Saturday, 26 August 2017

Armenian News... A Topalian... Armenian Coffee culture

Interesting feature on Armenian introducing coffee culture to Europe

Daily Sabah, Turkey
Aug 22 2017
Armenian church hosts funeral ceremony for Cyprus war veteran 

A funeral ceremony was held in Istanbul's Meryem Ana (Virgin Mary) Armenian Church Tuesday for a veteran of Armenian descent who fought in the ranks of the Turkish Armed Forces during the 1974 operation in Cyprus.

For the ceremony, members of the War Veterans Association of Turkey and Istanbul Garrison Commander Brigadier Gen. Sadettin Alp Ergin joined the family of veteran Murat Mihran İşler, who passed away at the age of 64.

Soldiers in ceremonial attire brought İşler's coffin draped with a Turkish flag to the church, and stood guard until the religious ceremony started. War veterans also saluted the coffin
, some of which recited Islamic prayers for the veteran. 

Reverend Mağakya Beskisizyan, who led the ceremony mastered by Archbishop Karekin Bekçiyan, said that İşler, who was living in Istanbul since 1979, was an acclaimed jeweler and a renowned figure among the Armenian community and Istanbul's landmark Grand Bazaar, where his shop is located. İşler was also the uncle of Norayr İşler, the chairman of the Istanbul Chamber of Jewelry, which traditionally has many members from the Armenian community famous for its skills in jewelry and handcrafts.

Beskisizyan said that although they are saddened by İşler's death, they knew that veterans were the honor of the nation and they carry its pride.

Following the ceremony, İşler's body was transferred to the Balıklı Armenian Cemetery to be interred.

İşler was the second Cyprus war veteran who was bidden a farewell to in a ceremony on Tuesday, since many citizens and local officials also bid farewell to 77-year-old Abdulhamit Canol in the central province of Sivas.

Turkey launched the Cyprus Peace Operation on July 20, 1974 as a guarantor power after a right-wing military coup backed by the junta in Greece toppled the internationally-recognized government and sought to unite the island with Greece, after decades of inter-communal violence between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. During the operation, 498 Turkish soldiers were killed and some 1,200 others injured, in addition to dozens of casualties of Turkish Cypriots resistance fighters.

PanArmenian, Armenia
Aug 24 2017
Iowa recognizes Armenian Genocide 
 Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on Thursday, August 24 signed powerful proclamation making the Hawkeye State the 47th State to recognize the Armenian Genocide and declaring October 2017 as "Armenia Awareness Month".

In the document, Reynolds condemned the murder of over 2.5 million Armenians, Greeks, Syriacs and Assyrians, noting that the Ottoman Turkish government’s crime “still requires justice.”

Around three dozen countries, a number of municipal governments and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million innocent Armenians as Genocide. Turkey denies to this day.

TERT, Armenia
Aug 24 2017
Armenian-Israeli relations 'hit by drone' - Komersant 

The Israeli Ministry of Defense is conducting an investigation against Aeronautics Defense Systems (ADS), a company manufacturing unmanned drones, a correspondent for the Russian Komersant, Kiril Krivosheev, says in a recent article.

In an earlier report, the Israeli Maariv expressed concerns that the company’s employees based in Tel Aviv might have joined the airstrikes against Armenian defense positions in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) in April 2016. Though the company dismisses the accusations, the cooperation with Azerbaijan has been long known as an accomplished fact, writes the Russian journalist.

The specialists managing the drone were earlier reported to have rejected the offer, leaving the task to top representatives of the company.

A complaint filed recently with the Ministry claims that the Aeronautics Defense Systems team, which left for Azerbaijan to conclude the Orbiter 1K drone’s sales agreement, was asked target an Armenian military objective by using the system. 

According to the Israeli publication, the two Israeli specialists operating the drone refused to conduct the deadly airstrike, standing firmly their ground even after facing personal threats. High-ranking representatives of the company later moved to equip and use the vehicle themselves. Due to a lack of experience, however, the two unmanned vehicles did not hit the right target, falling short of inflicting material or human damage. The document claimed that one of the vehicles hit an object lying 100 meters away from Armenian defense positions.

One of the specialists has reportedly left the company, with the other planning to step down soon.

Krivosheev cites the Armenian media reports confirming July 7 as the day of the attack (citing their own sources). Azerbaijan’s defense office has issued no official statement in that connection; neither did they respond to Komersant.

The Israeli ministry also refrained from comments. “The Ministry of Defense does not normally comment upon reports addressing military exports. The issue is in the process of verification by the corresponding the Defense Ministry departments,” reads the agency’s response.

“Even if engineers of Aeronautics Defense Systems left for Azerbaijan, they weren’t accompanied by Israeli scientists,” the Ministry added.  (eh?)
The Komersant source close to the Israeli government described the news story in Maariv as an “extraordinary” report. “Nothing of the kind had ever happened before. The non-interference principle applying to foreign conflicts is of a pivotal value for the Israeli military industries. I do want to believe the report will not be confirmed. Should, however, it prove true, the military agency will certainly enforce sanctions against the company.”

No known specific timeframes for concluding the investigation are reported.

The website notes that Azerbaijan made its first use of Israeli unmanned drones under military conditions in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2016. After the end of the confrontations on April 14, the Israeli-Armenian Diaspora conducted a protest outside the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, making calls for ending the weapons sale to the country.

“The need to halt Azerbaijan’s armament is our community’s coordinated decision. As for the article in Maariv, we are waiting until the investigation comes to a close, as there is no common opinion here. Some Armenians think the operators who refused to hit a strike are real heroes. Others do not believe the newspaper, doubting that it is just an attempt to spoil the Armenian-Israeli relations which have quite improved recently,” Artyom Chernamoryan, the head of the local Armenian NGO Nairi, is quoted as telling Komersant.

The website further cites Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s 2016 statement saying that the country signed US $5 billion worth military industry agreements with Israel last December (adding that most of the deals have been already accomplished). The military agreements implemented between Moscow and Baku over the past five years are worth an estimated $ 4 billion or more, according to the publication.

Sputnik, Armenia
Aug 23 2017
Putin: Russia, Armenia Maintain Intensive Cooperation in Various Fields
Alexei Nikolsky
Russia and Armenia promote active cooperation, said Vladimir Putin at a meeting with Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan.

BOCHAROV RUCHEY (Russia) (Sputnik) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday at a meeting with his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan that the two countries continue to actively cooperate, including within international organizations.

"We are maintaining an intense political dialogue, while promoting bilateral cooperation in economy, security and military fields, we are actively working together within the framework of international organizations and integration associations," Putin said. Sargsyan, in turn, said that the recent years marked intensive cooperation between the countries.

"Strategic alliance between Russian and Armenia is distinguished by an intense dialogue at a high level, broad coordination in foreign policy, constructive cooperation on international and regional platforms, productive cooperation in the spheres of security, military and defense industry," the Armenian leader said.

Sargsyan also noted that trade turnover between Armenia and Russia has been steadily growing, with the figures skyrocketing by 23 percent over the first six months of 2017.

Putin and Sargsyan met in Russia's southern city of Sochi, where the Russian president also held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the day.

Vestnik Kavkaza
Aug 23 2017
First unit of Armenian NPP can be completely removed 

Armenia's government will decide the fate of the draft law 'On decommissioning of the first power unit of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant' tomorrow.

Due to the fact tat the power unit of the NPP has been in the cold regime since February 1989, while the construction of a new power plant unit is postponed, five years ago the government decided to extend the life of the second power unit until 2024. That is why the first power unit of must be removed from operation, reported.

The procedure will last for 40 years and will cost $310.37 million.

After being approved by the government, the bill will be submitted to the parliament.

RFE/RL Report
Fewer Armenians Involved In Agriculture
August 22, 2017
Sargis Harutyunyan
Despite strong growth in agriculture reported by the Armenian
government, the number of people involved in the sector has declined
considerably in the last few years, according to official statistics.

Figures from the National Statistical Service (NSS) show that there
were a total of 338,000 farmers and other agricultural workers in
Armenia last year, down from 437,200 in 2012.

This decrease calls into question separate NSS data showing that
Armenian agricultural output rose by an average 6.3 percent annually
between 2012 and 2016. Armenia's economy grew by an average of 3.5
percent in that period.

Economic growth in the country all but ground to a halt last
year. Finance Minister Vartan Aramian attributed the slowdown to a
revised calculation of domestic agricultural production which was
carried out shortly after last fall's government reshuffle in Yerevan.

The previous Armenian cabinet claimed until then that both the
agricultural sector and the economy as a whole are on track to grow in
2016. The NSS reported in January that the sector generating less than
one-fifth of Gross Domestic Product contracted by over 5 percent last
year. Government officials blamed the drop on unfavorable weather

Agricultural output shrank by 1.4 percent in the first half of this
year following an unusually cold winter, government data show.

"The plight of our villagers is very difficult now," Agriculture
Minister Ignati Arakelian told RFE/RL's Armenian service
( last week. Arakelian, who was appointed in October,
said the mostly subsistence farmers are struggling to grow the right
crops and sell them at a profit.

PanArmenian, Armenia
Aug 23 2017
Essential housing project continues in rural Armenia 

The fifth family in Shirak region and the 149th family in Armenia has benefited from a six-year partnership between VivaCell-MTS and Fuller Center for Housing . The Simonyans from the village of Saralanj are one the beneficiaries of the housing project. By the end of the year, instead of the half-damaged three-room house built in 1960s, the family will have a stone house with a bigger housing space, including a kitchen and a bathroom.

The housing project implemented in different parts of Armenia would not be so successful if not for the direct involvement of the partners in construction works. The family not only feels the physical support in finishing the construction of the house in the shortest time possible, but also starts looking to the future with hope and optimism.

“Last year, when you built a house in our village, I started dreaming, but couldn’t believe that one day we too would be included in the housing program. Sometimes it is easier to build a house from the ground up, than to renovate a dilapidated one. It is so hard to look after a sick person, to raise children without basic housing conditions. It is true that the construction will soon be completed, but still I do not believe that all this is happening with us. It is like a dream; without your help my family would never know what a decent home is,” said Diana, the family mother.

“Every time we participate in construction works, I try to feel the mood of the family. We see the results of our efforts; we see how the house is being built. What I am concerned about, is the changes in the spirit of the people, their feelings that are often expressed with reservation, by just a modest smile or by the sparkle in their eyes. It is these changes in the spirit that help people regain confidence in themselves and in their future. I would like to see this confidence and hope in as many families as possible. This is the reason why we are here,” said VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian.

“This program helps the families to build not only safe walls, but also optimism for the future. Overcoming the heaviest problem, the families try to find a means of income in the village and not leave it,” said Fuller Center for Housing President Ashot Yeghiazaryan.

For the implementation of the housing project, VivaCell-MTS invested AMD 25mln in 2017; in total, more than AMD 333 mln has been invested so far.

ARKA, Armenia
Aug 23 2017
Prices of private homes in Armenia drop 

Prices of private homes in Yerevan fell by 1.6% in the first half of 2017 when compared to the same period last year. Overall, 1,923 transactions with privately-owned homes were registered in the first six months of the year, of which 583 in the capital city.

According to the State Cadastre Committee, the highest prices for private homes in the capital were registered in the administrative districts Kentron and Arabkir – 476,200 drams and 381,600 drams per one square meter respectively, and the lowest in Nubarashen district – 150,400 drams per one square meter.
The highest prices for private homes in the regions were recorded in Tsakhkadzor (Kotayk region) – 302,700 drams per square meter, and the lowest in the communities of Dastakert (Syunik region) – 11,700 drams for one square meter and Tumanyan (Lori region) – 12,000 drams.

The price of one square meter of housing in multi-apartment buildings in Yerevan decreased by 2.7%, according to the State Cadastre Committee. The highest prices were registered in the capital's administrative district Kentron- 435,500 drams per square meter and the lowest - in the district Nubarashen – 156,085 drams. The average cost of a square meter of housing in the regions decreased by 3%.

The highest prices per square meter of housing beyond Yerevan were registered in Tsakhkadzor (290,900 drams) and the lowest - in Dastakert and Shamlugh (Lori) (8,000 drams).  Overall, 78,575 transactions with real estate were registered in the country in the first six months, by 5.1% less from the year before. The bulk-38.6%- were registered in Yerevan . ($1 – 478.55 drams). -0--0-

ARKA, Armenia
Aug 23 2017
Armenians spend more on summer entertainments 

Yandex.Money has found that Armenians have spent 10% more on entertainment in summer of 2017 than in the same period a year earlier. According to Ynadex.Money, the number of payments for entertainments have increased 2.7 times, while the average bill decreased from 8,650 to 3,585 drams.

The study took into account the payments made by Armenian citizens through Yandex.Kassa and Yandex.Money cards - from June 1 to August 10, 2017 and for the same period a year earlier.

The study has found a significant increase in the popularity of cinemas - this summer Armenians have spent 2.5 times more on movies than in the same period a year earlier.

"The number of bought movie tickets has surged 5 times; however, Armenian spent 55% less on bars and nightclubs. The average bill fell from 8,780 to 2,638 drams," the study says.

Yandex. Kassa accepts payments through 75 thousand Internet platforms around the world. In total, Yandex.Money has 30 million registered users. ($1 – 478.55 drams). -0--0-

ARMINFO News Agency, Armenia
August 22, 2017
Police: In Armenia in 2017 the crime rate has significantly decreased

Ani Mshetsyan. According to the statistical analysis, in Q1 2017,
Armenia recorded a significant reduction in the number of crimes of
special and moderate severity, according to Armenian Police.

According to the criminal use of firearms and ammunition in the first
half of 2016, 1613 cases were registered, while in the first half of
2017 there were 1210 cases. Thus, in the first half of this year in
Armenia the level of serious crimes decreased to 25%, especially grave
crimes to 21.6%, and the level of crimes committed with the help of
firearms and ammunition fell to 25%.

In the first half of 2016, 39 murders were recorded, 17 cases of
assassination attempts, and in 2017, 25 murders and 13 attempts. Also
this year the level of crime detection increased. So if in 2016 out of
1613 crimes were discovered 891, then in 2017 out of 1210 crimes were
disclosed 799 - 66.2%. Out of 38 cases of assassination attempts, 31
cases were revealed - 81.5%, while last year, out of 56 attempts, 44 -
78.5% were disclosed.

Statistical analysis proves that positive dynamics are also noticeable
in lowering the level of crimes with causing harm to health. If in
2016, from January to June, there were 560 registered cases, in 2017,
according to the same article, 497 cases were registered. Also in
2017, the level of cases of deliberate harm to health and causing
serious harm to health has decreased. If last year there were only 109
cases, this year only 73 cases were registered, that is, minus 33%. In
this area, the level of disclosure has also increased.

In 2016, 78.8% were disclosed, and in 2017, 84.9%. Positive dynamics
are also seen in the statistics of fatal traffic accidents. In
particular, in the first half of 2016, there were 77 fatalities and
108 cases of hooliganism, and in the first half of 2017 68 of fatal
road accidents and 84 cases of hooliganism.

Accidents with fatalities decreased by 11.7%, and cases of hooliganism
by 22.2%. The level of disclosure of such crimes also increased, in
the first half of 2017, 98.5% of fatal accidents were discovered,
compared to 97.4% of the previous year. In 2016, during the first 6
months, 31 cases of robbery and 658 cases of burglaries were reported.
In the first half of this year, 17 cases of robbery and 368 burglaries
were registered. Consequently, the level of robbery fell by 45.2%, and
the level of apartment burglaries by 44.1%. Also this year the level
of thefts decreased compared to last year, only 74 cases compared to
105 cases of the last year. And the level of disclosure of these
crimes increased by 76.4%, against 70.9% of last year. The level of
disclosure of cases of criminal penetration into apartments with the
purpose of robbery amounted to 32.3% against 31.1% of the previous
year. In the first half of 2017 in Armenia, 66 cases were identified
receiving bribes, giving bribes and petitioning for bribes, against 31
case of previous year.

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