Monday, 19 February 2018

Armenian News ... A Topalian... Nigel Dlater's program and more!

Nigel Slater's program of food in Turkey included visits 
to an Armenian home (including some Armenian speech), 
a Hamshen family and Georgian home as well as one of 
the Balian built opulent palaces. A diverse universe far 

removed from the Nationalist's view o their country. 

RFE/RL Report
Israeli Parliament Rejects Armenian Genocide Bill
February 14, 2018
Artyom Chernamorian

Israel's parliament voted down on Wednesday an opposition motion to
officially recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey.

The Knesset rejected the bill introduced by Yair Lapid, the leader of
the Yesh Atid party, by 41 votes to 28 after a first-ever debate on
the sensitive issue held on the Israeli parliament floor.

The bill describes the World War One-era extermination of some 1.5
million Armenians as genocide and calls for its official remembrance
in Israel.

Lapid made a case for the passage of the measure in a 3-minute speech
that preceded the vote. He said an official Israeli recognition of the
genocide is "a matter of conscience for Jews and non-Jews." Also, he
said, the mass killings and deportations of Armenians inspired Adolf
Hitler to mastermind the Jewish Holocaust.

However, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely voiced the Israeli
government's opposition to the measure during the heated
discussion. She cited the "complexity" of the issue and its
"diplomatic repercussions."

Successive Israeli governments have opposed Armenian genocide
recognition lest it antagonize Turkey, a former security partner of
Israel. Some Israeli politicians have openly challenged this policy in
recent years. The Knesset speaker, Yuli Edelstein, called the Armenian
massacres a genocide and urged the Jewish state to recognize it in

The Knesset debate on the genocide issue coincided with a visit to
Israel by a delegation of Armenian parliamentarians. The five
lawmakers representing various Armenian political groups were offered
to attend the debate but declined to do that.

Feb 16 2018
Dutch parliament recognises Armenian genocide

The lower house of the Dutch parliament approved a motion on Friday to recognise the mass killings of Armenians during World War One as genocide, local English-language news website the NL Times said .

It also said a Dutch minister or state secretary should attend the annual commemoration of the genocide in Armenia in April, the site said.

The move is likely to anger Turkey, which denies the mass killing of Armenians in 1915 constitutes genocide.

"We can not deny history out of fear of sanctions. Our country houses the capital of international law after all, so we must not be afraid to do the right thing here too," the site quoted Joel Voordewind, a member of one of the governing coalition parties, as saying.

The Netherlands officially withdrew its ambassador from Turkey last week following the failure of negotiations for his return after the Dutch government refused to allow a Turkish minister to make a speech in favour of a presidential system to locally-based Turkish citizens last year.

Dutch Parliament recognizes Armenian genocide; Minister to attend commemoration
A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, approved two motions regarding the Armenian genocide of 1915 on Thursday. One states that the Tweede Kamer "recognizes the Armenian genocide", the other that a Dutch Minister or State Secretary should attend the commemoration of this genocide in Armenia in April. This decision is expected to further sour the relationship between Turkey and the Netherlands, ANP reports. Both motions were submitted by ChristenUnie parliamentarian Joel Voordewind. All four coalition parties supported the motions.

The Independent, UK
Feb 15 2018
In the cases of two separate holocausts, Israel and Poland find it difficult to acknowledge the facts of history 

While Poland has decided to outlaw any claims that their countrymen participated in the extermination of the Jews, Israel continues to ignore the Armenian genocide

by Robert Fisk 

The Israelis have been mighty pissed off with the Polish government these past few days. I don’t blame them. In fact – and I’m not referring to the racist, extremist military occupation government of Benjamin Netanyahu – the Israeli people and Jews around the world are quite right to be enraged at Poland’s latest Holocaust denialism.

The Polish decision to criminalise any accusation of Polish complicity in the Holocaust, passing a law which effectively prevents any Pole from acknowledging that Poles themselves assisted in the genocide of six million European Jews, is iniquitous. Its purpose is not to elicit the truth, but to bury it. It certainly constitutes part of the denialism of the Jewish Holocaust.

But – to give a taster to what this column is also about – I will say one word: Armenia. And reveal henceforth one of the most remarkable coincidences in recent publishing history. It involves century-old telegrams – hitherto regarded as forgeries, but in fact real – ordering the mass extermination of more than one million Christians, a truly courageous Turkish historian, and a total denial of the Armenian Holocaust by the one nation which should acknowledge its existence. But first, Poland.

As in most German-occupied European nations, morality – or immorality – was coloured grey. Think Vichy, and the French “maquis”. Think Italian fascism, and the Italian communist resistance.

In 2015, Ukraine passed laws that forced its citizens to honour nationalists who briefly collaborated with the Nazis and participated in the mass killing of Jews. No uproar from the West, of course, since we currently support brave little Ukraine against the Russian beast that has gobbled up Crimean Sevastopol.

But now to the incredible timing of the Polish legislation. For even as this disreputable law was actually passing through the parliament in Warsaw a few days ago, that most brave of Turkish historians, Taner Akcam, was publishing a short but revelatory book (Killing Orders, published by Palgrave Macmillan) which proves, finally and conclusively, that the extermination orders of Talat Pasha, a leader of the Young Turks and one of the Three Pashas who ruled the Ottoman Empire in the First World War, to destroy the entire Armenian Christian population in 1915 were real.

Not forgeries as Turkey’s apologists and denial historians would have the world believe. Not concocted by Armenian counterfeiters, or fiction created by a non-existent Ottoman official, as these wretched people would have us think. But as copper-bottomed and terrible as the Nazi documents which prove Germany’s responsibility for the Jewish Holocaust – and the evidence that proves Poles sometimes joined in the slaughter.

The facts of the Armenian Holocaust – for “Shoah” (holocaust) is the very word that many honourable Israelis use for the Armenian genocide – are well known but need, however briefly, to be repeated. In 1915 and in the immediate years that followed, the Ottoman Turks deliberately set out to liquidate a million and a half of their Armenian Christian citizens, sending them into the desert on death marches, butchering the men, raping the women, spitting the children on bayonets or starving them to death with their mothers and other family members in what is now northern Syria.

The Kurds, sorry to say, assisted in this barbarity. Taner Akcam has written extensively and with immense authority on this appalling period of Turkish history – which the Turkish government, to this day, shamefully denies – and has as a result been abused by hundreds of right-wing Turkish extremists who have even tried to place him on an American “terrorist” list (he teaches at Clark University in the US).

Akcam’s new book contains a dark and haunting – almost frightening – geography, for most of the 1915 massacres he writes about took place in or near towns which carry their own fearful message of slaughter and horror to us today: Mosul, Raqqa, Deir ez-Zour and, yes, Aleppo.

It was in the Baron Hotel in Aleppo – still standing today, the descendants of the then owner Mazlouiyan still (just) occupying its lobby – that a set of original telegrams from Talat Pasha, along with other liquidation messages memorised by an Ottoman official, Naim Bey, were handed over to an Armenian Holocaust survivor called Aram Andonian. He paid cash for the documents. We don’t know how much.

Until now, Turkish historians and their supporters in the West have regarded these vital papers as false. They claimed that Naim Bey did not exist, that Andonian was a forger, that the cypher in which Talat’s telegrams were written did not match the Ottoman cypher system of the time. They ignored the mass of evidence presented to the existing but quickly suppressed post-war trials in Istanbul, archives which subsequently went missing. And they held up telegrams – real enough but deliberately misleading – that “proved” Talat had the best interests of the Armenians at heart when he deported them.

Akcam’s unravelling of the truth is both a detective story and a volume of sudden, inconceivable horror. He proves the cypher numbers were real, that Naim Bey did indeed exist; an Ottoman document on a corruption investigation – in which Turkish officials accepted bribes from Armenians in return for their lives – identifies him as “Naim Effendi, the son of Huseyin Nuri, 26 years of age, from Silifke, former dispatch official for Meskene, currently the official in charge of Municipal Grain Storage Depots”. And more powerfully than any previous historian, Akcam proves – along with papers from the archive of a dead Armenian priest – that the Ottoman authorities were sending two sets of telegrams about the Armenians. One set expressed the government’s insistence that food and tents should be provided for Armenian deportees and that their confiscated property should be recompensed. The other set insisted upon their secret liquidation, preferably away from the cameras of prying US diplomats (America was neutral until 1917) and German officers allied to the Turkish army.

The Nazis told their Jewish victims that they were going to be “resettled” in the east rather than gassed. They also tried to cover the traces of the gas chambers of Treblinka before the Red Army arrived. But the “double” instructions sent by Talat Pasha and his 1915 genociders demonstrate that the pretence of humanitarian resettlement was conceived even before the organised genocide began. Some of the young German officers who witnessed the killings of 1915 turned up 26 years later in the Soviet Union, overseeing the slaughter of Jews.

And here is one very short account (courtesy of the Turkish historian Akcam) of an Armenian witness to his people’s destruction, which could – if the identities and locations were changed to the Ukraine or Belarus – have been written during the Second World War: “In order to eliminate the last remaining Armenian deportees...between Aleppo and Deyr-i Zor [sic] who had managed to survive...Hakki Bey...evicted all the deportees along the Euphrates, starting from Aleppo... Close to 300 young men and boys...surviving in the camp Hamam were sent to the South in a special convoy... Solid reports about them arrived that they had been killed in Rakka [sic]... Elsewhere, we learned in no uncertain terms that in the area around Samiye, 300 children were thrown into a cave opening, gas was poured in and they were burned alive.”

So here’s the real hypocrisy of this story. The Israeli government, so outraged by Poland’s Jewish Holocaust denialism, refuses to recognise the Armenian Holocaust. Shimon Peres himself said that “we reject attempts to create a similarity between the [Jewish] Holocaust and the Armenian allegations. Nothing similar to the Holocaust occurred. What the Armenians went through is a tragedy, but not genocide.”

The Americans, I should add – Trump included, of course – have been equally pathetic in their failure to acknowledge the Armenian truth. But oddly, not Poland.

For 13 years ago, the Polish parliament passed a bill which specifically referred to the “Armenian genocide”. The speaker of the Polish parliament, Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, said at the time that the Armenian genocide did indeed take place, that responsibility fell on the Turks, and that Turkish documents – though not yet those which Akcam has just revealed – “confirm” this.

So there you have it. Poland punishes anyone who speaks of Polish participation in the Jewish Holocaust, but accepts the Armenian Holocaust. Israel insists that all must acknowledge the Jewish Holocaust – and Poland’s peripheral guilt – but will not acknowledge the Armenian Holocaust.

Mercifully, Israeli scholars like Israel Charny do so. And mercifully, Turks like Taner Akcam agree. But how many times must the dead die all over again for nations to accept the facts of history?
Paylan Rejects Ateshian’s Authority, Says ‘We Want to Elect Our Patriarch’ 

ISTANBUL—Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of the Turkish Parliament representing the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and an outspoken advocate for Armenian rights on Wednesday rejected the authority of Archbishop Aram Ateshian who was forcibly reinstated as the Patriarchate’s Vicar General by the Turkish authorities.

Calling Ateshian an “enforcer” of the Turkish government, Paylan declared that “we want to elect our Patriarch.”

A decision by the Istanbul Governor, which was later rubber-stamped by Turkey’s Interior Ministry effectively halted the Armenian community’s effort to elect a Patriarch to replace Archbishop Mesrob Mutafyan who, since 2008, has been incapacitated due to dementia. In March, the Patriarchate’s Religious Council elected Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian as the Locum Tenens, which meant Ateshian, who had been placed there by the Turkish authorities, would have to resign. However, he resisted and continued to create obstacles to the election of a Patriarch through due process.

Earlier this month, by a decision of the Istanbul Governor the entire election process was scrapped and Ateshian was reinstated as Vicar General, forcing the Religious Council to accept the governor’s decision and Bekdjian to leave Turkey.

“It has been about ten years now that the Armenian community of Istanbul has been barred from any chance of electing its own patriarch,” Paylan told

“Unfortunately, it was the Turkish authorities’ decision several years ago to install Aram Ateshyan as Vicar General. At the time we said we wanted to elect our patriarch,” he told, explaining that many community members attempted to avert a state-appointed leader to the Patriarchate to no avail.

“By seizing power from the government, you become a kind of hostage. All we need now is to derive power from the Armenian community. And the Patriarch too, must be elected by the Armenian community and derive power from it,” added Paylan.

He characterized Ateshian as a puppet in the hands of not only the Turkish government but also defense, security and law enforcement forces.
“They will use him to realize their wishes,” said Paylan.

He described the impact of this decision to the Armenian community as adverse, saying that community lives in constant fear, and is often in the dark about the situation at the Patriarchate.

“The Armenian community needs empowerment from the Patriarchate. We need to be better organized, as this situation may potentially split the community apart,” warned Paylan.

ARKA, Armenia
Feb 14 2018
Armenia to commission eight new solar plants later this year 

Armenia will commission eight new system solar power plants before the end of this year, Hayk Harutyunyan, deputy energy infrastructures and natural resources minister, told journalists on Tuesday.

In 2017, he said, three system solar plants of the total capacity of 2.5 MW have been commissioned in Kotayk, Armavir and Aragatsotn provinces.

Besides, the results of the tender for construction of a 55-megawatt solar plant in Masrik will be announced in one or two months.

Harutyunyan said that more than 60 companies asked technical requirements on the tender, and other 20 companies, but only 10 were selected in pre-qualification round.

“All the respected international companies from South Korea, India, EU countries and the United States which meet experience requirements and technical criteria are taking part in the tender,” Hatutyunyan said.

In the context of solar energy development, the deputy minister said that 208 autonomous solar plants have been commissioned in the country as of the end of 2017. This number has increased to 252 already in the next couple of months, and other 30 are expected to join the market soon. --0---

ARMINFO News Agency, Armenia
February 14, 2018 Wednesday
A project costing 1.250 million euros will be implemented in the
capital of Armenia to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Alexander Avanesov. 

In the capital of Armenia, a program will be implemented to reduce 
greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency. 
The program, worth 1.250 million euros, was approved on
the eve of the meeting of the Council of Elders of Yerevan.

According to the vice-mayor of the capital Vaye Nikoyan, the program
is envisaged for a grant of the European Union of 1 million euros
co-financing from the Yerevan municipality in 250 thousand euros. It
is planned, in particular, in 90 multi-apartment buildings to
implement measures to increase energy efficiency by installing solar
panels on the roofs of these buildings. The program will be
implemented in 2018-2019, during which in these buildings will be
carried out work on repair and replacement of elevators, providing
electricity to public areas and yards, installation of LED lamps in
buildings. By implementing these measures, conditions will be created
to prevent the annual emissions of 844 tons of CO2 into the

Earlier ArmInfo reported that the financial mechanism of $ 125 million
is part of the Caucasus Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP), launched in
2007, in order to provide financial assistance to the private sector
and homeowners in reducing energy intensity and promoting wider use of
renewable energy sources. The program, funded by the EBRD, is
supported by a grant from the European Neighborhood Investment Fund
and is implemented with the technical assistance of the Federal
Ministry of Finance of Austria. Over the past 3 years, this financial
instrument has provided about 15 million euros to more than 9,000
households and 17 organizations in Armenia. This allowed saving about
128 GW of energy, which is commensurate with consumption of annual
energy of 10 thousand households and reducing CO2 emissions into the
atmosphere by 23 thousand tons.

After action of Yerkir Tsirani,sewerage system being repaired 

It’s been a stench in the area of Nubarashen penitentiary for several years, as the sewerage
of the penitentiary is damaged. “We live in the 21st century, but the sewer goes by open air, 20 meters,” says one of the residents. The other adds that children cannot play underneath, and they cannot open a window because of this .

Despite the different estimations of Yerkir Tsirani’s actions, today construction works started in the second half of the day, and it is planned to be completed within three days.

Public Radio of Armenia
Feb 16 2018
McDonald’s to come to Armenia in April 

McDonald’s fast food company will come to Armenia in April. Georgian businessmen Temur Chkonia intends to open a chain of restaurants in Armenia.

“The first restaurant must be in a well-visible, respected place. We have received 2-3 offers and by April we’ll make a decision on the location of the first McDonald’s in Armenia,” Chkonia told Public Radio of Armenia.

The businessman has opened a chain of 14 restaurants in Georgia, each serving an average of 25,000 visitors a day.

The food safety authorities are not very delighted with the perspective of the fast food company entering the Armenian market.

Food security expert David Pipoyan says fast food restaurants use a lot of supplements to preserve semi-finished products as long as possible. Besides, you never know what these establishments serve in reality., Armenia
Feb 16 2018
Karabakh oldest woman is 110 years old
Mariam Levina 

Karabakh is famous not only for its beautiful nature, ancient monuments, fertile land, but also for long-livers. As of February 2018, there are 16 people aged over 100 in Nagorno-Karabakh. The oldest woman, Arevhat Sargsyan, 110, lives in the village of Tagavard.

By the time of our arrival grandma Arevhat was not at home. But soon we saw a fragile woman with a dark headscarf and apron. Long years of hard life left their mark on her, but did not change one thing - her radiant, joyful smile.

Talking with grandma Arevhat is pleasant , but not easy. The Karabakh dialect, which is not easy to understand, is generously flavored with local words and expressions. I tried to delicately ask the grandmother about her life, but after ten minutes I took a break and asked for a "translator".

With the help of her daughter-in-law Stella it turns out that grandma Arevhat is turning 110 on July 1. Her long life was difficult, hard, full of achievements and losses. 17-year-old Arevhat got married to widower Lazar, the father of five children. Young Arevhat gave birth to the first child, but after a while Lazar died. Arevhat did not abandon her husband's children. A few years later, Arevhat got married for the second time again to the widower, with six children. Then the couple had three children. After the death of her second husband, Arevhat brought up 15 children. Arevhat has worked as a nurse in hospital for many years.

Telling about her life, grandma Arevhat repeated many times "I never lived, but suffered". Arevhat has outlived some of her children.

Asked, how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren Arevhat has, Stella answered: "More than a hundred."

It turns out that grandma likes coffee and good wine.

In general, according to the family members, she eats mostly vegetables, does not like meat and sausages.

"Eat a lot of fruit, apples and plums, dried fruits, it is useful for health," the grandma Arevhat advises.
Because of poor eyesight, she is not able to knit or sewbut she actively does everything possible at home and in the garden.

On our way to Stepanakert each of us was thinking about the meeting with the grandmother of Arevhat. World War I, World War II, conquest of space - grandmother Arevat became the witness of a whole century.

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