Thursday, 30 July 2015

Dr Dikran 30th July 2015 Update 8/22

July 30, 2015
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Arabic Inscription in Jerusalem's St. James Armenian Convent. 

On the wall above the main entrance to the St. James Armenian Convent in Jerusalem, there is an elaborately carved inscription in Arabic dating to the reign of the Mamluk Sultan Jaqmaq. The inscription records the cancelation by Jaqmaq of certain taxes imposed on the Armenian monastery. It also says, “…cursed by the one and may be he be a son of a cursed [father] and may God the Almighty’s curse be upon him whoever imposes any tax or inflicts an injustice [upon this holy place].”  Read More
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Dr. Dikran Abrahamian · 15 Bridle Rd. · Penetanguishene, On L9M 1J5 · Canada

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

FATHER FRANK’S RANTS Rant Number 642 29 July 15 HAIL SATAN!


As hundreds of worshippers gathered in their Detroit Temple to unveil a huge demonic idol called the ‘Baphomet’, fervent shouts of ‘Hail Satan!’ went up.

A travesty of Christian rituals and beliefs, Satanism is puzzling. Being the pursuit of evil, a cult of deliberate wickedness, why do people join it? Dreams of power, I imagine, in its polymorphous, seductive aspects. Money, sex, pleasure, domination, miraculous gifts, you name it.  But Satanists are mistaken. Because trusting in Supreme Goodness brings excellent rewards, it does not follow that adoring Absolute Evil will achieve the same. Think of food. Good food sustains life but bad food does not. A good person keeps his word, a bad person doesn’t. Hail him as your Lord as much as you like, His Satanic Majesty is not to be trusted – that is the point.

The ‘Baphomet’ goes back to the much maligned Knights Templar. A medieval order of warrior monks. Their enemies accused them of being secret Muslims – the Baphomet being a cryptic and twisted reference to ‘Mohamet’, Islam’s Prophet. Given that the poor Knights were a sort of SAS elite force in the Holy Land fighting the Saracens, a preposterous charge. Anyway, the towering Denver statue is ugly. An enthroned horned and winged figure, partly goat, partly human, with intertwined snakes emerging from its loins. Sinister, yes, but also grotesque and a touch comical. That two young children are shown looking up to the freak is truly sickening.

Being a parody of the worship of the One True God, Satanism sometimes cloaks itself with a mantle of pseudo-piety. ‘Unnecessary suffering is bad’, intoned the Temple rep. ‘We seek to reduce suffering’. Who would object to such banalities? Ditto when they claim to praise ‘rationality and scepticism’. (Shades of Professor Richard Dawkins?) They might of course start with submitting their own Satanic nonsense to a bit of rational and sceptical analysis. You can bet they won’t.

Curiously, some anti-clerical radicals took up Satan as a positive champion, an emblem of rebellion against authority. Thus the Italian poet and Nobel prize winner Giosue’ Carducci composed a blasphemous ‘Hymn to Satan’. Not unlike some extravagant Sufi mystics who felt to have discovered in the Shaytan or Iblis of the Qur’an the first, perfect monotheist, because he refused to bow or prostrate before Adam. This implausible devil would bow only before Allah, according to the Sufis. A perplexing reversal of the Qur’anic meaning, methinks.

When in parish work, I met some crestfallen, repentant devil worshippers. They told similar, sad stories. Dazzling mirages of fantastic power perks had lured them in. Soon, the opposite befell them. They began losing power, becoming feebler. Ended up as virtual slaves, robbed of their freewill, chained to the chief Satanist or con man, forced into prostitution or menial drudgery.

Human credulity being endless, a well-meaning evangelical Vicar I knew was once cheated of thousands of pounds by a pretended, former Satanist. The money was necessary to purchase a ‘Satan’s throne’, my friend was told, so to free further victims. Alas, it only ‘freed’ the hapless clergyman of his cash.

A key question lurks behind these diabolical investigations. Mere human stupidity or actual, cosmic wickedness? Idiocy or more? Is Satan outside of man or only inside his mind? A matter of metaphysical, substantial evil or of individual psychology, like quirks of the subconscious?

As a priest, a professional, trained expert in good and evil, I have an axe to grind. The Christian Scriptures and traditions do not beat about the bush. Satan and his minions are real, all too real. Interfaith reinforces this. The Qur’an states that the fiend’s first victims were Adam and his wife. His whispering led them to disobey God. When they had tasted the tree, they became aware of the shameful parts. A teaching mirroring the Bible, Genesis 3:7: ‘…And they knew they were naked.’ How notable that, as Satanism rears its ugly head in the ungodly West, human beings seem to have lost much sense of modesty about nakedness…

Pity is, I think, the right attitude towards the deluded Denver Satanists. In Roman Polanski’s supernatural movie, The Ninth Gate, occultist Boris Balkan begins to perform a diabolical ritual aimed at making himself all-powerful. As he mumbles gobbledygook invocations to the Devil, Balkan douses his body in petrol and then sets himself alight, believing to have become invulnerable to fire. Too late he realises the ritual is rubbish. He screams in atrocious pain, succumbing to the flames.

I doubt Polanski meant it but for me the moral is clear: hailing Satan will not work. It will only bring his servants closer to the eternal Fire.

Revd Frank Julian Gelli

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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

UK premiere of a Middle Eastern masterpiece at Arcola’s Grimeborn festival

[please note that this production is in English]
28 July 2015

  Gariné considered the masterwork of Dikran Tchoukhajian, the first opera composer of the Ottoman Empire
  Gerald Papasian directs a semi-staging of his acclaimed adaptation for two nights only
   Previously performed at the Theatre of Saint-Maur, Paris and the Theatre de L’Odeon, Marseille
   Marks 140th anniversary of the opera and 100 years since the Armenian massacres

Arcola Theatre will stage the UK premiere of Gariné by Dikran Tchoukhajian, in a new adaptation by acclaimed French director Gerald Papasian. The work, which fuses European and Eastern traditions in Tchoukhajian’s pioneering style, was a major influence in the development Armenian opera. Since its composition in Turkish as Leblebici Horhor Ağa (Master Hor Hor the Chickpea Vendor) in 1875, it has been adapted three times for film, including by Nazim Hikmet.
 Now Gerald Papasian directs a semi-staging of his own adaptation. Following performances at the Theatre of Saint-Maur, Paris and the Theatre de L'Odeon, Marseille, Gariné will play at Arcola for two nights only on 14 and 15 August.
Tchouhadjian was known in his lifetime as ‘the Armenian Verdi’ and ‘the Oriental Offenbach’.
Gerald Papasian said, “I want the world to hear his music. His name being almost forgotten and he remains unknown to the westerners. Yet when it’s heard, people love it and are surprised that no one had heard him before. That’s why I am thrilled at the opportunity Mehmet Ergen and the Arcola Theatre is giving me to introduce this music to London theatregoers. It is also the best way to show that art is indeed universal and the introduction of an Armenian Composer made possible to British theatregoers by a theatre director who is of Turkish background makes eminent sense to me.”
 On its 140th anniversary of "Master Hor Hor the Chickpea Vendor”, Papasian is dedicating this production to three courageous artists who dared to break taboos of their era: Arousyak Papazian (1841-1907), an Ottoman Armenian actress considered the first professional female actor in the Ottoman Empire and thereby the entire Middle East; Şazik Köylüyan (1854-1895), the first Armenian professional opera singer and the first to play Gariné in 1875; and Afife Jale (1902 – 1941), the first Muslim theatre actress in Turkey.
The production plays as part of Arcola’s ninth Grimeborn opera festival. Since it launched in 2007, the Grimeborn festival has introduced new audiences to opera and given emerging artists the platform to showcase and develop their talent.
Remarking on the 2015 line-up, which includes a dozen productions, Arcola Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen said: “For the ninth year running, the Grimeborn festival will showcase work from some of our most exciting opera artists, in an accessible way and at an affordable price. Classics by Puccini, Verdi and Strauss will be reimagined; little-known masterpieces like Tchouhadjian’s Gariné will receive rare productions; new and contemporary works will demonstrate the ongoing vibrancy of opera within our culture.”
 Arcola Theatre Presents
UK Premiere
by Dikran Tchouhadjian / Gerald Papasian
In dedication to courageous ladies:
Arousyak Papazian (1841-1907) 
Şazik Köylüyan (1854-1895)    
Afife Jale (1902 – 1941)    
Gariné is the story of Armen, an impetuous young man, who dreams of creating the first major theater company in Constantinople, to play the works of great authors, breaking with the tradition of popular street theatre. On opening night, his leading actress leaves and joins the cast of a competing troupe. Finding a replacement on such a short notice proves to be impossible. Everything seems over until Gariné arrives on the scene. Armen is inflamed with passion for her voice, but her father detests the theatre. Can she be persuaded to defy him, and to sing on opening night? Will it be Gariné that saves the day?
 Ticket Information and Times
Friday 14th and Saturday 15th August at 7:30pm
Press invited to review Friday 14th August at 7:30pm
Tickets are £10 or less with Arcola Passport
Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street London E8 3DL,

£15 / £12 concessions
Box Office:  0207 503 1646
Contact: Ms. Müge Cetinkaya
Part of Grimeborn Opera Festival 2015
“London’s hippest festival of new and underground opera” Time Out“Grimeborn is a welcome effort to give a lot of rough ideas a public airing. The place was packed out with a crowd so cool and buzzing that I felt I had crashed some very hip party” Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph

Ms. Müge Çetinkaya |Audience Development (Part-time) 
Mobile: 07944616201
Garine - 14th & 15th August
Arcola Theatre

Now playing:
The House of Mirrors and Hearts, a haunting new chamber musical by Eamonn O'Dwyer and Rob Gilbert.
East End Boys, West End Girls, a timely and touching new play by award-winning writer Ade Solanke.
Coming soon... Grimeborn 2015, 'London's hippest festival of new and underground opera' (Time Out). See 5 operas for £50 with Arcola Passport!
Arcola Theatre
24 Ashwin Street
London E8 3DL
Office: +44 (0)20 7503 1645
Box Office: +44 (0)20 7503 1646 / /
Registered in England and Wales as a charity (number 1108613) and company limited by guarantee (number 5242988). Arcola Theatre is a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England.
Arcola aims to be the world's first carbon-neutral theatre:

SETA DC Annual Conference on Turkey 2015 - Panel I: Turkish Elections and Democracy

Peter Filotis added 213 new photos to the album: September 6-7, 1955 Istanbul, Turkey. To all those proud, prosperous and humanitarian TURKS: Permit me to introduce you to your fathers, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, ants, uncles, nieces, n...

Peter Filotis On a final note, I would like to ask all the innocent young Turks of today to look at these pictures and point to one solitary person that did this. I wonder if all the Turks that accuse the victims of Genocide and Ethnic cleansing in Turkey, of being ...See More



Today's Zaman, Turkey
July 23 201

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel recently said he thinks the 1915
killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire amount to a "genocide."

Belgian parliamentarians passed a resolution calling for the
recognition of the 1915 killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as
genocide in a vote on Thursday.

The resolution was approved by the Belgian Parliament's Foreign
Relations Committee and was forwarded to the General Assembly. The
resolution submitted by the Belgian government calls the 1915 incidents
as "genocide" but stresses that the incidents should not be associated
with Turks livng in Belgium.

The resolution also calls on historians to continue their efforts to
shed light on the 1915 incidents.

The 1915 mass killings of Ottoman Armenians during the final days
of the empire remain a contentious issue, with Ankara rejecting the
term genocide. Armenians claim that Ottoman forces systematically
killed more than 1 million Armenians in a way that was tantamount to
genocide. Turkey insists that the killings do not amount to genocide as
they took place during inter-communal strife when the empire was locked
in a battle for survival during World War I. The events are described
as a genocide by the Armenian diaspora and more than 20 countries.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has recently said he thinks
the 1915 killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire amount to a
"genocide," a statement which was criticized by the Turkish Foreign

Back in April, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused France,
Germany, Russia and Austria - whose leaders or parliaments also
described the killings as genocide - of supporting "claims constructed
on Armenian lies." He accused the United States of siding with Armenia
although President Barack Obama stopped short of using the term in
his annual message.

"They should first, one-by-one, clean the stains on their own
histories," Erdogan said during a speech in April.

The European Parliament in a vote in April also adopted a resolution
that referred to the killings of Armenians during the final years of
the Ottoman Empire as genocide and called on Turkey to recognize that

The non-binding resolution, which was approved by a show of hands of
a large majority of the MEPs, said, "Armenia and Turkey should use
the centenary of the Armenian Genocide to renew diplomatic relations,
open the border and pave the way for economic integration." The MEPs
stress the need for Turkey to recognize "the Armenian genocide," so as
to pave the way to "genuine reconciliation." They also commended the
statement by Pope Francis on April 12 honoring the centenary of the
24 Jul 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Armenia has welcomed the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by

"Seventeen years ago the Belgian Senate recognized the Armenian
Genocide by a special resolution. On June 18 this year the Prime
Minister of Belgium reaffirmed the position of the Government on the
unconditional recognition of the Armenian Genocide," Armenian Foreign
Minister Edward Nalbandian said in a statement.

"The resolution recognising the Armenian Genocide adopted by the
Chamber of Deputies completes the process of recognition of the
Armenian Genocide by Belgium," the Foreign Minister said.

"We welcome the unconditional recognition of the Armenian Genocide
by legislative and executive authorities of the Kingdom of Belgium"
Minister Nalbandian concluded.

The Armenian community of Belgium is discontent with the resolution
on the Armenian Genocide that was adopted by the Belgian Chamber of
Representatives on Thursday, Le Vif writes.

The Armenian community of Belgium, in particular, deplores the
ambiguity of the text, particularly paragraph 2, which voices a request
to the federal government "to recognize that today's Turkey can not
bear the historical and moral responsibility for the tragedy of the
Armenians in the Ottoman Empire."

"The Turkish authorities are based on denial - stubbornly denying
the evidence of the Genocide of Armenians and Arameans and continue
to praise the organizers," says the statement issued by the Armenian
and Aramean communities of Belgium.

The Armenian youth of Belgium also issued a statement expressing regret
over the resolution and calling it a text of compromise, RTL reported.

As reported earlier, an Armenian Genocide resolution was adopted
by a voting Thursday at the plenary session of the Chamber of
Representatives of Belgium.

The opposition criticized resolution stating the need for more
definite document, but voted for given the fact that the Belgian
Prime Minister Charles Michel recognized the Armenian Genocide on
behalf of his government.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey
July 24 2015

Turkey has warned that adoption of a resolution condemning the
centennial anniversary of Anatolian Armenians deaths during the World
War I as genocide by the Belgian Chamber of Deputies will have a deep
impact on bilateral relations between the two countries.

With the resolution adopted on July 23, Turkey has once more been
"unfairly indicted, historical facts have been distorted and law
has been ignored," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written
statement released on July 24.

The statement continued onto to say the decision was part of a
campaign aimed at defaming Turkish identity and history, which had
started early in 2015, while recalling Belgian Prime Minister Charles
Michel's recognition of the deaths of Armenians by Ottoman Turkish
forces during World War I as genocide in remarks delivered in June.

"[...] The grave picture that has emerged with the July 23 decision
of the Chamber of Deputies [was] met with regret by the Belgian
Turkish community and has deeply impacted our bilateral relations,"
the ministry, questioning why Belgian deputies spared time on the
issue instead of dealing with serious challenges Europe faces,
including an economic crisis.

"It should be understood that this and similar decisions that have
been made do not serve the Turkish-Armenian conciliation in any way,"
the ministry concluded in its statement.

Back in June, upon Michel's remarks, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said
that the remarks were "neither acceptable nor excusable," adding that
the Belgian leader had "politicized" the issue.

Michel's remarks came after the European Parliament in April adopted
a resolution to recognize the Armenian genocide, which enraged Turkey.

Turkey says it shares the pain of Armenians over the events but has
vehemently rejected the use of the term genocide, contending that
hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Christians were killed on both
sides in a wartime tragedy.

In April, Pope Francis drew Turkey's wrath after describing the
killings as "the first genocide of the 20th century."

Ankara subsequently pulled its ambassador from the Vatican, 
as well as from Austria, Brazil and Luxembourg.
Brazil State of RÃ - o de Janeiro recognizes Armenian Genocide
11:21, 25.07.2015

The State of RÃ - o de Janeiro in Brazil on Friday officially recognized
the Armenian Genocide, and set April 24 as `Day of Recognition and
Remembrance of the Victims of the Armenian Genocide.'

The Governor of RÃ - o de Janeiro, Luiz Fernando Pezão, had 
submitted the respective bill to the state parliament, reported Agencia 
Prensa Armenia.

RÃ - o de Janeiro has become the fourth Brazilian state'after the States
of Paraná, Ceará, and São Paulo'to acknowledge the fact of the
Armenian Genocide. And several months ago, the Senate of Brazil had
adopted a resolution recognizing this tragedy. 

AINA- Assyrian International News Agency
July 25 2015
Assyrian Federation in Armenia Highlights Continuing Genocide

5 is a remarkable year for it marked the 100 years since the
atrocious crime against humanity. The European Parliament declared
April 24 as the Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide in the
Ottoman Empire, an open letter from the press-service of the
Federation of Assyrian organizations of Armenia "Khayadta", published
on the website of Xenophobia Prevention Initiative, reads.

According to the letter, special attention is paid to the occasion in
2015, and various events, like exhibitions, seminars, film screenings,
performances and symposiums, will be held both in Armenia and all over
the world throughout the whole year.

However, the main events took place in Yerevan in April 2015. On April
22-23, the State Commission Coordinating the Armenian Genocide
Centennial Events, the National Assembly and the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of the Republic of Armenia held a Global Forum "Against the
Crime of Genocide" in the frameworks of the events dedicated to the
Armenian Genocide Centennial. More than 600 parliamentarians,
politicians, diplomats, scientists and prominent genocide scholars
from 60 countries attended the Forum. The conference was dedicated not
only to the Armenian Genocide but also to the fight against all the
genocides in the world. For the first time on official invitation, the
representative of the Assyrians and a member of Iraq Parliament,
Yonadam Kanna, attended such a grandiose international forum with an
Assyrian delegation, consisting of 12 members from different

"The participation in the forum was crucial for us, given the need to
preserve the Assyrian nation, as having suffered genocide at the
beginning of the 20th century (1914-1923) our nation is still being
eliminated in its historical homeland today. It is very important for
us that the high representative members of the international forum
'Against the Crime of Genocide' at last heard our voice about the
atrocious fact of elimination of the Assyrian people in the territory
of Ottoman Turkey," the letter reads.

The letter points that on 24 March 2015, the National Assembly of
Armenia adopted a resolution condemning the genocide of the Assyrians
and Greeks in the territory of Ottoman Turkey in 1915-1923.

"The Armenian Parliament's recognition of the genocide of the
Assyrians and the Assyrian delegation's active participation in the
international forum 'Against the Crime of Genocide', held in the
Armenian capital on the Armenian Genocide Centennial is very important
and timely for now the Assyrians are struggling for their existence on
their native land. It is not a secret that the ISIS militants are
eliminating the heritage of the ancient nation," the article reads.

Yonadam Kanna, the representative of the Assyrians and member of Iraq
Parliament, spoke about the plight of the Assyrian people and the
systematic persecutions of that ancient nation. Irina Gasparyan, the
President of Federation of Assyrian organizations of Armenia
"Khayadta", raised the issue of including a reference to the genocide
against the Assyrians and Greeks into the final document. The
participants of the Forum "Against the Crime of Genocide" approved the
final version of Yerevan declaration, which was stated by the co-chair
of the Forum, Baroness Caroline Cox at the end of the Forum. 
"We approve the proposed declaration," she said.

At the end of the Forum, the parliamentarians from all countries
condemned the Armenian Genocide and highlighted the importance of
preventing such kind of crimes against humanity in the future.
Especially remarkable was the call of the former Chief Prosecutor of
the International Criminal Court that Armenia must take up the role of
the leader of the struggle against genocides, which was spoken about
by many.

"The events held on April 24 on the Armenian Genocide centennial
served the main purposes set: raising the international awareness of
the Armenian Genocide, formation of public opinion and mobilization to
condemn and fight against genocides as crimes against humanity," the
letter highlights.

The Armenian Genocide centennial commemoration is not over with April
24 events, Vigen Sargsyan, Presidential Chief of Staff of the Republic
of Armenia and the coordinator of events, told a press conference,
summing up the work done and speaking about the further action. He
said the events held in many countries after April 24 came to prove
that. "Political, sports, cultural events will be organized throughout
the whole year," he said and added that the website would go on operating with the same intensity,
reporting about the many different events in all the corners of the

According the letter, the Assyrian delegation visited Assyrian
villages, where events dedicated to the Armenian Genocide Centennial
were also held. Events, exhibitions, literary and musical compositions
«I Remember and Demand" dedicated to the tragic events that took
place at the beginning of the 20th century in the territory of Ottoman
Turkey were organized in the villages Upper Dvin, Arzni. The Dimitrov
village high school's headmaster Mkrtchyan G.M's final speech became
the concluding chord of the events: "We will never forget the
villainies the Turkish authorities committed. The Armenian and
Assyrian people suffered. But we must live, we know how to live, and
it is our obligation to live to prove that we are an immortal nation."

The fact of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire 
in 1915 has been recognized by a number of states. The first 
country to do this was Uruguay in 1965, followed by the 
Republic of Cyprus (1975), Argentina (2004), Russia (1995), 
Canada (1996), Greece (1999), Lebanon (1997), Belgium (1998), 
Italy (2000), Vatican (2000), France (1998), Switzerland (2003), 
Slovakia (2004), The Netherlands (2004), Poland (2005), 
Venezuela (2005), Lithuania (2005), Chile (2007), Sweden
(2010), Bolivia (2014), Austria (2015), Luxembourg (2015), 
and Brazil (2015). 

The European Parliament and the World Council of Churches 
have also recognized the Armenian Genocide. Forty-three of 
the 50 U.S.states have recognized and condemned the 
Armenian Genocide declaring April 24 as the Armenian 
Genocide Remembrance Day. 

Parliaments of several European countries have adopted laws 
criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide. Turkey, 
however, denies the mass killings of the Armenian population 
in the Ottoman Empire during World War I (onthe eve of World 
War I around 2 million Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire, 
about 1.5 million Armenians were eliminated during 1915-1923,
the remaining half million spread all over the world). 

[highlighted paragraphs are a useful 'aide-memoire']

Monday, 27 July 2015

Erdogan’s Daughter Joins ISIS

TEHRAN (FNA)- A discontented nurse working clandestinely for a covert medical corps in Şanlıurfa—a city in Southeastern Turkey, close to the border with neighboring Syria— divulged information about the alleged role which Sümeyye...

Sunday, 26 July 2015



YEREVAN, . Several thousands of small and mid-scale businesses 
companies have been closed in Armenia over one year, Gagik
Makaryan, the head of the National Union of Employers, said on 

He finds it necessary to change the understanding of the role of SMEs
in social context, since such companies can contribute to removal of
many adverse phenomena in Armenia's economy, such as unemployment,
a high poverty rate and migration, and also can lessen inequality
among provinces' development degrees.

The economist also pointed out the necessity of providing the SMEs
with access to international markets to narrow the gap between export
and import.

He said conformity with international quality standards is needed
for that, and only new, modernized and properly equipped companies
can ensure that.

Makaryan said Armenia has close ties with the European Union
and Russia, and now it should develop its relations with all the
countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, particularly with Belarus
and Kazakhstan, as well as with the United States and Iran.

Presenting the results of the survey that ran from May to July 2015
and embraced 107 small and medium-sized companies, he said 53% of
respondents said decline in SME activity was seen mostly in trade

Referring to the results of the same survey, the economist said
development of small and medium businesses is also hobbled by the
lack of new technologies - 45% of respondents pointed out this factor.

In his words, 69% of the surveyed business people complained about
constraint in availability of financial resources.

Â"Unequal conditions in competition, corruption, finance unavailability
hobbles small and medium-size companies' development. Only 12%
of the surveyed companies rated their condition as satisfactory,Â"
Makaryan said.

There are about 70,000 SMEs in Armenia, including 58,000 micro and
small businesses. Although they account for 43% of Armenia's GDP,
their contribution to overall tax revenues is about 5-6%. ---0----
22 July 2015

YEREVAN, July 22. Recent economic developments in Armenia
show a weak growth environment, the World Bank said in its monthly
review of Armenia's economy. According to the review, Armenia's
economic growth in the first quarter of 2015 slowed down to 2.2%.

At the same time, since February Armenia's economic activity index
fluctuated in the range of 2.5-2.7%, despite the traditional growth
trend observed at the beginning of the year.

WB analysts say that demand continues to be limited due to the
reduction of trade and money transfers from Russia, which is
manifested in a protracted recession in retail trade, which was 8.6%
in January-May.

According to the review, the agricultural abundance this year has not
yet translated into lower food prices, which were the main inflation
factor in May.

The review says also that in May the inflation was 5.1%, approaching
the upper limit of the inflation target range of 4% (± 1.5%).

The World Bank also believes that inflation-associated pressures
may increase in the second half of the year, if the electricity
tariffs grow.

The review notes also that the monetary policy remains tight. In
particular, the refinancing rate is preserved at the level of 10.5%,
resulting in high costs of borrowed funds.

The government GDP growth projection for this year is 4.1%. The World
Bank has lately revised down its forecast for 2015 to 0.8%

In its latest report the Central Bank said it expects a 2.1-2.5%
growth of Armenia's GDP. The first quarter growth was 2.2%. -0-

ASIMDER, a Turkish organization notorious for its anti-Armenian
activities, intends to disrupt the liturgy celebrated once a year in
Surb Khach Armenian Church on Akhtamar Island on Lake Van (in Western
Armenia, present-day Turkey). A representative of the organization,
Irfan Ermis, was reported as announcing such plans by Turkish newspaper
Milliyet, according to

Surb Khach Church was built in 915-921 AD by order of Armenian King
Gagik Artsruni. The church was destroyed after the Armenian Genocide
in the Ottoman Empire in 1915. In Turkey the church was turned into
a museum. It was only on September 19, 2010 - 95 years later that an
annual liturgy was celebrated in the newly reconstructed church for
the first time. 
22 Jul 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

The Turkish authorities have made a decision to renovate the 
St. Gevorg Church in Canakci village in Kigi district of Bingöl 
Province, reports, quoting Turkish sources.

A written statement by the Governor's Office in Bingöl says the
Church will be restored in a short time, according to the decision
of the Erzurum Regional Council for Conservation of Cultural and
Natural Heritage.

The 250-year-old St. Gevorg Armenian Church is nearly ruined. The
head of Canakci village had earlier informed the governor that the
church could cause damage to the neighboring buildings if not restored.

RFE/RL Report
Western Media Watchdog `Outraged' By Armenian Criminal Case
Elen Chilingaryan

Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a Paris-based international media
watchdog, condemned Armenian law-enforcement authorities on Tuesday
for prosecuting the editor of a media outlet critical of them.

"Reporters Without Borders is outraged that Kristine Khanumian, the
editor of the news website, has been charged with refusing to
comply with a court order to reveal her source for a report about a
case of police abuse in June 2014," RSF said in a statement. "This is
the first time in Armenia that a journalist has been prosecuted for
refusing to name a source."

The statement quoted Johann Bihr, the head of RSF's Eastern Europe
desk, as saying that the criminal case is setting a "dangerous
precedent for media freedom in Armenia."

"The confidentiality of sources is an essential condition for
journalistic freedom," Bihr said. "As such, it is protected both by
Armenian law and European Court of Human Rights case law. We urge the
Special Investigation Service (SIS) to withdraw this charge

The report in question implicated the then police chief of Armenia's
Shirak province in a violent attack on two young men. The SIS ordered as well as the Yerevan newspaper "Hraparak" to disclose their
anonymous sources, saying that is necessary for solving the case.

Both publications refused to comply with the order backed by Armenian
courts. Khanumian was formally charged last week under an article of
the Armenian Criminal Code carrying heavy fines and up to two years in

The young editor remained defiant Tuesday. "Naturally, our position
remains the same," she told RFE/RL's Armenian service
("It's a position that befits a responsible media

"We cannot put at risk not only our source but also freedom of speech
in general and set a precedent that would leave other media outlets
facing the same problem in the future," added Khanumian.

The criminal charges levelled against her have also been criticized by
the editors of leading Armenian newspapers as well as Dunja Mijatovic,
the Vienna-based representative on press freedom of the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

'Haykakan Zhamanak' daily writes that the government decided to use
funds to be received from the sale of Vorotan Complex of hydropower
plants to compensate for the 'financial gap' caused by a delay in
the electricity tariff rise.

Until the completion of an audit in Electric Networks of Armenia
(ENA) Company, the government will pay ENA 7 drams per KWh, which
amounts to 2.5-3 billion drams a month.

It is noteworthy that Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan said
this money will not be paid from the state budget. 

[sale was to USA company]
July 21, 2015

For the first time in Armenia a fee will be set for the energy produced
by solar power plant. So far solar energy hasn't been sold.

On July 16, 2015 the executive body made a decision suggesting The
Public Services Regulatory Commission of the RA to give a license
to "Hanni-Armine" LTD for the production of electricity of up to
2 MW capacity in a solar thermal turbine power plant designed by
the company. According to the Government's decision the fee for the
electricity produced in the solar thermal turbine power plant mustn't
be more than that produced in wind power plants and a guarantee of
20 years must be given for the electricity purchase.

According to The Public Services Regulatory Commission of the RA by No
598 N decision made on November 30, 2007 the fee for the electricity
supplied by the wind power plants is 31,343 dram/kWh without value
added tax. 

RFE/RL Report
Armenia Unveils U.S.-Backed Energy Security Plan
Emil Danielyan

The Armenian government officially unveiled on Wednesday a long-term
energy security strategy for Armenia that has been drawn up with
financial and technical assistance provided by the United States.

The 20-year plan envisages the country's continued heavy reliance on
nuclear energy and major reforms of the Armenian energy sector whose
grave financial troubles were instrumental in recent dramatic street
protests in Yerevan.

Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian, Energy Minister Yervand Zakharian and
one of his deputies, Areg Galstian, presented the document at a
meeting with government officials, lawmakers, civil society members
and Yerevan-based foreign diplomats. According to Zakharian, it is
based on a "deep and comprehensive analysis" of the sector that was
launched by Armenian and U.S. energy experts in May 2014. The study
has been financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

"Through the implementation of this program we will have a safe,
reliable and stable energy system, sufficient electricity production
for the domestic market and exports, a stable financial situation,
predictable tariffs, and a decrease in losses," the minister told the

In Galstian's words, all "scenarios" for energy sector development
outlined in the program support the Armenian government's plans to
extend the operations of the Metsamor nuclear power station by 10
years and replace it by a new nuclear facility in 2027. Metsamor's
sole functioning reactor accounts for around 40 percent of Armenian
electricity output.

Both the U.S. and the European Union have long considered Metsamor's
sole functioning reactor inherently unsafe, pressing the authorities
in Yerevan to decommission it as early as possible. They have at the
same time financed major safety upgrades that have been carried out at
Metsamor for the past two decades.

"In order to maintain the current level of the country's energy
security, the Republic of Armenia will continue to develop atomic
energy," stated Abrahamian.

Galstian said the government will also assist in the construction of
new thermal-power plants starting in 2018. He said they are needed for
replacing the country's largest and most outdated thermal power plant
located in the central town of Hrazdan.

The World Bank warned earlier this year that Armenia could face power
shortages unless it builds at least one such gas-fired facility in the
coming years. Its energy experts said that the combined capacity of
all Armenian power plants would otherwise fall short of nationwide
demand by 2026.

In his speech, Abrahamian said his government will also embark on "new
reforms" to try to address the "difficult financial situation" of the
domestic power generating and distributing facilities. He clearly
referred to more than $225 million in debts accumulated by the
Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA), the Russian-owned national power

The ENA has posted growing losses in the last few years despite
repeated increases in electricity prices approved by state
regulators. The most recent price hike, which was supposed to take
effect on August 1, sparked last month two-week nonstop demonstrations
in Yerevan. Their mostly young participants believe that the ENA's
troubles are the result of corruption and mismanagement, rather than
low energy tariffs.

The government responded to the protests by effectively suspending the
more than 17 percent price rise for consumers. It said it will
subsidize the tariffs until an upcoming special international audit of
the ENA meant to determine whether the utility has indeed been
mismanaged by its Russian parent company, Inter RAO.

The source of that subsidy is still unclear, with government officials
saying only that it will be financed from "extrabudgetary" funds.
by Emmanuil Mkrtchyan
Tuesday, July 21, 21:05

The sale of Orange Armenia telecommunication operator as a separate
legal entity to Ucom will officially be announced on July 22. The
French company's representatives will officially announce it at
tomorrow's press conference.

According to ArmInfo, Ucom, which indirectly belongs to Finance
Minister Gagik Khachatryan, one of the biggest oligarchs of Armenia,
will temporarily gain ownership of the Orange Armenia brand.

To recall, founded in 2007, Ucom has dominant positions on the
Armenian market of IP television. About a year ago, the company was
granted a license for providing mobile communication services (011
code registered).

Independent market observers think that the French company's withdrawal
from Armenia will deliver a strong blow to the country's investment
position, because by the specialists' data Orange Armenia was not in
favorable competitive conditions and its profitability left much to
be desired.

According to the Ranking of Retail and Service Outlets of Armenia by
the Agency of Rating Marketing Information (ArmInfo), at the yearend
of 2013 the loss of Orange Armenia totaled 3.8 billion AMD, and the
accumulated loss - 12.4 billion AMD. At the yearend of 2013, the ROI
and ROE of Orange Armenia amounted to negative 8% and negative 10%,
respectively. As regards Ucom, its net profit at the yearend of 2013
amounted to 884.2 million AMD (almost 7-fold year- over-year growth
(from the negative level). At the same time, Ucom's ROI and ROE made up
3.4% and 5.4%, respectively. Orange Armenia has been operating on the
Armenian market since 5 November 2005, and Ucom was founded in 2007.
22 July, 2015

YEREVAN, JULY 22, ARMENPRESS: Harvesting works of nearly all
agricultural products are being carried out in the Republic. The press
service of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Armenia
informed Armenpress that according to the operative information,
by July 22, 140,000 tons of gross harvest of fruit and berries were
produced in Armenia, including about 95,000 tons of apricots, which
exceeds the indicator of 2013 (88,8 thousand tons) by more than
6,000 tons.

YEREVAN, July 22. / ARKA /. Exports of fresh Armenian fruits
and vegetables have grown to 46,456 metric tons this year, deputy
agriculture minister Robert Makaryan said today adding also that the
figure was by 68 tons more than all exports of fruits and vegetables
in 2014.

He specified that 19,330 tons of apricots, 1,909 tons of sweet cherry,
1,198 tons of grapes, as well as 4,870 tons of potatoes and 16,836
tons of other vegetables were exported to Russia (38,000 tons),
Georgia (8,100 tons), Kazakhstan (113 tons), Belarus (239 tons.),
Poland (43 tons) and the UAE (19. 5 tons).

Makaryan said the growth is due to high yield of agricultural products
this year, in particular, of apricots, as well as to simplification
of shipment of goods to Russia and other member states of the Eurasian
Economic Union.

"Armenia's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union has greatly
simplified export procedures. This year, for the first time, many
farmers exported in small amounts (1-2 tons) their products to Russia,'
he said.-0-

by MassisPost 
July 22, 2015, 2:27 pm
BAKU -- Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has stated that his
countries main enemy is the Armenian lobby. "The Armenian lobby is
trying to prove that there is no democracy in Azerbaijan and that
human rights are allegedly violated regularly, thus Armenian minority
can't live here in the future. It's complete nonsense." Aliyev made
the remarks on Tuesday during a meeting with board members of the
Press Council, APA reports.

"Azerbaijan is a multinational and multi-confessional country. People
of all nationalities and religions coexist in a state of brotherhood
in Azerbaijan. Unique conditions were created in our country and it
can be an example for many countries. However, the Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict is the main thesis behind this propaganda and anti-Azerbaijani
campaign. Therefore, we should promote Azerbaijan as modern,
progressive, open, tolerant country in the world's media. We should
also highlight both the historical realities and Azerbaijan's position
on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Aliyev stated.

"It was Armenian separatists in Nagorno Karabakh, backed by Armenia,
who launched the aggression against Azerbaijan," he said. "The first
victims of that conflict were Azerbaijanis. This aggression resulted
in ethnic cleansing and genocide in Khodjaly, and occupation of almost
20 percent of our territory. And there can be no justification of
this occupation."

According to him the Armenian people suffer from a criminal regime of
dictatorship. "This regime has put the Armenian people in a terrible
situation, that in order to overcome it, you may need 100 years.

However, the Armenian lobby day and night are trying to slander
Azerbaijan, to undermine it's authority. They have broad financial
resources. They are closely connected with the authorities of their
countries where they donate to the legislators under the name of
"lobbying." But, in fact, it is - a bribe. Thus, the Armenian lobby
is at the forefront of an organized campaign against us."

Aliyev also claimed that not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also Armenia is
native Azerbaijani land, according to him, "the names of the absolute
majority of towns and villages in the territory of present-day Armenia
are of Azerbaijani origin, the Azerbaijani people for centuries lived
in these lands."