Monday, 20 June 2016

Armenian News... A Topalian... Garo Paylan answers questions 13,06.16

Member of Turkish parliament from HDP party Garo Paylan 
answers the questions of journalists from RFE/RL Armenian 
service and Aliq Media, 
Istanbul, June 13, 2016. 

Watch with respect a man of real courage with his 
revealing insights
President Sargsyan congratulates Queen Elizabeth II on birthday
15 Jun 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

On the occasion of the National Holiday of the Great Britain and
Northern Ireland – Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II – President Serzh
Sargsyan sent a congratulatory message to Queen Elizabeth II and Prime
Minister David Cameron.

On the occasion of the Holiday, the President of Armenia congratulated
and sent good wishes to the Queen, Royal Family, and the friendly
people of the United Kingdom. “Armenia attaches great importance to
the relations with the United Kingdom. A continuous political dialogue
has been formed, joint works have been carried out in the areas of
trade and encouragement of investments, contacts in the area of
culture and education have developed, and efficient cooperation has
been going on in the framework of different programs aimed at the
implementation of reforms in Armenia. I am hopeful that we will be
able to augment all this with new accomplishments. I thank you and the
Royal Family for the contribution to the development of cooperation
between Armenia and the United Kingdom. I am confident that Your
Majesty will continue to keep the development of our relations in the
focus of Your Majesty’s attention with the same consistency,” reads
the congratulatory message of the President of Armenia to Queen
Elizabeth II.

In the congratulatory message addressed to Prime Minister David
Cameron, Serzh Sargsyan expressed confidence that the Armenian-British
relations, which are based on mutual interests and friendly ties,
through joint efforts will continue to deepen for the benefit of the
two nations.

On the occasion of the Great Britain’s National Holiday, President
Serzh Sargsyan visited today the residence of the UK Ambassador to
Armenia. He congratulated Ambassador Judith Farnworth and the entire
staff of the Embassy and wished the friendly people of the Great
Britain well being and prosperity. The President expressed confidence
that this Holiday has a special meaning for the citizens of the UK
because in the person of Her Majesty the people of Great Britain see
not only the longest reigning monarch in the history of their country,
but a wise and caring leader, whose activities for decades have been
promoting the reputation of the United Kingdom. 
June 15 is the day of Armenian state symbols
15 Jun 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

June 15 is the day of Armenian state symbols. The symbols are “eternal
truths” that pass  not only information, but also values from
generation to generation. In a way, they represent the collective
memory of mankind.

Like every nation, Armenians have created their symbolsin the course
of centuries, but the state symbols are particularly dear to us, as a
nation that has lost and regained statehood several times in history.

The third Republic of Armenia inherited and adopted all three symbols
of the first Republic of Armenia proclaimed on May 28, 1918 – the
flag, the coat of arms and the anthem.

The coat-of-arms of the Republic of Armenia was confirmed on August
23rd 1990 by the Armenian Supreme Counsel. The new modern design is
based on the coat-of-arms of the first Republic of Armenia
(1918-1920), which originally was designed by architect Aleksandr
Tamanyan and painter Hagop Kodjoyan.

In the centre of the shield is Mount Ararat – the symbol of the
Armenian nation. On its peak rests Noah’s Ark, which, according to the
Bible, came to rest here after the great flood. Surrounding Mount
Ararat are symbols of old Armenian dynasties.

At the bottom of the shield are five objects: a broken chain
representing our freedom and independence; a sword, which stands for
the power and strength of our nation; a bundle of wheat flower,
representing the industrious nature of the Armenian people’ a feather
pen symbolizing the intellectual and cultural heritage of the Armenian
people, and a tricolor ribbon – the flag of the Republic of Armenia.

The Armenian flag has three equal sized horizontal bands: the top
stripe is red, the middle one blue and the bottom stripe is orange.
The colors on the Armenia flag represent its people.

The red symbolizes the Armenian Highland, the Armenian people’s
continued struggle for survival, maintenance of the Christian faith,
Armenia’s independence and freedom. The blue stands for the will of
the people of Armenia to live beneath peaceful skies. The orange
symbolizes the creative talent and hard-working nature of the people
of Armenia.

“Mer Hayrenik” (Our Fatherland) is the national anthem of the Republic
of Armenia. Adopted on 1 July 1991, it was also the national anthem of
the First Republic of Armenia (1918–1920), the first modern Armenian

The lyrics of the anthem are adapted from a version of Song of an
Italian girl by Mikael Nalbandian (1829–1866) later set to music by
composer Barsegh Kanachyan (1885–1967). 

RFE/RL Report
Armenian Church Faithful Invited To Greet Pope

The Armenian Apostolic Church called on its followers on Wednesday to
gather at its main cathedral in Echmiadzin to greet Pope Francis at
the start of his landmark visit to Armenia on June 24.

`The Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin invites its faithful to the Mother
Cathedral at 15:35 on June 24 to participate in the official welcoming
ceremony for Pope Francis, the Holy Bishop of Rome, which will be held
upon his arrival,' read a statement posted on the church website late.

Worshippers will not need official invitations to attend the religious
ceremony, it said.

Garegin (Karekin) II, the supreme head of the Armenian Apostolic
Church, and President Serzh Sarkisian invited Francis to visit their
country when they separately travelled to the Vatican in 2014. Both
men also attended his papal inauguration in 2013, highlighting
Armenia's growing ties with the Roman Catholic Church.

The official logo of the three-day visit is clearly designed to
symbolize that rapprochement. It is a round seal painted yellow and
purple: the official flag colors of the Vatican and the Armenian
Church respectively. The logo also displays the emblems of the two

Francis will have a busy schedule during the upcoming trip. His
planned engagements include a visit to the Armenian genocide memorial
in Yerevan, an open-air mass for Armenian Catholics in Gyumri, and a
joint ecumenical service with Garegin in Yerevan's central Republic

Francis has repeatedly paid tribute to some 1.5 million Armenians that
were massacred or starved to death by the Ottoman Turks during the
First World War. He described the massacres as `the first genocide of
the 20th century' during an April 2015 mass at the Vatican's
St. Peter's Basilica dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the

Turkey accused the pontiff of distorting history and recalled its
ambassador to the Vatican in protest. Armenia denounced the furious
Turkish reaction.

The late Pope John Paul II recognized the Armenian genocide in a joint
declaration with Garegin that was adopted during his 2001 visit to
Armenia. Francis is also due to issue a joint declaration with
Armenia harshly condemns consistent bombardment of 
districts in Aleppo
16 June, 2016

YEREVAN, JUNE 16. Armenia harshly condemns the deliberate
and consistent bombardment of Armenianpopulated districts in Aleppo,
which have claimed dozens of lives only in Armenianpopulated
districts, causing great material damages, Head of Armenian Mission to
the OSCE, Ambassador Arman Kirakosyan announced at the meeting of OSCE
Permanent Council on June 16.

As “Armenpress” was informed from the press service of MFA Armenia, he
expressed concern over the recent attacks on Aleppo by the Al-Nusra
Front, claiming lives of numerous civilians.

The Armenian Ambassador stated that during the last years the Armenian
mission has regularly raised the issue of terrosis organizations
operating in Syria and Iraq, particularly, the “Islamic State”, the
Al-Nusra Front and other groups linked with “Al-Qaeda”. It was stated
that ethnic and religious minorities, including the Armenian
community, are a primary target for those terrorist groups.

Ambassador Kirakosyan stated that the mentioned terrorist
organizations are a serious threat for the security of OSCE area.

The Armenian Ambassador referred to the Ministerial Declarations of
the OSCE Basel and Belgrade meetings, as well as the 2170, 2178, 2199
and 2249 resolutions of the UNSC, calling on all the state to
implement their commitments for struggle against terrorism assumed by
the mentioned documents. Arman Kirakosyan particularly called on
Turkey to stop providing its territory to terrorist groups for
launching attacks against civilians of Syria.
Armenian stamps win second prize at World Philately Competition 
in New York
17 Jun 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Few days ago “HayPost” took part in “New York-2016” world philately expo.

The Armenian collection with stamps from 2013, 2014 and 2015,
presented by “HayPost”, took the second place at the philately
competition organized under the auspices of the Universal Postal Union
within the framework of the expo.

The collection consists from 29 stamps and Souvenir sheets, dedicated
to the Armenian culture, history, the nature of Armenia, etc.

The exhibition of “HayPost” in the great international philately expo
of New York, organized once a decade, awoke high interest among the

Special attention was attached to the models of stamps and S-sheets
dedicated to the Pope, developed and designed by the experts of
“HayPost”. These stamps and S-sheets are already printed and shall be
cancelled in a solemn ceremony during the visit of the Pope to

The expo featured participants from more than 120 philately unions and
organizations of different countries, National Operators of Postal
Communication from more than fifty countries. This was the first time
“HayPost” presented an individual pavilion in an exposition of such a
high range, making Armenia more visible to the philately world.

Two S-sheets, dedicated to “New York-2016” expo and “Rio-2016” Summer
Olympics, were cancelled by “HayPost” during this event. 

Armenia posts obesity rate of 20%: report
June 17, 2016 

PanARMENIAN.Net - Adult obesity prevalence in Armeniastands at 19.5%,
putting the country in the 88th spot among 190 nations worldwide
(countries are ranked from lowest to highest), according to data
published in the 2016 Global Nutrition Report (GNR).

The 2016 Global Nutrition Report (GNR), prepared by the International
Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), provides an independent and
annual review of the state of the world’s nutrition. The 2016 edition
of the report brings together the latest available data and
experiences from around the world.

Adult overweight and obesity prevalence constitute 55.5% in Armenia.

600 million adults (ages 18+) were obese as of 2014 worldwide, with
the 13% of the global population constituting the current prevalence
of obesity. People are considered obese when their body mass index
(BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a person's weight by the
square of the person's height, is over 30 kg/m2,with the range 25–30
kg/m2 defined as overweight.

The report further suggests that 11.5% of adult Armenians have
diabetes (high blood glucose).

Out of 5 billion adults worldwide, one in every 12 has type 2
diabetes, the World Health Organization says, with the 9% of people
suffering from the disorder globally.

Based on the exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) rate (under 6 months), the
country comes in the 72nd at 34.6%, the current EBF prevalence
standing at 39% globally.

25.9% of Armenian women of reproductive age have anemia, the report
says, while 533 million (as of 2011) women between the ages of 15 and
49 years (nonpregnant and pregnant) suffer from this condition

Overweight prevalence among Armenian children under 5 is 16.8%.
According to the report, the number of such children is increasing,
with an estimated 41 million kids or 6.1% globally overweight as of

Also, the researchers at the IFPRI have studied stunted growth and
wasting among children under 5. Stunting is a reduced growth rate in
human development. Wasting, also known as wasting syndrome, refers to
the process by which a debilitating disease causes muscle and fat
tissue to "waste" away.

Wasting and stunting prevalence in Armenia stand at 4.2% and 20.8%,
respectively, with global figures leaving a lot to be desired. 50
million kids or 7.5% children globally have wasting syndrome, while
some 159 million or 23.8% have stunted growth.
16110 Trees To Be Felled Down To Lay Iran-Armenia 400 kW 
Second Electricity Air Line
June 15, 2016

Forest-covered area will be destroyed in the area of 101600 cum in
Meghri-Noravan section: 16110 trees will be cut down to lay
Iran-Armenia 400 kW second electricity air line. The aim of this
project is to increase the annual yearly volume of the electricity
exported to Iran.

The Armenian section of the electricity air line starts from Agarak
and goes to Hrazdan TPP through Syunik, Vayots Dzor, Gegharkounik and
Kotayq Regions. The economic damage caused to environment makes up
413,37 million AMD.

According to “High Voltage Electric Networks” CJSC Deputy to Chief
Architect Smbat Arshakyan, tree felling won’t be carried out unless
the reforestation project submitted to Nature Protection Ministry is
not approved.

Under the project, the reforestation area has been provided from
Artsvanik Forestry Enterprise of “ArmForest” CJSC in Syunik Region,
where around 13.48 ha will be reforested. 37406 trees will be planted
during two years, out of which 29925 tees will be planted in the first
year. The other part for reforestation will be provided by Nature
Protection Ministry. In reply to EcoLur’s question whether forest
felling is designed in the specially protected areas of nature, Smbatt
Arshakyan found it difficult to answer. 
Turkish justice ministry rejects discussion on return of 
Sis Catholicosate
June 16 2016 

The Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia says the Ministry of 
Justice of Turkey has rejected to discuss the demand on returning 
the Catholicosate of Sis. Back in 2015, the Great House of Cilicia 
issued a claim to the Constitutional Court of Turkey, demanding the 
 return of the historical Catholicosate of Sis.

Taking into consideration the importance of the lawsuit, the 
Constitutional Court of Turkey announced it will seek further 
advice from the Justice Ministry. The Ministry rejected to discuss 
the claim, and the Constitutional Court told the Catholicosate to 
respond to the rejection within 15 days. On May 26 the Great 
 House of Cilicia responded to the Court.

The response rejected the Justice Ministry’s ungrounded and 
contradictory reasons and reiterated the demand to return the 
Catholicosate of Sis to its rightful owner – the Great House of Cilicia. 
The Constitutional Court’s verdict is expected.
Germany’s century-long struggle with the Armenian genocide

The Armenian genocide and the German dimension of it should make us 
rethink our perception of humanity – what does it mean that people 
knew of genocide and mass atrocities in progress? And did so already 
in the years before the Holocaust? 

Perhaps Germany’s recent vote to recognize the Armenian genocide as a 
genocide as well as its own role in it might come as a surprise to 
many there as well as abroad. But the Armenian genocide has a long 
German history. Already over a hundred years ago, in January 1916, the 
agenda of the German parliament featured a question about the Armenian 

A month earlier the socialist parliament member Karl Liebknecht had 
submitted a written question to the German chancellor in which he 
mentioned that Armenians had been “butchered in the hundred 
thousands”: would Germany would do something for the remaining 
Armenians now? Liebknecht’s question had come on the heels of a 
similar request made a few weeks earlier by the Catholic and 
Protestant Churches of Germany to the chancellor. He had replied that 
Germany would ensure that nobody suffered from persecution on 
religious grounds. Political Germany, the Churches and Liebknecht knew 
that this answer was an outright rejection. People at the time 
understood what was happening not so much as a religious matter, but 
rather in terms of national or racial persecution. 

When Liebknecht’s question was finally answered in parliament, it 
turned into a rather disgraceful performance by Germany’s 

After having received another evasive answer, Liebknecht responded 
that some experts after all spoke of the “extermination of the 
Armenians.” He was laughed off the stage and treated like a buffoon. 

And yet, behind closed doors political Germany knew Liebknecht was 
right. Since May 1915 German diplomats in the Ottoman Empire had 
bombarded their Constantinople embassy and Berlin with reports of 
genocide in progress; many of these diplomats begged their superiors 
to intervene for the Armenians, to stop genocide, in vain. 

After the end of World War I, the German Foreign Office published a 
collection from precisely this diplomatic correspondence on the 
Armenians to fend off accusations of German guilt during the Paris 
peace treaty negotiations. This attempt failed – not least because 
Germany had done nothing of real import for the Armenians, all the 
while enabling the Ottoman leadership to carry out genocide – but it 
kicked off a debate in Germany itself about this “murder of a nation” 
or “annihilation of the Armenians” which continued in some form until 

This debate took shocking twists and turns: condemnation and denial, 
trivialization and shock, and finally broad acceptance of the charge 
of “murder of a nation,” i.e. genocide – only then to have some 
far-right voices, including the Nazis, to go on to outright justify 
genocide. All this merely a decade before Hitler came to power – and 
yes, already then (Jewish) commentators warned of the possible future 
implications of this shocking genocide debate for the Jews of Germany 
under Nazi or other radical far-right rule. 

Germany’s own checkered history with the violence against the Ottoman 
Armenians (from the 1890s) is indeed and itself the link between the 
Armenian genocide and the Holocaust. But this link is not at all 
necessary for recognizing the Armenian genocide for what it was, and 
neither are the comparisons to the Holocaust, which have often 
obscured the unique, intrinsic significance of the Armenian genocide. 
And often enough these have been used to fend off the application of 
the label. 

The German diplomatic documents, first published in selection in 1919 
and now available in expanded editions in German and English (2005 and 
2013), edited by former Der Spiegel editor Wolfgang Gust, are the 
greatest advocates of the label “genocide.” Denialists generally 
choose to simply ignore the existence of these documents. 

This is mainly because there is no easy way to dismiss them and no 
sensible (denialist) explanation as to why German diplomats would make 
up reports of genocide, continually so, when these caused such great 
anxiety in Berlin about the political fallout of genocide right from 
the start. 

Thus a hundred years later, with the Bundestag’s resolution on the 
Armenian genocide Germany has found a (first) conclusion to its very 
own hundred-year conflict over the Armenian topic. Thus German 
parliament did not only deliberate on the history of another country, 
but made a statement about its own Armenian history. The Armenian 
genocide is, to some extent, also a German story. It cannot be 
relegated to the obscurity of specialist historical writing and 
historiographical debate; it is part of the core experiences and 
themes of our bloody and traumatic 20th century. 

The Armenian genocide and the German dimension of it should make us 
rethink our perception of humanity – what does it mean that people 
knew of genocide and mass atrocities in progress? And did so already 
in the years before the Holocaust? It has long been assumed that there 
had been silence on the Armenian genocide in interwar Germany and that 
this silence had been “a signal for the Shoah” – but it turns out the 
opposite was true. There had been a debate, a real genocide debate 
(about the extent, intent and implications of this murder of a 
people). What does this mean for our understanding of the Holocaust? 
This latest recognition should also make us discuss when and where 
this bloody 20th century really began. In Eastern Anatolia during the 
Armenian genocide? In the sands of Libya during the Italo-Turkish War 
of 1911-1912? Or in German Southwest Africa during the genocide of the 
Herero and Nama people (1904-07)? Was there not, historically, a 
trajectory of large-scale violence which led from colonial spaces to 
the Middle East and Anatolia and from there back to Europe? 
Parliamentary recognition is not enough (and the Herero and Nama are 
still waiting for it), but it can be a starting point for coming to 
terms with a past that is vaster, more complex and so much bloodier 
than often assumed. 

And nothing of this relativizes the Holocaust or minimizes Germany’s 
guilt and responsibility – quite the contrary. 

The author is a historian at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and the 
University of Haifa. His most recent books include: Justifying 
Genocide – Germany and the Armenians from Bismarck to Hitler (Harvard 
University Press, 2016) and Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination (Harvard 
University Press, 2014).

No comments: