Sunday, 31 May 2015

Armenian News... A Topalian... We are not a threat!...

We are full of love and have values!...If Turkey feels threatened it is because of their own misgivings!... Seta


According to the results of a recent survey on the country's foreign
policy by Ä°stanbul's Kadir Has University, Turkish people consider
Israel and the US as the biggest threats to their country. The survey
was conducted in April among 1,000 people of the urban populations
across Turkey, Today's Zaman reports.

In response to a question concerning which country they see as the
biggest threat to Turkey, 42.6 percent of respondents said Israel,
35.3 percent mentioning the United States. Syria (22.1 percent)
and Armenia (20.3 percent) come next in the list.

Although Turkey is officially a candidate country for European Union
membership, according to 10.2 percent of respondents, EU countries
pose a threat to Turkey.

8.7 percent of respondents said that no country constitutes a threat
to Turkey, while 38.9 percent of the population found that "Turkey
has no friends."

Among friendly countries Turkish people singled out Azerbaijan (37.5
percent), Northern Cyprus (8.9 percent) and Bosnia and Herzegovina
(6 percent).
29 May, 2015

YEREVAN, MAY 29, ARMENPRESS. Former Police Chief of Istanbul Ali
Fuat Yılmazer, who is already in jail as part of a government-backed
operation against police, was arrested for a second time in a separate
investigation of the murder case of the former Editor-in-Chief of
the Istanbul-based Armenian Agos periodical.

As reports "Armenpress" citing "Today's Zaman", the former police
chief was arrested by an Ä°stanbul court after he testified to a
prosecutor involved in the investigation into Dink's murder.

In his testimony, he said that he was employed in Ankara when the
incident took place. Stating that the Ä°stanbul Police Department was
responsible for providing guards to protect Dink when it received
intelligence he was in danger, Yılmazer said that the fact that
he is being connected to the murder is clearly slander. He pointed
to earlier inspectors' reports that stated Yılmazer had not been
involved in any misconduct regarding the incident.

Previously it was reported that within the framework of revision of
the murder case of the former Editor-in-Chief of the Istanbul-based
Armenian Agos periodical, the Police arrested Ercan Demir, the Head
of Police of Cizre. Ercan Demir, the Head of Police of Cizre, had
been interrogated.

A new prosecutor was appointed to investigate the case of murder of
the Editor-in-Chief of the Istanbul-based Agos periodical Hrant Dink.

>From now on, the member of the Bureau for Struggle against Terrorism
and Organized Crime Gökalp Kökcu will investigate the Armenian
editor's murder case. Yusuf Hakkı Dogan was his predecessor, who
has recently been appointed the Court of Cassation of Turkey.

Ogun Samast, who murdered the Editor-in-Chief of the Istanbul-based
Agos periodical Hrant Dink in 2007, has given new testimony comprising
7 pages to prosecutor Yusuf Hakkı Dogan. As reports "Armenpress",
the Turkish stated about this. At the course of
the interrogation, which lasted about 3 hours, the criminal stated
that he kept silent till this moment, because he was afraid.

Among other things, Samast noted that on the day of assassination
he noticed that he is being followed by two men. He called Hayil and
said that he thinks the Police are following him. Hayil answered to
him saying: "That's possible, but there is no need to be worried,
they're with us."

Samast, who was sentenced to 21 years and six months in prison in 2011
for the murder, is currently testifying as a witness in the ongoing
investigation into the murder. The sources said that Samast has named
the suspect, who can add a new dimension to the investigation following
a three hour interrogation by prosecutor Yusuf Hakkı Dogan.

Hrant Dink, editor-in-chief of Agos, was murdered outside his office by
17-year-old Ogun Samast on January 19 2007. An earlier investigation
showed that the prosecutors who worked on the case ignored serious
allegations into the involvement of top police officers in the murder. 

29 May 2015

The head of the PAP parliamentary group Naira Zohrabyan stated during
the weekly parliamentary briefing that they are going to conduct
a joint monitoring with the specialists of the HRD's office in the
streets of Yerevan to identify the status of children begging for
money in the streets.

Naira Zohrabyan objected to the minister of labor and social affairs
Artem Asatryan, referring to her information, that children are picked
from orphanages and used for begging.

"Before dismissing such information they had better address to what
is happening in orphanages and boarding institutions. If he openly
denies the obvious cases of inhuman treatment in boarding schools
which are clearly recorded in the report of the Human Rights Defender,
it is normal that he would deny these cases too," she stated.

Naira Zohrabyan said there is a lot of information that children with
women begging in the streets are the children of their poor neighbors,
there is also information that they take those children from orphanages
on a criminal agreement with the staff of the lower levels.

"I have brought up the issue, now it is their turn to verify. I can
state clear facts, walk along Abovyan Street, go up and ask whether
those children are related to those women. Let us do that monitoring
together. This is what I have proposed, by the way, are going to do
it together with the Ombudsman's office," she noted.

Naira Zohrabyan said she has talked to the Special Investigative
Service, presented the information at hand, what she has witnessed
several times.

"I went up to a child in Abovyan Street and asked if that woman was
related to him, the child said no, and they quickly took the child
away. Moreover, one of the children said he was from the orphanage. I
think this is enough for the relevant bodies to start to monitor the
streets. This is not something difficult, they should just conduct
a monitoring before dismissing," Naira Zohrabyan said, adding that
the concerns she expressed are a possible crime.

Voice of America
May 29 2015
Dorian Jones

Turkish voters go to the polls next month in an election buffeted
by concerns about slowing economic growth and mounting worry over
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's increasingly autocratic policies.

But the election will also be momentous for modern Turkish history:
for the first time, three of the country's main political parties
have chosen members of Turkey's Armenian minority to appear on their
party lists.

Armenians figure prominently in modern Turkish history, mainly for the
events that began in 1915 and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of
thousands, possibly more than 1 million, Armenians. A growing number
of historians say the killings amount to genocide, something Turkey
vehemently denies.

Istanbul, meanwhile, has had for years a small but stalwart Armenian
community numbering around 70,000. The community has suffered
persistent discrimination, though no outright persecution for years.

The community has also played a relatively minor role in the country's
political life. Now the prospect of Armenians becoming members of
parliament is being seen as symbolically important.

"We always ask something to change and they say 'we will do it,
we will do it.' It has been a hundred years," said Garo Paylan,
a candidate for the Peace and Democracy Party.

"We don't want to wait anymore and that's why I am going to parliament
to change this situation," he added. "It's very important for our
community. We have not had MPs in parliament since 1960."

Erdogan's AK Party is also fielding an Armenian candidate, Markar
Esayan, a well-known Armenian newspaper columnist, in hopes of courting
the Christian vote in Istanbul.

So is the main opposition Republican People's Party, which analysts
say is traditionally nationalistic and suspicious of Turkey's
minorities. The candidate, a young Armenian lawyer named Selina
Dogan, has been holding numerous meetings, with her first priority
focused on overcoming prejudice within her party and challenging
wider discrimination.

This is a "very big opportunity," she said.

"We are not equal. Legally, on paper, yes. But in fact, no," she said.

"For example, you don't have Armenian officers, you don't have Armenian
police, you don't have Armenian judges in this country. I am going
to fight this discrimination."

Yetvart Danzikyan, of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos,
said this general election is an important sign of significant change.

"More people talking [about the] Armenian issue, Armenian problems,"
Danzikyan said. "I want to think that some reforms, some steps are
permanent. But we know Armenians can't be bureaucrats, for example,
in Turkey. And when the atmosphere is changing, not only Armenians,
Jews, Greeks become a target in Turkey."

Underscoring some of the tensions surrounding Turkey's minority
communities, hundreds of people took to Istanbul's main street
earlier this month to protest the seizure of a hundred-year-old
Armenian orphanage.

The orphanage originally housed child survivors of the mass killings
of Armenians. It was restored later by prominent members of Turkey's
Armenian minority and turned into a cultural center.

For Paylan, this was just another injustice suffered by Armenians.

The orphanage was saved from destruction at the last minute when the
land was handed over to an Armenian foundation. 

RFE/RL Report
More Protests Planned Against Energy Price Hike
Sargis Harutyunyan ## Hovannes Movsisian

A Yerevan-based pressure group said on Friday that it will stage
another larger demonstration next month to protest against the
authorities' plans to raise the electricity prices in Armenia for a
third time in two years.

The non-partisan group called No To Plunder rallied thousands of
people in Yerevan on Wednesday in an effort to prevent a more than 40
percent price rise requested by the national power utility, the
Electricity Networks of Armenia (ENA). It was joined by leaders of the
country's main opposition parties.

Vaghinak Shushanian, a member of No To Plunder, told RFE/RL's Armenian
service ( that the group has scheduled the next
demonstration for June 19. He said it will conduct a publicity
campaign in the next three weeks to ensure that the rally attracts
"three or four times as many people."

"Right from the beginning we opted for a tactic of street struggle,"
said Shushanian. "That means we see no need to embark on a dialogue
with any political force or the authorities."

Armenia's Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) is expected to
rule on the ENA request to raise the energy tariffs before June 19.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Yervand Zakharian implied on
Thursday that the regulatory body will approve a more modest price
rise than is sought by the ENA. Zakharian stood by his arguments that
higher prices are indispensable for enabling the Russian-owned company
to sort out its serious financial problems.

No To Plunder, the Armenian opposition and other government critics
believe that massive losses incurred by the ENA result from poor
management, rather than the existing electricity fees.

Vahram Baghdasarian, the parliamentary leader of the ruling Republican
Party of Armenia (HHK), made clear on Friday that the authorities are
listening to the critics' arguments but will not necessarily accept
them. Baghdasarian spoke of a risk of "the collapse of the energy

Meanwhile, Labor and Social Affairs Minister Artem Asatrian gave
further indications that electricity will soon become even more
expensive for Armenian households. He said the government is already
preparing to compensate people living below the official poverty line.

Asatrian noted that the government raised by 1,000 drams ($2.1)
monthly poverty benefits paid to more than 100,000 poor families when
the electricity price rose by 10 percent in August last year.
Newspaper: Electricity is 5 times more expensive in Armenia 
than UK

YEREVAN. - Electricity is about five times more affordable for a
resident in the United Kingdom (UK) than in Armenia, reported 168 Zham

"There is no need to be surprised [at this fact] if we consider that
the average [monthly] wage in euros (removing the taxes) amounted to
229 euros in Armenia, [whereas]  2,993 euros in the UK in 2014.

"Accordingly, a 100 kWh of [electrical] energy cost makes up 3.3
percent of the average wage in Armenia, [whereas] solely 0.7 percent
in the United Kingdom. In other words, the amount spent on electricity
makes up a small percentage in the salary of an Englishman and it does
not present a burden.

"The problem is whether or not this price is affordable for the
resident. And if compared, it turns out that Armenia occupies the
penultimate place among European and regional countries in terms of
affordability of electricity," wrote 168 Zham.

RFE/RL Report
Microsoft To Boost Support For Armenian IT Sector

Microsoft Corporation pledged to step up its contribution to Armenia's
burgeoning information technology sector on Tuesday with a new
regional software development center to be opened in Yerevan soon.

In return, the Armenian government promised stronger protection of the
U.S. giant's world-famous products against widespread software piracy
in the country.

The two sides formalized their mutual commitments with a package of
agreements which Microsoft's top executive for central and eastern
Europe, Don Grantham, signed in Yerevan with Armenia's ministers of
economy, education and defense. Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian and
the U.S. ambassador to Armenia, Richard Mills, underscored its
importance with their presence at the signing ceremony.

"The agreements signed today will serve as a basis for even closer
cooperation between the government of Armenia and Microsoft,"
Abrahamian said at the ceremony.

A statement released by Abrahamian's press office said the deal calls
for the establishment of a Microsoft-sponsored "regional" center" in
Yerevan for mobile applications and so-called "cloud computing," which
allows such software to be operated over the Internet. It said
Armenian students and engineers working there will use Microsoft's
technological resources to develop more advanced solutions of this
kind. This will make Armenia more competitive in global hi-tech
industries, it said.

According to the statement, the new facility will operate in
conjunction with the Microsoft Innovation Center Armenia (MICA), an
enterprise "accelerator" that has assisted in the growth of dozens of
local IT startup firms. The MICA, which is partly funded by the
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided them
with free office space and equipment and even helped some of them
secure funding for their innovative projects.

These and other startups have added to recent years' rapid growth of
the Armenian IT industry, the most dynamic sector of the country's
struggling economy. According to government data, the sector currently
employs over 11,500 engineers. Its overall business turnover was
equivalent to about 5 percent of Gross Domestic Product last year.

The MICA set up was set up in 2011, one year before launch of the
Microsoft IT Academy at the State Engineering University of Armenia
(SEUA). The academy helps to address the still inadequate quality of
education at the IT programs of the SEUA and other state-run Armenian

Abrahamian stressed the importance of the upcoming new Microsoft
center in Yerevan, expressing confidence that it will solidify
Armenia's status as a regional IT leader. Grantham, for his part, said
it will enable Armenian software engineers to develop their skills and
eventually result in new jobs.

According to the statement by Abrahamian's office, Grantham went on to
emphasize the Armenian government's commitment to a stricter
enforcement of Microsoft's intellectual property rights in Armenia.

Mills was reported to make a similar point. The U.S. ambassador said
that a more effective copyright protection will help Armenia attract
more foreign investors into the IT sector.

Major U.S. companies such as Synopsis, National Instruments, Mentor
Graphics and VMware are already present in the sector. Oracle, the
world's second largest software developer after Microsoft, inaugurated
its Armenian branch late last year.

Cybersecurity will be another new area of the government's cooperation
with Microsoft. Under agreement signed by Grantham and Defense
Minister Seyran Ohanian, Microsoft will help Armenia protect its
online databases and resources against hacker attacks.

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