Monday, 27 March 2017

Armenian News...A Topalian... Catholicos of All Armenians Sends Letter of Condolence

Catholicos of All Armenians Sends Letter of Condolence to British Prime Minister
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services

25 March, 2017 
On March 24 , His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; sent a letter of condolence to Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, for the casualties suffered during the terrorist attacks in London on March 22 .

His Holiness expressed his condolences to the friendly people of the United Kingdom, the families and relatives of the victims, wishing a speedy recovery for the injured.
"We strongly condemn these terrorist and extremist acts, which have no justification and is a challenge to all nations and peoples. We are confident that the compassionate UK government will do all that it can to prevent such future crimes, providing your Godly people a peaceful, secure and tranquil life.

May the Heavenly Lord bless you and be supportive to the UK and your pious people”, reads the letter sent by His Holiness.

[this must be a tactical move to extradite Gulen from the USA after the government these has not done so already. In other words, the Dink trial is being used for domestic purposes] 

Turkish Government News
March 22, 2017 Wednesday
Istanbul prosecutor links Gulen to 2007 murder

Ankara: The Turkish Government has issued the following press release:

An Istanbul prosecutor on Tuesday requested an arrest warrant for
U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen in connection with the 2007 killing of a
prominent Armenian-Turkish journalist, a legal source said.

Gulen and other suspects linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization
(FETO) were named by Gokalp Kokcu, a counter-terrorism prosecutor, as
being involved in the shooting of Hrant Dink, the source said on
condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

FETO is said to have orchestrated last July’s attempted coup that left
249 people dead.

Among those named alongside Gulen, who Ankara is attempting to
extradite from the U.S. over his alleged role in the coup bid, were
former prosecutor Zekeriya Oz, former Zaman editor-in-chief Ekrem
Dumanli, journalists Faruk Mercan and Adem Yavuz Arslan and lawyer
Halil Ibrahim Koca.

Dink was killed in front of his office in Istanbul in January 2007. He
was one of the founders of the bilingual Armenian-Turkish newspaper

His murder sparked widespread protests and led to speculation about
the involvement of far-right groups amid claims of a cover-up.

Ogun Samast was jailed for 23 years in 2011 for the killing. Samast,
who was aged 17 at the time of the shooting, claimed he killed Dink
for “insulting Turkishness”.

Reporting by Murat Kaya; Writing by Sibel Ugurlu
Patriarch election saga drags on for Turkey's Armenians
Author: Orhan Kemal Cengiz
Posted March 22, 2017 

When Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II Mutafyan, the spiritual leader of Turkey’s Armenians, fell ill in 2008, few would have thought that the debate on how to elect a new patriarch would drag on for years. Yet, ever since then, heated debates and divisions have haunted the Armenian community.

The debate had initially focused on whether the circumstances allowed for the election of a new patriarch at all. According to customs, a new patriarch is elected only when the incumbent one dies or steps down. Mesrob II was seriously ill and unable to perform his duties, but he was still alive.

In time, the debate evolved into whether the community should elect a new patriarch or a co-patriarch. Competing to have their respective solutions adopted, proponents of the two options applied separately to the Interior Ministry for permission to hold elections. The ministry, however, made a decision that further complicated the matter, concluding that the community could elect neither a new patriarch nor a co-patriarch but a “patriarch deputy-general.” Although such a post was without precedent in the history and traditions of the Armenian community, the Patriarchate complied. In July 2010, Archbishop Aram Atesyan was appointed patriarch deputy-general.

By October 2016, any remaining hope that Mesrob II could recover was gone. Heeding church traditions, the Patriarchate’s Clerical Assembly had him retired on the grounds he had been unable to perform his duties for seven years. Thus, the process for the election of a new patriarch kicked off.

According to tradition, the Armenians first elect a “degabah,” or trustee, to officially launch and manage the election process and run the Patriarchate until the new patriarch assumes office. So an election was held March 15, with two candidates running for the post: Archbishop Atesyan, and Archbishop Karekin Bekciyan, the primate of the Armenian diocese of Germany. Eventually, the latter was elected degabah.

Soon, however, an “urgent” letter from the Istanbul governor’s office arrived to the Patriarchate, disrupting the process and further entangling things. The letter said the Armenian community was “well-aware of the fundamental methods and customs on the election of patriarchs,” stressed that a patriarch deputy-general was already on duty and proclaimed that starting an election process was “legally impossible.”

In short, the government’s interference derailed the patriarch’s election at the very outset. The Armenian community is now debating how to overcome this new hurdle. In remarks to Al-Monitor, Sebu Aslangil, a lawyer for the community, said Atesyan’s resignation from the post of patriarch deputy-general could remove the ground for the government’s intervention and allow the election process to resume.

This method may indeed prove effective in this particular situation, but it could hardly prevent other interventions on various pretexts down the road. In fact, the interference the Armenian community faces today is only a small reflection of the bigger problems that Turkey’s non-Muslim minorities face in general.

The real problem lies in the absence of any law on the institutions of religious minorities and the Turkish government's refusal to recognize those institutions as legal personalities. No doubt, we are speaking of a consciously and deliberately created loophole here. The absence of a legal framework has spawned an atmosphere that allows for all kinds of intervention into the affairs of non-Muslim minorities, as the case of the Armenian community’s patriarch election demonstrates. Without a legal framework, the government is able to create difficulties for the minorities and leave things in limbo as it likes.

On March 20, Garo Paylan, an ethnic Armenian parliament member for the Kurdish-dominated Peoples’ Democratic Party , submitted a written parliamentary question to the interior minister, asking why the election process was blocked. “The Armenian community met the letter [from the Istanbul governor’s office] with great dismay and deems it to be an intervention into the election process,” the document, seen by Al-Monitor, said. Paylan asked what legislation stood as a basis for the letter, who ordered its “urgent” delivery to the Patriarchate and what required this intervention at a time when the Armenian community had reached a consensus on electing a new patriarch.

In libertarian legal systems, the absence of rules on a certain subject means that full liberty is available there. In Turkey, however, the absence of legal regulations on religious interactions within non-Muslim minorities is being used as a pretext for interventions that make life harder for them and complicate their affairs.

The problem goes well beyond the election of spiritual leaders. It is a far-reaching climate of political and legal ambiguity that affects a long list of issues, including how non-Muslim religious entities can acquire property, how they can bring in clergy from abroad, how they can raise their own clergy in Turkey and what religious titles they can use. It is because of this climate that Ankara is able to claim that the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians , represents only the 3,000-strong Greek minority in Turkey and cannot use the “ecumenical” title. It is because of this climate that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is still unable to reopen its historical seminary on Istanbul’s Heybeliada island, which was its main institution for training clergy before being arbitrarily closed in 1971.

In sum, as long as Turkey refuses to openly recognize non-Muslim religious institutions and legislate laws that respect human rights in this realm — something that both its founding document, the Lausanne Treaty, and various human rights conventions require — the climate of political and legal ambiguity will reign on, and Turkish governments using this or that pretext will continue to meddle as they like in the affairs of non-Muslim communities. Unless the giant legal vacuum is filled, the latest snag in the Armenian community’s election saga will remain as only one episode on a long list of interventions that will continue to extend. 

Here are a few Armenian sayings that proove  to us that we shouldn’t translate them into English:

- khelket sirem - let me love your brain
- Eshou tsak : donkeys son
- Zekhemin keuk : the poisons root
- kloukhs mi artouger: dont iron my head
- barab dagar : empty barrel
- amma khyar es : your such a cucumber
- eshoun sadgadz deghe : the place where the donkey died
- baytelik es : your gonna blow up
- fesh fesh enoughe : the spray bottle
- gadghadz gabig es : your an exited monkey
- vodkis dage bidi arnem : im gonna put you under my feet
- chortsadz lati bes es : your like a dried cloth
- eshou kak : donkeys ****
- inch ga chiga? : whats existing and what isnt?
- maman vorige gerere : the mom ate your ass
- Pores ge keshe gor: my stomach is driving
- Kitt perant meg gnem : I'll do your mouth & nose 1 .
- Tasis vra-en antsa : I passed on my homework.
- Moukht ge marem : I'll put off your smoke.
- Anoush Paghnik : Sweet shower .
- Anoush ella : may it be sweet.
- baghadz abour es : you are cold soup
- peranes maz ge pousn i: hair is growing out of my mouth
- kaken e : its from the ****
- hasagit chap lezou ounis : your tongue is as long as your
- Klookhs darir : you took my head away
- chigheroos tbar : u touched my veins
- Sird chi ga : there isnt any heart
- shat es eres arnum - you're purchasing way too many faces
- Mernem jigyarit! - Let me die on your liver
- Che Ha - No Yes
- poush poush hayvan - hedgehog
- kloukhet taghem - I'll bury your head
- tsaynet tzuynet chelav - your voice and snow didnt come out
- tepp-teghin - yell-yellow
- bus-barab - empty bus
- sussik-pussik - silent cat
- mukhes maretzav - my smoke deleted
- tzavet danem - I'll take away your pain
- khelkes tartzav - my brain flipped over
- hame hode hanetzir - you took out the odor and taste
- boyit mernem - let me die on your tallness
- fsdekhi bes degha eh : hes a boy like a peanut
- ehh kna yao veras kere - tsk..go and write something on me
- hokis elav = my soul left
- Kakeh hanetsir - you took the **** out.
- Engeris patsi - I opened my friend
- panosin atchke khosi - panos' eye talk
- echoo koolookh - head of a donkey
- kake hanetzir - you took the **** out
- kheyari genemanis--- --> u look like a cucumber
- sird chounim - i have no heart
- sird chi ga - there isnt any heart
- tserkerout talar - ur hands ever fresh
- chigheroos tbar - u touched my veins
- kites peranes perir - you brought it from my nose and my mouth
- kezi bade bidi paktsenem - im gonna stick u to the wall

EUROPP - European Politics and Policy
London School of Economics, UK
Armenia’s watershed election: More free, but less fair 
March 25 2017 

As Armenia prepares for a parliamentary election on 2 April, the coming contest has already been marred by pronounced polarisation and deep division. With Armenia moving to a full parliamentary form of government, writes Richard Giragosian , the election will be particularly significant and could very well shape the future of the country.

Armenia is preparing to hold a watershed election for a new parliament on 2 April. This election is especially significant, for several reasons. Most notably, it marks the start of the transformation to a full parliamentary form of government, as part of a process that will culminate in the phasing out of the current semi-presidential system by 2018.

The significance of this election is further demonstrated by a political transition that has already been underway for some time, involving the emergence of both a new political opposition and the promotion of a new, younger political elite. Both the newly established opposition and the rising political elite are defined not only by a starkly different political style and approach than their predecessors, but also stand out as members of a new, younger generation of leaders and candidates.

Against that backdrop, Armenian society has also changed, with a demonstrable end to apathy and a pronounced rise in civic activism. Other related changes are not as positive, however, and include the onset of serious economic crisis , driven by the challenge of reduced remittances, the burden of entrenched corruption, and widening disparities in wealth and incomes. An additional undercurrent of instability and simmering discontent also poses new obstacles for the smooth conduct of the vote and a relatively peaceful response to the outcome. Therefore, from this broader perspective, the April 2017 parliamentary election stands as a serious milestone for the future of stability in Armenia.

Personalities over policies 

The April election also shares a distressing number of similarities with previous ballots, however. Most notably, the election campaign has once again stood out for its paucity of policy alternatives and a poverty of ideas. Matching Armenia’s political tradition, the election is more of a confrontation between strong personalities rather than competition among parties or over policies. And the concepts of political concession and compromise are limited to deal making between members of the ruling political elite. While demonstrating the absence of real political parties, this also displays the primitive nature of Armenian politics, where yet again the ordinary voter is largely deprived of choice and denied any voice in determining the policies of the government.

This paucity of any substantial policy debate is matched only by a string of campaign slogans and a series of political promises. For the government, the promises of future economic growth and pledges of security are merely a reiteration of an already tired script. And in the face of a serious economic downturn and recent clashes over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, such vague statements seem particularly disingenuous.

This is only further magnified by a surprising political paradox. Unlike most elections where an incumbent government runs on its own record, in Armenia, there is little political memory and even less accountability for holding officials to their platforms and promises. This is also evident in the complete lack of any discussion of the essential policies of a sitting government, such as its record on job creation or economic management.

The opposition is also woefully short on policy specifics. Despite the fading of the country’s older, more established political opposition, which is now seen as discredited and marginalised, the emergence of a significant new political opposition has yet to craft or create its own set of policy alternatives. Yet there is a degree of promise from this new opposition force, comprised of an electoral bloc between two new political entrants, the pro-European “Bright Armenia” and the diverse “Civil Contract” parties.

Election outlook: more free, yet less fair 

With an election endowed with a combination of improved voting technology and greater numbers of election observers, the conducting of the poll itself is widely expected to be demonstrably better than previous elections. Such an improved outcome is especially vital for Armenia, which has long been hampered by a string of previous elections that were tainted with serious voting irregularities and voter fraud. But even a “cleaner,” improved vote process is not guaranteed, especially as for most Armenian election officials, their only experience is with “fixing” or “rigging” a ballot, and not necessarily with enforcing a lawful and orderly vote.

And an improved ballot in itself will not be enough for real progress, for two reasons. First, even with a clearly improved and substantially “more free” election, the erosion of public trust and confidence in the Armenian government will inherently undermine any public acceptance of the results, no matter who wins. Even more importantly, a second factor hindering democratic progress stems from the recognition that no matter how “free” the election will be, it will also most likely be substantially “less fair.”

This contradiction, between a “more free” yet “less fair” election, emanates from the natural advantage of incumbency. Through what has become known as “administrative resources,” the state is able to exert pressure on civil servants, such as school teachers and hospital workers, and the army, among others, to coerce voters in its favour. While such an advantage from incumbency is natural for any incumbent government, it is the abuse of such “administrative resources” that makes this such an egregious violation.

Looming instability 

Against this backdrop, the question for Armenia is no longer whether the election will be yet another “missed opportunity” for democratic change through the ballot box. Rather, the real test will not be the conduct on election day itself, but will come the day after the vote. And the outlook for stability in Armenia remains bleak, as neither the government nor the opposition recognises the risk of post-election unrest. The situation is especially tense, due to the deepening level of discontent and dissent.

And as the government’s rather arrogant over-confidence may blind it to the looming risk, the opposition’s failure to see the danger also prevents it from playing a helpful role to diffuse any crisis or violent unrest. Thus, this approaching election now stands as a watershed moment for Armenia, with the future of the country and the outlook for stability in the balance.

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