Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Armenian News... A Topalian... Armenian Architects of Istanbul

Armenian Architects of Istanbul 

The person who sent me this link says that this is a site set up

by the Turkish authorities. I can't see any reference myself but
the tone and content seems to reflect the underlying view that 
the two peoples coexisted un the past and have shared 

The pictures are impressive (for us) and there is much other
Eurovision-2016։ Armenian’s Iveta Mukuchyan is in Grand Final
MAY 11, 01:01

The First Semi-Final of Eurovision song contest has just finished at
Stockholm Globe Arena in Sweden on Tuesday. Armenia’s representative
Iveta Mukuchyan performed and spread her “LoveWave” at No 7. Iveta
took the stage not only with her performance, but also with her
incredible look.

As expected, the audience will have a chance to enjoy Iveta’s
unforgettable and fabulous show in the Grand Final.

Besides Armenia, Malta, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Austria, Croatia,
Hungary, Netherlands, Russia and Azerbaijan are also in the Grand
Turkey warns Bundestag against Armenian Genocide recognition
10 May 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Turkey on Monday called on German lawmakers to “act reasonably” when
considering a bill next month on recognizing the deaths of Armenians
in 1915 as “genocide”.

Tanju Bilgic, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said Ankara had been
following the preparation of the resolution and its “politicizing” of
history, Anadolu Agency reports.

“It is possible that if the resolution is approved Turks living in
Germany and Turkey will react seriously,” he said at a weekly news
conference in Ankara. “In this framework, we expect the German
parliament to act in common sense and reasonably.”

German lawmaker Albert Weiler announced in Armenia Friday the
Bundestag would consider a resolution on recognizing the events of
1915 as “genocide” on June 2.

Last year, parliamentary parties approved the resolution in principle
but sent it to committee for further work.

“These [politicians] are further complicating the issue,” Bilgic said.
“Genocide is not an issue that can be abused with political aims.”

He reiterated Turkey’s call to establish a joint commission to
investigate the killings. 
Updated 'Panama Papers' include 37 individuals and entities 
affiliated with Armenia
YEREVAN, May 10. The updated 'Panama Papers' database,
available at, include 37 individuals and
entities affiliated with Armenia. The document includes 32 addresses,
as well as three companies that mention the word "Armenia" 
GPM ARMENIA LTD, two of which are registered in the British 
Islands. The place of registration of the third is unknown. At the 
same time, these three companies are indirectly linked to Luxembourg, 
Panama and the United Kingdom.

The updated list includes also 6,285 persons from Russia, 127 from
Azerbaijan,  82 from Georgia and 148  from Iran.

One of the Armenians in the list is now the former Chief Enforcement
Officer Mihran Poghosyan, who according to the Armenian
investigative website is a shareholder in three companies registered
in Panama - Sigtem Real Estates Incorporated, Hopkinten Trading
Incorporated and BANGIO INVEST S.A..

The "Panama Papers" database went live on Monday - the largest ever
release of secret offshore companies and the people behind them. The
data, collated by the  International Consortium of Investigative
Journalists (ICIJ), comes from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca
and includes information about companies, trusts, foundations and
funds incorporated in 21 tax havens, from Hong Kong to Nevada in the
United States.

The names of thousands of offshore companies were published on Monday
night as the Panama Papers were released in full.  The ICIJ made
information fully available on 200,000  companies, trusts and
foundations set up in 21 jurisdictions. -0-
Armenian clergy subjected to spitting attacks in Jerusalem
10 May 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Haaretz – When Narek Garabidian, a Canadian of Armenian extraction,
moved to Israel to study at the Armenian Orthodox theological seminary
in Jerusalem, he never thought he would have to endure harsh insults
from passersby.

For the past 18 months, Garabidian said last week, he has been spit at
and cursed by ultra-Orthodox passersby in the Old City.

About a month ago he was spit at again, but this time, it hit his
clothes. Garabidian, a former football player, said: “I pushed the two
young ultra-Orthodox men up against the wall and asked, ‘Why are you
doing this?’ They were really scared and said, ‘Forgive us, we’re
sorry.’ So I let them go.”

When asked about the matter, Armenian clergymen said they had all been
spit at, from the archbishop to the youngest of the divinity students.
The most recent incident was on Thursday night, when a group of
ultra-Orthodox Jews got together to spit at the gates of the Armenian
church. However, the police found out about the incident and thwarted
it by stationing officers in front of the church.

Police say that in every case where a complaint is filed, the offender
has been caught thanks to security cameras installed in the Old City.

But in a verdict almost two weeks ago, Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court
Judge Dov Pollock said: “The enforcement authorities are unable to
root out the phenomenon and do not catch the spitters.”

Pollock dismissed charges against Johannes Maratersian, an Armenian
divinity student, who was spit at by an ultra-Orthodox man in May 2008
and responded by punching the man. Pollock ruled that prosecuting a
man who has been spit on for years as he walks down the street in his
clerical robes would contravene the principles of justice.

The Jerusalem district police responded: “All complaints of mutual
assault are treated with the utmost severity. In the past, more than
one case ended with charges being filed and the deportation of clergy
involved in assault. As opposed to the situation about three years
ago, the frequency of spitting has declined dramatically.”
Karabakh working on new methods of fighting drones: 
Army chief
May 10, 2016 
Heavy fighting in and around Nagorno Karabakh is unlikely to 
 resume soon, a commander of Karabakh’s Defense Army said
on Monday, May 9, RFE/RL Armenian Service reports.

“The tension [on the frontlines] will not rise,” Lieutenant-General
Levon Mnatsakanyan told reporters in Stepanakert. “We have actually
registered a decrease.”

Mnatsakanyan said the Azerbaijani army has adopted a defensive stance
after launching offensive operations on April 2 at several sections of
the line of contact with Karabakh.

“They are now organizing defense,” he said. “There is an atmosphere of
fear on their side.”

“Our forces are now on high alert and will fight back if need be,”
added the Defense Army chief.

The Karabakh army reported last week a build-up and active movements
of enemy troops at various sections of the frontline. Armenia’s
Defense Ministry likewise said that Baku deployed more troops and
military hardware there.

Mnatsakanyan, however, downplayed the reported buildup, saying that
his troops are prepared for any development.

Further commenting on the four-day military clashes in early April,
Mnatsakanyan said the Armenian troops downed the Azerbaijani drones
with firearms and machine guns.

“Also, several UAVs were destroyed with air defense systems,” he told
an interview on Armenia TV.

According to the military chief, the Nagorno Karabakh Defense Army is
currently working on new anti-drone solutions. The new methods, as
Mnatsakanyan says, will make the Armenian side’s objectives more
resistant against the rival’s UAVs.

Huffington Post
May 10 2016
Why Armenians in the Homeland Stumble While Those in 
the Diaspora Shineby Armine Sahakyan, Human rights activist based in Armenia, 
Columnist with the Kyiv Post

One of the questions I’m asked when people learn I’m Armenian is why
other countries have so many successful Armenians while Armenia itself
is an economic basket case.

I love my country, so it hurts to respond to that question — because
the answer is that the spoilers are Armenia’s long-running corruption
plus its economic dependence on Russia.

People around the world are aware of the many Armenian diaspora 
success stories.

The shining stars include the airline and entertainment billionaire
Kirk Kerkorian, the tennis great Andre Agassi, the entertainer Cher,
whose birth name was Cherilyn Sarkissian, the international chess
champ Gary Kasparov, the novelist William Saroyan, the Notre Dame
University football coach Ara Paseghian and the American college
basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian.

There are thousands of other ethnic-Armenian notables, of course,
ranging from the Lebanese President Emile Lahoud to American lawyer
Robert Kardashian — the father of Kim Kardashian — to the renowned
American journalist and former United Press International vice
president Roger Tatarian.

The reason Armenians do well in the United States, which has the
second-largest Armenian diaspora, and in other developed countries 
is that those places have minimal corruption and rule of law.

Armenians have always been bright, hard-working people, capable 
of greatness.

All they need for success is the right framework — a society where one
can get ahead on merit rather than having to resort to bribery or
connections to the elite.

The United States, Canada, Australia, the European Union and other
countries offer that framework.

The sad fact for those of us who are Armenian is that our homeland is
one of the poorest in the former Soviet Union. The average wage in the
fourth quarter of 2015 was about $400, which translates to $133 a
month, according to Trading Economics.

Russia, which has turned Armenia into an economic and military colony,
owns the country’s electric grid and natural-gas distribution network,
and other businesses.

A lot of new Armenian university graduates are unable to find decent
jobs at home, so they go overseas.

So do many people who work with their hands, including construction
workers, plumbers, electricians and laborers.

The result is that tens of thousands of Armenians have left the
homeland each year since the Soviet Union imploded in 1991.

The number of emigrants has increased since the global economic crisis
of 2008 and the tanking of the Russian economy, on which Armenia is
dependent, since 2014.

Russia’s economic malaise, rooted in a plunge in the price of oil and
Western sanctions stemming from Moscow’s invasion of Crimea and
support for eastern Ukrainian separatists, has led to tens of
thousands of Armenian guest workers in Russia losing their jobs. The
money those workers sent home not only kept many Armenian families
afloat, but were a key component of the country’s economy — so the
loss of the remittances has really hurt.

A stark measurement of Armenia’s inability to get its
economic-development act together is that the number of Armenians
living outside the country is now nearly triple the number living in
it — 8 million in the diaspora versus 3 million at home.

The reason Armenians in the homeland are unable to achieve the success
of the diaspora is plain old corruption.

Those related to, or who are buddies of, President Serzh Sargsyan,
control a huge slice of the country’s wealth.

The United Nations Development Program has stated flatly that
corruption in Armenia is “a serious challenge to its development.”

An important facet of the corruption is the cozy relationship between
government and business leaders, which the UNDP said encourages
influence peddling.

One way the coziness shows up is in what the UNDP calls the
government’s unfair system for awarding contracts: Many awards go to
firms that have connections to the leadership or that are willing to
pay bribes.

Although the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union, the
United States and others have called on Armenia to abolish the
corruption — for the sake of development and the improvement of
people’s lives — nothing has been done.

The government has established two anti-corruption bodies for show but
their members sit on their hands.

Sometimes Armenians like me discuss the question of how successful the
country could be without corruption.

But it’s all speculation, because the current leaders will cling to
their corrupt ways like a man hanging from a cliff by his fingernails.

If there is justice in the world, some day the corruption will end,
and every Armenian will have a chance.

When that far-off day arrives, you can be sure that Armenians in
Armenia will be able to achieve the success that Armenians in the
diaspora have become renowned for.

Armine Sahakyan is a human rights activist based in Armenia. A
columnist with the Kyiv Post and a blogger with The Huffington Post,
she writes on human rights and democracy in Russia and the former
Soviet Union.
Why Henrikh Mkhitaryan refuses to extend contract with Dortmund
10 May 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Midfielder set to be a free agent after next season wants any new deal
to include a buyout clause but his German club are unwilling,
according to Mirror.

Chelsea’s hopes of landing Borussia Dortmund midfielder Henrikh
Mkhitaryan have been given a boost as talks over a new deal have

Arsenal are also interested in the 27-year-old Armenia international,
who has scored 18 goals in all competitions this season.

Versatile Mkhitaryan ’s contract runs out in the summer of 2017. But
he is understood to want a buyout clause if he is to commit his future
to the German Cup finalists.

Dortmund are unwilling to agree to such a request, after losing Mario
Gotze to Bayern Munich three years ago. Champions Bayern triggered his
£31million release fee at the time, with Dortmund powerless.

Since then, Dortmund have renegotiated the contract of Germany
international Marco Reus – removing his£20m buyout clause.

Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Matzke also revealed last month that coveted
striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s deal is another without a buyout

He said: “We renewed Aubameyang’s contract until 2020 without a buyout
clause because we want to be successful with him.”

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