Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Armenian News... A Topalian... fb new flower & Turkish media

Panorama, Armenia
May 13 2017
Facebook new flower reaction causes controversy in Turkish media 

The purple flower emoji introduced by Facebook on the occasion of the Mother’s Day has caused controversy in the Turkish media and among internet users, blaming Facebook for a conspiracy against Turkey through introducing a feature of explicit similarity to the symbol of the Armenian Genocide Centennial. 

First appearing in 2016, the violet flower emoji came as a further range of reactions to Facebook Like button in between other regular reactions, allowing to respond to posts with a “thankful” sentiment. Facebook has added this feature on a temporary basis, so it may disappear once the occasion is over. 

“Does this “thankful” flower symbolize the Armenian genocide?”, “What is the concealed message by Facebook through introducing this flower,” “The Armenian plot of Facebook against Turks,” and other similar headlines are common throughput Turkish media, claiming the popular media platform showed solidarity with Armenians and honor the memory of the Armenian Genocide victims. 

Among justifications to support those claims are arguments that the flower had been widely popularized in 2015 as the symbol of the Armenian Genocide and largely associated with the Genocide. 

To remind, the flower called ‘forget-me-not’ was chosen as a symbol of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide marked in 2015. The graphic image of the symbol was developed by Sharm Holding, who said the flower was considered a symbol of God’s presence in the Middle Ages. The forget-me-not has five petals, each of which symbolizes the five continents, where Armenians settled after the genocide. 

Apart from that, in the basis of the etymology of the word forget-me-not lies the same meaning in different languages, i.e. “Remember!”, which was the main message of the Armenian Genocide Centennial. 

May 14 2017
Armenia's Artsvik takes 18th spot at Eurovision 2017  

Salvador Sobral from Portugal won the 62nd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev, Ukraine on Sunday, May 14. The contest will thus be held in Portugal in 2018. 

Armenia's delegate in Eurovision 2017, Artsvik took the 18th spot with her song "Fly With Me" on Sunday, May 14. 

26 countries participated in the Eurovision 2017 Grand Final. 

Artsvik competed in The Voice of Russia before returning to Armenia in 2016. Her track is called Fly With Me and is composed by Lilith Navasardyan and Levon Navasardyan. 

Interfax - Russia & CIS General Newswire
May 12, 2017
Armenia denies having "agents" in Azerbaijan

Yerevan has dismissed reports of the arrest of a group of "Armenian
agents" in Azerbaijan, calling the official Azeri statement to that
effect a provocation.

"Unlike Azerbaijan, Armenia has never regarded terrorist activities as
a means and method of warfare," Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman
Artsrun Hovhannisyan wrote on his Facebook page

"Armenia is seeing this as a new, far-reaching provocation of the
Azerbaijan military-political leadership," Hovhannisyan said.

On May 7 Azerbaijan's Prosecutor General's Office, Interior Ministry
and State Security Service announced the arrest of a group of military
officers and civilians who had secretly worked for Armenian
intelligence agencies. 

May 15 2017
Azerbaijan fires from guided missile towards Karabakh military objective 

Azerbaijani armed forces on Monday, May 15, at around 4:30pm initiated provocations along the Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) border, using a guided missile to open fire towards a Karabakh army military objective.

According to the Artsakh army, "one unit of military equipment was partially damaged."

In a statement, the Karabakh Defense Army said it has sustained no manpower losses in the attack.

"We declare that the Azerbaijani armed forces' provocations will not go unanswered, with Baku set to bear the whole responsibility of the consequences," the statement said.

According to some Azerbaijani media reports, an Osa missile system has been damaged.

ARMINFO News Agency, Armenia
May 12, 2017 Friday
Poll: 80% of Armenian population regrets USSR collapse
Sona Aznauryan

80% of Armenians regret the collapse of the USSR. This
is evidenced by the data of the survey of the organization Pew
Research Center.

According to the results of the survey, 79% of respondents are
negative about the collapse of the Soviet Union. Only 15% of
respondents favored the collapse of the USSR. The same 79% of
Armenians recognized Russia as a defender of Christian values, and 83%
of the population recognized Russia as a counterweight to the
influence of the West.

Within the framework of the study "The Future of Global Religion"
about 25 thousand Europeans in 18 countries of the world were

To note, from the recent study of the Levada Center it became known
that more than half of the population of the Russian Federation regret
the collapse of the USSR.

ARKA, Armenia
May 13 2017
World Bank predicts 2.7 percent growth for Armenia in 2017 

 Economic growth in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) will accelerate slightly in 2017, following the stabilization of oil prices, benefiting the eastern half of the region, and a continued recovery in the western half of the region, according to the latest ECA Economic Update, Trade in Transition report, launched today in Tbilisi, Georgia. 

According to the report , Armenia’s growth slowed considerably – to 0.2 percent in 2016 from 3 percent in 2015 – due to the protracted slump in global metal prices (Armenia’s main commodity exports), falling remittances, and an unexpected Cabinet reshuffle, all of which affected market sentiment.

The report says the Russian recession continued to negatively impact remittances, which fell by 35 percent in 2015 and a further 10 percent in 2016. Declining wage and remittance income increased the poverty rate from 22.6 percent in 2015 to an estimated 23.9 percent in 2016 at PPP-adjusted 2.5 dollar/day poverty line.

The increase of the international poverty rate masks different developments across locations in the country; in urban areas outside Yerevan, the large number of returning temporary and permanent migrants is placing additional pressure on labor markets, and it is expected that the increase of poverty will be higher than in rural areas. In the latter, subsistence farming acts as a coping mechanism for weak domestic and international labor markets.

Outlook Growth is projected to accelerate to 2.7 percent in 2017, reflecting the sustained expansion of the tradable sectors and a modest recovery in domestic consumption. Medium term growth is projected to average 3-3.5 percent a year, given structural weaknesses in the domestic policy framework, and remaining uncertainties in external environment.

The government’s planned expenditure restraint and full implementation of the Tax Code are expected to keep the fiscal deficit below 3 percent of GDP over the medium term. Policy changes envisaged in the Tax Code would boost revenues by 2 percentage points of GDP by 2021.

Future poverty reduction will hinge on the recovery of the domestic economy, labor-market dynamics, and remittance inflows. Low growth rates, unfavorable external conditions, and limited fiscal space could slow the pace of poverty reduction; as a result, the poverty rate is projected to fall from 23.8 percent in 2017 to 22.2 percent in 2019. Risks and challenges Armenia’s medium-term outlook remains sensitive to internal and external factors, which entail both upside and downside risks.

Growth prospects depend on the government’s ability to scale up high quality investment, and speed up structural reform. Challenges to this include the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in April 2017 and May 2018, respectively. Cabinet changes in the wake of each election could adversely affect investor confidence and slow the pace of reform.

Domestic political pressures could compound with the negative impact external shocks—including a slower-than expected recovery in Russia. Upside risks include plans for a new Framework Agreement with the EU and an anticipated increase in trade with Iran following the easing of international sanctions and revisiting bilateral arrangements for trade facilitation. The recent mandatory increase in capital-adequacy ratios is strengthening the financial sector, but the rise of nonperforming loans poses new challenges. -0-

Armenpress News Agency , Armenia
May 13, 2017 Saturday
Armenian winemaking undergoes revival - Armenia's Viticulture and
Winemaking Fund representative
Rather serious changes can be noticed in
the winemaking sphere of Armenia in the recent years and investors are
interested in creating winemaking business in Armenia, “Armenpress”
reports acting Executive Director of Armenia'sViticulture and
Winemaking Fund Zaruhi Muradyan told the reporters on May 13.
According to her, new orchards, factories have been established in
Armenia in the recent years, but for making high-quality wine it’s
necessary to obtain high-quality grape.

“Unfortunately, for years orchards were created in Armenia for brandy
production. Cultivation of correct orchard for making grape wine does
not exist”, she said.

According to Muradyan, if in the past Armenia produced wine only for
Armenia, now they are able to produce wine for European and global
markets which record achievements in various contests.

“We, wine business producers, say that winemaking undergoes revival in
Armenia, since it develops by huge steps”, Zaruhi Muradyan said,
adding that the oldest wine factory is in Armenia.

May 15 2017
BBC’s “Sherlock” most popular show on Netflix among Armenians 

BBC’s “Sherlock” - crime drama about Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in modern-day London - is the most popular show that Armenians watch on Netflix, Highspeed Internet reveals.

Using Google Trends data, the portal ranked countries by their number of Netflix-related searches and cross-referenced their ranks with their most-searched show.

Top 5 most popular Netflix shows in the world are “Sherlock,” “Friends,” “Narcos,” “House of Cards” and “New Girl.”

With over 190 countries and twenty-one languages serviced, Netflix has around 70.5 million global subscribers, and 53% of those are based in the United States. Out of the remaining 47%, the places most interested in Netflix are Canada, Ireland, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Denmark, and Norway.

AMC's critically-acclaimed series “Breaking Bad” is the most popular show in Georgia, “Sherlock” in Azerbaijan, Showtime’s original series “The Tudors” in Turkey, South Korean TV series “Love Rain” in Iran, CW's “Arrow” in Russia and Showtime’s “Shameless” in the United States.

May 15 2017
Armenians disinclined to accept Jews, Muslims as family members: study 

Roughly a quarter in Armenia say they would be willing to accept Jews as family members, a new study by Pew Research Center shows. 

Respondents across 18 countries in Central and Eastern Europe were asked whether they would be willing to accept Jews, Muslims and Roma (also known as Romani or Gypsies, a term some consider pejorative) as citizens of their country, neighbors and family.

Acceptance of Muslims is even lower in the country– 5% of Armenian Orthodox Christians say they would be willing to accept a Muslim in their family, the study finds.

About one-in-ten people in Armenia revealed they would be willing to accept Roma in their family, compared with, for example, 30% in Moldova and 18% in Russia.

The survey further found out that only 49% of Orthodox Armenians said they would be willing to accept Catholics in the family.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey
May 14 2017
Armenian orphanage Kamp Armen to be rebuilt as social, cultural facility 

An Armenian orphanage in Istanbul’s Tuzla district, which was demolished on April 8 to prepare for the construction of a new building, will be rebuilt as a social and cultural facility.

The orphanage was built in 1962 by the Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church, as a former building on the site could not host the increasing number of Armenian students arriving from various parts of Anatolia.

Known as the orphanage where Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian journalist who was murdered in 2007, and his wife, Rakel Dink, studied, it was expropriated by the Turkish state in 1987 on the basis of a 1936 bill preventing minority foundations from acquiring property.

Although the Turkish government signed a historic decree in 2011 to return property taken away from minority foundations, the camp was omitted, alongside hundreds of other properties. 

Fatih Ulusoy, the land owner, had initially tried to demolish Kamp Armen in May 2015, but the controversial plan was later shelved as Ulusoy said he would donate it to the Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church and School Foundation.

Efforts to demolish the camp received widespread attention once the news broke on social media. The demolition was subsequently stopped when many people, including activists and leading figures from the Armenian community, rushed to the area to protest the demolition work.

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s municipal council on May 12 unanimously accepted the construction plan regarding the orphanage, which will be rebuilt taking the original building into account. The Kamp Armen area was taken under “Social and Cultural Facility Area” category in line with the Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church and School Foundation’s will. 

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, a council member from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Hüseyin Sağ, said Kamp Armen was significant since Hrant Dink was raised there.

“It became a social and cultural facility area. Now, Armenian citizens, non-Muslims or our Muslim citizens, we will all go there and sit. We will benefit from the social and cultural facility. This is a place where a person like Hrant Dink stayed in the orphanage. It’s also important because of that,” Sağ said.

According to the construction plan regarding the plot, which is owned by the Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church and School Foundation and Tuzla Municipality, the area will include vocational courses, movie theaters, exhibition and conference halls, a library, a dormitory, a nursing home and an orphanage.

The plan will also ensure the protection of green areas.

The Sun, UK
May 13 2017
Manchester United star Henrikh Mkhitaryan reveals his joy of fulfilling a lifelong dream in reaching a European final
By Dave Fraser 

MANCHESTER UNITED star Henrikh Mkhitaryan has revealed his joy of fulfilling a lifelong dream in reaching a major European final.

The Armenian attacker, 28, helped Jose Mourinho ‘s men scraped into the Europa League final with a 2-1 aggregate win over La Liga side Celta Vigo in the last-four.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan helped Man United make it to the Europa League final
Rex Features Henrikh Mkhitaryan helped Man United make it to the Europa League final

Mkhitaryan then took to Instagram to reveal the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford helped him achieve a dream he’s had since he was a child.

Mkhitaryan captioned an image of himself in a stadium as a youngster: “As a child I could only dream of one day making it to a big European final.

“Thank you to everybody who supported us last night at Old Trafford! #uel @uefaeuropaleague #mufc @manchesterunited”

Henrikh Mkhitaryan shared his lifelong dream alongside this image on Instagram

Henrikh Mkhitaryan shared his lifelong dream alongside this image on Instagram

The former Borussia Dortmund man has turned out in ten of United's Europa League game - including seven of the eight knockout stage games.

Mkhitaryan scored in both legs of the quarter-final win over Anderlecht - including the extra-time game at Old Trafford in April.

The Armenian also found the bet against St Etienne and Rostov as he added a real spark to Mourinho's side going forward in Europe.

His form is almost certainly linked to his lifelong desire to reach a European final.

Last season, his Dortmund side were knocked out in dramatic circumstances to Liverpool in the last-eight - losing 4-3 at Anfield thanks to a last-minute Dejan Lovren goal, having led 3-1.

Mkhitaryan scored in the fifth-minute of that game - before moving to United later in the summer.

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