive answer even after the Azerbaijani
government provided security guarantees for Armenian athletes last

The matter was also discussed with Patrick Hickey, the president of
the European Olympic Committee, who visited Armenia and Azerbaijan
last year.

The hesitation of the ANOC also reflected the uneasy situation along
the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and around Nagorno-Karabakh where
deadly incidents have increased dramatically since last August.

Prior to the latest escalation of tensions in the conflict zone it was
not uncommon for Armenian and Azerbaijani athletes - notably
wrestlers, weightlifters and boxers - to participate in international
sporting competitions held in each other's country. In all cases they
have been provided with around-the-clock security escorts, with no
serious incidents reported.
11 Mar 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Movses Khorenatsi, a historian in the fifth century, wrote that his
native Armenia had been established in 2492 B.C., a date usually
regarded as legendary though he claimed to have traveled to Babylon
and consulted ancient records. But either he made a lucky guess
or he really did gain access to useful data, because a new genomic
analysis suggests that his date is entirely plausible, The New York
Times reports.

Geneticists have scanned the genomes of 173 Armenians from Armenia
and Lebanon and compared them with those of 78 other populations
from around the world. They found that the Armenians are a mix of
ancient populations whose descendants now live in Sardinia, Central
Asia and several other regions. This formative mixture occurred from
3000 to 2000 B.C., the geneticists calculated, coincident with Movses
Khorenatsi's date for the founding of Armenia.

Toward the end of the Bronze Age, when the mixture was in process,
there was considerable movement of peoples brought about by increased
trade, warfare and population growth. After 1200 B.C., the Bronze
Age civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean suddenly collapsed,
an event that seems to have brought about the isolation of Armenians
from other populations. No significant mixing with other peoples
after that date can be detected in the genomes of living Armenians,
the geneticists said.

The isolation was probably sustained by the many characteristic
aspects of Armenian culture. Armenians have a distinctive language and
alphabet, and the Armenian Apostolic Church was the first branch of
Christianity to become established as a state religion, in A.D. 301,
anticipating that by the Roman empire in A.D. 380.

The researchers also see a signal of genetic divergence that developed
about 500 years ago between western and eastern Armenians. The date
corresponds to the onset of wars between the Ottoman and Safavid
dynasties and the division of the Armenian population between the
Turkish and Persian empires.

"This DNA study confirms in general outline much of what we know
about Armenian history," said Hovann Simonian, a historian of Armenia
affiliated with the University of Southern California.

The geneticists' team, led by Marc Haber and Chris Tyler-Smith of
the Sanger Institute, near Cambridge in England, see long-isolated
populations like that of the Armenians as a means of reconstructing
population history.

Armenians share 29 percent of their DNA ancestry with Otzi, a man
whose 5,300-year-old mummy emerged in 1991 from a melting Alpine
glacier. Other genetically isolated populations of the Near East,
like Cypriots, Sephardic Jews and Lebanese Christians, also share
a lot of ancestry with the Iceman, whereas other Near Easterners,
like Turks, Syrians and Palestinians, share less. This indicates
that the Armenians and other isolated populations are closer than
present-day inhabitants of the Near East to the Neolithic farmers
who brought agriculture to Europe about 8,000 years ago.

The geneticists' paper was posted last month on bioRxiv, a digital
library for publishing scientific articles before they appear in
journals. Dr. Tyler-Smith, the senior author of the genetics team,
said he could not discuss their results for fear of jeopardizing
publication in a journal that he did name. 
03.11.2015 16:12 

Domestic violence is widespread in Armenia, wrote the Council of
Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks, in his summary
report following his visit to Armenia from 5 to 9 October, 2014,
criticizing the practice of violating women's rights and observing
the disadvantaged situation of women in the country. Muiznieks notes
that in some instances of domestic violence women have died; 7 deaths
were registered in 2013, 12 in 2014.

Citing the NSS and UNFPA's survey, the report noted that 8.9% of
Armenian women have been subjected to at least one form of physical
violence by their partners, mostly in the home.

25% of women report at least one form of psychological violence,
while 3.3% have testified that they have been subject to sexual
violence by their intimate partner. 61.7% of those surveyed endured
some form of controlling behavior by an intimate partner through
restricting contacts with family and friends, controlling movement
or any undertaking outside the household, or making a woman seek
permission for accessing health services. The survey also tackles forms
of economic violence against women such as economic disempowerment,
including economic deprivation (e.g. withholding of money, confiscation
of earnings and savings, forbidding a woman to work).

The Human Rights Commissioner also noticed that the phenomenon of
prenatal sex selection in preference to boys over girls testifies to
the presence of gender bias. Forced abortions are considered a form of
psychological violence and a clear manifestations of the disadvantaged
situation of women and gender inequality in Armenian society.

The commissioner notes that Armenia's authorities are not implementing
the proper steps to solve the problems. "A number of political
leaders, including parliamentarians, have denied the problem of
domestic violence in Armenia and even justified it in some cases,"
writes the commissioner.

"The Armenian criminal legislation does not include a specific offence
of gender-based violence, including domestic violence, and does
not address prevention, protection and prosecution issues. Crimes
of domestic violence may be prosecuted under other, more general,
provisions of the Armenian Criminal Code, such as assault, battery,
bodily harm and murder.

However, some forms of violence against women are not specifically
criminalised, such as rape by a husband or intimate partner, and
forced abortion. No distinction is drawn in the criminal legislation
between strangers or family members perpetrating violent crimes,"
stated the report.

Muiznieks also called on the Armenian authorities to ratify the Council
of Europe's Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against
Women and Domestic Violence. The commissioner stated in his report,
that he was informed by government officials that Armenia needs time
to asses if the convention is compatible with Armenian legislation,
as well as, the financial resources necessary. 

The French hypermarket chain Carrefeur on Wednesday launched its
trading center in Yerevan in an official opening ceremony attended
also by Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan.

The Carrefeur chain in Armenia will prioritize domestic products,
Carrefeur Country Director Christian De Nale told reporters at the
opening ceremony.

He noted that imports constitute only 5%.

Like in any other country, in Armenia Carrefeur remains committed to
its ideology: classes of goods for any family regardless of whether
they are food products or not.

The hypermarket's task is to sell any product at a lower price than
other supermarkets do.

Asked about steps to sell imported products at reasonable prices
given the lack of outlet to the sea, Mr Christian De Nale said that
selling prices consider logistics, but in a balanced way.

He said that Carrefeur has not encountered any difficulties in entering
Armenia's market.

Carrefeur has worked in Armenia for two years, and opening hypermarkets
in any country requires two or three years. The chain will soon start
operating new, safe equipment, and preparations require time.

Carrefeur is seeking for opportunities to expand its activities in
Armenia, Mr Christian De Nale said.

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