Saturday, 15 July 2017

Armenian News... A Topalian... Interpol and Azerbaijan...

Armenian Weekly
July 12 2017
Interpol Rejects Azerbaijani Request for Arrest Warrant Against European Parliamentarian 

PRAGUE, Czech Republic— International police cooperation agency Interpol has rejected a request for an international arrest warrant to be served on a Czech Member of the European Parliament (MEP), reported Prague based Czech Radio. 

Interpol refused the request for the arrest of MEP Jaromir Štětina following an appeal from authorities in Azerbaijan. The request was done following a visit by the MEP to Artsakh in February, during which Štětina denounced Azerbaijani authorities. 

According to Czech Radio, Azerbaijan said his comments helped fuel heightened tensions in the Artsakh conflict. The Czech said that the demand for the arrest warrant was aimed at scaring off international experts and commentators against speaking out against Azerbaijan’s government. 

In the past, Azerbaijan has also issued international arrest warrants against fellow MEPs Frank Engel of Luxembourg and Eleni Theocharous of Cyprus—both for visiting Artsakh. 

The Armenian Weekly
July 14 2017
Two Armenians Injured in Egypt Knife Attack 

YEREVAN (A.W.)—Two Armenian citizens were wounded in a knife attack at a hotel in the Egyptian city of Hurghada. According to several reports, an unknown assailant attacked tourists in the Hurghada hotel on July 14, killing two female tourists and injuring four others. 

“According to preliminary information, two citizens of Armenia have been wounded in the Hurghada incident,” Armenian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Tigran Balayan announced via Twitter. 

The two tourists who were killed are reported to be Ukrainian nationals. 

The knife attack comes a year and a half after a similar attack in the same town. Last January, two men injured three tourists in a stabbing at another hotel. 

Hurghada is located along eastern Egypt’s Red Sea coast, approximately 250 miles southeast of Cairo. 

Asbarez Armenian News
July 14 2017
Turkish Armenian Writer Sevan Nisanyan Escapes from Prison 

ISTANBUL—Turkish-Armenian writer Sevan Nisanyan, who has been serving a 17-year prison term since 2014 has reportedly escaped from the correctional facility where he was being held and fled Turkey, according to Turkish media reports. 

Nisanyan left the minimum security prison on Friday morning and has not returned. 

A message on his Twitter page said: “The bird flew away: Same wishes to the remaining 80 million.” 

Turkish historian and scholar Taner Akcam, reacted to the news by tweeting: “Sevan Nisanyan has escaped by saying ‘the bird flew away.’ With expectations of a free world for all birds….” 

Nisanyan was arrested and imprisoned in Turkey for carrying out “illegal” construction in his own garden, charges that were so obviously made up by Turkish authorities who had been seeking ways to silence the outspoken scholar and writer. 

Even the Turkish media said that his arrest was an obviously an effort by Turkish authorities to frame him since he was a staunch critic of the Turkish regime. 

Avenue des Nerviens, 35, 1040, Brussels ​​
Statement of MEP Charles Tannock: Azerbaijan should agree to install the OSCE investigative mechanism 

Recent tensions along the line of control in Nagorno-Karabakh are deeply concerning. The death of two Azerbaijani civilians on July 4th is deeply regrettable and I extend my condolences to the friends and family of Zahra Guliyeva and her grandmother, Sahiba. Reports that Azerbaijani military equipment was positioned in civilian areas for the purposes of human shielding are of grave concern and such actions would constitute a contravention of the Geneva Convention. A full investigation into this incident is clearly necessary and a return to the Minsk Process as a means of deescalating the current tension along the line of control is clearly in order. Armenia has agreed to the installation of the OSCE independent investigative mechanism and I call on Azerbaijan to do the same. 

Charles Tannock 
Member of the European Parliament 

Armenian Weekly
July 13 2017
Armenian Primate Delivers Opening Prayers in the U.S. House of Representatives 

WASHINGTON—His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese, delivered the opening prayer in the House of Representatives on July 12. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) invited Archbishop Derderian to deliver the prayer, welcomed him outside the House floor before opening session, and delivered remarks honoring the Archbishop at the conclusion of his prayer.

“It was an honor to welcome Archbishop Derderian to our nation’s capital to deliver today’s opening prayer,” Schiff said. “I am so pleased that the House of Representatives was able to hear the inspiring words of such a distinguished and respected spiritual leader from our community. Archbishop Derderian has had a tremendous impact on people of all faiths and played a vital role in the religious and civic life of millions.”

Members of Congress are allowed to request a guest chaplain deliver the opening prayer which opens each session of the House of Representatives. Last year, Rep. Schiff invited both the Western Diocese and Western Prelacy to deliver the opening prayer, and he looks forward to scheduling a date as soon as possible for Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian to deliver his opening prayer.

International Business Times
July 14 2017
Singapore closes open skies agreement with Armenia
By Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena 

Singapore finalized an Open Skies Agreement (OSA) with Armenia as it expands its market reach across the globe. Under the agreement, airlines of Singapore and Armenia will be able to operate services between both countries with no restrictions on route schedule, capacity, frequency, and aircraft type.

Additionally, cargo carriers from the two states will be able to base their aircraft in the other party for operations to any third country.

The OSA was inked by the Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Kevin Shum, and the Director-General of the General Department of Civil Aviation of Armenia, Sergey Avetisyan.

"Singapore adopts a liberal aviation policy in order to further enhance its connectivity to the rest of the world," CAAS said in a statement released to the media.

The authority pointed out that this strategy allows businesses and firms to extend their market reach and forge partnerships. It also makes it possible for people to foster cultural links and personal ties across the world.

"With the signing of the Singapore-Armenia OSA, Singapore has concluded Air Services Agreements with more than 130 States and Territories, of which over 60 are OSAs," CAAS noted.

More than this, the deal reflects the bilateral ties between the two countries, allowing each to respond quickly to market opportunities.

To recall, Singapore has also signed an OSA with Belize on May. It was signed by the Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan and Belize's Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Jose Manuel Heredia.

ARKA, Armenia
July 13 2017
Wolves keep attacking cattle in Armenia 

YEREVAN, July 13. /ARKA/. Cattle-breeding business is the only means of subsistence to many families in Debed community in Armenia's Lori province, but their animals are periodically attacked by wolves.

Aravot reports that they are attacked every day. According to the newspaper, a wolf mauled a calf in mountains.

In recent days, a wolf mauled another calf in the same community.

Ashot Ghazaryan, one of the community council members, told the newspaper that wolves' attacks have inflicted damage to more than 15 families this year. They attacked cattle not only on pastures, but also inside the village.

The village residents say they have never applied to appropriate agencies for compensation, since they understand very well that this would be in vain.

Ghazaryan, however, thinks that the ministries of environment and agriculture should pay attention to this problem.

MediaMax, Armenia
July 13 2017
Fight of sights: Arthur Abraham vs Chris Eubank Jr. 

Arthur Abraham continues to actively train in London before the fight against Chris Eubank Jr. 
on July 15. 37-year-old Armenian boxer will try to win IBO super-middleweight title in the fight against 27-year-old Chris Eubank Jr.

The athletes held an open training yesterday and their eyes met. Both of them are committed to victory and have no doubt about it.

Eubank told in an interview to that he was training like a “mad man”. It was hard for the British boxer to find a sparring partner to help him defeat Abraham.

“I’m based in Brighton right now, nobody wants to spar with me. I think I might have to look at training in the United States after this fight, because it’s becoming a huge problem for me,” he said.

Currently he is only concentrated on the upcoming fight, wishing to defeat a big name like Abraham.

Abraham did not talk much as usual, but he emphasized that Eubank would only evidence his hand raised by the referee after the fight on Saturday.

The Economist
July 13 2017
Had the Ottoman Empire been saved rather than sunk
Imagine the mayhem that might have been avoided 

WHEN a Serb gunman shot an Austrian archduke in the summer of 1914, the nations of Europe tumbled into war with all the grace of bowling pins. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, whose ally Russia declared war on Austria, whose ally Germany declared war on Russia, whose allies France and Britain declared war on Germany and Austria. By early August the continent was in flames.

Much as it wobbled like the rest, however, one of those bowling pins could not make up its mind. Which way would Turkey fall? Should the fading Ottoman Empire join the Triple Entente (Britain, France and Russia) or go with the Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary)?

Turkey’s 500-year-old empire was shrinking. It had lost its territories in Africa, nearly all its Mediterranean islands and most of its Balkan lands as well as chunks of eastern Anatolia. It was debt-ridden, industrially backward and politically shaky.

Still, the sultan’s lands straddled two continents, controlling access to the Black Sea. His Arabian territories stretched beyond the holy cities of Islam to the mountains of Yemen and the Persian Gulf, where there were rumoured to lie vast caverns of the sticky black liquid soon to replace coal as the world’s chief source of power.

Confident of Turkey’s weakness, Britain, France and Russia could have clobbered the Ottomans and divided the spoils. Thankfully, wiser heads prevailed. At a secret conclave aboard a British dreadnought off the coast of Norway in late July, a far-sighted politician by the name of Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, worked with French, Russian and Turkish diplomats to forge a treaty. The Turks drove a hard bargain for, as they coyly revealed, Germany too was proffering arms and gold in exchange for an alliance.

The deal that was reached proved immensely beneficial to all concerned. From France, Turkey received generous debt relief. Russia scrapped all claims to Ottoman territory, and made a limited goodwill withdrawal from parts of Anatolia. Churchill waived further payment on two warships that British shipyards were building for Turkey. And Turkey received assurances that its vulnerable extremities would not be attacked; for an empire that for a century had been preyed upon like a carcass this was a new lease of life.

The rewards to the Triple Entente were equally big. Granted exclusive access to the Black Sea, Russia’s allies could resupply the tsar’s armies when they faltered at the start of the war. With no need to defend its Turkish frontier, Russia moved thousands of crack troops from the Caucasus to shore up its front lines. Turkey signed separate agreements recognising British control of the Suez Canal, Aden and the Trucial sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf, securing the sea lanes for Britain’s massive deployment of troops from the colonies to the Western Front. Turkey’s own army joined in a broad front against Austria-Hungary. Together, these Allied advantages are thought to have shortened the war by as much as a year; the Central Powers might not have sued for a truce as soon as America entered the war, but fought on instead.

Reprieved from collapse, the Ottoman Empire’s government pursued radical reforms. Challenged by growing nationalist tendencies from Arab, Armenian, Greek and Kurdish subjects, Sultan Mehmed V issued a historic firman or proclamation that recognised these as individual nations united under the Ottoman sovereign.

The sultan got to keep the title of caliph, commander of the Sunni Muslim faithful, which his ancestors had acquired four centuries earlier. This proved useful when the empire had to put down a rebellion of religious fanatics in central Arabia, led by a man called Ibn Saud who gained followers by claiming he would restore Islam to a purer state. But mostly the empire was seen as a tolerant place. When Nazi persecutions drove Jews from Europe in the 1930s, many took refuge there (as they had done when expelled from Spain in 1492), particularly in the province of Jerusalem.

If only 

Needless to say, none of the above happened. Quite the opposite. Turkey aligned with Germany in the first world war, and the allies did attempt to invade and divide its empire. Churchill, instead of handing over the warships that ordinary Turks had paid for by subscription, had them seized for the British navy. In 1915 he ordered a catastrophic attack on Turkey; the landing at Gallipoli cost the allies 300,000 casualties. British campaigns against Turkey in Iraq and the Levant cost another million lives.

Turkey’s casualties mounted, by war’s end, to 3m-5m people, nearly a quarter of the Ottoman population. This included some 1.5m Armenians, slaughtered because Turkish officials believed they might become a fifth column for a hostile Russia. And when Britain and France grabbed the Ottomans’ Arab lands, their suppression of uprisings cost thousands more lives.

How much of today’s mayhem in the Middle East, from civil wars to terror in the name of Islam (and of restoring the caliphate) to the emergence of sectarian dictators such as Bashar al-Assad, not to mention of such a grudge-bearing Ottoman revivalist as Recep Tayyip Erdogan, might have been avoided, if only Churchill had embraced Johnny Turk instead of sinking him? This article appeared in the The World If section of the print edition under the headline "Sultans of spring"

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