Saturday, 30 April 2016

Armenian Democratic Liberal Party

Dear TCA Mailing List Members,

Please find attached fliers about several important upcoming events/lectures;

1.      5pm on Sunday at Hay Doon (Armenian House) Iverna Gardens, Kensington Tube.

2.      7pm, Tuesday 3rd May at SOAS, Russell Sq Tube.

3.      2pm Monday 9th May; House of Commons (details later).

For details see attached fliers.
flyer_a.ayvazyan_A4.pdfflyer_a ayvazyan_A4.pdf

Armenian News... A Topalian... Armenia's Best Champions at Chess!
Norway Chess: Armenia’s Aronian beats World Champion Carlsen
28 Apr 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan 

Amenian GM Levon Aronian beat World Champion Magnus Carlsen in Round 
8 of the Norway Chess-2016 super tournament. 

This marked Levon’s second subsequent victory in the tournament. The 
Amenian had beat Pavel Eljanov in Round 7. 

Kim Kardashian West blasts Wall Street Journal over advert
Azerbaijan shells Martakers and Mataghis, two Armenian servicemen killed
26 Apr 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan 

The NKR Defense Ministry reports about 80 cases of ceasefire violation
by teh Azebaijani side last night.

The rival used alll types of artillery weapons, 60 and 82 mm mortars,
RPG-7, HHN-9 and HAN-17 grenade launchers, ZU-23 antiaircrat systm,
TR_reactive missile system and a tank.

The Aebaijani side also used an MM-21 multiple rocket launcher as it
shelled the settlements of Martakertand mataghis.

Contract servicmen of the NKR Defense Army Tigran Mkhitary Poghosyan
(born in 1992) and Aramn Nikol Arushanyan (born in 1972) were killed
as a esult of violation of agreement on ceasefire.

The NKR Defense Ministry shares the sorrow of the heavy loss an
expressed its condolcenes to the families and friends of the killed

The Karabakh foces reorted to etaliatory means to neutralize teh
actions of teh rival, targeting frontline positions, inflicting human
and equipment losses. 
Karabakh President: We immediately got prepared after listening 
to Azerbaijan’s statement

On the days of four-day April war, the Nagorno-Katabakh
authorities had accepted the Azerbaijani Defense Minister’s statement
to bombard Stepenakert and got prepared to counterattack in case of
such development, Karabakh President Bako Sahakyan said in an
interview with Artsakh Public Television and Mediaton company.

“We accepted that statement and immediately got ready for such
development. Calling their aims into question would mean that we
continue staying misled. Our child killed at school, the bodies of our
beheaded sons, our 90-year-old parents shot in their flat and other
atrocities [committed by the Azerbaijani armed forces] prove that they
were once again coming to behead all of us, tear into pieces the tombs
of our ancestors, as well as rape our women and sisters. Therefore, we
have to give relevant qualifications to their actions and carry out
all our further actions considering that cruel truth,” Sahakyan said.

He also noted that following that, he ordered to bring to the firing
positions anti-aircraft autocannons, multiple rocket launchers and
rocket systems, including long range multiple launch rocket systems.

“If Azerbaijan made such a step, we would immediately open fire and
the response would be adequate in case of such development,” he said.

Vestnik Kavkaza
April 28 2016
Azerbaijan to be forced to take decisive measures in 

The Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan said that the country
may take decisive measures, if Armenia continues provocations in the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.

"If the international community continues to remain silent, Azerbaijan
will have to take decisive measures to protect the civilian population
and put an end to provocations. From now on, the responsibility for
this situation will lie directly on Armenia and those who turn a blind
eye to its provocations," the President's Aide for Public and
Political Affairs, Ali Hasanov, said.

The Armenian Armed Forces have attacked civilian targets in Terter and
Agdam regions in recent days. Azerbaijani citizens were killed and
injured as a result of shelling.

Recall, on the night of April 2 all frontier positions of Azerbaijan
were exposed to heavy fire from large-caliber weapons, mortars,
grenade launchers and guns. In addition, Azerbaijani settlements near
the front line, densely populated by civilians, were shelled.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988
when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result
of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20% of
Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven
surrounding districts.

The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs
of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US, are currently
holding peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four
resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh
and the surrounding districts.

RFE/RL Report
Senior Armenian Military Officials Sacked
Sargis Harutyunyan

President Serzh Sarkisian dismissed three senior Armenian military
officials on Tuesday more than three weeks after the outbreak of heavy
fighting around Nagorno-Karabakh that nearly escalated into a
full-scale Armenian-Azerbaijani war.

Sarkisian's press office gave no reasons for presidential decrees that
relieved Deputy Defense Minister Alik Mirzabekian, General Arshak
Karapetian, the military intelligence chief, and General Komitas
Muradian, the commander of the Armenian army's communication units, of
their duties.

Mirzabekian also headed the Armenian Defense Ministry's Department on
Material-Technical Procurements charged with supplying Armenia's Armed
Forces with weapons and ammunition.

The presidential office could not be reached for comment. The Defense
Ministry spokesman, Artsrun Hovannisian, declined to comment on the

Koryun Nahapetian, the pro-government chairman of an Armenian
parliament committee on defense and security, confirmed that they
resulted from "shortcomings" in the Armenian military's response to
the April 2 Azerbaijani offensive in Karabakh. About 80 Armenian
soldiers and volunteers were killed during four-day hostilities
stopped by a Russian-brokered ceasefire.

"It is obvious that the four-day war exposed new problems that need to
be addressed promptly," Nahapetian "Also, time is needed for a
comprehensive analysis of shortcomings and omissions that exist in our
national security system."

The Azerbaijani assault seems to have taken Armenia's and Karabakh's
armed forces by surprise. Azerbaijani troops captured several heights
at northern and southern sections of the Karabakh "line of contact"
but failed to advance farther. According to independent sources in
Baku, at least 92 Azerbaijani soldiers, many of them members of
special forces, died in action.

The hostilities raised questions about the Armenian army's apparent
lack of prior knowledge of the assault. Critics also suggested that
Armenian frontline troops did not have sufficient modern weapons and
other military equipment when they came under attack.

Sarkisian insisted on Monday that the Azerbaijani offensive failed
because it was aimed at achieving significant territorial gains that
would have led to a "military solution" to the Karabakh conflict." But
he admitted that Armenian military intelligence failed to get "precise
information" about it beforehand.

"Had we had [such intelligence] the Azerbaijanis would have suffered
much greater losses and failed to seize those several meters [of
land,]" Sarkisian told the Bloomberg news agency.

Levon Zurabian, a leader of the opposition Armenian National Congress,
called for more sackings. "Many heads must roll now," he told RFE/RL's
Armenian service ("It's only natural that such a process
has begun."

Zurabian stressed that the Sarkisian administration must not confine
itself to personnel changes within the military. "We need to radically
change the nature of our state," he said. "What we have now is a
criminal-oligarchic, corrupt system which has demonstrated its
inadequacy in the face of external threats."

RFE/RL Report
Armenia Sets Conditions For Renewed Talks With Azerbaijan

Armenia will not resume negotiations on resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict unless Azerbaijan agrees to safeguards against ceasefire
violations proposed by international mediators, President Serzh
Sarkisian said on Monday.

In an interview with the Bloomberg news agency, Sarkisian also said
that heavy fighting along the Armenian-Azerbaijani "line of contact"
around Karabakh could again break out "at any moment." A
Russian-brokered truce, which stopped four-day hostilities there on
April 5, may not be enough to prevent another flare-up of violence, he

Sarkisian made clear that it is "unreasonable" for Armenia to return
to peace talks with Azerbaijan without security guarantees because
"the situation is entirely different now." "On the one hand we'd be
talking somewhere while, on the other, military officials would be
engaging in war here to try to settle the conflict," he said.

Sarkisian said the Russian, U.S. and French mediators acting under the
aegis of the OSCE Minsk Group must therefore put in place
"confidence-building measures" before any new peace talks. He singled
out "an investigation mechanism for violations of the cease-fire that
would pinpoint exactly which party" is responsible. Armenia also
requires "assurances that these kinds of violations will not happen
again," he added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov urged the warring sides to
accept these proposed measures without "further delay" during a visit
to Yerevan last week. Unlike the Armenian side, Baku has opposed them
until now.

France's Secretary of State for European Affairs Harlem Desir also
stressed the importance of the safeguards against truce violations on
Monday as he visited Yerevan for talks with Armenian leaders dominated
by the Karabakh issue. A statement by the Armenian presidential press
service said Desir and Sarkisian agreed that the confidence-building
measures are critical for renewed Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks.

"The resumption of peace negotiations and introduction of
confidence-building mechanisms will be the main focus of the political
meetings that I will have in Yerevan today and in Baku tomorrow," the
Armenpress news agency quoted the French official as telling reporters
earlier in the day.

Sarkisian also told Bloomberg that as things stand now, there is no
place for Russian peacekeepers in the conflict zone to separate the
two sides. While talk of Russian forces being deployed "wasn't
entirely without grounds" in previous peace negotiations, "I don't see
any such opportunity" now, he said.

"If there are no negotiations, how can Russian forces appear in
Karabakh or between Azerbaijani and Karabakh forces?" said the
Armenian president. 
Turkish leadership’s mentality unchanged 101 years after 
Armenian Genocide: Shavarsh Kocharyan
28 Apr 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan 

“Erdogan’s statement is a confession of the fact that the mentality of 
the Turkish leadership has not changed even after 101 years after the 
Armenian Genocide,” Armenian Deputy Foreign Minster Shavarsh Kocharyan 

The comments come after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said 
“Armenia is playing with fire” and reminded about “more than 100,000 
Armenians living in Turkey.” 

“The Turkish President is trying to threaten Armenia, linking the 
dependence of the Armenians of Turkey on the country’s authorities to 
his denialist statement released on April 24 this year,” Kocharyan 
said in comments to 

“According to Erdogan, Azerbaijan is different from neighboring 
countries and Ukraine. The only thing I have to add is that with its 
xenophobia, its mania of spreading a wave of instability and 
bloodshed, with its genocidal approaches, Azerbaijan is like and even 
identical with one country – Turkey,” the Deputy Foreign Minister 

“Such convulsive statements coming from both Ankara and Baku are the 
expression of their horror of finding themselves intentionally 
isolated as a result of their racist policy,” Shavarsh Kocharyan 

April 26 2016
At Least Two Dead in Bus Explosion in Armenia
By Damien Sharkov On 4/26/16  

At least two were reported dead when a bus exploded in Armenia’s 
capital of Yerevan, only a day after the country marked the most 
solemn date in its national calendar — the anniversary of the Armenian 

The blast happened on Monday night as the bus travelled along Halabyan 
Street and, according to Armenia’s chief of police Vladimir Gasparyan, 
it appears the explosion may have been deliberate. 

Eight are reported injured, three of whom are teenagers and two have 
been confirmed dead by the Armenian government, although their 
identities have not been given. 

“At this point it is clear that this was not an explosion of the gas 
cylinder or from the diesel fuel,” Gasparyan told Russian state news 
agency RIA Novosti. He said it was “too early” to speculate on the 
causes of the incident but did say that, according to preliminary 
findings, a bomb could have been placed under one of the seats. 

Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan called for police patrols on the 
cross section of Halabyan and Arzumanyan streets, where the bus 

The official investigation is yet to classify the incident as an 
attack and no group has claimed responsibility. However, the blast 
came at a difficult time for Armenia, only a day after the annual 
commemoration of the killing and deportation of 1.5 million Armenians 
by Ottoman authorities. 

The event has been highly politicised as Armenia and Turkey continue 
to disagree as to whether the event constituted a genocide or not. 

Armenian-backed forces have also engaged in a tense flare-up with 
Turkey’s ally, Azerbaijan, in its wantaway region of Nagorno Karabakh 
since the start of April. Yerevan officials have not linked the 
conflict with Monday’s blast. 

Catholic Culture
April 26 2016
Aleppo's Armenian districts bombarded on anniversary of genocide 

Islamic forces in Syria launched an artillery attack on Armenian 
sections of the city of Aleppo on April 25, the AsiaNews service 

The heavy bombardment, an obvious violation of a ceasefire agreement, 
killed at least 17 people. Residents of the city's Armenian district 
stated their belief that the attack was deliberately timed for the 
100th anniversary of the start of the Armenian genocide-- an 
anniversary that had been observed at churches in the neighborhood the 
previous day. 

Residents also charged that Islamic forces in Aleppo are receiving 
assistance from Turkey, and blasted Syria's President Assad for his 
failure to protect the Christian minority.

Friday, 29 April 2016

The Oxford Armenian Choir

Dear Friends,

The Oxford Armenian Choir would like to invite you to a charity concert at Pembroke College Chapel on Saturday 7th May, 6pm. The choir will present Armenian Liturgical Hymns from the 10th century to the present day a cappella, and a special introduction will be given by Prof Theo Maarten van Lint, Calouste Gulbenkian Professor of Armenian Studies. No tickets in advance, but we would welcome donations at the door in support of the Syria Relief Fund and #IamArtsakh campaign by UK Armenian students. For any enquiries please contact the OUAS committee at
You can join our event on Facebook .

We look forward to seeing you at the concert.
Oxford Armenian Choir


Armenian Liturgical Hymns flyer.png

Artistic representations of the killing fields of Khojaly exhibited in Parliament

Posted: Mar 02, 2016 2:35 AM GMT

The inaugural Khojaly Peace Prize – aimed at UK-based art students inspired by the Khojaly Massacre – has been awarded during a ceremony organised by The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) under the auspices of the 'Justice for Khojaly' campaign. It was held in the Strangers' Dining Room of the UK Parliament.
London, UK (PRWEB UK) 2 March 2016 
On 24 February, the horrific slaughter of the Khojaly Massacre was remembered in the UK Parliament through the medium of art with the presentation of the inaugural Khojaly Peace Prize. The evening showcased a range of artworks submitted by UK-based students and young artists, inspired by the challenge of harnessing the power of the image to promote peaceful resolution of the ongoing Armenian–Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and other wars, together with stimulating international empathy with the plight of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). The competition and exhibition, organised within the Justice for Khojaly campaign, commemorated the victims of the Khojaly Massacre on 26 February 1992. 
This was the worst single atrocity of the Armenia–Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and claimed the lives of 613 civilian victims in 1992. The death toll included 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly people. 
Taking place in the Strangers’ Dining Room in the UK Parliament, the event was attended by around 150 people, including Lady Fiona Hodgson; Sir David Amess MP; Bob Blackman MP, Chair, Azerbaijan All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG); Mark Menzies MP, Vice-Chair of the APPG; members of the Azerbaijani and Turkish diaspora; friends of Azerbaijan and art aficionados. The judging panel included Sabina Rakcheyeva, violinist and Arts and Cultural Advisor, The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS), who was the first Azerbaijani graduate from the Juilliard School in New York and Bob Blackman MP.
Bob Blackman MP said: “Today’s exhibition is taking place very close to the commemoration of the Khojaly Massacre that took place back in 1992. This was ignored by the world and sadly none of the perpetrators have been brought to justice. As we approach the anniversary, I am tabling an Early Day Motion (EDM) in Parliament recognising the anniversary. It requests the implementation of the four UN Security Council Resolutions against Armenia and that justice is sought.”
Also sitting on the judging panel was Lionel Zetter, Director, TEAS, who commented: “Bob Blackman has now visited Azerbaijan three times and has met many of the survivors of the Khojaly Massacre. We were hugely impressed by the volume and quality of the entries for the art peace prize. Khojaly remains an event that is little-known worldwide. It took place during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, when there were many conflicts and border disputes, and Nagorno-Karabakh did not command the attention of the world’s media. This competition was thrown open to anyone who was living or studying in the UK and was inspired by the tragic events of that night. Its purpose was to sympathise with those who survived but suffered terribly, and also with those who lost loved ones. Also, of course, to try and ensure that such horrific events are not repeated.”
Mark Menzies MP remarked: “As someone who is a friend of Azerbaijan and a visitor to the country, I understand some of the problems and issues that it has to face, including the Khojaly Massacre. Today’s event focuses on some of these issues via the medium of art. I am delighted that so many art students from across the UK have participated.”
The third prize was awarded to South Korean art student Seungjo Jeong for his artwork Interface, where a drain cover represents the geopolitical, economic and diplomatic barriers inhibiting the movement of IDPs and refugees, and yellow leaf represents fragile human nature and the lives of those on the ‘contact line’.
Second place was awarded to Eileen Anderson for her piece Birds of Paradise. She was inspired by artworks created by IDPs and refugees around the world, laying them together and printing them on acetate. One of these was an artwork by a child who had drawn many brightly coloured birds, from which she appropriated her own title.
First place was given to Gordon Berger, which features a traditional Paisley-Buta design, Azerbaijani flats, flags and dances. It is a reminder of the importance and growing together, and seeks to remind viewers of the importance of recognising our commonality and shared humanity.
Despite the passing of four UN Security Council resolutions against the invasion, Armenia continues to occupy Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts to this day. Currently nearly 20 per cent of Azerbaijani territory remains occupied, and approximately one million refugees and IDPs are spread across Azerbaijan. The evening was dedicated to the memory of the Khojaly victims and those Azerbaijanis who have only one wish – to return home.
For the original version on PRWeb visit:
This article was originally distributed via PRWeb. PRWeb, WorldNow and this Site make no warranties or representations in connection therewith.
Information contained on this page is provided by an independent third-party content provider. WorldNow and this Station make no warranties or representations in connection therewith. If you have any questions or comments about this page please contact

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Armenian News... A Topalian... Lady Prize Winner

RFE/RL Report
Burundi Activist Wins Prize Created In Memory Of 

Armenian Genocide

A woman who saved thousands of children in Burundi from 
extermination received on Sunday a new international humanitarian
award created in memory of the 1915 Armenian genocide in 
Ottoman Turkey. 

Hollywood star George Clooney awarded the first Aurora Prize for
Awakening Humanity to Marguerite Barankitse, a humanitarian worker
from the African state, at a ceremony held in Yerevan.

The award was established last year by three prominent Diaspora
Armenians: philanthropists Ruben Vardanyan and Noubar Afeyan and
Vartan Gregorian, the president of the Carnegie Corporation of New
York. It is designed to honor individuals around the world who risk
their lives to help others.

The prize is named after Aurora Mardiganian, an Armenian genocide
survivor who witnessed the massacre of relatives and told her story in
a book and film.

Barankitse, the founder of an orphanage in Burundi, was one of four
finalists picked last month by an international selection committee
co-chaired by Clooney and Elie Wiesel, a prominent Holocaust
survivor. The committee also includes three other Nobel laureates:
Iranian human rights campaigner Shirin Ebadi, Costa Rica's former
President Oscar Arias and Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee.

Barankitse, who had to flee Burundi last year, has saved some 30,000
children who became orphans as a result of bloody ethnic conflicts
that plagued her country as well as neighboring Rwanda over two
decades ago. Her Maison Shalom charity has sheltered and educated

"This is a victory of love over hatred," Barankitse said at the award
ceremony timed to coincide with official commemorations of the 101st
anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

"Marguerite Barankitse serves as a reminder of the impact that one
person can have even when encountering seemingly insurmountable
persecution," Clooney said for his part.

The American actor and director emphasized the importance of the
award. "Tonight's award celebrates heroism and bravery far beyond what
most of us can do in a lifetime," he said.

"We also honor the 1.5 million lives that were lost 101 years ago, and
we honor those lives by calling their tragedy by its true name:
genocide, the Armenian genocide," added Clooney. "Hitler once famously
said, `Who remembers Armenia?' The answer is the whole world."

Australia's former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, another member of
the Aurora selection committee, made a similar point. "The driving
impulse of the prize was to ensure that we never forget, as some
people want us to do, the Armenian genocide, and that we do continue
to understand the incredible risks there are in so many places around
the world of going back to the edge of that particular volcano," Evans
said at the ceremony.

The prize carries a $100,000 personal grant to Barankitse. She was
also awarded $1 million to donate to organizations that inspired her
work. Barankitse chose three charities from Luxembourg as its

The committee co-headed by Clooney also awarded $25,000 to each of the
three other finalists: Tom Catena, an American doctor running the sole
hospital in Sudan's Nuba Mountains, Syeda Ghulam Fatima, a Pakistani
advocate of destitute workers, and Rev. Bernard Kinvi, a Catholic
priest who has saved the lives of over 1,000 Muslims in the Central
African Republic.

Unlike the other finalists, Catena, who is based in a rebel-held
region in southern Sudan, was unable to travel to Armenia for the
ceremony. Addressing it by Skype, he appealed for urgent international
humanitarian aid to the region.

"We are sort of a small Syria in a lot of ways," he said, accusing
Sudan's ruling regime of perpetrating a "quiet genocide" there for the
past two decades.

100 LIVES, a pan-Armenian group which launched the Aurora Prize, also
teamed up with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) to give
its first Integrity in Journalism Award to Rukmini Callimachi, an
investigative reporter with "The New York Times." Callimachi has
written extensively on the ordeals of thousands of Yazidi women in
Iraq captured and used as sex slaves by the Islamic State extremist

"In bearing witness to the suffering of these women, I hope that one
day that suffering may end," Callimachi said as she received the award
at the Yerevan ceremony.

RFE/RL Report
Truce Violations In Karabakh Again Intensify

Fighting along the Armenian-Azerbaijani "line of contact" around
Nagorno-Karabakh reportedly intensified on Saturday, with the warring
sides accusing each other of violating the shaky ceasefire there with
heavy artillery fire.

Karabakh's Armenian-backed Defense Army said Azerbaijani forces have
fired since Saturday afternoon more than 250 mortar and howitzer
shells and rockets at its positions in northeastern Karabakh and
frontline sections east of the Armenian-populated territory. It said
one of its soldiers was seriously wounded shortly before the
"intensive fire" began.

A statement by the army added that Karabakh Armenian troops responded
with actions aimed at "restraining the enemy." It described the
skirmishes as further proof that the Azerbaijani side is not fully
complying with a Russian-mediated agreement that stopped heavy
fighting in the conflict zone on April 5.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry claimed, meanwhile, that the Armenian
troops shelled Azerbaijani settlements northeast of Karabakh before
trying to launch overnight an "offensive" involving tanks. "The enemy
was repelled after approaching Azerbaijani positions," it said,
according to Azerbaijani news agencies.

The Karabakh Defense Army was quick to deny the claim as a "propaganda
ploy" designed to cover up Azerbaijani truce violations. It insisted
that it has not attempted any offensive operations along "the line of
contact" after the April 5 ceasefire agreement reached in Moscow.

Russia's leaders have since repeatedly urged the conflicting parties
to bolster the ceasefire regime. Visiting Yerevan on Friday, Foreign
Minister Sergey Lavrov said they should agree to specific safeguards
against truce violations without "further delay." Those include, among
other things, international investigations of armed incidents on the
Armenian-Azerbaijani frontlines.

Armenia and the Karabakh Armenian leadership support the safeguards
sought by the Russian, U.S. and French mediators. Azerbaijan has
opposed them until now.

"We will do everything to ensure that the ceasefire holds," Armenia's
Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian said on Sunday. He said that is
essential for creating an "atmosphere of trust" between the parties
and thereby reviving the Karabakh peace process.

Ohanian made clear at the same time that the Armenian side is prepared
to fight back a fresh Azerbaijani offensive.

RFE/RL Report
Rosatom: No economic ground for new nuke station 
construction in Armenia
April 22, 2016 

Russia believes there is no economic ground for the construction of a
new nuclear power plant in Armenia, Kirill Komarov, the first deputy
chairman of the Rosatom Company, said this week. He said that the
construction of a new nuclear power plant in Armenia can only be
talked about if there are appropriate calculations and justifications.

Two years ago, Armenia’s government decided to extend the working life
of the nuclear power plant in Metsamor (a town in the Armavir
Province) by repairing it, for which a loan of $270 million and $30
million grant from Russia were received. After that, the power plant
is scheduled to be run until 2027.

According to Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Areg
Galstyan, there is no deviation from the repairing of the plant. The
research phase of the plant is completed. Now the renovation and
replacement of equipment are to be done.

Meanwhile, Armenia’s government intends to find financing for the
construction of a new nuclear power plant. According to last year’s
estimations, about $5.5 billion is needed to construct a 1060 MW power
plant. It seems that Russia is not in the forefront of those who would
like to provide funding.

“In terms of technology, it is possible to build one more block on the
Metsamor platform. The key issue is to provide economic criteria
needed for the construction, which will allow us to make it cost
effective,” stated Komarov in capital Yerevan.

However, according to Komarov, it is important to calculate the amount
of energy consumption in Armenia and export possibilities to
neighboring countries.

“Together we are working in this direction, and if we see that a
window of such opportunities has opened, we will realize the project
with pleasure. You know that an intergovernmental agreement has been
signed on this matter. It continues to operate, and is not canceled.
When we see that there are economic grounds for the construction of a
new nuclear power station, of course, we will try to implement this
project,” he said.

The authorities of Armenia trusted the construction of a new nuclear
power plant to Rosatom, and the company in turn announced that it will
be able to finance the construction of a new structure by only 20
percent, the rest, about $4 billion, will have to be found by Armenia.

“And who will give $4 billion to Armenia if Armenia has already given
Russia the right to construct. Armenia will hardly find fools.
Instead, it has found itself in a ridiculous situation,” wrote Hakob
Badalyan, a commentator of

According to the analyst, the new plant for Armenia has not only
economic, but in practice even military-political importance, because
the current power plant will not run forever.

“When Kirill Komarov says that there is no economic basis for the
power plant, he only represents the interests of Gazprom. Because
there is an economic basis for a nuclear power plant: it simply means
that gas produced amount of electricity in Armenia will be restricted,
and it is the most expensive kind of power,” said Badalyan, adding
that Armenia’s domestic market is enough for the nuclear plant to have
no problem with power consumption.
Turkey’s seizure of Churches and land alarms Armenians
24 Apr 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan
Ceylan Yeginsu
The New York Times 

The Turkish government has seized the historic Armenian Surp Giragos
Church, a number of other churches and large swaths of property in the
heavily damaged Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, saying it wants to restore
the area but alarming residents who fear the government is secretly
aiming to drive them out.

The city, in the heart of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast,
has been the scene of heavy fighting for nearly a year, since the
Turkish military began a counterinsurgency campaign against militants
from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which ended a two-year cease-fire
in July. Many neighborhoods have been left in ruins, and hundreds of
thousands of people have been forced from their homes. Surp Giragos,
one of the largest Armenian churches in the Middle East, was damaged
in the fighting and forced to shut its doors.

Both the Armenians, for whom Surp Giragos is an important cultural
touchstone, and the Kurds have discerned a hidden agenda in the
expropriations. They say the government plans to replace the destroyed
neighborhoods they shared with other minorities with luxury rentals
and condominiums affordable only to a wealthier, presumably
nonminority class of residents.

Some analysts agree, saying even some of the better-off Syrian
refugees in Turkey could end up there.

“Solving ethnic and religious strife through demographic engineering
is a policy of the Turkish government that goes back well over a
century,” said Taner Akcam, a prominent Turkish historian. “The latest
developments in Sur,” he added, referring to the historic heart of
Diyarbakir, “need to be viewed through this framework.”

Indeed, under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s governing
Justice and Development Party has displayed a predilection for
sweeping projects. It was a proposal to build a shopping mall in place
of a razed central park in Istanbul that set off mass antigovernment
demonstrations in 2013.

Mr. Erdogan announced the government’s urban renewal plans for
Diyarbakir in 2011, saying they would “make the city into an
international tourism destination.”

Shortly after that speech, the local housing administration started
tearing down decrepit residential buildings in Sur, but opposition
soon brought a halt to the demolition. Many of the buildings in Sur
are protected, prohibiting big restoration projects. Mass construction
can be carried out only if the government declares an urgent
expropriation, as it has done now.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said recently that the government would
rebuild Sur to look like the scenic Spanish city of Toledo. “Everyone
will want to come and appreciate its architectural texture,” he said.

Yet for the Armenians and the Kurds, distrust of Turkey’s intentions
runs deep. Armenians still have vivid memories of what historians now
call the World War I genocide carried out by the Ottoman Turks, in
which 1.5 million of their countrymen died, and the Kurds have fought
the Turkish government on and off for generations.

Diyarbakir is a polyglot city that is home to small Christian
congregations of Assyrians, Chaldeans and Turkish converts, as well as
to Armenians and Kurds.

Surp Giragos (“Surp” means saint in Armenian), which stands in Sur,
closed in the 1960s for lack of parishioners but was renovated and
reopened in 2011, part of a reconciliation process begun by the
Erdogan government that has returned dozens of properties that the
Ottoman Turks confiscated during World War I.

To many Armenians in the area, who lost touch with their family
histories after the genocide and were often raised as Muslims by
Kurdish families, the church has served as an anchor as they
rediscovered their identities.

These “hidden Armenians” emerged as Turkey relaxed its restrictions on
minorities, but now they say they again feel threatened.

That helps explain why the government’s seizure of the church struck a
particularly raw nerve with the Armenian diaspora and rights groups,
who say the expropriation of religious properties and 6,300 plots of
land in Diyarbakir is a blatant violation of international law.

“This is reminiscent of the events leading up to the start of the
Armenian genocide on April 24, 1915, when properties were illegally
confiscated and the population was displaced under the false guise of
temporary relocation for its own protection,” said Nora Hovsepian, the
chairwoman of the Western Region of the Armenian National Committee of

“That temporary relocation,” she added, “turned out to be death
marches and a permanent disenfranchisement of two million from their
ancestral homeland.”

The Turkish government denies that those killings amounted to
genocide, saying thousands of people — many of them Turks — died as a
result of civil war.

The local governor’s office defended the decision to expropriate the
property in Diyarbakir, saying in a written statement that the main
aim was to bring Sur’s potential as a historic quarter to light by
restoring registered buildings and replacing irregular structures with
new ones that fit the city’s historical fabric. Local officials have
said the properties will be returned once they are restored.

But many communities in the area have lost trust in the government,
and official statements have been dismissed as insincere.

“The government wants to seize the heart of Diyarbakir and singularize
it, ridding it of its rich multifaith and multicultural structure,”
Abdullah Demirbas, a former mayor of Diyarbakir, said in a telephone

A video distributed by the prime minister’s office to illustrate the
government’s vision for the project has also been criticized for its
focus on mosques and residential areas over other prominent religious
establishments in the area.

One line of narration in particular drew the attention of religious
minorities: “The call to prayer that rises from Diyarbakir’s minarets
will not be quieted down.”

The Diyarbakir Bar Association has sued the government, claiming that
the project is a work of “military and security reconstruction” and
that it will not benefit Sur. The Surp Giragos Church is also
preparing to take legal action against the order.

The developments in Sur have marred the steps taken by the Turkish
government in recent years toward reconciliation with the nation’s
Armenian population.

Last year, a historic Armenian orphanage, built by dozens of
descendants of people who survived the genocide, was returned by the
government to the Gedikpasa Armenian Protestant Church Foundation,
after months of campaigning and the intervention of Mr. Davutoglu.

At the time, Armenians worldwide hailed the decision as an example of
how activism by Turkish Armenians could bear fruit.

But critics argued that the restitution of the land just before
important elections was politically motivated, and said they doubted
that other confiscated properties would be returned in a timely

“How can we have any trust left when the government backtracks on
every positive step taken?” asked Anita Acun, a leader in the Armenian
community in Istanbul. “But even so, the situation in Sur came as a
surprise. We never imagined history would repeat itself.”

That history, and the traumas associated with those bloody events,
have been passed down through generations, and continue to reverberate
among Armenians.

“We haven’t been able to go to the church for months, and it’s
devastating to hear that it has been damaged in the fighting,” said
Onur Kayikci, a Kurdish resident of Sur, who recently became aware of
his Armenian ancestry. “For us, it’s not just a building or a place of
worship. It’s where we would come to put together the pieces of our
history and identity together.”

[what do you think of this cheeky line of argument?]
April 25 2016
Erdogan: Turkey is 'Most Meaningful Place' to Mark 
Armenian Genocide
By Damien Sharkov On 4/25/16 at 10:15 AM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan leaves the Ottoman-era
Dolmabahce mosque after Friday prayers in Istanbul, April 15. He has
declared Turkey the “most meaningful place” to commemorate the
Armenian Genocide, which Ankara does not recognize as such.Murad
WorldRecep Tayyip Erdo─čanArmenian Genocide

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared Turkey the “most
meaningful place” to commemorate the Armenian Genocide, which Ankara
does not recognize as such.

The killing and deportation of around 1.5 million ethnic Armenians
from territories held by the Ottoman empire between 1915 and 1920 is
annually commemorated in April both in Armenia and Turkey. The issue
is highly contentious, however, as Armenia has been campaigning for
decades to officially have the event recognized as a genocide,
instigated by the Ottoman Empire.

Turkey, the successor state to the empire, has vehemently refused to
do so, arguing no deliberate campaign of ethnic cleansing took place.
The violence was part of a crackdown on Armenian movements to secede
from the Ottoman Empire, according to Turkey.

While many Armenians and foreign dignitaries travel to Yerevan’s
memorial to the victims of the mass killings each year, Erdogan hailed
Turkey as the place to honor the “Ottoman Armenians who lost their
lives under the tragic conditions of the First World War.”

The Turkish leader visited the Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey, in
Istanbul on Sunday, where he issued a carefully worded statement,
urging people not to “politicize history”.

Erdogan made no mention of “genocide” and repeatedly referred to the
victims as “Ottoman Armenians,” stressing that the dead were “Ottoman
citizens” and Turks and Armenians “share this common pain.”

“I welcome this commemoration which is taking place once again in
Turkey, the most meaningful place to share the grief endured by the
Ottoman Armenians, as well as to honor their memories,” Erdogan said.

“In the lands of Anatolia, where humanitarian duties are never
neglected and happiness and grief are sincerely shared, the sense of
conscience and justice are held above all,” he said, referring to
Turkey’s Asian region, bordering the South Caucasus.

He extended his condolences to the children and grandchildren of
Armenians whose ancestors perished during the massacre.

“We will always remind and remember the culture of cohabitation
between Turks and Armenians which has a history of almost one thousand
years,” Erdogan said.

Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was quick to respond to
Erdogan’s statement, accusing him of falsely equating victims of war
to victims of genocide.

In a statement, the ministry called Erdogan’s words “yet another
failed manifestation of denialism” and “an explicit attempt to put the
responsibility for the genocide committed by the authorities of
Ottoman Empire against the Armenians on the Armenians themselves.”

“Turkey continues its efforts towards equalizing the victims of war
and those who became victims of genocide pre-planned and perpetrated
on the state level,” the statement reads.

“Turkey’s denialist stance further deepens the gap between the
Armenian and Turkish people, while the best way to fill it is facing
history and repentance.”
Cultural Genocide

Acts and measures undertaken to destroy any nation's or ethnic group's
culture are called ‘cultural genocide’. The word ‘Genocide’, coined by
Raphael Lemkin, does not only refer to the physical extermination of a
national or religious group, but also to its national, spiritual and
cultural destruction. The concept of cultural genocide was not
included in the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of
the Crime of Genocide.

Many facts prove that along with the massacres and deportation, the
Young Turk government was also implemented a premeditated and planed
destruction of the material testimonies of the Armenian culture.
Realizing the role of the church and Christian faith for the Armenian
nation, they intentionally massacred Armenian clergymen, destroyed
churches, monasteries, thousands of medieval manuscripts and other
church property.

An Arab witness of the Armenian Genocide, Fayez el Hussein, writes in
his memoirs "... After the massacres of the Armenians, the government
established commissions that were engaged in selling the leftover
property. Armenian cultural values were sold at the cheapest prices...
Once I went to a church to see how the sale of these things is
organized. The doors of the Armenian schools were closed. Turks used
the textbooks and scientific books in the market for wrapping cheese,
dates, sunflowers... "

In 1912-1913 the Armenian Patriarchy of Istanbul presented an account
of the churches and monasteries in Western Armenia (Eastern Anatolia)
and in the Ottoman Empire. More than 2300 were accounted for including
the early unique Christian monuments of IV-V centuries. But most of
them were looted, burned and destroyed during the genocide.

The policy of destruction adopted by the Young Turks with regard to
Armenian historical and cultural heritage has been continued in
Republican Turkey, where these relics have been viewed as the
undesirable witnesses of the Armenian presence.

At the end of 1920s, Turkey began changing the names and titles
(toponymy) of certain locations in Western Armenia. Nowadays 90% of
the Armenian cities, towns and buildings in Western Armenia have been
Turkified. The names of Armenian geographical sites have also been
replaced with Turkish names. Devising a systematic method of
destruction, hundreds of architectural monuments have been destroyed
and all Armenian inscriptions erased.

In 1974 UNESCO stated that after 1923, out of 913 Armenian historical
monuments left in Eastern Turkey, 464 have vanished completely, 252
are in ruins, and 197 are in need of complete repair.

Armenian architectural buildings are consistently being demolished
with dynamite explosions and used as targets during Turkish military
training exercises; the undamaged stones are also used as construction
materials. In some rural places, Armenian monasteries and churches
serve as stables, stores, clubs and in once case, even a jail. On many
occasions the Turkish government converted Armenian churches into

On June 18, 1987 the Council of Europe adopted a Decree demanding from
the Turkish government to pay attention to and take care of the
Armenian language, culture and educational system of the Armenian
Diaspora living in Turkey, also demanding an appropriate regard to the
Armenian historical monuments that are in modern Turkey’s territory.

Cultural genocide against the Armenian heritage on the territory of
Turkey continues ...

From the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia.

Competition...Design a motif to represent out Armenian Culture...

Our church is launching a new initiative, calling on you to represent our Armenian culture in the form of a motif...Happy designing!...­čĄô

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Armenian News... A Topalian... Genocide Anniversary... 101

101th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide commemorated in Paris 
With military honours

Music is very moving!

Armenian Genocide Commemoration Times Square NYC 2016



‘…there were men who took shelter among the Jinns but they only increased their folly’. Qur’an 72:6

An invisible but very real world exists, contiguous to ours. Its people are males and females. They eat and drink. Marry and have children. Like men, some are good, others bad. Some believe in the Creator, while others disbelieve. Who are they? They are the Jinns.

If you are a Muslim, their reality is axiomatic. Because affirmed in a whole chapter of the infallible and inimitable Qur’an, surah al-Jinn. Plus taught in the sunnah, the deeds and words of the Prophet Muhammad. You learn how a company of such creatures once listened to the divine message and was converted. Others, wicked ones, stopped their ears. Ever since, they are busy provoking mischief amongst mortals.

On Sunday in Whitechapel I attended a conference on Islamic spiritual healing. A euphemism for exorcism on black magic, the evil eye, Jinn-possession and how to treat the victims. Tenebrous matters about which any priest – by definition an expert on good and evil – would be concerned. The Gospels indeed show Jesus Christ vigorously confronting the forces of darkness, beating Satan and his minions. Jesus exorcised demoniacs, cast out devils and healed the poor possessed. A conference speaker acknowledged that fact.

The Qur’an says God created Jinns before mankind. Unlike men, they are made from fire – presumably an allusion to their spiritual nature. But they also invade human beings and take them over. Sometime fornicate with them. How is that possible if they come from fire? An answer is that we know one night a Jinn attacked Muhammad while at prayer. A well-authenticated hadith relates how the Messenger physically fought the Jinn and chocked him. Had it not been for a Qur’an verse suggesting Solomon’s unique prerogative over Jinns, he would have tied the critter to a post, ‘so that the urchins of Medina would make sport of him’.

The point is that, although originally from fire, Jinns can take bodily form and interact with men. Similarly, Scripture relates that non-material beings like angels can sometimes appear physically to men. Thus, at the 624 battle of Badr, infidel Jinns are said to have fought alongside the mushrikeen, the Mecca polytheists, against Muhammad’s army. The Muslims, with angelic assistance, were victorious.

Sceptics and atheists will scoff, naturally. Ignorance, naivety and superstition! Why should there be such an invisible world? Like a duplication of the visible one? And which evidence can you possibly have of its existence? Muslim rationalists like Abu Bakr ar-Razi and Muhammad Abdu took a dim view. The latter claimed that the language of Jinns actually means germs. Clever but highly implausible. Would God have sent messages to microbes? The Prophet in Medina that night certainly did not wrestle with a germ!

Identifying invisible entities is of course epistemologically tricky. But no more difficult than postulating sub-atomic quantum particles, black holes or non-visible dimensions parallel to ours. Scientists posit them not by direct sensory experience but by forming elaborate theories. For believers, Jinns stand on a firmer basis as they are certified by a divine, irrefragable revelation. Moreover, any entity can be known by its empirically effects. As the phenomena of demonic possession clearly show, some human beings suffer from fearsome attacks. Something must be done about it.

How do you know when someone is supernaturally possessed? Christian exorcists mention criteria like sudden knowledge of things distant, superhuman physical strength and unnatural behaviour, like sexual perversions, obscenities and loss of blood. Many demonic manifestations display similar features. Some of the above may be explained by recourse to medical science but not all. And psychiatry’s most effective remedies for dealing with symptoms of demonic possessions are questionable. Aggressive drug treatment and electroconvulsive therapy can damage a patient long term far more than exorcism putatively does…

The popular idea of devil-busting is often exaggerated. I can vouchsafe it because I have conducted the procedure myself. A lady, daughter of a dear friend and married to an MP, asked me to say prayers in her home. Her mother told me that her grandchildren were disturbed by strange voices and ‘presences’. I readily agreed to go and pray in the lady’s house. No Latin hocus-pocus but just good, simple Christian prayers – that’s what exorcism at bottom is all about. Well, it worked. The voices went for good. As it happens, the lady lived near Logan’s Place, famous for having been the former residence of singer Fred Mercury, of Queen’s fame. Significant?

Weeks later another woman, I think from the Middle East, popped into my Kensington church, St Mary Abbots. She too complained about supernatural happenings in her home and asked for a priest to go over and exorcise. Oddly, she too lived near Logan’s Place. Had the spirits simply moved house? Wallahi! I didn’t tell her. She might have sued me.

The Whitechapel conference did not discuss whether Jinns may also possess or affect political figures. Muslims have to be careful about what they say, in the present climate of being constantly monitored and scrutinised by media and snoopers alike. The priest will put his head above the parapet, however. Do the disastrous foreign and home policies of Blair, Bush, Cameron, Obama and the EU betray diabolical influences? Some absolute evil or moral enormities greater than the usual political corruptions and stupidities?

Huh! Perish the thought!

Revd Frank Julian Gelli


** follow on Twitter (Twitter Account not yet Authorized)
| ** friend on Facebook (#)
| ** forward to a friend (

Copyright © Fr Frank Gelli
Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp
** unsubscribe from this list (
| ** update subscription preferences (