Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Armenian News... A Topalian... Flashmob in Yerevan metro

Flashmob in Yerevan metro
May 29,2018 
At the stations of the Yerevan metro, Armenian musical art is represented.

Flashmob participants were the chamber choir and students of the Yerevan State Conservatory. Participants of the initiative devoted the fleshmob to the 100th anniversary of the First Republic.

May 30 2018
Azerbaijani military advances on tense Nakhchivan-Armenia border
The appearance of new Azerbaijani positions has sown "panic" in a nearby Armenian village, one resident reported.
Joshua Kucera 

Azerbaijan's military has advanced further into a no man's land on the border with Armenia, causing panic in the nearby Armenian areas, local media have reported. Armenia's military leadership has tried to downplay the advance, while Azerbaijan has been silent.

The advance seems to have taken place without any fighting, and the Azerbaijani forces remain on their side of the internationally recognized border. But they have reportedly taken up new positions in a previously unoccupied neutral zone in Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan near the Armenian village of Areni.
The height now controlled by Azerbaijan “gave the enemy [i.e. Armenia] the ability to control and target the village of Gunnut [in Nakhchivan],” the Azerbaijani website reported. “The strategic significance of this height is that it allows [Azerbaijan] to control the Yerevan-Goris-Gafan-Lachin highway.”
The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense did not respond to a request for comment from haqqin, the site reported.

An Azerbaijani military blogger also reported on the movement, citing his sources in the military, but the post was taken down shortly thereafter, haqqin reported.

It does seem to have been confirmed by a number of Armenian sources. One Armenian military reporter, commenting on the recent appointment of Artak Davtyan as the country's new chief of general staff, noted that Davtyan's previous area of responsibility included the area near Azerbaijan's new position.
“Even the appointment of Artak Davtyan causes, at minimum, confusion against the background of what happened in recent days in the Nakhchivan area of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” said the reporter, Edik Baghdasaryan, in an interview with the news site EADaily. “The Azerbaijanis were able to advance their positions in the neutral zone and take under control a huge amount of territory.”

One resident of Areni posted photos on Facebook of what she said were new Azerbaijani positions visible from the village. “New Azerbaijani positions in the village Areni,” the resident, Siranush Tumanyan, wrote. “The entire village can now be seen from their side, and our positions are now much lower. There is panic in the village. I ask those who don't believe or are denying it to come to Areni and see for themselves.”

A spokesman for the Armenian Ministry of Defense downplayed the development. “I can't say” whether Azerbaijan had really taken up new positions, said the spokesman, Artsrun Hovannisyan, in an interview with The Armenian Times. “Azerbaijan can locate positions on its own territory. Their positions are located inside their country, there is no change in our position, no sort of activity.” To Tumanyan's report of panic in Areni, he said merely: “There is no reason for panic.”

Nakhchivan has become a flashpoint of late, with President Ilham Aliyev visiting the exclave on May 16 and reiterating his claim that missiles based there “can destroy any enemy target.” Azerbaijan has in recent years been putting a priority on building up its military forces in the region, which is the closest Azerbaijani territory to Armenia's capital, Yerevan.

Three days later, Armenia's new ministers of defense and foreign affairs made one of their first visits after being appointed to the border with Nakhchivan, where they made a show of examining the military positions there.
The two ministers “studied the operative situation, then discussed the peculiarities of the service with the command of the army corps,” the Ministry of Defense announced in a statement. “[Defense] Minister [David] Tonoyan instructed the commanders to always keep alert, not to give way to provocations, and strictly thwart any attempts of the adversary.”
“Azerbaijan pursues a policy of a gradual increase of tension on Armenia-Nakhchivan border,” said David Shahnazaryan, a political analyst in Yerevan. Shahnazaryan suggested that Baku's aim was to bring Turkey into the international negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan; Turkey has a treaty obligation to protect Nakhchivan under the 1921 Kars Treaty.

The action comes at a sensitive time, with a new government in Yerevan that Baku may be interested in testing. Newly elected Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan faced accusations of being soft on Karabakh from his opponents in the former ruling Republican Party. Since taking office he has made efforts to bolster his hawkish credentials, staking out a harder line position against Azerbaijan and publicly announcing that his 18-year-old son is enlisting in the military and will be sent to Karabakh.

Joshua Kucera is the Turkey/Caucasus editor at Eurasianet, and author of The Bug Pit.

RFE/RL Report 
EU Envoy Impressed With Armenian ‘Revolution Of Mindsets’
May 29, 2018
Harry Tamrazian

The recent dramatic events changed not only Armenia’s government but also the “mindsets” of its citizens and earned the country a “very positive image” 
abroad, a senior European Union diplomat said on Tuesday.

“I believe that what happened in Armenia is something very deep,” Piotr 
Switalski, the head of the EU Delegation in Yerevan, told RFE/L’s Armenian 
service in an interview. “It’s not just about a change in power, it’s not about 
bringing new faces or new political personalities into the government. It’s not 
about changing policies.”

“This was a revolution of mindsets,” he said. “People decided to get rid of the 
remnants of past thinking, past syndromes. I believe that is something lasting. 
In particular, the young people [in Armenia] are different people now.”

“The challenge for the [new] government and also for the society at large is to 
sustain this positive change and this positive energy which has started 
emanating from the people,” stressed Switalski.

The envoy also praised Armenia’s former leadership, the leaders of protest 
movement that removed it from power as well as “other political and societal 
forces” for jointly ending the nearly month-long unrest.

“I think that from the political point of view what happened in Armenia was 
very unique because the crisis which erupted in Armenia has been solved, 
defused peacefully and within the constitutional frameworks, which has sent a 
very powerful message to the outside world … This message is building a very 
positive image of Armenia in the outside world,” he said.

“It is sending a powerful signal about the solidarity, unity and political 
maturity of the Armenian society,” added Switalski.

The EU closely monitored the crisis in Armenia sparked by former President 
Serzh Sarkisian’s attempt to hold on to power after serving out his second 
presidential term on April 9. It repeatedly urged Armenian political factions 
to end the standoff through dialogue.

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, the 
European Commission president, sent a congratulatory letter to Nikol Pashinian, 
the main organizer of massive anti-Sarkisian protests, two days after he was 
elected prime minister on May 8. “We look forward to cooperating with you in 
your new position to further strengthen the relations between the European 
Union and Armenia,” they wrote.

Vestnik Kavkaza
May 30 2018
Armenia: is there way out of this impasse?
Susanna Petrosyan, Yerevan. 

The internal political situation in Armenia, despite the election of leader of the popular protest movement Nikol Pashinyan as prime minister, continues to be complex. Some dual authority has formed in the country, within which a parliament coexists, with the majority of deputies representing the former ruling party, and the minority representing the government.

Despite the assurance of the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) representatives that they have no plans to sabotage the government's work, the danger of the impasse remains acute. Holding early parliamentary elections may become the solution to the problem, which will make it possible to avoid an internal political crisis, but the sides' positions on this issue are directly opposite.

On the one hand, the government and its political forces represented by former opposition parties, primarily the Civil Contract party headed by Nikol Pashinyan, are in favor of holding early elections. From the leading parliamentary forces, where the Prosperous Armenia party remains the main force, a similar position is occupied by the Tsarukyan bloc.

On the other hand, the representatives of the former ruling RPA, which has virtually no support in the society, for obvious reasons do not see the need for holding early elections and declare that they are going to prepare for the 2022 elections.

Reaching consensus between political forces, first of all, between the forces that dominate the parliament and the government, would be the best way out of the situation. But consensus is unlikely to be reached in the extreme situation.
It should be noted that it's about holding elections under the amended Electoral Code. It is planned to prepare changes to the Electoral Code already in late June, primarily aimed at abolishing the system of so-called preferential voting. Earlier, the RPA, using special technologies based on vote-buying, used preferential voting in its own interests.

The government commissioned the non-governmental organization 'Union of Informed Citizens' to develop a package of changes to the Electoral Code, as well as organize consultations between the parties on this issue. The head of the organization Daniel Ioannisyan said that consultations will be held within the next few days. According to him, if no agreement is reached with the RPA on introducing amendments to the Electoral Code, the government intends to use such options as the Ministry of Justice filing a claim to the Constitutional Court for a recognition of the preferential voting system as unconstitutional. If this does not work out, which is unlikely, there is an option of holding early elections through a referendum.

Taking all these options into account, early elections cannot be an absolute guarantee of resolving the impasse in the current situation. The thing is that holding early elections until May 9, 2019 is possible only in one case - if Prime Minister Pashinyan resigns. According to the law, the parliament has no right to express a vote of no confidence towards the prime minister within a year of his election. The resignation of the prime minister may be fraught with a full return of the Republican Party of Armenia to power, which holds the majority of seats in the parliament.

The prime minister says that the election can be held already before the end of this year. Perhaps, these statements are explained by Pashinyan's confidence that after his resignation the parliament will not be able to elect a new prime minister. But it may happen if the RPA faction is disunited. There is no disunion yet. The prime minister probably believes that the ranks of Republicans can be divided by anti-corruption revelations, the mechanism of which has already been launched. But before that, actualizing the internal political crisis would remain a threat.

Overcoming the crisis and the opportunity to get out of the impasse is a multi-layered pie, the top layer of which can be the split of the RPA, which is the primary focus of anti-corruption revelations.

RFE/RL Report
Armenian Tycoon’s Businesses Probed For Tax Fraud
May 29, 2018
Artak Hambardzumian
Astghik Bedevian

The National Security Service (NSS) confirmed on Tuesday that it has launched a 
tax evasion investigation into Armenia’s largest retail chain controlled by 
Samvel Aleksanian, a wealthy businessman representing the former ruling 
Republican Party (HHK) in parliament.

An NSS spokesperson told RFE/RL’s Armenian service ( that the 
law-enforcement body is now looking to the Yerevan City supermarket chain’s 
financial statements and other records. The official said the NSS will give 
some details of the probe later this week.

Neither Aleksanian nor Yerevan City has made any official statements on the 
audit yet.

Aleksanian, 49, is one of Armenia’s richest men who has long effectively 
controlled lucrative imports of sugar, cooking oil and other basic foodstuffs. 
He has had close ties with the country’s former leaders, notably former 
President Serzh Sarkisian. The latter still heads the HHK.

Aleksanian has been a member of the Armenian parliament since 2003. He always ran for the National Assembly on the HHK ticket.

The inquiry into suspected tax evasion at Yerevan City food supermarkets 
followed a crackdown on corruption announced by Artur Vanetsian, the new head of the NSS, on May 19. Vanetsian pledged to target individuals who have long “stolen money from the state.”He said the NSS will also expose numerous cases of tax evasion.

The NSS arrested late last week three senior executives of a customs brokerage 
firm accused of failing to pay millions of dollars worth of taxes. Vanetsian 
promised on Monday more corruption “revelations” in the coming days.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, who named Vanetsian as NSS head two days after taking office on May 8, said on Tuesday that the audit of Aleksanian’s 
supermarkets is part of a “process of establishing law and order in Armenia.”

Pashinian stood by his earlier statements that his government will not be 
waging “vendettas” against members of the former ruling regime or individuals 
linked to them. “But there won’t be lawlessness either,” he told RFE/RL’s 
Armenian service ( “If anyone tries to interpret this position as 
a sign of our weakness they will get a crushing blow. You can be sure about 

“I am calling on everyone to sober up and fulfill their obligations to the 
state in full,” Pashinian went on. “Everyone is now exempt from corrupt 
obligations. But let no one think that they can deceive the state.”

The premier specifically urged businesses to voluntarily compensate the state 
for “taxes not paid in the past.” They had better do that before being 
investigated by the NSS, he said.

Meanwhile the new head of Armenia’s State Revenue Committee (SRC), Davit 
Ananian, clarified that the authorities suspect Yerevan City and a dozen other 
supermarket chains of using fraud scams to evade taxes in their retail sales of 
fresh agricultural produce. Ananian said he has already met their top 
executives and warned them to stop doing that.

“We just gave them a few days’ time to sort out their [cash register-related] 
program issues and move on,” he said.

RFE/RL Report
Russian-Armenian Tycoon Loses Energy Asset In Armenia
May 30, 2018
Ruzanna Stepanian

Armenia’s new government has decided to scrap an agreement with Samvel 
Karapetian, a Russian-Armenian billionaire, allowing one of his companies to 
manage the national electricity transmission network, Energy Minister Artur 
Grigorian said on Wednesday.

The previous government announced last year that Karapetian’s Tashir Kapital 
will manage the state-owned High-Voltage Electric Networks (BETs) for the next 
25 years. Government officials said at the time that the new operator will cut 
costs by “synchronizing” Armenia’s power transmission and distribution 
networks. They said Tashir Kapital will also obtain large-scale loans that will 
be used for refurbishing electricity transmission lines and substations and 
building new BETs facilities.

The management contract highlighted Karapetian’s growing presence in the 
Armenian energy sector. The Armenian-born tycoon owns the country’s sole 
electric utility and largest thermal power plant.

“The contract has been terminated,” Grigorian told reporters. He claimed that 
some of its provisions are “not beneficial for the state” but did not elaborate.

The new minister, who represents businessman Gagik Tsarukian’s party allied to 
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, also would not say how the government will seek 
to streamline BETs and attract badly needed investments in it. He dismissed 
speculation that Tsarukian has set his sights on the transmission network.

With total assets estimated by the “Forbes” magazine at $3.5billion, Karapetian 
is most probably the richest ethnic Armenian in the world. His Russian-based 
Tashir Group conglomerate comprises over a hundred firms engaged in 
construction, manufacturing, retail trade and other services.

The 52-year-old tycoon strongly supported former Prime Minister Karen 
Karapetian (no relation) throughout the latter’s tenure which came to an end 
when former President Serzh Sarkisian became prime minister on April 17 in what proved to be a failed attempt to extend his decade-long rule. Karapetian took over as acting prime minister after Sarkisian stepped down on April 23 amid mass protest led by Pashinian.

Tashir purchased the debt-ridden Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA) utility and 
a large power plant in the Armenian town of Hrazdan from Inter RAO, a state-run Russian energy company, in 2015. The new owner appears to have significantly cut ENA’s massive losses since then.

Another company owned Samvel Karapetian as well as an investment fund which he and other wealthy Russian-Armenian businessmen set up in 2017 was due to build a 76-megawatt hydroelectric plant in Armenia’s northern Lori province. The fund, called the Investors Club of Armenia (ICA), also planned to at least partly finance the construction of a 100-megawatt hydroelectric plant on 
Armenia’s border with Iran.

Karapetian has yet to say whether he will go ahead with these investment 
projects after the recent change of Armenia’s government.

ARKA, Armenia
May 30 2018
Experts say Armenian agriculture impeded by corruption and non-competitiveness 

Armenia’s Deputy Agriculture Minister Robert Makaryan, a representative of the Agricultural Union of Armenia Hrachya Zakoyan and the head of the Consumer Advice Center Karen Chilingaryan looked today into the obstacles impeding the development of agriculture.

According to Makaryan, a set of problems in agriculture is associated with high competition because there are 317,000 farms across the country, which, however, are not sufficiently efficient, especially that there is a marketing problem. 

He said another obstacle is lack of insurance. "Specific steps have already been taken to introduce a pilot agricultural insurance program, and I hope that next year we will have tangible positive results," said Makaryan.

According to Hrachya Zakoyan, the bulk of problems were caused by wrong privatization of land in early 90s and lack of agricultural machinery.

"As a result of this policy a sharp decline in agricultural productivity followed. In fact, the government overestimated the opportunities of private farms. Of course, the advantages of small businesses are undeniable, but not with weak competitiveness and low productivity," Makaryan said.

"Unfortunately, there is no culture of cooperation between farmers yet.. Co-operatives created with the help of international organizations have to go through the process of development, but the government needs to motivate their creation by a favorable legislative base," Makaryan said.

The head of the Consumer Advice Center Karen Chilingaryan pointed to the high corruption risks in agriculture.

"As a result of the collapse of the Soviet-time collective farms, several people took over all machinery, forcing farmers to depend on themselves. There is also the irrigation problem. Agriculture will be able to stand up if corruption is eradicated in this sphere,’ Chilingaryan said. -0-

ARKA, Armenia
May 30 2018
The number of smokers in Armenia on the rise, minister says

Despite a number of government-supported anti-smoking programs,  the number of  smoking population in Armenia is on the rise, Health Minister Arsen Torosyan told  a press conference convened to mark  the World No Tobacco  Day.

According to the minister,  there is a government-approved strategy to combat smoking,  but the steps taken to date are not satisfactory. Under the strategy, in 2010-2015 the number of smokers was to drop by 1.5-2% annually, but to date there is a reverse trend, the minister said.

Torosyan said  to change the situation, decisive steps and political will are needed, in particular, toughening of the ban on smoking in public places.

"Personally, I support adoption of legal acts on the prohibition of smoking, but considering that the proposed fines for the violation of the law are not unequivocally perceived by the public, I think that the changes must be introduced step by step. The bill will be revised, new broad public discussions will be held, after which  it will be submitted to  the parliament, " the minister said.

A bill drafted earlier this year by Armenia’s ministry of health would introduce an extensive ban on smoking in cafes, restaurants and other public places and impose heavy fines on people violating it .According to various estimates, around 60 percent of Armenia’s male population are  regular smokers. 

The smoking rate among women is 3 percent. However, in the capital city Yerevan some 10 percent of women aged between 30 and 40 are smokers.  The ministry says tobacco smoking is  the main cause of the country’s high incidence of lung cancer.

Under the bill people caught smoking in cafes, bars, restaurants, government offices and other public places would be fined 250,000 drams ($520). A repeat offense would entail a fine of 500,000 drams ($1,040).

According to the representative of the World Health Organization in Armenia, Yegor Zaytsev, the most effective way to prevent dependence on nicotine is to raise excise taxes on  tobacco products, place warnings on packages about the dangers of smoking, introduce a complete ban on advertising of tobacco products, and eliminate the effects of second-hand tobacco smoke.

"Anti-smoking programs can also have a positive impact on the economy, particularly on tourism. Many residents of European countries are already free from smoking dependence and prefer countries where there are laws guaranteeing clean air in public places and smoking bans," noted Zaytsev.

Every year, on 31 May, WHO and partners mark World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), highlighting the health and other risks associated with tobacco use, and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

The focus of World No Tobacco Day 2018 is "Tobacco and heart disease." The campaign will increase awareness on the link between tobacco and heart and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including stroke, which combined are the world’s leading causes of death; feasible actions and measures that key audiences, including governments and the public, can take to reduce the risks to heart health posed by tobacco.

Panorama, Armenia
May 31 2018
Istanbul’s Prosecutor General’s Office renders decision on the _expression_ “Armenian Genocide”

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Istanbul has rendered a decision stating that the _expression_ “Armenian Genocide” is within the boundaries of freedom of speech and _expression_ reported, citing Ermenihaber.

It is noted that that Leman Yurtsever, Zhiyan Tosoun and Gamze Ozdemir, apprehended during an event dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, have been physically and mentally assaulted. They held signs and photos of the victims of the Armenian Genocide in their hands during the event organized by the Human Rights Association.

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Istanbul had launched an investigation and charged them with “provoking hatred and enmity among the people”.
When announcing the results of the investigation, the prosecutor reported that there were no grounds for criminal persecution against the suspects and cited the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights, stating that the _expression_ “Armenian Genocide” is within the boundaries of freedom of speech and _expression_.

In the wake of the decision of the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Human Rights Association issued a statement stating that it is important to view this decision from the perspective of _expression_ of political will.

“From the perspective of freedom of speech and _expression_, we see how far Turkey has reached by neglecting international treaties. Hundreds of people are in jail for dissidence. It is important for us to see that the decision of the Prosecutor General’s Office is viewed from the perspective of political will. From now on, we will state this decision during the events dedicated to April 24th every year so that we can show it to the officials who try to hinder our actions,” the statement reads, as  quoted by the source.

Otago Daily Times, New Zealand
May 29 2018
Otago soldier fought to stop atrocity

Maria Armoudian and James Robins tell the story of an Otago soldier’s intervention in the plight of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in World War 1 and of Dunedin’s post-war response to the Armenians’ distress.

It was August 1918, somewhere in northwestern Iran. A tiny squad of soldiers encountered the most desperate and miserable sight: 60,000 Armenian and Assyrian refugees, staggering slowly along a trail, pale, dirty, and hungry, all their belongings strapped to their backs.

Alexander Nimmo, from The Grange, East Taieri, received the Distinguished Conduct Medal for battling to save Armenians in World War 1. He survived the war and later farmed at Rocklands Station near Middlemarch and on farms near Palmerston. 

They were from the city of Urmia, fleeing the advance of Ottoman Turkish troops, fleeing an annihilation planned and carried out by the Ottoman Turkish government.

During World War 1, the government of the Ottoman Empire - the very regime Anzac soldiers had fought to defeat at Gallipoli - carried out a vicious campaign of extermination against the Empire's Christians, Armenians and Assyrians among them. The flight of Urmia is part of the final phase of what would later be called the Armenian Genocide.

Two men from New Zealand were among those who witnessed its awful consequences and risked their lives to save its victims.

One was Robert Nicol, a decorated Gallipoli veteran from Lower Hutt, and the other was Alexander Nimmo, formerly a farmer from Mosgiel. They had been both called up to serve in an elite unit known as Dunsterforce.

Their task had been to secure the oil fields of Baku, in modern Azerbaijan, but a small detachment including Nicol and Nimmo, under the leadership of Australian captain Stanley Savige, were sent by their commander to see if they could defend the city of Urmia.

When they heard of Urmia's evacuation, Savige called for volunteers. Nicol, Nimmo, and a handful of others raised their hands. Nobody forced them to defend a desperate people. They chose to do so anyway.

On August 6, 1918, with the refugee column stretching kilometres into the distance, the small band of comrades in arms finally encountered the Ottoman soldiers who had been pursuing the weak and dispossessed.

Savige ordered Nicol and Nimmo to spring a surprise attack using a Lewis machine gun. A fierce battle ensued, the Allied soldiers horribly outnumbered.
Ottoman rifles aimed for the mules which carried their vital supplies. Nicol, seeing the donkeys topple over, decided to rescue their gear. He passed the machine gun to his fellow New Zealander, Nimmo, and set out into the open where he was hit and killed.

His last words were to a fellow New Zealander in the heat of battle on the other side of the world, far from home, while fighting for a defenceless people.
Nimmo survived, and his courage that day earned him a Distinguished Conduct Medal. He was one of a few Otago residents who responded in their own ways to the humanitarian crisis.

After the war, a vast international relief effort got under way. New Zealanders opened their hearts - and wallets - in great numbers. Otago residents took up the plea for aid and solidarity with vigour, working and donating perhaps more than any other region in New Zealand.

In 1922, an American organiser named Loyal Lincoln Wirt toured Australasia, representing the largest Armenian aid organisation, Near East Relief. Wirt succeeded in setting up relief committees in every major town and city - including in New Zealand.

Wirt gave three lectures in Dunedin in late July 1922. The Otago Daily Times reported that Near East Relief was caring ``for no fewer than 110,000 children in 229 orphanages. Nevertheless, there are outside their gates some 200,000 other children, half-naked, sleeping on the ground, living on grass and roots because there are not sufficient funds available to provide for them.''

As a result of his efforts, within days, an Otago Armenian relief committee was formed, with Mayor J.S. Douglas chairing the first meeting. The committee campaigned hard ``on behalf of the sorely-persecuted and starving Christian people of Armenia,'' regularly running prominent advertisements in the Otago Daily Times, hosting lectures, and organising donation cans for churches.
Many women were moved by the plight of their Armenian sisters and become passionately involved, holding street collections, sometimes in the bucketing rain. By January 1923, the Fund has raised 3441 (more than $40,000 in today's money) and a sizeable quantity of goods like clothes, blankets, raw leather, and canned food.

When combined with the rest of New Zealand's contributions, the goods were shipped off to the Australasian Orphanage for Armenian children at Antelias in Lebanon, which was run by a Christchurch couple, John and Lydia Knudsen.
The story of Alexander Nimmo's courage, and the generosity of Otago's people, is but one of many powerful examples of New Zealand's connection to the Armenian Genocide.

This story has largely slipped from New Zealanders' memory because of modern Turkey's vociferous campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide.

But the deep and profound bonds formed through Nimmo and Robert Nicol's sacrifice, and New Zealand citizens' solidarity during those desperate years remains alive in spirit and memory. We must continue to honour that memory, no matter what our powerful friends say.

 • Dr Maria Armoudian is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Auckland. Both Dr Armoudian's grandfathers were among the Armenian survivors. Those who would have been her great aunts and great uncles died.
 • James Robins is a critic and columnist who is working on a book detailing the connections between Anzac and the Armenian Genocide.
 • Armenians say the number of deaths was 1.5 million. Turkey accepts there were atrocities but denies systematic ``genocide''. It instead claims that about 300,000 Armen

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