Friday, 20 May 2016

Armenian News... A Topalian... Song to Nubar

Song to Nubar
Gorgeous singing around a set formal dinner table

Aid to Armenia - Workshop Program
(see attachment) 

Dear friends and colleagues, 

We are happy to circulate the program of the workshop “Aid to Armenia. Armenia and Armenians in International History” which will take place at Birkbeck College, London on the 3rd of June 2016. 

Please feel free to circulate it to other people who might be interested. 
Any queries, please feel free to get in touch. 

Department of Humanities 
Faculty of Development and Society 
Sheffield Hallam University 
City Campus 
Howard Street 
S1 1WB 
No Inch of Land: Armenian hardliners riled by Sargsyan’s 
admission of territorial losses in Karabakh
May 18, 2016

Opposition hardliners in Armenia have criticized President Serzh
Sargsyan over his attitude towards territorial losses to Azerbaijan
during the April 2-5 war in Nagorno Karabakh that he expressed in an
interview while returning from an internationally mediated meeting
with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Vienna.

In comments made through social media they have described such remarks
as defeatist and unacceptable.

Last week, 1992-1994 Karabakh war veteran and currently radical
opposition figure Jiirair Sefilian accused Armenia’s leadership of
hiding true information about territorial losses in Karabakh. He said
more than 700 hectares of land were lost to Azerbaijan in the brief
hostilities last month.

The statement triggered a debate in society and some labeled Sefilian
a “traitor” who presented “invented figures” to the public.

Talking to media earlier this week, Sargsyan admitted that the
Azerbaijani military managed to gain some 800 hectares of what he
described as an 800,000-hectare “security zone”.

“Strategically or tactically those areas are not important,” he said,
adding that regaining them would have proved costly for the Armenian

Varuzhan Avetisyan, a spokesman for the extra-parliamentary Founding
Parliament group, reacted to Sargsyan’s rather rhetoric suggestion to
those who want to regain the lands to “go and do that.”

In a Facebook post, the radical opposition group’s representative
wrote: “The suggestion is interesting. I would say, it is strategic.
For Armenians it is no longer important that he [Sargsyan] cannot see
and differentiate the strategic and tactical values of things.”

Founding Parliament member Alex Yenigomshyan, meanwhile, told GALA TV
that Sargsyan had no right to call Armenian positions “unimportant”.

“The head of state has no right to say such a thing. As the head of
state he is under the obligation to consider sovereignty over every
inch of land to be a priority. It is unacceptable that anyone should
say such things. But when this is said by the top official, it is a
thousand times more unacceptable and criminal,” the oppositionist
Karabakh War Hero: Vienna meetings showed that Baku has 
got away with aggression against Stepanakert
by Marianna Mkrtchyan
May 17, 17:49

 The Vienna meetings have confirmed that Azerbaijan has got away with
its April aggression against Nagorno Karabakh and the seizure of the
Armenian territories, Zhirayr Sefilyan, Commander of the Shushi
Separate Battalion, Karabakh War Hero, says in a Facebook post.

"This means that Azerbaijan will continue arming and implementing its
program of destroying Armenians through creeping war. The most
dangerous step the Armenian people can make at the given stage is to
let their guard down under influence of empty promises of the external
forces," Sefilyan says. In his words, he has already observed such
"It is very dangerous for us to return the army to its usual regime,
as it may be followed by the next and even tougher attack by the
enemy. We have no additional territories and blood to sacrifice to the
next Vienna meetings. Instead, we need to prepare for a new
Sardarapat," Sefilyan said.  President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met in Vienna on May 16 to
advance a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The
meeting was initiated by the OSCE MG co-chair countries foreign

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey
Lavrov, Secretary of State of the United States of America John Kerry,
and State Secretary for European Affairs of France Harlem Desir,
representing the co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group,
reiterated that there can be no military solution to the conflict.
The Co-Chairs insisted on the importance of respecting the 1994 and
1995 ceasefire agreements.
The Presidents reiterated their commitment to the ceasefire and the
peaceful settlement of the conflict. To reduce the risk of further
violence, they agreed to finalize in the shortest possible time an
OSCE investigative mechanism. The Presidents also agreed to the
expansion of the existing Office of the Personal Representative of the
OSCE Chairperson in Office.  Finally, they agreed to continue the
exchange of data on missing persons under the auspices of the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to which the
Presidents committed during the Paris summit of October 2014.

The Presidents agreed on a next round of talks, to be held in June at
a place to be mutually agreed, with an aim to resuming negotiations on
a comprehensive settlement. 

[can't see this myself]

RFE/RL Report 
Armenia, Azerbaijan `Not Far Apart On Karabakh Peace'
Emil Danielyan

The Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents agree in principle that
Nagorno-Karabakh's status should be determined in a future referendum
to be held in the disputed territory, according to a senior U.S. State
Department official.

"They're not that far apart on what a settlement would look like," the
official told American journalists on Monday, speaking, on the
condition of anonymity, ahead of the Armenian-Azerbaijani summit in

"The presidents agree that there needs to be an expression of the will
of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh at some time to decide
Nagorno-Karabakh's future," the official said in remarks publicized by
the State Department. "Of course, the Armenians would like a date set
and would like to have that referendum done as soon as possible."

The diplomat referred to one of the key elements of a framework peace
accord that was first drafted by U.S., Russian and French mediators a
decade ago and has been repeatedly modified by them since then. The
so-called Basic Principles call for a gradual Armenian withdrawal from
virtually all districts around Karabakh before the referendum on the
territory's status.

Through such a vote, Karabakh's predominantly Armenian population
would presumably be able to gain international recognition of its de
facto secession from Azerbaijan.

Baku and Yerevan have long disagreed on some key details of the
proposed settlement, including practical modalities of the would-be

"Azerbaijan's overwhelming objective is to get control of the land
surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, and that's very possible as part of a
comprehensive settlement," said the U.S. State Department
official. "For Armenia, the issue is status. And they can get this
status also as a part of a comprehensive settlement."

Public statements made by President Ilham Aliyev and other Azerbaijani
leaders have run counter to this peace formula. They have repeatedly
stated that any settlement of the conflict must result in Karabakh's
return under Baku's control.

Aliyev and his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarkisian, most recently
came close to ironing out their difference at a 2011 summit in Kazan,
Russia that ended in failure. Ceasefire violations in the conflict
zone have increasingly intensified since then, culminating in last
month's outbreak of fierce fighting around Karabakh that nearly
triggered a full-scale war. The escalation dealt a further blow to
hopes for a compromise solution to the Armenian-Azerbaijani dispute.

"There are Azerbaijanis who believe that this conflict will be settled
only through the barrel of a gun," said the U.S. official. "But we
don't believe that either of the presidents supports that."

"In general, [Aliyev and Sarkisian] have okay chemistry with each
other," said another unnamed State Department, who also briefed the
same reporters in Vienna. "The question is whether, having had this
spark of violence in April, they're ready to actually get back down to

The two presidents pledged to bolster the ceasefire regime when they
met in the presence of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later on Monday. They also tentatively
agreed to hold another meeting next month in an attempt to revive the
peace process. 
When the priceless is sold
Auctioned Armenian masterpieces
May 17, 2016
Armenian art pieces are not only displayed at museums across the globe
but are also part of collections bought at prestigious actions
Sotheby’s and Christie's. These are mostly medieval manuscripts and

Four Gospels, glazed paper, New Jugha, 1695. Written
and illustrated at Surb Amenaprkich church by Azaria Jughayetsi. Sold
at Sotheby’s for £30,000. Estimate £12,000-18,000.

Armenian carpet, Tavush. Sold for £3,500

Handwritten Gospel, 17th century. Sold for £13,750 at Sotheby’s.
271-page parchment manuscript with the pictures of birds, animals and
humans. Estimate £4000-6000.

Gospel, 1656-1658, consisting of 265 pages, presumably copied by
Azaria Jughayetsi in the 17th century. Sold at Sotheby’s for £8,125.

Handwritten prayer book decorated with miniatures, consisting of 147
pages, 16th century, origin unknown. Sold for £4,750.

Gospel, 9th-12th century, parchment. Sold for £8,750.

The most expensive painting by Armenian artist ever sold at Sotheby’s
was Arshille Gorky’s (Vostanik Adoyan) “Impatience” (1945) canvass
auctioned for $6.802.500.

In November 2015, a 70-year old Armenian “Ararat” brandy fetched
$120,000 at Sotheby’s. At an auction dedicated to the 50th death
anniversary of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill drinks,
cigarettes and clothes he preferred were sold. 
A Survey. 4% of the Armenian adolescents go to bed or go 
to school always hungry
May 17 2016

A survey has been conducted on the behavior of health of the
school-aged children in Armenia. The indicators show how our
adolescents take care of their health, in what social conditions they
live, what percentage of Armenian teens smoke, drink, use drugs and
what sexual behavior they manifest. The adolescents aged 11-17
participated in the survey. In total, 82 schools from different marzes
of Armenia were included in the survey, 3679 adolescents aged 11-15
and 1134 adolescents aged 17, who were included from 64 high schools
and vocational schools and colleges.

According to the survey, to the question of “How often do you go to
school hungry or go to bed hungry because of lack of food at home?”,
in average 4% of children responded “always,” 5% of children often go
to school hungry or go to bed hungry and 10% responded that this
condition happens occasionally. The villagers prevail among the
children who often and sometimes go to school hungry and go to bed
hungry. Incidentally, mostly boys aged 11 are hungry. The survey
indicates that as compared with the survey in 2009-2010, the mentioned
indicator by the recent survey is deteriorated. According to the
analysis, 51% of adolescents aged 11-15 belong to the lowest welfare
group, 30% – the average and 19% – high welfare group. 57% of
respondents aged 17 are from the low welfare group, 30 percent – from
average and 13% – high.

The authors of the survey note that although the adolescents’ age is
considered relatively a healthy period, however, there are often seen
quite a variety of health-related complaints among the adolescents.
The unsatisfactory health condition affects the normal maturity and
has long-term negative effects. According to the authors, the physical
and mental health self-assessment is directly related to physical
complaints and symptoms of depression, family betterment and social
welfare. The authors of the survey have found out that the majority of
complaints by the adolescents is related to different pathological
conditions, stressful situations or they are saying that they are
overloaded with the lessons, out-of-class lessons, have unhealthy
lifestyle, and abuse watching television and spending time at the

One of the healthy lifestyles is the hygiene, breakfast, and going to
bed at the right time. 13% of surveyed adolescents never have
breakfast and 18% of 15-17 year olds have responded that they never
have breakfast. The surveys showed that the sleeping behavior of the
adolescents is not correct. According to the survey, 19% of 11-15 year
olds go to bed after the midnight on working or school days and 36% of
surveyed adolescents go to bed later hours after midnight on weekends.
50% of 17 year olds go to be after midnight on schooldays and 60% go
to bed at later hours after midnight on weekends. The authors mention
that the findings show that the prevalence of violence in the school
environment is alarming.

19% of adolescent boys and 11% of girls have responded that they have
not attended school at least once during the month preceding the
survey to avoid the possible violence or persecution month. 43% of
respondent-boys and 27% girls aged 11-15 said that they were exposed
to the teacher’s verbal abuse at least once. Unlike other countries’
adolescents, small part of the Armenian children smoke.

According to the survey, 17% of the surveyed boys and 4% of girls
began smoking for the first time at the age 13 and earlier age. 20% of
respondents aged 17 said that they have ever smoked and 11% was
smoking regularly. 37% of adolescents started using alcohol at age 13
or at earlier age, mainly beer and wine. 4% of the respondents aged 15
and 10% of aged 17 under survey mentioned about the use of marijuana.
The sexual behavior under survey revealed that 21% of boys and 1% of
girls aged 15 and 52% of boys and 3% of girls aged 17 mentioned about
the presence of sexual experience. Only 51% of 15 year-old boys use
condoms during their last intercourse. Note that the survey was
conducted by the Arabkir Medical Complex for Children and Adolescent
Health Care Institute in 2013-2014. from 
Ex-London Mayor wins ‘most offensive Erdogan poem’ competition
19 May 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan 

Boris Johnson has won a £1,000 prize for a rude poem about the Turkish
president having sex with a goat, The Guardian reports.

The former mayor of London’s limerick, published by the Spectator as a
rebuff to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s efforts to prosecute a German
comedian’s offensive poem, also calls the president a “wankerer”.

Johnson, a former editor of the magazine, won the Spectator’s
“President Erdogan offensive poetry competition.” The prize money has
been donated by a reader.

The limerick was written off-the-cuff by the Conservative MP during an
interview with the Swiss weekly magazine Die Weltwoche.

Johnson – whose great-grandfather was Turkish – called it “a scandal”
that a German court had granted an injunction to prevent comedian Jan
Böhmermann repeating his offensive skit about the Turkish president.

“If somebody wants to make a joke about the love that flowers between
the Turkish president and a goat, he should be able to do so, in any
European country, including Turkey,” Johnson told interviewer Nicholas
Farrell, who then challenged him to enter the Spectator’s poetry

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