Thursday, 2 March 2017

Armenian News... A Topalian... Combat Deaths in Karabakh 27.02.2017

RFE/RL Report
Azerbaijan Specifies Combat Deaths In Karabakh (UPDATED)
February 27, 2017

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry officially confirmed on Monday that at
least five Azerbaijani soldiers were killed by Armenian forces over
the weekend in what was the worst fighting around Nagorno-Karabakh in
almost a year.

The ministry identified all of them and also effectively acknowledged
that they died in the no-man's land on the Karabakh "line of contact."

According to Azerbaijani media reports, one of those servicemen, Aqsin
Abdullayev, had the military rank of major. Karabakh's Armenian-backed
Defense Army claimed earlier that Abdullayev was the chief of
reconnaissance of an Azerbaijani army brigade.

The Defense Army claimed to have repelled Azerbaijani attacks at two
sections of the frontline early on Saturday. It said Azerbaijani
commando units used demining equipment to try to seize its positions
there but were pushed back, suffering significant casualties in the
process. No Karabakh Armenian soldiers were killed or wounded in the
fighting, it said.

The Azerbaijani military claimed, however, that it was the Armenians
who attempted to capture more "beneficial positions." It admitted
combat deaths in within its ranks but did not specify their number
until Monday morning.

The Karabakh Armenian army dismissed the Azerbaijani version of
events, saying the fact that the bodies of the Azerbaijani soldiers
were left lying in the no-man's land only proves that they had gone on
the offensive. It also released night-vision footage purportedly
showing Azerbaijani troops coming under precise artillery fire while
trying unsuccessfully to cross the frontline.

U.S., Russian and French mediators co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group
expressed concern at the escalation, the worst since the April 2016
hostilities in and around Karabakh, but did not blame either party for
it. "The Co-chairs remind the Parties of their commitments to refrain
from the use of force," they said in a statement released on Sunday.

The statement also said: "The Co-chairs call upon the Parties to keep
heavy military equipment, which had been moved earlier close to the
[Line of Contact,] in its present positions and to allow recovery of
the dead, as it was agreed upon yesterday under mediation of the
Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office."

The Defense Ministry in Baku said that representatives of the OSCE as
well as the International Red Committee of the Red Cross were due to
retrieve the bodies of its soldiers and hand them over to the
Azerbaijani side on Sunday. It claimed that the Armenians scuttled the
handover with "new and unacceptable" conditions set at the last

The Karabakh Armenian army was quick to deny that, saying that the
bodies were not recovered because the Azerbaijani military breached
relevant "agreements reached beforehand during negotiations." It did
not elaborate.

All five bodies were handed over to the Azerbaijani side later on
Stepanakert: Ingreasing the grade of tension at the contact line 
Baku tries to test the reaction of international community  to the  
military enforcement. February 28 2017 
Marianna Mkrtchyan 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Artsakh released a statement in respect to  Azerbaijani provocation at the contact line during February 25 night. Ths was  shared by the press office of Artsakh Foreign Ministry.

The statement particularly reads as follows:

In the early hours of February 25, 2017, the Azerbaijani armed forces  attempted an attack on the positions of the Defense Army of Artsakh  (Nagorno Karabakh), which was neutralized by the military units of  Artsakh. The incident was the most serious violation of the ceasefire  by Azerbaijan after the April war of 2016. Like in last April, it  followed the systematic and deliberate steps by the Azerbaijani side  on the gradual escalation of tensions, to which the mediators  responded by untargeted appeals for restraint.

The incident of February 25, 2017 is another proof of total disregard  for the commitments assumed by Azerbaijan in the frameworks of the  agreements of 1994 and 1995, as well as the agreements reached in  Vienna and St. Petersburg. It is obvious that by increasing the  degree of tensions on the Line of Contact the Azerbaijani side tries  to check not only the combat capability of the Defense Army of  Artsakh, but also the reaction of the international community to the  use of force.

It was the absence of international community's strong and targeted  assessment of actions of Azerbaijani authorities on disrupting the  process of peaceful settlement of the conflict and preparing for war  that to a certain extent, created a situation, taking an advantage of  which, Baku considered it possible to unleash a military aggression  against Artsakh in April 2016.

The escalation of tension on the Line of Contact, provoked by the  Azerbaijani side, only deepens the distrust and postpones the  prospects for a final resolution of the conflict. We believe that the  response to the provocative policy of Azerbaijan must be refraining  from making untargeted appeals to the parties of the conflict and  increased efforts on the practical implementation of the agreements  reached in Vienna and St. Petersburg on strengthening the ceasefire  and creating conditions for the resumption of the negotiation  process.

To recall, on Feb 25 night the Azeri armed forces attempted  to mount attacks on the southeastern (Martuni) and eastern (Akna)  sections of the line of contact with the Artsakh troops by using  special equipment and devices for demining.  Due to the video  surveillance devices, the forward detachments of the Defense Army of  Artsakh fixed the advancement of the Azeri troops in both directions  and made the adversary retreat.  The latter retreated, suffering  losses. At least two Azeri servicemen were wounded and the bodies of  several Azeri servicemen are in the neutral zone.  The Artsakh side  suffered no losses. By unconfirmed data, the adversary lost 7-16  people. 
President Sahakyan laid flowers to the monument of innocent victims 
of the Sumgait massacre 
On 28 February in connection with the 29th anniversary of the Sumgait pogroms Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan accompanied by Primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Pargev Martirossyan and top officials of the republic visited the Stepanakert Memorial Complex and laid flowers to the monument of the innocent victims.

Armenian Diaspora Publications at the British Library
Turkish-language site on Armenian Genocide launched by Armenian National Institute
28 Feb 2017 

On February 27, the Armenian National Institute (ANI) launched a Turkish-language version of its popular website documenting the facts and acknowledgments of the Armenian Genocide available at .

The ANI site is visited over four million times a year and the number of people accessing from Turkey is substantial. As Turkey regularly censors foreign and domestic websites and the ANI English site has been hacked by denialists, the new ANI Turkish site was designed to give access to broader Turkish-language audiences, both in the Republic of Turkey and outside. The Turkish-language site will parallel many of the most commonly used features of the ANI site. For its first phase, the Turkish site features translations of official documents from countries around the world that formally recognize the Armenian Genocide.

The resolutions, laws, and declarations from countries that have historically recognized the Armenian Genocide can now be read in Turkish. They range from the May 24, 1915 Joint Allied Declaration that invoked crimes against humanity at the time the genocide was being committed to more recent parliamentary resolutions, including the 2016 German Parliament resolution that recognized the historic events and admitted German responsibility in the matter. Earlier this month the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany upheld the validity of the resolution.

“The Turkish-language ANI site looks forward to contributing toward dialogue by paving one more path to a common understanding of history and by taking one more step toward a reconciliation cognizant of the consequences of the past while building forward toward a future where neighboring nations live in peace,” stated ANI Chairman Van Z. Krikorian.

Audiences in Turkey are also unaware of the voluminous Turkish records that confirm the facts of the Armenian Genocide. In 2004 the proceedings and legal analysis by the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), commissioned by the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission, was published in Turkish and several books have appeared in print since, but there is a massive gap in resources for Turkish speakers.

The ICTJ legal opinion in Turkish is available on the new website, which also includes a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section and a photographic collection. Additionally, a section for entries from the Encyclopedia of Genocide addressing several aspects of the Armenian Genocide is currently under construction.

The site will have new features that will be of particular interest to Turkish readers. The Institute is looking forward to expanding the site in the same systematic manner and by the same objective standards by which the ANI site was created.

“Many courageous individuals have spoken up and some brave scholars have pioneered groundbreaking research documenting the Armenian Genocide on the basis of official Ottoman records. Despite the broad-ranging global dialogue on the historical importance and dark precedent of the Armenian Genocide, more progress in Turkey is necessary for Turks to understand and reconcile with their own real history,” Krikorian added.

This policy continues to have serious domestic consequences. Recently Turkish parliamentarian of Armenian origin Garo Paylan was penalized with suspension from participation in three sessions of the legislature for daring to reference the consequences of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey itself.

His suspension in January arrived almost to the day of the tenth anniversary of the assassination of the Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, a crime that remains in many ways unsolved. Dink’s courage in raising awareness of the legacy of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey emboldened many others in the Turkish media to re-examine the issue, while it infuriated ultranationalists who took the law into their own hands.

The new site also features the ANI map keyed in Turkish, and links to other popular features, such as its digital exhibits and online museum.

ANI Director Dr. Rouben Adalian stated: “The Turkish site was created thanks to the support and encouragement of many contributors, including translators, consultants and web designers who helped to make this information on the Armenian Genocide accessible to readers in Turkey and elsewhere. New translations will be added very soon and we look forward to enhancing the site to reflect the vast amount of information on the Armenian Genocide already available on the ANI site.”
3.9 magnitude quake registered 5km north-west from Armenia’s Kapan City

On 28 February, at 10:17 local time (GMT – 06:17) the Seismological Network of Seismic Protection Service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Armenia registered an a 3.9 magnitude earthquake at Latitude 39.24°N and Longitude 46.380°W geographic coordinates (5km north-west from Armenia’s Kapan City) at the depth of 10 km.

As the ministry reports, the tremor measured magnitude 5 points at the epicentre.

A 5-magnitude quake hit Kapan city and 4-5 magnitude quake was resisted in Goris and Kajaran cities.

A 3.3 magnitude afterquake followed the earthquake.

According to the preliminary date, the earthquake has not caused any destruction.

The Daily Mail, UK
Armenia's economic growth slows to 0.2 pct in 2016
Feb 28 2017
By Reuters 

Armenia's economic growth slowed to 0.2 percent year-on-year in 2016, down from 3 percent growth in 2015 and below the government's target of 2.2 percent, the National Statistics Service said on Tuesday.

The country of 3.2 million people depends heavily on aid and investment from former Soviet overlord Russia, whose economic downturn has hit Armenian exports and remittances from Armenians working there.

Economy contracted by 1 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2016, having grown 1.9 percent in the same period a year ago, but up from a 2.6 percent of annual contraction in the third quarter of 2016.

The government expects the country's economy will grow by 3.2 percent this year, helped by lower borrowing costs and increased exports to Russia. (Reporting by Hasmik Mkrtchyan; Writing by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Vladimir Soldatkin)
Armenian photographer in top ten of 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Judges of the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards today honor the work of Armenian photographer Yulia Grigoryants, whose photographic series “Inhabitants of the Empty” is shortlisted as top ten in the world in the awards’ Professional Daily Life category.

Over 227,000 images from 183 countries were submitted to the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards. Grigoryants, originally from Yerevan now based in France, is the sole Armenian photographer to be recognized across the awards’ shortlist.

Grigoryants's “Inhabitants of the Empty: is a hard-hitting series documenting the life of the inhabitants of Gyumri, Armenia's second largest city, and the city with the highest poverty rate in the country.

Commenting about her success, Yulia says: “I feel very honored and excited to be shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Award. My photo series is a story from my country, a subject that touches me personally. Being shortlisted means for me, that my story touched the viewer and that's very important for me.”

The winners will be announced on Thursday 20 April and prizes include the latest Sony digital imagery equipment, a trip to the awards ceremony in London and $25,000.

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