Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Student Wins Armenian Genocide Memorial Design Contest

January 29, 2013, Pasadena, Calif.—Today Art Center College of Design and the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee (PASAGMC) jointly announced the winning design concept for a new memorial whose planned dedication in 2015 will coincide with 100th anniversary commemorations of the Armenian Genocide. The concept by Art Center Environmental Design student Catherine Menard was developed in 2012 as part of the College’s social impact design program, Designmatters. The proposed site for the public artwork is Memorial Park in the City of Pasadena. 
Art Center College of Design student Catherine Menard, winner of the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Competition, presents her proposal
Center for Armenian Remembrance & CenterAR News
on behalf of the Art Center College of Design and Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee

Hay Yerekhaneri Brni Islamatsman Shourj By Mher Abrahamyan




"Who is an Armenian?" - Invitation from Tekeyan Cultural Association London

Dear friends
I have received this and have been asked to circulate it .
Do attend if at all possible .
Odette Bazil

USA Armenian Life #1347 -- Turkey Claims Non-Turkish Antiquities By Intimidating Foreign Museums

Issue #1347 | January 18, 2013

Turkey Claims Non-Turkish Antiquities By Intimidating Foreign Museums Read More

“The Asia Minor Catastrophe and the Ottoman Greek Genocide”
A New Book Edited by George Shirinian of the Zoryan Institute Read More
Ancient Armenia – it’s more interesting than you may think… Read More

Chance Discovery Leads to Rare Armenian HeroRead More 

Armenian Genocide MonumentRead More
Armenia: Song selection show on March 2 Read More
Cigars By Chivas Avo Dinner 
Read More

3 Armenian sportsmen to participate in European archery championship Read More
Art Center College of Design Student Wins Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Competition Read More

New Jerusalem Armenian patriarch electedRead More

Botulism poisoning registered in Armenia and Artsakh
Read More

Military officers from Diaspora visit Armenian Genocide memorial 

Read More

ANCA Eastern Region has new chairpersonRead More

Armenian Education Minister meets with Intel vice presidentRead More


Armenia’s malt factory planned to be built by 2014 
Read More

Copyright © 2013 USA Armenian Life. All Rights Reserved.

Turkish Media - Assaults targeting Armenians - Raids on Armenian-Turks fuel worries for minorities

Hürriyet Daily News

Raids on Armenian-Turks fuel worries for minorities

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
DAILY NEWS photo/Emrah GürelDAILY NEWS photo/Emrah Gürel
The Armenian community has voiced its increasing concern over a spate of recent in attacks in the Samatya neighborhood of Istanbul’s Fatih district.

The Human Rights Association (İHD) released a report, quoting anonymous views from the members of the Armenian community, on Jan. 25, three days after an elderly Armenian woman was attacked in the neighborhood in the latest of several similar incidents. 

“We do not want to leave our elderly people alone. We are very worried and scared,” a view read. “The population of Armenians in Istanbul is less than one-thousandth [of the entire city], but the ratio of Armenians suffering attacks are high.”

Sultan Aykar, 84, was attacked by a man on the evening of Jan. 22 on a busy street in Samatya, and had to undergo surgery after her eye was severely damaged by a blow to her chin.

On Dec. 28, 2012, Marissa Küçük, another elderly Armenian woman, was stabbed seven times before having her throat slit at her home in Samatya. Two separate attacks were carried out in November against two elderly Armenian women in Samatya and Bakırköy as well. One of the women, 87-year-old Turfanda Aşık, lost an eye, while the other woman was robbed and severely injured.

On Jan. 25, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Sezgin Tanrıkulu issued a parliamentary question, calling for a deeper investigation into the attacks.

“The fact that there were no suspects detained in these four incidents is increasing Armenian citizens’ fears and worries,” Tanrıkulu said, adding that the attacks could be related to the 100th anniversary of the events of 1915.

The police and the Istanbul Governor’s Office were not available for immediate comment Jan. 25. However, police have apparently sped up investigations.

Natali Cebeci, the granddaughter of Aşık, told the Daily News on Jan. 25 that police visited their house earlier this week.

Commenting on the ongoing attacks, she said she thought they were race-motivated.

“The first attack was on my grandmother. It was by then too early to call it race-motivated or not. But looking at the developments, repeated attacks on Armenians cannot be a coincidence,” she said. “As Armenians, we already hide fears in our subconscious. I think we have learned to live with fear.”
The silence of officials on the issue is increasing concerns among Armenians, according to Rober Koptaş, the editor-in-chief of weekly Agos.

“We do not know what is happening, or whether these are hate crimes or not,” daily Evrensel quoted him as saying last week. “But since we have no clear announcement from the officials, we are afraid despite the fact that we don’t know [what has happened].”

Speaking on behalf of the Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey, Acting Patriarch Archbishop Aram Ateşyan told the Daily News on Jan. 10 that regarding the attacks as hate crimes directly targeting the Armenian community could be wrong.

However, İHD members believe that the attacks are motivated by race.

“As an official institution, patriarchs can be prudent but our research points to hate crimes,” Ayşe Günaysu, a member of the İHD, told the Daily News.

“If there is an organization behind those attacks, light should be shed on that immediately and punished,” Tanrıkulu said.

Although there are no apparent investigations to probe whether the attacks are organized or not, an İHD member lawyer said there were signs indicating organization.

“The investigation is filed confidential, which means that there is an organized crime,” lawyer Eren Keskin told the Daily News. “The police will try to buy some time with the confidentiality decision and will try to prove that the [attacks] are not organized.”

Samatya has a high Armenian population. However, the community’s numbers have dwindled over the past years, and there is only a smaller community remaining that mostly consists of Armenians that have migrated from Anatolia. There is a church and an Armenian school in Samatya.

The İHD and Nor Zartonk (New Awakening), a civilian Armenian youth activist group, have said they will stage a protest on Jan. 27 in Samatya.

Another Violent Attack on Armenians in Samatya

Sultan Aykar, a 83 year old Armenian woman, was severely attacked in Istanbul’s Samatya district on Tuesday evening, raising the number of violent attacks against elderly Armenian women to at least four in recent months.
İstanbul - BIA News Desk
24 January 2013, Thursday
Sultan Aykar, a 83 year old Armenian woman, was severely attacked in Istanbul’s Samatya district on Tuesday evening, leaving her lose vision in one eye.
Recently, 3 other attacks were reported on elderly Armenian women in Istanbul's Samatya neighborhood, where Armenian women were either killed, severely battered or attempted to be kidnapped.
"My mother was about to enter her ground-floor apartment. She then saw an intruder who attacked her as she unlocked her apartment door. She fell. Hearing her screams, neighbors came down, scaring off the masked man," Gülseren Aykar, victim's daughter, told bianet.
The victim has been been hospitalized after the incident, with doctors saying that she lost vision in one of her eyes due to a severe damage.
"The intruder was 35-40 year old slender man with grey hair who was dressed in black and wearing a snow mask," victim's neighbors told police.
The police is now investigating whether all four attacks are linked together.

"Attacks target Armenians"

Menzar Etik, victim's daughter, said they were horrified by the indident and decided to do security check on her mother on a daily basis.
"She is just a quite and peaceful woman. The suspect did not try to rob her. So the intention was not to steal her possessions. She only had a broken TV in her apartment anyways."
Gülseren Aykar, on the other hand, claimed that attacks exclusively targeted Armenians in Istanbul.
"What are the gains of killing an elderly woman? It is said that we [Armenians] are equal [with Turks]. But whenever a dispute takes place, our origins are promptly mentioned. You can't even argue with your neighbors confidently if you are Armenian."
Karin Etik, victim's granddaughter said she believed recent attacks exclusively targeted Armenians and demanded tightening of security measures in Armenian populated neighborhoods.

Worries amid neighborhood residents

Neighborhood residents around Surp Kevrok Church also expressed their concerns on the recent incidents.
Elderly man of Muslim and Christian origin sitting in coffee houses together said the attacks raised fear in the neighborhood.
"We are so surprised. We don't know if it is organized crime or just work of a psychopath," one man said.
Another man with Armenian origin said they are struggling to understand whether someone was aiming to cause terror in the neighborhood.
Locals generally believe that attacks did not aim burglary. They tightened up their personal security measures, locking up doors and gazing strangers in the neighborhood.
"God protect us. What can we do other than locking up our doors?" said an Armenian woman.

3 previous attacks on Armenians

On December 28, Maritsa Küçük (84) was found stabbed to death in her Samatya apartment where she was living alone for years.
In early December, another woman (87) with Armenian descendant was found battered in her Samatya apartment. She was hospitalized for two week and lost vision in one of her eyes.
On January 6, the Apostolic Christmas, another woman with Armenian origin was saved from 3 individuals who attempted to kidnap her. While the suspects have not be caught, locals said the suspects tried to deceive the victim over a payment issues.
Police investigation on three cases yielded no concrete results. (NV)
Assaults targeting Armenians in Samatya raise suspicions of shady plot
Recent assaults on Armenian women in the Samatya neighborhood of İstanbul’s Fatih district have caused worry among local Armenians. (Photo: Today's Zaman, Mustafa Kirazlı)
25 January 2013 /İPEK ÜZÜM, İSTANBUL
Four elderly Armenian women have been assaulted in the last two months in the Samatya neighborhood of İstanbul's Fatih district, raising suspicions of a shady plot being orchestrated to disturb the peace between Turkish and Armenian communities living in the area.
An 80-year-old Armenian woman, Sultan Aykar, was assaulted on Tuesday by a masked man in Samatya, leaving her with serious injuries. On Jan. 6, another elderly Armenian woman was assaulted as she was walking to the local church. Thanks to help from passersby, the woman was saved from the hands of the three assailants. Maritsa Küçük, 85, who lived on her own in Samatya, was attacked in her apartment on Dec. 28, 2012. She was brutally killed by repeated stabbing. Her valuables were also taken. In the early days of last December, an 87-year-old Armenian woman was also attacked in the Samatya apartment where she lived on her own. Her valuables were also taken, she was severely beaten and as a result she lost one eye.
Garo Paylan, an activist working for an Armenian civil society organization, told Today's Zaman that when the first incident took place, the group thought it was an isolated incident, but when the assaults continued, they started to think there was more to the attacks. Stating that they now believe the assaults are part of an organized scheme, Paylan claimed that the police have been very slow in investigating the incidents.
“It is impossible for a police department not to find the perpetrators of the incidents despite the presence of many security cameras in the neighborhood. We are deeply concerned that these incidents are an organized crime targeting Armenians. This is why the police department should be more attentive to these assaults. The fact that no concrete development has taken place regarding the assaults gives us doubt about the sincerity of the police,” Paylan stressed.
Managing Editor of the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos Aris Nalcı told Today's Zaman that he doesn't believe the successive assaults taking place in Samatya are isolated incidents. “The police say these incidents are unrelated, but they generally say such things in similar incidents in order not to unsettle people. I think a climate of fear is being created in the neighborhood,” Nalcı said.
Nalcı also stated that the assaults are reminiscent of the Operation Cage (Kafes) Action Plan, a recently discovered plot that targeted non-Muslim minorities and the Alevi community and which prosecutors say is linked to the terrorist Ergenekon group -- a clandestine organization nested within the state suspected of trying to overthrow the democratically elected government.

A provocative Facebook account

Nalcı told of a Facebook account that was created shortly after the assault on Tuesday's victim, Aykar. He said: “I saw a Facebook account that was opened under the name of Sultan Aykar following the assault. The profile picture of the account was attention grabbing and highly provocative. The profile picture was a white text on black background that reads ‘She is offed!.' What is more attention-grabbing is there were 177 followers of the account. The police department can follow this account and find out by whom the account was opened easily or whether this Facebook account has any link with the Samatya assaults or not.”
Nalcı also complained about the slowness of the police work, adding that there is camera footage showing the assailant who attacked Aykar. “He is seen smoking in front of the building where Aykar was attacked on Tuesday. The police have issued a sketch of the assailant. If this assailant is found, the other attacks will also be clarified. Whether the assaults are organized or isolated incidents will be determined in the interrogation of the assailant if the police are able to find him,” Nalcı noted.
A Turkish Armenian, Vartkes Hergel, who spoke with Today's Zaman, said that the incidents cannot possibly be a case of simple thefts. “I heard a cross was drawn across the breast of Küçük, who was brutally murdered in her apartment on Dec. 28, 2012. I personally know some relatives of Küçük, therefore I could find the opportunity to ask whether this is true. They also confirmed this. Why would a thief do such a thing? Such incidents remind us of the Sept. 6-7 events,” he said, referring to mob attacks that were directed primarily at İstanbul's Greek minority but also targeted non-Muslim groups in 1955.

Samatya Armenians live in fear

People living in Samatya are anxious and in a state of fear after the four successive attacks. Speaking to Today's Zaman, Antranik Yontan -- an Armenian living in the same neighborhood -- said that Armenian people there have been avoiding speaking Armenian since the first assault took place in the early days of December 2012.
“Middle-aged and elderly women are afraid of going to the nearby church. There are even some thinking of moving to another place. A climate of fear is prevalent around the neighborhood. Armenians residing in other places of İstanbul also uneasy because of the assaults. Those Armenians living in other parts of İstanbul avoid visiting their relatives in Samatya. Children have also been psychologically affected by the assaults. They are also afraid,” he said.
A Turkish neighbor of Küçük's, who asked not to be named in print for safety reasons, told Today's Zaman that local Turks have been living in peace with their Armenian neighbors for many years without any problems. The same person further stated that they feel the recent attacks aim to create hostility between local Turkish and Armenian families and that Turkish residents now live in fear and are also very worried for their Armenian neighbors. “We don't want anything bad to happen to any of our Armenian neighbors and we feel very sorry for the Armenian women who were subjected to violence in our neighborhood,” the neighbor noted.

‘Turkish ultra-nationalism being revived'

Head of the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (MAZLUM-DER) Ahmet Faruk Ünsal, speaking to Today's Zaman, described the assaults as “racist” acts.
“These attacks on Armenians are part of an attempt to revive Turkish ultra-nationalism, which is thought to have sustained a major defeat after the start of the new peace process [between the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the government],” he said, adding: “The government should be very be attentive to these assaults and should investigate them in a detailed manner.”

International reaction

The attacks in Samatya also resonated in the US. Organizations representing the Armenian diaspora in US sent a letter to the Department of State, requesting that the US administration be watchful about these incidents. Amnesty International (AI) also released a message calling for attention to the Samatya incidents.

İHD releases report on assaults in which points to organized hate crime

The Human Rights Association (İHD) İstanbul branch released a report on the Samatya assaults on Friday. The report asserts that the attacks are not mere incidents of violent theft. The İHD also said the attacks could be part of what they termed an “ethnic cleansing” campaign. The group said the perpetrators should be captured immediately and it should be established whether they have any link to any illicit groups. The İHD has also sent its report to the Ministry of Interior Affairs, demanding that the case be solved as soon as possible.
Commenting on the İHD's report, Rober Koptaş -- current editor-in-chief of Agos -- told Today's Zaman that it is too early to speak regarding the attack in such strict terms as there is no concrete evidence to suggest that the attacks were staged as part of an organized scheme. However, he also said: “None of the politicians and state officials have released any statement on the issue yet, which also increases the concerns of the Armenians living in Samatya. The interior minister, the İstanbul governor or the İstanbul police chief should give detailed information to the public regarding these incidents. People need such explanations from top state officials to be able to calm down. Now, people are waiting in fear. The Interior Ministry should establish a commission and should conduct a very thorough investigation,” Koptaş noted.
Hrant Dink Commemorated
No Verdict Again in Sevag Balıkçı Murder Trial