Thursday, 27 July 2017

Armenian News... A Topalian... Damage by Azeri gun on Chinari village

Panorama, Armenia
July 22 2017
Armenia’s Chinari village suffers great damages amid Azerbaijani gunfire 

On July 20, in the period from 8:20 to 19:00, the Azerbaijani military opened gunfire at Chinari village located at Armenia’s bordering Tavush Province. 

As Samvel Saghoyan, headman of Chinari community, told, the village has suffered significant damages as a result of the shelling. 

“The Azerbaijani shooting damaged several houses, the roof of the kindergarten and a tractor. In addition to that, a barn was burnt down, with forage stored inside. One of our villagers suffered 12-13 million AMD in damages,” the village chief said. 

Mr. Saghoyan also noted that the Azerbaijani snipers attempted to shoot down an Armenian young man near the village cemetery. The boy was lucky to go unharmed. 

“The situation is currently calm in the village,” Mr. Saghoyan added. 

To note, on July 21, in the period from 23:00 to 01:00, the Azerbaijani side opened fire at Barekamavan village of Armenia’s bordering Tavush Province. Fortunately, the village did not suffer casualties or damages. 

Voltaire Network
July 23 2017
Turkish Parliamentarians forbidden from bringing up the “Kurdistan” and the “Armenian Genocide”
On 20 July 2017, Turkey’s Great Assembly has adopted a new law, prohibiting its parliamentarians from insulting Turkey’s glorious history by using the words, “Armenian Genocide”, “Kurdistan” and “Kurdish regions”. 

It is well known, common knowledge as it were - but only common to members of the AKP and the MHP (Parties of Nationalist Action) - that the “events of 1915” did not last from 1895 to 1896 and from 1915 to 1916. Such events did not impact all non-Muslims, but only those traitors whose loyalties lay with Russia and occasionally, indirectly, their families. Neither did the events of 1915 cost the lives of 1, 200, 000 men, almost 1, 500, 000, persons, but only the lives of a very small number. And every parliament in the world that has dared to recognize that a genocide took place, is an enemy of the Turkish people, descending from the wolf of the steppes [ 1 ]. 

Similarly, the alleged Kurdistan recognized by the Treaty of Sèvres at the end of the First World War never existed. Furthermore, the conference at Lausanne abandoned it some years later and today it does not exist in Turkey, but in Iraq. And furthermore, it is a complete nonsense to talk of Kurdish regions in Turkey because if there are Kurds in certain governorates, they are first of all, Turkish nationals. 

When the Turks colonised the Arabs, they guaranteed all popular revolt would never take place by closing down schools. And there is little doubt that Sultan Erdogan similarly guaranteed that there would be no challenge from within Parliament by filtering the Turkish language of undesirable language and cleansing the brains of its Parliamentarians of undesirable thoughts. 

Tert, Armenia
July 23 2017
Armenian church celebrating Vardavar or Transfiguration of Christ 

The Armenian Apostolic Church is celebrating the Transfiguration of Christ on Sunday. 

The feast, traditionally known as Vardavar, is marked in the period between June 28 and August 1 to coincide with the 98th day following Easter. It is one of the Tabernacle feasts commemorating the transformation or the “transfiguration” that came over Jesus while He was praying. Christ’s face shone like the sun and his clothes became a radiant and gleaming white. The Apostles Peter, James and John witnessed that event which occurred on a high mountain named Tabor, reports. 

Evangelists St. Matthew, St. Mark and St. Luke testify about the transfiguration of Jesus in the Gospels (Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:1-12, Luke 9:28-36). 

“... As they looked on, a change came over Jesus: his face was shining like the sun and his clothes were dazzling white. Then the three disciples saw Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus. So Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, “Lord, how good it is that we are here! If you wish I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was talking, a shining cloud came over them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased – listen to him!” When the disciples heard the voice, they were so terrified that they threw themselves face downward on the ground. Jesus came to them and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid!” So they looked up and saw no one there but Jesus. (Matthew 17:2-8) 

A week’s fasting precedes Vardavar. The following Monday is a day of commemoration. All the churches serve a liturgy and offer a funeral service in memory of the deceased. 

The word Vardavar traces its origins back to the Indo-European roots var , meaning water, a ar - to drench. Its history dates from the pagan times, a period when it was closely associated with the Goddess Astghik, the symbol of water, love, fertility and beauty. Vardavar was celebrated with a great splendor, with people bringing along roses as a gift to the goddess, releasing doves into the sky and drenching one another with water. The latter tradition has survived to our days. 

Vardavar is a favorite feast especially among children, although adults too, turn out not absolutely indifferent to cool water, especially in the hot summer season. The feast is celebrated in all the regions across Armenia but meets a warmer welcome especially in the north-eastern regions. Since 2015, the International Vardavar Festival is annually organized in Geghard and Garni (Kotayk region), historical sites of Armenian pagan monuments. 

Trend, Azerbaijan
July 24 2017
Baku slams falsification of history and religion by Armenia (UPDATE)
By Seba Aghayeva – Trend: 

Armenian foreign minister’s visit to the occupied Azerbaijani Kalbajar District under the pretext of participating at a religious ceremony Gandzasar 777 is another example of how Armenia politicizes the falsification of history and religion at the state level, Spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend. 

Hajiyev reminded Armenia’s FM that the Albanian-Christian temple, located in the Kalbajar District occupied by Armenian armed forces, is called Ganjasar, but not Gandzasar, and it has nothing to do with the Armenian Orthodox Church. 

“This has been proved by Azerbaijan and foreign historians,” he noted. 

The architecture and composition of the temple complex and sculpture elements confirm the temple’s belonging to the architecture of Caucasian Albania, said Hajiyev. The pseudo-Armenian historiography is unable to explain the difference between the Ganjasar temple and an Armenian church, he added. 

Hajiyev noted that in general, Armenia’s appropriation of Islamic and Christian temples belonging to the Azerbaijani people is a grave violation of international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Conventions. 

“Participation of the Armenian FM at the event once again demonstrates that Armenia is not interested in a peaceful settlement of the [Nagorno-Karabakh] conflict and tries to strengthen the status quo, continuing the occupation of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region and adjacent districts,” Hajiyev said. 

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. 

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. 

Aravot, Armenia

July 22 2017
60.000 Children at Around 600 Schools of Armenia’s 6 Provinces to be Provided with Food 180 Days a Year
The Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchyan and the Head of the UN World Food Program in Armenia Pascal Misho have signed an agreement on providing the continuity of the “Sustainable School Feeding” program in Armenia. The deadline of the program has expired in June 30, 2017, now it is prolonged until December 31, 2018.

“In parallel, the strategy of “Sustainable School Feeding” program is being prepared which includes the continuity and development of the program up to 2025. The program of school feeding is one of our most successful initiatives which has not only a social importance, but is also a serious educational event, which forms very important rules of co-existence in early school age”, announces the Minister of Education and Science, Levon Mkrtchyan.

The target of this year’s program is 60.000 children studying at around 600 kindergartens and elementary schools of 6 provinces of the Republic of Armenia. They will be provided with food 180 days a year, 5 days a week until June, 2018.

Ministry of Education and Science

July 25
Nishanyan on Turkey prison break and asylum in Greece 
Sevan Nishanyan, the Istanbul-based ethnic Armenian scholar who escaped from prison on July 14 , has requested asylum from Greece.

In an exclusive interview to ARMENPRESS, the scholar said he would like to visit Armenia after successfully completing the process.

Mr. Nishanyan, in one of your interviews you mentioned your current location to be Greece. Have you requested an asylum from Greek authorities?

We are beginning the process today . From the very beginning I viewed Greece as my second or third homeland, this is a very beautiful and civilized country. I would be very happy to spend the new phase of my life here.

The most frequently asked question is how did you manage to escape prison? How long did it take you to prepare for the prison break?

It was easy. There were no problems. We had planned 1.5 to 2 years, but practically these plans weren’t required. We just walked out.

After your escape you said everything is possible in Turkey through money. What is the current justice system like in Turkey?

The bureaucracy of Turkey is an absurd and unreasonable mechanism, which lives in an insane world of dreams. If one understands its logic, he can easily play it on his fingers.

You made a tweet about your prison break, saying “The bird flew away: Same wishes to the remaining 80 million”. But as far as I know your family is currently in Turkey. Aren’t you worried for them?

The 4 eldest of my sons are currently on their summer holidays in Turkey. They are mature and reasonable people. I don’t think that something can happen to them.

Even while imprisoned, you wrote books. Did you take those books with you?

I left my pants and shirt, but how could I have left my books and notes. I wrote a book about the history of the Turkish language, as well as dialogue on religion and religions. It will take a year to prepare for publishing. In addition, I wrote short book from my letters to my little girl, Anahit, although I’m not sure if I want to publish it.

Do you plan to visit Armenia in the future?

I would like to come to Armenia at the very first occasion when I will be able to legally travel. I received a lot of love and support from my friends in Armenia when I was in prison. There are many people whom I’d like to thank.

Interview by Araks Kasyan

The Jordan Times, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
July 21, 2017 Friday
Jerusalem church leaders warn against changing city's status quo

AMMAN — Heads of churches in Jerusalem on Thursday warned against any
changes to the historical status quo in Jerusalem as the city
continues to witness tensions.

In a statement, a copy of which was e-mailed to The Jordan Times, an
array of Christian leaders, led by Patriarch Theophilos III of the
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, expressed "serious concern regarding
recent escalation in violent developments around [Al Haram Al Sharif]
and our grief for the loss of human life, and strongly condemn any act
of violence".

The tension followed a shootout between Palestinian armed men and
occupation forces near the compound, resulting in the death of three
Palestinians, from 1948 Palestine, and two Israeli soldiers. Israel
closed down Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif and before opening it,
it imposed strict security measures that were rejected by Palestinians
and their supporters.

"We are worried about any change to the historical situation [status
quo] at Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif and its courtyard, and in
the holy city of Jerusalem. Any threat to its continuity and integrity
could easily lead to serious and unpredictable consequences, which
would be most unwelcome in the present tense religious climate," the
statement said.

The church leaders value the custodianship of the Hashemite Kingdom of
Jordan on Al Aqsa Mosque and the holy places in Jerusalem and the Holy
Land, "which guarantees the right for all Muslims to free access and
worship to Al Aqsa Mosque according to the prevailing status quo."

The statement concluded with renewing the call that "the historical
status quo governing these sites be fully respected, for the sake of
peace and reconciliation to the whole community, and we pray for a
just and lasting peace in the whole region and all its peoples".

Signatories also included Patriarch Nourhan Manougian of the Armenian
Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa
the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate, Fr. Francesco
Patton, OFM, Custos of the Holy Land, Archbishop Anba Antonious of
Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem, Archbishop Swerios Malki
Murad of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate, Archbishop Aba Embakob of
Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate, Greek-Melkite-Catholic Archbishop
Joseph-Jules Zerey, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate's Archbishop Mosa
El Hage, Archbishop Suheil Dawani of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem
and the Middle East, Bishop Munib Younan of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.

Also among the signatories were Bishop Pierre Malki of the Syrian
Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate and Msgr. Georges Dankaye' of the
Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate.

In a related development, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Thursday
during a phone call discussed the latest developments in Al Aqsa
Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif situation with the High Representative of
the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica

Safadi warned of the consequences of the continuing tension that must
be dealt with by Israel's respect for the historical and legal status
of Jerusalem's holy places. He renewed a demand for full and immediate
opening of Al Aqsa Mosque to worshippers and the cancellation of all
the one-sided steps taken by Israel.

He stressed that the Kingdom is exerting intensive efforts led by His
Majesty King Abdullah to restore calm and end the crisis in a manner
that guarantees security, stability and respect for Israel.

He stressed the need for common efforts by the international community
to end the escalation by working to remove the causes of tension
represented by Israel's actions.

OC Media
July 22 2017
A growing trend in Armenia — learning Azerbaijani
by Armine Avetisyan
Learning Azerbaijani is becoming more and more popular in Armenia. While the two countries remain in a near-war-like state, some emphasise the strategic importance of ‘know thy enemy’, while others seek a better understanding of their disconnected neighbours.

For the first time in 2012, an Azerbaijani language textbook was published in Armenia. The book was the initiative of the Chair of Turkish Studies at Yerevan State University. It has been certified to be of an academic level by the university’s Academic Council. The textbook is in great demand today, as the desire to learn Azerbaijani is increasing day by day in Armenia. Learning Azerbaijani

Twenty-eight-year-old economist Ashot Asatryan has been attending private Azerbaijani lessons for two months. At first he tried to learn the language on his own, but was unable to master it through online programmes alone.

‘I read news written on Azerbaijani websites a lot. At one point it was just a hobby. Then I began to actively follow developments in Azerbaijan, whether political or military. I translated the most interesting parts of the news into Armenian and posted them on my Facebook page. My notes were quickly reprinted on Armenian websites. Over time, I went from being a consumer to a distributor of information, and started to study the Azerbaijani-language articles. At that time I realised that I should learn the language, because the translations from Google Translate cannot always be trusted’, Asatryan told OC Media . Previously, he read mostly Russian-language articles, but is now able to read and translate from Azerbaijani.

During his two months of study, Ashot has gained a solid grasp of Azerbaijani grammar, and is now working on enriching his vocabulary. The entire course lasts six months, for which he will pay $300.

‘I am attending individual classes, but there are also a few groups learning the language through another programme. I know many young people who are interested in Azerbaijani like me. I aim to open a specialised language group after learning the language properly, which will teach Azerbaijani’, says Asatryan.

Interest in Azerbaijani has intensified in Armenia — especially after the 2016 Four-Day War. Interest in news from Azerbaijan has spiked, with many people wishing to get a clearer image of what is going on in the ‘enemy country’. People are interested in any kind of news about Azerbaijan, social, political, or military.

‘Our countries are on opposite sides of the conflict, so the presence of experts knowing each other’s language is of strategic importance. Besides, I always say that you need to know your neighbour’s language to communicate and talk with them — it will give you an advantage. The more I talked with Azerbaijanis, the more I felt their discomfort, because I was always one step ahead of them — I have mastered their native language’, Ashot Movsisyan, Asatryan’s Azerbaijani teacher told OC Media . ‘My first teacher was my grandmother’

Movsisyan, 24, is a Turkologist by training. He graduated from Yerevan State University’s Department of Turkology. From an early age, Movsisyan showed an interest in Azerbaijan and its language. After showing an interest, he began to learn a few words.

‘My first “teacher” of Azerbaijani was my grandmother, from whom I learned the numbers. Then my father helped me a lot, thanks to which my knowledge of the language steadily increased over the years. I remember one day, my father was watching a programme about the Azerbaijani army on Azerbaijani TV and I asked many questions. My questions were so numerous that my father refused to continue translating and changed the channel. On that day I promised to myself that I would learn the language to understand and communicate with my Azerbaijani counterparts. At first, I learned the language as a linguist without textbooks — TV channels helped a lot. Studying Turkish at university has also helped me learn Azerbaijani faster, because these two languages are very similar’, he says.

According to Movsisyan, it is easy for Armenians to learn Azerbaijani, as there are a number of linguistic similarities. It was easier still for him, he says, because there are many words of Turkish and Persian origin in his dialect (the Artsakh dialect of southern Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh).

‘It also helped me to master Azerbaijani more easily. For some Armenians, some of the sounds are bit of a challenge, and learning it requires hard work’, says Movsisyan. It takes years to master the language and to be able to apply it practically, he says.

For the latter, the problem is complicated. Azerbaijanis and Armenians, as warring sides in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, have practically no contact. Learning more than just the language

Yerevan State University’s Faculty of Oriental Studies has offered courses in Azerbaijani language since 2008. When they first began, Azerbaijani was taught as a second eastern language in the department of Turkology, and for the last two years, an Azerbaijani Studies programme has also been offered.

‘In 2 years, the first students will graduate from this programme. I’m happy to say that many people are interested in it, and we are implementing it together with the Ministry of Defence, providing four free places with this funding. We are teaching at a high level. While in the past there were no appropriate textbooks, for the last five years we have had a specialised book which is purely educational. The course includes the situation of the national minorities in Azerbaijan, politics towards them, as well as domestic policy in Azerbaijan’, Ruben Melkonyan, deputy rector of the Faculty of Oriental Studies told OC Media .

According to Melkonyan, the strategic significance of studying Azerbaijani goes without saying, as Azerbaijan is both a neighbour and enemy of Armenia. He says that the study and teaching of the Azerbaijani language also has important scientific and political significance.

The Chair of Turkish Studies at Yerevan State University was founded in 1991. In 2010, the Chair was reorganised into the Chair of Turkic Studies, which teaches the literature, culture, and history of Turkish, Ottoman, Azerbaijani, Kazakh, and other Turkic peoples.

All place names and terminology used in this article are the words of the author alone, and may not necessarily reflect the views of OC Media’s editorial board.

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