Saturday, 5 March 2016

Armenian News... A Topalian...

04 Mar 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

The Telegraph lists Armenia's capital Yerevan among Europe's 16 oldest
continually inhabited cities.

While many of the world's oldest cities, settled around the Fertile
Crescent in the Middle East, are off-limits to travellers at present,
Europe's most ancient settlements are very much open to visitors.

The Telegraph reminds that Some 30 years before Rome was founded,
the city that is now Armenia's capital was serving as an important
stop along the caravan routes from Asia to Europe."

"It was invaded by Assyrians, Romans, Byzantines, Persians, Arabs,
Seljuks, Mongols and Turks, and later by the Soviet Red Army in 1920.

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the capital of the Republic
of Armenia has seen the growth of cultural institutions (it is home to
a bewildering number of museums). Tourism is also developing slowly -
a handful operators currently offer guided trips to the country."

Other cities in the list include: Zadar, Croatia; Mtskheta, Georgia;
Cádiz, Spain; Mytilene, Lesbos, Greece; Lisbon, Portugal; Chalcis,
Greece; Larnaca, Cyprus; Kutaisi, Georgia; Thebes, Greece; Trikala,
Greece; Patra, Greece; Chania, Crete; Plovdiv, Bulgaria; Athens,
Greece; Argos, Greece.
1 March, 2016

YEREVAN, MARCH 1. 4 Armenian businessmen were included
in FORBES' 30th annual ranking of the world's billionaires. As
"Armenpress" reports, citing Forbes official website, the owner and
founder of FC Krasnodar Sergey Galitsky (Arutyunyan) ranked 219th place
with 5.7 billion dollars capacity. The owner of "Tashir" Group Samvel
Karapetyan occupies the 549th place. Argentinian-Armenian businessman
Eduardo Eurnekian is the 810th with 2.2 billion dollars and CEO of
Rosgosstrakh insurance company Danil Khachaturov ranks the 1275th in
the rankings with 1.4 billion dollars capacity.

Bill Gates (No. 1) was once again on top as the world's richest person
on FORBES' 30th annual ranking of the world's billionaires in the Mar.

21, 2016 issue of Forbes magazine; the technology guru has topped
the list for 17 of the last 22 years, with a current net worth of $75
billion, down from $79.2 billion in 2015. Spanish clothing retailer
Amancio Ortega (No. 2) (best known for the Zara fashion chain), up
two spots, increased his net worth $2.5 billion for a total of $67
billion. Warren Buffett (No. 3) remained in the third spot, despite
having his net worth drop $11.9 billion to $60.8 billion. Telecom
mogul Carlos Slim Helu (No. 4) dropped two spots, and his net worth
decreased to $50 billion from $77.1 billion last year. Amazon's Jeff
Bezos (No. 5) moved up to the fifth from the fifteenth spot last year;
his net worth increased to $45.2 billion.

According to Forbes, 1,810 billionaires (down from 1,826 in 2015)
made the list, with an average net worth of $3.58 billion (down $280
million from $3.86 billion in 2015).
YEREVAN, March 1, / ARKA /. Private remittances sent to Armenia
through the banks for non-commercial purposes in January 2016 slashed
by 13.7% from January 2015 to about $46.8 million, the Central Bank
said. According to the regulator, when compared with 2015 December
the remittances were down by 57.9%.

The amount of remittances sent from Armenia abroad in 2016 January
fell to about $17.42 million from $17.44 million in January 2015. If
compared to 2015 December the remittances form Armenia plummeted
by 45.46%.

The net inflow of remittances in 2016 January thus decreased to $29.3
million from $36.8 million in January 2015. As opposed to 2015 December
the drop amounted to 63%. The bulk of private remittances sent to
Armenia - about 63.7% of the total volume- came as usual from Russia.

Their amount fell by 19.8% in comparison with January 2015 to
approximately $29.8 million. The drop as opposed to 2015 December was
61.8%, while the remittances to the Russian Federation decreased by
9.9% to $12.5 million.

Remittances to Armenia in 2015 decreased by 30% to $1.2 billion. The
dramatic drop was blamed on the huge depreciation of the Russian
ruble and economic decline there. ($ 1 - 491.34 drams) - 0-
3 March, 2016

YEREVAN, MARCH 3. The latest racist announcement made
by Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu has become subject
for broad discussions. Garo Paylan, Armenian member of the Turkish
parliament from Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) severely
criticized the Prime Minister during the discussion of the budgets of
the ministries of Interior, Health, Culture and Tourism. "Armenpress"
reports the Turkish informed about this.

Paylan showed a photo reading "Armenian dregs". "Unfortunately,
it is not only the security forces that do this", he mentioned. The
MP reminded Davutoglu's anti-Armenian announcement, where the Prime
Minister, criticizing the HDP, had said, "Armenians seek to cooperate
with the Russians like gangs. Today Turks cooperate with the "Islamic
State" and if I say Turkish gangs, it will be a racist announcement.

Mr. Prime Minister openly made a racist announcement", Paylan

In respond to Paylan's statement, head of the ruling "Justice and
Development" party faction Naci Bostancı stood for Davutoglu saying
that in "in fact Paylan himself makes a hate speech"
2 March, 2016

YEREVAN, MARCH 2. Dersim Armenian Mihran Gultekin Savior
thinks that Turkey's policies have not changed; it continues expelling
Armenians and Kurds of Turkey and replaces them with Turkmens living
abroad. "Armenpress" reports Mihran Savior who returned to his
Armenians roots years ago, told the journalists about the aforesaid.

"Today Kurds and Turks fight in Turkey, but Armenians are always under
focus. Under those conditions hidden Armenians try to keep their real
identity more covert. The Turkish state regularly tries to speculate
the Armenian factor in this struggle. In fact, Armenians are always
to blame", the Dersim Armenian said.

As for the number of hidden Armenians in Turkey, Mihran Gultekin
Savior mentioned that, according to some opinions, it reaches 3-4
millions. "The reason of such a great number of hidden Armenians in
Western Armenia is conditioned by the fact that they are oppressed
there, and when they decide to unveil their identity, they encounter
difficulties. That is why they keep it in secrecy, but when we conduct
private conversations, they easily unveil their identity and say that
they are Armenians", Mihran Gultekin said.

He converted to Christianity 6 years ago and his wife, Karin Gultekin,
was baptized 3 years ago in Germany. They plan to settle in Armenia. 

Today's Zaman, Turkey
March 3 2016

Garo Paylan, a member of Parliament of Armenian descent who belongs
to the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), gave a speech and showed some
photos in the Turkish general assembly on Thursday.

The photos showed some of the graffiti that had been daubed on the
ruined walls of southeastern villages during the recent curfews. The
words "Armenian bastards" can be clearly seen on the photos and the
situation has triggered a serious racism debate in Turkey.

Paylan first showed the photos and then stated that the situation is
in itself a crime. He said this crime was committed not only by the
security forces but also by the prime minister. As you might recall,
last week Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was in Bingöl and said
"the Armenian gangs cooperated with the Russians during World War I".

Paylan wisely asked in Parliament whether it would be fair for him to
say "Turkish gangs" about the Turks and Kurds who sometimes join the
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)? Lastly, he asked "what
kind of racism is it?", drawing a thunderous commotion in Parliament
from Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party
(MHP) deputies.

Let's visualize that our father committed a crime, namely killed
our neighbor and buried him in our backyard. We were four years of
age, but we saw the situation. Now we are grown up, but the reality,
which lies in our sub-conscious, occasionally comes to the conscious
surface. I believe that it was such a moment when Paylan showed the
pictures yesterday. Being confronted by reality is always painful, but
to postpone the confrontation only creates bigger and ongoing mistakes.

We have an unconfronted racism inside us. Whatever we say, it becomes
visible at key moments. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will
not abide by or respect the decision of the Constitutional Court,
Turkey's top court, after it declared on Feb. 25 that the imprisonment
of Cumhuriyet daily's Editor-in-Chief Can Dundar and its Ankara
representative Erdem Gul for publishing photos on an alleged illegal
weapons transfer to Syria was a violation of their basic rights. If
the president has no respect for the rule of law, we can not expect
any positive developments in the area of democratization.

I send my deepest regards to all Armenians living in Turkey
and outside. Although it is not my duty, I apologize for every
individual who has suffered. The Armenians living in the diaspora
should remember that there are still people living in Turkey who deem
themselves allied to law and there are still people who have not lost
their conscience. We will not leave our neighbors alone and won't
let racism reign over Turkey. The Union and Progress (Ä°ttihad ve
Terakki) mentality is still alive in Turkey and its representatives
are not giving up. Let me recall that there are more deputies in
Parliament to stop this racism and that Paylan also found support
from the Republican People's Party (CHP). The most important thing
to confront is the reality that has racist backgrounds forcing us to
continue the mistakes of the past. The belief in law and conscience
is the key to confronting this reality.
YEREVAN, March 3. Armenia's national football team has climbed
seven notches up in the latest FIFA rankings to take the 116th
position, the official website of the International Football Federation
said. In February, the Armenian team did not play a single match.

Armenia's rivals in the World Championship qualifying stage are
positioned as follows: Romania is 16th, Poland is 31st, Denmark is
40th, Montenegro is 84th and Kazakhstan is 125th.

The top ten ranking national teams are:

1. Belgium 2. Argentina 3. Spain 4. Germany 5. Chile 6. Brazil
7. Portugal 8. Colombia 9. England 10. Austria .-- 0--

RFE/RL Report
Senior EU Official Pays Visit To Armenia


The European Union's foreign and security policy chief, Federica
Mogherini, reportedly spoke in favor of "firmer cooperation" between
Brussels and Yerevan as she paid an official visit to Armenia on

As quoted by the Armenian Foreign Ministry's press office, Mogherini,
who is also vice-president of the European Commission, said at a
meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian that such
relations would be beneficial also for the entire region.

Minister Nalbandian, in his turn, said that Mogherini's visit "will
surely have a positive impact on the development and deepening of
Armenia-EU relations."

In December, Brussels and Yerevan opened official negotiations on a
new legal framework of their relations that, while expected to be less
ambitious that the Association Agreement nearly signed by the two
sides in 2013, is likely to contain quite a few political and economic
provisions of that aborted deal.

Armenia -- President Serzh Sarkisian received Federica Mogherini, the
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and
Security Policy, Yerevan, 1 Mar, 2016

The planned deal, however, will have no free trade-related clauses
that were a key element of the would-be Association
Agreement. Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian made the signing of that
agreement impossible when he unexpectedly decided in September 2013 to
join the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The volte-face is
thought to have resulted from strong Russian pressure exerted on

Armenian and EU officials have said that other political and economic
provisions of the Association Agreement not contradicting Armenia's
membership in the EEU will be incorporated into the planned deal.

During the Yerevan meeting today the parties reportedly also discussed
other concerns, including regional conflicts.

Nalbandian and Mogherini, in particular, addressed the situation in
Syria, with the top Armenian diplomat stressing that since the start
of the conflict in this Middle Eastern country Armenia has accepted
about 20,000 refugees. Virtually all of these refugees are ethnic

"Thus, our country is the second country in Europe by the number of
accepted [Syrian] refugees per capita," Nalbandian stressed.

The two officials also discussed the Karabakh conflict settlement,
with Mogherini reportedly reaffirming EU support for the OSCE Minsk
Group format of the peace talks.

Nalbandian, for his part, reaffirmed Armenia's commitment to seeking a
peaceful solution to the conflict.

Mogherini addressed the Karabakh conflict settlement also during her
February 29 meeting with the Azerbaijani leadership in Baku.

While in Armenia today, the EU official also held meetings with
leading members of local political parties and civil society

In the evening, she also meet with President Serzh
Sarkisian. According to the presidential press service, President
Sarkisian and EU High Representative Mogherini discussed "issues
related to bilateral Armenia-EU relations as well as current
international problems, regional developments, challenges and

Sarkisian emphasized that Armenia is going to proceed with the reforms
launched in different spheres, at the same time highly evaluating EU
assistance in their realization.

The two also addressed the Karabakh peace process.

At a joint press conference with Armenian Foreign Minister Nalbandian
held at the Presidential Palace later on Tuesday, Mogherini reportedly
said that a peaceful resolution of the conflict was a priority.

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