Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Armenian News...A Topalian...[the Turkish article is particularly interesting] And Damming

The Times
Pope sparks furious row with Turks over Armenian genocide
By Tom Kington Rome
13 April 2015 

The Pope has described the murder of Armenians by Ottoman
Turks 100 years ago as genocide, sparking a diplomatic crisis with
Turkey, which it denies it took place.

Speaking yesterday before a Mass at St Peter's Basilica to mark
the centenary of the killings, the Pope defined the slaughter of as
many as 1.5 million Armenians as the "first genocide o the 20th
century" quoting a statement by Pope John Pul II in 2001. 

'The remaining two were perpetrated by Nazism and Stalinism",
he said. And more recently there have been other mass killings,
like those in Cambodia, Rwanda, Burundi and Bosnia".

Though he is not the first pope to use "genocide" to describe the
Armenian massacre, his speech carried extra weight since it was
given on the anniversary of the slaughter, in St Peter's and in the
presence of of President Sargsyan of Armenia and Armenian
church leaders, who attended the service.

In response, Turkey summoned the Vatican's ambassador to
complain about the remarks, citing "great disappointment and
sadness" and recalled its ambassador from the Holy See. The
Turkish foreign ministry accused the Pope of "ignoring the atrocities
suffered by the Turkish and Muslim peoples who lost their lives".

Turkey claims that half a million Armenians does in the fighting
when they rose up against their Ottoman rulers during the First
World War.

The Pope now risks losing Turkey's support as he seeks to defend
Christian communities that are being persecuted by Isis in Syria
and Irak.

Describing those communities yesterday, the Pope spoke of the
"muffled and forgotten cry of so many of our defenceless brothers
and sisters who, on account of their faith in Christ or their ethnic
origin, are publicly and ruthlessly put to death - decapitated,
crucified, burnt alive - or forced to leave their homeland".
Christians in the Middle East. and suggested that playing down
the Armenian slaughter 100 years ago had in part led to the present

"It is necessary, and indeed a duty, to honour and their
memory", he said of the Armenians killed, "for whenever memory
fades, it means that evil allows wounds to fester. Concealing
or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without
bandaging it". 

In a speech at St Peter's before the mass, Karekin II, the patriarch
of the Armenian Church, used the word "genocide" 13 times.

"With a deliberate plan, with horrific atrocities, one and half Armenians
 were slaughtered", he said.

"Our ancient people were uprooted from their cherished cradle of
life - their historic homeland - and scattered over different countries.
Our centuries-old Christian heritage was ruined, obliterated and

While 3.2 Armenian live in Armenia today, another eight million
live outside the country, 

Vatican Information Service
Mass for the centenary of the Armenian Metz Yeghern: Jesus 
fills the abyss of sin with the depth of His mercy

Vatican City, 12 April 2015 (VIS) – On the second Sunday of Easter, 
or Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass in 
St. Peter's Basilica to commemorate the centenary of the 
“martyrdom” (Metz Yeghern, or Great Evil) of the Armenian People, 
and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church St. Gregory of Narek 
(c. 951 – c. 1003), Armenian monk, theologian, poet and philosopher, 
whose feast day is celebrated on 27 February.

His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, Patriarch of Cilicia 
of the Armenian Catholics concelebrated with the Holy Father, in 
the presence of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and 
Catholicos of All Armenians and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos 
of the Great House of Cilicia. The president of the Republic of 
Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, also attended the Mass.

In his homily, the Pope commented on the Gospel of St. John, 
who was in the Upper Room with the other disciples on the evening 
of the first day after the Sabbath, and who tells us that “Jesus 
came and stood among them, and said, 'Peace be with you!' and 
He showed them His hands and His side; He showed them His 
wounds. And in this way they realized that it was not an apparition: 
it was truly Him, the Lord, and they were filled with joy. On the 
eighth day Jesus came once again into the Upper Room and 
showed His wounds to Thomas, so that he could touch them 
as he had wished to, in order to believe and thus become himself 
a witness to the Resurrection”.

To us also, on this Sunday which Saint John Paul II wished to 
dedicate to Divine Mercy, “the Lord shows us, through the Gospel, 
his wounds. They are wounds of mercy. It is true: the wounds of 
Jesus are wounds of mercy. 'With His stripes we are healed'. 
Jesus invites us to behold these wounds, to touch them as 
Thomas did, to heal our lack of belief. Above all, He invites us 
to enter into the mystery of these wounds, which is the mystery 
of His merciful love”.

“Through these wounds, as in a light-filled opening, we can see 
the entire mystery of Christ and of God”, said Pope Francis: “His 
Passion, His earthly life – filled with compassion for the weak and 
the sick – His incarnation in the womb of Mary. And we can 
retrace the whole history of salvation: the prophecies – especially 
about the Servant of the Lord, the Psalms, the Law and the 
Covenant; to the liberation from Egypt, to the first Passover and
to the blood of the slaughtered lambs; and again from the 
Patriarchs to Abraham, and then all the way back to Abel, whose 
blood cried out from the earth. All of this we can see in the wounds 
of Jesus, crucified and risen; with Mary, in her Magnificat, we can 
perceive that, 'His mercy extends from generation to generation'”.

He continued, “Faced with the tragic events of human history 
we can feel crushed at times, asking ourselves, 'Why?'. Humanity’s 
evil can appear in the world like an abyss, a great void: empty of 
love, empty of goodness, empty of life. And so we ask: how can 
we fill this abyss? For us it is impossible; only God can fill this
 emptiness that evil brings to our hearts and to human history. 
It is Jesus, God made man, Who died on the Cross and Who fills 
the abyss of sin with the depth of His mercy”.

The saints teach us that “the world is changed beginning with the 
conversion of one’s own heart, and that this happens through the 
mercy of God. And so, whether faced with my own sins or the 
great tragedies of the world, 'my conscience would be distressed, 
but it would not be in turmoil, for I would recall the wounds of the 
Lord: “He was wounded for our iniquities”. What sin is there so 
deadly that it cannot be pardoned by the death of Christ?'”.

“Keeping our gaze on the wounds of the Risen Jesus, we can sing 
with the Church: 'His love endures forever'; eternal is his mercy. 
And with these words impressed on our hearts, let us go forth 
along the paths of history, led by the hand of our Lord and Saviour, 
our life and our hope”, concluded the Pontiff.

Pope's message to the Armenians 

Vatican City, 12 April 2015 (VIS) – At the end of the Holy Mass 
celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica to commemorate the centenary 
of the Armenian “martyrdom” (Metz Yeghern) and the proclamation 
of St. Gregory of Narek as Doctor of the Church, the Pope met 
with His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos 
of All Armenians, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great 
House of Cilicia, His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, 
Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenian Catholic Church, and the 
president of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan. He handed 
to each of them a signed copy in Italian of his message he read 
at the beginning of the celebration, with a translation in Armenian. 
The following is the full text of his message.

“On a number of occasions I have spoken of our time as a time 
of war, a third world war which is being fought piecemeal, one in
 which we daily witness savage crimes, brutal massacres and 
senseless destruction. Sadly, today too we hear the muffled and 
forgotten cry of so many of our defenseless brothers and sisters 
who, on account of their faith in Christ or their ethnic origin, are 
publicly and ruthlessly put to death – decapitated, crucified, 
burned alive – or forced to leave their homeland.

Today too we are experiencing a sort of genocide created by 
general and collective indifference, by the complicit silence of 
Cain, who cries out: 'What does it matter to me? Am I my 
brother’s keeper?'.

In the past century our human family has lived through three 
massive and unprecedented tragedies. The first, which is widely 
considered 'the first genocide of the twentieth century' (John 
Paul II and Karekin II, Common Declaration, Etchmiadzin, 
27 September 2001 ), struck your own Armenian people, the 
first Christian nation, as well as Catholic and Orthodox Syrians, 
Assyrians, Chaldeans and Greeks. Bishops and priests, religious, 
women and men, the elderly and even defenseless children and 
the infirm were murdered. The remaining two were perpetrated 
by Nazism and Stalinism. And more recently there have been 
other mass killings, like those in Cambodia, Rwanda, Burundi 
and Bosnia. It seems that humanity is incapable of putting a halt 
to the shedding of innocent blood. It seems that the enthusiasm 
generated at the end of the Second World War has dissipated 
and is now disappearing. It seems that the human family has 
refused to learn from its mistakes caused by the law of terror, 
so that today too there are those who attempt to eliminate others 
with the help of a few and with the complicit silence of others who 
simply stand by. We have not yet learned that 'war is madness', 
'senseless slaughter'.

Dear Armenian Christians, today , with hearts filled with pain but 
at the same time with great hope in the risen Lord, we recall the 
centenary of that tragic event, that immense and senseless 
slaughter whose cruelty your forebears had to endure. It is 
necessary, and indeed a duty, to honour their memory, for whenever 
memory fades, it means that evil allows wounds to fester. Concealing 
or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without 
bandaging it!

I greet you with affection and I thank you for your witness. With 
gratitude for his presence, I greet Mr Serzh Sargsyan, the President 
of the Republic of Armenia. My cordial greeting goes also to my 
brother Patriarchs and Bishops: His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme 
Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; His Holiness Aram I, 
Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, His Beatitude Nerses 
Bedros XIX, Patriarch of Cilicia of Armenian Catholics; and 
Catholicosates of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the 
Patriarchate of the Armenian Catholic Church.

In the certainty that evil never comes from God, Who is infinitely 
good, and standing firm in faith, let us profess that cruelty may never 
be considered God’s work and, what is more, can find absolutely no 
justification in his Holy Name. Let us continue this celebration by 
fixing our gaze on Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, victor over 
death and evil”. 

The New York Times
Stung by Pope’s Remarks on Armenian Genocide, Turkish 
Minister Insults Argentina
APRIL 13, 2015

Turkish officials continued to vent their fury at Pope Francis on 
Monday, one day after he called the mass killing of Armenians a 
century ago “the first genocide of the 20th century,” at a 
commemorative mass at the Vatican .

The latest outraged response came from Volkan Bozkir , Turkey’s 
minister for European affairs, who significantly upped the ante on 
his colleagues by suggesting that Argentines as whole, and not 
just the pope, had been brainwashed by rich and powerful 
Armenians in their midst.

In remarks broadcast on national television, Mr. Bozkir began 
by reminding reporters that Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario 
Bergoglio in Buenos Aires in 1936, is “an Argentine.” Mr. Bozkir 
then hinted that the country has a dark past of its own. “Argentina 
was a country that welcomed the leading executors of the Jewish 
Holocaust, Nazi torturers, with open arms,” he said.

Mr. Bozkir then sought to provide an explanation for where 
Argentines might have gotten the idea that the 1.5 million 
Armenians killed between 1915 and 1923 in the last days of the 
Ottoman Empire had been slaughtered intentionally.

“In Argentina,” Mr. Bozkir asserted, “the Armenian diaspora 
controls the media and business.” The minister provided no 
evidence for his assertion and was not asked for any. (One 
prominent member of the Armenian diaspora in Argentina, 
Eduardo Eurnekian, is a billionaire who did once have significant 
media holdings, but he sold them two decades ago, according 
to Forbes .)

Argentina, which is home of the largest community of Armenians 
in South America, more than 100,000 , angered the Turks in 
2006 by adopting legislation that formally recognized April 24 
as a day “ in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide .”

Turkey’s government has acknowledged that atrocities were 
committed during the period but fiercely opposes the characterization 
that the killing of Armenians was systematic and intentional.

”The 1915 events took place during World War I when a portion 
of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided 
with the invading Russians and revolted against the empire,” the 
Turkish news agency Anadolu reported on Monday. “The Ottoman 
Empire relocated Armenians in eastern Anatolia following the 
revolts and there were Armenian casualties during the relocation 
process,” the report continued.

In 2003, the Argentine journalist Uki Goñi revealed in his book, 
“ The Real Odessa: Smuggling the Nazis to Perón’s Argentina ,
” that Juan Perón’s postwar government had clandestinely helped 
Nazi war criminals flee there at the end of World War II. Using 
documents from European archives, Mr. Goñi showed that the 
Vatican, Swiss authorities and the Red Cross had played key 
roles in the escape to Argentina of Nazis including Adolf Eichmann, 
Dr. Josef Mengele and Klaus Barbie, as well as dozens of French, 
Belgian, Italian, Croatian and Slovak fascists, many of them Nazi 

10 Apr 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan 

The Dutch Parliament passed a binding resolution yesterday recognizing
the genocide of Assyrians, Greeks and Armenians by Ottoman Turks during
World War One. The resolution, tabled by MP Joel Voordewind from the
Christian Union party, enjoyed wide support from the various parties,
including Christian Union, People's Party for Freedom and Democracy,
Christian Democratic Appeal, Reformed Political Party and Labor
Party. The resolution was strongly opposed by two Turkish members
of the Parliament but passed by a strong majority vote, the Assyrian
International News Agency (AINA) reports.

"The aim of this motion is to recognize the Armenian as well as the
Assyrian genocide," said Joel Voordewind, "and to bring the Turkish
government closer to Armenia. This is an important signal from the
Dutch Parliament to the Turkish government to acknowledge its past
actions. I hope in the end this will bring both countries to a better
understanding and reconciliation with each other."
by Marianna Mkrtchyan
April 10, 12:00 

Turkey will do everything possible to hold European Parliament from
passing a resolution to recognize the Armenian Genocide of 1915,
says Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tanju Bilgic.

To that end, he said, Turkey's officials will visit the European
Parliament to meet with Martin Schultz, Trend reports referring to
Hurriyet Daily News.

According to Bilgic, Turkey has already taken all possible measures
to prevent a similar resolution of the Danish Parliament.

Turkey is against "one-sided assessment of the events of 1915 and
their use as a measure of political pressure on Ankara," he said.

Vice-President of the European Parliament Ulrike Lunacek highlighted
the necessity of the adoption of the resolution on the Armenian
Genocide to be discussed on April 14-15 at the European Parliament,
which will suggest and commission EU member-states' national
Parliaments and Governments to adopt appropriate resolutions and
decisions on recognition and condemnation of the fact.

Ecumenical Council of Churches in Austria (ORKO) addressed a letter
to the country's leadership urging them to recognize the Armenian
Genocide and serve as an example for other countries.

The letter is sent on behalf of the representatives of Evangelical
Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran and Catholic churches and is addressed
to the country's President Heinz Fischer, Austrian National Council
President Doris Bures, Chancellor Werner Faymann and the Minister of
Foreign Affairs Sebastian Kurz, the organization's official website

According to the letter, the recognition must be announced by April
24, which marks the beginning of the Genocide of Armenians and other
Christian nations in the Ottoman Empire.

The Genocide's official recognition, which has already been
commenced by many states and organizations, can mean the beginning
of reimbursement and reconciliation. Moreover, modern Turkey's civil
society is apparently ready to recognize the sad events of 1915 and
repent, the representatives of Austrian churches said.

Cihan News Agency (CNA), Turkey
April 9, 2015 Thursday 

Ä°STANBUL - Intellectuals and activists gathered in Ä°stanbul
on Wednesday evening for an event called "Confront 1915," where 
they peeled away the layers of history that have been presented 
by the Turkish government when discussing the shrouded massacre 
of Armenians in 1915.

Dr. Ohannes Kılıcdagı, a professor of sociology at İstanbul Bilgi
University and a columnist for the Armenian Agos weekly newspaper,
discussed how Armenians who were deported and survived persecution
were unable to return to their former homeland.

"[The period between] 1918-1920 was actually the time during which
the genocide was most openly discussed in the history of this land,
at a time when the Turkish Republic did not yet exist. After the
Kemalist regime and as the Ankara government began to stabilize
and become rooted, and wars were won ... there was then a period of
'clearing the air.' What I mean by this is that arrangements were
made to prevent Armenians who were sent away from returning to their
property and possessions," shared Kılıcdagı.

The Republic of Turkey was established in 1923 after its founder,
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and Turkish nationalists had emerged victorious
over Greeks, Armenians and Western forces in the Turkish War of
Independence. Today, despite international pressure, the Turkish
Republic does not recognize the events that took place during the
fall of the Ottoman Empire as genocide.

Kılıcdagı continued his discourse on the perception of history,
explaining: "And then began a period that I call the 'period of
silence,' which slowly began to create the perception that 
nothing had happened here. Even more so, the perception that 
there were never Armenians here [in the first place] was formed," 
adding, "A deliberate ignorance was spread and this was actually 
successful to a large extent." 

Kılıcdagı went on to share the results of a survey performed by 
Dr. Ferhat Kentel of Ä°stanbul Å~^ehir University. When participants 
of the survey were asked, "When do you believe Armenians came to 

One-third of the respondents said they believed that Armenians had 
come to Turkey after the fall of the Soviet Union, while another 
one-third acknowledged that they simply had no idea when the 
Armenians had come to Turkey.

"Therefore, we see that two-thirds of Turkish society believe 
that a people [Armenians] who were the first people of this 
land to be written down in history, who existed here before 
the Common Era, are commonly believed to have only arrived 
at the beginning of the 1990s," he concluded. 

Another speaker at Wednesday's meeting was prominent human 
rights lawyer Eren Keskin, who addressed the audience, saying, 
"We are very late to be speaking about this issue." 

In line with Kılıcdagı's argument that such ignorance was 
enforced deliberately by the government, Keskin noted, "I think the 
Turkish government has been very successful in its mission 
to cover up these events." 

She told a personal story of her first encounter with the tragic past
of the Armenians in Turkey in which she explained how her grandfather
had demanded that her aunt Josephine, an Armenian, convert to Islam
before marrying his son, which she did.

Keskin believes that the example she shared highlights the ongoing
injustice and how the experience in her family, which was discussed but
went undisputed, gave her the opportunity to learn about discrimination
against Armenians from a young age. She then went on to describe her
career as a human rights lawyer with the Ä°stanbul branch of the Human
Rights Association (Ä°HD). She noted that although she believed it to
be quite late, the Ä°HD released a press statement in 2005 recognizing
the events of 1915 as genocide. After the Ä°HD took this stance,
Keskin said they were condemned and their office building attacked.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey
April 13 2015

Turkey's ambassador to the Vatican, Mehmet Pacacı returned to Ankara
late April 12, after Ankara's strong reaction against Pope Francis'
description of the mass killings of Armenians at the hands of the
Ottoman Empire as genocide.

"The steps that will be taken [against the Vatican] will be made public
following our consultations," Foreign Minister Mevlut CavuÅ~_oglu
told reporters on April 13 at a press conference in Mongolia.

"In the past century our human family has lived through three massive
and unprecedented tragedies," the Pope said April 12 during at a 100th
anniversary Mass with the participation of Armenian President Serzh
Sargsyan. "The first, which is widely considered 'the first genocide
of the 20th century,' struck your own Armenian people."

CavuÅ~_oglu criticized Pope Francis for making discrimination between
the pains of all people in 1915 and for ignoring the sufferings of
Muslims and Turks in Anatolia.

"Unfortunately, history was made an instrument of politics. Before
anything else, a religious man should have given a message of
brotherhood, peace and tolerance in the face of recently growing
racism, discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance," he said.

"These remarks are null and void for the Turkish people and Turkey,"
CavuÅ~_oglu added, underlining that genocide is a "legal concept"
and therefore the use of this word by Pope is "nothing but slander."

The withdrawal of Pacacı was announced by the Turkish Foreign
Ministry's strong-worded statement late on the afternoon of April
12 that accused Pope Francis of being "one-sided" and "distorting
historical facts."

System of a Down review - noir-rock epics and the history of 
Wembley arena, London
The American-Armenian skull-pummelers deliver some worthy 
political messages amid a messy sprawl of intricate, disjointed 
Mark Beaumont
Sunday 12 April 2015 13.47 BST

The entry queues are chaotic, the toilets are overflowing, and the PA
pours out a relentless two-hour bombardment of math metal, violent
thrash rock and Armenian folk anthems. Yet, if it feels as if
Californian skull-pummelers System of a Down are trying to make
Wembley feel like its own downtrodden mini-state, we're soon put in
our place. The Wake Up the Souls tour marks the 100th anniversary of
the 1915 Armenian genocide - a subject close to the hearts of these
four politically voracious Armenian-Americans - and animated histories
of that and subsequent genocides in the second world war, Rwanda and
Cambodia are played out on the screens during interludes in the set,
narrated by Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello. So, suitably
humbled, we endure.

Singer Serj Tjankian is an arresting presence, part hardcore Zappa,
part minaret muezzin, part Russell Brand gone feral. As he entreats us
to "change this planet so we're deserving of it" and yowls, "a whole
race, genocide, taken away - revolution, the only solution," on
solidarity anthem PLUCK, you salute his, well, pluck. Otherwise, his
worthy messages on drink-driving and police brutality (Mr Jack),
pulling the heroin "tapeworm out of your ass" (Needles) and war (War?)
are buried beneath a messy sprawl of intricate, disjointed hardcore
that, like the average First Dates participant, never seems to know
how fast it should be going.

With the prospect of SOAD's first album since the companion releases
of Mezmerize and Hypnotize 10 years ago looming, the faithful and
studious - this is rock that rewards only total immersion - circle-pit
with a semi-religious fervour. But the band only sparingly cohere on
the odd noir-rock epic such as Spiders or Hypnotize, moshpit
electrifiers Bounce and Toxicity, or when guitarist Daron Malakian
takes the spotlight for his crafty homage to House of the Rising Sun,
Lonely Day. Spots of relief in a barrage of ballast.

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