Saturday, 2 May 2015

Armenian News...A Topalian...What unGodly acts by these people!
29 April, 2015

YEREVAN, 29 APRIL. The Forty Martyrs Church of Aleppo was
destroyed due to the bombing. Our Syrian source informed "Armenpress"
about this. The photos of the destroyed Church are spread in the

Earlier, the Speaker of the National Primacy of Aleppo Zhirair Reisian
informed, that on the afternoon of April 26, the neighborhood quarter
of the Holy Forty Martyrs Church has been subjected to the bombing.

The Armenian Church of the Forty Martyrs in Aleppo was mentioned 1476,
in the second edition of the book The Exploit of the Holy Bible,
written by Father Melikseth in Aleppo.

However, the current building of the Church was built and completed
in 1491 to replace a small chapel in the old Christian cemetery of
the Jdeydeh quarter. The Church was named in honour of a group of
Roman soldiers who faced martyrdom near the city of Sebastia in Lesser
Armenia, and were all venerated in Christianity as the Forty Martyrs
of Sebaste. At the beginning, the Church was of a small size with
a capacity of only 100 seats. In 1499-1500, the Church went under
large-scale renovations. Within 2 years, it was enlarged and a new
prelacy building of the Armenian Diocese of Beroea was built in the
Church yard, funded through the donation of an Armenian elite named
Reyis Baron Yesayi. During the following years, Forty Martyrs Cathedral
frequently became a temporary seat of many Armenian catholicoi of
the Holy See of Cilicia.

Until 1579, the cathedral was surrounded with the tombstones of the
Armenian cemetery, when the cemetery was moved and only clergymen
and the elites of the community were allowed to be buried in the
Church yard.

The Forty Martyrs Cathedral was renovated again in 1616 by the donation
of the community leader emir Khoja Bedig Chelebi and the supervision
of his brother Khoja Sanos Chelebi. By the end of the same year, the
Church was reopened with the presence of Catholicos Hovhannes IV of
Aintab (Hovhannes 4th Aintabtsi) and Bishop Kachatur Karkaretsi.

In 1624, as a result of the growing number of Armenian residents
and pilgrims, the Armenian prelacy started to build a quarter near
the Church, which is still known with its original name Hokedoun
(Spiritual House). It was designated to serve as a rest-house with 23
large rooms for the Armenian pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. The
Hokedoun was built by the donation of Khoja Gharibjan.

The Italian explorer Pietro Della Valle who visited Aleppo in 1625,
has described the Church as one of the four Churches that were built
adjacent to each other in one yard with one gate, in the newly created
Jdeydeh Christian quarter. The other three Churches are the Greek
Orthodox Church of the Dormition of Our Lady, the Holy Mother of God
Armenian Church (the current Zarehian Treasury) and the old Maronite
Church of Saint Elias.

Currently, the cathedral has 3 altars, an upper story built in 1874
and a baptismal font placed in 1888.

The Church never had a belfry until 1912, when a bell tower was erected
by the donation of the Syrian-Armenian philanthropist Rizkallah Tahhan
from Brazil. During the 2nd half of the 20th century, the interior of
the Church underwent massive renovations to meet with the requirements
of traditional Armenian Churches. On 28 May 1991, by the donation
of Keledjian brothers from Aleppo, a khachkar-memorial was placed in
the Churchyard commemorating the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

On 26 April 2000, the Armenian community of Aleppo marked the 500th
anniversary of the first enlargement of the Church under the patronage
of Catholicos Aram I, during the period of Archbishop Souren Kataroyan. 

Naira Hayrumyan, Political Commentator
29 April 2015

The Catholicosate of Cilicia in Turkey submitted a brief to the
Constitutional Court in Turkey, requesting the return of its Centre
in Sis, the official website of the Catholicosate informed.

The press release briefs on the story of the Catholicosate of Cilicia
the seat of which was in Sis in 1295-1921. Afterwards the seat of
the catholicos moved from Jerusalem to Aleppo, Damask, Cyprus and
finally Antelias in 1930.

The claim was developed for 2 years by a committee of international
human rights lawyers. Is their involvement a guarantee that the
Armenian church will win the case? Apparently, the church intends
to go to the International Court after the procedure in the Turkish
Constitutional Court is complete.

The centenary of the Armenian genocide has actualized the illegitimacy
of Turkey's title to the property of massacred and displaced people,
communities and churches. This issue remains, despite refraining from
territorial or property claims during the centenary of the Armenian
genocide in Yerevan.

And now Catholicos Aram I puts his shoulder to the wheel. Experts
say the case of Sis Catholicosate may open Pandora's box, and more
and more claims against Turkey may be made not only by the Armenians
but also the representatives of other communities whose property was
stolen by modern Turkey.

The Turkish government fears such claims. Therefore, Erdogan's reaction
to the visit of presidents and other representatives of many countries
to Yerevan was so tough. These visits mean that the world "has doubts"
that Turkey may have stolen others' property.

For one hundred years the Turkish policy has been aimed at preventing
such claims. It used its loyal friends for this, such as Russia with
the help of which Turkey has been able to keep Armenia silent for
100 years.

But who has helped to keep the Diaspora silent? Maybe the traditional
parties which always went for friendly relations with the governments
of their countries? These parties still refrain from talking about
lawful claims to Turkey.

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation, for example, did not raise
any claims to Turkey on 24 April 2015. The representatives of these
political parties repeat after the Armenian government that in the
beginning they need to achieve the legal recognition of the genocide
and then go on to consider claims. After April 24 they announced that
the struggle is entering into a new stage. In fact, the government
and Dashnaktsutyun have thus provided the "front" for their activities
over the next 100 years.

Meanwhile, the guests who arrived in Armenia were surprised of the
lack of healthy nationalism in Armenians. The leader of the Coptic
Church Tawadros II said Armenia is a quiet country where people love
work and nature. During the global forum Against Genocide Crime the
scholars were trying in vain to persuade the Armenians that they have
the right to present claims to Turkey. The Armenians did not give in.

They are quiet and they love nature and work. And nationalism is
for daredevils.

Returning from Armenia, Aram I realized that there is no need to rely
on Yerevan and it is time to act. Who will follow the catholicos?

Written by
April 28, 2015

If you use Google Turkey to search for "Ermeni Kırımı", which
means "Armenian genocide" in Turkish, the first thing you'll see is
a sponsored link to a website whose purpose is to deny there was any
genocide at all. If you Google "Armenia genocide" in the US, you'll
see the same thing. may reflect Turkey's longstanding position
that the Ottoman Empire's systematic effort to "relocate" and
exterminate its Armenian population does not qualify as a genocide,
but it certainly does not reflect the facts. The sponsored link
to a credible-looking website risks confusing searchers about the
true nature of the well-documented event. Worse, it may help deter a
nascent willingness among Turkish citizens to recognize and discuss
the horrors of its past. 
Hakob Badalyan, Political Commentator
30 April 2015

The minister of diaspora Hranush Hakobyan thanked journalists for the
scandal for the call to the Diaspora to open bank accounts in Armenia
banks with 1000 USD each and reminding about the ideas expressed
during the pan-Armenian conference of bankers and financiers held in
2013. Hakobyan said the idea of opening bank accounts was expressed
in 2013, and now she has repeated it.

The minister of diaspora Hranush Hakobyan is trying to mock reporters
but she actually mocks the pan-Armenian conference of bankers and
financiers, all the other conferences and the Armenian government
and particularly her ministry which organized those conferences. In
other words, Hranush Hakobyan confesses that the Armenia-Diaspora
relations are a sham, and acknowledges the threat of gradual breakup
of these relations.

The point is that if an idea is expressed during an event and in two
years time there is a need to repeat or remind about it, the event
equals zero because lack of its efficiency is indicated.

In answer to the question of reporters as to how many Diaspora
Armenians have accepted this call and deposited money in Armenian
banks, Hranush Hakobyan advises to inquire from the banks. Hence, the
minister of Diaspora who was one of those who initiated and organized
the conference did not bother to follow up the idea expressed at the
pan-Armenian conference. This is sheer indifference towards one's own
initiative, which best describes the showcase and tourism essence of
both the Ministry of Diaspora and different pan-Armenian conferences.

The appeal to open 1000 USD bank accounts caused a debate in Armenia.

Many people say, irrespective of the nature, reputation, reliability
of the Armenian government, the idea itself is important as a means
of engagement of the Diaspora in the establishment and development of
the Armenian state. There are a number of other fundamental problems,
and unless they are discussed, the engagement of the Diaspora remains
at the level of a showcase. After all, the Diaspora is a complicated,
multi-layer entity with diverse psychologies, mentality, values and
cultures, and no matter what warm nostalgic feelings and emotions it
has towards the homeland and the Armenian state, it nevertheless lives
in different countries, often with 180 degrees different environments,
both as individuals and as a community.

Some of them have devoted themselves to their connection with Armenia
and have moved to live in Armenia. But there is also a simple truth.

In the everyday life of the majority of the Diaspora Armenians there
is no Armenia, there is no room for Armenia, and there is no such
need as a means of improving their lives. To fail to notice this or
to blame the Diaspora for not loving or helping the homeland enough
is a dangerous delusion.

The solution of the problem is the development, establishment and
presentation of the pan-Armenian idea of the Armenian state with a
convincing argument that Armenia may not be a means of improving the
effectiveness of their everyday life but is an additional possibility
for self-accomplishment of every Armenian as a human, as an individual.

At the same time, the presentation of this idea must be followed up by
proposals, projects which will indicate the ways of participation in
terms of professional, financial, workforce, intellectual and physical
contribution with specific opportunities and spheres. It is the only
way to overcome the lack of confidence between two environments,
spaces, cultures and values.

At the same time, it is essential how reliable the Armenian government
is, what reputation Armenia. The engagement of the Diaspora requires
not only the general ideological basis and specific projects but
also the domestic situation in Armenia, governance, social relations,
rule of law.

Unless these are in place, there are no investments and bank accounts,
the Pan-Armenian Bank is almost idle which is important and demanded
as an idea and organization but does not become a haven of Armenian
capital because the government which has generated this idea is not
reliable. Because the government which has generated this idea has
set a priority to make sure that the Pan-Armenian Bank does not affect
the vital interests and territories of the oligarchic system.

At the same time, the Armenia-Diaspora relationship must not be
determined by the nature of the government. The role of the government
in this relationship is indisputable but this relationship cannot be
the monopoly of the government or any elite in the Diaspora. This is
one of the gaps of the Armenia-Diaspora relationship. No optimal and
sustainable ties have been set up outside the government circle. Ties
outside the government circle are not institutional, lack a strategy
and concept.

It is also clear that creating such ties is more difficult because the
government has a toolkit that is more elaborate and rapid. However, the
problem is there and requires a solution otherwise, as the government's
monopolies destroy Armenia, the monopoly of the government and some
Diaspora elite will destroy the Armenia-Diaspora 
YEREVAN, April 29. 

Armenia plans to commission up to 70 megawatt solar power stations 
by 2025, deputy energy and natural resources minister Areg Galstyan 
told a parliament Q&A session today.

According to him, so far no serious solar energy project has been
implemented in Armenia, largely due to the fact that solar power
stations are still quite expensive.

He said the Asian Development Bank has financed a study to choose
the most suitable equipment for production of solar energy and the
best locations, which will allow to commission solar power stations
with the combined capacity of 70 megawatts by 2025.

According to him, the cost of one KWh of electricity generated by
solar power station is 15 US cents, significantly up from the cost of
electricity generated by thermal, hydro or nuclear power plants. He
said also the government is working to raise funds to provide them
as soft loans to power solar plants to help them reduce the cost of
one KWh to US 10 cents by 2025.

According to the ministry of energy and natural resources, construction
of the first photovoltaic power plant with 30 MW capacity is scheduled
to start in Armenia until 2016.

This year the government will launch a $26 million worth project
financed by the Climate Investment Fund aimed at the development of
solar energy.

The most popular alternative sources of energy production r in Armenia
are small hydropower plants. There is also a wind power plant, which
produces only 0.03% of the total electricity.-0- 

YEREVAN, April 29. / ARKA /. Armenia's wind energy potential is
estimated at 250-400 megawatts, including 250 proven megawatts,
deputy energy and natural resources minister Areg Galstyan told a
parliament Q&A session today.

He said the only wind farm in Armenia does not operate steadily due to
problems with air flows. He said wind farms may develop if favorable
conditions are created for investors.

The only wind farm in Armenia is located in the northern province of
Lori. It consists of four 660-kW wind turbines and has a capacity of
2.64 MWe. It was completed in December 2005 by the Iranian company
Sunir with US$3.2 million funding 
The Armenian parliament got down to the discussion of the so-called
gas issue after it became known that during the meeting between
President Serzh Sargsyan and chairman of the Russian Gazprom company
Alexei Miller earlier this month it was agreed to reduce the price of
natural gas supplied to Armenia: a thousand cubic meters of natural
gas will cost Armenia $165 instead of current $189.

This is the price that Gazprom sells the gas to Armenia at the border,
but it sells to its own subsidiary Gazprom Armenia in which it has
a 100-percent stake. This daughter company adds another $200 to the
price of gas and sells it to end consumers at a price close to $400.

This is one of the highest prices for natural gas in the world,
considering that over the last year international gas prices have
fallen significantly.

Gazprom conditions the slight decrease in the price by the dollar-dram
exchange rate fluctuations. Shushan Sardaryan, a spokesman for the
company, says that Gazprom-Armenia incurs losses, and therefore it has
been decided to restore the balance. The Armenian national currency,
the dram, lost about 15 percent of its value last December, and now
the price is reduced accordingly.

Members of opposition parties in Armenia insist that while the gas
price purchased at the border is reduced, so the retail prices of
gas for Armenian consumers should also be decreased.

Secretary of the opposition Armenian National Congress parliamentary
faction Aram Manukyan says that the prices for consumers can be reduced
by a quarter, that is, by almost $100. Gazprom-Armenia says that the
price for end consumers will not change.

The ruling Republican Party of Armenia, meanwhile, states that these
issues are to be addressed by the Public Services Regulatory Commission
(PSRC) that is to examine the justification presented by Gazprom. But
Gazprom-Armenia does not intend to submit any application to the PSRC.

Opposition Prosperous Armenia Party lawmaker Mikael Melkumyan thinks
the Commission can itself initiate discussions of the tariff. However,
given the "special" relations between Armenia and Gazprom, one can
hardly expect such a step. On the contrary, pro-government propaganda
is popularizing the view that Gazprom ostensibly intended to increase
the price of natural gas, but the Armenian government managed to
prevent it.

The Armenian-Russian agreement on gas supplies to Armenia was signed
in December 2013 during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to
Armenia. This agreement not only defines the high price of gas for
Armenian consumers, but also limits the ability of Armenia to buy
less expensive natural gas elsewhere. The contract has a clause that
Armenia cannot buy gas from "third countries" without the consent of
Gazprom up until 2043.

Only the ruling Republican Party voted in favor of this agreement
in parliament in January 2014. All the rest parliamentary factions
opted out of the vote. After that, it was stated repeatedly that the
agreement with Gazprom does not allow Armenia to buy less expensive
Iranian gas. However, no one yet demands a revision or denunciation
of the agreement with the Russian company.

Russia argues that the price is reasonable, because, due to the
accession of Armenia to the Eurasian Economic Union, Moscow supposedly
relieved Armenia from the 30-percent duty on imports of gas and oil.

But Russia made that decision not until 2043.

During these days, the Russian State Duma, the lower chamber of the
Russian Federal Assembly, is considering the issue of extending the
agreement on the abolition of the duty for another year. That is,
if Armenia does not agree with the proposed price, Moscow can restore
its duty.

YEREVAN, April 29. National Geographic Traveler Magazine named
Armenia's Lake Sevan among top ten tourist destinations in the former
Soviet Union's territory, Travel. ru reports.

St. Petersburg and Viborg, the southern coast of the Crimean Peninsula,
the Caucasus Mountains, Pamir, Mineralnye Vody and Pyatigorsk, the
Subarctic, Samarkand and Lake Issyk Kul, South Caucasus, Kamchatka
Peninsula, Altay and Tyva are here along with Lake Sevan.

It is written in the fresh issue of National Geographic Travel that
in Armenia tourists can learn how to cook lavash (cracker bread) and
how Armenian brandy is produced. Lake Sevan visitors can taste trout,
which is available in every coastal cafe here.

Russian language version of National Geographic Traveler is published
in 110,000 copies and distributed in Russia and the CIS countries. is a popular Russian portal on trips. Some 2 million people
visit this portal every month.

Sevan is one of the largest mountainous lakes in Europe and Asia. It
sits in the middle of Armenian Highland at an altitude of 1914 meters.

The lake's water surface is 1,500 square kilometers. Sevan is the
main resource of drinking water in the region.. ---0--

April 29 2015
by Newsdesk (Europe)

YEREVAN - After Genealogy's first official Press Conference
in Yerevan, Armenia, (April 27) the band has been invited to the
office of the President of the Republic of Armenia for a special
meeting. There was a big surprise waiting for them.

The great surprise was special for the 5 members of Genealogy
representing 5 continents of the world. As was mentioned before the 5
members of the group are coming from different countries and continents
of the world - Tamar Kaprelian (USA, America), Essai Altounian
(France, Europe), Stephanie Topalian (Japan, Asia), Vahe Tilbian
(Ethiopa, Africa) and Mary-Jean O'Doherty Vasmatzian (Australia).

Being of Armenian origin and carrying Armenian genetics Genealogy
members have been granted Armenian Citizenship which they have
applied for earlier. For receiving their Armenian passports they
have been invited to the office of the president of the Republic of
Armenia where the President Serzh Sargsyan himself handed in their
Armenian passports.

During the meeting President Serzh Sargsyan showed his support to
Genealogy members and encouraged the band for representing Armenia
in the Eurovision Song Contest. He highlighted the importance of
unity and togetherness. "If we are all gathered around one goal we
will always succeed. I am sure, you will accomplish because you are
united and you are sharing one goal. Your song is incredible and the
concept as well," said Serzh Sargsyan during the meeting.

Armenian representatives of the Eurovision Song Contest thanked
the President for his warm welcome and encouragement assuring that
this will give new strength to the participants, will double their
excitement and keep the spirit up.

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