Sunday, 19 March 2017

Armenian News... A Topalian... Street name to be named after Armenian Writer Zabel Yesayan
One of the Streets in Paris to Be Renamed after Famous Armenian Writer Zabel Yesayan 

In honor of the official visit of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan to France, one of the streets of Paris will be renamed after the famous Armenian writer Zabel Yesayan. 

The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo said during the meeting with RA President in the Paris City Hall, the official website of RA President reports. 

"We have decided to rename one of the streets of Paris after Zabel Yesayan. She was in the midst of the suffering of the Armenian people and symbolizes all these sufferings. 

Paris we retain the memory of all the sufferings of rebellions, struggles endured by the Armenian people, but at the same time we are opening the possible roads which will express hope, discoveries and initiatives also in Yerevan’’, said the mayor.
Jewish Right-wing Extremists Riot During Performance by Christian Cho

ir in Jerusalem
Two members of anti-assimilationist group Lehava arrested, including 
leader Bentzi Gopstein,
after trouble flares during song by Armenian Church Choir
By Nir Hasson 

Right-wing extremists rioted during a performance by a Christian choir at a contemporary arts event in Jerusalem on Thursday . The police arrested two members of the anti-assimilationist Lehava organization, including its leader, Bentzi Gopstein.

Dozens of extremists infiltrated the Manofim contemporary arts festival event, being held in the Clal Center mall, and clashed with attendees. The event was the finale of Manofim’s ninth annual festival. Organizers had wanted to take advantage of the circular shape of the Clal Center interior, one of the oldest commercial centers in Jerusalem.

Various choirs performed on the ground floor during the evening while hundreds of people stood on the floors above to watch.

The right-wing demonstration erupted during the performance by the city’s Armenian Church Choir. An eyewitness said the disruption started when the choir began singing, and that it took a long time for the police to arrive.

Meanwhile, Gopstein and other activists allegedly shouted at the choir, “Christians!”, “Go to Syria!”, “Jew murderers!” and more. The choir was forced to stop performing after one song.

Following the event, security guards and police blocked the entrance, and several Lehava members gathered in front of the building and protested that they were not allowed to go inside.

“Two right-wing activists were arrested after they refused to obey police orders, and continued to interfere with the event and disrupted the public order with shouts and confrontations with police,” the police said in a statement.

Right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir claimed that officers hit Gopstein in the head during the clash, adding that Gopstein needed medical treatment for his injuries.

Rinat Edelstein and Lee He Shulov, the directors-curators of the Manofim festival, said in a statement: “We are still shocked and pained about the violent and vulgar behavior of Lehava, headed by Bentzi Gopstein. We wish to express our solidarity with the Armenian choir that was forced to leave the event because of Lehava’s violence against them.

“We were shocked to find that in Israel in 2016, such a violent organization is not outlawed and its members are not sitting in jail,” they added.

Rabbi Noa Sattath, executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, which organized a counterdemonstration against Lehava on Thursday evening, said, “The fact that Lehava thugs do not rest for a moment, and that while hundreds of citizens — Jews and Arabs — demonstrate against them, they choose to violently interrupt religious Christian activities, is clear proof that the head of this criminal organization, Bentzi Gopstein, should be prosecuted as quickly as possible, before more blood is spilled in the capital.”

RFE/RL Report
EU `Very Concerned' About Pre-Election Violence In Armenia
March 16, 2017
Artak Hambardzumian

The European Union expressed on Thursday serious concern at violent
attacks on opposition supporters in an Armenian village, warning that
failure to punish their perpetrators could complicate the proper
conduct of Armenia's upcoming parliamentary elections.

Piotr Switalski, head of the EU Delegation in Yerevan, also urged
Armenians not to sell their votes and made clear that the Armenian
authorities will be able to count on more EU aid if the April 2 polls
meet democratic standards.

"Of course, we are very worried, very concerned," Switalski said,
commenting on the election-related incidents that occurred in the
village of Jrarat.

Three Jrarat residents sympathetic to the ORO opposition alliance were
hospitalized with serious injuries on Tuesday after being attacked by
a large group of other men allegedly linked to the village mayor
affiliated with the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). One of
the victims was shot and wounded while another was stabbed.

The incident occurred two days after a police officer living in Jrarat
fired gunshots while clashing with several ORO sympathizers following
a rally held by the opposition bloc in the village 20 kilometers
southwest of Yerevan. The officer, Lernik Yeranosian, is a brother of
Levon Yeranosian, a controversial deputy chief of the Armenian
police. The Jrarat mayor is their cousin.

ORO leaders claim that Levon Yeranosian personally directed the
attackers on Tuesday. A police spokesman insisted on Wednesday that
the police general was not in the village during the incident.

Switalski urged Armenian law-enforcement authorities to identify and
hold accountable those responsible for the attacks. Or else, he said,
such incidents could "snowball" into more serious trouble.

"When you don't properly react to first cases of violence then you may
have a very bad situation which is very difficult to control," warned
the diplomat. "I hope that they will be doing their job," said of the
police and other law-enforcement bodies.

Prime Minister Karen Karapetian, who leads the HHK's election
campaign, strongly condemned the Jrarat violence on Wednesday. He said
the law-enforcement bodies are taking "necessary investigative
actions" to solve the case.

So far only one man has been arrested in connection with Tuesday's

Switalski also reiterated that the EU expects the Armenian authorities
to hold free and fair elections, having provided them with over $7
million in financial assistance for that purpose. "Good elections in
Armenia will boost relations with the European Union," he told
reporters, adding that they will also lead to more EU aid to Armenia.

The EU funding cited Switalski is being used for the purchase of
special electronic equipment designed to prevent multiple voting as
well as web cameras for live online broadcasts of voting and ballot
counting from the vast majority of Armenian polling
stations. Installation of these devices was part of an
election-related agreement reached by the Armenian government and the
parliamentary opposition last fall.

Opposition representatives have already questioned the government's
stated commitment to democratic elections, saying that the HHK and its
individual candidates, many of them wealthy individuals, are buying
votes. The ruling party denies this.

Switalski seemed to echo concerns about widespread vote buying, openly
urging Armenians to refuse vote bribes. "You may be approached by
people who will be offering you money or services," he said, appealing
to them. "I hope that Armenians will reject such offers. No amount of
money is worth your votes. Don't sell your votes."
Chairman of Turkish Azerbaijani Union sentenced in the Netherlands for anti-Armenian hate speech
17 Mar 2017 

Ilhan Askin, chairman of the Turkish Azerbaijani Cultural Association in The Hague, has been sentenced to in the Netherlands for hate speech and inciting violence, for his “Karabakh will be Armenians’ grave” chants, the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) reports.

Askin has been sentenced to 120 hours of community service and a suspended imprisonment of four weeks with a probation period of two years.

Askin was prosecuted for having chanted “Karabakh will be the grave of the Armenians” during a Turkish rally in Almelo. With this statement, according to the prosecutor, he incited violence against and insulted a group of people because of their Armenian descent.

On 1 June 2014 a Turkish demonstration took place in Almelo, against the Genocide memorial erected in the churchyard of the Armenian Apostolic Church in the city.

The Armenian community, namely the Federation of Armenian Organizations in the Netherlands (FAON) and Dutch Armenian Committee for Justice and Democracy (Hay Tad) had filed a complaint against the statements made during that demonstration.

The court hearing on the case on March 3 lasted for two hours and was attended by many Armenians and Turks, as well as Dutch, Armenian and Turkish media. The video played during the session showed Mr. Askin chanting the words “Karabakh will be the grave of the Armenians” several times, and a crowd of a few thousand people repeating the slogan.

Mr. Askin stated that he doesn’t consider his statements an offence. He said that his expressions relate to a specific region, where due to the current situation war will possibly break out and blood will be shed. He believes that he has not done anything wrong. He declared he doesn’t regret his statements.

The Prosecutor extensively explained the process of examination of the case and demanded 80 hours of community service and a suspended imprisonment of two weeks with a probation period of two years, because it is necessary to give a strong message.

Express, UK
March 16 2017
Trouble brewing in Netherlands as Erdogan supporters win first seats in Dutch election
A TURKISH-DUTCH party has secured its first ever seats in the Netherlands parliament as the Turkey row escalates.
By Katie Mansfield
Thu, Mar 16, 2017 
Turkish-Dutch party Denk, accused of being a mouthpiece for Erdogan, won three seats in the electionEPA Turkish-Dutch party Denk, accused of being a mouthpiece for Erdogan, won three seats in the election

Denk, a party founded by Tunahan Kuzu and Selçuk Öztürk has become the first ever ethic minority party in the Dutch parliament.

The party, which has long been accused of being a mouthpiece for Turkish president Recep Erdogan, won three seats in an election focused on immigration.

Party leader Tunahan Kuzu said: “This is the beginning of a new chapter in our history. The new Netherlands has given a vote in the House.”

The party has targeted Dutch-Turks for support during the campaign and has seen a rise in support amid a diplomatic row between the Netherlands and Turkey .

On Monday, Ankara said it would suspend high-level relations with the Netherlands after Dutch authorities barred Turkish ministers from addressing expatriate Turks in a campaign for a referendum about giving President Erdogan sweeping powers.

The Turkish president is counting on the support of expatriates in the April 16 referendum and he reacted furiously to the Dutch moves over the weekend, accusing the government of acting like "Nazi remnants".

Prime Minister Mark Rutte fired back saying Turkey was acting "in a totally unacceptable, irresponsible manner".

It is thought the row gave Mr Rutte a last-minute boost in the Dutch election allowing him to take a tough line on a majority Muslim country during an election campaign in which immigration and integration have been key issues.

The president and the Turkish government have said on several occasions they are not interested in interfering with domestic European politics.

But as 13million voters went to the polls in the Netherlands President Erdogan urged Turks not to vote for Mr Rutte’s government or Geert Wilders .

He warned: "Vote for parties that have a dialogue with Turkey. Be careful about this."

With around 95 percent of votes counted, Mr Rutte's VVD Party won 33 of parliament's 150 seats, down from 41 at the last vote in 2012.

Geert Wilders was second with 20, the CDA and centrist Democrats 66 tied for third with 19 each.

APA, Azerbaijan
Armenia invites Azerbaijan to observe parliamentary election
March 16 2017

Armenia has invited Azerbaijan to conduct an observation mission in the parliamentary election to be held on April 2.

A letter signed by Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan has been sent to all CIS member states including Azerbaijan for sending missions to observe the parliamentary election in country, APA reported citing .

Victor Guminsky, executive secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States ( CIS ), told reporters in Yerevan that only Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus gave a positive response to the invitation.

A total of 76 observers from the abovementioned countries will monitor the parliamentary election in Armenia.
Christian Bale, Chris Cornell and Serj Tankian to attend premiere of The Promise
17 Mar 2017 

Christian Bale, Chris Cornell, Serj Tankian, Angela Sarafyan and filmmaker Terry George will attend the premiere of the Armenian genocide-themed film The Promise.

Inspired by true events, The Promise tells the important story of the Armenian genocide and a struggle for love in a time of turmoil. This is the first wide-release film about a tragic history, featuring a critically acclaimed cast and director, and you’ll be there to experience the premiere in true Hollywood style.

The film hits theatres on April 21. 
Famous Armenian Composer Tigran Mansurian’s “Requiem” CD Album to be released soon 
Famous Armenian Composer Tigran Mansurian’s "Requiem" CD Album will be released in a few days. Although only an announcement has been made about this, the European media outlets have already covered the topic. “Requiem” composition has been recorded by famous ECM Company of Munich.

It is co-commissioned by the Munich Chamber Orchestra and RIAS Chamber Choir in Berlin and first performed by them in Berlin.

Maestro Mansurian today held a meeting with the students and lecturers at Yerevan Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences, during which he announced about the release of the "Requiem" CD.

Tigran Mansurian presented the history of the creation of the Requiem composition.

“My parents were raised in an orphanage having survived the turmoil of the First World War and the Armenian Genocide. The impressions of those years were always alive in our home, especially during my childhood years. I have always lived in that atmosphere. My mother have told me many stories. I never thought about composing a requiem. However, there came a time when I felt such a need [for writing a requiem]. In order to write it, I needed to create an enormous cultural field related to that genre.

I began writing a requiem, however I left it unfinished, as I felt that it was not the way it was meant to be. The second attempt ended in the same way.

One day, one of my friends – the conductor of the Munich Chamber Orchestra, proposed me to write the Requiem. I began to cooperate with Munich Chamber Orchestra and RIAS Chamber Choir in Berlin.

I worked on this work for two years. Its premiere was held in 2011, Berlin to be followed by its performances in many states. It lived its own life,” the composer said.

A part of the Requiem called Lamb of God was performed during the meeting. In the words of Tigran Mansurian, the requiems usually have such an ending.

“I have to admit that I received the CD from Germany 15 days ago and have not still managed to listen to it. I am listening it for the first time, the recording has been performed well. In general, I am not used to listening to my own music,” the composer said.

Asked what significance a language has for a musician, he said: “Language is a great school: its phonetic system, accentuation, semantics, psychology. Any word has lived a life and has an experience, that makes it a word. It has century-long history. Of course, musicians pass different paths and have different grounds; however language plays an exceptional role in all that.

In case of the Requiem, I had to use a Latin text, so that not only we, Armenians, but also any music group manages to perform it. The text was in Latin, but I composed it upon the basis of the Armenian music tradition. I was singing in Latin but the words seemed to be in Armenian for me.”

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