Friday, 4 March 2016


Today's Zaman, Turkey
Feb 28 2016

A petition launched on web portal demanding the release
of imprisoned intellectual Sevan NiÅ~_anyan has gathered nearly
3,000 signatures.

NiÅ~_anyan was sentenced to a cumulative jail sentence of 16 years,
seven months and has been in a Turkish prison since January 2014. The
intellectual of Armenian origin is incarcerated in Aydın Yenipazar
Prison in Aydın province.

NiÅ~_anyan is known for his outspokenness against the government. It
is widely believed that his being sentenced for adding an extension to
his home is merely an excuse for punishing him for his critical voice.

The petition stated: "Nisanyan is currently the only person in Turkey
who is actually in jail under Law 2863, art. 65, which governs
"unlicensed construction in a historical heritage site" and this,
in a country where over half of all construction is estimated to be
illegal, and the presidential palace, completed in 2014, was itself
built without license on a listed heritage site in defiance of a
court injunction."

It also noted that the case "was allowed to languish at the Court of
Appeals, where it seems likely to remain for a long time. Instead,
the high court took up more than a dozen cases involving minor legal
infractions in connection with NiÅ~_anyan's building activities in
Å~^irince and handed down drastic sentences for each case. These
sentences now add up to 16-plus years and yet more may be to come." 

Sign the petition 

Traditional costume spotted at Daniel Hunt’s gallery in 
Lower Sloane Street, London

See attachment 
February 29, 2016 16:02

Yerevan/Mediamax/. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Edward
Nalbandian said that Armenia has given shelter to 20 000 Syrian

Armenian FM talked about it in Geneva during a meeting with Zeid
Ra'ad Al-Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

According to Armenian Foreign Ministry, the sides discussed problems
in the Middle East connected with human rights and the steps taken
towards resolving them.

Commissioner Al-Hussein attached great importance to Armenia's
proactive, consistent efforts for prevention of new genocides,
stressing that the international community is more determined today
to prevent crimes against humanity.

The sides also touched upon issues related to human rights in Armenia. 

In a recent public statement Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
has used an expression that incites enmity towards Armenians.

In criticizing the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)
of Turkey, Davutoglu reportedly said: "They're collaborating with
Russia, just like the Armenian gangs. They are going and opening a
representation in Moscow."

Turkey has been increasingly at loggerheads with Russia over the
Syria crisis. The relations between the two countries escalated last
November when Turkish air forces shot down a Russian warplane at the
Syrian border.

Turkey denies it exterminated 1.5 million Armenians in a planned
genocide during the First World War when it fought against the Russian
Empire in the Caucasus front.

Ottoman authorities routinely referred to ethnic and religious
minorities that tried to put up resistance to their policy of
animalization as "gangs". Ottoman Armenians also tried to defend
themselves with arms in several districts of Turkey during those years. 

About 25 residents of the village Ketuklu of Gabala district inhabited
mainly with Lezgians tried to pass to the territory of the Nagorno
Karabakh Republic to the direction of Aghdam with white flags in
their hands, reports.

According to media reports, the police encircled and detained the
deserters. One of the members of the group, Ramin Ismayilov, said
the cause of the villagers' protest was the unfair behavior of the
Nabiyev family, who hold important posts in the region.

"The Nabiyevs slandered and illegally arrested our children. Gara
Nabiyev, representative of Baku 'Azerishig'; Musavar Nabiyev,
advisor of the Tax Minister; and Ikram Nabiyev, representative of
the executive power in the village, have taken our region under their
control. They do not let us live. They throw drugs into the villagers'
houses and cars, and then order to arrest innocent people. We are sick
and tired of that, that is why we attempted to pass to the Armenian
side," the villagers complain demanding that a representative of the
Administration of the President of Azerbaijan hear their objections.

All the 25 inhabitants are detained at the moment and are at the
police department.

Earlier, there were numerous reports about Azerbaijani civilians
passing or attempting to pass the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and
surrender themselves to Armenia or to the NKR.

On 23 January 2014, dozens of residents of Beylagan region,
Azerbaijan, in protest against the demolition of their houses by
the chief executive body tried to pass to the territory of Nagorno
Karabakh Republic. On 29 January 2014, an Azerbaijani citizen Javid
Orujov, resident of Baku born in 1976, appealed to the Armenian border
guards on the Armenian-Georgian border, asking for a political asylum
for him, his wife and their three young children. On 12 April 2014,
Nazim Mammadov, a resident of Nakhijevan Autonomous Republic, was
detained by the Azerbaijani military while attempting to cross the
border with Armenia with a white flag in his hands. Earlier, in 2010,
Nariman Agayev, from Goychay district, threatened to seek for asylum
in Armenia because the investigator handed his daughter's corpse to
him only after getting a bribe of 1000 USD.
01 Mar 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Award-winning American actress, producer and television host Woopi
Goldberg wore accessories made by Istanbul-based Armenian jeweler
for the Oscars 2016.

Twenty-five years after her last appearance at the Academy Awards
in 1991, Whoopi Goldberg appeared in a glamorous Old Hollywood style
gown and some insanely chic jewelry.

"Sevan Biçakçi is the gentleman's name who created this," Goldberg
said, pointing to her exquisite octopus-inspired ring on her right
hand, while an intricate bracelet rested on her left wrist.

Sevan Biçakçi had earlier posted the photo of the bracelet on
his Instagram page.

Of Armenian descent, Sevan Bıcakcı was born in 1965 in the Fatih
district of Istanbul, Turkey. He is known as the King of Rings.

Some of Sevan Bıcakcı's famous clientele include Catherine
Zeta-Jones, Elizabeth Hurley, Celine Dion, Liv Tyler, Mariah Carey,
Brooke Shields, Angie Harmon, Kim Raver, Halle Berry, Mary Kate and
Ashley Olsen, Michelle Monaghan, and Tory Burch. 
February 29 2016

Eye Care Plus, an app created by ArmenianIT engineers is 
gaining popularity among users. The app allows not only
to diagnose vision problems without having to visit an eye doctor,
but also to have an eye training plan. The co-author of the idea and
project director Pavel Snkhchyan speaks in an interview with ARKA
news agency about how the app was developed and their plans.

ARKA - How did you get the idea of creating an application to test
and improve humans' vision?

Snkhchyan - The idea to create the Eye Care Plus app first appeared
about two years ago. Aram Mkhitaryan and I have known each other for
a long time as we both worked in the field of ophthalmology. The idea
came when one day we talked about vision problems across the globe.

Along with the spread of information technology and the use of gadgets,
humans' vision is to continue to deteriorate. People are not going
to cease the use of smartphones and tablets, so why not create
a program that would combine the use of gadgets and the obvious
benefit for humans' vision? It was then, when in collaboration
with ophthalmologists we began the development of the basic idea
and its components. We needed technical resources and support from
ophthalmologists and very soon a team of talented developers and
designers were working on the first version of the project.

ARKA - What kind of vision problems does the app help reveal? How
easy is it to use?

Snkhchyan - Today, 12 months after the first release we can say with
confidence that the app is the only complete and integrated application
to improve the human vision. It can be used to detect all the major
vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism,
accommodation-related problems, color blindness, cataracts, glaucoma
and many others. However, we emphasize the elimination of eyesight
problems. We allow users to choose their own training plan, aimed at
removing various visual ailments. The application is very easy to use
and we are constantly improving it, based on the feedback from users.

ARKA - How can one achieve vision improvement?

Snkhchyan - About 50% of the world population suffers from visual
ailments. However, 80% of them are easy to diagnose and fix in the
event of timely treatment. We help users to detect the problems
with vision, and above all to eliminate the ones that are subject to
correction without any medical intervention. When first turned on the
application asks for personal information - age, sex, race, because
many diseases are more common among people of a certain age, gender,
etc. We also request to specify the diagnosis, but if the user is not
sure what his/her vision ailment is they should not worry because
the application has a number of relevant tests. The proposed tests
can identify the main problems with vision, and then create for each
user an individual plan of daily training. The user can choose a goal
and work towards achieving it. At the same time, we provide a number
of important tips and facts about the vision, first aid and nutrition.

Good vision requires an integrated approach, and the app has everything
you need for it.

ARKA - On what platforms and in which languages the application is
available and how many users have already downloaded it?

Snkhchyan - The latest version of the application is available on
Google Play platform in English and Russian languages. Earlier versions
are also available on Xiaomi, Yandex Store and GetJar platforms. So far
it has been downloaded 2.5 million times and this figure is constantly
growing. In the future we are going to develop software for users of
iOS platform, which will allow having a wider audience.

ARKA -Are there other similar apps?

Snkhchyan - There are several similar apps that offer tests, training
or useful information, but they all are presented separately and
not as a single diagnostic and training application. Only Eye Care
Plus is a unique 'personal trainer" to improve vision. We take into
account all aspects of the vision.

ARKA - Eye Care Plus was recognized as the best Armenian start-up at
the national qualifying round of Seeddstars this past May and will
represent the country at the international competition in Switzerland.

What will this give you?

Snkhchyan - Participation in Seedstars is first of all another
opportunity for us to present the application to a wider audience. It
is important that more developing countries learn about it, where,
according to statistics, medical care is practically not available.

Secondly, we hope to get funding, so that to make available it to iOS
users, and begin a program of cooperation with medical centers. Our
application can be used for the benefit of millions of people around
the world, and we hope that it will be appreciated. It can become
an alternative means of support, especially for people in developing

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