2897) Media Scanner Jun 2009 (146 Items)

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com
  1. Prof Fikret Adani, Sabanci Uni Researcher: "Apologize" To Armenians
  2. Armenia Is Under Pressure Of International Projects
  3. Germany's Role In Annihilation Of Armenians In Ottoman Empire To Be Discussed In Frankfurt On Main
  4. Turkish and Canadian FMs Touched Upon Armenian Genocide Issue
  5. ‘Churches of İstanbul’
  6. Executive Brief - Armenia: Effects Of The Financial Crisis On Vulnerable Households
  7. Turkish, Azerbaijani Intellectuals Discuss Relations at SETA Conference
  8. G-8 Countries Praise Turkish-Armenian Rapprochement
  9. Armenia, Turkey: Tense Half-Time
  10. Violence In Eastern Anatolia: Give Up The G-Word
  11. Azeri President: Nation Must Prepare For War
  12. Oskanian: Armenian Side Has Lost The Battle
  13. Negationism: Baskin Oran Against Laurent Leylekian
  14. Turkish Translation Of ’Blue Book’ Out Despite Controversy
  15. Police Report On Dink Toned Down
  16. Windows Of Istanbul Church No Longer Face Windows Of Brothel
  17. Armenians In France: Largest Armenian Community In Western Europe
  18. Time To Recall Story Of Tuzla Armenian Children’s Camp
  19. 2009 Human Trafficking Report: Armenia
  20. Gomidas Takes Genocide Debate To Ankara
  21. History Of Term 'Genocide' Linked To Armenians
  22. Armenian Jeweller Minas Aggaya from Istanbul Killed Cruelly
  23. Open Or Not To Open? ARF Report
  24. State TV Readies To Air Armenian
  25. Free School Books For Minority Schools
  26. No Other Country More Important For Britain's National Security Than Turkey
  27. Armenians Of Europe Call On Us Not To Dictate Methods Of Armenian-Turkish Ties Normalization
  28. Reasons Why Aliyev Did Not Meet Obama's Envoy Rise To Surface
  29. Armenian Authorities Not To Allow Unilateral Concessions on Karabakh
  30. Dialog Required Between Armenia & Diaspora
  31. Yerevan Facing Two Challenges: Turkey & Azerbaijan
  32. Ankara Cannot Solve Problems Of Armenian-Turkish Relations By Controversial Statements
  33. Armenian Opposition Decries "Football Diplomacy" With Turkey
  34. Turkey & Armenia Go On Negotiations, FM
  35. Turkstat Survey: Turks Are Optimistic About Future
  36. Parliament Award Of Honor To Be Given To Historian Kemal Karpat
  37. Turkey Called Back Its Ambassador To Canada For Consultations
  38. Agreement With Armenia Over Roadmap
  39. Document On Political Prisoners In Armenia
  40. Ultranationalist Ergenekon Suspect Has Armenian Origin
  41. Azerbaijani Embassy Disinformation Targets ANCA
  42. "Playing With Words, Passion For Me" Vercihan Ziflioglu
  43. Turkish & Azerbaijani Internal Agreement LRAGIR
  44. A Book On Those Involved In Hrant Dink Murder
  45. Philip Gordon Supports Turkey's Proposed Historical Commission
  46. Territorial Integrity Does Not Mean Inalterability Of Borders, Armenia's Deputy FM
  47. Congressman Bilirakis Questions Why Turkey Continues To Prosecute Individuals Who Discuss Genocide
  48. Armenian Crime Syndicate Busted
  49. Semneby: Turkey Took "Tactical Step Backwards" On Normalizing Relations With Armenia
  50. Armenia Made Mistakes In Its Dialogue With Turkey
  51. Armenian Psychologist: Turks Hate Armenians More Than Armenians Hate Turks
  52. Armenian Community Of Turkey Elect Co-Patriarch,
  53. Syria & Armenia: Ever-Growing Historical Ties
  54. Turkey Talks On Armenia "Paused" - EU Mediator
  55. State Department Official Supports Turkey's Proposed Historical Commission
  56. ECHR: Why Did You Not Protect Hrant Dink?
  57. Rep Laura Richardson To Cosponsor Genocide Legislation
  58. Turkish-Armenian Roadmap ‘Not Implemented’
  59. What Would You Ask Ambassador Yovanovitch?
    When Budgets Are Tight
    ANCA's Attack and Fight!
  60. Idea Of Creating Armenian-Turkish Historians Commission Proves Turkey's Venturesome Policy
  61. Australian Parliamentarian Calls To Recognize Genocide
  62. Turkish Doctor Intends To Implement "From Health To Conciliation" Program With Her Armenian Colleagues
  63. Armenian Students From Istanbul Win Third Place In Mind Lab International Olympiad
  64. Diaspora Ministry Keeps Problems Of Diasporan Students In Focus Of Its Attention
  65. AKP Visits "Genocide" Monument In Armenia
  66. Another Slap In Face
  67. Armenia Living With Hunger Threat
  68. Genocide Book Launch In London & Ankara
  69. Turkish Ambassador: No Changes In Turkish-Armenian Relations
  70. Turkish Season In France To Go On Despite Tension
  71. Integration Of Islamized Armenians In Armenian Society Threatens Security
  72. Armenian & Azerbaijani Societies- Too Far From Each Other
  73. Turkey Will Make RA President Continue The Game With Ankara
  74. Armenia's Safety Must Not Be Sacrificed To Armenian -Turkish Relations
  75. Turkish Official: Borders Be Opened In Sep
  76. Book On Genocide By Bryce & Toynbee Be Released Simultaneously In London & Ankara
  77. Erdogan Refuses To Visit France
  78. Armenians With Fake Death Certificates & Armenian Rebels Were PKK Of That Time
  79. New Graphic Resource Site: Armenian Genocide Posters
  80. Great Journeys: Touchdown In Tbilisi
  81. Adolescent Street Beggars: Ringleader Appeals Seven Year Sentence
  82. Normalization Of Armenian-Turkish Ties Is Like A Game Of Chess
  83. Massachusetts Court Dismisses Lawsuit Demanding Inclusion Of Genocide Denial In Schools
  84. Armenian Football Youth Team Defeated By Turkish Team
  85. US Diplomat Warns Armenia-Turkey Talks Can't Go On Forever
  86. Erdogan And Gul Are Playing On Two Fronts
  87. Long-Kept Secret Of A Couple In Film
  88. UCLA AEF Chair in Armenian History Call For Papers
  89. US District Court Dismisses Armenian ‘Genocide Denial' Case
  90. Nalbandian Cautiously Welcomes Davutog(lu's Recent Statement
  91. Obama's Link To The Muslim World: Turkey
  92. ANCA Challenges Foreign Aid Double Standard
  93. Turkish Label To Release Cd Titled 'Medz Yeghern: 1915 Oratorio'
  94. U.S. Cuts Millennium Challenge Aid To Armenia Over Worsening Democratic Practices
  95. Cold War Between Armenia And Turkey To Be Over
  96. Armenians Of Turkey Live In Atmosphere Of Fear And Mistrust
  97. Azerbaijan Can't Defy Wikipedia
  98. Think Tank Faults Turkish Approach On Armenia Ties
  99. The Clash of Empires and Armenia, Then the Battle of Sardarapat
  100. Anti-Armenian Online Propaganda Going On
  101. The Social Justice Worldview Vs. The Israel Worldview By Kung Fu Jew
  102. U.S. Cuts Aid To Armenia Over 'Democratic Governance'
  103. Armenian Community In Us Makes Another Provocation Against Turkey
  104. True Myths About Patriotism Of Armenians Today.Az
  105. Companies Lobby (Quietly) In Opposition To Armenian Genocide Bill HETQ
  106. KFI Apologizes For Genocide Comment, ANCA
  107. True Myths About Patriotism Of Armenians
  108. Armenia: Homeless in Yerevan
  109. God Help Every One Of Our Naive Crusaders
  110. Three More Armenian Soldiers Cross Into Azerbaijan,
  111. Tough Message From Baku,
  112. Bishop Chuljyan, Potential Replacement For Patriarch Mesrob II, Talks Of Peace
  113. Turkey’s Newspapers Struggle With Plummeting Sales
  114. Turkish Consulate Official Denies Genocide At Conference On Genocide Denial In Norway
  115. Obama Disagrees With Sarkozy On Turkey Eu Bid
  116. Blackmail Or Preparation For A War? Russia Defense & Security
  117. Cross For Armenians Examiner.com
  118. Meetings Of Presidents Of Armenia & Azerbaijan Also Imply Armenian-Turkish Relations
  119. Railroad With Armenia Strategic Zawya
  120. Canadian University Apologizes for Providing Forum to Genocide Deniers
  121. Amnesty International Reports: Turkey
  122. Christian Monastery In Turkey Wins Back Land
  123. White House’s Research: Armenians Massacred 2 Million Muslims
  124. Unneighborliness In Neighborhoods
  125. Freedom: Everywhere Or Nowhere Civilitas Perspective / Democracy
  126. Has Erdogan Altered His Announcements On Genocide?
  127. Erdog(an’s Remarks Bring Hope For End To Xenophobia
  128. A Diasporan in Armenia:
  129. Express Promotes Negationist Turkish Sites
  130. Traumas of Armenia,
  131. Million Armenians Emigrated From Ottoman Empire With Russian Army In 1917?
  132. Armenians Launch Campaign Against Pro-Turkey MEPs
  133. Begining Point Of Armenian Issue
  134. Why Isn't Opening Armenian Border Easy?
  135. Friendship Trip To Mus In Rented Van
  136. Bishop Galstanian Greets Ryerson University President Dr. Sheldon Levy
  137. Turkish-American Group Blocks Pro-Genocide Bill
  138. Ryerson Apologizes For Ataov Event And Reaffirms Its Commitment To Uphold The Truth
  139. Genocide -Only Reason Forcing Armenians To Quit Their Homeland
  140. Van Cemetery Proves To Be Villagers’ Hoax
  141. California State Senate Approves Genocide Awareness Act
  142. Turkish General: Armenian Side's Obstinacy In Genocide Issue Has Poisonous Effect
  143. Yerevan To Host "Turkic World, Caucasus, And Iran: Civilizational Crossroads Of Interactions" Conference
  144. More Than 7 Million Armenians
  145. Remarks With Turkish FM Davutoglu
  146. Atom Egoyan Explores Genocide In New Art Exhibit, Ctv Toronto

"Apologize" To Armenians 26 June 2009, by Stéphane / armenews
Professor Fikret Adani, a researcher at Sabanci University in Istanbul, said in the daily Milliyet that although we can not speak of "incidents of 1915" as a "genocide" Turkey needs to apologize to Armenians. "The state made a terrible mistake in 1915. A way must be found to appeal to the Armenians, but also the tragedy that Muslims have suffered in the Balkans and the Caucasus must be stressed, "said Fikret Adana. Comment: This "intellectual" seems therefore fall within the new trend, very popular now among academics Turkish nationalists: the shameful negationists who deny the genocide, will prefer defending the Turkish flag to the truth, while apologized. Pathetic. AT.

Armenia Is Under The Pressure Of International Projects, Karine Ter-Sahakyan
In contrast to her neighbors, Armenia is stable and predictable, and in our restless region it is sometimes valued considerably higher than hydrocarbon reserves.

Only in the last month Presidents of Croatia, Syria and Georgia visited Yerevan; two other visits - those of the Presidents of Cyprus and Serbia - are expected next month. Even if we do not take into consideration the shuttle visits of the Head of the Armenian MFA to Europe, it becomes clear that the West makes every effort to tear Armenia away from the Russian influence, or to reduce that influence to a minimum. However, yet only the mechanisms of `soft' pressure and promises are put to use.

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ It is natural that the weaker the country, the easier it is to prevail upon it, and Armenia, alas, cannot yet pretend to the role of a strong state in the South Caucasus. Sure, in contrast to her neighbors, Armenia is stable and predictable, and in our restless region it is sometimes valued considerably higher than hydrocarbon reserves. Not without purpose do the talks on Nabucco quietly come to naught after the Iranian events, just like the project of South Stream. No one will be discussing any project until relative stability is established in the region. And here, strange as it is, comes to the fore Armenia, a country that can become a bridge between the West and Iran, between the West and Russia not in words but in deed. Georgia cannot play this role because of her unpredictability and, to put it mildly, the indistinctness of her foreign and home policy.

Nor is Azerbaijan fit for this role - it can only set conditions in the energy sphere and come out in one bond with Turkey and Israel. The visit of Shimon Peres can serve as confirmation to it. Quite possibly Peres goes to Baku to restore the somewhat cracked relations with Turkey after the operation `Cast Lead'.

Remains Armenia, for whom launch of communications can become a real breakthrough into the world. The only matter is the price and whether Yerevan is ready to pay that price. At stake are the resolution of Karabakh conflict with minimum losses for Azerbaijan in exchange for the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border, and perhaps the Check Point `Upper Lars'.

It is also nonrandom that exactly this week Yerevan welcomed the International conference `Armenia at the Crossroads of Communications', organized by the Russian Institute of Eurasian Studies. In the words of the participants, thanks to her balanced policy Armenia very successfully cooperates with the CIS countries in military-political, commercial, economic and humanitarian aspects. And in this sense it is important to increase the level of participation of Armenia in current and upcoming international projects within the framework of transport, energy and other strategic corridors. At the same time, participants of the conference condemn irresponsible manipulation with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and with the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations.

According to Richard Giragosian, Director of the Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS), Armenia is a key country for the region. `The USA, Europe and Russia desire to see Armenia weak, but stable. Now Armenia can become both weak and unstable. We have developed serious strategic relations with Russia, but it is necessary that these relations be balanced, and not vassal. Russia has always been and will be nearer to Armenia than to the USA or Europe; however, she should balance her position on Armenia,' said Giragosian. That Armenia is now intensely "coaxed' is evident by the naked eye. It is, so to say, the carrot, while in the role of the stick is the Azerbaijani-Turkish threat or the attempt to repeat the Iranian scenario, which this time will work in Yerevan much better than on March 1, 2008.

On June 26 on the Ionian Island of Corfu will be opened the informal summit of OSCE foreign ministers, on which several issues might be solved. But since the summit is dedicated to security issues, it is assumed that the meetings of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan will be in different formats. After the summit it will be possible to make some conclusions about the expected changes in the region, which will be fixed, most likely, at the OSCE annual summit in the winter of 2009. However, it may happen even earlier; everything depends on the course of events in Iran...

Germany's Role In Annihilation Of Armenians In Ottoman Empire To Be Discussed In Frankfurt On Main, 27.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Today in Frankfurt-am-Main an event devoted to `Deportation and annihilation of Christians in the Ottoman Empire and the role of Germany' will be organized by the People's House of Turkey union.

The Turkish historian, sociologist and writer, professor Taner Akçam will make a report on `Ottoman documents on the deportation and annihilation of Armenians".

Taner Akçam is one of the first Turkish academics who recognized the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire, since 1978, he lives in Germany, where he obtained a political refugee status.

German writer Wolfgang Gust, in turn, will make a report on "The Role of Germany in the extermination of the Armenian people." Gust, a former editor of the German weekly magazine «Spiegel», is the author of two books on Armenian history and genocide.

The event will be attended by the head of Frankfurt's office for multicultural affairs Helga Nagel.

Turkish and Canadian FMs Touched Upon Armenian Genocide Issue, 27.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Within the frames of G8 Foreign Ministers' Summit, Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu met with his Canadian counterpart Lawrence Canon. During the meeting, parties touched upon issues concerning Canadian-Turkish relations and their further development. As reported by Turkish sources, diplomats also focused on Armenian Genocide issue. Ahmet Davudoglu stressed the importance of Canada's constructive approach to the matter, World Bulletin reports.

‘Churches of İstanbul’
Visitors viewing the mosaics adorning the interiors of the Chora Museum, one of the old churches featured in the book “Churches of İstanbul,” by Erdal Yazıcı.
İstanbul is home to some of the most amazing churches in the world. The glory of the Hagia Sophia has been marveled at by visitors throughout the centuries, ever since Justinian exclaimed, “Solomon, I have surpassed you,” demonstrating his belief that this new church outshone the Temple of the Old Testament.

The beautiful mosaics in the Chora Museum, combined with its friendly size which brings Byzantine art close above the visitor's head, makes the museum well worth a visit. The Bulgarian Church of Stephan stands as a beautiful building on the shoreline of the Golden Horn. Saint Antoine's along İstiklal Caddesi is frequented by Turks and tourists alike, who all pause to light a candle.

But what about all the other churches in the city we pass by every day? In the Kadıköy Çarsısı, the delightful pedestrian area tucked behind the post office on the waterfront, three churches lie behind walls and closed gates, only their bell-towers and crosses are visible. What are they like? What beauties lie hidden inside?

A lavishly illustrated book from Uranus publishing seeks to reveal the mysteries of these hidden churches. Some are now mosques, some are museums and others are still used as church buildings. All are shown in detailed photographs taken by famous Turkish photographer Erdal Yazıcı. The culmination of many years of work, “Churches of İstanbul” is a visual feast of the old churches of İstanbul.

All of the main traditions of Christianity are represented: Byzantine, Greek Orthodox, Armenian, Syrian Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant. Most of İstanbul is covered, too. We start our tour in the historical old city with Hagia Sophia, Hagia Eirene and the Church of Saint Sergios and Bacchus (Küçük Aya Sofya), head across Fener and Fatih via the Holy Spring of Blachernae and the Rose Mosque (Theodosia Church) and down to the Golden Horn to see the Surp Hreşdagabet Church and the Zeyrek Mosque (Pantokrator Monastery Church). Crossing the Golden Horn we explore the Crimean Memorial Church (Christ Church) and the Virgin Mary Syrian Orthodox Kadim Church along İstiklal Caddesi on our way to Taksim. Sites further north are not neglected, as our tour continues to Asdvadzadzin Church in Beşiktaş, Fokas Church in Ortaköy and Surp Haç Armenian Church in Kuruçeşme.

Neither is the Asian side of the city neglected as we visit Nigoğayos Church in Beykoz, and Eufemia and Takavor churches in Kadıköy. Finally, we cross to the Princes' Islands to see the many churches there.

İstanbul holds an important place in the history of Christianity. Constantinople was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, under Constantine and later emperors, and was the seat of much religious activity. Constantinople played host to three church council meetings to discuss doctrine in 381, 553 and 680-681. In addition, Kadıköy (Chalcedon) was the host of a council in 451.

It is thought by historians that about 500 churches were built in İstanbul during the Middle Ages. There are thought to have been about 50 monasteries and churches at the time of the conquest of İstanbul. After the conquest, many of these were converted to large or small mosques; some however, continued to function as churches. Many of these were built on the site of springs and wells believed to contain holy water. Some of the churches described in this guidebook still have a functioning holy spring.

But the building of churches in İstanbul did not cease with the Muslim conquest of Fatih Sultan Mehmet. Minority communities continued to build their churches. Many of the churches of Beyoğlu, Şişli and the Asian side of the city date from after the 16th century. Like all of İstanbul's buildings, its churches were subject to the threats of earthquake and fire.

For example, there has been a church on the site of the Santa Maria Draperis Church, between Galatasaray and Tünel on İstiklal Caddesi, since the 16th century. The first church, built in 1584, was burned down in 1660, then restored, then burned down again. With the number of fires in the city, it is no surprise to learn that the Galata Tower functioned as a fire lookout tower during this period.

Rebuilt in stone, it once more was damaged in Beyoğlu's great fire of 1870. The present stone building was built by Italian architect Guglielmo Semprini in 1904, and an icon of the Virgin Mary that survived the 1678 fire is situated above its main altar.

The word for church in Turkish, “kilise,” comes from the Greek “ekklesia,” meaning community, and the Latin “ecclesia,” meaning the gathering of believers. Whenever the word church is mentioned in the Bible, it refers to the congregation, God's people gathered together to worship Him, not the building they meet in. In fact the apostle Peter makes a play on words when in his epistle he tells the church members that they “like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

The beauty of Yazıcı's book for me is that the photographs do not just focus on the “dead stones” -- the bricks and mortar, stone, stained glass, gold and silverwork, icons and art that make up the churches of İstanbul. He presents us vivid pictures of the “living stones,” too.

Gaining amazing access, he was able to photograph rites and rituals. We see churches packed on holy days, and also the few faithful gathering for prayer and a blessing daily. Priests and their assistants dressed in splendid robes, each differing according to their status and their church tradition, carry out their rites of office. Gold and green, red and black, they wear the badge of their office with serenity, respect, and humility.

Even more moving than the pictures of the religious officials are Yazıcı's sensitive portraits of ordinary church members. Parents coming to seek a blessing for their children, elderly people who seek peace and an answer to life's questions, rich and poor, simple and educated; they all take their place in the pages of “Churches of İstanbul.”

For İstanbul is a city where these different populations live together. In the past this was not so. The events of Sept. 6-7, 1955 -- known by Turks as güz sancısı (the pains of autumn) -- left many minorities injured and their property and businesses damaged. Mobs were incited by exaggerated reports of a bomb at Atatürk's house in Thessalonica and for nine hours rioted and attacked mainly Greek homes, businesses and churches. These events are mentioned in passing in the text, when we see churches that were damaged in these tragic actions.

One of the best ways to avoid another Pain of Autumn is for understanding between communities. Just looking at the vivid, expressive pictures that cover every page in Yazıcı's photo epic enables us to understand the richness and diversity of each other's cultures. And if you have spare time in İstanbul, why not go inside the doors of a church, or a church that is now a mosque, with “Churches of İstanbul” as your guide, to discover the history and faith inside?

“Churches of İstanbul” by Erdal Yazıcı, published by Uranus Yayınları, TL 55 in paperback, ISBN: 978-605594001-0

28 June 2009, MARION JAMES . Zaman

Executive Brief - Armenia: Effects Of The Financial Crisis On Vulnerable Households
Background: This brief is part of a series of five presenting the findings of case studies on the effects of the global financial and economic crisis on households’ food security, conducted in March and April 2009.1


Armenia is a mountainous, landlocked country in the South Caucasus with a population of 3.2 million, of which 65% is urban. After several years of hardship since its independence in 1991, Armenia had successfully switched to a market economy with double digit growth rates since 2000, accompanied by significant poverty reduction. Armenia is particularly vulnerable to the global financial and economic crisis due to the following: ı Its economy relies largely on European and Russian markets. The slowdown in exports and foreign capital inflows is already felt in the construction sector, a driving force of the economic growth (24.7% of GDP in 2007); the mining sector, affected by the steep fall in international prices of metals, and the chemical industry. ı Remittances account for 20 percent of GDP. More than 25% of households received remittances in 2007, contributing on average to 60% of their income. More than 80% of Armenia’s labour migrants (seasonal and longterm) are in Russia, most of them working in the construction sector that is heavily hit by the crisis.

What is the macro-economic impact on the country?

The financial crisis is affecting Armenia through reduced trade, foreign investments, and remittances caused by the economic slowdown in source countries. The impact of the crisis has been felt immediately:

- Economic growth started slowing down already last September. In the first quarter of 2009, GDP decreased by 4.3%. Growth projections for 2009 range from minus 5.0% to minus 8.0%.2

- Extreme poverty could reach levels not seen since the early 2000s, reversing gains in poverty reduction. According to the World Bank, the crisis could push 172,000 people below the poverty line in 2009-10, increasing the total number of poor to 906,000, out of which 297,000 people will be extremely poor.

- Official remittances dropped by one-third in the first quarter of 2009 compared with one year earlier. Departures to Russia and other CIS countries in March 2009 decreased by 25% compared to the previous year.

- During the first quarter, exports declined by 47% and imports by 22% compared to the previous year.

- More than 15,000 persons newly registered with official unemployment agencies (first quarter 2009)..

- In March, as a measure to support the export sector, the local currency - the dram depreciated by 22% against the USD. This led to significant price increases for some basic food and non-food commodities.

What is the impact at household level?

The financial crisis has deteriorated the purchasing power of the population and is hitting hardest those below and not far above the poverty line. Household income has decreased due to a reduced flow of remittances, loss of employment and substantial pay-cuts in the private sector combined with increased living costs. As most households rely on markets to meet their consumption needs, the crisis has affected their ability to access sufficient food and cover other basic needs, in particular heating, health and education. Households mainly cope by increasing food purchases on credit with the risk of falling into a debt trap, substituting wheat products with potatoes, and reducing consumption of meat, dairy products and vegetables. Households that are directly affected by the shock are:

- Remittances receivers: Income of households with seasonal migrants has already dropped seriously as many labour migrants are still waiting for payments from the 2008 season. This is paired with little hope to find employment in Armenia or abroad in 2009. Also, long-term migrants find it more difficult to send money back. Up to 85,000 households could be affected by receiving less or no remittances in 2009.

- Workers in the construction and industrial sector: Many construction workers have already lost their jobs and unemployment rates among them are likely to sky-rocket as economic activities are recessing. Up to 65,000 seasonal labor migrants could remain in Armenia; this and an increased flow of returning long-term migrants will put additional pressure on the labour market. So far, workers in the mining sector and chemical industry have been slightly more protected – mainly through government mediation. However, they already went through jobreductions and periods of forced leave and lower wages and their future remains uncertain.

Households indirectly affected are:

- Farmers and livestock breeders: They experience increased costs of agricultural inputs and decreased income due to lower demand. Investing into this year’s agricultural season will be difficult as credit and remittances are also reduced. Particularly vulnerable are small-scale farmers and livestock breeders in low-production zones in higher altitudes who often combine agriculture with seasonal labour migration. They are coping by selling off their few productive assets, in particular livestock, hampering their recovery potential.

- Traders: Many small businesses have closed down due to decreased demand and tightening credit conditions. Small shops are increasingly selling on credit but some have already stopped this common practice.

- Social benefit receivers (mainly households with many children or elderly members, former refugees and female-headed households): This group is affected by chronic food insecurity caused by poverty. The situation is exacerbated by the price increases in 2008 and the price effects of the global financial crisis. The number of eligible households has increased, particularly among households that relied on only one income source before the crisis. About 35% of the extremely poor households were not covered by social transfers in 2007; the exclusion error is therefore a concern.

How is the situation likely to evolve?

Globally, the CIS countries are forecast to experience the largest economic downturn due to curtailed access to external funding, dropping demand from advanced economies, and the fall in commodity prices. Growth perspectives for both Armenia and Russia are bleak (minus 6.0% for 2009 and around zero for 2010).The most likely scenario is a worsening of the situation throughout 2009. A reversal of this trend cannot be expected before 2010 or even 2011.

- Food availability: Availability of food could be at risk during the 2009/10 winter season and beyond. The level of land cultivated and agricultural productivity are expected to decline as small-scale producers and returning migrants who turn to agriculture to sustain themselves may not be able to finance the required inputs.

- Food access: The negative economic outlook translates into a pessimistic scenario for food access. While unemployment will be on the increase throughout 2009, seasonal migration to Russia will continue to drop. Despite the Government’s intention to prioritize social spending in the current budget, it is most unlikely that the ‘new poor’ will be absorbed. Food access will be difficult during the winter if households are unable to stock up their reserves in October/November.

- Food utilization and nutrition: Though current malnutrition rates are moderate, dietary changes may translate into higher chronic malnutrition rates and worsen micronutrient deficiencies among children and other vulnerable groups such as pregnant and lactating women. Decreased health and heating expenditures will further impact the nutritional status of vulnerable individuals and could eventually lead to an increased risk of child mortality.

The delivery of health care services could be hampered by the budgetary effects of the economic crisis. ı Other impacts: Economic hardship could force households to cut on educational expenses, lead to changes in family planning, and increase insecurity and violence.

What are the ongoing responses?

The government is negotiating support with international financial institutions for its Anti-crisis Action Plan to promote growth through infrastructure projects, support SMEs and new business initiatives. The international community including the UN Country Team, IMF and World Bank are fully committed to concerted efforts. Needs and recommended priority actions

Recommendations for immediate actions to mitigate the impacts on the most vulnerable groups:

- Advocate for the protection of budgets and increased efficiency of social safety net programmes, health and education; scale-up of public work programmes; and reintegration projects for returning migrants.

- Support measures to agricultural activities through access to inputs, agricultural assets and credit.

-Reach the most vulnerable groups that are excluded from the social safety net through charity programmes with a focus on regional urban centres, where the level of extreme poverty is the highest.

- Provide conditional cash transfers (cash-for-work) to the “new poor” in rural areas, which cannot be absorbed by the overstretched social safety nets and may not benefit from the planned public-works schemes.

- Closely monitor the situation.

For more information, please contact: Lola Castro, WFP Country Director: lola.castro@wfp.org, Claudia Ah Poe, WFP Food Security Analysis Service (OMXF): claudia.ahpoe@wfp.org

How was the study done? The assessment was hosted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Issues (MLSI) and led by WFP in close cooperation with FAO, ILO, IOM, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNICDO and UNHCR. It is based on a secondary data review, and a rapid qualitative assessment of 120 households and key informants.

Both rural and urban Armenia and 9 out of 11 regions were covered.

1 Analysis has been undertaken in Armenia, Nicaragua, Ghana, Bangladesh, and Zambia.

2 The most recent IMF projection is minus 5%. At a recent conference organized by IMF, UN and World Bank, experts referred to minus 8.0%.

Turkish, Azerbaijani Intellectuals Discuss Relations at SETA Conference
A seminar on Turkish-Azerbaijani relations aiming to address concerns in the post-crisis era between the two nations began in İstanbul yesterday, organized by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA).

Conference attendees ranged from civil society organization representatives, press, parliamentarians and government officials from both countries. Rabiyyat Aslanova, a deputy of the ruling Yeni Azerbaijan (New Azerbaijan) Party and head of the Azerbaijani Parliament's Human Rights Committee; Vefa Guluzade, former national security advisor to late Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev; Savaş Barkçın, Turkish prime ministry head consultant; and Suat Kınıklıoğlu, a deputy in the Turkish Parliament, were among the participants.

“It is a very hot topic,” said SETA General Coordinator Taha Özhan while opening the conference. “There are many levels of discussion that need to be discovered and addressed, ranging from politics, to economics and societies. SETA's offer for the Caucasus Cooperation and Stability Platform has been a case in point, heavily promoted by officials as well,” he added. Touching upon other countries of the region, Özhan said, “There will also be seminars related to Georgia and Russia, perhaps not later than September.”

Speaking after Özhan, Savaş Barkçın, noted that there were many problems associated with the region, also asserting that there are few places in the world where people of many different ethnic backgrounds and religions live together. “There is a power threat, yet cooperation in the Caucasus,” he quipped. Pointing out to the lasting friendship these two countries have enjoyed, he said: “Our principle in relations with Azerbaijan is based on ‘brotherhood.' No change has been made and there will be no change in this brotherhood. Turkish-Azerbaijani relations are based on very solid ground.”

Rabiyyat Aslanova, a deputy from the Azerbaijani Parliament, insisted that Azerbaijani-Turkish relations not be based on emotions but pure pragmatism, as the unity and brotherhood between these countries is not subject to debate. Speaking at the conference's opening, Aslanova stressed the historical and cultural ties between two countries, saying: “Azerbaijan and Turkey have an old history and possess a joint political future. It should go on to realize the phrase, ‘one nation, two states.'” Aslanova also suggested SETA set up conferences focusing on the other Turkic republics as well.

Rovşen İbrahimov, a professor from Baku Qafqaz University and a keynote speaker at the conference, told Today's Zaman: “Allied countries always have problems at some point in their relations. Relations between these two countries were constantly rising and developing, and it is normal if these relations sometimes fluctuate.” He continued to say that the conference aimed to address and take on these misunderstandings. Speaking on Turkey's recent moves toward rapprochement with Armenia, he said: “Turkey should work more closely with the Armenian diaspora, because the diaspora has a great deal of leverage with Armenia while the Armenian government has no power to pressure the diaspora. It is noteworthy to say that the diaspora is the driving force for the so-called Armenian genocide campaign.” Vefa Guluzade, former national security adviser to late Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev, said he was very happy to see such events taking place. Speaking to Today's Zaman, he said: “These kinds of seminars help tackle problems and misunderstandings between the two brother countries. There is always a necessity to keep these issues on [the agenda]. There are certainly misunderstandings, and discussions of this kind clear them up.”

Southern Caucasus expert Kamer Kasım from the International Strategic and Research Organization (ISRO) told Today's Zaman: “Azerbaijani-Turkish relations deteriorated after Turkey and Armenia declared that they had agreed on a roadmap. However, this kind of conference assists in restoring the previous unity and brotherhood between these countries.”

SETA, a think-tank focusing on political and economic affairs, also organized a seminar on Turkish-Armenian relations in May 2009. SETA plans to organize seminars on Georgia and Russia in the months ahead.

G-8 Countries Praise Turkish-Armenian Rapprochement
Foreign ministers of the Group of Eight industrialized nations on Friday praised talks between estranged neighbors Turkey and Armenia to normalize their relations.

In a statement released after their talks in Trieste, Italy, the G-8 ministers also vowed to continue to work to ensure stability in the Caucasus and expressed backing for the efforts undertaken by the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union to this effect.

Turkey and Armenia have been holding closed-door talks to restore their diplomatic relations and open their border, closed since 1993. In April, the two countries announced progress in the talks and said a framework agreement on how to normalize relations has been reached. But Azerbaijan, an ethnic and regional ally of Turkey, has protested the rapprochement, saying Turkey should not soften their stance toward Armenia before Armenia ends its occupation of a chunk of Azerbaijani territory. Armenia occupied the Azerbaijani territory during a war over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Following Azerbaijani protests, the government announced progress in talks with Armenia depended on progress in talks to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, a separate process overseen by OSCE's Minsk Group, which consists of Russian, US and French representatives.

The G-8 statement said the ministers praised the efforts of the Minsk Group to find a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.

On Thursday, Russia warned the West against foreign meddling in the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan. "Russia is against foisting remedies upon the conflict sides from outside," the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on the eve of the G-8 meeting. "Russia is ready to support the option of conflict resolution that is satisfactory to all the sides involved and, in case a compromise agreement is reached, act as guarantor of the resolution."

The ministry said that the key mediators -- Russia, the US and France -- are in consensus about the main approaches for a resolution to the 21-year conflict.

Speculation has run rampant recently that a resolution breakthrough could occur this year, but, as yet, no concrete signs of such a development have emerged.
27 June 2009, TODAY'S ZAMAN

Armenia, Turkey: Tense Half-Time
As domestic turmoil in Iran and Georgia rise, Armenia is bracing itself for the next round of foreign policy activism with Turkey.

The first municipal elections in the Armenian capital Yerevan on 31 May yielded the expected results when the ruling Republican Party of Armenia won over 47 percent of the votes, which along with its coalition ally Prosperous Armenia Party’s 23 percent, cemented President Serge Sarkisian’s hold on power. The elections came over a year after a hotly disputed presidential election, which gave the presidency to Sarkisian and was followed by the bloody suppression of mass demonstrations.

The timing and importance of the municipal elections was more relevant to the country’s foreign policy than it was to any domestic or municipal issue. Thus, in April, over a month before the municipal elections, Armenia and Turkey announced that the governments of both countries had come up with a roadmap to normalize the relations and to eventually address the reopening of their borders, and more importantly, to study the issue of Armenian demands that Turkey recognize as genocide the mass killings of the Armenian population under the Ottoman Empire in early 20th century.

When Sarkisian won the disputed presidential elections in February 2008, his position was very weak domestically, and as such he tried to score some political points on the foreign policy front by inviting Turkish President Abdullah Gul to visit Yerevan in September 2008 to attend a soccer match between Armenia and Turkey as part of the World Cup qualifying games. Gul’s visit and the subsequent increase in activities on the Armenian-Turkish talks led many analysts and circles critical of Sarkisian to dub this as “soccer diplomacy.”

The April announcement by the two governments received both heavy criticism and great praise. The criticism came mostly from the Armenian side, opposing Sarkisian, while the praise was spearheaded mostly by diplomatic circles in the US, which seems to have heavily invested in the process with the aim of increasing the political capital and prestige of US diplomacy by resolving one of the major hurdles of peace in the region.

While Sarkisian hoped that a diplomatic success with Turkey could translate to increased political legitimacy at home, the result has been quite the opposite: One of the more nationalist partners in the ruling coalition, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, decided to leave the coalition. This could explain why the Yerevan municipal elections were a battleground to show political might as the capital city includes more than one-third of the country’s electoral might. In a reversal of order, Sarkisian seems to have utilized these elections to boost his legitimacy on the foreign policy scene.

With the second soccer match between Armenia and Turkey scheduled in October 2009 in Ankara, and because the Armenian president has a standing invitation to visit from the Turkish president, it seems that Sarkisian needs all the help he can get to increase his prestige as a politician in control in an otherwise an increasingly uncontrollable region.

Time is running out until the beginning of this second round, and unlike an actual game it seems that the intermission is the most eventful aspect.
Asbed Kotchikian is a lecturer at the Global Studies Department at Bentley University specializing in the politics of identity, foreign policy as well as political processes in the South Caucasus and the Middle East.
"Asbed Kotchikian" azbarez

Violence In Eastern Anatolia: Give Up The G-Word, Economist, June 25 2009
MOST of the people who devote themselves to chronicling the history of Anatolia during the first world war fall into one category or another: those determined to prove that the Armenians suffered genocide, and those determined to prove the opposite. This Manichean split amounts to a "travesty of history and memory". What is needed is a "vaguer designation, avoiding the g-word but clearly connoting criminal acts of slaughter."

That is Christopher de Bellaigue's argument and many people will be shocked by it. How could anyone want to blur the outlines of an unspeakable phenomenon whose precise definition has, in recent years, been of keen concern to liberal internationalists and humanitarian law buffs? What hope is there of stopping genocide if people do not even try to decide what the word means?

But honest readers of this moving and intricately woven look at Turkey's 20th-century history will surely see his point. By focusing on a single, remote area in the east Anatolian highlands, and describing not only its blood-drenched history but the multiple layers of denial that obscure every episode, Mr de Bellaigue, a former correspondent for this newspaper, conveys some important messages about the elusiveness of historical truth.

As he shows, in places where "the past is not even past", the passage of time does not always make it easier to discern or speak the truth. It is difficult, though not impossible, to establish even the basic facts about the fate of the Armenians in this part of Anatolia; it is also hard to establish what horrors occurred during the Kurdish uprising which began in the 1990s and is still sputtering away.

So many of the people who might be able to offer enlightenment--be they local residents, or migrants to Istanbul or Germany--are consciously or unconsciously hiding truths: about themselves and their family histories, as well as more public events. For example, some Armenians who escaped in 1915 were re-socialised as Turks or Kurds, without entirely losing their genetic memory. This has odd effects on the way such people, and their descendants, think and talk; this book analyses those effects shrewdly but not unkindly.

Indeed, the best thing about the book is the intelligence with which the author deconstructs all the private and public myths that seem to be haunting his interlocutors, including the various servants of the Turkish state who take it upon themselves to set him straight about their country's history.

Many of his official informants assume that a person of Anglo-Saxon appearance, speaking fluent Turkish, must belong to the long line of spies and troublemakers who have meddled in this part of the world on behalf of perfidious Albion. The reader is not invited to mock or despise these envoys of the state. On the contrary, the feeling is that for all the peculiar and indeed downright wrong things they believe, such people have their own particular integrity.

As an account of the way truth is constructed by communities and families living in a state of war and fear, "Rebel Land" ranks in sophistication with any primer of postmodern philosophy or social anthropology. It is also far more gripping, not least because it is told in the vulnerable but never self-indulgent voice of somebody who loves this part of Turkey, and has a soft spot for all the peoples who have lived, loved, died and killed there.

Azeri President Says Nation Must Prepare For War Asbarez Jun 25th, 2009
BAKU—Azerbaijan is ready to restore its territorial integrity by military means at any moment, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev declared Wednesday at a ceremony celebrating Azerbaijan’s armed forces, reported mosnews.com.

“Azerbaijan has military formations capable of carrying out any mission. If necessary, Azerbaijan can use its military power to restore its territorial integrity, and it is our sovereign right. International law allows us to do it,” Aliyev said.

“We live in a state of war, thus our primary goal is and should be the strengthening of our army,” he added. “With the war still going on and only its first stage over, we are continuing our efforts to be ready to free our motherland from the enemy by military means at any time.”

The Azeri president sought to justify the countries unprecedented arms buildup over the years, saying that 15 years of “fruitless” negotiations with Armenia over the Nagrono-Karabakh conflict has left only the military option. He also claimed his country has repeatedly expressed its readiness to reach a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through negotiations and justified its enormous military buildup over the

But international mediators have pointed to Baku’s war rhetoric as one of the main obstacles to a peaceful settlement of the almost two-decade long conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In an apparent reference to Armenia’, Aliyev said Azerbaijan’s economy has been successfully developing through the current crisis, while “some other countries depend on foreign aid.”

“Thanks to our strengthened economic potential, we have succeeded in creating a strong army,” he said.

The Azeri leader’s remarks come days after Matthew Bryza, the chief US negotiator for the Karabakh conflict said the Minsk Group hoped to clinch an agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia on the principles of a peace deal at talks tentatively planned for mid-July in Russia.

In New York, Oskanian Says Armenian Side Has Lost the BattleJun 22nd, 2009
NEW YORK (A.W.)— Armenia’s former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian spoke on Thursday, June 18 at Fordham University Law School on the ongoing developments in Armenia’s talks with the Turkish government.

After a brief introduction by Fordham University professor Anny Kaladjian and organizing committee chair Antranig Kassbarian, Oskanian gave his analysis of the possible directions and pitfalls of the administration’s current approach to negotiations.

He talked about the power play politics that the Turkish government uses towards Armenia, noting how his administration’s policy did not allow official talks with Turkey as it would be used by Turkey to force Armenia’s consent on national issues.

Referring to Turkey-Armenia relations during his tenure as Foreign Minister, he said the Armenian side insisted that negotiations remain secret, because there was the concern that “Turkey was more interested in the process and not the outcome,” and hence it would try to use the fact that negotiations are being held to advance its own agenda of derailing genocide recognition.

Talking about the announcement of the roadmap between Turkey and Armenia on the eve of April 24, Oskanian said that “the Armenian side has lost the battle.” He noted, “They [Turkey] have the Armenian side’s agreement in their pocket, and now Turkey can decide when and how to open border. We haven’t received anything in return.”

Oskanian said that for Armenia, national issues must remain a priority and the government’s greatest challenge is standing strong against immense pressures from other countries to do what is best for them, not necessarily what would be in Armenia’s best interest.

After a brief but concise presentation, Oskanian opened the floor to questions from the audience and responded to inquiries ranging from his ideas on the post election protests, Armenia’s approach on the Karabagh issue, as well as genocide reparations and his thoughts on the roadmap.

The event was organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and co-sponsored by the Armenian Catholic Exarcate, the Armenian Club of Fordham University, AMAA, ANCA, ASA, AYF, knights and Daughters of Vartan, and the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Negationism: Baskin Oran Against Laurent Leylekian 26 June 2009, by Stéphane / armenews
Info Collectif VAN- In the Turkish daily Radikal, dated 24 May 2009, the Turkish intellectual Baskin Oran, one of four editors of the "excuses individual petition" addressed to the Armenians in December 2008, comments on the analysis of Lawrence Leylekian, entitled "Civil Society and Turkish intellectuals for negationism State". It will be recalled, the executive director of the European Armenian Federation spoke on 9 May 2009 in Althen-des-Paluds during a debate that precluded Baskin Oran and in which he dissected accurately the various tactics employed by a number of progressive Turks to remove the international recognition of the Armenian genocide.

Piqué au vif, Baskin Oran reacts with irony but is careful not to explain his own statements to Milliyet newspaper: "Mr. Prime Minister we should be grateful for this campaign. In the world of parliaments to adopt resolutions, automatically. Now, all this will stop. The diaspora has softened. The international media have begun to abandon the use of the term genocide. "

The Turkish intellectual is not afraid to give due to Laurent Leylekian: Baskin Oran here boasts of having contributed to Barack Obama the term "Great Catastrophe" that allowed the American president - despite promises categorical - prevent word genocide in his statement of April 24 ...

It also noted that for Baskin Oran, mocking the name of his political opponent seems to be an argument and of great dignity, since it is - in its title and the text - word games with the word ' leylek '(=' stork 'in Turkish).

It is unfortunate that Baskin Oran rather not be disturbed by the fact that Armenian is wearing a Turkish name (to make 'invisible' in Turkey, many Armenians had to totally Turkify their family name by adopting the ending 'oglou "instead of the one in" ian ").

Add a saying that if Turkey can apply to a French-Armenian, French traditions concerning the word "stork" are even more relevant: in the fable of La Fontaine, the stork is more intelligent than that the fox has paid its head.

Recognize a positive value to the article by Baskin Oran: thanks to him, the Turkish French have had access, from a link on the site of Radikal, the entire speech by Laurent Leylekian online at the site of France-Armenia.

CVAN Note: 1) the translation is faithful to the style of the text in Turkish. 2) We have already relayed the first part of the Turkish translation of the European site which has curiously zappé all the names of birds given by Baskin Oran Leylekian and Laurent took over the original text of the speech by Lawrence Leylekian instead of translating what Baskin Oran has selected ...
With Leylekian, about the family of storks 24/05/2009 Radikal

The Turks And Armenians Should Pass To The Oral Stage, They Must Start Talking , BASKIN ORAN
My article has two goals. A tender to a mirror nationalists. Two: to show those at the campaign of apology, we were called "traitors to the party" with whom they share their bowl [Note CVAN; Turkish expression that means they think like them, that they defend the same cause]. I am invited to an Armenian festival to talk about the signature campaign. We are truly among people pleasant. A debate is part of the activities. Its purpose: "The denial in Turkey and civil society." After my speech the President of the European Armenian Federation, Lawrence Leylekian, took the floor. (See full text: Civil Society and Turkish intellectuals for denial of state) The title of the speech reflects its content: "In Turkey, civil society and intellectuals at the service of denial of state." First I will summarize, I will add my thoughts in italics, then I will approach the analysis.

The summary of Leylekian

In 2000, some Turks have begun to speak of the Armenians. These are people who know closely and treated with European models, people who usually criticize the state and nationalism. As a result, the liberal-socialist alliance European immediately received. Now we are Armenians, we also believe that these people are like those who really want to recognize and raise awareness of genocide and all the consequences arising therefrom.

While the truth is very different. On the one hand, there are those who oppose the state system and on the other side are those who try to give a more aesthetic approach to this system by improving its image. <> (Note to Baskin Oran: Here, my name and the name of Ahmet Insel are cited as examples of the makeup of the system).

This second group is supported by the Turkish media favor the entry of Turkey into the EU and the political powers in Europe. Their priorities are first of all to enter Europe, make suitable reforms as are a pot and its lid, demand respect for human rights and minority rights. For example, there is the famous report on minorities appeared in the subject (of Baskin Oran Note: my name is still cited).

These intellectuals on the one hand criticize the state, the other to enter the EU and to get rid of issues that are migraine, serve Turkish designs. It is no coincidence that among those who put themselves forward (Nota de Baskin Oran: he cites yet our names A. Ynsel, B. Oran, O. Pamuk, C. Aktar), there are those who serve the interests of Ankara. These people are trying to give the issue of genocide a little painful for the Turks, so that international society does not condemn them. Here are their methods:

1) To make as if they were lowered. Of grace, that Europe n'humilie not Turkey, and indeed O. Pamuk has a speech along those lines. That Europe meets its commitments - as it was Turkey that does not respect its commitments. For example, recognition of the genocide was beginning a precondition for initiating negotiations, then it was removed (Note of Baskin Oran: the speaker, it gives unscrupulous false information. During the Turkey-EU recognition n has never been a prerequisite, at any time). Of course it is permissible to use words such as "lobbies" or "diaspora" to describe the Armenians.

2) Reduce the circle of discussion. In requesting a commission of historians. The truth is that these intellectuals have delegated this task to the State with pleasure.

3) The discourse of "We all suffered." In saying "Great Catastrophe" instead of Genocide, sharing the suffering, try to minimize what the Armenians endured. Agréables actions such as "We drank the same water" (Note of Baskin Oran: Here it is the balance of the famous filmmaker Serge Avedikian.) [Note CVAN: 'swing of the thing' is a rather vulgar expression to say 'throw shit', 'insult', 'slander'.] The main theme: something happened but we do not know who made it. At the extreme, the famous Campaign Excuses which one of the initiators is distinguished among us. The campaign, which carefully avoids the only phrase which would be legally wrong and politically. (Note of Baskin Oran: On the contrary, I will explain in a series of articles that I prepare for Radikal think that this term was never any legal conclusion. These words of the speaker, are 'wishful thinking' wishes A to Z).

4) To say that extremists exist on both sides. Here I must quote the exact words of Leylekian: "Mr. Oran is the expert. He speaks often of the hawks in the diaspora, the ASALA, some Komitaci who had killed several hundred people to take revenge in 1917 [CVAN Note: refer to combatants Dachnags]. Mr. Oran, I find myself obliged to quote your words "To the Armenians, genocide means 1915, while the Turks, 1933-45. You said it means the Turks' your grandfather was a Nazi. Yes, Sir Oran, your grandparents were Nazis. It is not easy but accept it. The more you delay, it will be more painful. "

5) Drop the Armenians of the debate. Turkey discuss: who said what, who could go far, which was against, was not ... They will decide which approach to "events of 1915" must have. But the world and the Armenians are excluded from these debates. This strategy has already begun to bear fruit: their papers are distributed in Libération. Only Armenians are forbidden to speak of genocide. The purpose of these tactics is, in particular, to decide for us, transform us into an object rather than subject.

Summarize the objective of the Turkish intellectuals: a) We deny justice. Because we demand the recognition of what our ancestors suffered, we are now regarded as extremely dangerous. b) We deny parole. By taking the monopoly of the events of 1915 "they have the attitude of the dominant nation (Millet-i Hakim) submitted on the nation (Millet-i Mahkum), considered as children.

Then the speech Leylekian continues under the title "How should we deal with the Turkish intellectuals": "These two designs of Turkish intellectuals are direct attacks against human honor. These are the tools people aware of such a project. For each uncontrolled dialogue with intellectuals in conditions such will deprive us of our legitimacy, it will reproduce the pattern of domination that led us to disaster. Basically, these are initiatives that bring bad luck. "

And it ends in the following way: "We must now impose preconditions before a dialogue with these people. A: they will recognize the genocide. No words like disaster, tragedy, etc ... In one word, genocide. Two: they recognize the political, legal and moral of Turkey as an heir of the state who had perpetrated the genocide. Among other things, let that nothing obliges us to choose our interlocutors among the worst. "

Conclusion of Baskin Oran:

Turning to the moral of the story This speech is so filled with hatred, so bristling (and in a style that can easily exceed its perimeter) that I wondered for a moment: "Is what I already met this man before? Is it me that I could argue with this man? "No. This is the first time we meet.

I do not know if you're as naive as me. I woke up suddenly: himself as the typical product of the system, Leylekian when talking about me and my friends, he said "They are honored by the system." In doing so, he articulates a "speech hatred "(in one paragraph that I did not short, speaking of the Turks he used the term" vampirisation). Above all, as if we had swine influenza (and, more importantly, as if the Armenians were mentally prepared to be wrong), he warned everyone: "Do mostly no contact with these people . All this is perfectly consistent.

Car Leylekian a fright that negationist relax their attitude remained even correct their behavior - the current situation perfectly suits him. The Dachnags of its kind of fired energy negationism remained.

The reason is that a new alternative is emerging to address the pathetic politics of the Turkish state continued until our days (and, of course, it is the policy pursued by our diplomats retirees were able to issue a communiqué calling us "traitors") through which the term "genocide" has found its place perfectly. Even the president of the United States has used the exact term of our campaign of excuses. These developments create panic.

Because if he tries to discuss the fact that 1915 was a massacre organized by the State, this is totally insane. The commission of historians will trace each of the steps leading up to 1915. It will highlight the difference between the event and the event Jewish Armenian. But the Turks will see the atrocities committed by their ancestors in 1915. Leylekian is aware of that.

But members of the family of storks are aware of nothing. Their life goes on bla-bla. [Note CVAN: Leylek means stork in Turkish. Oran laughs by referring to a popular expression 'the life of the stork is going on in bla-bla', meaning that it serves no purpose]. Those who can read and write say "traitors." Those who write but can not read request accounts by saying "how can you dare apologize on my behalf?" To those who say "I apologized on my behalf." In a word: fan-tas-tique.

The medical explanation of panic doctor Dilaver My friend who owns a clinic in France is also present at the festival. He whispers in my side. "The Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, needs the PKK, Israel needs the Palestinians and the need Dachnags negationist Turkey. All three are in the so-called medical préobjectale phase, ie before the subject. "I do not understand, he explains:

"For a baby begins to suckle, the object does not exist. Does not exist individually, because it is equated with his mother. It is part of his mother. In this phase, the distance from the mother of his sight, means their own destruction, its own destruction. It is a true state of panic. "

It complements: "Subsequently touching with the mouth, he discovered one by one the objects, ie it passes the oral stage, and the feeling of panic disappears little by little."

Of course the pain of the Armenians and consequently tensions are much more important that it is impossible to make the comparison. We eliminated Anatolian civilization huge just because a few thousand Komitaci be revolted and gave a pretext for European states. Wat does it worst? But if this continues, both sides suffer. The Turks and Armenians should pass to the oral stage, they must begin to speak.

And we live this, if you see. The first beginning to discover that there is something other than the word 'denial' and the latter more than the word 'genocide'. By touching with the mouth.

In both camps, there are those who panic by pointing out that these two words disappear from their sight, that's all. The caravan moves on.

Baskin Oran
Original Title: Leylekian Leylekgillere Island Dair Le Collectif VAN - 17 June 2009

Turkish Translation Of ’Blue Book’ Out Despite Controversy
ANKARA - The Turkish and uncensored edition of the book "The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915 Ğ 1916," which was earlier criticized by the Turkish authorities for being a wartime fabrication, has been released in Turkey.

The book, also known as the "Blue Book," was originally published in 1916 in English by the British parliament, and delves into the 1915 and 1916 incidents that resulted in the expulsion of many Armenians from Anatolia. The central thesis of the book was the argument that starting in 1915, Armenians were subject to a policy of mass annihilation in the Ottoman Empire.

The inauguration of the Turkish version of the book was held Friday in Ankara with the participation of Lord Avebury from the House of Lords and Ara Sarafian, a British historian of Armenian origin.

"Years ago, the Turkish Parliament demanded from the British side to withdraw the book but the British parliamentarians asked for dialogue with the Turkish side on the issue. No response came from Turkish Parliament. The publication of the Turkish edition of the book is a milestone in a historical sense for Turkey and I believe a new era for dialogue will be created after this book," said Avebury.

"The Armenian genocide is the only issue that couldn’t be acknowledged and solved in the world history but I am sure the book will contribute to the solution of the issue."

Book creates controversy

The book, compiled by British politician Viscount James Bryce and historian Arnold Toynbee, has been criticized by the Turkish authorities for being a compilation based on forged documents. In 2005, Turkish Parliament likewise sent a petition to the British parliament, asserting the book was a wartime fabrication and had no supporting documentation. The publisher, Turkish Pencere Publications, which published the first Turkish version of the book in 2005, was also ruled to pay a fine.

Coming to the conclusion that Turkish Parliament was not properly informed about the book and wasn’t entirely aware of the content of the book, the British parliament initiated the publication of its Turkish version and the Gomidas Institute published the Turkish translation of the uncensored edition of the Blue Book in an effort to launch a new dialogue process between the sides on the issue.

Sarafian said with the book the Turkish official thesis on the issue had been opened for discussion.

"The Turkish edition of the book is such an exercise in an effort to re-engage the Armenian issue within a more democratic and open Turkey," he said. "I hope that at least some deputies of the Parliament will reconsider their collective position on the Blue Book and distance themselves from it."

The book was also sent to all deputies in Turkish Parliament and the necessary permission was taken to distribute it to the bookstores in Turkey.

Police Report On Dink Toned Down
ISTANBUL - A report on the threat to Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink’s life was tampered with and toned down before being sent to Istanbul. The sentence ’Yasin Hayal will murder Hrant Dink whatever the cost’ was changed to ’Hayal is planning to take action toward Dink’.

An intelligence report on the threat to the life of murdered Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was toned down before being sent to Istanbul, it has been reported.

The sentence "Yasin Hayal will murder Hrant Dink whatever the cost" was changed to "Hayal is planning to take action toward Dink."

Dink, the former editor-in-chief of daily Agos, was gunned down Jan. 19, 2007 in front of his office in central Istanbul and the instigator is suspected to be Yasin Hayal.

The mentioned intelligence report, written by the staff of the Trabzon Police Department on Feb. 16, 2006 and sent to the Istanbul Police Department two days later, carries the signature of Ramazan Akyürek who was Trabzon’s chief of police at the time.

Akyürek is being blamed for "neglecting duty" in a report prepared by the Prime Ministry Inspection Board, which was approved by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Other records obtained

The daily Milliyet also obtained reports of meetings that show the statements made to justify the removal from duty of Erhan Tuncel, a former informant for the Trabzon Intelligence Unit. Tuncel was a source providing intelligence on Hayal. The report clearly indicates that Hayal was going to murder Dink, not "take action toward" him.

Ali Fuat Yılmazer, another security officer who is being blamed for "neglecting duty" in the same report, was the head of the C section of Trabzon’s Intelligence Unit at the time. Yılmazer’s office had received the report Feb. 17, 2006, and the Istanbul Intelligence Unit also received a memo on the same day. However, the memo is slightly different from the report as plans of murder were toned down to read "taking action." "Hayal is planning to take action toward Dink and he will stay with his brother Osman Hayal" reads the altered memo.

The report signed by Akyürek includes intelligence provided by Tuncel. Tuncel says an accomplice of Hayal told him that Dink and the daily Agos were blackening the image of Turks and the Turkish Republic and for that reason they were planning to take action against him. However, Tuncel’s statements continued as such: "While I was convinced Hayal would do what he wanted to do for sure, I advised him not to do so. He told me that he would kill this person no matter the cost."

The report also features the comments of two intelligence agents from the police department in its evaluation section. The agents pointed to former knowledge of Hayal speaking around of taking action and indicated that he was capable of doing such a thing.

Windows Of Istanbul Surb Prkich Church No Longer To Face Windows Of Nearest Brothel
According to the map made by the Council of Monuments of Turkey, all the brothels of Karagyugh will be closed, and instead of them, the Mayor's Office will open a public park and centers for public service.

According to the Marmara daily, articles published in the Turkish press during the last two days mention that windows of the Surb Prkich (Saint Saviour) Armenian Church of Karagyugh face windows of a brothel. French Saint-Benoit School and a synagogue are also located in that territory. And it became known that the authorities decided to stop that outrage.

It is mentioned that there are 42 brothels in Zyurafa street of Karagyugh and in the vicinity. 37 of them belong to late Matild Manukian and 5 of them belong to a person named Sumbul Yasar Garasu.
Arus Muradyan 26.06.2009
Time of uncertainty on a notorious street
ISTANBUL - Istanbul’s Zürafa Street is home to one of the city’s oldest and most notorious brothels. Lately it has been the topic of discussion in the city, as there are rumors that the brothels will be closed down or moved.

Time of uncertainty on a notorious street In the early hours in Istanbul’s Karaköy neighborhood, street cleaners sweep the cobblestone streets. A new day is just starting and the street awakes as women with tired and weary faces arrive. They enter one by one through the doors of 18 still operating brothels. One hundred and twenty women work on this street and make their bodies available to more than 5,000 men each day. Some 6,000 women are waiting in line to work in these brothels.

"If this street were closed down, we would be left alone in the street. The state should give us a house, food and a job, and then let them close down. The idea to move the brothels is ridiculous," said one of the women working on the street for six years, requesting anonymity. Another woman, nicknamed Banu and in her 30s, said she was not against the idea of closing down the street as long as the future of her two children could be guaranteed.

The debate on moving or closing down the street is not new. But it has recently returned as a topic of debate. In reconstruction plans to protect the Beyoğlu district, where Karaköy lies, the street is marked to be a park and resting area. The plan was approved by a metropolitan municipality assembly in May. However, Mayor Kadir Topbaş last week said there was no plan to move or close down the brothels.

A man who has earned his living for over 30 years by holding the street’s "customers’" belongings said although it was a bad idea to close down the brothels for the rest of society, it might be good for the neighborhood.

"It would be bad if this place closed down. Prostitution will be open in the street. However, maybe for the sake of the area, the idea could be good," he said.

A local artisan also thought the rehabilitation of the area would highly boost tourism in the region. "If the vermin stop coming to the brothel, the tourists coming here would feel comfortable," said another artisan, Tufan Taş.

The numbers that one of the "agents" (those who run the brothels) gave disclose the enormous magnitude of the prostitution industry in the region. The cost of buying a brothel from a former owner can be up to 2 to 3 million Turkish Liras, and it can even be as much as 5 million if the location of the brothel is good. "Around 5,000 or 7,000 people come here each day. There are busier days too. Among 42 houses, only 18 are actively working because the owner of 24 houses, Kerope Çilingir, who is the son of famous brothel boss Matild Manukyan, neither runs the houses nor sells them," an agent said. The agent is also against the idea to close down the street. "We get health control twice a week and regularly pay our taxes, and then the municipality wants to build a park in this street," he said. The agent did not let a Referans reporter talk with women, and said: "Their job is not talking." The owner of the only restaurant on the street said: "This place holds this region on its feet. It has a history. If the brothels are moved, the number of customers, which is already down due to the economic crisis, will decrease more," he said.

Numbers make mafia drool

Hayrettin Bulan, the head of Şefkat Der, a civil association founded to help the marginalized segments of society, said it was dreadful that 6,000 women were waiting in line to be registered as prostitutes. "If 6,000 women are waiting to register with the Interior Ministry for prostitution, this is because the mafia got stronger. Women of course want the house to be closed down, but also demand a guarantee to live under humane conditions. No one wants to be a prostitute voluntarily," he said. The mafia forces women to register, Bulan argued. "Women are sold at numbers changing from 20,000 to 200,000 liras. In developed countries the state protects people who are sold by force, they do not tax this income. This is called modern slavery. The state should close all brothels," he said.

The Armenians In France: The Largest Armenian Community In Western Europe
Until now France remains one of the most attractive countries and cultures to the Armenians. Many believe that by their mentality the Armenians most resemble the French out of the European nations so it is not by accident that Europe’s biggest Armenian colony (by some data, about 550 thousand) has formed in France.

The presence of Armenians in France dates back to the age when the first Christian Armenian preachers reached various cities of Gaul and were declared saints there. As long ago as the second century A.D. an Armenian Bishop Ireneos settled in the Gallic city of Lugdunum (Lyons) where he preached Christianity and was killed by local pagans. In the early Middle Ages, Armenian builders and architects went to various settlements of France, and it is thanks to them that some elements of Armenian art were introduced in European architecture. Especially the architect “from Ayrarat” Eude le Messin (the 9th century) was famous, to whom the St.. Germaine-des-Pres Church - a fine model of the early French architecture - is attributed.

The relations between the Armenians and French became especially close in the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. After losing the throne, the last Armenian king Leon VI Lusignan found shelter and died in Paris in 1399. His tombstone can still be seen in the royal Saint Denis sepulchre.

In the Middle Ages, Armenian merchants emerged in various French cities. In Paris, in 1672 an Armenian by the name of Pascal (Haroutiun) opened the first cafe in France. In 1660 Cardinal de Richelieu granted special trade privileges to Armenian merchants. He also encouraged the publication of books translated from Latin into Armenian with the aim of spreading Catholicism among Armenians. The history of Armenology began in France from that period when Rivola’s Armenian-Latin dictionary came out in Paris in 1633. Armenian courses were opened in 1798 at the Paris School of Living Oriental Languages, where a Chair of Armenology was founded in 1810. This cause was promoted by Napoleon Bonaparte, who was somewhat familiar with the Armenian people and appreciated him. Armenian soldiers fought in Napoleone’s army, while his bodyguard Roustam was an Armenian from Karabakh.

In the 19th century the French language and culture started penetrating into the Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian reality. The Armenian students studying in France participated in the French democratic movements and the 1848 Revolution. Armenian unions began to form in France in the 1870s, while in 1902 the philanthropist Alexander Mantashov built the Armenian Church of St. John the Baptist in Paris.

During World War I, the number of French Armenians made about 4 thousand. Their number considerably grew after the Armenian Genocide. Marseilles became the first port to receive genocide survivors who were later scattered all over France. On the other hand Paris was the center of Armenian political parties and exiled Armenian intellectuals. The Western Armenian immigrants were joined by numerous Armenians exiled as a result of the revolution in Russia. Despite the terrible hardships they had to suffer during the exile, as well as the unemployment and status of displaced persons, the French Armenians lived an eventful life, with various social, cultural and sport unions functioning and many books and newspapers being published. In 1925 Shavarsh Misakian founded Europe’s oldest Armenian-language daily “Haraj” (unfortunately, its publication stopped in late May). During World War II, French Armenians took an active part in the Resistance. The Armenian poet Misak Manushian was in command of four detachments whose members – representatives of various nationalities caused great damage to the Nazi occupants.

Following World War II, the new generations of French Armenians, many of them already French-speaking, continued to be aware of their national identity and join various unions. The replenishment of the colony by thousands of Armenians, particularly from the Middle East, was conductive to this circumstances. Among them were persons engaged in all fields: carfstmen, workers, intellectuals, doctors, businessmen, art perofessionals. They built churches and schools, erected monuments to the Armenian Genocide victims, set up cultural societies. There are large Armenian communities in Paris, Marseilles and various cities adjacent to them, also in Lyons, Grenoble, Nice and other cities. One can see Armenian family names on signs and firm names in many French cities. Thus the fashionable clothes from Alain Manoukian and the luxury shoes manufactured by Kelian are sought-after models in the French market, while Alain Mikli glasses are in great demand worldwide. The Paris-based Petrossians have the monopoly on caviar import, the manufacturer Mikael Aslanian created the world-famous Aslanov vodka, and Armen Melkonian is in the top eleven wine-makers of France.

In the 1950s Leon Hovnanian became the first Armenian member of the French parliament, and now Patrick Devedjian is the parliament’s only member of Armenian descent.

The Armenians began playing a notable role in French science as far back as the 19th century. Alexander Ananov (Ananian) is one of the pioneers of French astronautics; the names of physicist Roger Balian and astronomer Hagop Terzan are also well known. A lot of Armenians went down in the history of French culture. These are: in literature - Henri Troyat (Torosian), Arthur Adamoff, Charles and Christian Dedeian, Gabriel Arout (Aroutchian), Rouben Melik, Vahe Katcha (Khachatrian); in architecture – Gabriel Gevrekian; in painting – Edgar Chahin, Carzou, Richard Jeranian, Jansem, Edmond Kiraz, in music – composers Michel Legrand and Georges Garvarentz, singers Charles Aznavour, Sylvie Vartan, Helene Segara and Patrick Fiori (both are Armenians from their mathernal side); in theatrical art – actors Max Maxudian, Alice Sapritch, Rosy Varte, Gerald Papasian, Simon Abkarian, producer Georges Pitoeff; in cinema art - film directors Henri Verneuil (Malakian) and Robert Guediguian, producer Alain Terzian, make up artist Charly Koubesserian; also jeweller Jean Vendome, the Tarloyan brothers in fashion industry, etc. Famous sportsmen of Armenian descent such as the racing driver Alain Prost and football players Eric Assadourian and Djorkaeff also made their mark in French sports. It is just impossible to present in one article the names of all those Armenians who have made a significant contribution to various spheres of the French social, political and cultural life…

Artsvi Bakhchinyan 24.06.2009

Time To Recall The Story Of The Tuzla Armenian Children’s Camp: A Story Of Seizure
Article 38 of the Lausanne Treaty says, “The Turkish Government undertakes to assure full and complete protection of life and liberty to all inhabitants of Turkey without distinction of birth, nationality, language, race or religion.”

And Article 42 of the same treaty says: “The Turkish Government undertakes to grant full protection to the churches, synagogues, cemeteries and other religious establishments of the above-mentioned minorities. All facilities and authorization will be granted to the pious foundations, and to the religious and charitable institutions of the said minorities at present existing in Turkey, and the Turkish Government will not refuse to provide, for the formation of new religious and charitable institutions, the necessary facilities which are guaranteed to other private institutions of that nature.”

The time now seems ripe to reread the treaty in order to decide whether the aforementioned articles are being fairly implemented as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has recently become Turkey's first head of government to acknowledge publicly that a “fascist approach” had been displayed in dealing with minorities in the past.

“For years, these things were done in this country,” Erdoğan said. “People of other ethnicities were driven from the country. Did we gain anything because of that? This was the result of a fascist approach.”

A March report by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) revealed clearly that non-Muslim Turks still face “anti-democratic practices.”

“Only a short while after the Treaty of Lausanne, it became obvious that the state did not intend to implement the rights it was supposed to give,” lawyer Kezban Hatemi, a co-author of the report, then said, citing other discriminatory laws and practices. The most detrimental one was the 1936 Declaration, in which non-Muslim foundations were given the status of “affiliated” foundations and placed under the guardianship of the Directorate General for Foundations (VGM), which “played a crucial role in implementing repressive policies” imposed on non-Muslim foundations.

“More than 30 [pieces of fixed property] of the Armenian community were seized, on the unlawful basis that they were acquired after 1936. The Tuzla Armenian Children's Camp is one of the most striking and heartbreaking examples of the seizure of properties from the Armenian non-Muslim foundations,” Hatemi said then, pointing out that Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian journalist murdered in 2007, was among the first group of children who built the camp, which he later managed with his wife for many years.

‘Humanity is continuity’

“… If there was a continuity of that thing which was created … if it served a purpose, I wouldn't grieve this much. All in all, humanity is continuity; a human being can utilize what another human being created. Nay, there is no such thing, either. They left it just like that, as a wreck,” says Dink in a 2007 documentary titled “Swallow's Nest,” which explains the story of the Tuzla Armenian Children's Camp -- an actual story of confiscation.

The elegiac documentary shot by Bülent Arınlı shows Dink walking around the wreckage of the camp where this chivalrous man and his wife Rakel grew up. The couple once took over the administration of the Tuzla Children's Camp and began looking after countless Armenian children. The camp underwent difficult times under the accusation of “breeding Armenian militants” and was finally confiscated by the state in 1983. Following the closure of the camp, Dink was taken into custody and arrested three times due to his political views.

Since then, ownership of the camp has changed hands five times, and nothing new has been built on the land where the wreckage of the camp stands. Apparently, Dink had started feeling like an exile in his own country after this camp was seized by the state.

Rakel’s dear Chutak

Lawyer Fethiye Çetin, also representing the Dink family in the ongoing murder trial, underlines that a certain camp tries to legitimize the wrongful approach towards non-Muslim minorities by referring to the founding members of the Turkish Republic.

“This is definitely not true. Until the 1970s, non-Muslim foundations were somehow able to maintain properties. The mentality surviving in the main opposition Republican People's Party's [CHP] petition to the Constitutional Court against amendments on the Law on Foundations is based on the infamous 1974 decision of the Supreme Court of Appeals that upheld this discriminatory policy and provided it with legal legitimacy,” Çetin told Sunday's Zaman.

Now the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is facing yet another test of sincerity after Erdoğan's recent remarks.

“In order to get rid of this shame, the state can expropriate the land of the camp; build a nice orphanage; and name it after Hrant Dink, and we will do our best to help the state in such situation,” Çetin said, when asked what could be done to honor this chivalrous man.

In a preface written for a book titled “Armenian Children's Camp of Tuzla: A Story of Seizure,” the second edition of which was published last year, Rakel Dink asks whether it is Armenians' fate to have their belongings seized by others, to be made unable to live in a place they themselves had built, inhabited and given life to.

“How can anyone's heart bear this? Neither the tears shed, nor can the suffering of the heart fully describe this injustice. In the Holy Bible, Zacchaeus, known to be the collector of unfair taxes, says to Jesus, ‘If I have taken anything more than the law allows or if I've defrauded anyone I will restore four times as much.' Then Jesus answers: ‘Salvation has come to this house today.' Salvation will come to Turkey the day it confronts its past and says no to discrimination; that day will be the day when it will prosper and roses will grow there instead of thorns,' says Rakel Dink.

“We couldn't see our grandchildren eat the fruits of their own trees and those who, for this reason, decided not to plant trees any more. Can this story of seizure make any sense to anybody?” asks Rakel Dink. “My dear Chutak [violin in Armenian], you say ‘I am not dead yet,' in the documentary titled ‘The Swallow's Nest,' telling the story of our Tuzla camp. You may be taken away from us physically but, yes, you aren't dead and you will never be. You are born anew in many people's hearts and in their aspirations and will continue to be so,” she tells her Chutak, Hrant.

“They ruthlessly cut short the epic telling the story of the corridor where we played five stones, the stones that we painted together, the so-called ‘soup of ninety-nine foods' we used to make with the remains of various foods to economize and many more precious memories. They didn't give us the chance to watch our children running down the same corridor and to be happy together there. They didn't give us the chance to have our hair grow grey on the same pillow either. No, they didn't. …”

Tuzla Children's Camp underwent difficult times under the accusation of “breeding Armenian militants” and was finally confiscated by the state in 1983.
21 June 2009, EMİNE KART Zaman

2009 Trafficking in Persons Report on Armenia 2009/06/22
Armenia is primarily a source country for women and girls trafficked to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Armenian men and women are trafficked to Russia for the purpose of forced labor. NGOs reported that Armenian women were also trafficked to Turkey for the purpose of forced labor. Women from Ukraine and Russia are trafficked to Armenia for the purpose of forced labor. Victims trafficked to the UAE usually fly to Dubai from Yerevan or via cities in Russia; the trafficking route to Turkey is generally via bus through Georgia. A small number of Armenian girls and boys are trafficked internally for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced begging.

The Government of Armenia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In December 2008, the government reopened its investigation into a well-documented 2006 case in which a convicted trafficker was released from prison and escaped the country allegedly with the assistance of various government officials; this was an important step forward and results of this investigation warrant future monitoring.

The government also allocated $55,000 to partially fund an NGO-run trafficking shelter in 2009. In November 2008, the government began implementing its national referral mechanism for victims. Although these efforts demonstrated genuine progress over the reporting period, victim assistance remained a challenge – especially in the provision of long-term assistance and social reintegration – and the number of traffickers convicted decreased.

Recommendations for Armenia: Continue to address trafficking-related corruption through the vigorous investigation, prosecution, and conviction of complicit officials; improve the new national victim-referral mechanism, ensuring that victims are provided with legally mandated assistance (medical, legal, primary needs, and shelter) at all three stages of the victim assistance process that is not conditioned on victims´ cooperation with law enforcement investigations; ensure that police and law enforcement receive trafficking specific investigative training to increase the number of traffickers who are prosecuted and successfully convicted; continue to ensure a majority of convicted traffickers serve time in prison; ensure that all funding allocated for anti-trafficking programs and victim assistance is spent on designated programs; increase the number of victims identified and referred for assistance; and continue efforts to raise awareness about both sex and labor trafficking.


The Armenian government continued its law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Armenia prohibits trafficking in persons for both labor and sexual exploitation through Article 132 of its penal code, which prescribes penalties of three to 15 years´ imprisonment – penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes.

The government investigated 13 cases of trafficking, compared to 14 investigations in 2007. Armenia prosecuted eight individuals for trafficking, the same number as in 2007. Authorities convicted only four traffickers in 2008, a decrease from 11 convictions in 2007. All traffickers convicted in 2008 were given prison sentences ranging from 2 to 7.5 years; no traffickers received suspended sentences. In addition to reopening the investigation into a well-documented 2006 corruption case, Armenia also investigated the deputy principal of a public school who forced two special needs students to beg on the street during the reporting period.

The government did not report additional efforts to prosecute, convict, or sentence government officials complicit in trafficking. A lack of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey hampered Armenia´s ability to investigate the trafficking of Armenian nationals to Turkey; however, police were in contact with Turkish law enforcement through Interpol in an attempt to investigate trafficking from Armenia. During the reporting period, Armenia waited for Turkey to respond to a repatriation request for an identified Armenian trafficking victim in the Turkish region of Antalia.


The Government of Armenia demonstrated modest progress to protect and assist victims of trafficking during the reporting period. The government allocated $55,000 to support an NGO-run trafficking shelter and $7,000 to fund medical care for trafficking victims. In November 2008, the government began implementing its national referral mechanism; however, the fact that all intermediate and long-term assistance provided by the government is conditioned upon victims´ cooperation with law enforcement investigations is an issue of concern that should be revisited.

The government identified 34 victims in 2008 and police referred 20 victims for assistance, an increase from 17 victims referred in 2007. Foreign-funded NGOs assisted 24 victims in 2008. Victims were encouraged to cooperate with law enforcement bodies; in 2008, all 34 victims assisted police with trafficking investigations.

The government did not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The lack of appropriate victim witness protection continued to be an issue of concern; this may have hampered Armenia´s prosecution efforts.


Armenia demonstrated improved efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. The government conducted an awareness campaign targeted at adolescents, helping to encourage discussion among peers about the dangers of trafficking. The government allocated $53,000 for trafficking prevention efforts, compared to $33,000 allocated in 2007. Border officials did not specifically monitor emigration and immigration patterns for evidence of trafficking, and the government made no discernable efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts.

Gomidas Institute Takes Armenian Genocide Debate To Ankara by Roland Mnatsakanyan (Gomidas Institute, London) 21 June 2009
On October 12, 2005, Lord Archer of Sandwell QC, Lord Biffen and Lord Avebury organised a meeting in Westminster for British parliamentarians to respond to a petition sent to members of the British Houses of Parliament by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) contesting the veracity of the 1916 British Parliamentary Blue Book, The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-16.

According to the TGNA, the 1916 Blue Book was a wartime fabrication which harmed Turkish interests during World War I and continues to do so today. The central thesis of the Blue Book was the argument that starting in 1915 Armenians were subject to a policy of mass annihilation in the Ottoman Empire. The petition claimed that the Blue Book was the source of allegations that the massacres and deaths of Armenians during the forced deportations of 1915-16 constituted a genocide, which the petition said was untrue. The petition asserted that: (1) the 1916 report had no supporting documentation; (2) the report was contrived in essence; and (3) the main compiler and editor of the report admitted that the Blue Book was simply a propaganda tool fabricated against Ottoman Turkey and its German ally.

The petition insisted that the core of the Blue Book was a set of eyewitness accounts which were unreliable, and that the work was composed in such a way as to conceal the flawed character of these key reports. It maintained that withholding the names of some informants and locations, supposedly to safeguard sources still in the Ottoman Empire, was in reality, to conceal the weaknesses of the reports themselves.

However, a group of British MPs concluded from their own knowledge of the Blue Book and many contemporaneous accounts by eyewitnesses which have since been published, as well as a detailed report from the Gomidas Institute, that:

1. the Blue Book was compiled from first-hand testimonies which were scrupulously reported by the distinguished editor, Arnold Toynbee;
2. the supporting documentation has been readily accessible, a point overlooked in the letter from the TGNA;
3. Arnold Toynbee did not say that the Blue Book was flawed as claimed by the petition;
4. the petition wrongly asserted that the War Propaganda Bureau was the sole source for all information regarding the situation in the Ottoman Empire - there were hundreds of neutral consular officials and missionaries;
5. the reports by neutrals have been reinforced and corroborated by other United States and German consular reports, now in the public domain, and by numerous accounts in the diaries and letters of survivors;
6. the sources of the 150 eyewitness accounts published in the Blue Book were not discovered recently in a War Propaganda Bureau document as claimed by the TGNA, but have been known and published for many years.

British MPs judged that the TGNA was not properly informed about the Blue Book. Consequently, on 27 January 2006, 33 MPs responded to the TGNA petition with a letter to the Speaker of the TGNA Bülent Arinç, inviting members of the TGNA to a face to face meeting with their British colleagues to discuss the Blue Book. Since there was no response to that letter a second email communication was sent on 1 September 2006 to all individual members of the TGNA, inviting them to a face to face meeting. Again there was no response.

The British MPs finally concluded that most TBMM members were not aware of the actual content of the 1916 Blue Book, nor the archival trail associated with it. In order to facilitate better understanding and reflection, it was suggested that the Gomidas Institute should undertake the Turkish translation of their uncensored edition of the Blue Book, which was replete with discussion and full archival references. The Gomidas Institute was able to undertake such a major project with the help of the AGBU so that a whole new Turkish readership-not just members of the TGNA-could appraise the Blue Book issue in an informed and balanced manner.

The Turkish edition of the Blue Book will be released in Ankara by Lord Avebury and Ara Sarafian this Friday, 26 June 2009. The event is sponsored by the Turkish Human Rights Association (Ankara) and the Freedom of Thought Association. For more information please contact info@gomidas.org

ENGLISH: James Bryce and Arnold Toynbee, The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916: Documents Presented to Viscount Grey of Fallodon by Viscount Bryce [Uncensored Edition], edited and with an introduction by Ara Sarafian

TURKISH: James Bryce and Arnold Toynbee, Osmanly Ymparatorlu?u'nda Ermenilere Yapylan Muamele, 1915-1916 Vikont Bryce'yn Fallodon Vikontu Grey'e Sundu?u Belgeler [Sansürsüz Basym], Gomidas Institute: London and Istanbul, 2009, 654 pp. Yayyna hazyrlayan Ara Sarafian. Özel önsöz Lord Avebury.

History Of Term 'Genocide' Linked To Armenians The National, www.thenational.ae , June 23 2009, UAE
It is astonishing to see the word genocide used in quotation marks, The Armenian city lives in a school museum (June 20), when the word was coined by the jurist Raphael Lemkin specifically to describe the barbarity that befell the Armenians at the hands of the Turkish state. Dr Lemkin, a lawyer of Polish-Jewish descent and Holocaust survivor, used the word genocide in 1943 to describe the deaths of the Armenians, and then the Holocaust. Before the word existed, the British prime minister Winston Churchill and world leaders described the events as the "Armenian holocaust".

In 1985, the United Nations recognised the Armenian genocide in an official report. In 2003, the International Centre for Transitional Justice found that the events of 1915 included "all of the elements of the crime of genocide as defined in the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide".

And in 2005 the International Association of Genocide Scholars unanimously affirmed the Armenian genocide. The genocide has been officially recognised by scores of countries and international organisations worldwide.So, with the exception of Turkish state-sponsored "historians", most historians and genocide scholars acknowledge the facts of the Armenian genocide.

Berge Jololian, Cambridge, Massachussetts

While the article by Daniel Bardsley was informative, it seemed ironic that he would use the word genocide in quotation marks three consecutive times.

I wonder if it was Mr Bardsley's choice to use the quotation marks, or whether it was his editor who decided to put the word in quotation marks. In case his editor doesn't know, the word genocide was coined, in part, to refer to the Armenian massacres of 1915.

If your newspaper is not convinced that the Armenian genocide took place, then you should stop using the word genocide since its etymology implies that the Armenian genocide did take place. Your political correctness or objectiveness aside, the article was an interesting read.
Simon, Littleton, Colorado

Turkey Is Pursuing A Careful Policy In Armenian-Turkish Relations Issue, Dictated By A Fear To Lose Azerbaijan: Turkish Expert ArmInfo 2009-06-23
Turkey follows a cautious policy in the Armenian-Turkish relations for fear of losing Azerbaijan, an expert Turgut Kerem Tuncel at Istanbul Bilgi University said during the international conference "Armenia at the Intersection of Communications" in Tsakhkadzor.

'Armenia has a chance to arrive at common interests with the West against the background of energy war between Russia and West. Russia's reaction will be very rigid, as Russia is undertaking countermeasures to keep Armenia within the scope of Russia's interests', he said.

At the same time, T. Tuncel emphasized that the West needs Armenia, as, after August 2008 war, hopes for Georgia as a stable partner have waned.

Armenia can fill the void, should it be able to use all possibilities for European integration.

'However, Yerevan is facing two challenges today: Turkey and Azerbaijan.

These issues are closely interconnected, since, to strengthen relations with the West, Armenia has to solve NKR conflict and Armenian-Turkish rapprochement issues', T. Tuncel resumed.

Acnis Director: Challenges To Armenia Come Not From Turkey Or Azerbaijan But From Country's Inside ArmInfo 2009-06-23
The challenges to Armenia come not from Turkey or Azerbaijan but from the country's inside, Director of the Armenian Center for National and International Studies Richard Giragosyan said at the international conference "Armenia on the Intersection of Communications" in Tsakhkadzor.

'All the key players: the USA, Europe and Russia wish to see Armenia weak but stable. And now Armenia may become both weak and instable because of the difficult internal political situation. We have serious strategic relations with Russia against this background, however, it is necessary for these relations to become balanced and not vassal. Armenia has always been and will be closer to Russia than to the USA or Europe, however, Moscow has to balance its stance with respect to Armenia', he said.

At the same time, R. Giragosyan said Armenia is a key country of the region and the only country to provide a platform to the USA and Europe for a dialogue with Iran and Russia. 'It is just Armenia that can help the West to agree with Iran, and Russia - with Turkey', he resumed.

Axe As A Means Of Azerbaijani Propaganda 2009-06-23
ArmInfo.Azerbaijani party does not stop speculations on murder of Ezid family in Armenia. The purpose of these speculations is an attempt to sow the seeds of inter-ethnic discord.

Although Armenian mass media, in particular, Arminfo informed about the murder of the Ezid family on 8 June, the speculation rose just yesterday.

Some publications in Azerbaijani mass media full of the bloody details and relevant assessments, which were taken from nowhere - 'the cut off head' and 'cut throat' and 'cool-headed xecution'. Let's leave truthfulness of such details at the conscience of the authors of these publications. We would like just to inform that the law-enforcement agencies of Armenia have categorically disproved the version of the beheading.

'A grave crime was committed. But all talks that the criminals "cut heads of the victims" do not meet reality. The assault related to robbery was committed which was followed with murder', - press-service of Armenian Police told Arminfo correspondent. They also added that two residents of Ashtarak town, brothers Alfred and Julvern have been already arrested. They again reiterated in the Police that the crime has nothing in common with the inter-ethnic relations. The head of Ezids community of Armenia Aziz Tamoyan also thinks so. Returning to the publication in the Azerbaijani press, I would like to tell my colleague-journalists - either write what you are aware about, or don't write at all. So, specially for the 'political experts' of guluzade and agaev type, we recall that the murder happened not 'in the centre of Yerevan' but far away from the centre as well as from Yerevan itself. Another note for them: Kurds and Ezids is not one and the same nation. As for 'racism', 'fascism', 'nationalism' and other negative 'isms' ascribed to the Armenian society, - look who is talking! Let the authors of these publications remember pogroms of Armenians in Baku and Sumgait! And Ramil Safarov's crime as a crown of false-patriotism propagandized in Azerbaijan. His actions undoubtedly prove - in Azerbaijan they master with axe very well. But there is a difference - in Armenia criminal-murders are arrested and punished, but not turned into heroes, and in Armenia they are not trying to use tragedy as the speculation means.

Armenian Jeweller Minas Aggaya From Istanbul Killed Cruelly Noyan Tapan June 23, 2009
ARMENIANS TODAY. Minas Aggaya, a jeweller from Istanbul, was killed in his workshop on June 20, Marmara daily reported, citing the Turkish media.

The 44-year-old Minas Aggaya did not go to his summer house on Big Island after finishing his work on Saturday. Alarmed that her husband did not answer her phone calls, Minas' wife Keti Aggaya called the police. On the evening of the same day policemen went to the jeweller's workshop in the Cagaloglu district. When trying to open the door, they noticed that the alarm system had been turned off and they opened the door with the help of a specialist. The policemen found the bloody body of the Armenian jeweller at the entrance. An examination revealed that there was a short fight between Minas Aggaya and the criminal, and the jeweller was cruelly killed by being stabbed with a dagger 12 times. It is supposed that the criminal knew Aggaya.

A criminal case was opened in connection with the murder, investigation is underway. Law enforcers are also examining the videotape recording of the building's security camera.

Open Or Not To Open? Arf Prepares A Report On The Opening Of The Armenia-Turkey Border Hasmik Dilanyan "Radiolur" 23.06.2009
How will the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border benefit the Armenian economy? The Armenian Revolutionary Federation has set up a task force to conduct a research on the similarities and differences in the economies of Armenia and Turkey. Chairman of the group David Lokyan today presented the results of the study.

According to Vahan Hovhannisyan, head of the ARF faction at the National Assembly, the study is called to answer what kind of economic, trade and social problems might emerge in case of opening of the Armenian-Turkish land border and to what extent Armenia is ready for it with its economy, the internal resources and the legislative field. At the same time he underlined that there was no political pretext behind the research.

Thus, according to Davvid Lockyan, Armenia will definitely benefit from the opening of the shared border with Turkey. "Naturally, a country with the population of 3 million cannot but benefit from establishing trade-economic relations with a country having a population of 74 million. This is an axiom which we cannot argue with," Lockyan said in his speech.

Chairman of the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Economic Issue Vardan Ayvazyan noted that the report reveals all the possible risks that might emerge after the opening of the border.

State TV Readies To Air Armenian
ANKARA - The signal remains strong for reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia as the Turkish state broadcaster’s head of radio reveals plans to begin TV broadcasts in the Armenian-language within a year. ’I sincerely am working for the common future of the two peoples,’ says a member of the broadcasting team.

Just months since it began radio broadcasts in Armenian, state-owned Turkish Radio and Broadcasting Corporation, or TRT, is now preparing to launch an Armenian television channel.

According to a source, who declined to be named, initial efforts to broadcast in Armenian began after a meeting between President Abdullah Gül and his Armenian counterpart, Serge Sarkisian, last September when Gül visited Yerevan for a football match between the national teams of both countries. One team will prepare the television and radio broadcasts together.

TRT Radio Bureau and Foreign Broadcasts Director Şenol Göka confirmed that Armenian television broadcasts would begin within a year. Göka refused to provide any details on preparations, but did say the rate of work was accelerating.

In April, Ankara and Yerevan agreed on a "road map" deal for U.S.-backed talks leading the way to normalizing ties and opening the common border, which Turkey closed in a show of support of Azerbaijan in 1993 after the Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territories in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Armenia accuses Turkey of failing to recognize the 1915-era killings of Armenians within Ottoman Empire as an act of genocide. Turkey says hundreds of thousands of both Turks and Armenians died at the time due to communal violence and wartime conditions, but rejects allegations of genocide.

"We are ready to normalize relations without preconditions and are hopeful that Turkey too will take that path, "Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said.

"As for Turkey's part, I can only express hope that Turkey will not retreat," Nalbandian said in response to a question from an Armenian reporter at a joint-news conference with Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday in Yerevan.

The plan was to launch the radio channel in June but it was brought forward to April 2 so that broadcasting could begin before U.S. President Barack Obama’s state visit on April 5.

Göka said the decision to launch a radio channel in Armenian was made about 18 months ago. Broadcasts in Armenian carry a message to Armenia and the world, said Göka. "We are tackling the common history of the two nations. We are emphasizing our joint values in order to strengthen the links between the two people."

Most popular broadcaster

He said TRT was proud to be one of the most popular broadcasters in Armenia. But, he also criticized the head of the Armenian state broadcaster, Alex Haroutunian, saying: "He was in Turkey a few weeks ago and made a statement about how he did not know about TRT’s broadcasts in Armenian. To tell you the truth, I was very upset. The only thing I will say is that they knew about the broadcasts." The two signed a deal last year to prepare joint programs.

When asked about the Armenian broadcasts in the Eastern Armenian dialect, which is used mainly in Armenia rather than the western dialect used by Turkish Armenians and the Armenian diaspora, Göka said: "In the beginning, when we decided to launch such a service, our target audience was Armenia, not Istanbul. We see these broadcasts as a key to developing good relations with Armenia." Speakers of western and eastern Armenian dialects are virtually unintelligible to one another.

Göka also said he could not understand all the controversy surrounding TRT’s broadcasts in Armenian, noting that TRT radio broadcasted in 31 different languages. The team in charge of the Armenian broadcasts has been kept away from the public’s eye.

Armenia-born Ernest Margarian is a member of that team. Margarian, who told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review that he was making public his identity for the first time, said he had moved to Turkey in 2004 and decided to settle in Ankara. When asked why he chose to hide his identity, he said: "I didn’t really have a reason. I am not really doing anything that will attract criticism. I just didn’t want to become a public person." Any potential criticism from Armenia for what he is doing does not discourage him, he said. "Because I sincerely am working for the common future of the two peoples."
by Vercihan Ziflioğlu © Copyright 2008 Hürriyet

Free School Books For Minority Schools
ANKARA - The Education Ministry will begin distributing textbooks in other languages free of charge to minority schools this academic year. The decision was made after an Armenian-origin citizen, Varujan Turaç, sent a petition to the presidency requesting that minority schools in the country be provided textbooks in languages other than Turkish free of charge. Minorities in Turkey are defined under the terms of the Lausanne Treaty.

Turaç had initially applied to Parliament seeking free textbooks for the Armenian community. In February 2008, he also sent a petition to the presidency that read: "Our state has been distributing free textbooks for our 15 million students. Due to the non-publication of Armenian textbooks for the Armenian student community of around 3,000, they have to use photocopies to study in Armenian. If our state wishes, it can fix this disgraceful situation. Please forward my letter to our president." The presidency forwarded the letter to the Education Ministry, which passed it to the publications wing of the ministry.

On Jan. 8, the ministry decided to distribute free textbooks in languages other than Turkish to minority schools for the upcoming academic year. It stated that the cost for the ministry would be 58,000 Turkish Liras.The issue was discussed at a meeting Monday between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and European Union ambassadors in Ankara. "We will start implementing the same process in minority schools that we do in other primary and secondary schools," Erdoğan said. Radikal

There Is No Other Country More Important For Britain's National Security Than Turkey, Fox
A member of the British House of Commons and a deputy of the Conservative Party Liam Fox said Wednesday there is no other country more important for Britain's national security than Turkey.

Speaking at a meeting co-hosted by the Conservative Party Friends of Turkey group, Fox said that Turkey carries high importance based on its geopolitical status, existence in NATO and its role in energy security.

However, anti-Turkish sentiments and xenophobia in the European Union (EU) all risk Turkey's status, Fox said.

Warning those against Turkish membership in the EU, Fox said that, if Turkey does not become an EU member, Turkey may turn its face towards Russia and the Middle East.

Turkey is both politically and militarily important for Britain as a partner. Turkey has an important place in the Islamic world, Fox also said.
24 June 2009, The Anatolia News Agency London

Armenians Of Europe Call On Us Not To Dictate Methods Of Armenian-Turkish Ties Normalization 23.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenian organizations of Europe made a joint response to US Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon's proposal on setting up a joint committee of Armenian and Turkish historians, French journalist Jean Ekian reported to PanARMENIAN.Net. "On June 16, Philip Gordon announced that Obama Administration encouraged Yerevan and Ankara's steps towards setting up joint committee of historians with the purpose of resolving disputable issues concerning Armenian Genocide. We don't think it's up to US President to dictate methods of resolving historical conflicts," says the statement released by Armenian organizations of Europe.

More than 30 years ago historian established the fact of Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Empire, authors of the statement stress. "Historians should be free and independent in their professional activity. No committee set up by the decision of any state can adopt decisions concerning historical events," they say.

Considering that over 30 thousand Turks have apologized to Armenians, and prominent Turkish historians like Taner Akcam use the word "Genocide" to refer to the extermination of Armenians in Ottoman empire, Barack Obama must admit that setting up such committee is pointless.

"US President had better help Turkey to renounce genocide denial policy and encourage Armenian-Turkish ties normalization process without preconditions. That's the only way acceptable to Armenians," the statement says

Reasons Why Aliyev Did Not Meet Obama's Envoy Rise To The Surface by F. Mammadov, Yeni Musavat, June 13 2009, Azerbaijan
Assistant secretary of state made political mistake in Yerevan
The interruption of the visit to Baku by US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon has brought up many questions. As was reported, the high-ranking diplomat in his first regional debut was not received by President Ilham Aliyev in Baku and had to interrupt his visit. Neither the Presidential Administration, nor the US embassy to Baku explained the reasons why Philip Gordon was not received by Ilham Aliyev.

This is the first time that a high-ranking US official left Baku without meeting the president. Actually, this shows that Gordon's visit was unsuccessful. Since president decides everything in countries like Azerbaijan and the failure of Philip Gordon, who was dispatched to Baku with a special task by President Barack Obama, to meet him [the president] made insignificant other issues that were discussed.

Upon his arrival in Baku, Gordon told journalists that amongst issues he was about to discuss with officials would be the resumption of broadcast of foreign radio stations on FM frequencies and the problem of Nagornyy Karabakh. From this point of view, it is likely that the president of the country, who is not interested in the resumption of foreign radio stations on FM frequencies as well as reluctant to step back, has found a simple way out of the situation, that is to say, refused meeting the US diplomat.

This step is a demonstrative gesture of Aliyev to the USA and its new administration. Nevertheless, we wonder if there is only the issue of the radio stations behind this gesture, or are there other and more fundamental issues there? It seems there are and they are caused by the Southern Caucasus priorities of the Obama administration.

If to pay attention, since his accession to power, Obama has made some serious pro-Armenian steps. During his visit to Turkey, he sought to succeed in having an agreement signed on the opening of borders between Armenia and Turkey, trying to influence the Azerbaijani president to this end. Obama was the first US president, who described the 1915 events as the Armenians do, using the term in the Armenian language.

Finally, the diplomat, whom he sent to the South Caucasus with a special mission, started his visit from Yerevan and in a demonstrative manner, like sending out a message to Azerbaijan, he stated that this was not by chance. In Yerevan Philip Gordon said that the US administration attaches great importance to the relations with Armenia and it was not accidental for him to start his visit from there [Yerevan]. The diplomat also issued statements on the Karabakh conflict close to Armenia's position.

It emerged that the most important country for the USA in the region is exactly Armenia and by dispatching his envoy to Armenia first, President Obama wanted it be interpreted by the regional countries as a message. It also turned out that even Georgia is not the most important regional country for the current US administration. Anticipating real steps from the Obama administration to make Armenians to real compromises, Azerbaijan, which is the main regional security and energy partner of the USA, finds out that Armenia is the most important country for Washington in this region.

Following this message of the US diplomat sounded in Yerevan and President Aliyev's refusal to receive him could actually be considered a proper answer to Washington. By this reply, the Azerbaijani leader saved himself from hearing unpleasant conversation of Obama's envoy on democracy, radio stations and other similar issues. If Armenia is a more important country for the Obama administration, what is the point of discussing issues of democracy with him?!

APA news agency reports that the president did not receive the US diplomat for his "tight schedule"...[ellipses as published]

Armenian Authorities Not To Allow Unilateral Concessions With Regard To Karabakh 24.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenian authorities will not make unilateral concession with regard to Karabakh, in particular, RA President will never allow NKR to be considered an Azeri-controlled territory, RPA spokesman Edward Sharmazanov told journalists in Yerevan.

NKR's land border with Armenia is very important for Armenian authorities. It is necessary to guarantee the country's security, the speaker said. "NKR people have a right to self-determination, and Azeri colleagues should realize and admit NKR people's right to self-determination and recognize the country's independence," he stated.

Armenia favors peaceful settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict within OSCE MG format. "Turkey cannot be a mediator in talks," Sharmazanov stressed, adding that NKR is a more accomplished, democratic and developed state in comparison with Azerbaijan and Armenia

Dialog Required Between Armenia And Diaspora 23.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The ministry of Diaspora affaires of Armenia was established top establish dialog and cooperation between Armenia and Diaspora, RA Diaspora minister Hranush Hakobyan told a news conference today. Saying, that the ministry has elaborated a concept of interaction between Armenia and Diaspora, Hranush Hakobyan stressed, that one of ministry's priorities to familiarize Armenia with Diaspora and overcome some psychological problems.

Hranush Hakobyan informed, that the ministry projects organizing professional conferences, recently All-Armenian conference of architects was organized under the auspices of the ministry. She attached importance to activities directed to preserving the Armenian identity in the Armenian communities of the world.

The ministry has initiated the "Ari Tun" (Come home) program and has already received 500 applications from Armenians to become involved.

Yerevan Is Facing Two Challenges: Turkey And Azerbaijan 22.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenia has a chance to cooperate with the East against the background of energy war between Russia and West, Turgut Kerem Tuncel an expert at Istanbul Bilgi University stated at "Armenia at the intersection of communications" international conference.

"RF's reaction will be very rigid, as Russia is undertaking countermeasures to keep Armenia within the scope of Russia's interests. But the West needs Armenia, as, after august 2008 war, hopes for Georgia as a stable partner have waned. Armenia can fill the void, should it be able to use all possibilities for European integration," Turkish expert noted.

Still, he said, Yerevan is facing two challenges: Turkey and Azerbaijan.

"To strengthen relations with the West, Armenia has to solve NKR conflict and Armenian-Turkish rapprochement issues," he said adding that Turkey is pursuing a careful policy in Armenian-Turkish relations issue, dictated by a fear to lose Azerbaijan.

Ankara Cannot Solve Problems Of Armenian-Turkish Relations By Doing Controversial Statements 22.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Ankara will not solve current problems of Armenian-Turkish relations by doing controversial statements, RA foreign minister Edward Nalbandian told a news conference jointly organized with UAE foreign minister Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan on June 21 in Yerevan.

" Differences in Armenian-Turkish relations must be settled in talks. Armenia will continue making efforts in that direction, " RA foreign minister said.

Dwelling on the recent statement by the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs Philip Gordon about establishing a committee of historians between Armenia and Turkey, Mr. Nalbandian said, that official Yerevan seeks to normalize relationships with Ankara and establish diplomatic relations without pre-conditions. "Armenia intends to establish intergovernmental committee with Turkey to deal with various issues of bilateral relations," the RA foreign minister stressed.

In his turn Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan said, that Armenian-Turkish reconciliation issues were discussed during negotiations with the Armenian side. "We are very happy that "football diplomacy" created basis for talks between Yerevan and Ankara. We understand that the sides are to achieve solutions to complicated problems and we support their steps towards improving relationships", UAE foreign minister said, adding that after completing his visit in Yerevan he will leave for Ankara.

Armenian Opposition Decries "Football Diplomacy" With Turkey Mediamax June 23 2009 Armenia
Yerevan, 23 June: A "football diplomacy", initiated by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan to normalize the Armenian-Turkish relations, has "failed disgracefully," David Shahnazaryan of the Armenian National Congress (ANC) said in Yerevan today, Mediamax reports.

Obtaining Armenia's consent to the establishment of a commission of historians, Ankara, in essence, stepped back from the fulfilment of the other provisions of the "road-map", and now it tries to bring up the Karabakh problem for discussion by UN Security Council", Shahnazaryan said.

Before the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, Turkey will not normalize relations with Armenia and it will hardly step back from other preconditions, Shahnazaryan said.

Turkey And Armenia Go On Negotiations, Foreign Ministry
ANKARA (A.A) - 24.06.2009 - The Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that Turkey and Armenia were going on their negotiations in various levels.

The spokesperson of the ministry said that two countries were holding talks on matters concerning themselves.

"We are discussing all issues with Armenia, and what is important is principles we set," spokesperson Burak Ozugergin told a press conference in the capital Ankara.

Ozugergin said that there was also an ongoing process between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and both processes were affecting each other.

The spokesperson referred to recent remarks of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia that they had reached a compromise that a progress was necessary and that the shuttle democracy should be maintained.

Ozugergin said that Turkey was supporting solution of Upper Karabakh dispute through peaceful means, and a positive course of the process would contribute to the peace and stability in the Caucasus.

The spokesman also said that Turkey would support any positive development or step in the Minsk process.

"Settlement of Upper Karabakh problem will restore stability in the region, and make it sustainable," Ozugergin said.

Also, Ozugergin said that Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu might meet foreign ministers of other countries, including his Armenian counterpart Eduard Nalbandian, in the Greek island of Corfu during an informal meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) this weekend.

Ozugergin said that Davutoglu would meet his Greek counterpart on the sidelines of the meeting.

Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic or economic relations since Armenia declared its independence in 1991 and Turkey closed its border with Armenia after this country invaded the Upper-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan in 1992.

Minsk Process and Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) aim to find a political solution to the conflict over Upper-Karabakh region over which Armenia fought Azerbaijan in a war in the 1990s.

On July 24, 2008, then Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan expressed Turkey's willingness to normalize relations with Armenia at a press conference in New York, saying that Turkey also wanted to create an atmosphere of dialogue with Armenia.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul travelled to Armenia in September 2008 to watch 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier match between the two countries upon an invitation by President Serzh Sargsian of Armenia.

Turkey and Armenia are to play another qualifier in Istanbul in September 2009.

Turkstat Survey Finds Turks Are Optimistic About Future
Research has found that Turkish people in general are quite optimistic about their future and this optimism increases in relation to their level of education and income.

The Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) “2008 Life Satisfaction Research” has found that 60.4 percent of all people in Turkey are optimistic about their future, while 4.5 percent are “very optimistic.” There are also pessimists according to the research, with 26.3 percent of people feeling pessimistic about the future and 8.8 percent of people not holding any hopes for the future at all.

Among higher education graduates, 73.9 percent of men are optimistic about their future compared to 66.5 percent of women. Only 60.5 percent of men who are literate but are not graduates of any institutions of higher learning are optimistic. Fifty-nine percent of illiterate men are optimistic, while this figure is 64.2 percent for illiterate women. Among women who graduated from primary school, 62.9 percent are optimistic about their future.

There is a proportional correlation when it comes to life satisfaction in relation to income, as 77.7 percent of people with a monthly income of TL 2,501 or more are hopeful about what the future holds for them. Only 51.8 percent of people who have an income of TL 450 or lower are optimistic about their future. TurkStat has also found that men and women do not differ greatly in their expectations for the future as 60.7 percent of women and 60.1 percent of men are optimistic about their future. Similarly, 4.8 percent of men and 4.3 percent of women are “very hopeful.” The percentage of men and women who are quite pessimistic about their future is also close, at 8.6 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
26 June 2009, TODAY'S ZAMAN

Parliament Award Of Honor To Be Given To Historian Kemal Karpat
Parliament's Administration Council has agreed on giving this year's Parliament Award of Honor to historian Kemal Karpat.

The Parliament Award of Honor, which will be granted for the fourth time, will be given this year to doyen of Ottoman history Professor Kemal Karpat, according to the decision of the council. Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's Nobel Prize-winning author, historian İlber Ortaylı, pianist Fazıl Say, the Turkish secretary-general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin İslamoğlu and former Support for Modern Life Association (ÇYDD) chairwoman Türkan Saylan, who died of cancer last month, were those who were nominated for the award in addition to Karpat.

The award was given for the first time on July 13, 2005 to world-famous brain surgeon Professor Gazi Yaşargil, then it was granted to Professor İhsan Doğramacı on May 30, 2007 and to Professor Halil İnalcık on July 30, 2008. The Parliament Award of Honor is bestowed on those who made considerable contributions to Turkey's publicity and who have international successes.

Karpat is a professor at the University of Wisconsin. He has been distinguished by his ability to identify and analyze the ties between Ottoman culture and today's Turkey. He previously taught at several universities including Montana State University, New York University, Princeton University, Harvard University, Bilkent University and Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ).
26 June 2009, TODAY'S ZAMAN

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com

Turkey Called Back Its Ambassador To Canada For Consultations Suzan Fraser, Associated Press, 06/20/09
ANKARA, TURKEY — Turkey recalled its ambassador to Canada, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday, after government ministers there reportedly took part in an event that labeled the Ottoman-era killings of Armenians as genocide.

Ambassador Rafet Akgunay was called back for "thorough evaluations and consultations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Burak Ozugergin said, without saying why Akgunay was recalled or for how long.

Another government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules, said the ambassador was being withdrawn temporarily to protest an event earlier this week in Canada commemorating the deaths of Armenians at the end of World War I as genocide.

The official said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent a message to the ceremony, which angered Turkey. Turkish news reports said Canadian government officials took part in the event.

A spokeswoman for Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon defended the country's position.

"Canada's position on the Armenian genocide is not an indictment of modern Turkey, nor is Turkish Ambassador Rafet Akgunay's temporary return to Ankara for consultations, a break in our diplomatic relations," Natalie Sarafian said in an e-mailed statement.

It is the second time that Turkey has recalled its ambassador to Canada over the genocide dispute. In 2006, Turkey criticized Harper for remarks he made in support of recognizing the mass killings as genocide and briefly withdrew its ambassador. It also pulled out of a military exercise in Canada in protest.

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks — an event widely viewed by genocide scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide, contending the toll has been inflated and the casualties were victims of civil war and unrest.

Lawmakers in the United States have also introduced a resolution that would call the death genocide. If passed, the resolution could undermine efforts by President Barack Obama's administration to win NATO ally Turkey's help on key foreign policy goals.

U.S. legislators almost passed a similar resolution two years ago, but congressional leaders did not bring it up for a vote after intense pressure from the Bush administration.

Obama avoided the term "genocide" when he addressed Turkish lawmakers during his visit a month ago. But he said, in response to a question, that he had not changed his views. As a presidential candidate, Obama said the killings amounted to genocide.

Agreement With Armenia Over Roadmap, Selcan Hacaoglu Associated Press 06/20/09
ANKARA, TURKEY — Turkey and Armenia have agreed on a roadmap for normalizing relations and reaching reconciliation, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Wednesday, but it wasn't immediately clear how they would tackle their bitter dispute over Ottoman-era killings of ethnic Armenians.

Turkish officials would not discuss that issue and the ministry statement said only that the two countries had worked out a framework for reaching a solution that would satisfy both sides. There was no immediate comment from Armenia's government.

Armenia says 1.5 million Armenians were slain by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I in what Armenians and several other nations recognize as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey vehemently rejects the allegation, saying that the death toll was inflated and that Armenians died in civil unrest as the Ottoman Empire collapsed.

The announcement came just weeks after President Barack Obama, during a visit to Turkey, called on his hosts to come to terms with the past, resolve its dispute with Armenia and reopen the border. The European Union has also put pressure on Turkey, which is seeking to join the bloc.

Obama avoided the term "genocide" when he addressed Turkish lawmakers. But he said, in response to a question, that he had not changed his views on the question. As a presidential candidate, Obama said the killings amounted to genocide.

His call on this U.S. ally and predominantly Muslim country heated up debate over what course Turkey should take in relations with Armenia. The government had already been working to improve ties with Armenia while facing deep-seated domestic antagonism toward its neighbor over the genocide charge.

Turkey has long proposed to Armenia to establish a joint group of historians to study the bloodsheds, saying it has opened its archives for research.

The accord was announced hours after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton praised what she described as bold reconciliation efforts between Turkey and Armenia.

In its statement, the Foreign Ministration said the two nations "have recorded solid progress and reached mutual understanding to normalize ties in a way to satisfy both sides, agreeing on a comprehensive framework. Within this framework, a roadmap has been determined."

Turkey wants its talks with Armenia to advance in parallel with negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan over disputed territory controlled by Armenia.

Turkey closed its border with Armenia during that nation's conflict with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Turkey backs Azerbaijan's claim to the disputed region, which has a high number of ethnic Armenian residents but lies within Azerbaijan's borders.

Clinton said the United States had assured Azerbaijan it would intensify efforts to resolve the dispute.

Document On Political Prisoners In Armenia Submitted By Azerbaijan To Be Debated In Pace Session, 18 June 2009, Baku, Trend News, A. Huseynbala/

Azerbaijani delegation to the PACE will raise several questions regarding Armenia's aggressor policy in the summer session.

"I have submitted document Importance to Study Issue of Political Prisoners in Armenia in the spring session. This question will be discussed in the Law and Human Rights Committee during this session. A reporter is likely to be appointed to study problems regarding political prisoners in Armenia and similar countries," member of Azerbaijani delegation to PACE Rafael Huseynov told Trend News.

PACE summer session will be held on June 22-26. New secretary general of the Council of Europe is expected to be elected on June 23-24. Office of current Secretary General Terry Davis terminates on August 31, 2009.

Huseynov said one of the matters of discussions is long-term refugees in Europe.

"I will raise the question of our compatriots who were displaced from their lands due to Armenian aggression," he added.

He said other members of the Azerbaijani delegation will be active in discussions on Armenia's aggression towards Azerbaijan, election of the new Council of Europe Secretary General and other issues related to Azerbaijan.

Ultranationalist Ergenekon Suspect Is Of Armenian Origin, Magazine Reveals
Retired Gen. Veli Küçük, who is known for his ultranationalist statements, has Armenian roots, the biography magazine Chronicle has revealed.

In its June edition, the magazine covered the biography of Küçük, one of the prime suspects in the case against Ergenekon, a shadowy crime network that has alleged links within the state and is suspected of plotting to topple the government. In an article titled “Küçükoğulları and Veli Küçük,” the magazine noted that the village where Küçük was born, the village of Türkmen in the western province of Bilecik, was an Armenian settlement, contrary to what is generally believed.

Küçük, who was born in Türkmen on May 9, 1944, was the son of a farmer who had four children. He was named after his brother, who died when he was a baby.

Referring to records from the Ottoman Empire, the magazine said 85 percent of the residents in the village were of Armenian origin, but no Armenians reside in the village today.

Examining the tax records of Armenian families in the village, the magazine analyzed Küçük's ethnic roots. The tax records show that Artin from the Küçükoğulları family paid a tax of Kr 30; Minas from the same family also paid Kr 30. It is not known today what happened to the Küçükoğulları family or the Armenian residents of Türkmen. There are no documents showing that they left the village during the Armenian deportation in 1915. After the adoption of the surname law following the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923, some village residents adopted the surname “Küçük,” the magazine revealed. Veli Küçük speaks Armenian fluently, the magazine noted.

Küçük is currently in prison on charges of being a leader of Ergenekon. Küçük is also believed to be the founder of JİTEM, a clandestine and illegal intelligence group inside the gendarmerie that is believed to have carried out hundreds of unofficial and highly criminal operations against targets that were deemed by JİTEM leaders as a threat to Turkey's national interests for one reason or another.
16 June 2009,TODAY'S ZAMAN

Azerbaijani Embassy Disinformation Campaign Targets ANCA, ANCA Press Release, June 15, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC - The Azerbaijani government responded today to the Armenian National Committee of America's (ANCA) reports of an emerging United States foreign aid policy double standard toward the countries of the Caucasus countries by circulating a press release bitterly attacking the ANCA and spreading misinformation about aid levels to the region.

According to a news release placed on the PRNewswire earlier today, the Azerbaijani Embassy set its sights on the ANCA's recent criticism of the Obama Administration's proposed reduction in U.S. assistance to Armenia in the face of proposed increases for Azerbaijan and Georgia, accusing the Armenian American grassroots group of misrepresenting aid figures to the states of the Caucasus.

"Either Azerbaijani Ambassador Yashar Aliyev is out spreading falsehoods around Capitol Hill or he really needs to brush up on his fourth grade math skills," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "These publicly available figures are really rather simple and should be easy enough for even a schoolchild to easily grasp: a proposed 38% reduction in U.S. assistance to Armenia in the face of a 20% increase to Azerbaijan, despite that country's ongoing blockades of Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh and President Aliyev's continued threats of renewed war."

The Azerbaijani Ambassador's response was to an ANCA Memo to Capitol Hill, titled "Double Standards: U.S. Aid Policy in the Caucasus," released on June 11th, the day after the Millennium Challenge Corporation effectively suspended a full third of its $235 million grant to Armenia due to concerns over democratic governance. The ANCA memo compared the harsh U.S. response to Yerevan's actions, both rhetorically and in terms of aid levels, to the increased financial support that both Azerbaijan and Georgia are set to receive despite their serious shortcomings in the areas of democracy, corruption, and governance.

The Obama Administration proposed assistance figures to the Caucasus were released by the U.S. Department of State in a document titled: Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Request: Summary and Highlights, International Affairs Function 150. A table, drawn from this report, highlighting the FY09 aid figures and the Obama Administration proposal for FY10 is provided below.

Country FY 2009 Total FY 2010 Request % Difference
Armenia $48 million $30 million - 38%
Azerbaijan $18.5 million $22.12 million + 20%
Georgia $52 million* $62.050 million + 19%

* Georgia's FY2009 figure does not include the $242.5 million pending Supplemental allocation.

To read the complete "Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Request: Summary and Highlights, International Affairs Function 150" visit:

"Playing With Words, A Passion For Me" Vercihan Ziflioglu
Country: Turkey
Age: 33
Position: Turkish Daily News

I was deeply in love with books and words when I was only a little girl. And what it still alive with all its details in my memory today is that whenever I encountered a book, near and around, and, new or old, I used to inhale the indescribable smell of its pages with a great feeling of quest for learning. As I grew up, I became a pupil of prominent names of both Armenian and Turkish literature at Armenian minority schools. And it was that period of my life when my literary talents were discovered. Then, I started to win small prizes in essay writing contests organized at high school level in Istanbul. I was only fourteen years old when my teachers asked me to prepare the school newspaper.

In 1989, my essays began to be published on children’s pages of Marmara Gazetesi, an Armenian daily established in Istanbul. Every Friday, I used to go the daily Marmara’s office building after school while my friends used to go to the cinema. The act of writing, then, turned into an passion for me. There, at the daily Marmara, I was surrounded with people who were passionately submerged into their work. Clever hands typing the letters on typewriters, skilful hands that were all in ink and that were placing the letters on pages to make them ready for print… These people were working with the oldest techniques and machines of journalism. And I was just a high school student when these were all around me in that busy newspaper environment.

In 1993, Zahrad, one of the most distinguished figures in Armenian poetry, asked me to be a member of editorial board of Armenian literary journal ‘Nor San’, of which he was the editor-in-chief. It was a great honor for me to work with such an outstanding poet whose books were translated into many languages in the world. ‘Nor San’ is one of the pioneering journals of Istanbul’s modern Armenian literature and many significant names were once either writers or journalists of that respected journal of literature. ‘Nor San’ was a crucial turning point in my life. My first interviews, articles and poems began to be published in it. During that process, I wrote my first articles on Armenian community living in Turkey and other social issues. On the first day I graduated from school, I applied to the daily Marmara and I got accepted.

Thus, my adventure of journalism started. During the years I worked for the daily Marmara, some of my articles and poems were also published in journals and magazines of Diaspora. In 2000, my first poetry book titled ‘Ananun Yeraz’(Without a dream) was published by Aras Publication Company in Istanbul. Many of my poems were also included in several anthological works published in Diaspora. These works include 'Diaspora Armenian Modern Literature' (Royal Ok, Michigan 1994), 'Modern Istanbul Literature' (Lebanon, 2004); 'The Other Voice Armenian Women's Poetry through the Age' Massachusetts, USA 2005. My second poetry book ‘Hanelug’(The Riddle) saluted the reader in February 2007.

Hrant Dink and Agos Adventure

When I was only 17 years old, I met journalist Hrant Dink, bilingual Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos’ editor-in-chief who was assassinated on Jan. 19, 2007, at a reception held at Armenian Patriarchate in Turkey. Dink told me he would like to see me as a member at his weekly newspaper Agos that was not established but was at the project stage at that time. In 1996, when Agos started to publish its initial editions, I was included to the weekly’s staff. Later on, Dink asked me to be the editor of Agos’ children’s pages published in Armenian. I wrote articles in Armenian in my special column during that period. Never breaking off my connection with Agos and daily Marmara, I also began to write columns in Jamanag, Turkey’s one of the longest established daily newspapers published in Armenian language.

In 1998, following my positions at Armenian community newspapers, I began to work as reporter at Culture and Arts Service at daily Hürriyet. At the same time, I worked as editor of daily Hürriyet’s literary magazine Gösteri. I met remarkable names of Turkish literature during that period. In 2002, I became Turkey representative of a Beirut-based culture and arts magazine called ‘Şirag’. In January 2007, I started working at Turkish Daily News (TDN), Turkey's first and largest English-language daily under supervision of Editor-in-chief David Judson. TDN joined the Doğan Yayın Holding (DYH) family, Turkey’s largest media-entertainment conglomerate, in January 2000. The turning point of my life was the day I met Mr. Judson. I believe the unique work environment he created at the TDN office is the principle factor underlying our success. First of all, he trusted us, and then, never refrained to give his support even in most problematic situations. He also created a multi-lingual work team. Besides English and Turkish, about 15 languages are spoken in our office. A multi-cultural atmosphere and a sense of co-existence in peace and harmony is the main characteristic reflected in our daily. Most of the time, I identify Mr. Judson with the unforgettable character in Dead Poets Society, a true classic movie directed by Peter Weir. I believe, with his unique perspective and understanding of journalism, Mr. Judson is an excellent editor-in-chief who should be modeled.

‘Being apart from newspaper my biggest phobia’

Reporting and writing news stories, briefly journalism, exhilarate me. Each time before I start writing a new story, I feel as if I will not be able to finish it because I still feel myself as an amateur reporter. I say to myself after successful completion of every news stories and articles, “Yesterday was yesterday and I have to quest for something new today. I love to make research and talk to people. Journalism is not only a profession for me, it is my life style. For me, it is an instrument to meet people, talk to them, discuss with them on myriad issues, and it is also a means for defending truths. Writing is my passion, and thanks to thanks to it, I play with the words everyday. Many people in the world cannot have the jobs they love. I think I am a luck minority in this perspective. Sometimes, I even turn a blind eye to so many difficulties I face thanks to my passion for my job. And my biggest phobia is to be compelled to live apart from the newspaper.

I was greatly touched and submerged into emotions when I heard that I won the first prize given in the name of Anna Lindh. First of all, it was an honor and privilege to win such a prize with the name of Lindh. Second, winning such a prize itself was an important achievement. On the day I was awarded this prize, I promised myself, “May this prize not professionalize you. Always keep your amateur spirit.” Paper and writing…I guess these two passions of my childhood will remain so in me forever.

Disputes on identity and sense of belonging to a certain identity

People in the world lose their life because of their faiths, languages, ethnicities, and preferences. Even if we do not wish so, our identities or sense of feeling to an ethnic, religious or cultural identity shape our future. Televisions I watch everyday give me nothing but pain. Recent developments following assassination of Dink in Turkey were notorious and very sad. I just wanted to achieve certain things for the favor of country where I was born and for the Armenian community that I belong to. I just wanted to cry out that Turkey is a multi-colored country just like a rainbow and no one should dare to pale these colors. The only thing I could do to serve that aim was to write and I did so. I used my pen. I always hated the word “minority”. I believe no nations or ethnic groups in the world should be imprisoned within the walls of the notion of “minority”. I just cannot understand why identities and ethnicities are that much important in the world. And perhaps, I will never want to understand it. Despite all these, I share a great deal in my stories and articles to a total of 77 different ethnic origins living in Turkey. My aim is to introduce various ethnic cultures that are fading away to people in the world and to tell all people that these cultures also exist on earth. Words remain ineffective in expressing how much I enjoy telling about in my news stories myriad myths, cuisines, traditions, and habits of these cultures. I also can never give up writing stories about art. I love writing news stories related to art since I think art always has a reactionary stance. Artistic events make me excited for they mostly have a discourse to rise and much to tell. www.euromedalex.org/journalist-prize/vercihan-ziflioglu

Turkish And Azerbaijani Internal Agreement LRAGIR.AM 15/06/2009
Azerbaijan and Turkey drew Armenia into their game pretending to have disagreements. On June 15, the Head of the Nor Zhamanakner (New Times) Party Aram Karapetyan expressed this opinion dwelling on the policy of the Armenian government in the Armenian and Turkish relations. Aram Karapetyan stated that Azerbaijan and Turkey drew Armenia into a game showing as if their relations are bad and they want to separate the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and the Armenian and Turkish negotiations. As Aram Karapetyan stated the head of the staff of the Azerbaijani president Ramil Metiev, instructed all the heads of regions to treat Turkey badly. He noted that the U.S. and Israel are the authors of this agreement.

Aram Karapetyan stated that we saw that the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and the Armenian and Turkish relations are linked. Besides Aram Karapetyan noted that no one knows what Armenia will gain in the Armenian and Turkish relations, apart from the fact that the Armenian authorities want a Nobel Prize. Aram Karapetyan wondered what has changed in the Armenian and Turkish relations and in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue that created grounds to think that something may happen. According to Aram Karapetyan Turkey will become a dominant country with its goods in Armenia.

Aram Karapetyan stated that today a process of unity of Muslim countries is noticed and Armenia "faces dangers when entering into the game without the assistance of the Christian world of the U.S. or Russia".

A Book On Those Involved In The Murder Of Hrant Dink 17 June 2009, by Stéphane / armenews
A book entitled "Hrant Dink cinayet: Media, Yargi, Devlet" written by journalist Kemal Goktas search in the maze of the assassination of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink outside his office in Istanbul in 2007.

Kemal Goktas explore the role of media in the way Hrant Dink became a target and how the Turkish state and the judiciary have also played a role in the incidents leading to the murder of Hrant Dink

The new book was released last week.

One factor that is the book examines the possible effect of different covers of the trial by the media who have been gradually lead to a target. Other authors such as novelist Elif Safak and Orhan Pamuk have also faced prosecution under Article 301 of Turkish Penal Code pushing Orhan Pamuk to seek refuge abroad fearing for his life while qu'Elif Safak has opted for silence.

Kemal Goktas journalist in the field of justice in the newspaper Vatan Ankara since 2002 has followed the trial of Hrant Dink, Orhan Pamuk and of Elif Safak in their entirety. PhD student at the University of Ankara at the time he prepared his thesis about "the press forming public opinion in Turkey: An event example: Transformation of Hrant Dink in a political target."

He deepened the scope of its work after the murder of Hrant Dink. The Kemal Goktas book was published by the Publishing House Güncel under the title: "Hrant Dink cinayet - Media, Yargi, Devlet" (The murder of Hrant Dink - the media, the judiciary, State)

In the first chapter of the book, Kemal Goktas shows in detail how Hrant Dink became a target after its story claiming that Sabiha Gokcen, the adopted daughter of Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Armenian origins. In this chapter, the declaration of the General Staff after the publication of the history and the media are mentioned.

The second chapter deals with the legal process of the trial based on Article 301 and analyzes how Hrant Dink was found guilty despite the contrary expertise.

The third chapter focuses on the links between the murder of Hrant Dink and Ergenekon.

The final chapter talks about the alleged role of the state in the assassination.

"The trial Dink was also important for us than Safak and Pamuk and other intellectuals, but it was a big mistake because the presence of Hrant Dink was a name abroad due to his ethnicity," said Kemal Goktas to Hürriyet .

Kemal Goktas said that Hrant Dink expressed his opinion as Armenian and leftist and added: "It was an attitude that has rocked the original common perceptions. Of course, other intellectuals and writers have also been targeted for what they said but the bullets found their way against Dink, not them. We can only explain it by linking it to the values held by Dink against official policy and identity. We already know that the murder was committed while the State was fully aware. "

Kemal Goktas was among 10 Turkish journalists who have traveled to Armenia last week as part of an action the Hrant Dink Foundation. "I went to Armenia for the first time. It was a very impressive. Armenians have a trauma and cry from generation to generation. Most people I met had their roots in Anatolia, they were very friendly with us, "said Kemal Goktas.

Philip Gordon Voices Support For Turkey's Proposed Historical Commission 17.06.2009
Assistant Secretary of State Phil Gordon today indicated that the Obama Administration supports the establishment of an Armenia-Turkey historical commission, a controversial proposal long advanced by the Turkish government to cast doubt on the Armenian Genocide and undermine international progress toward the universal recognition of this crime against humanity, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

Gordon, during testimony earlier today before the Europe Subcommittee of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, fielded a question from the panel's Chairman, Robert Wexler (D-FL) about how the Department of State intends to "navigate the course of the engagement between Turkey and Armenia so that Azerbaijan comes out a winner." In his response to this inquiry by the Turkish Caucus Co-Chairman, Gordon voiced support for the Armenia-Turkey
"roadmap," a document publicly welcomed by the State Department on April 22nd, noting, in particular, a highly controversial, much discussed, but never before officially disclosed element of this agreement stipulating the establishment of a commission to examine historical issues between the two nation. His comments read, in part:

"You have two parallel but separate tracks [Armenia-Turkey dialogue and the Nagorno Karabakh peace process] going on, a Turkey and Armenia normalization reconciliation process that we do think is quite potentially historic, where the two countries have agreed on a framework for normalizing their relations that would include opening the border, which has been closed for far to long, which would establish diplomatic relations and would provide commissions in key areas including history, and we encourage that process and we support it."
Public Radio of Armenia

Territorial Integrity Does Not Mean Inalterability Of Borders, Armenia's Deputy Fm Stated armradio.am 18.06.2009
There have been statements following the meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents in Saint Petersburg that there is certain progress towards the settlement of the Karabakh issue. Asked to comment on this, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia, Shavarsh Kocharyan said: "Over years we have been hearing about "open windows" and "golden opportunities." The fact that no real progress has been registered has its reason: it is the non-constructive position of Azerbaijan. On one hand the Azeri authorities threaten to apply military force, on the other hand they sign a declaration on non-use of force. On one hand they deny the existence of the "Madrid Document," on the other hand they declare that Azerbaijan has adopted the "Madrid Document." On one hand they sit at the bargaining table, on the other hand they are busy with transferring the issue to other international structures and searching for mediators," Shavarsh Kocharyan said in an interview with "Aravot" daily.

Shavarsh Kocharyan considers that the predictions about the rapid solution of the issue are groundless. "Such statements pursue certain internal political purposes. It's not serious to think that such a complicated situation could be settled with just one step. It8 0s impossible. Of course, there may be some documents in the future that will reflect the initial approaches, but the parties are not ready for that today," the Deputy Foreign Minister declared.

According to him, Azerbaijan lays the emphasis on territorial integrity.

"However, in case of self-determination, territorial integrity does not mean inalterability of borders. All the states and international structures involved in the settlement process have been declaring about the necessity of applying all three principles of international law, i.e. self-determination, territorial integrity and non-use of force."

The solution proposed by Azerbaijan envisages autonomy for Nagorno Karabakh within the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan. "Naturally, it is impossible and Azerbaijan has to realize that there is no way back. No one will yield security guarantees in exchange for vague promises. As for the referendum, it was held still in 1991 in accordance with the norms of international law and USSR legislation; Nagorno Karabakh is a de facto full-fledged state. The mediators suggest a new referendum as an option of mutual concessions. It will be worth speaking about a new referendum only when Azerbaijan stops using the negotiations as a cover for imposing unrealistic approaches, which means accepting Nagorno Karabakh as a full party to the talks. It's impossible to reach a solution bypassing the status of NKR," Shavarsh Kochary an stated.

Congressman Bilirakis Questions Why Turkey Continues To Prosecute Individuals Who Discuss The Armenian Genocide armradio.am 18.06.2009
In a hearing yesterday before the Subcommittee on Europe in the House of Representatives, Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), raised strong concerns regarding the Turkish government's ongoing prosecution of journalists and academics under the auspices of Article 301, which penalizes discussion of the Armenian Genocide.

Rep. Bilirakis asked Philip Gordon, Assistant Secretary for Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the Department of State, who was testifying about the Administration's policies in Europe, "In light of Turkey's continued prosecution of intellectuals who express themselves, what steps will you outline with the Turkish government to ensure greater freedom of press and expression in Turkey?"

Gordon replied, "The U.S., everywhere, and the Obama Administration, is a strong proponent of freedom of expression, freedom of the media, freedom of the press, free societies. Turkey took some steps last year to revise Article 301 of its penal code that made it more difficult to have political prosecutions, that was an important step forward.

[Turkey] would do well to continue down that path and allow for more freedom of expression. And we have a constant dialogue with the Turkish government about these issues and we'll continue to make that view clear."

"The Assembly commends Congressman Bilirakis for his defense of the truth.

Whether it is Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, highly paid lobbyists arguing against the Armenian Genocide Resolution in Congress or lawsuits filed in U.S. courts, such as the recent Massachusetts case in which a federal judge upheld the Commonwealth's decision to exclude genocide denial materials in its curriculum, Turkey's campaign of denial continues," stated Assembly Executive Director, Bryan Ardouny.

Armenian Crime Syndicate Busted 16 June 2009
Investigating the case of hijacking and robbery of valuable articles of an old Jewish Woman in Sisli, Istanbul, police busted a crime syndicate that consists of Armenians.

13 Armenian and 2 Georgian member of the crime syndicate are arrested by police. Criminals arrested by 5 raids in different places. Criminals were allegedly taking orders from Armenia, from the ring leader who called as “Edgar.” Criminals, came to Turkey from Armenia, were choosing old people who needs care, and especially Armenian and Jewish women as victim. Women members of the crime syndicate were establishing close relation with target old woman via working in her house as maid. After gaining old lady’s trust, they were robbing the house. Members of Armenian crime syndicate arrested and sent to court house.

Semneby: Turkey Took "Tactical Step Backwards" On Normalizing Relations With Armenia 18.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Turkey has taken a "tactical step backwards" on normalizing relations with Armenia because of hostile domestic reaction to the move, the EU's envoy to the region said in an interview with Reuters.

"A step back was taken by the Turkish side ... but this is not a U-turn," said EU South Caucasus envoy Peter Semneby. "We expect the conversations will continue."

After decades of hostility, Muslim Turkey and Christian Armenia announced in April a "roadmap" for re-establishing diplomatic relations and opening their shared border.

But Ankara's Muslim ally Azerbaijan said Armenia should first leave Nagorno-Karabakh, a mostly ethnic Armenian enclave which broke away after fighting a bloody war with Azerbaijan in the 1990s and claims independence.

Turkey then offered support for the Azeri position, complicating further progress in talks with Armenia.

Semneby said in the interview, conducted at the end of a visit to Moscow last week, that it was important the "pause" in the peace process between Turkey and Armenia did not last too long because of the risk that impetus would be lost.

"The normalization (with Armenia) became the subject of quite widespread and heated discussion in Turkey," he added in earlier remarks to a small group of reporters. "It seems to me, this discussion became more heated than was expected." Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan promised Azerbaijan during a visit to Baku last month that Ankara would not open its border with Armenia - closed since 1993 -until Armenia ended what he termed its occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"I see this as a Turkish tactical step backwards," Semneby told Reuters. "But fundamentally, the new foreign policy that has been pursued by the Erdogan government, I don't see that this policy is changing."

Armenia Made Mistakes In Its Dialogue With Turkey 17.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ "Armenia needs to study neighboring states' national psychology to be able to predict their activities, dispositions and goals," psychologist Albert Nalbandyan told today a press conference devoted to national psychology and ideology in the context of Armenian-Turkish relations. Armenians do not have a uniform ideology on Armenian-Turkish relations, the psychologist finds. "Armenian political elite views Armenian-Turkish relations from the angle of the present-day situation only. We have already made mistakes in our dialogue with Turkey, so we need to consider all the pros and cons of the process," Nalchadjyan stressed.

In his turn, politologist, Doctor of Political Sciences Levon Shirinyan noted that Armenian-Turkish process posed danger to Armenia. "In this way, Armenia attempts to change the strategic ratio of forces in South Caucasus, and superpowers may disapprove of such step." Armenian-Turkish border opening, according to Shirinyan, will only contribute to the economic development of Kurdish-populated regions of the neighboring country and the population of Western Armenian territories. Besides, Ankara will demand that Armenia withdraw Russian bases from its territory, the politologist is convinced.

Armenian Psychologist: Turks Hate Armenians More Than Armenians Hate Turks 2009-06-17
ArmInfo. Turks hate Armenians more than Armenians hate Turks, Psychologist Albert Nalchajyan said at a press-conference, Wednesday. Speaking of Armenian-Turkish relations, the psychologist expressed confidence that from the ethno-psychological viewpoint Turks can't be considered our friends.

"Psychology has a proved regularity, according to which the aggressor hates his/her victim more than the victim hates the aggressor. Over many centuries Armenians were the victims of Turks. And today Turks haven't yet forgotten their crimes against our people",- Nalchajyan said. According to him, the part of Armenian society, which is now interested in normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations and opening of borders, particularly, the entrepreneurs do not know what goal Turks pursue and what principles they are guided by. "The political elite of our country proceeds from its own interests and are also influenced by the West. They have already made a mistake saying that Turks are people as we are",- he said. He added that by forgetting Turkey's crimes against us, we are becoming vulnerable.

Armenian Community Of Turkey To Elect Co-Patriarch, Noyan Tapan June 17, 2009
ARMENIANS TODAY. Turkish government decided to empower the Armenian community of the country to elect a Co-patriarch.

According to the Marmara daily, which cites the Turkish Hurriyet daily, the decision was made taking into account the health problems of Armenian Patriarch in Istanbul Mesrob Mutafian.

The Turkish newspaper wrote that thus the Armenian Patriarchate receiving the permission to elect, is to apply to the government during the coming months for doing the election, because the Patriarch's position has vital importance for the Armenian community in Turkey. After the appeal the government is to amend the law about the election of the Patriarch which was used during the elections of 1998. After this amendment the Armenian Patriarch in Turkey should be elected as a Co-patriarch. According to the Marmara daily, he will be empowered to wear Patriarch's clothes, but Archbishop Mesrob will retain his primary position.

Syria And Armenia: Ever-Growing Historical Ties Syrian Arab news agency SANA June 16 2009
Damascus, (SANA)-Syria and Armenia enjoy good relations that are built on solid foundations and mutual interests.

The two countries have sought to bolster these ties in all spheres as exemplified by signing the diplomatic agreement and establishing formal ties in 1992.

Hence, President Bashar al-Asad's visit to Armenia due on Wednesday, upon a formal invitation by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, comes to give these relations a further impetus in all political, economic and cultural domains, and to discuss latest developments on the Middle East arena.

In an interview with SANA, Armenian ambassador in Damascus Arshak Poladian said that bilateral political ties between the two countries are exceptional and constitute a fertile ground for boosting cooperation in all spheres.

"President al-Asad's visit to Armenia constitutes a historical juncture in the two countries' relations," he added.

He also said that 6 agreements are due to be signed during the visit in the fields of investment, environment conservation, and an agreement between Writers' Unions in the two countries in addition to an agreement between the Syrian and Armenian TVs. The ambassador also offered a historical overview of the Syrian-Iranian relations, recalling that the former Armenian president Levon Ter-Petrossian's first post-independence visit to a foreign country was to Syria, and that the first Armenian embassy was in Damascus.

He concluded by saying that his country has a serious desire to consolidate mutual ties, expressing appreciation of Syria's constructive role on the regional and international levels.

The two countries relations have witnessed palpable development recently in the political, educational and cultural fields, and they have sought to spur bilateral ties on the economic and trade levels.

In 2007, the Joint Syrian-Armenian Committee for trade and economic cooperation was formed and resulted in signing a set of economic agreements between the two countries. Also, an agreement on forming a joint business council between businessmen in the two countries was inked.

Since 1992, the two countries have signed a number of agreements and protocols in relation to trade, avoiding tax evasion, chemical industries, customs, land and air transport, agriculture, tourism, housing, construction, health, information, culture and education.

Culturally, Syria and Armenia have exceptional ties as illustrated by Armenian Minister of Culture who visited Damascus last year and said: "History is littered with exquisite Syrian works, especially with regard to the relations with Armenia".

Turkey Talks On Armenia "Paused" - Eu Mediator By Michael Stott Reuters June 17 2009 UK
MOSCOW, June 17 (Reuters) - Turkey has taken a "tactical step backwards" on normalising relations with Armenia because of hostile domestic reaction to the move, the EU's envoy to the region said in an interview.

"A step back was taken by the Turkish side ... but this is not a U-turn," said EU South Caucasus envoy Peter Semneby. "We expect the conversations will continue."

After decades of hostility, Muslim Turkey and Christian Armenia announced in April a "roadmap" for re-establishing diplomatic relations and opening their shared border.

But Ankara's Muslim ally Azerbaijan said Armenia should first leave Nagorno-Karabakh, a mostly ethnic Armenian enclave which broke away after fighting a bloody war with Azerbaijan in the 1990s and claims independence.

Turkey then offered support for the Azeri position, complicating further progress in talks with Armenia.

Semneby said in the interview, conducted at the end of a visit to Moscow last week, that it was important the "pause" in the peace process between Turkey and Armenia did not last too long because of the risk that impetus would be lost.

"The normalisation (with Armenia) became the subject of quite widespread and heated discussion in Turkey," he added in earlier remarks to a small group of reporters. "It seems to me, this discussion became more heated than was expected." Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan promised Azerbaijan during a visit to Baku last month that Ankara would not open its border with Armenia -- closed since 1993 --until Armenia ended what he termed its occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"I see this as a Turkish tactical step backwards," Semneby told Reuters. "But fundamentally, the new foreign policy that has been pursued by the Erdogan government, I don't see that this policy is changing."


Talks on the future of Nagorno-Karabakh have been dragging on for more than a decade under the auspices of the Minsk Group linking Russia, France and the United States.

But Armenia, whose president, Serzh Sarksyan, is from Nagorno-Karabakh, is reluctant to budge and Azerbaijan periodically threatens military intervention.

Nonetheless Semneby believes real progress is being made.

"It is clear that if you look at the negotiating process, it is intensifying," he told Reuters. "We had in a month two meetings and there will be another relatively soon between the presidents."

The Nagorno-Karabakh war, in which up to 30,000 died, was the bloodiest of a spate of conflicts which followed the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Armed clashes still occur regularly along the lines separating Azeri and Armenian troops.

Asked about the risk of conflict, Semneby said it would be foolish to neglect it but he felt both sides understood the enormous costs which would be involved in any large-scale military engagement.

"Even with this very dangerous posturing that we see sometimes and the fact that the forces are not separated and there are incidents all the time, the two sides are by now used to managing incidents," he said.

"If anything, the Georgia war (last year with Russia), demonstrated the risks of military engagement ... it was also a wake-up call to both countries how vulnerable they are." (Editing by Alison Williams)

European Court Starts Dink Case Review Today's Zaman June 17 2009
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has begun to review the case of assassinated Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was tried and convicted under Article 301 restricting freedom of speech.

Dink's lawyers applied to the ECtHR on Jan. 11, 2007, days before his murder, arguing that Dink was being tried for "insulting Turkishness" and that the reason for his trial was in contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights' principles of freedom of speech, fair trial and legality of given punishment. They also argued that Dink was treated differently because he was Armenian.

Dink was shot dead outside the offices of the Agos newspaper in Ä°stanbul in 2007. One of the family's lawyers, Fethiye Cetin, had said that Dink's murder was committed following a long period of preparation, stretching as far back as 2004.

The lawyers for Dink's family had applied to the ECtHR in 2008 and again in 2009, arguing the Turkish state did not take precautions to prevent Dink's murder. They had first appealed to the Ä°stanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office regarding seven policemen, including former Trabzon police intelligence chief Engin Dinc and former counterterrorism team head Yahya Ozturk, claiming that these officers had obstructed justice. The Istanbul chief public prosecutor sent the appeal to the Trabzon Public Prosecutor's Office, which decided on Jan. 10 against opening a court case against the policemen. The lawyers appealed the decision to the nearest high criminal court, in Rize, but last week the court in Rize also decided not to open a case against the policemen. "The suspects did not commit murder by negligence and were not aware of the murder plans," the Rize court said.

The ECtHR asked the Turkish government to provide detailed information on the Dink case to address the issue of the alleged discriminatory acts. The court will also evaluate the concept of "insulting Turkishness."

State Department Official Voices Support For Turkey's Proposed Historical Commission Www.Anca.Org Press Release , June 16, 2009
-- Phil Gordon Confirms Commission as Part of Armenia-Turkey Roadmap

WASHINGTON, DC ? Assistant Secretary of State Phil Gordon today indicated that the Obama Administration supports the establishment of an Armenia-Turkey historical commission, a controversial proposal long advanced by the Turkish government to cast doubt on the Armenian Genocide and undermine international progress toward the universal recognition of this crime against humanity, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

Gordon, during testimony earlier today before the Europe Subcommittee of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, fielded a question from the panel's Chairman, Robert Wexler (D-FL) about how the Department of State intends to "navigate the course of the engagement between Turkey and Armenia so that Azerbaijan comes out a winner." In his response to this inquiry by the Turkish Caucus Co-Chairman, Gordon voiced support for the Armenia-Turkey "roadmap," a document publicly welcomed by the State Department on April 22nd, noting, in particular, a highly controversial, much discussed, but never before officially disclosed element of this agreement stipulating the establishment of a commission to examine historical issues between the two nation. His comments read, in part:

"You have two parallel but separate tracks [Armenia-Turkey dialogue and the Nagorno Karabagh peace process] going on, a Turkey and Armenia normalization reconciliation process that we do think is quite potentially historic, where the two countries have agreed on a framework for normalizing their relations that would include opening the border, which has been closed for far to long, which would establish diplomatic relations and would provide commissions in key areas including history, and we encourage that process and we support it."

The establishment of an Armenia-Turkey historical commission, a measure Turkey has long sought to cast a doubt over the overwhelming historical record of the Armenian Genocide, stands in stark contrast the President Obama's statements during his campaign for the White House. On several occasions throughout 2008, including only days before the November election, he stressed his "firmly held conviction that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. The facts are undeniable." The idea of a historical commission has been widely rejected as a denialist tactic, including by the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

Video of Assistant Secretary Gordon's testimony on Armenia-related issues, including his response to Rep. Gus Bilirakis' question on Turkey's Article 301 restriction on free speech, is available www.anca.org

ECHR Asks: Why Did You Not Protect Hrant Dink?
The ECHR has granted Turkey until November to answer questions related to the murder of journalist Dink. Erol ÖNDEROĞLU hukuk@bianet.org Strasbourg-ankara - BİA News Center 18 June 2009, Thursday

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has received five applications related to the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, the editor of the weekly Agos newspaper, in January 2007.

Having merged applications which were made at different times, the court is now asking Turkey questions, to which it wants answers by November.

Lawyer Deniz Tuna of the International Hrant Dink Foundation told bianet that the applications were related to parts of the European Convention on Human Rights concerned with the violation of the right to life, the right to an effective application to court, the right to a fair trial, the right to freedom of expression and the ban on discrimination. One application by Dink himself

Hrant Dink had appealed to the ECHR two weeks before he was killed in relation to a six-month deferred prison sentence he had received under Article 159 of the Turkish Penal Code for a series of articles entitled "Armenian Identity".

Following his murder, lawyers for his family had appealed to the ECHR when the Trabzon police and gendarmerie and the Istanbul police were not taken to court although they were accused of having been negligent in evaluating intelligence on murder plans.

Another application relates to the lack of punishment for Samsun police officers who took "souvenir shots" with the suspected gunman Ogün Samast after catching him at the Samsun bus station a day after the murder. Evidence of serious negligence

The Prime Ministerial Review Committee had pointed to a "serious lack of coordination" in the sharing of intelligence between security institutes prior to the murder. Nevertheless, no public official is being tried in the main murder case heard at the Istanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court.

Police Intelligence Head Ramazan Akyürek, Istanbul Chief of Police Celalettin Cerrah and Ahmet İlhan Güler from the Istanbul Intelligence Unit, as well as other officials, were never brought to court.

Rather, 18 young men, most from the Pelitli town in Trabzon province, are on trial for the murder, as well as Coşkun İğci, a gendarmerie informant who claims that he notified the officials of murder plans, and Osman Hayal, brother of suspect Yasin Hayal. Osman Hayal has been found to have been in Istanbul on the day of the murder, a fact which he denied for a long time.

The tenth hearing of the main murder trial is on 6 July. Gendarmerie officers in separate case

Eight gendarmerie officers are on trial for negligence in not having evaluated the intelligence. However, they only face up to two years imprisonment. Their trial continues on 24 July.

Lawyers for the Dink family have long called for the cases to be merged, as it was the neglect of the officers which led to the death of Hrant Dink. (EÖ/AG)

Rep. Laura Richardson To Cosponsor Armenian Genocide Legislation , Www.Anca.Org Press Release, June 17, 2009
Washington, DC - The Armenian National Committee of America has learned that Congresswoman Laura Richardson (CA-37) has cosponsored the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H. Res. 252). The bill currently has over 125 cosponsors in the United States House of Representatives.

"I am proud to co-sponsor H. Res. 252, the "Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution," Rep. Richardson told the ANCA. "April 24 marked the 94th anniversary of one of the darkest and saddest chapters in human history, the mass deportations and massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the years 1915-1923. The systematic killing of innocent Armenian civilians by the Turks was an unprecedented act of cruelty and barbarism and is, with the exception of the Holocaust, perhaps the ultimate example of man's inhumanity to man. There is only one word that adequately describes this kind of evil and that word is 'genocide.' And we dare not be afraid to speak its name."

Richardson continued to note that "The International Association of Genocide Scholars and nearly all credible agree that Armenians were the victims of the first genocide of the 20th century. But for more than 90 years Turkey has refused to acknowledge this crime against humanity. And to their credit, Armenian-Americans have worked tirelessly to ensure that the world never forgets what happened during his dark moment in world history. Passage of the H.R. 252 will ensure that the Armenian Genocide will never be forgotten by the Congress, and thus the people, of the United States. I will continue to work with my colleagues to pass this important and long overdue resolution and will not rest until it does."

Congresswoman Laura Richardson replaced former Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald, a strong supporter of issues of concern to Armenian Americans until her passing on April 22, 2007. Richardson prevailed in a Special Election that took place August 21, 2007 and won re-election in 2008.

The Armenian American community of the South Bay has had a long and productive relationship with the Congresswoman, dating back to her days as a Long Beach City Councilmember. In 2006, Richardson was elected to represent California's 55th State Assembly District which includes the cities of Carson, Harbor City, Lakewood, Long Beach and Wilmington.

"I am very proud that the Armenian American community's longtime friend and ally - Rep. Richardson - has again cosponsored the Armenian Genocide resolution," said Armenian community activist Armand Aghakhanian, who met with Richardson last week. "Increased Congressional support for this vital human rights measure not only honors the memory of the innocent men, women, and children killed during the Genocide, but demonstrates American will to end the cycle of genocide."

Richardson earned her Bachelor Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1984. In 1987, she joined Xerox Corporation where she gained significant business experience in a Fortune 40 company. Richardson received her Masters Degree in Business Administration in 1996 from the University of Southern California. She considers her studies abroad in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai as critical learning experiences.

Turkish-Armenian Roadmap Deal ‘Not Implemented’, 17.06.2009, Emil Danielyan
A controversial framework agreement on the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations announced in late April is not being implemented, according to Turkey’s ambassador to Azerbaijan.

“There is no progress in the implementation of the roadmap signed between Turkey and Armenia,” Hulusi Kilic was quoted by the Azerbaijani APA news agency as saying on Tuesday. “Nothing is being done. Nothing has changed.”

Kilic gave no reasons for that. He reportedly said last month Turkey will not reopen its border with Armenia until the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is resolved, echoing statements repeatedly made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in recent months. Erdogan insisted on that linkage even after the Armenian and Turkish foreign ministries announced the roadmap agreement in a joint statement reportedly brokered by U.S. diplomats.

The announcement came less than two days before the annual commemoration of the 1915-1918 mass killings and deportations of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. The timing is widely believed to have enabled U.S. President Barack Obama to avoid describing the massacres as genocide in an April 24 statement.

President Serzh Sarkisian has since been accused by his political opponents in Armenia and its worldwide Diaspora of willingly forgoing U.S. recognition of the Armenian genocide without securing the lifting of the 16-year Turkish blockade. Sarkisian has dismissed these accusations. He insisted late last month that Ankara could still agree to unconditionally normalize relations with Yerevan.

Meanwhile, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon confirmed on Tuesday that the Turkish-Armenian “roadmap” envisages the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations and the reopening of their border. Testifying before a U.S. congressional subcommittee, Gordon said the two sides also agreed to set up inter-governmental commissions specializing in “key areas including history,” according to the Armenian National Committee of America. The history commission would presumably look into the events of 1915-1918.

Visiting Yerevan last week, Gordon sounded optimistic about chances of the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations “within a reasonable time frame.” “I think both sides do appreciate that they need to move forward, and I think they are, and I think they will,” he said.

Gordon’s deputy, Matthew Bryza, likewise told RFE/RL’s Armenian service on May 28 that Erdogan’s statements do not preclude the implementation of the roadmap deal. “Stay tuned, keep watching for additional statements by top officials in both Turkey and Armenia which hopefully will show the implementation is moving forward,” Bryza said.

What would you ask Ambassador Yovanovitch?
When Budgets Are Tight
ANCA's Attack and Fight!

"ANCA" update 19/06/2009
State Dept's Phil Gordon Voices Support for Turkey's Proposed Historical Commission Watch Video

Amb.Yovanovitch to Visit Armenian Communities in U.S.
Top 5 Concerns
What would you ask her? Tell us.

House Panel Maintains
Aid Level to Armenia; Reverses Administration Push to Tilt Military Aid Balance to Baku |
Azerbaijani Embassy Disinformation Campaign Targets ANCA

-- MA: Court Dismisses Lawsuit Demanding Inclusion of Genocide Genocide in Schools | Read more
Profiting from Genocide Denial: Read the AP Report Chevron, Goodyear, among lobbyists against H.Res.252

House Appropriations Subcommittee Allocates $48 Million for Armenia; $10 Million for Karabagh

WASHINGTON, DC - The House Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for U.S. foreign aid policy, this morning, voted to maintain U.S. economic assistance to Armenia at last year's level of $48 million and to increase humanitarian assistance to Nagorno Karabagh to an unprecedented annual allocation of $10 million, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The Subcommittee voted to maintain military assistance parity to Armenia and Azerbaijan, keeping foreign military financing to both countries at $3 million. The panel chose not to accept President Obama's proposals, included in the FY10 budget that he released earlier this year, to reduce economic aid to Armenia by 38%, from $48 million $30 million, and to tilt the military aid balance in favor of Azerbaijan.

The Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, which is chaired by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), also strengthened language governing the President's authority to waive Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, a provision of law that restricts aid to Azerbaijan due to its blockades and other offensive actions against Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh. The new language, according those close to the work of the subcommittee, will require closer Congressional consultation prior to any future waivers of this law.

"We value Chairwoman Lowey's leadership and the efforts of Rep. Adam Schiff, Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Mark Kirk, Representatives Steve Rothman, Jesse Jackson Jr, Betty McCollum, Barbara Lee, Steve Israel, and our many friends on the Subcommittee for constructively working to address our community's foreign aid priorities," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "We are gratified that the panel restored military aid parity, met the Armenian Caucus request of $10 million for Nagorno Karabagh, and strengthened the waiver language for Section 907. We will, in the coming days, seek to build on this progress by working with our friends on the Senate side to bring the economic aid figure to Armenia up to the $70 million level requested by the Armenian Caucus." Read More. . .

Idea Of Creating Armenian-Turkish Historians Commission Proves Turkey's Venturesome Policy 18.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The idea of setting up historians' commission demonstrates the venturesome and threatening character of Turkish diplomacy, whereas US Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon supports such policy, David Davtyan expert-analyst of ANALITIKA.at.ua said. It is necessary, in the given context, to clarify whether such position is supported by a senior statesman or it is Washington's official stance, the expert finds. "The idea of creating such commission is simply absurd in terms of clarifying any problems. As to Armenia and Armenian people, it is amoral, degrading and offensive for them to get involved in such affairs. It doesn't practically make any sense to discuss anything with a state which refers to Erzroum castle as a 'V century Turkish construction'. This is what we see on an information placard placed at the entrance of the castle. History tells us that the Turkish invasion of Armenia and Asia Minor began in the XI century. As to the placard, it just demonstrates Turkish historiographers' cynicism and proneness to falsify facts. This is how they interpret everything concerning Armenia and Armenians," Davtyan noted.

No wonder that Armenian Genocide - the massive annihilation of Armenians - slips the attention of the false scholars. "Gordon's statement is simply shocking. During Congress hearings held on May 11, 1920, US legislative body adopted Resolution ¹359, declaring that evidence brought during Foreign Affairs Committee hearings proved the truthfulness of the crimes committed against Armenians. Thus, Armenians do not have anything to clarify with Turkish historians, considering that Armenian Genocide was long ago recognized by several well-known international institutions. Whereas officials like Gordon question the Resolution adopted by their own parliament. In this regard, it is necessary to ask RA Foreign Ministry whether Gordon really told the truth, by stating that that the 'road map' contained a clause on setting up historians' joint commission. If so, why is the entire Armenian nation in the dark, whereas some American diplomat is aware of it? And furthermore, what served for authorities as a guideline for introducing the clause? If not, MFA is required to demand explanations from Washington. As well as explain to millions of Armenians what clauses the 'road map' really contains," David Davtyan stressed.

Australian Parliamentarian Calls On Government To Recognize Armenian Genocide Noyan Tapan June 18, 2009
ARMENIANS TODAY. Parliamentarian Mr. Victor Dominello from the Australian city of Ryde (LIB) has recently spoken about the Armenian Genocide at State Parliament, stating the importance of universal condemnation of Genocide. According to him, the failure to condemn and punish the perpetrators of Genocide will simply contribute to the crime's continuation. V.Dominello called on the Federal government to follow the government of NSW in recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

Victor Dominello calling to the Australian Armenian community of Ryde assured that he will assist them to achieve recognition of Armenian Genocide.

ANC Australia President, Mr. Varant Meguerditchian thanked parliamentarian V. Dominello for his support and noted that they believe his words will ring loud in Canberra and other legislative structures throughout the world.

Turkish Doctor Intends To Implement "From Health To Conciliation" Program In Partnership With Her Armenian Colleagues Noyan Tapan June 18, 2009
ISTANBUL, ARMENIANS TODAY. Aysen Erdil, an audiologist from Turkey's American Hospital, intends to cross the Armenian border and implement "From Health to Conciliation" program in partnership with her Armenian colleagues, Marmara reported citing Sabah daily (Turkey).

This year Erdil was a recipient of the Margaret Golding Award given to persons who have done important work for the benefit of others. Aysen Erdil was the fourth Turkish woman to receive this award. She founded a Symposis union to help with health problems of vulnerable families and children.

Armenian Students From Istanbul Win Third Place In Mind Lab International Olympiad Noyan Tapan June 18, 2009
Istanbul, June 18, Noyan Tapan - Armenians Today. Students of the Armenian Merametchian college based in Istanbul won the third place in the Mind Lab International Olympiad in Venice.

Students of the Armenian Merametchian college from Ferigiugh Shant Taghlian, Allen Polad, Arman Cham, Shahin Parmaqsez, by taking part in Mind Lab's competitions became champions of Istanbul first, then of Turkey. They obtained the right to represent Turkey in the Mind Lab International Olympiad, Marmara reports. 10 national teams participated in the finale, representing Turkey, Israel (A and B), Hungary, U.S., Romania, Great Britain, Brazil, Italy and Portugal.

Olympiad was organized in six tournaments, during which Armenian children had shown remarkable play: before the last game Armenians from Istanbul were at the second place after Israeli A group, and only in the last game moved to the third place yielding to Israeli B group.

RA Ministry Of Diaspora Keeps Problems Of Diasporan Students In Focus Of Its Attention Noyan Tapan June 18, 2009
YEREVAN, JUNE 18, NOYAN TAPAN - ARMENIANS TODAY. The RA Ministry of Diaspora in its activity attaches importance to work done with the Diasporan youth studying at Armenia's educational institutions. Saying this to Hayern Aysor, Sirvard Hambarian, the Head of the Scientific-Educational Programs Subdivision of All-Armenian Programs Department, RA Ministry of Diaspora, emphasized that issues regarding students' educational, social, and legal status are always in the focus of Minister Hranush Hakobian's attention.

According to S. Hambarian, to solve these problems, to overcome the difficulties in the way of Diasporan students integration in Armenia a number of meetings have been already organized at the Ministry with representatives of body of active students, individual groups, educational institutions, law enforcement and other interested structures.

Polls were held by the RA Ministry of Diaspora Scientific-Educational Programs Department jointly with the World Armenian Congress Association of Youth Organizations to study the problems of Diasporan young people studying at Armenia's universities. Problems raised by the students regarded, in particular, study, as well as study payments, their status, dual citizenship, as well as their integration in Armenia.

In particular, students had some problems connected with the status of temporary stay: the students were not informed in time that by September 15 they had to introduce their documents to extend the term of their stay, because of which part of students had to pay a fine of 50 000 drams. S. Hambarian said that the Ministry has discussed the issue with the RA Police Passport and Visa Department, as well as with universities' administrations and as a result, at the most part of universities the fined sum was returned or was transferred to the account of students' study payment for the next half-year.

The students consider that the term of temporary stay should be extended. S. Hambarian said that the Ministry has legislative initiatives to make amendments in the status of stay, to extend terms of visas.

The students are also concerned with the process of granting dual citizenship. According to them, the process should be more simplified.

Another problem raised by Diasporan students was also solved with the Ministry's mediation: by RA Health Minister's decree, henceforth Diasporan students will receive free medical aid at medical institutions of Armenia.

S. Hambarian also said that they work with universities' administrations in the direction of liquidating considerable difference between study payments of RA citizen students and Diasporan students. Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction has already responded to this initiative of the RA Ministry of Diaspora. From 2009-2010 academic year Diasporan students entering Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction paid groups studying in Armenian (study for bachelor's degree and master's degree) will pay for their studies as much as RA citizen students. The administration of the State Engineering University of Armenia has also expressed such readiness.

It was also mentioned that students studying at foreign universities apply to the RA Ministry of Diaspora expressing willingness to pass their practice in Armenia. In July the Ministry of Diaspora will receive five students of RF Nizhni Novgorod A. Lobachevski State University International Relations Department. An Argentine Armenian student from Mendosa University will also hold his professional practice at the Nairi medical center of Yerevan.

According to S. Hambarian, today the Ministry has a goal to contribute to Diasporan students' participation in development processes of Armenia-Diaspora cooperation, rise of Diasporan youth's role. "Armenian students from foreign countries studying at Armenian universities are unique ambassadors of the ethnic Homeland, Armenia and the country of their residence, at the same time a link connecting the Homeland and their communities," S. Hambarian said. In her words, the Ministry with its activity will contribute to sowing the idea of bearing responsibility for keeping the national identity in the Diasporan young generation worldwide, to formation of perception of Armenia as Homeland, formation of Armenian language thinking, their involvement in programs aimed at preservation of Armenian identity. "They are the future capable force of consolidating Diaspora's professional potential for the sake of development of cooperation between the Homeland and Diaspora, for the sake of prosperous Armenia and strong Diaspora," S. Hambarian said.

Members Of Turkey's Ruling Party Visit "Genocide" Monument In Armenia APA June 18 2009 Azerbaijan
Baku - APA. Yashar Kisa, financial director of Igdir region of Turkey, which borders on Armenia, and a group of members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) visited Armenia, APA reports quoting Dogan news agency.

The visit took place at the invitation of Ismayil Shek, cousin of one of the leaders of AKP Igdir organization Mahmut Shek and lasted for three days. The delegation members said they visited historical places and tourism facilities of Armenia, everywhere said they were Turks and did not meet a negative reaction anywhere. Mahmut Shek said they visited "genocide" monument and wanted Armenia-Turkey border to be opened.

"The great majority of the products sold in Armenia are made in Turkey. But Igdir, the nearest place to Armenia, can not get its share from this trade. Borders should be opened for this."

Another Slap In The Face, Haykakan Zhamanak June 11 2009 Armenia
Yesterday the USA again slapped the Republic of Armenia authorities in the face.

Yesterday the US State Department published the report on democracy and human rights which relentlessly criticized the Armenian authorities. The report touched upon the 1 March 2008 and the events following it in detail.

Let us remind the readers that the State Department gave a tough assessment of the Armenian authorities in the previous annual report as well. In yesterday's report, apart from the 1 March events, the US State Department dwelled on the politically-motivated trials as well. The presidential election of 2008 was held with major shortcomings and led to a political crisis that has stayed unresolved. On 1 March 2008 the ruling authorities used force to disperse people at a rally, arrested dozens of demonstrators and imposed an emergency situation for 20 days. The latter measure seriously restricted media freedom and people's right of assembly. Ten peopled died in clashes between the demonstrators and security forces.

After the March violence a drastic decline in the human rights situation was recorded. The authorities used pressure to intimate the opposition and take revenge upon them. The police beat the detainees under investigation and in some cases investigation was not conducted fairly. The National Security Service and Police acted with impunity and carried out unsanctioned arrests and detentions, the State Department report said.

Touching upon the politically-motivated trials the report mentioned: The executive authorities continued putting political pressures on the judges. Selective judicial persecution of political opponents and lack of just investigation demonstrated dependence of the judicial system. The conditions in prison cells were unsatisfactory and unhealthy. The authorities not always respected the privacy of citizens.

There was also a point on the media in yesterday's report. Reporters and journalists continued to exercise self-censorship; the government adopted a new contradictory law on TV and radio licensing, thus putting up yet another two-year obstacle [to obtaining a broadcasting licence], the report said.

The US State Department also noted that the further implementation of the contract signed with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) would depend upon the progress in democracy and recorded indicators meeting the MCC's fair governance criteria. Let me remind you that Armenia's indicators are very low and do not meet the criteria of fair governance and democracy. Yet in the end of 2008 the MCC published the criteria and Armenia had recorded unsatisfactory results.

Also I would like to remind you that for the past year the MCC has been constantly refusing to deliver financial aid to Armenia because of the same reason. The MCC's latest board meeting decided to discuss the provision of several-million-dollar aid to Armenia in June, i.e. now. But judging by the State Department report Armenia this time as well will not get the anticipated aid from the USA.

Anyway, at the same time the State Department report mentions that the USA has rendered Armenia diverse and large-scale support to promote a free and fair presidential election in February 2008. And several months before the Yerevan municipal election [on 31 May 2009] the USA implemented its three months' democracy development strategy. It focused on higher-level fair and transparent election processes. The purpose of the strategy was holding a free and fair election. Whereas as we have already informed you on 31 May election fraud and ballot staffing were committed even in the presence of US ambassador to Armenia Marie L. Yovanovitch.

The final part of the report said: In response to the Armenian government's request to support them in the creation of an independent commission to investigate the 1 March violence, US officials offered and later organized and funded a visit by former staff members of the USA's 9/11 commission to Armenia to share their experience in the government crisis investigation.

Armenia Living With Threat Of Hunger State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan June 17, 2009
Despite statements by the Armenian officials on country`s economic development and rising welfare of the population, the Paris-based French-language daily Les Nouvelles dArmenie (Armenian News) reports the contrary opinion, publishing an article titled UN World Food Program concerned with situation in Armenia (17 June).

According to the article, the UN World Food Program (WFP) has made a statement on hard situation in the five world countries where the economic crisis becomes tougher and the population of these lives with threat of hunger.

WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran notes that the investigation shows that number of the people experiencing hunger and poverty increases day by day. According to him, these states are Armenia, Bangladesh, Ghana, Nicaragua and Zambia.

The chronic hunger Armenia experiences last years is a serious threat for this states, Josette Sheeran underlines.

The WFP experts report that one has 2 dollars a day in these countries. Due to unemployment, unprecedented corruption, bribery, arbitrariness, the officials` passion to become richer caused very tough situation in the mentioned countries. Extreme rise of food tariffs has made the vulnerable poorer. Most people go to the foreign countries to earn money. But, usually, there is no remittance to send to their families as they cannot find job.

Finally, WFP warns that the continuing situation will make the life of Armenians miserable in forthcoming winter what can lead to social explosion.

Armenian Genocide Book Launch In London And Ankara, AZG Armenian Daily 19/06/2009
The Gomidas Institute is pleased to announce the authorised Turkish translation of The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916: Documents Presented to Viscount Grey of Fallodon by Viscount Bryce [Uncensored Edition]. The Turkish edition includes an introduction by Lord Avebury (James Bryce and Arnold Toynbee, "Osmanly Ymparatorlu?u'nda Ermenilere Yapylan Muamele, 1915-1916: Vikont Bryce'yn Fallodon Vikontu Grey'e Sundu?u Belgeler [Sansursuz Basym]," Ara Sarafian (editor) and Lord Avebury (foreword), Gomidas Institute, London, 2009, 654 pages, foldout. ISBN 978-1-903656-78-8).

This Turkish translation follows the Turkish parliament's 2005 petition to the British parliament labeling this work a "propaganda publication." British parliamentarians discussed the Turkish petition and rejected it in 2006, inviting their Turkish colleagues to a meeting to discuss differences. Turkish parliamentarians refused a meeting. The new translation is scheduled to be released in London and Ankara next week.

For more information please contact bluebook@gomidas.org or Gomidas Institute, 42 Blythe Rd., London W14 0HA, UK, Roland Mnatsakanyan, email: info@gomidas.org.

Turkish Ambassador: No Changes In Turkish-Armenian Relations June 19, 2009
The Turkish ambassador in Azerbaijan says "there is no progress in the implementation of the road map signed between Turkey and Armenia."

Hulusi Kilic told the APA news agency on June 16 that "Nothing is being done, nothing has changed."

Last month Kilic said that Turkey will not reopen its border with Armenia until the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is resolved, echoing repeated statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, even after the Armenian and Turkish Foreign Ministries jointly announced the "road map" agreement in April.

Meanwhile, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon confirmed on June 16 before a U.S. congressional subcommittee that the Turkish-Armenian road map envisages the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the reopening of their border.

In Yerevan last week, Gordon sounded optimistic about normalizing Turkish-Armenian relations, telling RFE/RL: "I think both sides do appreciate that they need to move forward, and I think they are, and I think they will."

Gordon's deputy, Matthew Bryza, has repeatedly also been optimistic on the issue.

Turkish Season In France To Go On Despite Tension
Gül was expected to meet with Sarkozy in Paris in October to formally launch Turkish Season, but it is not clear whether he will stick to the original plan.

A series of events to introduce Turkish culture to Turkey-skeptical France will take place as planned, despite speculation that it might be canceled amid tensions over France's strong opposition to Turkey's membership in the European Union.

The nine-month “Turkish Season” will be launched by Culture Minister Ertuğrul Günay and his French counterpart, Christine Albanel, June 30 at a press conference in Paris, a statement from the Foreign Ministry said late on Thursday. Turkish Season, which will include concerts, conferences and exhibitions across France to illustrate Turkey's modern face and its historical and cultural richness, will run through March 31, 2010.

The Turkish media reported recently that Turkey might cancel the event to show its frustration with French leader Nicolas Sarkozy's outright opposition to Turkey's membership in the EU. The reports followed statements by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last week that his government was considering whether to cancel Turkish Season because he was unsure it would have any benefit.

“I have told my colleagues that we should reconsider the whole thing. What can we do with an administration that has such an approach towards Turkey? How many French people will benefit from this event? How many of them will come and watch the festivities?” Erdoğan asked in an interview with NTV television last week.

Sarkozy further emphasized his anti-Turkish membership in the run-up to elections for the European Parliament, which took place in early June. Sarkozy believes that Turkey does not belong to Europe and proposes instead a privileged partnership that falls short of membership in the 27-nation EU.

Doubts over whether the Turkish Season would be held as planned were reinforced when President Abdullah Gül postponed a meeting with about 200 businessmen who provided funds for the event, which was due to take place on Thursday.

Gül was expected to meet with Sarkozy in Paris in October to formally launch the Turkish Season but it is not clear whether he will stick to the original plans amid misgivings in Ankara over the French stance against Turkish EU membership.

The idea of sponsoring festivities to promote Turkish culture in France first emerged during the terms of former Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and former French President Jacques Chirac as a means to improve Turkey's image in France, where a majority of the population opposes Turkey's accession to the EU. The original idea was to hold a Turkish year, but plans were downgraded to a “season” amid political tensions between the two countries.
20 June 2009, TODAY'S ZAMAN

Cancellation Would Hurt Turkey’s Image: France
PARIS - France is continuing with its preparations at full speed to host its Turkey Season as planned between July 1 and March 31, 2010, even though Erdoğan has signaled a possible cancellation. The nine-month-long event is set to introduce Turkey, in all facets, to the French people

Amid threats from Turkey to cancel the event at the last minute, France is working at full speed to host its "Turkey Season" as planned. The nine-month-long event is set to introduce Turkey, in all its cultural, social and economic facets, to the French people, Europe’s most vocal opponents to Turkey’s entrance into the European Union.

"Canceling it would be the best present given to the enemies of Turkey and France. Such a thing would clearly hurt Turkey’s image in France and in Europe," Stanislas Pierret, the commissar responsible for the "Turkey Season in France," told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review during an interview at his office late Wednesday.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last week signaled that he would consider canceling the season in response to French President Nicholas Sarkozy’s statements that Turkey should be satisfied with a "privileged partnership" instead of being made a full member of the EU. Erdoğan has already canceled a dinner with the sponsors of the season and made clear that he will not be supporting the initiative.

It was also reported that President Abdullah Gül would not be be present during the Turkey Season’s July 4 opening ceremony. Although the Turkish leaders are not expected to participate in the events, the Foreign Ministry and Ankara in general seems inclined to proceed with the implementation of "Turkey Season" as planned.

Pierret said he knew about the Foreign Ministry’s statements denying the cancellation rumors, but was not aware of Gül’s decision and that France is continuing with its preparations at full speed. The season will take place between July 1 and March 31, 2010, and will be officially announced by the two countries’ culture ministers June 30 in Paris. The foreign and culture ministries of France and Turkey are supervising the process.

Leading a young team composed of Turks, French and one Italian, Pierret and top aide Arnaud Littardi are responsible for the coordination of all activities. "You see, it’s a European team," Pierret said while introducing them. Pierret and Littardi have both served in Ankara at the French Cultural Institute, likely the reason why they were chosen for this hard task. On the Istanbul end of the preparations, Görgün Taner and Nazan Ölçer of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, or İKSV, are the responsible parties.

This year’s event ’more complicated’

"The difference in the Turkey Season from the [events] held for other countries in previous years is that it will not be concentrated only on one topic," said Pierret. "Apart from cultural activities, it will have a strong economic dimension and create an environment for cooperation between the universities. It’s not a festival. It’s something much more complicated."

Littardi said the activities and performances will take place in nearly 40 cities and will not be confined to Paris. Large cities such as Bordeaux, Lyon, Strasbourg and Marseille will all host some events during the season.

This is a courageous decision when one considers that Marseille, for example, is home to a strong Armenian diaspora and Strasbourg has many Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin who frequently criticize Turkey’s policies in mass demonstrations.

In fact, some program events will specifically address the members of the Armenian community and Kurds. Aynur Doğan, a Turkish artist of Kurdish origin, will take part in a concert along with Mercan Dede, Rasim Bıyıklı, DJ Sufi and DJ Yakuza in Nantes, during the July 14 celebrations of France’s Republic Day.

Noting that Istanbul has been designated as the 2010 European Capital of Culture, Pierret said this magic city would be introduced to French public opinion with all its different cultures, including those of the Jewish and Armenian communities.

Pierret said the goal of Turkey Season is to re-introduce the richness of Anatolia to France. "We are just organizers. Turkey will introduce itself: its energy, its reforms, its developments," he said. "Those who know only clich?s about this country will have to reconsider."

Though the Turkey Season primarily targets a French audience, some events will take place in the touristy parts of Paris, so they will also attract international visitors. A traditional Turkish coffeehouse will be set up in the Tuilieres Gardens district of Paris between July 15 and Aug. 15 to serve tea and coffee with traditional Turkish delight to guests. Some 10 million visitors pass through this district during the tourism high season. The Louvre Museum will host three separate expositions during the event.
© Copyright 2008 Hürriyet

Integration Of Islamized Armenians In Armenian Society Threatens Country's Security 20.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenian identity has already been shaped, and it is not acceptable to call the generation of Islamized Armenians "Muslim Armenians", since there is no such notion, said a historian Tamara Vardanyan to news conference in Yerevan today.

"Today we face a challenge of obliteration of our national identity. Integration of generations of Islamized Armenians not recognizing themselves as Armenians and Christians into Armenian society threatens Armenia's security," the historian said. However, according to Tamara Vardanyan, small number of Islamized Armenians return to Armenia, visit Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and again adopt Christian denomination.

"Islam is a world-view, style of life and an Armenian adopted Islam is alienated from national values and roots. In some cases they are much more faithful Muslims. The key question is whether these Armenians admit Armenia to be their motherland or not," she stressed. According to her, today there is no precise data about the quantity of Armenians, whose ancestors adopted Islam. Meanwhile, Armenians wishing to come back to Christianity are very few.

Armenian And Azerbaijani Societies - Too Far From Each Other 20.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenian and Azerbaijani societies are too far from each other. Two young generations grow up without having ever met each other. Even though there might be some political solution to Nagorno Karabakh conflict, alienation of peoples plays negative role in the long run. "Late in July, Armenian and Azerbaijani NGOs are to have their fourth forum in Moscow. What may be the expectations? No wonder we have decided to focus on spiritual and cultural lives of both peoples. That creates a background for building bridges of communication. I hope forum will be attended by people dealing with cultural issues and interested in creating favorable atmosphere for conflict settlement. Perhaps, they'll manage to conduct joint and constructive discussions over acts of good will that may bring two nations together. "

Turkey Will Make Ra President Continue The Game With Ankara 19.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Turkish diplomacy will find ways to make the Armenian President continue the game it started with Turkey and attend Armenia-Turkish return match in October 2009, said Kiro Manoyan, ARF Dashnaktsutyun Bureau's Hay Dat and Political Affairs Office Director.

"I am confident that no agreement will be signed before this visit. The Turkish-Armenian border may be opened for 2 or 3 days, not more," he said.

Serzh Sargsyan will not suspend talks with Turkey, according to Mr. Manoyan.

"Continuing the negotiation process, Armenia wants to prove the international community and superpowers that it's ready to normalize relations without preconditions," he said.

Armenia's Safety Must Not Be Sacrificed To Armenian -Turkish Relations 19.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ RA National Security should not be sacrificed to Armenian-Turkish rapprochement, politologist Yervand Bozoyan told a news conference. "As compared to Yerevan, Ankara had much to gain from Armenian-Turkish dialogue: pressure leverage in NKR conflict settlement and a chance to significantly weaken Armenian Genocide's international recognition process. Besides, opening of Armenian-Turkish border became just technical issue in Turkey's negotiations to achieve EU partnership," the politologist noted.

According to him, Armenian Turkish negotiations served as a favorable ground for Turkey to apply pressure on MG OCSE Co-Chairs, which, in their turn, pressed Yerevan and Baku for NKR conflict settlement. "NKR conflict will not be settled in nearest future. Baku holds a firm position in this issue, and MG OCSE CO-Chairs can't persuade it to compromise. There's only one thing left - to apply pressure on Armenia for it to make concessions," Bozoyan emphasized, adding that Armenia has gained nothing in Armenian-Turkish negotiations, rather, it is on the verge of losing is positions.

The politologist noted that Yerevan was the initiator of Armenian-Turkish show and there's time until October to abandon it. "I believe that not only Turkey's but international pressure upon RA president will strengthen. Turkey will do its best for Serzh Sargsyan to visit the country during Armenia -Turkey return football match. Armenia has to stop negotiations with Turkey as soon as possible," Ervan Bozoyan stated.

Turkey-Armenia World Championship 2010 qualifying match is due on October 14 in Kayseri.

Turkish Official Visited Armenia Says The Borders Will Be Opened In September APA June 19 2009 Azerbaijan
Baku - APA. Turkey-Armenia borders will be opened in September, said senior tax official of Turkey's Igdir province Yashar Kisa after his three-day visit to Armenia, APA reports.

Kisa said he and four politicians from AKP visited Armenia and were welcomed there in a state level. AKP's Mahmoud Shek, Yusuf Arslan, Resul Shek, Ahmet Tutulmaz and Yashar Kisa were in the Turkish delegation visited Armenia. They visited so-called "genocide victim memorial" in Armenia. AKP congress delegate Mahmoud Shek' cousin Ismail Shek is living in Yerevan for long years. He married in Armenia and had his business there.

Book On Armenian Genocide By Bryce And Toynbee To Be Released Simultaneously In London And Ankara Noyan Tapan June 19, 2009
ARMENIANS TODAY. The English translation of the uncensored edition of the book "The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1916. Documents Presented to Viscount Grey of Fallodon by Viscount Bryce" by James Bryce and Arnold Toynbee will be released next week in London and Ankara, Azg daily reported, referring to a report of Gomidas Institute (London).

Ara Sarafian is the editor of the 654-page book. Interestingly, in 2005, considering the book a "propaganda publication", Turkish parliamentarians filed a petition to British MPs, probably requesting not to publish an English translation. However, after some discussions British MPs rejected the petition in 2006, inviting their Turkish colleagues to consult with them. The members of Turkish parliament refused to meet with them.

Erdogan Refuses To Visit France 12.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ A series of events set to introduce Turkish culture to France next month may be postponed, Erdogan says, but it is not clear if he meant only to put off a trip to France. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson says Davutoglu will go to France to attend one or two activities.

Turkish Prime Minister said Thursday that the "Turkey Season" cultural event in France could be postponed because of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's strong opposition to Ankara's bid for full membership in the EU.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said he might not travel to France for the event.

"Sarkozy will regret what he has been doing sooner or later," Erdogan told private channel NTV. "We had contacts with former French President Jacques Chirac for a long time, but we have not seen such an approach from him."

It was not clear whether Erdogan meant to postpone his trip to France or call off the entire Turkey Season event.

President Abdullah Gul and Sarkozy were expected to launch the event, which aims to introduce Turkish culture to France through 400 activities in 40 different French cities, on July 1. The "season" is scheduled to continue through March of next year. Gul recently said he would travel to France to kick off the events with the French leader. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is also set to travel to France to participate in one or two activities, his spokesman said yesterday, Huttiyet Daily News reported.

“Armenians showed theirselves as death with fake death certificates. The mass graves they show belongs to the times before Christ.”

Armenian Rebels Were PKK Of That Time 08 June 2009
Former Head of Turkish Historical Society Yusuf Halacoglu said, “Armenians showed theirselves as death with fake death certificates. The mass graves they show belongs to the times before Christ.”

Gazi University lecturer and former Head of Turkish Historical Society Professor Doctor Yusuf Halacoglu said that Armenian genocide never took place in the history. He said, “Armenians showed theirselves as death with fake death certificates. We made researches over the cites that they address as their mass graves. We saw that all those cites shown as Armenian mass graves by Armenians belong to the times before Christ. Other than that, they know very well that those graves do not belong to them.”

Professor Doctor Yusuf Halacoglu pointed how Armenian issue is politicized and said that Turkey is wanted to be weakened by such projects. Halacoglu said, “Our lands have the potential of directing the World. We have the potential of creating big trouble for major states of the world. Only country that is blamed after World War One is Turkey and Turkey is the only country that is blamed about Armenian issue. Other than that, many countries passed decisions on their parliaments and blamed Turkey over this issue.”

Stating that the supporters of so called Armenian genocide are with lack of knowledge of history and researches, Halacoglu said that they will face with the truth someday. He said, “More than 100 thousand pages of documents abouot this issue were brought to Turkish archives in the first years. For documents in Armenian translators who know Armenian language brought from Azerbaijan. There is something that should be known very well. If there is no intention, and if the events happened because of conflicts between the communities, it can”t be counted as genocide according to international law. We witnessed how this is politicized. Before the World War One, Turkish lands was shared. At that time, establishment of an Armenian state was projected. Nowadays some people who are foreigners to the history come over and say, “Why Armenians were massacred?.” People who do not know a little thing about the issue ask why Armenians were deported. These people should know this very well that Armenians of those times were in the same character and they were behaving in the same way. It is possible to find in French archives how Armenians murdered innocent people. It could be seen how they stand against Turkish soldiers and how they betrayed to this country. Other than that it is proved with documents that Armenians announced that they will cooperate with French forces during World War. The one who claims for war accepts death.“

Stating that it is known by state archives where Armenians went and how did they return, Professor Doctor Halacoglu said, “But do the ones who claim that Armenians were massacred, know how those Armenians who allegedly died were trained in the French camps in Cyprus and fought against Turks? 500 thousand Armenian entered Aleppo in 1916. Those records exist in U.S. and French archives, but not ours. I wonder if the American „terminator“ who recognized genocide knows about these? Other than that, the river Euphrates passes on the route where Armenians were „driven to desert.“ Official records shows that there were 50,000 Armenian in Adana in 1920. Were those people shadows of death Armenians? How Armenians left, and how they did return after the war exists in the records. Those exists in American archives with exact numbers. It is all recorded how many Armenians live in which region. Let me tell you how Armenians died; Armenians showed theirselves as death with fake death certificates. The mass graves they show belongs to the times before Christ.”

Professor Doctor Halacoglu said, “The ones who recognizes so called Armenian genocide should know this well. Ottoman administration sentenced its own officials to death, because some of them attacked Armenians. There is another side of the issue. 80,000 Turkish people massacred in Van in 1915. This issue is about all of us. Turkey should leave all politic opinions to a side and should unite to solve this issue. If so called genocide is recognized our unborn children will be stamped with this. We should not let such thing to happen by moving together.”

New Graphic Resource Site: Armenian Genocide Posters

Great Journeys: Touchdown In Tbilisi, Maxton Walker, guardian.co.uk 8 June 2009
In the first part of his journey across Georgia, Max Walker arrives in Tblisi to find fellow tourists are few and far between - an effect of last year's war with Russia

I'm stark naked and lying face down while a man in shorts attacks me in a manner that, under normal circumstances, I would regard as outright physical assault. But, just before I scream in pain, the masseur stops to dump a huge bucket of hot water over me on my marble slap. It's my first evening in Tblisi, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Georgia, and I'm finding out how the local guys like to relax -in the beautiful tiled surroundings of one of the city's ancient bath houses, wreathed in the smell of sulphur from one of the hot springs beneath the city.

I had struggled to find other tourists on the flight from London earlier that day. The country's brief war with Russia over South Ossetia last August has done enormous damage to its tourist industry, and I was keen to find out who was still prepared to come here in its wake.

On my flight the only tourists I find are a party of 13 pensioners on a nature tour in the Caucasus with independent operator, Greentours. "The Foreign Office website said Georgia was fine so, as far as I'm concerned, it's fine," says one of them, John. I also meet Jennifer,=2 0a retired Brit living in America, who is spending three weeks at archaeological sites in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan (and whose no-nonsense demeanour suggests she is not going to let a trifling war put her off).

But they are the exceptions. According to the Georgian government, before the conflict with Russia, tourism from Europe was growing at nearly 25% a year. Provisional figures for the first quarter of this year show a 6% drop.

But the country is determined to convince us to come back. According to one senior Georgian tourism official: "The first thing is to convince people Georgia is safe. After that, we have to create a high level of hospitality, and market it as a quality destination." Luke Harding, the Guardian's Moscow correspondent, meanwhile, says that, although the government is fairly stable, another conflict with Russia cannot be completely ruled out.

Entry to Georgia, however, is an absolute breeze (no visa required; not even an immigration form) and I'm met at arrivals in the gleaming new metal-and-glass airport by Nini, a diminutive former painter in her late 20s, now a full-time tourist guide, who, with the help of enigmatic and taciturn driver Roma, has a week to convince me that her country is very much open for tourism.

As we head into Tblisi on a modern busy highway, jostling for position on the packed roads with a mixture of gleaming BMWs, Toyota 4x4s and decrepit Soviet-e ra Zhigulis, I ask her a question that has been on my mind: "Are we in Europe or Asia?"

"I don't know," she says. "We're stuck in the middle. This is a strange place."

Opposition protests in Tblisi, Georgia Photograph: Maxton Walker Tblisi is built across the river Mtkvari. On the left bank, the picturesque old town (the ugly Stalinist high-rises are tucked away on the other side) is home to ancient churches, mosques, synagogues. But as we drive around some of the sights - the vast main cathedral (the orthodox church is still huge in Georgia), St Nino's church outside the city and the flea market - I am, I have to confess, not instantly overwhelmed by what Tblisi has to offer; it feels as much a functional city as a tourist destination.

The strangeness, however, doesn't take long to manifest. Opposition protesters against the charismatic young president, Mikheil Saakashvili, have closed off three of Tblisi's main streets by filling them up with dozens of polythene covered "cells" in which they have been living for about the last six weeks. (They are, they say, symbolically imprisoned by the government); it is a surreal experience, walking slowly amongst the grumpy middle-aged men sitting smoking quietly in their cells; like walking through a colossal avant garde art installation. It is also by far the most memorable event of my first day.

"I don't see what's anti-democratic about keeping the streets clear," I tell Nini later. "In Britain, the police would just drag them away."

"We're a young democracy," she says. "The opposition has to be seen to be respected. People are watching."

And so to dinner, at a restaurant near the river. Georgian meals are about celebrating the fact that this has always been a land of plenty, and we tuck into a vast table of Mediterranean-style food (the country is on the same latitude as Italy): freshly baked and delicious local bread, tomato salad, shashliks, sausages, nuts, cheese and aubergines. The doesn't stop coming, with the plates ending up piled on top of each other.

And, of course, there's the local wine; most Georgians have a taste for the country's distinctive slightly sweet variety; although there is plenty that is familiar to European palates. As I set off to the bath-house for my after-dinner massage, I reflect that, whatever else, nobody is ever going to starve here.

Special Night For Pamuk At Paris Odeon
ISTANBUL - Next month sees the launch of a nine-month-long program in France called the "Season of Turkey." Starting July 1 and running through March 31, the event incorporates 16 categories, plus a special night organized for Turkey’s sole Nobel laureate, Orhan Pamuk, in Paris’ famous Odeon Theater.

The events will start July 1 with performances by Mercan Dede and the Fire of Anatolia after a boat named "A Journey into History, İzmir-Phokaia-Marseille," which will set off from İzmir, anchors in Marseille.

The exhibitions in the program will include sultans’ arm equipment, the Topkapı Palace Caftan collection, "The Beginning of Turkish-French Relations," "Ottomans in Paris," "Turkey, the Cradle of Cultures" and an Ara Güler retrospective.

A la Turca jazz

One of the most notable events in the classical and contemporary music section of the program will be a concert by Toros Can and French Presidential Symphony Orchestra harpist Şirin Pancaroğlu and flutist Şefika Kutluer.

They will take the stage for concerts titled "Bohemians of Thrace" and "Concerning the East." Famous pianist Fazıl Say will perform "A la Turca Jazz" with percussionist Burhan Öçal and Patricia Kopatchinskaja.

The dance category will feature the Ankara State Opera and Ballet and Rouen State Opera. Dancers will also perform a sema, or spiritual whirling dance, show.

As part of the literary works, a poetry magazine named "Action Poetique" will publish a special edition of Turkish poetry. The literary magazine La pensee de Midi’s 29th edition will be titled "Istanbul Ville Monde."

There will also be discussions attended by Turkish writers such as Zülfü Livaneli and Elif Şafak. The Arte channel will screen documentaries titled "The Other Turkey."

Adolescent Street Beggars: Ringleader Appeals Seven Year Sentence 2009/06/08 Ararat Davtyan
“No, Gagik didn’t dangle me from their seventh story window to throw me down. The window was merely open and he stood me in front. I can’t say why. It was a good day. I gave him the money. Maybe he was angry or something.” This is what 13 year-old Abgar recounts. He attends the Vardashen #1 boarding school. He’s been working as a beggar in the service of 34 year-old Garik Hovhannisyan for quite some time.

Garik Hovhannisyan has been convicted twice before. Once for “causing minor psychical injury with premeditation” and once for “hooliganism”. Besides Abgar, another group of adolescents worked for him as beggars.

The lid on this story opened in the summer of last year when 14 year-old Aram, another boy at the school engaged in panhandling, caught the attention of the police. He described the situation that he and Abgar found themselves in. As a result, Garik Hovhannisyan was arrested a few days later.

During the preliminary investigation the two boys stated that it was through a mutual friend, Varuzhan that they met up with Garik Hovhannisyan. It turns out that Mr. Hovhannisyan is Varuzhan’s stepfather. Learning that the boys sometimes engaged in begging, Garik began to force them to hand over their earnings to him so that he could repair his car that he used as a taxi. This forced payment took place during 2007-2008.

Shades of Oliver Twist in Armenia?

“I never wanted to go to school so I always cut classes. But I could never go home because my mother would get mad and send me back. I’d go to Garik’s house where they treated me well and never punished or hit me. Everything was fine. Garik would take me and Varuzhan to the downtown district of the city where we’d beg for money. We’d give him what we collected. Once, I collected about 20-25,000 drams. Garik was overjoyed and bought me some good eats, grilled meats, etc. He was very good to me. But if we’d collect less than 10,000 drams he’d get upset. I was afraid of the scorpion tattoo on Garik’s body. I was afraid that he’d throw me out of the house, that he’d get mad and beat me. That’s why I panhandled for money and gave it to him,” answered Aram in response to the investigator’s questions.

Abgar said that he stayed at Garik’s house for about twenty-five days. Every day Garik would drive them to work, the intersection of Amiryan and Abovyan Streets in Yerevan. He’d pick them up at around 12-1 latter that night. Abgar would hand over the daily proceeds of 10-15,000 drams directly to Garik or to Varuzhan.

“I handed money personally to Garik about 10 or 15 times. On those occasions when I didn’t want to go out and beg, Garik would threaten me. Once, when I told Garik that I would no longer beg for him he got cross and hit me on my hands and back. I tried to escape but Garik came after me in his car, shoved me in, and took me home. In June, 2008, I bought a 5,000 dram Nokia phone with the money I made from begging but Garik took it from me. I asked him to give it back but he told me to forget about it,” Abgar recounts.

The preliminary examining body initially charged Garik Hovhannisyan with “involving adolescents in anti-social behavior”. Later on the indictment was upgraded to read “involving two or more adolescents in forced work or service or holding them in slave-like conditions”. In other words, Garik’s actions were categorized as labor trafficking and now he was facing a sentence of 7-12 years imprisonment rather than just 6.

The sentence is upgraded to trafficking

In a conversation with Hetq, Garik Hovhannisyan said, “Six months later they changed the indictment and I was charged with trafficking. Investigator Artur Avetisyan tried to trip me up by saying, ‘look, Garik, now you are facing trafficking charges and the court will come down on you’. I told him that he was wasting his time,” Mr. Hovhannisyan told Hetq.

During the pre-trial examination it was learnt that other adolescents also suffered at the hands of Garik Hovhannisyan. As a result, the indictment was reassessed.

“The investigator rounded up this drunken bum and he came to visit me in the detention center, to conduct a face-to-face interrogation. I got angry and shoved the investigator. I flicked my cigarette into the bum’s face and I left. I told him that I had nothing to say and that he could write whatever he wanted,” Mr. Hovhannisyan told Hetq.

The “drunken bum” described by Mr. Hovhannisyan is 16 year-old Igor, a student at Nubarashen’s #18 Special School. 12 year-old Hamlet, another student at the school, also testified at the preliminary examination along with Igor

Igor testified that Garik proposed that the boys take up begging. In return for handing over all the money to him, Garik promised the boys that he’d look after them and let them sleep in his house. They worked for him for about twenty days.

Garik demanded that the boys fork over at least 10,000 dram daily, otherwise he’d threaten them and beat them a few times. The threats were along the lines of, “If you don’t earn money for me I’ll shove you into the trunk of my car, drive to the canyon and throw you over.”

“Once, we had collected 4,000 drams. Garik beat me in the house,” Igor wrote in his testimony. Hamlet added that Garik forced them to beg for food in the Malatya market.

Garik Hovhannisyan’s lawyer, public defender Siranoush Harutyunyan, presented a motion during the pre-trial examination requesting that the criminal charges be dropped as there was no corpus deliciti.

“Garik Hovhannisyan is innocent of the initial charges and the reassessed indictment because there was no criminal intent in engaging in begging, obtaining a profit, etc. In essence, he didn’t involve those boys in the acct of begging. Those boys were picked up off the streets by various organizations for panhandling and loitering and placed in boarding school.

Ringleader pleads innocence

As to the sums collected, Garik doesn’t deny the fact that he asked the boys for money and that they lent it to him. He says he paid them back. The boys don’t refute this in their testimony. The question remains whether there was coercion involved. Did he beat them or not? According to the public defender, Garik claims that nothing of the sort happened. In her motion, Siranoush Harutyunyan stressed the fact that panhandling is an anti-social act that cannot be viewed as forced labor.

This motion and others of a similar nature made by the defense attorney were rejected by the court as baseless. Varuzhan, Garik’s stepson, was also included as an aggrieved party in the case. He didn’t testify against his stepfather. The other boys followed Varuzhan’s cue and renounced the incriminatory testimony they had previously given.

The court found Varuzhan’s testimony not to be credible. According to the petitions presented by the parents of the other boys, the adolescents were interrogated a second time. This time, they stood by their previous testimony.
In a conversation with Hetq, Aram said that he had withdrawn his testimony because Varuzhan and his mother, Lianoush Mirzoyan, demanded that he do so. Abgar said that he pitied Garik and that’s why he changed his story.

On April 2, 2009, Garik Hovhannisyan was sentenced to seven years by the Kentron and Nork-Marash District Court. Mr. Hovhannisyan has filed an appeal.
“If the Court of Appeals judges the case correctly I should be found innocent since I do not regard my actions as criminal in nature,” Garik Hovhannisyan claims with an air of confidence. “Everyone knows that these boys are street kids who sell flowers and panhandle. They are friends of Lianoush’s boy. They always used to visit our house. Am I a child welfare officer who duty it is to send them to school? Or am I a heartless person to throw them out onto the street? There was a time that they ask me to drive them downtown or to pick them up in the evenings. I did what they asked. Is there a crime in that? If so, let them charge me for it and not for trafficking,” Garik said.

On June 3, Appeals Court Judge Aida Hovhannisyan was to begin a review of the case.
P.S. – The names of all the adolescents in the article have been changed.

Normalization Of Armenian-Turkish Ties Is Like A Game Of Chess 10.06.2009 PanARMENIAN.Net
Many compare Armenian-Turkish relations to football, but I believe theyre more like a game of chess. One party can go back on its move thats Armenia, and the other cant Thats Turkey. As its often the case in a game you can go back on your move and emerge as a winner, Head of Theoretical Philosophy and Logics Department at YSU, Alexander Manasyan told a news conference.

In complicated political games there are conditions the ideology of which was pre-set. In these circumstances, one can clearly see Europes policy towards Turkey. As French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated, Europe can have close relations with Turkey, but not accept is as EU member, Minasyan said.

According to him, Ankara will mostly feel pressure from Europe rather than US, as currently Europe, and not US, has to deal with Turkey. Europe is afraid of accepting a country which has committed a crime and doesnt acknowledge its fault.

Manasyan noted that Turkey is greatly experiences with foreign policy, so Armenia has to be up to its level and undertake corresponding steps. He also emphasized the delicate policy conducted by Turkey on Armenian Genocide recognition.

The statement on agreement on normalization of Turkish Armenian ties sighed through the intermediary of Switzerland helped Ankara get round the Genocide issue. Turkey had to start negotiations, as conflict with Armenia prevents it from entering EU. First steps towards normalization of relations should have been taken under the slogan of border opening. But everyone is aware that the real issue is lifting of Turkeys blockade of Armenia, Manasyan emphasized.

On April 22, Armenia and Turkey agreed on road-map to normalize ties. The joint statement issued by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Armenia and Turkey said that Turkey and Armenia, together with Switzerland as mediator, have been working intensively with a view to normalizing their bilateral relations and developing them in a spirit of good-neighborliness, and mutual respect, and thus to promoting peace, security and stability in the whole region.

Keeping Armenia Alive In The Capital Of Sudan By Betwa Sharma Jun. 09, 2009 , Betwa Sharma for TIME
"If Armenians are to be great then they have to pray," says Father Gabriel Sargsyan. "As long as there is one Armenian left, there will be a church." Perhaps, but only a handful of the 50 or so Armenians left in Khartoum have turned up for mass held in the evening, because Sunday is a working day in the capital of predominantly Muslim Sudan. After the service, the small group sits on the porch of the St. Gregory Armenian Church, sipping sugary coffee and remembering the days when the pews used to be full.

Keeping Armenia Alive in the Capital of Sudan

the Khartoum government having 'Islamized' the north of the country through the imposition of Shari'a law, there is no sense of religious persecution here at St. Gregory's. Leaders of the Armenian and the neighboring Ethiopian Orthodox churches say they feel safe in Khartoum, and that the persecution of Catholics and Protestants from southern Sudan is a product of the country's north-south power struggle the small Orthodox Christian communities pose no threat to the predominantly Muslim government. "We respect the law of the land and stay out of trouble," says Eyasu Tadele, an official of Khartoum's Ethiopian Orthodox Church. (See pictures of Darfur.)

The Ethiopian Church, in fact, fares somewhat better than its Armenian neighbor, attracting a flood of worshippers every Sunday. That may be a product of shifting patterns of immigration. Many Armenians came to Sudan as refugees from the mass murder in Turkey that began in 1915, while a second wave of immigrants arrived in the 1950s, seeking opportunities in the newly independent country. St. Gregory's opened its doors in 1957, and at its peak, the congregation was 2,000 strong. But many have since left in search of opportunity in Europe and North America, while the Ethiopian expatriate community in Sudan has steadily grown. "First they were coming because of the political crisis and now because of economic reasons," says Tadele.

As much as he appreciates the company of his Christian neighbors, Father Gabriel is concerned that several Armenians have married Ethiopian Christians and Copts, producing children who are taught Arabic or Amharic rather than Armenian. "When one person stops speaking Armenian, our Diaspora is lost," he says. That's why he's working hard to resuscitate the old church school to teach the Armenian language, although with wealthier members of the community having emigrated, he struggles to find the necessary funds. More families are contemplating leaving for fear of a new season of instability as fallout from the international arrest warrant accusing President Omar al-Bashir of war crimes in Darfur. Only a few children remain at the school, but Father Gabriel would be happy to teach even just one student. "Armenia lives through our language," he says.

One Sudanese Armenian who claims he will never leave is Jeriar Homer Charles Bozadjian, whose family history in Sudan dates back a hundred years. Bozadjian runs a restaurant called Big Bite in Khartoum. "I have never seen Armenia," he says. "Sudan is my home."

Despite the imposition of Shari'a law, "This is not like Saudi Arabia," says Wafaa Babikier, who studies Management at Ahfad University for Women in Omdurman city. "Girls have the freedom to do everything." Not everyone answers the call to prayer; women drive cars and attend co-ed universities; and they outnumber men in many offices and educational institutions. Others, like Alfred Taban, editor of the Khartoum Monitor, demur, warning that behind the facade of tolerance is a more hardcore Islamist outlook. "A foreigner would not notice," he says. Taban claims to have been whipped for drinking alcohol in a traditional toast at the birth of a relative's son.

But Bozadjian aggressively defends his homeland's plurality. "Sudan is a unique country," he says. "Muslims helped to build this church." But others note that many Armenians left Sudan after their properties were confiscated under the radical regime of President Jaafar Nimeiri during the 1970s. Elizabeth Jinjinian, a 70-year-old businesswoman, recalls how the land of the Armenian club was taken away when the community began to shrink, "We used to have many balls, picnics and parties."

Often tempted to join her sons in London or New York, Jinjinian has stayed on to run her small cosmetics business, which has survived years of war and sanctions. "Exports and imports dried up," she says. "We had to get goods into the country in suitcases."

Despite the resilience of many of the community's veterans, the efforts of Father Gabriel to sustain his culture in this corner of the Armenian Diaspora face mounting odds. Indeed, the priest himself is slated to leave soon, because the community no longer has the funds to support him. He hopes someone in the community will step forward to run his school. "If you have a school, your nation is going on," he says.

The collective memory of the horrors of 1915 may be the most powerful factor in sustaining the community's identity. On the dusty church verandah, Jinjinian animatedly narrates the tale of her mother's escape from Turkey after her grandparents were killed. "She was at the dressmakers so she was saved." Her tale is well known to the congregants, but everyone listens respectfully as a warm breeze ushers in another hot summer.

Armenian National Committee of Massachusetts, Watertown, Press Release, June 10, 2009
Massachusetts Court Dismisses Lawsuit Demanding Inclusion Of Genocide Denial In Schools

WATERTOWN, MA ? In a major setback for genocide denial, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf today dismissed a case initiated at the prompting of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) that would have compelled the inclusion of historically inaccurate Armenian Genocide denial materials in the Massachusetts education curriculum, reported the Armenian National Committee of Massachusetts (ANC of MA).

"Today's judgment sends a clear message that the federal court system cannot be abused by genocide deniers to spread their lies across America's classroom," said ANC of MA Chairperson Shari Ardhaldjian. "We welcome this decision and the powerful precedent its sets for the future of genocide education here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and throughout the nation."

The ATAA, according to media accounts, solicited the assistance of two local teachers, a student, and his parents to file the case against the state of Massachusetts in 2005. In February of 2006, the Armenian National Committee joined the Armenian Bar Association, Irish Immigration Society, Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, and the NAACP in filing an amicus brief in support of the Massachusetts Commonwealth's calls to dismiss the case.

In his opinion, Chief Judge Wolf dismissed the case stating that the plaintiffs are "are not entitled to relief in federal court." The dismissal at this early stage of the proceedings is viewed in legal circles as meaning the cased lacked even minimal merit.

This case is part of a larger strategy by Turkish American groups to use the legal system to harass human rights advocates on issues relating to the Armenian Genocide. The most recent instance is the lawsuit filed against the Southern Poverty Law Center for articles detailing Turkish government efforts to manipulate U.S. academia to deny that crime against humanity.

The Massachusetts Genocide teaching guide was mandated to include the Armenian Genocide, following the August, 1998, unanimous passage of House Bill 3629, "An Act Relative to the Instruction of the Great Hunger Period in Ireland, the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust." ANC chapters throughout Massachusetts had worked with bill authors, State Senator Steve Tolman and House Member Warren Tolman in support of the measure, which stated that, "The Board of Education shall formulate recommendations on curricular materials on genocide and human rights issues, and guidelines for the teaching of such material." The law specifically calls for the teaching of "the period of the transatlantic slave trade and the middle passage, the great hunger period in Ireland, the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust and the Mussolini fascist regime and other recognized human rights violations and genocides."

The ANC of MA continued to work with the Massachusetts Board of Education, providing information on peer-reviewed, teacher tested resources for inclusion in the teaching guide. In June of 1999, the ANC of MA protested the proposed inclusion of denial propaganda in the teaching guide that lobby groups, among them the ATAA, had pressured the Board of Education to add in its second version of the guide. In a letter to Massachusetts Governor Paul Cellucci, the chairmen of the state's four ANC chapters argued that inclusion of such websites "is directly counter to the intent of the law." The letter went on to note that, "careless intermingling of genocide denial with the documentary sources it aims to obscure, will only serve to confuse students and undermine academic integrity."

In August of 1999, in a letter to the ATAA, made public as part of the lawsuit, the Board of Education argued that "since the legislative intent of the statute was to address the Armenian Genocide, and not to debate whether or not this occurred, the Board and Department of Education cannot knowingly include resources that call this into question." By October of 1999, the denial material was removed from the teacher's guide.

In 2002, the ANC of MA again took action regarding the genocide curriculum, when a revised version which was up for review in May, against a proposal to remove the Armenian Genocide from the curriculum and replace it with a euphemistic and evasive reference to Armenian "slaughter." Community leaders again worked with Department of Education Commissioner David Driscoll to ensure that the proper terminology was maintained.

Armenian Football Youth Team Defeated By Turkish Team
YEREVAN, JUNE 10, NOYAN TAPAN. Armenia-Turkey sub-group match of the European Football 2011 Youth Championship elimination tour program took place on June 9 at Yerevan Vazgen Sargsian Republican Stadium. The guests won with the score of 5:2.

Armenian Youth Team's next match will take place on September 4 in Yerevan with the team of Switzerland.

US Diplomat Warns Armenia-Turkey Talks Can't Go On Forever
A senior US diplomat has called on estranged neighbors Armenia and Turkey to make progress in reconciliation talks aimed at mending relations and reopening their border.

Philip Gordon, the US assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, speaking at a press conference held on Tuesday in Yerevan, said talks should be concluded within a “reasonable timeframe.”

“The process can't go on forever. But I think the parties understand that both sides appreciated this -- they need to go forward and they will,” he said. “There should be no preconditions [in the talks],” he added, underlining that the normalization of diplomatic ties between the two neighbors “would benefit Turkey, Armenia and the entire region.”

Ankara and Yerevan announced in April that they had agreed to a roadmap for normalizing relations, but there have been few signs of progress since the announcement. Gordon, who assumed his post last month, was due to visit the two other ex-Soviet republics of the South Caucasus, Georgia and Azerbaijan, on Wednesday and Thursday.

As of Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu stated that all actors in the southern Caucasus have a joint future that should be worked on together. His remarks came when he was reminded of recent remarks by Armenia's foreign minister, Edward Nalbandian, who last month suggested that it is now Turkey's turn to contribute to the ongoing joint efforts with his country for the normalization of bilateral relations between the two estranged neighbors when he said, “The ball is in Turkey's court now.”

“It is not a ball rolling around in the field, it is a joint future,” Davutoğlu said, citing Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Russia and Turkey as the main regional actors who should work together to build a joint future. An online English-language Armenian news portal, meanwhile, reported that Gordon also criticized the Armenian authorities' handling of the May 31 municipal elections in Yerevan after holding what he called “excellent and productive talks” with President Serzh Sarksyan and Nalbandian.
11 June 2009, TODAY'S ZAMAN

Erdogan And Gul Are Playing On Two Fronts 10.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ "We need smart and serious opposition to develop our internal and external policy," Head of Theoretical Philosophy and Logics Department at YSU, Alexander Manasyan told a news conference, adding that Armenia needs an opposition which won't try to reap benefits from internal policy but develop it. "That means acting like Turkey does. Turkey is playing on two fronts. While Turkish Prime Minister speaks against opening Armenian-Turkish border until NKR issue is solved, Turkish President Abdullah Gul does not support his position, retaining neutral views.

"Erdogan's and Gul's playing on two fronts is aimed both for external and internal policy," Manasyan stated, particularly stressing the external policy, as Erdogan's statements can't but attract Europe's attention.

Long-Kept Secret Of A Couple In Film
ISTANBUL - A new documentary reveals the 30-year secret of Ömer and Ankine, one of the most recent representatives of Turkish canto, who is known as Aysun Işık. Their story, told in 46 minutes, has been adapted for the silver screen and will be shown in Istanbul on Thursday

Since she was a young girl, Ankine’s biggest passion has been canto, and she was determined to become a canto dancer. Despite her family’s protests, Ankine followed her dream as dancer and married a man from a different religion. She is now starring in a documentary about her enduring love of both dance and a forbidden man.

From the start, Ankine’s conservative family forbade her from pursuing her dream as a stage dancer. Their biggest fear was that their daughter would be given a bad name. They asked her to stay at home and get married one day just like the other girls her age.

But Ankine’s passion was so strong that she fought her way to the stage despite her family’s protests. She made it to the stage for the first time in 1978 when an ad about a dance contest in a newspaper drew her attention. One of the jury members was revolutionary Turkish pop musician Erol Büyükburç. Ankine won the competition.

Ankine and Ömer’s 30-year secret
Ankine was a member of a family of Armenian origin. Marrying outside of her religion and dancing were forbidden for her. Ankine once again defied her family’s rules and married Ömer, a Turkish Muslim and the love of her life. Ankine’s family disowned their daughter. Ömer’s family never knew that Ankine was an Armenian and a dancer. The couple kept this secret for 30 years. Ömer has never prevented her from dancing; instead, the couple chose a stage name to conceal her identity, Aysun Işık.

Ankine and Ömer’s secret was revealed for the first time in a documentary film titled "Hayatın Ritmi: Aksak" (When the Rhythm of Life Misses a Beat). Documentary maker Yasin Ali Türkeri, who saw Ankine dancing canto in 2004, asked for Ankine and Ömer’s permission to make a documentary about their story. Türkeri told Ankine’s 48-year life from all perspectives in a 46-minute documentary.

"This is the finest example of Turkish-Armenian relations," Türkeri told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review about the couple’s love story.

Türkeri said Turkish and Armenian societies share the same conservative mind. He said canto was a branch of art that was almost forgotten and that Ankine and Nurhan Damcıoğlu, Turkey’s best-known name in canto, were the most recent representatives of this type of dancing.

Türkeri said he sometimes faced interesting questions during the filming of the documentary. "People were asking me why I filmed Ankine but not Damcıoğlu. I always gave the same answer that I did not make a documentary on the history of canto but the story of a big love."

"Hayatın Ritmi: Aksak" will be screened Thursday at the Ottoman Bank Museum on Karaköy Bankalar Street at 6:30 p.m. Right after the screening, there will be a discussion at 7:15 p.m. on "The Missing Beat in the Rhythm: Being a Minority in Turkey." Metin Meriç will moderate the talk.

Türkeri said the documentary had been shot with a budget of 25,000 Turkish Liras provided by the Culture Ministry. "I named the documentary ’When the Rhythm of Life Misses a Beat’ because there were missing beats in the lives of Ömer and Ankine," he said. "Their marriage was a secret one."
© Copyright 2008 Hürriyet

UCLA AEF Chair in Armenian History Call For Papers
Prof. Richard Hovannisian
Tel: 310-825-3375, Email: Hovannis at history.ucla.edu

International Conference on the Armenian Communities of Asia Minor
University of California, Los Angeles, Saturday-Sunday, March 19-20, 2010
Sponsored by the UCLA Armenian Educational Chair in Modern Armenian History

The 18th in the AEF Chair series on Historic Armenian Cities and Provinces will focus on the Armenian Communities of Asia Minor (Anatolia) from ancient times to the present. The area covered will be from the Asiatic shores of the Sea of Marmara to the borders of Caesarea (Kaiseria; Kayseri) and along the Black and Mediterranean seas to Sinope and Cilicia. There were significant active Armenian communities in Kastamuni, Izmid, Bursa, Banderma, Adabazar, Bardizag, Eskishehir, Kutahia, Konia, Yozgat, and elsewhere in Asia Minor. Abstracts are invited that cover aspects of the social, economic, art and architectural, educational, musical, religious, administrative, and political history of any single community or the region as a whole. Caesarea (Kesaria/Kayseri), Smyrna/Izmir, Constantinople, and Cilicia are not included as they have been the subject of previous conferences. In case of need, there will be funding for partial air fare and accommodations.

Please submit an abstract of 300 to 500 words by September 1, 2009,
together with the following information: (1) Your full name and
title; (2) Academic affiliation;
(3) mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number.

and send your abstract by Word attachment to the same address.

Richard Hovannisian,
AEF Chair in Modern Armenian History,
University of California, Los Angeles

US District Court Dismisses Armenian ‘Genocide Denial' Case
A US District Court has dismissed a case initiated at the prompting of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) that would have compelled the inclusion of alleged Armenian genocide denial materials in the Massachusetts education curriculum, the Armenian media reported.

US District Court Chief Judge Mark Wolf on Wednesday ruled in favor of the Massachusetts Department of Education, allowing it to continue teaching “the facts of the Armenian genocide, and other crimes against humanity, in public schools across the Commonwealth as constitutionally protected government speech,” the Armenian Assembly of America said. “The Armenian Assembly appreciates the court's ruling in this matter. It sends a clear message to Turkey and its revisionist allies that history cannot be rewritten to further Ankara's state-sponsored denial campaign,” Assembly Board of Trustees Chairperson Hirair Hovnanian said. “The court's ruling preserves the teaching of accurate history, which is part of the official ‘Massachusetts Guide to Choosing and Using Curricular Materials on Genocide and Human Rights,' prepared in 1999.

In 2005 the ATAA filed the suit against the Department of Education arguing that the commonwealth violated the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights by removing materials from the curriculum that deny the events of 1915,” the Public Radio of Armenia reported Thursday on its Web site.
12 June 2009, TODAY'S ZAMAN

Nalbandian Cautiously Welcomes Davutoğlu's Recent Statement
The exchange of messages between the foreign ministers of Armenia and Turkey continued Thursday, with the former cautiously welcoming the latter's statement that Turkey is willing to normalize its relations with Armenia as soon as possible.

“We have repeatedly stated that Armenia is ready to normalize its relations with Turkey without any preconditions. If the latest statement from the Turkish foreign minister falls in that context and if they are ready to move in that direction, the statement can only be welcomed,” Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, speaking at a joint press conference with the visiting foreign minister of Estonia, was quoted as saying by the Armenian public radio, when he was reminded of remarks delivered by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Monday.

Davutoğlu's message had actually come when he was reminded of recent remarks by Nalbandian, who last month suggested that it is now Turkey's turn to contribute to the ongoing joint efforts with his country for the normalization of bilateral relations between the two estranged neighbors, saying, “The ball is in Turkey's court now.
12 June 2009, TODAY'S ZAMAN

Obama's Link To The Muslim World: Turkey
The West can learn a lot from Ankara's perspective and democratic successes.
By Helena Cobban, June 12, 2009 edition
Adana, Turkey - As President Obama looks for partners in the Muslim world, he should consider listening to the government of Turkey as much as he listens to Egypt's president. He could learn a lot from Turkey about how a smart Islamist party can be a valued participant in a democracy.

Turkey, a NATO ally, has been ruled since 2002 by a moderate Islamist party – the Justice and Development Party (AKP) – that has proved its commitment to democracy and pluralism at home and to an active, nearly always nonviolent, engagement in diplomacy abroad. And that's why the record of the AKP in Turkey is so compelling.

At home, after the party first won power, grass-roots supporters tried to leverage that victory to ban alcohol sales in some Turkish cities. The judiciary struck down those regulations – and the national government complied with the ruling.

Later, the national government tried to lift the country's longstanding ban on admitting scarf-wearing women to universities or to jobs in government. Once again, the courts struck down the proposal. And once again, the government complied without a protest. (That, though the wives of both the prime minister and the president always wear head scarves in public.)

In 10 days of travel, in three Turkish cities and vast swaths of countryside, I saw Turkish women wearing clothes that ranged from skimpy Western dress topped by tumbling – sometimes bleached-blond – hairdos, to a stylish version of Muslim hijab that involves an elegantly tied head scarf over a mid-thigh tunic and jeans, to the baggy black coverup of the ultrapious.

Most Turkish women are near the middle of that spectrum, and in many places young women with and without head scarves mingle easily, chatting and laughing together.

Regarding domestic affairs, one professor in Istanbul told me, "If you're a politically liberal Turk who cares about women's rights, the rights of the Kurdish minority, and religious minorities here, you couldn't find a better party than the AKP." I heard versions of that voiced by several other strongly secular Turks.

Back in early April, Mr. Obama came to Turkey and delivered a first important address to the Muslim world. Turks seemed delighted that he had included their country on his first trip abroad as president, and nearly all appreciated the respectful way he addressed the concerns of Turks and other Muslims.

On June 4, he gave another major address to the Muslim world in Cairo. Egypt, like Turkey, is a historic center of Muslim life. But the Turkish government follows policies that are much more in line with Obama's inclusive, diplomacy-focused approach to international affairs.

Turkey's two AKP governments have maintained good ties with Europe and with all Turkey's neighbors – including Greece, Iran, Georgia, Iraq, and Syria. In 2007-08, Ankara also undertook an important mediation effort between Israel and Syria.

But Ankara fell afoul of the Bush administration in Washington for a number of reasons. Most significantly, in 2003, Ankara – like many other NATO allies – strongly opposed the US invasion of Iraq, and it refused to allow Washington to launch part of the invasion from Turkey.

The Bush administration also objected to the good ties the AKP maintained with Syria and – after the hard-line faction won the Palestinian elections in 2006 – with Hamas.

While George W. Bush was president, he seemed to ascribe little value to the inclusive and generally de-escalatory policies the AKP government has pursued at home and in the broader Middle East. He preferred instead an approach to the Middle East that sharpened divisions between the two groups he defined as "moderates" and "extremists."

In the former group were the notoriously anti-democratic governments of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In the latter, any government or party that seemed to support Iran, regardless of whether – like Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah – they might have proved their popular support in democratic elections.

Indeed, in the Bush years, Washington worked actively to overthrow both Hamas and Hezbollah, and maintained what one Bush White House official has described as "a state of quasi-war" with Syria.

Several Bush-era officials openly questioned whether the electoral victories of Hamas and Hezbollah actually "proved" that a party could be both dedicated to Islamist principles and democratic rule over the longer term. Turkey's experience provides intriguing evidence that it can.

Obama should value Turkey's views on regional affairs. He may not be ready yet to go along with all the advice he receives from the AKP government in Ankara. But Ankara has much valuable experience that it can share with its NATO ally.

Helena Cobban is a former Monitor correspondent. Her latest book is "Re-engage! America and the World after Bush."

ANCA Challenges Foreign Aid Double Standard ArmInfo, 2009-06-12
ArmInfo. The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) today circulated a memo to Congressional offices documenting the double standards used to set U.S. aid policy toward to the countries of the Caucasus - policies which have, in recent weeks, led to a proposed 38% cut in economic aid to Armenia and the cancellation of an $80 million road project to the poorest regions of this blockaded nation, ANCA told ArmInfo.

The document, released the day after the Millennium Challenge Corporation effectively suspended a full third of its $235 million grant to Armenia due to concerns over democratic governance, compares the harsh U.S. response to Yerevan's actions, both rhetorically and in terms of aid levels, to the increased financial support that both Azerbaijan and Georgia are set to receive despite their serious shortcomings in the areas of democracy, corruption, and governance.

Turkish Label To Release Cd Titled 'Medz Yeghern: 1915 Oratorio' www.asbarez.com Jun 11, 2009
ISTANBUL-A music label in Turkey is preparing to release an album by world-renowned Armenian composer Khacadur Avedisyan, titled Medz Yeghern-1915 Oratorio, dedicated to the Armenian Genocide of 1915, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily reported on Thursday.

"I have attempted to release the album in Turkey for many years," Hasan Saltuk, the owner of Kalan Music, told Hurriyet. "It was not easy to reach the composer's family. Also, there were no original records of the album."

Saltuk accidentally found the original records during a trip to Paris. With the help of a friend's son from the Netherlands, Saltuk reached Avedisyan's son, Mikayel Avedisyan. He then encountered another problem. The composer willed that the album should be released only with the title "Genocide - 1915 Oratorio."

That would not have worked in Turkey, where it is illegal to describe as Genocide the systematic massacre of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish government between 1915 and 1923. Saltuk said he was able to persuade Avedisyan's son to allow the album to be released with the title "Medz Yeghern - 1915 Oratorio" rather than "Genocide -1915 Oratorio."

"I was sued many times because we released music belonging to different Anatolian ethnic cultures in their original languages," he said.

Khachadur Avedisyan was born in 1926 in Armenian's second largest town, Gyumri. At 25, he was the first Armenian artist to win gold medals at international competitions in Berlin and Moscow. As well as classical music, he worked on Armenian folk music and played traditional folk instruments. He formed the folk music unit at the Gomidas National Conservatory in Yerevan in 1978. He worked as the art director of the National Dance Group and later for Tatul Altunyan Music and Dance Group in 1958. He continued composing music at the same time.

U.S. Cuts Millennium Challenge Aid To Armenia Over Worsening Democratic Practices Jun 11, 2009
YEREVAN (RFE/RL)-The United States has effectively axed nearly one third of a $235.6 million aid program for Armenia, citing its government's deteriorated human rights record and democratic practices.

The U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) indicated late on Wednesday that the $67 million project to reconstruct and repair about 1,000 kilometers of Armenian rural roads will not be implemented anytime soon.

The agency, which administers the U.S. Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) program, froze the project following a harsh government crackdown on the Armenian opposition sparked by the disputed presidential election of February 2008. The MCC board of directors has extended the freeze during quarterly meetings held over the past year.

In a statement issued after its latest meeting in Washington chaired by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the board said MCC "will not resume funding for any further road construction and rehabilitation." "The responsibility for this outcome remains with the government of Armenia, whose actions have been inconsistent with the eligibility criteria that are at the heart of the MCC program," Rodney Bent, the corporation's acting executive director, was quoted as saying.

"I do not anticipate that the Board will revisit this issue in the future," added Bent.

The move came one day after the U.S. State Department reiterated its discontent with Yerevan's human rights record in an annual report on U.S. efforts to promote freedom and democracy around the world. It again described the February 2008 ballot as "significantly flawed" and criticized the ensuing government crackdown on the opposition.

"Authorities used harassment and intrusive application of bureaucratic measures to intimidate and retaliate against government opponents," said the report. "Police beat pretrial detainees and failed to provide due process in some cases ... Courts remained subject to political pressure from the executive branch, with the selective prosecution of political opponents and absence of due process reflecting the judiciary's lack of independence."

"U.S. officials repeatedly have warned the government that MCC funding is contingent upon its progress in democratic practices and in meeting the MCC indicators," added the report.

U.S. assessment of the May 31 municipal elections in Yerevan promises to be just as negative. U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Marie Yovanovitch said on Tuesday that U.S. Embassy officials who observed the vote witnessed irregularities "throughout the city." Yovanovitch said a report based on their findings will be released shortly.

The U.S. aid suspension led the Armenian government in July 2008 to allocate about $17 million of its own funds to rural road construction envisaged by Armenia's MCA compact. The current economic recession and a resulting major shortfall in tax revenues preclude more such funding this year. Instead, the government secured in February a $25 million loan from the World Bank for rural infrastructure rehabilitation.

The aid cut will not affect the main $160 million segment of the aid package approved by MCC in 2006. It is due to be spent on rebuilding and expanding the Armenia's irrigation networks.

Cold War Between Armenia And Turkey To Be Over Panorama.am 11/06/2009
The cold war between Turkey and Armenia is over and Serzh Sargsyan's visit to Ankara is welcome, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu said, Turkish media reports. "The cold war period is over," Turkish FM said.

According to the minister Armenia and Turkey are no more enemies. "Relations with Israel are favorable for Palestine at the same time and the opposite. Azerbaijan also can see that our relations with Armenia are under its interests," he said.

It's worth reminding that Serzh Sargsyan's visit to Turkey is scheduled in October when Turkey-Armenia football national teams will meet.

Armenians Of Turkey Live In Atmosphere Of Fear And Mistrust 11.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenian community of Turkey faces numerous problems requiring quick solution, Ruben Melkonyan, specialist in Turkic philology and expert at the Noravank scientific-research center, told to journalists on June 11 in Yerevan.

"More than a half of Armenian schools, short of Armenian language teachers, closed in Turkey over the last 30 years. Besides, indifferent state of health of Constantinople's patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Archbishop Mesrop Mutafian also creates problems for the Armenian community. Appointment of a new patriarch is very urgent for the community," Armenian expert said, adding that there are already candidates for the post of spiritual leader of the Armenian community in Turkey.

According to Ruben Melkonyan, Armenians of Turkey treat improvement of Armenian-Turkish relations with care, and with optimism at the same time. "Armenians of Turkey regard themselves to be citizens of Turkey and only then to be Armenians. They are obliged to prove every day, they are exemplary citizens of that country. Besides, they live in the atmosphere of fear and mistrust," the expert said.

Azerbaijan Can't Defy Wikipedia HULIQ, June 11 2009, SC
Azerbaijan loses the information war with neighboring Armenia due to inability "to motivate" the fabricated lies, trying even in Wikipedia. The latest book on Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, published in Ukraine, is the shining example.

The book "Conflicts and wars after the collapse of USSR" has been republished thanks to the efforts of the Armenian community of Ukraine and ANALITIKA.at.ua information-analytical center in particular. In the new edition of the book no distortion about the history of Armenia and the Nagorno Karabakh Republic is observed. Reportedly, T Y. Bogdanovich, and A. Ya. Manachinsky, the authors of the edition, had included articles with false information about Armenia.

As ANALITIKA.at.ua website informs that the city libraries of Odessa have already received the republished versions of the book. In the coming month the Ukrain's bookshops will increasingly receive the new books as well about Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.

Armenian youth organizations of all over Ukraine alongside with ANALITIKA.at.ua information-analytical centre will promote to the implementation of this activity.

The officials in Azerbaijan are quite disappointed over this as their efforts to fabricate the historic facts are systematically failing. A new reason for disappointment was observed yesterday in one of the well-known websites of Azerbaijan Bakililar.az. This time Azeris are complaining against Wikipedia.

For example, they are surprised that Nagorno Karabakh Republic is named Artsakh at the mentioned website. They are just bewildered: "Azerbaijani officials must undertake corresponding steps...prior to the conditions these steps may be of different kinds as diplomatic, public or scientific interventions.

In Azerbaijan, they themselves accept the lack of corresponding specialists in the state. As an expert on international relations in one of US universities Elhan Agamirzaev says, it is useless to address a letter to the Wikipedia management as the articles of that on-line encyclopaedia are written and posted on the basis of facts collected all over the world ."This method admits to get more objective information through discussions and comparison of different opinions, as to Azerbaijani side it has no mechanism to work with Wikipedia"

The whole point of the mechanism is to prove the credibility of the introduced facts.

"State officials are better to exert efforts aimed at this issue rather than directly to the on-line published materials. Otherwise Azerbaijan will lose the information war", an expert from Azerbaijan notes.

Think Tank Faults Turkish Approach On Armenia Ties By Ayla Jean Yackley
ISTANBUL (Reuters) -- Turkey is making a mistake by linking an improvement in ties with Armenia, including reopening their shared border, to a settlement of Armenia’s long-running conflict with Azerbaijan, a think tank report said on Friday.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said this month that the border would remain shut until Armenia withdrew from Nagorno-Karabakh, an enclave it has controlled since it fought a war with Azerbaijan in the early 1990s.

His comments highlighted the seriousness of the Karabakh problem for Turkey, despite the announcement last month of a joint Turkish-Armenian “road map” towards re-establishing diplomatic ties and opening the border.

“Tying the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement to the Karabakh issue, which won’t be resolved for a long time, is a great mistake, because Turkey’s policy of punishing Armenia has yet to yield the results it wants,” said Aybars Gorgulu, co-author of the report for the Istanbul-based Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation.

“Normalization appears indexed to resolving the Karabakh issue, making it the most serious obstacle, even if the issue is not part of the bilateral talks.”

Turkey shut the border in 1993 in a show of support for Azerbaijan, its traditional Muslim ally. Its continued closure has hampered Armenia’s economy and is one of many factors complicating Turkey’s bid to join the European Union.

Gorgulu said Erdogan’s latest comments — made after a meeting with Azerbaijan’s president — “negatively impact the rapprochement” with Armenia.

Turkey’s lack of diplomatic relations with Armenia has so far failed to help Azerbaijan reclaim its territory, although normalization is also unlikely to bring about a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Gorgulu said.

Alexander Iskandaryan, his co-author, said it would be Russia that played the decisive role in settling the dispute, as it still wielded influence over Armenia and Azerbaijan, both former Soviet republics. The United States and France are also involved in diplomacy on the issue.

The Clash of Empires and Armenia, Then the Battle of Sardarapat by Khatchatur I. Pilikian
Panoramic Background For The Projection Of The Armenian Film, Sardarapat Déjà Vu By Tigran Khzmalian
London, May 29, 2009

The Clash of Empires and Armenia then the Battle of Sardarapat is a broad bird's-eye-view of the fragmentation of Historical Armenia., a kind of 'reader's digest' of our turbulent history, but also the untiring struggle for survival and self determination of our people.

Sardarapat Battle exemplified that tenacity right after our 'daring to survive' the genocide of 1915...

Battles are won or lost irrespective of the wars whether they are won or lost. Hence the saying: The battle was won but the war was lost. In fact it is a rare historical event when and where the war and its decisive battle are both won, or lost for that matter.

Back in 1770s, the American colonies won the final battle and the war of their independence against the British colonial rule. Britain and the USA have never lost their special relationship, practically since then.

In WW2, Nazism lost the decisive battles and the world war. The crushing of Nazism certainly was a great victory for anti-racism the world over.
Despite its enormous military power, the most awesome the world has ever seen, the USA lost most of the battles and the genocidal war it pursued in Vietnam (as it was reported and unanimously condemned in the final verdict of the first Russell Tribunal on Vietnam, of 1967, long six years before Vietnam became a united country). The Vietnamese were struggling for independence for ca 2000 years. US imperialism abysmally failed to take the Vietnamese back to the Stone Age. It certainly was a great victory for self-determination and national independence against imperialist domination the world over.

The Soviet Union, the historic first internationalist union of states with socialist agenda, won most of the battles of its survival in a world capitalist system for over 70 years. But it lost the cold war, having emulated the worst of archaic bureaucratic despotism that nourished a military industrial complex, the life-blood of colonial imperialist empires.

The so-called coalition armies of the neo liberal Globalisation won the battle but lost the war in Iraq, albeit the plunder of the countrys black gold, oil, continues non abated.

NATO forces--another synonym for the same but enlarged coalition armies--are still unable to claim winning battles let alone the war in Afghanistan. Decades before this entanglement, the Red Army, allured in the web, lost the battle in this same land, now the land of Poppys for the Global market of vice.

During WW1, Armenians too acted as canon fodder, counting ca 600,000 strong. Thus, both the Central Powers and the Entente, each counted ca 300 000 strong Armenian recruits. The Entente won the decisive battles and the world war. Bishop Harold Buxton assessed the human cost. He wrote: In the First World War, the Armenians lost as many lives as did the whole British Empire.

The Armenian recruits of the Ottoman army, were mostly perished not only as cannon fodder, but were herded into amele tabourou=labour battalions, eventually to be forced to dig their own mass graves, months before the WW1 was on. Meanwhile the soldiers families, the elderly, women and children, counting more than a million and a half, living in their ancestral homes in the so called Turkish Armenia, were wiped off their land, months before and soon after the beginning of WW1, in an act of Genocide the world had not witnessed until then.

The American Ambassador in the Ottoman Turkey of the day, Henry Morgenthau, described the Young Turk state terror as a witness: I am confident that the whole history of the human race contains no such terrible episode as this. The massacres and persecution of the past seem almost insignificant when compared with the sufferings of the Armenians in 1915.

One of the great poets of all time, the Nobel 1971 laureate Pablo Neruda, had grasped well the tragic life of a conquered people trying to survive in their own land. He wrote: For centuries, Turkish invaders massacred the Armenians or made them their slaves. Every rock on the plateaus, every tile in the monasteries has a drop of Armenian blood.

In a masterpiece of a poem titled An Evening Promenade= Ak?am Gesintisi, written soon after he was released, in 1950, from prison, Nerudas Turkish comrade, Nazim Hikmet, posthumous Nobel laureate of 2002, remembered his Armenian friend whose father was butchered in the Kurdish mountains. Hikmet versified his rage against such crimes as mans inhumanity to man, calling it, this black shame brought on the Turkish people. = bu karayy' sürenleri Türk halky'ny'n alnina. Kemalist Turkey had kept its greatest poet, N. Hikmet, incarcerated for 13 years in total.

The original inhabitants in their ancestral lands being wiped off, Western or Turkish Armenia, and parts of Eatern or Russian Armenia, became part of the Kemalist Republic of Turkey, in 1923.

In WW1, Armenians as conscripts in the armies of empires were not fighting for self-determination or independence. They nevertheless had promises from the masters of the empires for an illusive freedom. Entente powers won the decisive battles and the war. Armenians lost most of Armenia and more than half of its entire people, along with the disruption of their cultural heritage and the plunder of their property.

Oh, yes, there was a battle or two won by the Armenians. The Armenian volunteers in the Entente forces, named as Armenian or Eastern Legion, were assembled in Cyprus

following the 1916, October 27 agreement signed in London by Mark Sykes of Great Britain, George Picot of France and Boghos Nubar, President of the Armenian Delegation. Sykes and Picot promised Nubar Pasha that the Eastern Legion will eventually take Armenian Cilicia out of the Ottoman Empire, and the French protectorate of the region will give Armenians self-rule therein. Lo and behold, to reach that promised land the Armenian Legion, already counting 5000 strong, had to fight in Palestine! They did and won the Battle of Arara, in September 19, 1918, liberating Palestine. The Armenian Legion was soon deployed in Cilicia too. They won the battle and liberated Cilicia in November-December, 1918, but lost it, yet again, as Armenian Cilicia, in 1920.

As Palestine became the protectorate of the British Empire, the Balfour Declaration eventually paved its way to become a colonial Zionist state-- Israel. Similarly, the liberated Cilician Armenia, started as a French protectorate, was handed over by the French, with no regard to their signed promise, to the resurgent Kemalist forces, while the Armenian Legion was disbanded in August 1920.

Having lost its independence for many centuries, Armenia was the battleground for the clashing empires. Despite the millennial upheavals, most of the Armenians lived in their ancestral homelands and some in the Diaspora. A schematic chronology might help to sketch the fragmentation of Historical Armenia, originally covering ca 300,000 sq. km., into Eastern and Western Armenia, later also referred to as Turkish, Persian and Russian Armenia. On a fraction of the latter, in 1918, the first ever Republic of Armenia was established, initially covering ca 10,000 sq. km. The second, the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, emerged in 1920, already covering ca. 30,000 sq. km. It lasted seven decades of a challenging but culturally prosperous existence. Its valiant contribution to the destruction of Nazism was out of all proportion to its overall population and resources, counting over 300,000 perished Armenian soldiers. After the melting away of the USSR, the third, an independent Armenian Republic came into being in 1991, having first embarked, then chained itself to free market economy, just like its neighbour, the Republic of Turkey. All the three Armenian Republics cover the same so called Russian Armenia, No wonder a historians cogent claim that to date only Russian Armenia has survived the clash of Empires.

*AD 387 -- Eastern Armenia, known as Armenia Maggiore, ca 4/5 of the historical Armenian homeland, was grabbed by the Persian Empire, hence Persian Armenia. The remaining 1/5, Western Armenia, also known as Armenia Minore, was held by the Roman Empire.

*405 The creation of the Armenian Alphabet by Mesrop Mashtots, graced the battle for Armenian cultural and political independence with a vital and everlasting impetus. The translation into Armenian of the Aramaic and Greek Scriptures of the Christian faith began immediately. A century earlier, in 301, Christianity had already become, the state religion of Armenia.

*451, May 26 Battle of Avarayr, also called Vardanants. Rebellious Armenians led by Vardan Mamikonian, battled against the Persian imperial army. Armenia lost the battle but won the war. Armenians kept their cultural and religious independence, despite the overwhelming pagan Persian Empire and the Christian Roman Empire. The latter was soon replaced by Byzantium.

*640 Arab Moslem invasion of Armenia. Armenia eventually loses the battles but wins the signing of the Peace Concordia, in 652.
*706 Armenia, Georgia and Aghvank become known as the Armenistan Viceroy under the Arab khalifate.
*762 Religious and social struggle of the Paulicians against the Khalifate policing tyranny.
*762 Vaspurakan Armenians against the Khalifate rule.
*830 Religious, social and egalitarian struggles of the Tondrikites against both the Khalifate and the oppression of the Armenian medieval landlords and despots, including the religious hierarchy.
*885 The resurgence of the Bakratouni kingdom of Ani, after numerous battles and wars being won against the Byzantium and the Khalifate.
*1045 The Bakratouni Kingdom lost the decisive battle, the war and its capital Ani, the city of Thousand and One Churches, the jewel in the crown of the Bakratounis of renaissance propriety.
*1048 The Seljuk invasion followed by devastations of Armenia.
*1210 Liberation movements led by Zakarian brothers unite the Armenian and Georgian forces in the Caucasus, pushing the Seljuks into the depths of the Persian-Khorasan province.
*1187 Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, also known as La Petite Armenie.
*1221 -- Mongol invasion of Armenia. Liberation struggles against Seljuks and Mongols continue.
*1275 Mamlouks of Egypt invade Armenian Cilicia.
*1375 -- Fall of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia to the Egyptian Sultan.
*1387 Liberation struggles kindle against the Lengtimur and Ottoman invaders. Lengtimur invaders were eventually crushed in Mush and Sassoon.
*1453 Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans. The Ottomans eventually conquer Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Crimea and Armenia.
*1535 Peace treaty between Ottoman and Sefian-Persian Empire. Eastern Armenia kept under the Persian rule while Western Armenia was kept under the Ottoman rule, hence Turkish Armenia. The Peace treaty notwithstanding, the Ottomans invade Eastern Armenia, Georgia and Aderpatakan.
*1635 Ottoman-Persian Peace Treaty. Persia regains Eastern Armenia.
*1722-1728 The establishment of a free and independent Armenian rule in Karabagh & Syunik, in Persian Armenia.
*1804-1813 and again 1826-1828 War between Persian and Russian Empires.
*1828 The Turkmenchia Peace Agreement between Russia and Persia. Eastern Armenia ceded to the Russian Empire, hence the term Russian Armenia.
*1828-1829 Russian-Ottoman war in the Balkans and Crimea, while Karin (Erzerum), Babert, Kars, Akhalkalak, Akhaltskha, Bayazit and Alashkert were all ceded to Russia.
*1860, May 24 Western Armenians in Constantinople publish their National Constitution. It was a momentous event in the life of Western or Turkish Armenia.
*1862 Rebellion in Zeitun
*1872 The founding of a secret society in Van, named as the Unity for Liberation = Miyoutyoun I Prkoutyoun.
*1875 New waves of rebellion in Zeitun, guarding its independence until 1878.
*1977-1978 -- Russian-Ottoman War. Russia regains Kars and Erzerum.
*1878 Treaty of St Stefano. Article 16: Reforms to be carried by the Ottomans in the Armenian provinces under Russian supervision.
*1878 -- Congress of Berlin, superseding Treaty of St Stefano. Article 61: Reforms to be carried in the provinces where Armenians live, under European supervision.
*1885 In Marseilles, France, the formation of Armenakan Party.
*1885 In Van, the founding of Armenakan Organisation
*1887 In Geneva, Switzerland, the founding of the Social Democrat Henchakist Party.
*1890 In Tiflis, Georgia, the founding of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnak Party.
*1894-1896 At Sassun, Van, Zeitun and Diarbekir. The massacre of 300,000 Armenians, 3000 villages were burned and tens of thousands were forced to flee their native land into all corners of the earth...
*1902, July 4 In Brussels, the opening of the International Congress of Armenophiles.
*1907 The Young Turk Congress is held in Paris.
*1909, April -- Adana massacres in Cilicia. 30,000 Armenians were literally butchered. The Adana tragedy was indeed the maiden performance of the Ittihadist Young Turks relishing in the prospects of their racist Pan-Turanic vision. Adana became a veritable inferno.
*1914, August 3 The beginning of WW1.
*1914, August 6 -- Secret agreement between Turkey and Germany. Caucasus (including Eastern/Russian Armenia) promised to Turkey.
*1915, April 24 -- In Istanbul, around 300 Armenian intellectuals, of all professions, were all arrested and deported, and soon, nearly all of them butchered. Until mid May, the Armenian civic population was practically depleted of its intellectuals: 196 writers, 575 musicians, 336 doctors, 176 teachers and college professors, 160 lawyers, 62 architects, 64 actors...all arrested, deported, disappeared for good...
*1915, May 2 The Triple Entente (Great Britain, Russian, France) warn the Young Turks that: In view of these new crimes of Turkey against humanity and civilization, the Allied Governments announce publicly to the Sublime Porte that they will hold personally responsible for these crimes all members of the Ottoman Government, as well as those of their agents who are implicated in such massacres.
*1915, June 15 -- Twenty prominent members of the Armenian Social Democratic Henchakist Party were hanged in Bayazit Square in Istanbul. The Henchakist stood in opposition to the Ittihadists. That was a mortal sin! The culminating act of the genocidal scheme was thus set into motion. Nearly the entire Armenian population of Western/Turkish Armenia was ordered out, southward towards the deserts of Northern Syria. Vandalism, rape, extortion, sadistic torture, starvation, murder raids and all ad infinitum. The rest is...the scream of humanity at its most infernal.
*1916 Russian army regained Erzerum, Mush, Bitlis, Mamakhatun,, Trebizon, Babit and Yerzinkan.
*1917, February 27, then October 25 Russian Revolutions. End of Tzarism.
*1917, April Conference of Russian Social-Democratic Workers Party. It contained resolutions pertaining to: Self Determination of Armenians; Creation of an Independent State in the whole Eastern and Western Armenia.
*1917, May 2-11 In Yerevan. Western Armenians First Congress, presided by General Andranik, with 59 delegates and ca 400 participants.
*1917, November In Tiflis, the founding of the Communist Party of Armenia. Persecuted in the Georgian and Armenian Republics of 1918. Survivors eliminated during the Stalinist purges of 1930s.
*1917, December 5 Armistice of Yerzinka, between Ottoman Turkey and the Revolutionary Commissars of the Caucasus.
*1917, December 29 Council of The Peoples Commissar of Soviet Russias Decree of Turkish Armenia, declaring: Self Determination of Armenians; Formation of an Armenian Militia; Return of Refugees; Creation of Administrative Boards in the Provinces; Withdrawal of the Caucasian army, counting ca 500 thousand strong, from Ardahan, Batum and Kars. The withdrawal resulted in dire consequences for the Armenians, making it impossible the attainment of the aims of the Decree. The withdrawal item of the Decree was courageously criticised by the great revolutionaries Stepan Shaumian and Vahan Terian, but blatently supported by Stalin. As the poet Terian was himself tasked to prepare the draft for the Decree, his original manuscript testifies to his criticism of that item. So does Shaumians article of 1917, December 20, warning that a sudden withdrawal of Russian troops will create an extremely painful situation in the Turkish Armenia.
*1918, February Breaking the agreement of the Armistice of Yerzinka of 1917, the Turkish army attacks and conquers Yerzinka, Karin, Sareghamish and Kars. On that occasion, Enver, one of the triumvirate top organisers of the Genocide of the Armenians in 1915, still acting as a Minister on military affairs, issued an instruction on February 27, 1918, to the commanders of the Turkish military units, directing them to the following: Today, owing to lucky circumstances His Majesty the Emperor ordered to exterminate the whole Armenian nation. The plan was to continue with the genocidal policies in the Eastern provinces of Armenia too, so named Russian Armenia.
*1918, March 3 Brest Litovsk Peace Treaty, between Germany and Soviet Russia. The boundaries of Transcaucasia ceded to Turkey as before the Russian-Turkish war of 1977/78.
*1918, May 15 The Ottoman Turkish army invaded and occupied Alexandropole, then moved towards Gharakilis.
*1918, May 21 The Turkish army attacked and occupied the Sardarapat train station.
*1918, May 22 The start of counter attack of the Armenian forces from Igdir, Korpalu in Etchmiatzin, Durdughul (Armavir), Yerzinka, Maku, Khnous, Mush and Zeitun.
*1918, May 28 Declared the first Republic of Armenia.
*1918, May 29 Turkish forces retreated towards Alexandropole.
Thus the Armenian liberation forces secured their final victory with the active support of all political parties, artisans, peasants, intellectuals, artists and writers, religious and professional military leaders. They won the battle of Sardarapat, but, alas, after loosing most of the Russian occupied Armenia too.
*1918, June 4 Signing of the Batum Convention by the governments of the Ottoman Empire and the first Republic of Armenia. The Armenian party had already consented to agree to the Turkish proposal to found an Armenian Republic in the remaining provinces of Russian Armenia (covering ca 10,000 sq. km.) as a buffer state securing the total disengagement of Armenia and Armenians with the revolutionary Soviet Russia. It had 14 articles, agreeing, among others, the following: Turkey assures military aid to Armenia; No anti-Turkey military activity in Armenia; All Armenian forces engaged in revolutionary activity in Baku, should be disbanded and brought back to Armenia; Turkey to have the right to secure the presence of its military commissars in Armenia, to facilitate the freedom of its military transports wherever it decides. On the same date, Turkey signed an agreement with Georgia, assuring Turkeys repossession of Kars, Artahan, Batum, Ardvin, Akhalkalak and Akhaltskhah.
*1918, October 30 The Mudros Armistice. The end of the First World War. The defeat of Ottoman Turkey brought also to an end the legality of the Batum Convention.
*1918, December Turkish army forced out of Transcaucasia.
*1920, August 10 Treaty of Sevres. Turkey acknowledged the Republic of Armenia as a Free and Independent State. The final demarcation of the boundaries left to the USA (later: The Wilsonian B).
*1920, November 8 The Pan-Turanic racism of the Young Turks was still alive and kicking among the Kemalist elite. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kemalist Turkey, Ahmed Mukhtar Pasha, despatched the following instruction to Karabekir Pasha, the commander of the Eastern Army:
Armenia is situated on one very extensive Moslem territory, therefore it must be annihilated both politically and physically.
*1920, November 29 Declared the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic-- the 2nd Republic of Armenia.
*1920, Dec 2 Treaty of Alexandropole, between Karabekir of Turkey and Khatisian, the representative of the superseded Dashnak government of the first Republic of Armenia. It claimed: Armenia to cover yet again only 10,000 sq. km.; Armenian armed forces to have maximum 1500 soldiers with 8 canons and 20 machine guns; Armenians to abdicate the Treaty of Sevres
*1921, February 13 February Uprising: An adventurous uprising of the Dashnaks against the government of Soviet Armenia, claiming allegiance to the illegal Treaty of Alexandropole. Lasting nearly two months, the fratricidal adventure claimed not only 20 thousand Armenian deaths (mostly Communists and Dashnaks) but re-established in Yerevan, on February 18, the old guards of the first Armenian Republic.
*1921, March 16 Treaty of Moscow. The late Gersam Aharonian, one of the most prominent Liberal Democrat politicians of the Armenian Diaspora, was right to conclude about this treaty, signed by Soviet Raussia and Kemalist Turkey, saying: As a result of the political immaturity of the Leaders of the February Uprising [] the Turks secured a fait accompli. And that fait accompli was to be ratified in Kars on Oct. 13, 1921, with the added signatures of the representatives of Soviet Armenia, Soviet Georgia, and, lo and behold, Soviet Azerbaijan.
*1921, April 2 Soviet Armenia restored, after the defeat of the tragic February Uprising.
*1921, October 1 In Constantinopole/Istanbul, the founding of the Armenian Liberal Democratic Ramkavar Party.
*1922, November 20 1923, July 24 The Treaty of Lausanne. It undid the Treaty of Sevres.
*1991, September 21 Declared the 3rd Republic of Armenia.
*1992, May 9 The Battle for Shushi, in Karabagh. The Karabagh Armenians finally won both the battle and the war of their independence. Hence the consolidation of the Republic of Mountainous Karabagh of 1921, September 1, was heroically accomplished, albeit with enormous sacrifices

Anti-Armenian Online Propaganda Going On /PanARMENIAN.Net/08.06.2009
With development of information technologies, racial hatred and genocide denial are growing exponentially. Turks and Azerbaijani continue their denialism policy on the Web, specifically on Facebook and YouTube, French freelance journalist Jean Eckian said in a letter obtained by PanARMENIAN.Net. "The countries which have already recognized the Armenian Genocide should pass a law penalizing denial of the first genocide of 20th century," he said.

"The Armenian Diaspora all over the world calls on lawyers to take action against those disseminating hatred and denial. We, the heirs of those who survived the Genocide, we still feel the consequences of the atrocity perpetrated by the Young Turks," Mr. Eckian said.

The Social Justice Worldview Vs. The Israel Worldview By Kung Fu Jew Jew School http://jewschool.com/ June 12 2009
Jewschool is co-sponsoring Love, Hate and the Jewish State: A Conversation on Social Justice and Israel, with Makom, the New Israel Fund, and 16 other minyanim, arts & culture, and social justice orgs (see below).

This is the internal conflict that is already defining our generation of Jews. Two worldviews that are deeply Jewishly informed and yet at odds with each other: social justice vs. Israel.

Social justice is a worldview of "all helping all" and more specifically the stronger helping the disadvantaged, the weak helping the weak, the weak helping each other. It's about fighting against entrenched power which resists giving up unfair advantage. The most concise definition of "social justice" was told to me by a Catholic youth minister: "a state of right relationships." Rightness in conduct and healthy relations between employer/employee, government/citizen, Jew/gentile, and state-to-state.

The Israel worldview, regardless of whether you are right or left, is one defined by "Jews helping Jews," each ethnicity looking out for themselves, and the weak nation becoming strong (and maintaining deterance). It's about apportioning power by nationality, ethnicity or religion -- and a heirachy of their comparative greivances. Israel becomes important as the national liberation project of the Jewish people. It defines success as the safety of one group among others (even if other groups happen to benefit, theirs can be secondary).

The conflict becomes:

Many people who support peace in the Middle East will not engender to spend time on Israel -- and why should they? There are worse conflicts in the world, like genocide in Darfur. Even if you are left wing, paying special attention to one's own ethnicity is still a parochial, inward-focused conversation. These people might feel more comfortable helping all people, regardless of ethnicity in ways that cut across socioeconomic status: health care for all, ending racism against all, collective bargaining rights for all, housing rights for all, international rights for all, et al.

Many people who see a relevance for Israel's existance (of one version or another) are uncomfortable christening underdogs and painting all holders of power with the same brush. A worldview that doesn't validate the historical travails of the Jewish people or seeks to pave away nationalisms or ethnic prides entirely is also uncomfortable. Anti-Semitism is subsumed into just another racism, where many might feel it has special, and specially personal, perils.

This conflict cuts many other directions: Some who do both social justice activism and Israel activism must compartmentalize their value systems, keeping them separated, balanced. A rare few manage to integrate them fully. And plenty -- tragically a great many --do neither.

It has serious effects on our Jewish communities:

While it aims to benefit all peoples through its work, the Anti-Defamation League created permanent schisms by opposing Congressional recognition of the Armenian genocide -- leading to staff quitting in protest, the loss of Armenian partners in anti-racism projects, and accusations of hypocrisy.

Social justice organizations like Jewish FundS for Justice and American Jewish World Service must keep their distance from Israel matters to avoid the pitfalls of how their differing supporters proportion "justice" between Israel and Palestine. They are lambasted unfairly for not having a stance on an issue thousands of miles away, tangental to their core missions. Their distance can prevent their involvement in many worthwhile projects in which Israel, however briefly, is addressed.

The New Israel Fund is one of the few organizations that manage to integrate Israel and social justice via social justice for all members (not just citizens) of Israeli society. The Progressive Jewish Alliance takes local, global and Israel justice stances. Both lose the valuable support of constituents who have an Israel (pro or con) litmus test.

Our minyanim and shuls have "Israel committees" and "social action committees" -- but who ever has seen an "Israel and social justice committee"? Or who has seen an Israel committee take up the issue of gay rights in Israel? Or a social justice committee tackle anti-Semitism on the left?

Can we integrate the two? Are they neccesarily exclusive? Are those of us who feel this way really so many? Can we envision Jewish communities that manage to blend them without rancor?

Next Thursday's event proposes no answers, but offers a chance to explore this topic in a safe space, guided by experienced facilitators, and designed by activists who seek also a healthier conversation. Please join Jewscool for Love, Hate and the Jewish State: A Conversation on Social Justice and Israel on Thursday, June 18th at 7 pm - 10 pm, at the JCC in Manhattan. And hey, Yisrael Campbell emcees and afterwards there's alcohol and JDub DJ Joro Boro too.

This event is brought to you by Makom and New Israel Fund, in partnership with AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, Encounter, Foundation for Jewish Culture, The JCC in Manhattan, Jewcy.com, The Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning, The Union of Progressive Zionists, and the following co-sponsors: Bnai Jeshurun's Tze'irim, Brooklyn Jews, JDub Records, Jewschool.com, Just Vision, Kehillat Hadar, Kol Zimrah, Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, Romemu, and Zeek.

U.S. Cuts Aid To Armenia Over 'Democratic Governance' Trend June 12 2009 Azerbaijan
The U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) indicated late on Wednesday that the $67 million project to reconstruct and repair about 1,000 kilometers of Armenian rural roads will not be implemented anytime soon, Armenialiberty.org reported.

The agency, which administers the U.S. Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) program, froze the project following a harsh government crackdown on the Armenian opposition sparked by the disputed presidential election of February 2008. The MCC board of directors has extended the freeze during quarterly meetings held over the past year.

In a statement issued after its latest meeting in Washington chaired by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the board said MCC " will not resume funding for any further road construction and rehabilitation." "The responsibility for this outcome remains with the government of Armenia, whose actions have been inconsistent with the eligibility criteria that are at the heart of the MCC program," Rodney Bent, the corporation's acting executive director, was quoted as saying.

"I do not anticipate that the Board will revisit this issue in the future," added Bent.

The move came one day after the U.S. State Department reiterated its discontent with Yerevan's human rights record in an annual report on U.S. efforts to promote freedom and democracy around the world. It again described the February 2008 ballot as "significantly flawed" and criticized the ensuing government crackdown on the opposition.

"Authorities used harassment and intrusive application of bureaucratic measures to intimidate and retaliate against government opponents," said the report. "Police beat pretrial detainees and failed to provide due process in some cases ... Courts remained subject to political pressure from the executive branch, with the selective prosecution of political opponents and absence of due process reflecting the judiciary's lack of independence."

"U.S. officials repeatedly have warned the government that MCC funding is contingent upon its progress in democratic practices and in meeting the MCC indicators," added the report.

U.S. assessment of the May 31 municipal elections in Yerevan promises to be just as negative. U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Marie Yovanovitch said on Tuesday that U.S. Embassy officials who observed the vote witnessed irregularities "throughout the city." Yovanovitch said a report based on their findings will be released shortly.

The U.S. aid suspension led the Armenian government in July 2008 to allocate about $17 million of its own funds to rural road construction envisaged by Armenia's MCA compact. The current economic recession and a resulting major shortfall in tax revenues preclude more such funding this year. Instead, the government secured in February a $25 million loan from the World Bank for rural infrastructure rehabilitation.

The MCC decision will not affect the main $160 million segment of the aid package approved by Washington in 2006. It is due to be spent on rebuilding and expanding Armenia's irrigation networks.

Armenian Community In Us Makes Another Provocation Against Turkey 13 Jun 2009
Washington. Zaur Hasanov - APA. Armenian community in the US made another provocation against Turkey.
APA’s US bureau reports that the US-based law office of Geragos & Geragos owned by famous lawyer of Armenian descent Mark Geragosian addressed heirs of Ethnic Greek New York Life Policy Holders who “were murdered” in the Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks between 1915 and 1921.

“Prior to 1915, New York Life sold life insurance policies to thousands of Greeks living in the Ottoman Empire. Countless Greek policyholders were among the hundreds of thousands of Greeks who perished in the first Genocide of the twentieth century. In the ensuing chaos, many of the rightful heirs were unable to produce the documentation required to claim the insurance proceeds while others were unaware that they were entitled to any insurance benefits. In 2004, a class action settlement of $20 million which involved 2,300 Armenian New York Life policyholders with unpaid claims was awarded to the descendents of the victims massacred in the Armenian Genocide of 1915,” Geragos & Geragos noted in the special webpage launched for this purpose.

This is not the first campaign launched by the US Armenian community to damage Turkey’s image. Earlier, California State Assembly member of Armenian descent Paul Krekorian presented a bill “Justice for Genocide Victims” and wanted prohibition of investments in Turkey and other states that committed “genocide”.

True Myths About Patriotism Of Armenians 08 June 2009 Today.Az
It's amazing, but true. As it turned out, not every Armenian in the world is concerned about the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Or, at least, if this issue is not out of the head of ordinary Armenians, then it is far from being on the first place among the priorities. This can be understood from a variety of Armenian Internet resources.

Let's take, for example, the Armenians living abroad. Their total number is approximately 7 million people. They migrate in search of a better life. They can be understood, especially now that the economy of Armenia is in a very poor condition. American Armenians, for instance, are now more concerned about the crisis, and other problems. Well, they certainly are very sore about the fact that Barack Obama does not recognize "Genocide".

Armenian Coalition of America is immensely proud of the fact that a couple of mayors of American cities has agreed to accept the "Genocide", collects 2-3 million dollars on dubious charity events, and at every step shouts of strength and unity of the Armenian nation. They reached a ridiculous top - they started to agitate "theirs", attack Google for it to remove commercials which allegedly deny the "genocide of Armenians". A senseless act it was ...

Obviously, this does not go beyond furious letters and loud words. And what do the usual, ordinary Armenians do? More talks are about the search of normal work, more profitable sale of property options, various activities, and even beauties, walking on the beach in bikini - on the whole, daily life is in the first place.

All in all, many times there has been a completely normal relationship of those born in Armenia and Azerbaijan in a neutral land. This, of course, provided that the national theme and the theme of conflicts are not addressed ...

Armenians living in America are in fact not interested in elections in Yerevan, or next move of President Sargsyan against Azerbaijan's policy. They are also not much concerned about the fact that Armenia is one of the most corrupt country, or that their homeland does not fall into the list of the most friendly countries. They voice their concerns about Armenia, where the situation is close to crisis, but only in words.

Of course, from time to time, there appear insignificant provocations, frustration, and other small stones, thrown to Azerbaijanis. All is mostly done via the Internet: unfounded statements, pathetic attempts to cause outrage of Azerbaijanis by online encyclopedia Wikipedia, and about the contest "Eurovision-2009", and many other provocations.

Indeed, the two-faced attitude of Armenians to the conflict is understandable, since most people are selfish in nature. And whatever one may say, an individual will not think of policy, if he is jobless with no food to eat. Even if this individual is Armenian.

Companies Lobby (Quietly) In Opposition To Armenian Genocide Bill 2009/06/14 HETQ
In its June 13 edition, the Associated Press reports that six companies have lobbied the U.S. federal government in the first quarter of 2009 to oppose a congressional resolution that would condemn the World War I-era massacres of Armenians by Ottoman Turkey as genocide.

The AP report states that Chevron, Northrop Grumman, United Technologies, Raytheon, BAE Systems and Goodrich, all having strong ties to Turkey, all lobbied against the measure to show support for Turkey, an important market for weapons and industrial products.

Below is the full text of the AP article:

Corporate America typically hires lobbyists to pressure Congress on taxes and trade rules. But in an unusual — some say risky — move, five military contractors and an energy company have stepped into a fight over whether the U.S. should label Turkey’s slaughter of a million Armenians nearly a century ago as genocide.

The six companies have strong ties to Turkey, a key strategic ally of the U.S. in Mideast peace efforts and the fight against terrorism. None would state their position on the House resolution, but industry analysts and others said they likely lobbied against the measure to show support for Turkey, an important market for weapons and industrial products.

“They don’t want to be seen opposing a resolution that has a very evident human rights element,” said Rouben Adalian, director of the Armenian National Institute, a Washington research organization. “It would put them on the side of denying history and denying genocide.”

BAE Systems Inc., Goodrich Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp., Raytheon Co., United Technologies Corp. and energy producer Chevron Corp. spent $14 million to lobby Congress in the first quarter of this year. Besides the genocide resolution, the companies lobbied on Pentagon spending, climate change, taxes and more.

United Technologies, which sells Sikorsky helicopters to Turkey, says it provided information to lawmakers “that helped round out their understanding of the international trade and national security interests involved.”

But businesses lobbying against the resolution are not being “good corporate citizens,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., its lead sponsor.

Lobbying on human rights issues comes with risks, said Gerry Keim, associate dean at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. Several companies halted their efforts opposing restrictions on white minority-ruled South Africa in the 1980s when anti-apartheid activists applied pressure.

“Originally, they were concerned about markets in South Africa. Then they were concerned about markets here,” Keim said.

Other analysts say any public backlash against companies lobbying on the Armenia genocide resolution would be minimal because the firms serve governments, not individual consumers who could boycott their products.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee has not taken up the resolution and the Senate does not have a version. A spokeswoman for the House committee said its chairman has not decided when the resolution — or other pending bills — will be taken up as the House considers legislation on Pakistan, State Department funding and other matters.

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million mostly Christian Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I. Turkey denies that the deaths were genocide, saying the number of casualties is inflated and was the consequence of civil war and unrest.

Turkey’s embassy in Washington did not return calls and e-mails seeking comment.

President Barack Obama, before visiting a World War II-era concentration camp in Germany earlier this month, said the world has an obligation to stop genocide, even when it’s inconvenient. His administration is working to end the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, he said.

While running for president, Obama promised to “recognize the Armenian Genocide” once in office, but he avoided the term during a speech in Turkey in April.

Putting the U.S. on record that the killings of Armenians 94 years ago was genocide gives credibility to the drive for international support to stop killings in Sudan, Schiff said.

But pressure on the six companies to avoid offending Turkey is intense.

Among the ventures between U.S. businesses and Turkey are a $3 billion contract from Northrop to a Turkish company to be a supplier for fighter jets. Goodrich Corp. and a Turkish firm agreed to a joint venture for maintenance and repair work on engine components. BAE Systems and a Turkish company jointly market and supply armored vehicles to the Turkish armed forces.

Chevron holds a stakes in a pipeline that crosses the country. Raytheon has agreed to sell to Turkey Stinger missile launcher systems valued at $34 million and is working to sell its missile defense systems.

Chevron said it lobbies on a range of interests, “including international issues that fall outside of a narrow energy policy focus.”

Representatives of the U.S. subsidiary of London-based BAE Systems PLC and Northrop referred questions to the Aerospace Industries Association. The trade group defended Turkey as a key U.S. ally and cited “large and growing commercial ties” between the two nations.

Raytheon and Goodrich did not respond to requests for comment.

Andrew Kzirian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee’s western region in Glendale, Calif., said backers of the resolution, which has been considered before, will not quit if it fails again.

“If you don’t call it out and call it for what it is, you have Darfur,” he said.

KFI Apologizes For Genocide Comment, Armenian National Committee - Western Region Press Release
Tune in KFI 640 AM on Friday morning, June 12th at 6:30am PDT to hear On-Air Apology

Glendale, CA --- The Armenian National Committee-Western Region (ANC-WR), joined by community organizations and activists, met with KFI640-AM radio show host Bill Handel and station management today regarding offensive comments that aired on Handel’s radio show on May 13 and 14 during a discussion between Handel and Lara Hermanson. Acknowledging that a line had been crossed, Handel, KFI and Clear Channel management apologized to the Armenian American community. With Handel himself being a descendent of Holocaust survivors, he also made it clear that recognition of the Armenian Genocide is something he has been aware of and passionate about throughout his career and promised to continue raising awareness about the issue.

“We deeply regret the inappropriate comments that were made on Bill Handel’s show last month which deeply hurt the Armenian American community. The comments were wrong,” said Robin Bertolucci, KFI Program Director. “We take responsibility for this offense as any genocide, including the Armenian Genocide, are serious topics that should not be used as the basis for humor.” KFI will be issuing an on-air apology on June 12 at 6:30am. KFI also released a video apology from Hermanson and Handel.

The issue began on May 13th, during the late morning segment of the show when Handel made an off- hand comment to “get rid of the Armenians,” as well as other groups, as a humorous solution to the cost of healthcare in America. Greg Garabedian a local listener who heard the comment wrote to the station to express his concern and disappointment with the remark. However, in responding to the letter on the air the following day, the situation was made worse when studio colleague Lara Hermanson quipped, “what the Turks started, Bill will finish.” The statement referenced the Armenian Genocide and outraged the Armenian American community.

“I wrote the letter because that comment immediately drew me to the Armenian Genocide and my family’s experience,” said Garabedian. “For me, here was another situation where Armenians were being used in the context of a joke, but on an issue that is of extreme importance to the community.”

The ANC-WR requested a meeting with KFI management to convey the community’s outrage and ask that the situation be addressed. In the meantime, the ANC-WR reached out to dozens of activists and community organizations, such as the Armenian Bar Association, eager to work together on the issue.

"Today's meeting with Bill Handel and KFI-640AM and Clear Channel management made it clear that genocide is not a joking matter," said Zanku Armenian, member of the ANC-WR's KFI Task Force. "Handel and station management recognized that a very serious line was crossed in a poor attempt at humor and are truly apologetic for the pain they have caused to the Armenian American community. In addition to their apology, the meeting led to a constructive discussion about the importance of educating the public about the Armenian Genocide. This is a positive outcome to a very unfortunate incident."

In addition to Bill Handel, present at the meeting were Program Director Robin Burtolucci, Director of Marketing Neil Saavedra as well as Greg Ashlock, President and Market Manager of Clear Channel, Los Angeles which is KFI’s parent company. Joining the ANC-WR for the meeting at the KFI studios in Burbank were representatives from the Armenian Youth Federation, Unified Young Armenians, the ANC Glendale, and Glendale City Council Member Ara Najarian.

“Of course the comments on May 13th particularly conjure up the emotions tied to the Armenian Genocide, but the May 14th show was an opportunity to take a step back and address this problem but instead bolstered our interpretation of the first day’s comments,” says Vache Thomassian, Chairman of the Armenian Youth Federation-Western Region.

In the days following the incident, the community learned about it through the efforts of Greg Garabedian and others such as Burbank resident and columnist for Asbarez Daily Newspaper, Garen Yegparian who wrote about the matter in his May 22nd commentary. As KFI was slow to address the matter, news about the incident and the inappropriate comment spread rapidly throughout the community spurring chain e-mails, online petitions, and even a group on the popular social networking site Facebook.

"Genocide is not a joking matter and this issue should have been addressed from day one. However, this episode showed us that our community is alert and ready to take action to counter such inexcusable comments," notes Aroutin Hartounian, President of Unified Young Armenians.

The positive outcome was a result of many community organizations and supporters working together. “The message was heard thanks to the efforts of thousands of community activists and other organizations who voiced their indignation over the past several weeks,” said Stepan Boyajian, chairman of the ANC-WR KFI Task Force. “We deeply appreciate everyone’s efforts.”

The complete transcript of Hermanson and Handel's the video apology is provided below.

Lara Hermanson-
"Hi, my name is Lara Hermanson. I'm the board op on the Bill Handel show. And I want to apologize for something that happened a couple of weeks back. I regret that I took so long to apologize for this but during the course of conversation I made a really hurtful remark about the Armenian genocide. It was meant to be satirical but I know that as it stood, it didn't come off that way. It came off as hurtful and I really regret this comment. And I appreciate our Armenian listeners sharing with me their feelings about this and I'm really glad that I get the opportunity to apologize for it. I feel horrible for the comment and once again I'm really, really sorry."

Bill Handel-
"Hi. I'm Bill Handel and you just heard our board operator on the morning show apologize for a comment that simply shouldn't have been made, that clearly went over the line. And this is the Bill Handel Show, it has my name on it, and inevitably the buck stops here. We should have, I should have, cleared that up within a couple of days, if not the following day, and it simply wasn't done. But more importantly than that, I want to point out something that has been part of my entire broadcast career, frankly part of my entire life, I have always been fanatic about not forgetting the Armenian genocide. I have been a champion of never ever letting that be forgotten in history. My grandparents perished in the Jewish holocaust. My dad is a Holocaust survivor so I'm particularly sensitive to this issue. And if you ever listened to my show, now or 20 years ago, it has never changed, I always will, I always have, been a champion of the fact that we can never forget, ever."

True Myths About Patriotism Of Armenians Today Az
It's amazing, but true. As it turned out, not every Armenian in the world is concerned about the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Or, at least, if this issue is not out of the head of ordinary Armenians, then it is far from being on the first place among the priorities. This can be understood from a variety of Armenian Internet resources.

Let's take, for example, the Armenians living abroad. Their total number is approximately 7 million people. They migrate in search of a better life. They can be understood, especially now that the economy of Armenia is in a very poor condition. American Armenians, for instance, are now more concerned about the crisis, and other problems. Well, they certainly are very sore about the fact that Barack Obama does not recognize "Genocide".

Armenian Coalition of America is immensely proud of the fact that a couple of mayors of American cities has agreed to accept the "Genocide", collects 2-3 million dollars on dubious charity events, and at every step shouts of strength and unity of the Armenian nation. They reached a ridiculous top - they started to agitate "theirs", attack Google for it to remove commercials which allegedly deny the "genocide of Armenians". A senseless act it was ...

Obviously, this does not go beyond furious letters and loud words. And what do the usual, ordinary Armenians do? More talks are about the search of normal work, more profitable sale of property options, various activities, and even beauties, walking on the beach in bikini - on the whole, daily life is in the first place.

All in all, many times there has been a completely normal relationship of those born in Armenia and Azerbaijan in a neutral land. This, of course, provided that the national theme and the theme of conflicts are not addressed ...

Armenians living in America are in fact not interested in elections in Yerevan, or next move of President Sargsyan against Azerbaijan's policy. They are also not much concerned about the fact that Armenia is one of the most corrupt country, or that their homeland does not fall into the list of the most friendly countries. They voice their concerns about Armenia, where the situation is close to crisis, but only in words.

Of course, from time to time, there appear insignificant provocations, frustration, and other small stones, thrown to Azerbaijanis. All is mostly done via the Internet: unfounded statements, pathetic attempts to cause outrage of Azerbaijanis by online encyclopedia Wikipedia, and about the contest "Eurovision-2009", and many other provocations.

Indeed, the two-faced attitude of Armenians to the conflict is understandable, since most people are selfish in nature. And whatever one may say, an individual will not think of policy, if he is jobless with no food to eat. Even if this individual is Armenian.

Armenia: Homeless in Yerevan
Source: Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) Date: 12 Jun 2009 Special Report: Karabakh Refugees
A decade and a half after the fighting ceased, many refugees are still waiting for proper housing.

By Gegham Vardanian in Yerevan (CRS No. 497, 12-June-09)

In a gloomy ex-hostel, built for students at Yerevan's chemistry technical collage but used by refugees from Azerbaijan, 120 families are still waiting for some kind of decent accommodation.

Amazingly, considering that whole families are crammed into rooms of just 12 square metres, and are forced to share a toilet with up to 50 people, often this is better than the facilities they have had in the past.

Some 360,000 of the half-million Armenians who fled Azerbaijan because of the Karabakh conflict, which ended exactly 15 years ago, ended up in Armenia, and accommodation for them is still scarce.

Maria Aslanian, a 96-year-old, has lived with her two sons â?? 67-year-old Viktor and 62-year-old Vladimir â?? in one such room for ten years. With its three beds and cupboard, there is barely room to stand up.

"There was a time when we had absolutely nowhere to live. For four months we had to sleep outside, in the snow and the rain. It's good that they gave us this place," said Maria, as she sat playing backgammon with Viktor.

Just down the hall was her neighbour Laura Melkonian, who has lived in the former student hostel in the Charbakh district of the Armenian capital for 18 years already. She spent years complaining about the toilets, but has just learned now to accept them as they are.

"Water drips out of the ceiling, it pours out of the plaster, and we have to go in there with an umbrella. Who knows, maybe one day the ceiling will fall down completely? But what can we do? It is a public toilet, which 50 people are using," she said.

She has more space than many of her neighbours, since her husband has left her to move to Russia, and she lives only with her 13-year-old son.

She has separated out a little kitchen area with a curtain, but it is so small that only her arms can fit inside it. "I am thinking maybe I should leave the country and become a refugee from Armenia," she mused.

Gegham is the editor of the www.echannel.am website of Internews and a participant in IWPR's Cross Caucasus Journalism Network.

God Help Every One Of Our Naive Crusaders, By Loucas Charalambous, Cyprus Mail, Cyprus June 14 2009
`GOD HELP Christofias,' was the response of Mehmet Ali Talat to the president's declaration that `Turkey will continuously find us in her way, in every step taken.'

Talat added: `What I mean is that if Christofias has decided to take on Turkey, he will also need the help of God. And I hope he will have it.'

The president had invited this put-down ` but he was not the only one engaging in grandstanding. We heard a lot of similarly idiotic statements by our newly elected MEPs, who immediately started competing in the demagoguery stakes over who would cause the biggest damage to Turkey at the European Parliament.

Christofias seems to confirm on a daily basis what this column wrote a few weeks ago ` he is not much different from the late Tassos Papadopoulos. He is leading things to the same result through a different route. He pretends to be working, day and night for a settlement, but in reality he refuses to take any meaningful step in this direction. He is taking us for a ride.

Now he wants to persuade us that he will solve the Cyprus problem by placing obstacles in Turkey's way. Yet, not so long ago, he was telling us that using a veto against Turkey at the EU was pointless.

His latest statement is just another demonstration of the abject lack of self-awareness that blights our politics: we behave like giants, while the rest of the world can see that we are, as Glafcos Clerides used to say, `a small mosquito on the international political stage'.

Turkey is a state 100 times bigger than the Cyprus state and has no enemy in the world ` it is currently in the process of normalising relations with Armenia. Turkey is currently chairing the UN Security Council, to which she was elected with an overwhelming number of votes. The US considers the country one of its closest allies. She has the third biggest army in the world and is currently involved in accession talks with the EU, after a unanimous decision of the leaders of all the Union's member-states.

All the above are in danger of being shattered by the modest village boy from Dikomo, who is president of 700,000 Cypriots and it is questionable whether more than 200 people outside the island had ever heard of him. This is how serious our politicians are.

Of course, Christofias is not the only one involved in the efforts to bring about the demise of Turkey. He will be assisted by our six MEPs. I nearly passed out when I heard them talking on television last weekend ` it was a competition over who would cause the most damage to Turkey at the European Parliament.

The one who came up with the most ideas was former presidential candidate Ioannis Kasoulides, who belongs to DISY, a party set up in order to promote rationality. As he stared at the studio ceiling, Kasoulides listed several measures he would take, but the last one took the biscuit.

`I will see whether we can secure a majority so we can cut the EU funds given to Turkey.'

I was left speechless. Turkey must be terrified at the prospect of Kasoulides cutting her EU funds.

When I a write about the political lunatic asylum, I am not exaggerating. These people are not just naïve, they are dangerous, which is why I am inclined to copy Talat. I pray that God will help all of them ` Christofias, Kasoulides, Antigone and Theocharous. As they are determined to destroy Turkey, they will need His help.

Catering To Minorities Puts Pressure On Foreign Policy, Calgary Herald , Canada June 14 2009, By Peter O'Neil

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's feather-ruffling approach to foreign policy, particularly as it relates to issues that resonate with certain Canadian ethnic groups, could jeopardize Canada's national interests, say analysts and former senior diplomats.

Harper's government has, since 2006, sparked angry reactions from Russia, China, Turkey, Greece, and Israel's critics in the Muslim world with outspoken positions, particularly in the touchy area of human rights.

The federal government is frequently supported by opposition MPs in some of the decisions, such as the Canadian government's recognition of alleged genocides committed against Ukrainians by the old Soviet Union, and against Armenians by Turkey.

It is all part of a growing ' and some say risky ' political competition by all parties to win key battlegrounds in Canada's cosmopolitan big cities, which become increasingly more diverse as a quarter of a million immigrants and refugees arrive in Canada each year.

`The attempt to win over minority groups (is) a very active policy, and it's one that is legitimate enough so long as it doesn't start to hamper our international relations and affect our national interests,' said Paul Heinbecker, Canada's former ambassador to the United Nations.

But he said the Harper government has gone overboard in several instances, annoying so many countries that Canada might not beat out Germany and Portugal in the 2010 vote for the two available United Nations Security Council seats.

`My guess is that we're still going to get elected, but there is an argument to be made that there's a limit to the number of people you can disappoint.'

Canadian military historian David Bercuson said Canada's frequent criticisms of Russia on human rights, on its treatment of its neighbours, and on Arctic sovereignty ' criticisms always popular among several politically important Canadian ethnic groups according to one Ukrainian-Canadian commentator ' could impair Canada's efforts in Afghanistan.

`At some point, we need to let it go,' said Bercuson, director of the University of Calgary's Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, of Harper's Cold War-style rhetoric directed at the Kremlin.

He said Canada and its allies in Afghanistan rely on Russian goodwill and assistance to get equipment and supplies crucial in fighting the Taliban and al-Qaida.

`At what point are you defeating your own cause by being a so-called hardliner when you really don't have a lot of impact on the whole situation anyway?'

Bercuson and Carleton University's David Carment co-edited the book The World in Canada: Diaspora, Demography and Domestic Politics, a 2008 collection of essays that examine the growing influence of Canada's multicultural communities on foreign policy during eras of both Tory and Liberal rule.

The authors argued that various ethnic groups can sway decisions on everything from foreign aid allocations to where Canada sends the military's costly, and not necessarily efficient, DART disaster assistance team.

Diaspora politics was also cited as a crucial factor in issues relating to domestic terrorism concerns as well as big-city gang crime and violence.

Former prime minister Paul Martin was long accused of being too close to Canadian Tamils who helped fund the Tamil Tigers, a brutal terrorist organization that was banned after Harper took power in 2006.

Diaspora influence on foreign aid decisions is also evident. Canada recently created a Top-20 list of `countries of focus' for development spending. The list, which shifted spending away from Africa and toward the Americas, included 18 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza in the Middle East, and the various countries that are part of the so-called Caribbean Regional Program.

Among the targets were countries with large, if not always influential, Canadian diasporas ' Haiti, Jamaica, Sudan, Pakistan and Vietnam.

One of the most curious inclusions was Ukraine, the only European country identified and a country ranked a relatively healthy 78th out of 177 countries measured by the 2005 United Nations human development index, which assesses factors such as life expectancy, school enrolment, literacy and income.

But Canadians of Ukrainian heritage number more than 1.2 million, according to Statistics Canada, and are a politically important constituency particularly in Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario.

`We're only beginning to fully grasp the situation,' Carment said in an interview. `Diaspora politics is the number-one issue that Canada will have to confront in the 21st century.'

The Harper government has consistently argued that its foreign policy positions are driven by principle. On China, in particular, one Tory insider, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the government's criticism of Beijing has been driven by the personal convictions of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, rather than any political calculation.

A government spokeswoman echoed the argument that Harper's policy is driven by political principles, not pandering.

`We make foreign policy decisions based on all Canadians' interests, supporting our common values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law,' Catherine Loubier, spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, wrote in an e-mailed statement.

Conservatives acknowledge they are aware criticism of Moscow resonates positively with many Canadians of eastern European ancestry, who still have bitter memories of Russian dominance during the Soviet Union's Communist empire.

They also acknowledge that many Canadian Jews appreciate Harper's unwavering support for Israel.

But they said current policy positions relating to Russia, eastern Europe and the Middle East would have been taken regardless of political considerations.

One Ukrainian-Canadian said his community, and others originally from eastern Europe and the Baltic region, enjoy hearing Harper bash Moscow.

`The Ukrainian community is supportive of such statements; they are concerned about Russian reviving its imperial past,' said Marco Levytsky, publisher of the Edmonton-based Ukrainian News.

`I'm sure the Balts (Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians) and Poles feel the same way as do the Ukrainians and everyone that suffered under Russian imperialism and Soviet imperialism.'

He said the Harper Conservatives `are quite aware of how the Ukrainian community feels about the Russian threat, so no doubt they are doing this for political reasons. But it's part of their philosophy too.'

The Tory government's use of foreign policy to win favour in Canada's multicultural communities was evident in a 2007 presentation to Tory workers made by Kenney that was leaked to a Toronto newspaper.

The front page of the PowerPoint presentation showed a published declaration of Armenian-Canadian gratitude for the decision to recognize the Turkish genocide. Kenney, according to the document, noted that the party was seeking both to win ridings as well as to dispel ongoing Liberal arguments that the party is anti-immigrant.

Other examples:

¢ The Conservatives, in addition to angering North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally Turkey over the Armenian genocide, also upset another NATO partner, Greece, by currying favour with Macedonian-Canadians after taking power in 2006. The government formally adopted early that year the motion passed by the House of Commons in 2004 recognizing Macedonia as the `Republic of Macedonia' rather than the `Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia' as it is referred to by many of Canada's allies.

Greece has held up Macedonia's bid to join NATO and the European Union due to the name dispute, which is sparked by Greek fears that Macedonia will make territorial claims to the adjacent Greek territory, also called Macedonia.

¢ In the Middle East, critics say Harper blew apart the attempts of previous Canadian governments to take a balanced approach to the ongoing conflict when he said in 2006 that Israel's bombing of targets in Lebanon, in response to Hezbollah's abduction of two Israeli soldiers, was `measured' despite the resulting civilian deaths.

The Kenney 2007 presentation doesn't mention Israel, but said a Tory goal was to `target growth in the Jewish community.' Some Tory defenders have noted that Muslims and Arabs outnumber Jews in Canada, which suggests that political opportunists would not be inclined to support Israel.

But the University of Western Ontario's Elizabeth Riddell-Dixon, writing in The World in Canada, argued that the Jewish community has been `very effective in speaking with a united voice,' while Arab Canadians are more disparate and, therefore, less likely to agree on policy goals, `especially those toward the Middle East.'

¢ The Harper government's criticism of China on human rights, which has been toned down after ongoing objections from both big business and the Chinese-Canadian community, doesn't qualify as an example of pandering, said the Tory insider.

He said Kenney has made clear to party members he has pushed an outspoken position based on personal principles even though many Chinese-Canadians, regardless of their views on communism, have resented the public criticism of their `mother country' ' especially during the 2008 Olympics that Harper refused to attend.

Former senior Canadian diplomat Jeremy Kinsman, Canada's former top representative to Russia, the United Kingdom and the European Union, shares Heinbecker's concern about a diaspora-driven policy threatening Canadian interests.

Kinsman said federal political parties, by adopting foreign policy positions advocated by diaspora groups, are effectively encouraging new Canadians to bring their homeland disputes to Canada.

`Our tradition had always been that foreign politics stops at the water's edge when you come into Canada,' Kinsman told Canwest News Service.

Three More Armenian Soldiers Cross Into Azerbaijan, Lider TV, Azerbaijan June 11 2009
Three more Armenian soldiers cross into Azerbaijan. The Armenian soldiers had defected from a regiment stationed in Martuni region of Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagornyy Karabakh.

The report quoted the three men as saying that they had decided to cross into the Azerbaijani side due to poor conditions in the army and mistreatment by senior officers. It quoted them as saying that they had been conscripted in Armenia and sent to do their military service in Karabakh. It said that they wanted to be sent to a third country.

The report showed three men dressed in camouflage being interviewed by a journalist. They were speaking in Armenian with overlaid Azerbaijani translation. At the end of the report they were shown saying in Armenian - "We do not want to go back to Armenia."

That is the second incident in June when Armenian soldiers crossed into Azerbaijan.

On 1 June, Azeri and Armenian media reported that two Armenian soldiers went AWOL in Nagornyy Karabakh and crossed into Azerbaijan.

Tough Message From Baku, Haykakan Zhamanak , Armenia, May 27 2009
Yesterday Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was in Azerbaijan on an official visit.

At a meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, the Karabakh conflict and Armenian-Turkish relation normalization issues were discussed. After the Davutoglu-Mammadyarov meeting, a joint press conference took place at which the Turkish minister sent a tough message to the Yerevan government using the language of an ultimatum. The occupied territories of Azerbaijan should be liberated. This is Turkey's message to Armenia. Let Armenia stop staging a farce in the region, Davutoglu stressed and added: I want to assure our Azerbaijani brothers that the Nagornyy Karabakh problem and the return of occupied territories are very important for Turkey and nobody should doubt this. We are looking into Azerbaijan's future in the same way we look into Turkey's future.

At the same time the minister mentioned that Turkey did not want the existence of frozen conflicts in the region. International organizations and developed countries of the world - the USA, Russia, France and Turkey - should boost efforts to settle the issue. Turkey will continue its efforts in that direction. Armenia should stop the occupation. Azerbaijani territories should be returned based on the UN resolutions, he stressed and repeated that they would not open borders with Armenia before that condition was met. In that regard the Turkish high-ranking official attached great importance to the upcoming meeting between [Armenian President] Serzh Sargsyan and [Azerbaijani President] Ilham Aliyev to be held on the sidelines of the International Economic Forum on 4-6 June in St Petersburg. He mentioned: We should not miss that historical moment.

Actually, after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement made on 13 May in Baku, the Ankara government, this time in the person of its foreign minister, announces for a second time that Armenian-Turkish relations will not be regulated and that the border will not open until Armenian troops vacate Nagornyy Karabakh and adjacent territories. This, in fact, represents the abrupt toughening of Ankara's position in regard to the Nagornyy Karabakh issue. Whereas earlier Turkey put forth the return of adjacent territories as a precondition for establishing relations with Armenia and opening the border, and they linked the opening of the border to the Nagornyy Karabakh issue settlement without mentioning ways of its regulation.

Today, Ankara is putting forward a clear-cut condition to Yerevan: withdraw troops from both Nagornyy Karabakh and adjacent territories, otherwise Yerevan has to forget about the border opening. Davutoglu's speech is obviously demonstrating that Ankara wants to get actively involved in the conflict settlement process and therefore wants to take the advantage of the fact that Turkey is currently a temporary member of the UN Security Council. It is not by chance that he (Davutoglu) is expressing his dissatisfaction with the activity of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. This proves that Turkey intends to have a role in the Nagornyy Karabakh issue settlement. The Turkish foreign minister is actually sending this tough message right before the Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting in St Petersburg with the intention to make Yerevan more prone to concessions at the forthcoming meeting. In general, very suspicious statements are being heard from Baku on the eve of the St Petersburg meeting. And this gives grounds to conclude that the Armenian side will be forced to make serious concessions in St Petersburg.

A couple of days ago, Elmar Mammadyarov announced that Armenia was having a negative impact on the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh issue. In the process of peaceful settlement we have had many achievements together with the previous Armenian president. But we have achieved nothing with the incumbent one. As a person conducting negotiations I cannot boast any progress. The new US administration has started to influence on the regional process through the OSCE Minsk Group and other countries. But because of the new Armenian president, we have not made any step forward, Mammadyarov said. Despite the above-stated fact, the OSCE [Minsk Group] co-chairs have stressed on numerous occasions that it is easier for Sargsyan and Aliyev to find common ground than it was for [former Armenian President Robert] Kocharyan and Aliyev. So, Mammadyarov tries to convince us that Kocharyan made concessions and Sargsyan is not. But Mammadyarov by this declarations helps Serzh Sargsyan to protect himself from the criticism and accusation inside Armenia. Hence, we can conclude that Azerbaijan makes a diplomatic move to disguise the expected concessions to be done by the Armenian side. We cannot but rule out that Sargsyan made concessions in Prague too and in fact Armenia did not toughen its position. Merely by toughening wording they (Armenians) made attempts to conceal the fact of concessions.

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Bishop Chuljyan, Potential Replacement For Patriarch Mesrob II, Talks Of Peace
Tall trees, a peaceful stream and picturesque mountains in the province of Vanadzor, Armenia, present the perfect serenity for a religious leader to think and reflect, and that is what Bishop Sebouh Chuljyan does.

“Please help us be in contact with civil society organizations in Turkey -- be they cultural, environmental or children's -- so we can have them over here either to do things together, maybe to plant trees or give concerts. I value civil initiatives more than the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border,” he said, looking sharply into the eyes of the curious Turkish journalists in his compound.

He was behind his busy desk filled not only with a variety of office documents, but also some Turkish history books, Turkish novels, Turkish television program scripts and a poem starting with the line, “A Human Being Should Be Aware…" (Farkında Olmalı İnsan) by Turkish poet Can Yücel. On his windowsill, there was a framed photograph of Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian editor of the İstanbul-based Agos daily who was assassinated in 2007. The two had become close friends when Dink visited Chuljyan in Armenia.

Bishop Chuljyan was speaking to the Turkish journalists who are in Armenia for the Turkey-Armenia Journalist Dialogue Project of the International Hrant Dink Foundation, funded by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung Association. This tall, impressive and determined religious leader was direct in his statements.

“The important thing is to establish close ties between the Turkish and Armenian peoples. Once they get to know and love each other, political leaders would race to open the doors,” he said, referring to the closed border between Turkey and Armenia, which Turkey shut in 1993 in solidarity with Azerbaijan after Armenia occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a part of Azerbaijani territory.

He runs a diocese of the Gougark region in the Armenian Apostolic Church. With this high qualification and having been born in Turkey, Bishop Chuljyan, 50, is also a natural patriarchal candidate for the post in İstanbul if there are elections for a new patriarch, if the frail Patriarch Mesrob II has to retire for health reasons. Asked if he would like to enter the elections in such a situation, he said he would if the Turkish-Armenian community supports him, even though he doesn't like to live in big cities.

“I don't like traffic and the hustle and bustle of the cities. I like to go and visit Anatolian towns and villages,” he said, adding that he has been to Turkey several times, but mostly to small towns.

When it comes to questions on the debate of whether Patriarch Mesrob II should be replaced due to his health problems, Chuljyan said he believes that the patriarch should be replaced. “This is the right thing to do,” he said.

‘I am from Malatya’

“I am from central Malatya. I went to see the house we once lived in there, but the new owners of the house did not allow me to see it. They cursed at me,” he said, telling some other stories from his visits in which he sometimes had terrible experiences because he was being ousted since some villagers disliked Armenians. In some cases, he was warmly welcomed by people.

“I was able to see my grandparents' house,” he said as his expression changed from a mix of angry and sad to a big smile. He showed the pictures he had taken in a person's house in Malatya where he was sitting on the floor with a group of townspeople and having a friendly chat. In another picture, he was enjoying the fresh figs from a tree in a garden that once belonged to his grandfather.

Chuljyan moved to Armenia when he was 9. When asked why he and his family left the province of Malatya where he was born, he said that they were tired of being humiliated because they were Armenian.

“Sebouh is my religious name. The name my father gave me is Hayk. Because my name was not an ethnic Turkish name, my father had to go through a series of difficulties to obtain my identification card,” he said in reference to the difficulties that minority communities faced in Turkey.

As he pulled out the picture of the pink-painted house where Dink lived in the past, he said that he met Dink in Armenia and they are from the same district in Malatya.

“I shared his ideas about fake nationalism. Nationalism is good when it is patriotic and not extreme or fake. Hrant believed that extreme nationalism was hurting both Turkey and Armenia,” he said.

Like Dink did, Chuljyan also has had a great sense of giving back to the Armenian community that raised him.

“We are a big family, seven boys and two girls. I went to a boarding school in İstanbul in Halıcıoğlu. The school is not there anymore because it was demolished during the construction of the bridge over the Golden Horn,” he said, adding that he established a summer camp in his compound for poor Armenian children who can enjoy themselves and nature.

“Please send me books from Turkey. I read a lot,” he said near the end of his meeting with the Turkish journalists. “I get so excited when Turks and Armenians talk to each other. Because if they don't, others will be winners and we will be losers. … And thank you for being aware of me.”
07 June 2009, Yonca Poyraz Doğan, Zaman

Turkey’s Newspapers Struggle With Plummeting Sales
Alarm bells are ringing for Turkey's newspapers, which are seeing circulation figures decline further with every passing day amid an ongoing financial crisis, a recently released report has revealed.

Although newspapers resort to various tactics, such as running more and more promotional campaigns and increasing prices to beat the challenges posed by the global economic crisis, their loss in sales seems to be unstoppable.

According to the report, prepared by the Bugün daily, which covers the circulation figures of Turkey's leading newspapers, despite promotional campaigns and price increases between May 26-June 1, 2008 and May 18-24, 2009, many newspapers are suffering from a decline in circulation.

For instance, the Hürriyet daily, which increased its price from Kr 25 to Kr 50 and its number of promotional campaigns from two to three, saw a fall of 35,916 in circulation -- from 503,394 to 467,478 -- the report showed.

Similarly, the Akşam daily, which increased its prices from Kr 35 to Kr 50 and the number of its promotional campaigns from two to three, saw a fall of 33,475 in its circulation figures -- from 175,752 to142,277 -- according to the same report.

The total loss in circulation of all of the newspapers is around 550,000, the report showed.

The spread of the Internet is one of the major reasons behind the circulation loss as a growing number of people are able to read the online editions of the newspapers free of charge, according to Star daily deputy CEO Levent Gültekin.

He said running promotional campaigns also does not help or turn out to be profitable for newspapers because they are unable to attract sufficient advertisements to meet the cost of these campaigns as companies are allocating less for advertising due to the financial crisis.

There are 36 newspapers in circulation in Turkey, and an overwhelming majority of these newspapers are able to survive with outside financial support, said Yavuz Baydar, a columnist for Sunday's Zaman. In Turkey, most of the newspapers are run by people who also operate in other commercial areas.

On whether promotional campaigns can save newspapers from declining circulation, he said people have become tired of promotional campaigns over the past five to six months and that they are not as interested in them as they used to be. “If it goes on like this, the number of newspapers may fall below 36,” he warned.

What to do to prevent circulation loss?

Mehveş Emin, a columnist with the Akşam daily, suggested in one of her columns last week that there should be restrictions on reading newspapers on TV morning programs as a measure to prevent the loss of newspaper circulation.

“Without exception, every TV channel has morning programs during which presenters read daily newspapers. It is certainly necessary to give a brief overview of a special news article, examine how different newspapers report on the same news and to learn what columnists wrote. But things seem to have gotten out of control on many channels. Presenters read newspapers line by line for hours. They zoom in the papers, read the news on the first page. They zoom in on the papers, read columns one by one. Under these circumstances, what is the logic behind someone buying a newspaper?” she said, emphasizing that the decline in newspaper circulation figures becomes inevitable in this case.

“TV channels that cannot create their own original programs due to laziness and a lack of means are pushing the newspapers to the bitter end,” she complained. Evin suggested that media bosses should take action to protect their most important property, “the content of their newspapers,” and that restrictions should be brought to bear on TV channels' “newspaper reading” programs.

According to Gültekin, the problem of circulation loss is also a result of the polarization in the Turkish media as readers give up buying newspapers that they do not find objective. “The polarization in the media should be eliminated in order to pave the way before readers to buy newspapers,” he said.
07 June 2009, Fatma Disli, Zaman

Turkish Consulate Official Denies Genocide At Conference On Genocide Denial In Norway www.asbarez.com Jun 5, 2009
OSLO, Norway (Bianet)-At a panel discussion on the limits of laws on Holocaust Denial at the International Freedom of Expression eXchange Conference in Oslo, Norway on Friday, a Turkish consulate official interrupted a discussion on the denial of the Armenian Genocide, claiming that Armenians were brutally murdered and deported from their homeland for treason.

A person describing themselves as an official at the Turkish consulate in Norway, objected to the use of the word "genocide" used by speakers to describe both what happened to Jews in the Third Reich and what happened to Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

"They were not deported because they were Armenians or because of their race, but because they collaborated with the enemy," the official claimed.

But thousands of pages of official government archives from the United States, Russia, France, Germany, and even Turkey, point to the indisputable fact that in 1915 the Ottoman Turkish government set out to annihilate the indigenous Armenian population inhabiting the lands under its dominion not for collusion, but for being Armenian.

Between 1915-1923, the government executed a systematic campaign to exterminate the Armenian people and remove them from their historic homeland. The Armenian Genocide, recognized as the first genocide of the 20th century by historians the world over, resulted in the death of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians and the loss of millions of dollars in property and land now under occupation by the Republic of Turkey.

But talking about this history is a crime in Turkey. According to Turkish publisher Ragip Zarakolu, who spoke at the panel, Articles 301 and 305 of the Turkish Penal Code prevent people from discussing the Armenian genocide. Zarakolu, the owner of Belge Publications, has himself been convicted under Article 301 for "denigrating the Turkish state or state organs" and for "inciting hatred and hostility."

Zarakolu said that these "laws encourage denial."

But the consulate official disagreed, arguing that Article 301 and other such laws were designed to "protect the unity of their territory and security."

Obama Disagrees With Sarkozy On Turkey Eu Bid 07 June 2009
(CAEN) - US President Barack Obama urged Europe on Saturday to reach out to Muslims around the world as he again disagreed with French President Nicolas Sarkozy over Turkey's bid to join the European Union.

Obama, who was praised this week for a speech seeking a new beginning in Western relations with the Islamic world, was asked about France's opposition to Turkish EU membership and its ban on Muslim veils in schools.

"I've said publicly that I think Turkish membership of the EU would be important," Obama told reporters at a joint news conference with Sarkozy before they attended commemorations for the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in northern France.

"Now, President Sarkozy, as a member of the EU, has a different view," he said.

"What the US wants to do is just to encourage talks and discussions where Turkey can feel confident that it has a friendship with France, with the United States, with all of Europe and to the extent that it defines itself that it has an opportunity to be a part of that," he explained.

"In all of this, I think that Europe and France have a role to play just as the United States does, to send a signal to Muslims around the world that we welcome and want their participation in a world community that is peaceful, that is propserous, that is developing in favour of all people."

Sarkozy insisted that he and Obama agreed on the general principle of friendship with Turkey, but said France would continue to oppose Turkish membership of the European Union.

"We want Turkey to be a bridge between East and West," Sarkozy said.

"I told President Obama that it's very important for Europe to have borders. For me Europe is a force stability in the world and I cannot, allow that force for stabilisation to be destroyed," he said.

Turkey began EU membership talks in 2005, and has begun negotiations in 10 of the 35 policy areas that candidate countries must bring into line with EU rules. France and Germany lead opposition to its membership.

If negotiations succeed, Turkey, with 76 million people, would be the first major Muslim country. Albania with 3.6 million people is also a candidate.

The two leaders also differed on Obama's call for powers like France to lift bans on Muslim women wearing religious headscarves in state schools and certain government jobs.

"I won't take responsibility for how other countries are going to approach this. I will tell you that in the United States, our basic attitude is that we're not going to tell people what to wear," Obama said.

"My general view is that most effective way to integrate poeple of all faiths is to not try to suppress their traditions, but rather to open up opportunities," he explained.

Sarkozy said he had found Obama's speech "remarkable" and that he agreed on the need to end what he called the "clash of cultures between East and West", but again said France would go a different way.

"Civil servants must not wear any outward sign of their religion, whether they are Catholics, Jewish, Orthodox, Protestants or Muslims," he said.

"The second thing is a young woman can wear a head scarf provided that's a decision they took freely and not been forced on them by their family or their entourage," he said.

"France is a country where everybody can enjoy the convictions, but women are respected as is their autonomy."

The Muslim veil is a very sensitive issue in France, where several women's rights groups attacked Obama's speech. One feminist organisation called it a "slap in the face for millions of women".

Copyright 2009 AFP. Copyright 2009 EUbusiness Ltd

Blackmail Or Preparation For A War? by Andrei Korbut, WPS Agency, Russia Defense & Security, June 5 2009
Lack Of Stability Fomented By Georgian Actions Against Abkhazia And South Ossetia Might Aggravate The Problem Of Nagorno-Karabakh; A war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh is judged unlikely.

"Continued occupation of the Azerbaijani territories by Armenia escalates tension in the region. It makes peaceful settlement of the conflict impossible and increases the probability of a military solution to the Karabakh conflict," Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev said. Abiyev urged European countries and chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group to apply pressure to Armenia.

It will be wrong to assume that Azerbaijan is about to start war preparations in order to attack Armenia and self-defense forces of Nagorno-Karabakh. Baku retains the hope for a peaceful settlement. Speaking on the Republic Day on May 28, President Ilham Aliyev announced that peace talks were even more intensive nowadays. "As always, the position of Azerbaijan is constructive and fair. It is based on international law. Return of the occupied lands to Azerbaijan and return of the displaced persons to their homes is on the agenda. Nagorno-Karabakh is not a sovereign state. Neither will it be sovereign in a decade or in a century," he said. Aliyev pinned the blame for the absence of progress in conflict settlement on Armenia which he said was stalling for time.

The Armenian military confirmed validity of the Azerbaijani president's words. Colonel General Gurgen Dalibatajan, advisor to the defense minister of Armenia, said that the status quo was not going to be altered. "Personally I will object to the return of the territories," he said. "No military will ever want to return territories. We occupy nothing. We liberated our own lands." Dalibatajan said no return of the lands was possible without a political decision. "I do not think that any president will go for a compromise. It will be tantamount to a suicide for us, for the military."

Baku knows this opinion of the Armenian military, hence Abiyev's aggressive rhetorics. Aliyev himself said that his country wanted a peaceful solution to the problem but admitted that "other options" were considered too.

It was an indirect admission from the national leader himself that Azerbaijan at least allowed for the possibility of a military solution.

That Azerbaijan gears its Armed Forces for a war is common knowledge. Defense expenses go up. Skirmishes and clashes on the front in the meantime continue. According to the Armenian media, "... 580 shots were fired from Azerbaijan and 116 from Karabakh in 2006, 1,445 and 431 in 2007, 3,480 and 728 in 2008, and 1,098 and 186 in 2009." The tendency is clear.

"That Azerbaijan is ready for a war is a fact. There is, however, a question: what if it is defeated?" said Samvel Babajan, ex-Defense Minister and former commander of the Defense Army of Nagorno-Karabakh. "Should Azerbaijan decide to go for it and fail to win the war, Baku will have to forget about any talks with Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh forever. I'd say they understand it in Baku."

What about Russia and its interests? What will it do in a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan? On the one hand, Moscow is supposed to assist Armenia, its ally and member of the CIS Collective Security Treaty Organization. On the other, it is supposed to remain neutral as a participant in the peace process and Baku's strategic partner. Moscow will probably try and remain neutral and strive for peaceful methods of dealing with problems. Its participation in the conflict is only possible if Turkey becomes directly involved in the war which is unlikely.

Ankara and Moscow know that even a fragile peace is always better than wars and deaths. This is why Russia and other countries will keep striving for a peaceful solution to the problem of Karabakh. Even peacekeepers might be deployed in the conflict area, and Russia will certainly insist on having its own contingent there. In a word, a major war in the southern part of the Caucasus is unlikely. Azerbaijani aggressive rhetoric is simply blackmail, a device needed to secure more active participation of the international community in the Karabakh talks.
Source: Voyenno-Promyshlenny Kurier, No 21, June 3 - 9, 2009, p. 2 Translated by Aleksei Ignatkin

The Cross For Armenians Examiner.com, June 5 2009
Have you ever seen the cross on top of Mount Davidson? The cross --somewhat reminds me of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil -- is one of the tallest man-made crosses in the world and the famous landmark in San Francisco. (The Dirty Harry movie featured a scene here.)

Mount Davidson is the highest point in San Francisco which is located near Twin Peaks. What you will find there is the huge cross called Mount Davidson Cross. It used to belong to the city of San Francisco but it is now owned by the Council of Armenian-American Organizations of Northern California. The cross is significant as it serves as a memorial to the Armenian people who died in the Armenian genocide of 1915.

Due to the periodic diaspora, Armenians are scattered all across the world. I have never been to Armenia, nor have I ever met a first generation Armenian. But I have some friends of Armenian descent and met a lot of Armenian descendants. It is at times easy to identify them as some of them have typical Armenian family names which end with -ian, -yan, or -jan, meaning `son of'. (Like the author William Saroyan.) The famous `Little Armenia' is in Hollywood but a large number of Armenians, either full or partial, also reside in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and San Jose. The population here gradually increased especially right after the Armenian genocide in 1915.

The Bay Area has a long established Armenian community. There are Armenian churches, schools, restaurants, grocery stores and many active organizations. The Armenian film and food festivals are also held in San Francisco. Royal Market & Bakery on Geary is one of the authentic Armenian stores you will find in the Bay Area. It sells a wide variety of imported products from Armenia. The store has the deli and offers a large selection of bread and dairy products including cheeses, kefir, pickled fish and seasoned meat for khorovats (barbeque).

The cross, consequently, means a lot to Armenians and us. According to the Armenian-American organization, it is also the site of a yearly prayer service, and the cross will be illuminated twice a year ` on Easter Day and Armenian Martyr's day on April 24. If you have never seen the cross, it is worth the watch. www.examiner.com/

Meetings Of Presidents Of Armenia And Azerbaijan Also Imply The Armenian-Turkish Relations In Their Context 06 June 2009 Today.Az

"The current stage of the negotiation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan is highly intensive", said chairman of the Noravank scientific research center Gagik Arutyunyan.

"Armenian side seems to be trying to seize the initiative in diplomatic rivalry", announced Arutyunyan adding also that the "Sargsyan-Aliyev meetings currently imply the Armenian-Turkish relations in their context. Yet so far there are not even indirect signs of the possible real changes in the result of the Petersburg meeting".

At the same time the expert considers that the political circles of some states have the opinion that "the worst peace is better than a good war". He said "elites consider that Armenia and Turkey and Azerbaijan must strike a peace treaty like France and Germany did after the second world war".

"I can not fully rule out the development by this script", announced Arutyunyan.

Commenting on the statement of leader of the Armenian national congress Levon Ter-Petrosyan that he does not recognize any document, signed by Serzh Sargsyan, Arutyunyan said the following: Regarding the statement about "the legal non-recognition of the president's decisions", I believe it was made also in the context of possible agreements with Turkey and Azerbaijan. Thus the congress shows that at this stage the organization will stake not only on the social and legal but also the national factor".

Moreover, the expert noted that the "denial of the mandate showed that despite the statements regarding "constitutional fight methods", the congress does not accept "civil" political methods and remains loyal to its "areal" tactics. "It can not be ruled out that the alternative in a form of participation in mayor's activity, demanding everyday political work and real efforts- is not for the congress", said Arutyunyan adding at the same time that "here it would be good to draw some analogues with Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova in the context of export of new generation of "color technologies".

Railroad With Armenia Strategic Zawya, 06 June 2009
Iran's Ambassador to Armenia Ali Saghaeian said the construction of Iran-Armenia railroad is important for the two countries and the whole region of South Caucasus.

Saghaeian told Armenian Armenpress News Agency that the railroad would help promotion of transportation in South Caucasus, Iribnews.ir reported.

Pointing to the Iranian experts' visit to Armenia for investigating the most appropriate way to implement the project, he predicted that investors consider this project of strategic importance.

He added that Russia has called to participate in the Iran-Armenia railroad project.

He noted the railroad deal was signed by the two countries' presidents during the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan's visit to Tehran adding that the experts are reviewing technical issues of the project.

The project will cost $2 billion. The World Bank and Asia Development Bank have announced their readiness to give loan for the project.

Iran-Armenia railroad is to extend 470 kilometers, 60 kilometers in Iran and 410 kilometers in Armenia.

Meanwhile, Iran's nationwide railroad network has been stretched to the southern city of Shiraz.

This came as a 506-kilometer railroad linking Shiraz in Fars province to Isfahan, central Iran, was inaugurated. The maiden trip of the railroad, 600 passengers were taken to the capital Tehran.

The project has absorbed over $650 million of finances in seven years. The railroad has the capacity to transport up to 4 million passengers and 7 million tons of cargo each year.
© Iran Daily 2009 www.zawya.com/

Canadian University Apologizes for Providing Forum to Genocide Deniers
TORONTO, Ontario - On February 18, The Department of Sociology at Ryerson University, and the Federation of Canadian Turkish Associations organized an evening lecture on campus titled "Elaborations on Turkish strategies to dealing with issues around Armenian Allegations and beyond."

The lecture was delivered by Professor Turkkaya Ataov, a leading denier of the Armenian Genocide. The lecture was equivalent to Neo-Nazi propaganda presented to deny the Jewish Holocaust. Prof. Ataov trivialized the reality of the Armenian Genocide and presented the usual Turkish Government's views. Ryerson University's student body was outraged by the fact that such an event had been cosponsored by a department of their university and raised concerns through letters and by signing petitions which included names of approximately 300 Ryerson students.

After several meetings with department heads and administration, University President Dr. Sheldon Levy, in a letter to Sally Sahagian, the president of the Armenian Students' Association at Ryerson, apologized, stating, `On behalf of Ryerson University, I would like to apologize for the pain and suffering experienced in particular by the members of the Armenian Community as a result of this event.'

He then assured the student body that the university's views were in line with that of the Canadian Government, the International Association of Genocide Scholars and the hundreds of historians and experts researching the topic internationally.

Dr. Levy stated, `Ryerson University supports Prime Minster Harper's statement on behalf of all Canadians that the Armenian Genocide is a historical fact, unquestionably part of the historical record with tremendous suffering.'
Califcourier at cs.com

Amnesty International Reports: Turkey

Head of state Abdullah Gül
Head of government Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Death penalty abolitionist for all crimes
Population 75.8 million
Life expectancy 71.4 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f) 35/26 per 1,000
Adult literacy 87.4 per cent

Human rights suffered in the context of political instability and military clashes. Reports of torture and other ill-treatment increased, while dissenting views were met with prosecution and intimidation. The right to freedom of peaceful assembly was denied, and law enforcement officials used excessive force to disperse demonstrations. Anti-terrorism legislation was also used to restrict freedom of expression. Unfair trials persisted especially for those prosecuted under anti-terrorism legislation, while barriers remained in bringing law enforcement officials to justice for human rights abuses. No progress was made in allowing the right to conscientious objection to military service. Forcible returns of refugees increased. Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity persisted. Implementation of laws aimed at preventing violence against women and girls remained slow.

Political tension and instability were heightened by polarizing legal battles, including at the Constitutional Court, and armed clashes between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish armed forces.

In legal cases that threatened the right to freedom of association, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) faced closure on the grounds that it was a focal point for anti-secular activities, as did the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) on the grounds that it engaged in activities against the unity and integrity of the country. The Constitutional Court rejected the closure of the AKP in July; the case against the DTP was continuing at the end of the year.

In February parliament passed constitutional amendments aimed at withdrawing the ban on women wearing the Islamic headscarf at universities, but the Constitutional Court overturned the amendments in June on the grounds that they violated the secular principles of the state. However, the judgment did not adequately demonstrate the need for this limitation of freedom of religion and conscience based on the human rights of others.

In July, the indictment was issued in a groundbreaking prosecution against an alleged ultranationalist network, Ergenekon, with links to state institutions. Eighty-six people, including senior retired army officers, were charged with various offences relating to an alleged plot to violently overthrow the elected government through political assassinations and incitement of violence. The trial was continuing at the end of the year.

Armed clashes between the Turkish army and PKK continued and the use of temporary security zones in eastern and south-eastern provinces increased. Bomb attacks, often by unknown individuals or groups, killed and injured civilians. The army carried out military incursions into northern Iraq targeting PKK bases. In October, parliament authorized the armed forces to make further military interventions in northern Iraq.
"...14-year-old Ahmet Yıldırım was shot by police officers at close range and paralysed from the waist down."

In the context of the conflict, Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin faced increased hostility, including harassment, assaults and attacks on their property perpetrated by unknown individuals or groups. In September, such attacks took place over several days in Altınova province, western Turkey.
Freedom of expression

Human rights defenders, writers, journalists and others were unjustly prosecuted under unfair laws and subjected to arbitrary decisions by judges and prosecutors. Article 301 of the Penal Code was amended by parliament in April but remained an unfair limitation to freedom of expression. Investigations under Article 301 continued, authorized by the Justice Minister as required by the amendments. Other articles and laws continued to be used to limit freedom of expression. Courts also acted disproportionately when shutting down websites on the basis of posted items.

People expressing dissenting views remained at risk, with individuals threatened with violence by unknown individuals or groups. Police bodyguards were provided in a number of cases.

In August, Minister of Justice Mehmet Ali Şahin gave permission for the prosecution of writer Temel Demirer under Article 301 for statements he made claiming state responsibility in the murder of journalist and human rights defender Hrant Dink in 2007.
Nine children, all members of the Diyarbakır Yenişehir Municipality Children’s Choir, were prosecuted under Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terrorism Law for singing a Kurdish anthem among other songs at a cultural festival. They were acquitted at the first hearing, but an arrest warrant remained in force for the choir leader, Duygu Özge Bayar.

Human rights defenders

The work of human rights defenders was hampered by unjustified prosecutions, and some high-profile human rights defenders were subjected to regular criminal investigations. Human rights NGOs faced excessive administrative scrutiny of their work. Human rights defenders were threatened by unknown individuals or groups as a result of their work.

Orhan Kemal Cengiz received threats because of his legal work on behalf of the families of three men murdered in an attack on a Christian publishing house in Malatya in 2007. The authorities provided him with a bodyguard and investigated the threats.

In January, Ethem Açıkalın, head of the Adana branch of the Human Rights Association (İHD), was prosecuted under anti-terrorism legislation after attending a press conference about an alleged extrajudicial execution. In August, he and another İHD member, Hüseyin Beyaz, said that they were ill-treated by police while investigating the arrest of DTP members. Hüseyin Beyaz’ arm was broken. An investigation was opened against Ethem Açıkalın and Hüseyin Beyaz for “resisting police officers”.

Freedom of assembly

Some demonstrations were banned without legitimate reason and those held without permission, particularly in the Kurdish-populated south-eastern region, were dispersed with excessive force, often before peaceful methods had been tried. During clashes, police used plastic bullets and live ammunition, resulting in deaths and injuries. Demonstrators were arrested and ill-treated. In some cases, children were held in adult detention facilities. Allegations of ill-treatment by security forces during past demonstrations were not adequately investigated.

Traditional Newroz/Nevruz festivals after the 21 March equinox, which are celebrated especially by the Kurdish community, were refused authorization in south-eastern Turkey. Television footage showed law enforcement officials beating people after demonstrations went ahead without permission.

Law enforcement officials were filmed ill-treating 15-year-old C.E. during his arrest at a demonstration in Hakkari, but a prosecutor subsequently dismissed the complaint. C.E. was, however, prosecuted for his participation in the demonstration.

Permission for Labour Day demonstrations in Taksim square, Istanbul, was again refused on the unsubstantiated grounds that they would present a threat to security. Some 530 people were arrested for demonstrating without authorization on 1 May in Istanbul.

In October, demonstrations were held across southern and eastern provinces of Turkey to protest against the alleged ill-treatment of imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. Reportedly, more than a hundred children were charged with offences carrying prison sentences of more than 20 years in relation to the demonstrations. In addition, the Governor of the southern province of Adana threatened to withdraw benefits that allow access to health care and treatment from the families of children who participated in the demonstrations. The move, a form of collective punishment, threatened to violate the right of everyone to health and to an adequate standard of living, without discrimination. Adults and children involved in the sometimes violent confrontations with police were prosecuted under anti-terrorism laws.

Excessive use of force

Reports increased of police shooting people who allegedly failed to obey warnings to stop. In many cases it could not be established that a threat of death or serious injury necessitated the use of lethal force.

In November, 14-year-old Ahmet Yıldırım was shot by police officers at close range and paralysed from the waist down. Police stated that they had suspected Ahmet Yıldırım of stealing the motorcycle he was riding and fired at the tyres when he refused to stop. Eyewitnesses stated that no warning to stop was given.

Torture and other ill-treatment

Reports of torture and other ill-treatment rose during 2008, especially outside official places of detention but also in police stations and prisons. People accused of ordinary as well as politically motivated offences were vulnerable to ill-treatment. Counter-charges were often brought against individuals who said they had been ill-treated by law enforcement officials.

In October, Engin Çeber died in hospital after being detained in İstinye police station and Metris prison in Istanbul. An autopsy found that death was due to cerebral bleeding as a result of blunt trauma injuries consistent with those caused by blows to the head. Nineteen law enforcement officials were suspended from duty and an indictment was drawn up against 60 state officials, some facing torture charges. In the first such statement of its kind, the Justice Minister apologized to Engin Çeber’s family and acknowledged that the death may have been due to torture.
Prison conditions

No progress was made in the implementation of a 2007 government circular aimed at improving the association time allowed to prisoners in high-security “F-type” prisons. Persistent allegations were made of ill-treatment in prisons and during transfer. Punishments, including solitary confinement, were arbitrarily imposed on prisoners. Small-group isolation remained a problem across the prison system for people accused or convicted of politically motivated offences.

In March, the report of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture was published on the conditions of imprisonment of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan recommending that he receive certain medical tests, that the material conditions of his detention be improved, and that the Turkish authorities take steps to increase his contact with the outside world.

Unfair trials

Protracted and unfair trials persisted, especially for those prosecuted under anti-terrorism legislation. Convictions under anti-terrorism laws were often based on insubstantial or unreliable evidence.

In June, Murat Işıkırık was sentenced to seven years in prison for “membership of a terrorist organization” on the basis of evidence that he participated in the funeral of a PKK member and was pictured giving a “V for victory” sign.

In September, Selahattin Ökten was sentenced to life imprisonment for taking part in armed activities for the PKK. He was convicted on the basis of an insubstantial witness statement allegedly obtained under torture.


Investigations into human rights violations by law enforcement officials remained flawed and prosecutions remained insufficient. Official human rights mechanisms were ineffective.

The trial continued of people accused of involvement with the 2007 murder of Hrant Dink. In a separate prosecution, eight members of the gendarmerie were charged with negligence based on their alleged failure to act on information that could have prevented the murder. A report published in July by the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission found that other state officials had been negligent in failing to prevent the murder.

In November, the Supreme Court of Appeals overturned the conviction of eight police officers for the death in custody of Alpaslan Yelden in 1999 in Izmir. The court found there was insufficient evidence that the officers participated in the torture.

In December prosecutors dismissed a case against police officers lodged by Mustafa Kükçe’s family after his death in custody in June 2007. The prosecutor concluded that the death from cerebral bleeding could have been caused by a fall before he was taken into custody despite the last medical report while he was in detention finding injuries consistent with those inflicted by ill-treatment. The investigation also found that no record was made of Mustafa Kükçe’s detention and that camera footage from the police station was not available due to the cameras being out of order.

Abuses by armed groups

Bomb attacks targeting civilians by unknown groups or individuals continued. In July, for example, 17 people died after a bomb exploded in the Güngören district of Istanbul.

In January, nine civilians died as a result of an apparent PKK attack targeting military personnel in Diyarbakır.

Prisoners of conscience – conscientious objectors

People participating in the Gay Pride march in Beyoglu, Istanbul, 4 July 2008.
© Yasemind

No civilian alternative to compulsory military service exists and promised legal reforms to prevent the repeated prosecution of conscientious objectors for evading military service were not introduced. Conscientious objectors were prosecuted and their supporters were also prosecuted under Article 318 of the Penal Code for “alienating the public from military service”.

Halil Savda was re-imprisoned in March for his conscientious objection to military service. In June, he was additionally sentenced to five months in prison under Article 318 of the Penal Code after participating in a press conference held in support of Israeli conscientious objectors in 2006.

In June, conscientious objector Mehmet Bal was detained for evading military service. He said that he was repeatedly beaten in military custody.
Rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

Laws continued to be interpreted in ways that discriminated against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Allegations persisted of violence by law enforcement officials against transgender people.

In May a local court in Istanbul ordered the closure of Lambda Istanbul, an organization that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, after the Istanbul Governor’s Office complained that the organization’s objectives were “against moral values and family structure”.

A transgender person told Amnesty International that in February she was picked up on the street, taken to the Ankara Security Directorate and then insulted and beaten by police. She was released six hours later after paying a fine.

In July, Ahmet Yıldız was shot dead outside his apartment in Istanbul in what was suspected to be a gay “honour” crime. He had previously made a criminal complaint to prosecutors about threats made against him by relatives.
Refugees and asylum-seekers

There was an increase in forcible returns of refugees and asylum-seekers to countries where they were at risk of serious human rights violations. There were also reports of irregular deportations resulting in the death or injury of asylum-seekers.

A group of Uzbekistani refugees was twice forcibly returned to Iran, first in September and then in October. During the first forcible return, members of the group were said to have been beaten and threatened with rape unless they crossed back into Iran.

Four people drowned in April, according to UNHCR, when Turkish police forced a group of 18 refugees and asylum-seekers to cross a fast-flowing river on the Turkey-Iraq border.
Violence against women and girls

Laws and regulations designed to protect women and girls from violence were inadequately implemented. Insufficient funds and inaction by government departments undermined a 2006 circular from the Prime Minister aimed at combating domestic violence and preventing “honour” crimes. Limited progress was made in providing shelters for women survivors of violence to the extent stipulated by the 2004 Law on Municipalities – at least one shelter per settlement with a population of over 50,000.

Amnesty International visits
Amnesty International delegates visited Turkey in February, March, April and May.

Christian Monastery In Turkey Wins Back Land
One of the world's oldest functioning Christian monasteries has won a legal battle to have land it had owned for centuries restored to it, after a Turkish court ruled on Friday it could not be claimed by the state.

The dispute over the boundaries of Mor Gabriel, a fifth-century Syriac Orthodox monastery in eastern Turkey, had raised concerns over freedom of religion and human rights for non-Muslim minorities in Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country and European Union aspirant.

In a statement, the Syriac Universal Alliance (SUA), a leading Syriac group based in Sweden, said a Turkish court in Midyat had reversed an initial decision by the land registry court to grant villages some 110 hectares (272 acres) of monastery land. But it added another three cases relating to the monastery's former land remained open, two of which had been postponed.

The row began when Turkish government land officials redrew the boundaries around Mor Gabriel and the surrounding villages in 2008 to update a national land registry. The Syriac Orthodox monks said the new boundaries turned over to the villages large plots of monastery land and some designated as public forest.

The case became a rallying cry for Christian church groups across Europe, and had been postponed several times. Syriacs are one of the oldest communities in Turkey and still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ. But they are not officially designated a minority in Turkey like the Greeks or Armenians, so have no special protection under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne's provisions for non-Muslim minorities. The ruling AK Party government has said it has expanded the rights of minorities. But the EU and U.S. President Barack Obama, during a trip to Turkey in April, have urged Ankara to do more to promote religious freedom.
24 May 2009, REUTERS Zaman

White House’s Research: Armenians Massacred 2 Million Muslims
Fein, Counselor the former President of the USA: “White House has made a research and it came out that Armenians had massacred 2 millions of Muslim Ottomans. Armenians do not open their own archives, because they do not wish to reveal this fact…”

Bruce Fein, who was the counselor the former US President Ronald Reagan evaluated the so-called Armenian genocide claims. Indicating that Armenian’s claims are extremely baseless, Fein stated that this matter was examined during the presidency of Reagan in 1981 by the White House and it was documented that claims are baseless. Following is Fein’s statement about the so-called Armenian genocide: “It should not be forgotten that the Ottoman Empire has treated the minorities extremely careful. The minorities maintained their religious freedom and their life in peace and quiet. ”

Gangs Killed Ottomans
The Armenian terror gangs killed the Ottomans during the World War I, together with France and Russia. It is a fact that this number is around 2 million. It has been also proved that the Armenian losses are around 500 thousand. The most important point here is the betrayal of the Armenians. The Ottoman was defending itself. Particularly, the Armenians who are living in the USA take advantage of the genocide lie. And the USA administration does not wish to be against the Armenians because of the amount of the money is in question. The Armenians do not open their archives insistently. Because, they do not wish to lose the gains they have been getting from the genocide lie for years. When the archives are opened, the truth will be revealed.

Source: Takvim Daily Newspaper-16.05.2009
29.05.2009, GenocideReality.com

Unneighborliness In Neighborhoods
ISTANBUL - By asking citizens in various cities who they would prefer to have living next door, a new survey reveals that Turks bear high levels of intolerance toward diversity, with atheists and gays among the least wanted neighbors. Turks give more negative answers than the European average, says Yılmaz Esmer of Bahçeşehir University

Tolerance levels within the Turkish population toward different groups, styles of living and ideologies are considerably low, according to survey results released over the weekend.

Three of four people in Turkey said they do not want a neighbor who drinks alcohol, while the same percentage said they do not want neighbors who do not believe in God. Sixty-six percent said they do not want a Jewish neighbor, while 52 percent said they do not want to live next to a Christian.

The results of the survey, conducted by Istanbul’s Bahçeşehir University, are based on face-to-face interviews with 1,714 people in 34 cities, including Gaziantep, Hatay, Kayseri, Samsun, Sivas, Tokat and Van. The three weeks of fieldwork ended one month ago.

The number of Turks who said they believe that ethnic or religious diversity adds to life’s richness was only slightly higher than those who said they believe ethnic or religious diversity harms the country’s unity.One of the criteria for measuring tolerance levels in international surveys is to ask a question about what kinds of neighbors are preferred, said Prof. Yılmaz Esmer, who headed the team that conducted the survey. In this respect, the negative answers were higher than the European average, Esmer told journalists and academics Friday night. His team’s research showed gays are the most unwanted members of society, with 87 percent of respondents saying they do not want a gay neighbor, among the highest figures in Europe.

Twenty-six percent of Turks said they do not want a neighbor of a different race or color, while 43 percent said they do not want American neighbors. The figure for those who said they do not want neighbors who do not follow any religion was 66 percent, while 75 percent said they do not want neighbors who do not believe in God. Thirty-six percent said they do not want neighbors whose daughters wear shorts, while 67 percent said they do not want neighbors who are living together outside of wedlock.

In contrast, 14 percent said they do not want a neighbor who wears a veil and 33 percent said they do not want one who wears a black chador.

The survey was conducted among people 15 years of age and older. One of the most striking findings of the survey was that the young are the most intolerant group as far the "wanted neighbor" criteria was concerned, with the highest level of intolerance demonstrated among those aged 15 to 18. The survey also focused on issues of discrimination and pressure, with 18 percent reporting that they feel like a member of a group that is being discriminated against, for whatever reason. Eight percent of respondents said they have been subject to discrimination by the state because of their mother tongue, 9 percent because they belong to a different ethnic group and 9 percent because of their religion. Six percent said they had been discriminated against by the state because of their secular ideas.

Globe and Mail, Canada May 30 2009 From the Archives 100 YEARS AGO:
The Globe reported that at sessions of the royal commission of police corruption in Montreal three more officers swore to having paid for their positions and promotions on the detective force. Detective Dan McLaughlin gave an extremely direct and straightforward story of being asked by one Quartermaster Holland for $100 for his promotion, and flatly refused to pay it. He was promoted all the same. Holland denied all the charges of asking for money, declaring that in each case he had simply been telling the candidate that his promotion would be worth $100 more in yearly salary. He admitted having made the statement that his own position cost him $2,000, but claimed this was in a purely joking conversation. The Turkish land-owner who had led the slaughter of the Armenians in Adana was placed in charge of the government relief fund in that district.

Freedom: Everywhere Or Nowhere Civilitas Perspective / Democracy, 12 May 2009
Event On May 3, Armenia, along with the rest of the world, celebrated World Press Freedom Day. Two days earlier, Freedom House, the New-York based NGO which promotes freedom around the world, released a list of countries ranked by the degree of media freedom in each. Armenia is included among the `Not Free' countries, and ranks 151, along with Singapore. In a previous Freedom House report, Armenia was in 144th place, near Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, the Maldives, Moldova and Pakistan.

Just as Freedom House registered Armenia's drop in the rankings, two events took place in Armenia to reinforce the rating: in the space of a few days, two journalists ` ArmeniaToday editor Argishti Kiviryan and Shant TV news analyst Nver Mnatsakanyan were both attacked. The reasons for the attacks remain unclear. Mr. Kyviryan remains hospitalized.

Background Everyone assumes of course that these journalists were attacked because they did something or said something as journalists that displeased someone ` perhaps someone in government, but not necessarily. In other words, such events are explained in the context of a not-free press.

The story of freedom of the press in Armenia runs parallel to the history of Armenia. The first years of independence were years of true press freedom in Armenia when the Soviet authorities had disappeared and the new regime was still taking shape. However, that freedom was not institutionalized and formalized, it did not become an important attribute of a new culture of statehood, rather it gradually fell victim to political interests and domestic political processes. The Soviet not-free press was all pro-government. Therefore, free press came to be synonymous with anti-government. When independent Armenia's new political elite began competing amongst themselves, instead of with their Soviet counterparts, they were not able to resist the temptation to drag the press into that game. The press, lacking traditions and means of sustaining their independence, went along. Newspapers and television became a direct political tool, they became politicized, partisan and came under the same political pressures which existed in daily political life, in tandem with the existing political culture. Respect for the free flow of ideas, the freedom to voice a variety of ideas, had no time to take root either in society or in the media. The public, mired in economic woes, did not demand such outlets. Editors, subject to those economic ills, could not ensure their independent survival through traditional subscription and advertising channels. So, to continue to exist, media found their sponsors and those sponsors espoused not political or ideological views but partisan or personal interests for which their own private media became the mouthpiece.0D

As society became more polarized, so did media. The political intolerance devolved to personal, individual intolerance. There are no media outlets for honest, fair, consistent, continuous battles of words. Instead, those battles have been moved to the streets.

Analysis All this would have been sufficient explanation last year or the year before to comprehend the real situation of our media. However, this year, when 10 journalists have already been attacked, none of the cases resolved, none of the crimes solved, the situation can no longer be explained. It is unacceptable and intolerable. Violence against journalists has become commonplace. In a society where it is also common to resort to violence to resolve any number of problems ` including practical, daily personal issues ` attacks against journalists are automatically assumed to be caused by the victim's profession.

Especially since beyond standard condemnations, there is no effort to truly punish or prevent such actions, this leads one to believe that such an intimidating environment suits someone. Better to have careful, self-censoring, scared journalists, than to allow them to question, comment, criticize ` even if they do so unevenly, according to their own agenda. This `policy' is reinforced by the controlled `use' of opposition figures in the electronic media ` rather than allowing the public discourse to determine who20should be invited to airwaves, there is clear control and direction about who to invite when for what time period, on what topic. This exacerbates the tension and is at least partially responsible for the extreme intolerance often found in the opposition print media. If the press exists and is not free, then it is altogether unnecessary because it does not promote a free and open dialogue within the population. It in fact harms reforms by creating an environment of pretense, which in turn, insults, disengages and makes an entire nation feel more cynical and powerless. It is because there is no real dialogue and debate and confrontation in the press that there is such physical, personal confrontation on the streets, with members of the press. Of course, it is true, that in some cases, the attacked individual's professional affiliation had nothing to do with the purpose of the attack. But we'll never know, since there is no culmination, no resolution, no public information available about why and how these incidents take place.

Outlook So long as government does not take responsibility for its part in correcting this situation, three things will continue to happen:
1. The public will assume that this situation is to the government's liking.
2. Members of the press corps will continue to assume that they do not fall within the government's sphere of responsibility to protect, and therefore their own responsibility to professionally, fairly, honestly report the news can also be suspended.
3. Violence will continue to reign as the effective method of problem-solving, to be embarked upon with impunity, in all spheres of life.

Has Erdogan Altered His Announcements On The Armenian Genocide? 30.05.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Erdogan Criticizes Turkey's Past and Accuses the Kemalists of Ethnic Cleansing
On May 23 2009, during a congress of Turkey's ruling Party (Justice and Development Party) in Duzce, Eastern Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made an important announcement. He criticized Turkish nationalism and called the Kemalist foundation of the Republic of Turkey `fascist' because of the ethnic cleansing of the Armenian and Greek minorities. Erdogan said, `For many years Turkey has been ethnically cleansed of its minorities because of their cultural and ethnic difference vis-à-vis the Turkish identity. This was the result of fascism and we as the Justice and Development Party have been trapped in this wrong political approach and have committed similar errors'.

The President of the Armenian National Committee of Canada, Dr. Girair Basmadjian considers Erdogan's announcement as an improvement in the domestic politics of Turkey after a continuous denialist politics adopted by the deep state. `Since the creation of modern Turkey, successive governments have adopted a policy of Turkification and have mistreated its minorities. Erdogan's announcement is canceled the first made by a Prime Minister accepting Turkey's past mistakes and may be considered as a first step for an eventual apology to the Armenian population for its extermination by the Ottoman government in 1915. However we should not be too optimistic because the current Turkish government and academia includes numerous influential `fascists' and it is not clear if Erdogan's real intent is to oppose them. Only a few months ago Professor Turkaya Ataov delivered a `fascist' speech calling the West racist and denying the Armenian Genocide'.

Finally, the Turkish public is faced with an unprecedented choice to decide which version of history leads to its future, is it the version adopted by the deep state, people like Ataov and prosecutors who deny the events of 1915 and try to mislead their own people by penalizing the open discussion of the Armenian Genocide with the adoption of article 301 of the penal code? Or the true version that Erdogan referred to that leads to a peaceful coexistence with neighbors and regional actors and brings Turkey closer to democratic Europe? Only time will show if the true version will finally succeed to lead Turkey to European integration, however if the version adopted by the deep state prevails, Turkey risks its isolation in the eyes of Europe and the international community.

Erdoğan’s Remarks Bring Hope For End To Xenophobia In Turkey
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's courage in speaking out for minority rights and against the prevailing fears of foreign nationals last week sparked discussions on xenophobia in Turkey in addition to raising expectations of progress in the arena of minority rights.

Erdoğan slammed xenophobia in Turkey in response to the criticism of opposition parties to a plan for initiating a tender for the clearance of land mines located along Turkey's borders. The opposition claimed the government was planning to rent land along the southeastern border to foreign firms, particularly Israeli firms, which would in turn clear the mines. “This mindset has seemingly not changed. It has been the same for many years in this country. They have chased members of different ethnicities out of this country. Have we won? This was the result of a fascist mentality,” Erdoğan had said.

He was also self-critical. He added that his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) had made similar mistakes in the past. A recent report by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) underlines that the Turkish Republic unwillingly gave the status of minorities to non-Muslims in the Treaty of Lausanne. But after a short while, it became obvious that the new state did not have the intention of implementing these rights. According to the report, since the 1930s, non-Muslims have been forced to leave the country through different methods, including the introduction of heavy taxes directed against them.

“This situation turned into a state policy in the 1960s, when there was a crisis over Cyprus. Since then not violations of the Treaty of Lausanne but its actual implementation has been the exception,” the report notes.

Opposition rejects Erdoğan's remarks

Turkey's opposition parties were quick to answer Erdoğan. Deniz Baykal, the leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), argued that the prime minister's claims were unfair. Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahçeli claimed that Erdoğan's speech was a reflection of his uncontrollable temper.

“These remarks are a typical example of a mentality that regrets winning the War of Independence, condemning our history and questioning the Treaty of Lausanne [the founding agreement of the Turkish Republic],” Bahçeli said.

But intellectuals and minority representatives welcomed the prime minister's remarks.

Johny Messo, the president of the Syriac Universal Alliance, which recently sent letters to Erdoğan, President Abdullah Gül and Interior Minister Beşir Atalay about the rights of their community and an ongoing trial regarding a monastery in southeastern Anatolia, also welcomed the statement, which he described as “an honest, audacious and historic self-reflection.”

“I believe it is an important step forward. ... The Aramean people hope that the government, media and society at large will follow the example shown by their visionary leader.”

Messo underlined that as a community they will continue their democratic struggle for safety guarantees and treatment as equal citizens under the banner of the Turkish Republic.

“Only under such preconditions can we optimistically return en masse to Turkey, invest in it, accept our common mission, integrate the nation as a full member into the EU and facilitate its advancement democratically, intellectually, culturally and economically,” he added.

These expectations raised by Messo are also voiced by Professor Ayhan Turhan Aktar, an expert on minorities. He said Erdoğan was right when he stated that members of different ethnicities were chased out of the country. “In the year 1927, the percentage of non-Muslims in the country was 2.8, but this has now gone down to 0.1 percent. For many reasons and in different waves, many of them had to immigrate. But after his statement, it is natural to expect some changes, such as the reopening of the Heybeliada Seminary and the return of the property of minority foundations,” he added.

‘The roots of xenophobia exist, but what will happen depends on politicians’

Professor Türker Alkan, author of the book “Aggressiveness, Prejudgments and Xenophobia,” stresses that the xenophobia described by Prime Minister Erdoğan exists not only at the state level, but also within Turkish society. Alkan points to the slaying of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, propaganda against foreigners and also the fact that none of the deputies in Parliament are members of Turkey's ethnic minorities. He claims that these tendencies have arisen from history and are based on a culture of antipathy against non-Muslims. “What we are witnessing in Turkey is not large-scale xenophobia, but a dislike for foreigners of other religions. The Ottoman Empire discriminated between its citizens not according to their ethnic origin, but according to their religion. Also, we should keep in mind that this problem belongs not just to Turkey, but to the whole world,” Alkan said.

Öztürk Türkdoğan, chairman of the Human Rights Association (İHD), stresses that although xenophobia is a problem throughout world, Turkey does not have the legal regulations to deal with it.

“On the one hand, our laws do not discriminate between violent and non-violent acts and speeches when it comes to freedom of expression. But we don't have legal regulations about hate crimes and hate speech, either,” he underlined.

As an example of hate speech, he recalled that this week a court in Eskişehir sentenced a man to five months in prison for "insulting a segment of society" after he put up a banner saying Jews and Armenians were not allowed to enter his business. However, the punishment was commuted to a monetary fine and the sentence commuted.

Öztürk suggested that the roots of this xenophobia are in Turkish society but that, depending on the attitude of politicians and opinion makers, sometimes Turkish society has a positive attitude toward foreigners and other times this attitude can be negative.

“For example, foreigners have purchased many houses in coastal areas and have now settled there. So far we have not heard of any discrimination or negative attitudes toward them. But when politicians talk negatively about foreigners -- for example, if they adopt an anti-Semitic attitude -- this is reflected in the society, too,” he said, adding in this respect the recent remarks from Prime Minister Erdoğan were positive and constructive.

Can Paker, the head of the TESEV, agrees. According to him, Erdoğan's remarks confirmed that there is a fertile atmosphere in Turkey for discussing a wide variety of topics. “I find Erdoğan's approach quite appropriate. Turkey has so far not changed its political position regarding a number of issues. It has not been courageous enough to face history. Erdoğan's remarks proved that many things can be discussed in Turkey,” he added.
31 May 2009, Ayşe Karabat Zaman

Fund For Armenian Relief (Far) Press Office, New York, NY 10016, www.farusa.org
A Diasporan in Armenia:
Jason Paul Kazarian from Texas discovers Gyumri and its young talents in unique way. Life in Gyumri is a far cry from Texas for Jason Paul Kazarian. But when the opportunity arose to fill the vacant Executive Director position at the Gyumri Information Technologies Center (GITC/GTech), he accepted it without hesitation. Moving 5,000 miles away from his home country provided quite the lifestyle change for Mr. Kazarian, both professionally and personally. But the vision and goals he had for GITC prompted his move and have remained his priority. Each day for him at GITC - a competitive post-graduate IT institution - varies.

On Mondays, he teaches a class for students working on their thesis projects and helps them with the organization of their papers including the format, thesis, thesis chapters, and gives overall guidance to the 20 students so they can graduate on July 14. Mr. Kazarian also makes it a point for himself to travel out of Gyumri into Yerevan to do development work and build partnerships between the IT industry and GITC. There he frequently visits the FAR office. He also spends his time writing grant proposals and finding sources of revenue, in addition to supervising GITC's employees.

Founded in August 2005, GITC promotes the IT industry, drives the formation of an IT infrastructure and promotes employment opportunities in this area devastated by the major earthquake in 1988. GITC has graduated about 50 young adults. In exchange for nearly free training, students commit to remain in the Gyumri region for two years following graduation. The cultural differences between Armenia and the United States are ones Mr. Kazarian has observed while living in Gyumri. "The way women and men engage with each other is similar to the US in the 1950s," said Mr. Kazarian. "The women's lib movement hasn't taken full effect, although it seems it's going to happen with the current generation who are 25 and under. I'm seeing a modern mindset in some of them," he said, noting that Gyumri is a mix of eastern and western cultures.

"It's interesting to look at our students because they have a provincial mindset. Gyumri has a population of 150,000 people and there's a prevailing village mentality," said Mr. Kazarian, who has a bachelor's and a master's degree in computer science. Moving across the world naturally poses many challenges and obstacles to complete even the simplest tasks. "There's not an open market for rental property," said Mr. Kazarian, who had to hunt for a place to live when he first moved to Gyumri. "Something as simple as finding a place to live is basically done by word of mouth." He compared Gyumri to most European cities where it's very compact. Mr. Kazarian walks 20 minutes to work every day and doesn't need a car to get around, as it's easy to get everywhere on foot.

Originally from California, Mr. Kazarian lived the last 14 years in Texas. He has been in software development for about 25 years and spent three years in industrial education in technical topics such as telecommunications and software development.

Prior to joining GITC, he worked six years as an independent contractor for multiple customers and owned a boutique IT company.

Mr. Kazarian's vision for GITC is three-fold. He wants to modify the curriculum so that there are no prerequisites to complete before enrolling in GITC, other than earning a degree from a public institution. He would also like to hire local Gyumri-based full time faculty which both reduces expenses and improves the quality of student life. "Now we have instructors who commute from Yerevan and come once a week," said Mr. Kazarian. "There is no opportunity for students to interact with their teachers.

Having our own faculty will also make it easier for students to get help on projects and homework assignments during the week." He sees GITC moving from an academic model to a vocational and certification model of training which is more job-focused and will be more beneficial to students who don't want a college degree but want to work in a technical discipline. "The vision is going towards that direction. We are targeting people that don't have those kind of resources and are being ignored by the rest of the educational community," said Kazarian.

In addition, Mr. Kazarian wants GITC to engage with more Americans, in particular, American-Armenian companies and have GITC students perform outsourcing and off shoring work for them. "We need to build bridges with these companies who are moving in that [off shoring] direction, especially with the recession we have going on in the US," said Mr. Kazarian.

"Armenia is an optimum market for generating wealth through intellectual property.

Salaries paid for talented technical specialists are reasonable, even when compared with Chinese and Indian markets. Dozens of companies are engaged in hardware and software product development for export, including National Instruments and Virage Logic. Some organizations, Epygi and Synopsys to name just two, are betting the entire company's future on Armenian based talent--and winning. GITC is becoming a bridge to Gyumri for companies like this and many others. I would love to see this opportunity - GITC, explored and supported by, especially, young generation of Armenians from Diaspora."

Mr. Kazarian is indeed enjoying his position at GITC and living in Gyumri. Two of his favorite things in Gyumri are the weather, which he said is comparable to Denver, and the healthier food, including the locally grown organic fruits and vegetables.

Gyumri, located 75 miles outside of Yerevan, is the second largest city in Armenia, and has made substantial progress since it was hard hit with the earthquake in 1988.

The calamity took the lives of 50,000 people and injured scores of others. "One of the big changes is the amount of construction since I was here in December 2006 to today. There are buildings popping up everywhere. I've seen 3 or 4 multi-story large buildings go up in spaces that were vacant in a little over 2 years. Earthquake-wise, they're rebuilding the original Armenian Church, and the project is coming along.

There have been a lot of changes. It doesn't look anything like it did, five, or even two years ago."

There are many things Mr. Kazarian wants to accomplish as Executive Director of GITC, including starting a full-time faculty, hopefully with the participation of Diasporan Armenians. "I wish I could encourage people in the IT industry who want to become educators to come and teach at GITC," said Mr. Kazarian. "If we had half a dozen people who would be willing to move here for a year or two, we would have a cutting edge educational institution. We would like to have people from the Diaspora to come here and do something different than a typical nine to five job."

Mr. Kazarian's friend from Texas, Mr. Ken Maranian, participated in FAR's Young Professional's Trip to Armenia in the summer of 2006 and had an incredible experience that he shared with Mr. Kazarian once he returned to Texas. Mr. Kazarian was interested in Mr. Maranian's experience with GITC and contacted FAR to start volunteering and teaching part time. "When I came back and told my parish about the trip and how wonderful and promising it was, Jason got in touch with FAR and started teaching there," said Mr. Maranian. "We're really proud of him." Patrick Sarkissian, one of the founders of GITC said he is proud of having Jason as the Executive Director of GITC. "As a fellow American-Armenian, I am amazed by Jason's sacrifice and dedication. As a colleague from the IT industry - I am impressed with his talents and capabilities," said Mr. Sarkissian. "He is bringing western business ethics and culture to GITC."

While there may have been no hesitance on Mr. Kazarian's part when he assumed the Executive Director position at GITC, the staff was concerned whether he would be able to adjust to the realities of life and culture in Gyumri. Those concerns, however, eventually faded. "We thank God Jason is with GITC," said Amalya Yeghoyan, Deputy Executive Director of GITC. "Students admire him, even though he is a tough and very demanding teacher, and the staff owes him a lot for an incredible learning curve we have gone through under his leadership. Jason is an excellent example of what Diasporan Armenian could do in Armenia." "Jason is helping the young talents in an area devastated by the earthquake to regain hope for a better future," said Mr. Sarkissian.

The Express Is Promoting Negationist Turkish Sites, 1 June 2009, by Stéphane / armenews
The pro and anti-Turkish accession to the EU on the Internet , By Marie Simon, 26/05/2009
On the Internet, supporters and opponents of Turkish accession to the European Union sharpen their arguments. LEXPRESS.fr review sites where to find them, learn about and discuss.

Sites supporters of Turkey play the European card "information" face of "prejudice". Turquieeuropenne.eu, for example, believes that the anti "improperly claim that European citizens do not want Turkey in the European Union".

According to the site of the association "exceeded", "ignorance of Turkey in Europe is such that these polls are in the present state of things, without any meaning." Turkey is, according to its members that the new scapegoat "found by the Eurosceptics" whether sovereignists nationalists or simply xenophobic. " European Turkey is also active on Facebook.

Tetedeturc.com is, as the URL suggests, on the same wavelength ... This site hosted by a group of Internet volunteers from France, Belgium and Turkey, aims to provide "comprehensive, detailed and offer a different light." The "news agency European Turkey" Info turc.org's motto is "I wish therefore I am."

Less partisan, Turkey News site, according to its editorial charter, a "site of information and public debate" who is the spokesperson for any party. The views are diverse. But in the "Europe", the titles of contributions made online are more pro-Turkish accession Anti ... See also the Facebook group.

On Facebook, however, besides those already mentioned, there are more antis.

These groups promise to find 1 million people in the world or, even more ambitious, 400 million Europeans (about 500 million) to be opposed to this. For now, they have respectively 49 608 and 3025 members ...

They put forward the arguments usually put forward: the Cyprus, Armenian genocide, the situation of human rights especially for women and minorities, geography, population growth in this country would become more "heavy" than France or Italy in the European Union ...

If they refuse the entry of Turkey into the EU until reforms or changes are not made, another is more radical: "Turkey should NEVER be part of the EU." "We have already spent a thousand years to fight to keep them out of Europe, the struggle must continue," advocates there.

Turkey, State of the United States? Bouncing on the support of U.S. President Barack Obama to Turkish accession, another group was launched: "for Turkey to join the United States of America." Among its approximately 22 members, Frédéric Nihous, CPNT former candidate for the French presidential election of 2007 ...

On a group that, in contrast, calls for Turkey to enter the EU, the "wall" of contributions is not unanimous ... Outside of the 270 members of Internet oppose the accession post their opinions: "Europe must remain white" or "the Turks are not Europeans.

Against them, supporters of Turkey in Europe say that the accession of Turkey would "demonstrate to Muslim countries can become stable and democratic. This will benefit Europe but also to the world (... ). Europe will no longer be a 'Christian club'.

"Sooner or later Turkey will join Europe," says a visitor on the "wall" of a group that seeks to gather 1 million supporters of accession. Another Turkish Internet is pleased that "it brings the West and the East" and that Turkish EU membership would have an "important role to play in the Near and Middle East."

Other place of debate, the sites of political parties campaigning ... Turkey as a forum on the site where the UMP "against" are the majority, arguing for example that his entry "undermine" the European Union which can not expand forever. " Or on the site of Democrats (Modem), for example, the column addressing the question of Turkey.

Last but not least, you are debating on the message board associated with the investigation "Turkey and Europe: What the Europeans have really scared?"

Other websites / groups where pro and anti speak and that we would have forgotten? Feel free to let us know in the comments or by email at turquielexpress [at] gmail.com.

Traumas of Armenia, 1 June 2009, by Stéphane / armenews
Genocide critical. Psy and filiation to a dissertation, By Geneviève PARSEVAL TIME Liberation - Paris, Paris, France

Vahram and Janine Altounian

Memories of the Armenian genocide. Traumatic legacy and analytical work

PUF, 235 pp., 32 euros.

The genocide suffered by the Armenian people between 1908 and 1918 was only recently included in the Western memory, and yet not everywhere, especially not by the current Turkish state. In France, the tread of lead began to crack in 1981 when a group of young Armenians, in anger at the massive denial that obliterated this massacre, decided to occupy the Turkish Consulate General in Paris. The movement of these brave young men had a historic retreat after much french government eventually vote in January 2002, a law that publicly acknowledged this genocide, which requires that it served as a "model" to Hitler who wrote in a letter dated 22 August 1933, to justify the genocide of the Jewish people: "Our strength lies in our speed and our brutality [...] Who remembers the massacre of the Armenians?" (sentence quoted by Janine Altounian in a text of 1996). Thus, the surviving daughter has decided to speak.

The current book, however, has a wider scope than the personal story of the author: it is a book to which several voices on the question of the transmission of a traumatic legacy for survivors and their descendants . It revolves around an amazing facsimile of the diary kept by Vahram deportation Altounian, a young teenager who was 14 years (calligraphy is also endowed with an amazing expressive power, the characters so many small nodes upholsterer), logbook that he had simply entitled "What I endured, the years 1915 to 1919 (his mother, his brother and himself returned from this hell, but not his father, died in deportation).

Language "amputated". Strange fate as that of this newspaper, translated in french it decades ago by Krikor Beledian (Professor at the Inalco) and then stored in a drawer. It took sixty years before her daughter, Janine Altounian, great linguist - she is one of the translators of Freud in french - but private speaking and writing nursery, Armenian, to access the text of his father. With his parents in fact, note Manuela Fraire, Italian psychoanalyst, spoke on Turkish (the language of the executioner), language that included the girl but did not speak, while the Armenian language as it had been "amputated" considered " indecent. "

The authors of this book, all psychoanalysts, react to both personal and professional after-effects that have resulted in the discovery of this journal. The result is fascinating. In the chapter "The work of intersubjectivity and the polyphony of the narrative in the development of the traumatic experience," the psychoanalyst René Kaes said the real purpose of this book (1): "The girl was Vahram Altounian that was formed in this journal destination: it has found and made public this process, it has implemented a network of thoughts, comments and who helped translate the unspeakable, to hear in his own language what was said and written in another language, both foreign family, but not familiar. This difference also appealed sense. "It is a notion that psychoanalysis Alain de Mijolla called the" intergenerational ". René Kaes, Haydée Faimberg and others prefer "transgenerational", which means the process for linking a topic with an experience he has not personally experienced. In this sense, Manuela Fraire said that Janine Altounian noticed "something" in it claimed the right to speak, "something that was not strictly a memory, but a trace left behind by the passage of trauma. "

Traces. JB Pontalis had him, stressed that there is a difference between memory and trace: "The tracks are, the memory is a form [...] What remains is the memory, but the traces." (This time that does not, Gallimard). In Memory, history, forgetting (Seuil), Paul Ricoeur had expressed an idea close by writing these lines that resonate in the current debate on the origins: "The past is over but was calls tell the story of the substance of its own absence. "

(1) Kaes, including an important book, Alliances unconscious, released in Dunod.

Million Armenians Emigrated From Ottoman Empire With Russian Army In 1917? 01.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ According to Turkish historian, Prof. Kemal Karpat, who set up Ottoman History Department in U.S. Wisconsin University, nearly one million Armenians migrated to the north together with Russian army which withdrew from Anatolia in 1917.

He assures that this fact is accepted by Armenian historians too. Karpat said that the basis of the disagreement was "miscalculation of the Armenian population living in Anatolia in that period," Milliyet reports.

"No Armenian historian can accept the facts Karpat is speaking about," director of the institute of oriental studies at NAS RA, professor Ruben Safrastyan told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter. "Kemal Karpat is a well known historian in Turkey but making such statements, he discredits himself," he said.

Armenians Launch Campaign Against Pro-Turkey MEPs
In the run-up to this week's European Parliament elections, a Brussels-based Armenian diaspora organization has launched a campaign against pro-Turkey members of the European Parliament (MEPs) while lobbying for MEPs known to be in favor of claims that Anatolian Armenians were victims of genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.

The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) has released a report on the European Parliament's last legislature between 2004 and 2009, which, it said, “enlightens the positions adopted by the various political groups on the issues relating to foreign affairs, such as Turkey's accession, the European Neighborhood Policy, the relations between the European Union and Armenia [and] the destruction by Azerbaijan of the Armenian cultural heritage.”

The EAFJD, founded in 2000 in the EU capital, describes itself as a “nongovernmental organization representing the European citizens of Armenian origin at the European institutions.”

The 19-page report accused some MEPs of acting as a “lobbyists” in favor of Turkey, while praising the European United Left Group (GUE) -- known to be close to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) -- calling it “the most coherent group,” in regards to Turkey's EU accession issue.

The European Green Party “started defending the Turkish immigrants from discrimination and progressively moved to the unconditional support of the Turkish accession by the dissimulation of the justified obstacles which impedes the accession process. Consequently, it constitutes today a real [Turkish] lobby within the European Parliament,” the report states.

“The GUE has the most coherent position, which is in favor of Turkish accession by principle and at the same time it firmly expresses the preliminary demand of respect for European values, among which is the recognition of the genocide,” it says.

The European People's Party (EPP) got its share of harsh criticism from the EAFJD, particularly due to the stance of its member Ria Oomen-Ruijten of the Netherlands who has acted as the rapporteur for Turkey for the last two years.

“The position of the EPP group got considerably worse, in particular under the influence of Mrs. Ria Oomen-Ruijten, which showed a singular leniency towards Ankara in general and was resolutely hostile to any clear mention of the Armenian issue in particular. Mrs. Ria Oomen-Ruijten notably said publicly offensive remarks about the Armenians on several occasions. Her attitude pleased some EPP members who continuously supported the idea of Turkey's accession and who always showed reluctance to mention the Armenian Genocide such as Mr. Geoffrey Van Orden [the United Kingdom], Mr. Vitautas Landsbergis [Lithuania] or Mr. José Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra [Spain].” 02 June 2009, Selçuk Gültaşli Brussels, Zaman

Begining Point Of Armenian Issue, 01 June 2009
Armenians were living at North Eastern Anatolia since centuries.

Armenians were living at North Eastern Anatolia since centuries. But since those ages, Armenians they were living under managements of bigger empires. Best estimates about the population of Armenians in 19th century, say that they were about 1,600,000 and they were not the majority in any anatolian city.

Since centuries, Armenians migrated to metropols. It is said that the Armenian community in Istanbul was about 150,000 (probably exaggeration). Monk of the Varak Monastery in Van, Krimiak mentioned national independence for the first time. That monk became the Armenian Patriarch in İstanbul in 1869. Russian Tsar Petro established contact with Armenians. Tbilisi centered Armenian newspaper Mushaf evaluated the issue of aid to the Armenians in Ottoman Empire and started to write reports mentioning that Armenians should start rebellions against Turks and should rely on Russians. First this invitation did not find responce among Armenians. But later, when Russian armies under command of Armenian generals got closer to Erzurum in June of 1877, Armenians were expecting to welcome them arms wide open. But when Turkish forces won the battle against Russian forces, they changed their idea.

Armenians in İstanbul denied that they have relationship with Russians at the begining, but when they witnessed that Bulgarian rebellion was supported by Western countries, they applied to Lord Salisbury in Istanbul during International Conference in 1876. The Turkish constitutional law that is recognized in December 1876 seemed to be satisfying for Armenians but when Russians passed over Balkans and came till Ayestefanos, Armenian patriarch Norses Varcabetyan visited Russian commander in his headquarters. The Great Duke Nikolas first welcomed him but he did not give Armenians the self-government that they asked for. After Russian Duke guarantized only the security of Armenians in the agreement for Ayestefanos, Englishes started to concern about Russian expansion using Armenia. Then they started to take counter action.

The policies that England followed barely shows that they were interested in the lands that Armenians were settled more than Armenians...

Why Isn't Opening The Armenian Border Easy?, 01 June 2009
One of most informative presentations in the Workshop on Turkish-Armenian Relations organized by the SETA in Istanbul on May 26-27 was given by Mehmet Dikkaya

One of most informative presentations in the Workshop on Turkish-Armenian Relations organized by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) in İstanbul on May 26-27 was given by Mehmet Dikkaya, a lecturer at Kafkas University in Kars.

Although at the end of his presentation, which relied on concrete data, Dikkaya concluded that he is optimistic with regard to the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia, I do not think that I can have the same level of optimism based on the data he provided in his presentation.

As you might remember, Turkey was one of the first countries to recognize Armenia's independence on Dec. 16, 1991, sending humanitarian aid to this country after its declaration of independence.

Despite this, diplomatic relations between the two countries could not be established. Certainly, for Turkey, there were justifiable reasons for this. These reasons can be listed as follows: the anti-Turkish phrases in Article 11 of Armenia's declaration of independence; unacceptable phrases in Article 13 of Armenia's constitution; a symbolic reference to Mount Ağrı in Armenia's state coat of arms; Yerevan's insistence on not recognizing the Kars and Gümrü treaties signed between Turkey and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1921; the priority Armenia places on genocide claims in its foreign policy; and most importantly, Armenia's ongoing occupation of about 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory. To this list, we can also add the direct or indirect support given by Armenia to separatist terrorists organizations, in particular to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey, its repeated international propaganda campaigns that Turkey is blockading Armenia and the ongoing strict resistance by the Armenian diaspora in the US and the European Union to the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia. However, it is impossible to argue that Turkey is blockading Armenia. It is Turkey that invited Armenia to the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) as a founding member. The H-50 air corridor has always been open, even during the tensest moments. Turkey also invited Armenia to the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform, which it proposed after the Georgian-Russian war. The Turkish people do not nurture a special hatred for the Armenian people. When President Abdullah Gül went to Yerevan to watch the match between the Turkish and Armenian national teams, more than 70 percent of the Turkish people approved his move. There is gradually increasing popular support both in Turkey and in Armenia for normalization, and this is the biggest driving force behind it. However, it is also a fact that there are more reasons that might hinder progress. Most important of these is that compared to Armenia, Azerbaijan is still a very important country for Turkey. Nevertheless, there are also factors that can speed up normalization. For example, Armenia is the shortest and lowest cost route from Turkey to the Caucasus and Central Asia, and likewise, Turkey is the most reliable trade route from Armenia to Europe. The increased importance of regional projects with international scope such as the Nabucco and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipelines is also whetting Armenia's appetite. Moreover, the EU has advised Turkey to develop good relations with its neighbors; the US has encouraged Turkish-Armenian rapprochement; Armenia's Russia-oriented policies are becoming costly; and Russia supported reinforcement of Turkish-Armenian relations and punished Georgia. All of these can be regarded as factors supporting normalization.

Moreover, the outcome of opening the Alican highway border crossing in Iğdır and the Akyaka railway border crossing near Kars' Akyaka district, both located on the 325-kilometer border between Turkey and Armenia, should be analyzed properly as well. If these borders crossings are opened, the World Bank estimates that Armenia will obtain benefits amounting to $8 million from transportation and $45 million from energy. Armenia's exports will increase by $340 million, with total benefits reaching up to $395 million -- or $720 million according to the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). However, Armenia's real benefits will be in the political and diplomatic sphere. When the border crossings are opened, they will deal a big blow to Azerbaijan and obtain political achievement in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. Then, Armenia will be a key country between Turkey and Azerbaijan or Central Asia. Moreover, using Turkey's ports in the Black Sea and its highways and railways, there will be secure integration with Europe. According to ANCA, Armenia's transportation costs will decrease by 30-50 percent, its exports will double and its national income will rise by 35 percent.

Of course, there will also be benefits to Turkey. These benefits include the creation of a positive atmosphere with regard to settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue as well as for Turkey's EU bid and the growth of Turkey's sphere of influence in the Southern Caucasus.

Given the fact that Turkey has been pursuing a policy of zero problems with its neighbors for a number of years, there can be nothing more natural for Turkey but to normalize its relations with Armenia in a manner that will be beneficial to both sides. But it would be pure fancy to expect this normalization to start without taking any concrete steps with respect to settlement of issues between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Naturally, the main responsibility lies with the Yerevan administration in taking the steps that may convince Azerbaijan to give the green light. If Azerbaijan and Armenia can overcome this hardest obstacle with help from the international community, then it will be much easier for Turkish-Armenian relations to normalize.

Friendship Trip To Mus In Rented Van
ISTANBUL - Kevork Galosian, a 22-year-old from Armenia, studied Turkish at Yerevan University as a reaction against his family and now has founded a civil society organization to support the Turkish-Armenian dialog process and promote relations between the two countries

Young Turks from all over the country met recently with young Armenians who traveled to Muş in a rented van as part of a series of cultural activities aiming to bridge the gap between the two societies.The event was co-hosted by the Muş Youth Aggregation Society and the Armenian Young Democrats’ National League, which organized events and discussed between May 16 and 18.

Kevork Galosian, the 22-year-old founder of Young Democrats’ National League, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review that his group’s primary aims as a civil-society organization are creating dialogue and producing solutions to the problems between Turkish and Armenian people. The group, consisting of seven young people between the ages of 18 and 23, traveled through Georgia for more than 30 hours before reaching Turkey via Tbilisi, visiting Ardahan and Kars before coming to Muş.

Prejudices prevent
"Many more of our friends wanted to come to Turkey with us, but their prejudices prevented it," Galosian said. "My friends who did come with me were also anxious that something would happen to them, but all of their views have changed. They will visit Turkey again when they get a chance."

Galosian’s family migrated to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, right after the 1980 military coup in Turkey. His siblings were born in Istanbul, his father is from Malatya and his mother is from Yozgat. Thus, he said, Turkey has a special importance for him and his biggest desire as a child was to speak Turkish like his parents. "My fathers’ friends of Turkish origin from Istanbul visited us every summer on holidays," Galosian said. "They were speaking Turkish among themselves, but not one word of Turkish was spoken in the house after his friends left."

He chose Turkish Studies at university as a reaction against his family, becoming an expert in Turkish at Yerevan State University. Galosian will receive his master’s degree at Fatih University in Istanbul. "I want to learn Turkish much better," he said. "I will stay in Turkey during my master’s degree and develop my language skills."

Galosian believes the recent efforts to establish diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia are extremely important. "We must remove the boundaries in our brains before the ones on land," he said, adding that the same level of nationalist stances exists in Turkey and Armenia, which he described as an "extremely dangerous" situation. "The nationalism on both sides are no good for anything but adding fuel to the already burning fire," he said, adding that a person who really loves his country and nation does not seek sanctuary in nationalism. It is too late to found "Greater Armenia" or to realize the dream of a Pan-Turkic "Great Turan." The maps are already drawn.

Turkish people as a whole cannot be blamed for tragic events in the country’s history, Galosian said, concluding his remarks with a message to the world: "We appreciate your encouragement of the dialogue process between Turkey and Armenia, but we are against America, Russia or Europe using the Armenian matter for political exploitation. As Turks and Armenians, we should learn from the things foreign powers did to us in the past."

A memory on ’rakı’

During his visit to Turkey, Galosian visited the Ani excavation site, the capital of the Pakraduni Armenian Kingdom that reigned between 961 and 1045, in the Arpaçay District of Kars. He said he was surprised by the historical information given there, noting that, "The Armenians were not mentioned in a single word on the signs." At that moment, a security guard came up to Galosian and asked for rakı. He said he turned to the security guard and said, "There is no mention of Armenians here and you are asking rakı from me?" The guard answered, "How is that my fault? I did not write the signs."

Bishop Galstanian Greets Ryerson University President Dr. Sheldon Levy
His Eminence Bishop Bagrat Galstanian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Canada, sent the following letter to the President of Ryerson University, Dr. Sheldon Levy, upon the release of his statement of apology on behalf of the university.

Please, see the letter of the Primate.
Dr. Sheldon Levy, President
Ryerson University
350 Victoria Street
Toronto, Canada M5B 2K3

Dear Dr. Levy,
Please accept the recognition and respect of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Canada, upon your review of the opportunity extended to Dr. Turkkaya Ataov, to speak at Ryerson University by the Department of Sociology.

Your commitment to uphold the truth and awareness that genocide denial is a threat to academia and society at large is deeply esteemed. Comparisons between the Holocaust and the 1915 Armenian Genocide are very real but unfortunately for our communities, the pain does not belong in history but continue in our daily lives. Full and official recognition has not yet been realized, but is an ongoing endeavor for not only Armenians but all those, in politics, media, humanitarian organizations, literature, journalism and education, who pursue knowledge in truth and justice and human rights.

Too often, the Armenian Genocide of 1915 is referred to by many other names, as the term of genocide had not been coined till the 1940’s. It took till the 1960’s for our story to emerge and till the 1980’s, for the first official recognition made in a declaration by the U.N. Committee on Human Rights. Today, through the efforts of many peoples and organizations, some twenty countries, forty–two out of 50 states in the United States and numerous international organizations including the Ellie Weasel Foundation for Humanity signed by 53 Nobel Laureates have formally recognized the Armenian Genocide.

We are most pleased to know that your university is among the institutions that choose to follow in this regard and will pursue to build witness and knowledge of the facts of the Armenian Genocide, genocide in general, and to help keep the promise of "never again."

Bishop Bagrat Galstanian, Primate
Diocese of the Armenian Church of Canada
29 May 2009 by Press Office

Turkish-American Group Blocks Pro-Genocide Bill
The Turkish-American Legal Defense Fund (TALDF) has announced that a bill called the Justice for Genocide Victims Bill, which was introduced by California Assembly member Paul Krekorian, has been blocked by California Appropriations Committee Chairman Kevin de Leon.

The bill, known as Assembly Bill 961 (AB 961), was introduced in early 2009 by Assembly member Krekorian, a Democrat elected to the California state legislature in 2006. Krekorian tried to persuade the assembly by saying that AB 961 would prevent California from awarding contracts to companies that have profited from genocide. However, TALDF insistently objected to the bill and presented to the assembly two separate written statements explaining why they oppose the bill.

“The United States as a whole maintains a single foreign policy as authorized by the Constitution. The individual states may not intrude upon or compromise this policy. The framers of the Constitution recognized that the peoples of the several states must sink or swim together, and that in the long run, security and national interests are made by the union and not in a foreign policy Tower of Babel. The intent of AB 961 to create a foreign policy for California makes it unconstitutional,” said one of the statements introduced to the Committee on Business and Professions and the Committee on Judiciary of the California State Assembly.

TALDF has expressed pleasure at the fact that the rejection of AB 961 has actually sent a message to all of the states that no individual state, according to the Constitution, should deal with foreign policy.

TALDF, founded last year, assists Turkish-Americans with their constitutional citizenship rights.

Meanwhile, the English-language Asbarez newspaper reported recently that Senate Bill 234 (SB 234), authored by California Senator Mark Wyland (R-northern San Diego County) is now on its way to the full Senate floor for consideration. Known as the Genocide Awareness Act, the bill instructs the California State Curriculum Commission to consider the inclusion of an oral history component in its already mandated genocide education curriculum.

Asbarez noted that Turkish Coalition of America board member Bruce Fein traveled from Washington, D.C., in an effort to undermine SB 234 as well as AB 961.
03 June 2009, TODAY'S ZAMAN

Ryerson Apologizes For Ataov Event And Reaffirms Its Commitment To Uphold The Truth
Toronto, Ontario; On February 18, 2009, The Department of Sociology at Ryerson University, and the Federation of Canadian Turkish Associations organized an evening lecture on campus titled "Elaborations on Turkish strategies to dealing with issues around Armenian Allegations and beyond". The lecture was delivered by Professor Turkkaya Ataov, a leading denier of the Armenian Genocide. The lecture was equivalent to Neo-Nazi propaganda presented to deny the Jewish Holocaust. Prof. Ataov trivialized the reality of the Armenian Genocide and presented the usual Turkish Government's views.

Ryerson University’s student body was outraged by the fact that such an event had been cosponsored by a department of their university and raised concerns through letters and by signing petitions which included names of approximately 300 Ryerson students.

After several meetings with department heads and administration, Dr. Sheldon Levy, the president of Ryerson University, in a letter to Sally Sahagian, the president of the Armenian Students’ Association at Ryerson University, apologized to the Ryerson community by stating, "On behalf of Ryerson University, I would like to apologize for the pain and suffering experienced in particular by the members of the Armenian.

Community as a result of this event" He then assured the student body that the university’s views were in line with that of the Canadian Government, the International Association of Genocide Scholars and the hundreds of historians and experts researching the topic internationally. Dr. Levy stated, "Ryerson University supports Prime Minster Harper’s statement on behalf of all Canadians that the Armenian Genocide is a historical fact, unquestionably part of the historical record with tremendous suffering."

Ryerson University’s response indicated that although the university is a space where students can practice their freedom of speech, the university will not become an accomplice to racism and genocide denial. This form of hate propaganda has no place in our academic and scholarly circles.

The administration of Ryerson University, through its principled stand, has proven to remain true to the role of the university as an institution committed to upholding the truth. The Armenian Students’ Association at Ryerson University together with all its members and the Armenian Community at large would like to thank the Ryerson University administration for identifying genocide denial as a threat to academia and society at large, consequently taking a principled stand against the crime of genocide.
For more info, please contact Sally Sahagian – ssahagian@gmail.com

Genocide - The Only Reason Forcing Armenians To Quit Their Homeland 03.06.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Making Armenian and world scientists supporters of their insensible ideas and theories is just an extreme manifestation of impudence, David Davtyan expert-analyst of ANALITIKA.at.ua center said. By characterizing Armenians as emigrants, Turkish historian Kemal Karat contradicts himself, because the only reason that could force people to quit their homeland was persecution and extermination, i.e. Genocide.

"It is certainly difficult to discuss anything with a professor who makes such blunders, admitting in advance that he knows absolutely nothing about the matter concerned. It's hard to guess what goal he pursued, but the result is obvious. Any professor or specialist respecting himself should first of all realize what he is speaking about before proposing any theory or paradigm. Wartime resettlement of 1 million people should not be confused with a Wisconsin-Istanbul charter flight. Secondly, the professor didn't take pains to consider why Armenians had to quit their homeland which had been liberated of Islamic-Turkish yoke. Thus, Islamic history expert Kemal Kamar admits that there were mass killings of Armenians during World War I. But he lacked the courage to voice the matter and thus take sides with his colleagues recognizing Genocide," Davtyan stressed.

"In 1917, millions of Armenians emigrated from Ottoman Empire together with the Russian Army," University Professor and Ottoman history expert Kemal Karpat finds. The fact, according to him, is recognized by Armenian historians. "The exact number of migrants was calculated based on the total number of Armenians living in Anatolia," Turkish Milliyet daily quotes him as saying during a conference dedicated to 1915 events.

Armenians Use New Weapons In The Front Line Today.Az June 3 2009
Armenian armed forces have started to fire on the residential areas of Azerbaijan and positions of Azerbaijani Army with weapons not included in the modern military system.

Bullets smaller than 7.62 mm caliber and larger than 5.45 mm caliber were found in the areas targeted by the enemy, APA Karabakh bureau reports. The bullets have different carving and structure.

Experts said the new bullets are able to run through one-meter ground layer, thin concrete plate, armor vests and light armored vehicles.

There are no details about the weapons which use these bullets and their technical indications.

Van Cemetery Proves To Be Villagers’ Hoax
VAN - Two villagers have admitted to fabricating claims that a school was planned on a former Armenian cemetery in a village in the eastern province of Van. They said they invented the story because they did not want to be bothered by noisy children.

In an April 22 story, it was reported that an inquiry was launched after locals complained that a school was being built on land formerly used as an Armenian cemetery in the village of Aydınocak in Van.

The area was officially assigned to the village as pastureland, but some villagers alleged that it contained an Armenian cemetery. Aydınocak’s muhtar, or administrative head, Bahri Altıntaş, told the Anatolia news agency that the village was upset about the stories that bones were dug up in a school construction site.

"Two people from the village made the claim to journalists who came to the village. We approached them and asked them to repeat their claims to us. Both said they didn’t want a school to be built near their homes and that was why they made the claims," Altıntaş said. In the past, Muslims and Armenians used to live side by side, said the muhtar. "We respect all religions. We would never build a school on top of a cemetery," he said.

He said some stones that had crosses on them were found elsewhere and brought to the village, only to be shown as if they were dug up during the construction. One villager, Fehim Yurdagül, said reports on school construction had portrayed the village as anti-Armenian. "We respect all beliefs of not only Armenians but everyone. Villagers would never have allowed building on a cemetery," he said.

Previously, the local administrator of the wider region of Gevaş, Tahsin Aksu, had dismissed claims, explaining that the villagers had told him the bones that were buried there belonged to animals that died of a disease 50 years ago.
© Copyright 2008 Hürriyet

California State Senate Approves Genocide Awareness Act
Sacramento, CA - Earlier today, the California State Senate passed Senate Bill 234, the "Genocide Awareness Act," reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly). The Assembly, an early proponent of the measure introduced by State Senator Mark Wyland (R), activated its ARAMAC grassroots network in California to encourage support and passage of the bill.

On April 29, the Senate Education Committee voted unanimously in favor of SB 234. During the public witness hearing, Armenian Genocide denier Bruce Fein and the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) testified against treating the Armenian example and parallel cases in Cambodia and Darfur as genocide. In response to the opposition's testimony, State Senator Joe Simitian (D), a member of the Education Committee, expressed his disappointment, especially given the incontestable historical fact of the Armenian Genocide and asked, "Why is it that genocide happens over and over and over again?...It happens because we are unwilling to step back and confront man's inhumanity to man." The truth of the Armenian Genocide, Simitian stated, "has long been settled."

State Senator Christine Kehoe (D), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, moved the bill directly to the Senate floor for a vote, stating, "The continuing events in Darfur remind me of the words of philosopher George Santayana who wrote: 'Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.' Those horrific events only serve to raise the importance of acknowledging and learning from past events like the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust. Making sure that Senate Bill 234 becomes law will help make sure that the Armenian Genocide is not forgotten for this and future generations."

"The Armenian Assembly applauds Senator Kehoe for promptly bringing this legislation to the floor for a vote," stated Yeghig Keshishian, the Assembly's Western Region Director. "The Assembly would also like to commend Senator Wyland for introducing this legislation and thereby once again placing California in the forefront of national politics as it pertains to human rights education and genocide prevention."

Upon successful passage in the California State Assembly, State Senator Wyland's "Genocide Awareness Act" would then be signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The bill requires the California Curriculum Commission to vote on the inclusion of an oral history component related to genocides as part of its high school curriculum, including the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. California pioneered new education standards by adopting the Model Curriculum for Human Rights and Genocide, which includes the Armenian Genocide.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.

Turkish General: Armenian Side's Obstinacy In The Genocide Issue Has A Poisonous Effect Today Az
Azg newspaper reported that on May 31-June 3 Washington hosted an annual conference of the US-Turkish council of ATC, which has a 28 year history.

Chief of department on planning of the head office of the armed forces of Turkey Tashdeler and Defense Minister Genul spoke at the event.

In their speeches they touched upon the issues of relations with Armenia and resolution of the Karabakh conflict. On June 2 Turkish Zaman newspaper announced that the Turkish Foreign Minister in his speech urged USA to intensify efforts to resolve the Karabakh conflict and also stressed importance of Armenia's closing to the West instead of Russia and Iran.

In turn, Tashdeler noted that Ankara tends to normalize relations with Yerevan. He announced that Armenia's obstinacy in the genocide issue is poisonous.

He also noted that in the issue of Iraq Turkey approves US instructions and when necessary it will assist in the withdraw of US troops from this country and also defends the US strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

On relations with Israel, he noted that they are time-tested and successful. hr>

Yerevan To Host "The Turkic World, The Caucasus, And Iran: Civilizational Crossroads Of Interactions" Conference
The International Journal Iran and the Caucasus
(BRILL: Leiden - Boston), the Department of Iranian Studies at Yerevan State University, the Makhtumquli Feraqi Center for Turkic Studies at ARYA International University (Yerevan), the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies (Armenian Branch), in collaboration with the International Society for the Study of Iran and the Caucasus (ISSIC), Caucasian Center for Iranian Studies (Yerevan), the Armenian-Turkmen Cooperation Center "Partev" (Yerevan), and the Armenian Association for Academic Partnership and Support - ARMACAD (Yerevan) are organizing an international conference entitled "The Turkic World, the Caucasus, and Iran: Civilizational Crossroads of Interactions".

The Conference will be held at ARYA International University, Yerevan, Armenia on July 10-12, 2009, The region of civilization interactions from Central Asia to Eastern Europe and from Southern Russia to Northern Iran has been one of the focal geographical points in world history. The main cultural, political and civilization players in this domain have been the Iranian and Turkic peoples, while the Caucasus and the Transcaucasia n region with their cultural, ethnographic and linguistic uniqueness have served as a connecting link and an arena for wars and peaceful cohabitation. Though the main stress of the conference will be on cultures, histories (including archeology, etc.), languages and the literatures of this vast area, presentations on modern political and regional issues, as well as the human ecology topics are also welcomed. The conference seeks to emphasize links between the Turkic world, the Caucasus, and Iran.

Working languages of the conference are English and Russian.

More Than 7 Million Armenians A1+ June 04, 2009
According to statistics of the International Organization for Migration, there are more than 7 million Armenians living outside of Armenia.

These are the statistics in 2003, which means that this number has increased by 7,000 compared to 1988.

The recent report states that nearly 800,000 Armenians left Armenia in the 1990s.

Nearly 75% of Armenian migrants of the past decade migrated from former Soviet republics, primarily Russia.

Fifteen percent moved to European countries, while 10 percent emigrated to the United States.

Remarks With Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State, Treaty Room, Washington, DC, June 5, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. Minister Davutoglu and I just had a very productive, broad-ranging, comprehensive discussion. And it is a great privilege to welcome him here to the State Department within the very first weeks of his having been appointed foreign minister. Of course, I was very honored to have gone to Turkey very early in my term as Secretary of State, and President Obama had a wonderful visit to Turkey.

And all of that is to confirm the strength and importance of our partnership and alliance. We have a lot of work to do together. Turkey, the United States, and the entire global community certainly face a great number of challenges, but we also see opportunities. So our message coming out of the meeting today and our prior meetings is that we’re going to deepen and strengthen our cooperation on an ongoing basis, because we believe that both Turkey and the United States have unique roles to play.

Now, we obviously already collaborate. Not only are we both members of NATO, but we are working with the G-20 to respond to the global economic crisis, we’re exploring ways to enhance our trade and commerce between our two countries, we’re working to develop new energy sources, including resources from the Caucasus and Central Asia. We’re partners in the fight against global terrorism. We share the goal of a stable Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to deny al-Qaida safe haven that can threaten our countries and many others. We support Turkey in its fight against the terrorist activities of the PKK, which has been a very important cooperation.

And I underscored again today the United States’ strong support for Turkey’s bid to become a member of the European Union. Turkey has made significant progress toward membership. It’s been in a process of reform that is generated by its own internal decisions but which has certainly responded to many of the concerns regarding the strength of the bid that Turkey had. And so we applaud what Turkey has already done and pledge our efforts to continue working with Turkey.

And so we ranged across a broad number of issues, and I want to just make a special note. As President Obama said yesterday in Cairo, the United States is committed to broad engagement with Muslims everywhere across the globe based on mutual interests and mutual respect. We believe strongly in the freedom of religion and expression, in vibrant civil societies, and we know that those are values that Turkey shares.

And I want to thank the minister and his government for the role that Turkey plays as a force for peace and stability. This is important, and it’s already been demonstrated in the work that Turkey has done for a number of years and continues with respect to comprehensive peace in the Middle East. And we are strongly supportive of the Turkish efforts to normalize relations with Armenia, and we are also very strongly supportive of the efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

We discussed Cyprus, which is an issue that the President also addressed when he was in Turkey in April. The two Cypriot leaders have an opportunity through their commitment to negotiations under the United Nations Good Offices Missions, and the United States is willing to help the parties. We want to work toward a settlement that reunifies Cyprus into a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation.

We discussed many, many concerns, and I’m just grateful for the commitment by the minister and by his government to play an active role in our dynamic world. Our relationship is not just about security; it is about seizing these opportunities, and I look forward to working with you.

FOREIGN MINISTER DAVUTOGLU: Thank you very much, Secretary Clinton. It’s a great honor and pleasure for me to meet with Secretary Clinton today in a very historic time after the speech of President Obama yesterday and the new commitment of United States for regional and global peace everywhere. We know of her wisdom, her approach, and we always appreciate and admire her approach to all the issues regarding to our bilateral, regional, and global issues.

Basically, the purpose of my visit was to follow up her historic visit to Turkey immediately after the new Administration in March and President Obama’s historic visit in April. So these historic visits showed the strength of our bilateral relations. So I came here in my first month of my duty in this – as minister to follow up all the contents, all the issues regarding our relations. We had a very constructive meeting. I am grateful for that. And we went through all the issues regarding the depth and scope of our agenda. We decided to have a much more broader comprehensive approach in our bilateral relations, not only security issues but economy, energy security, cultural issues. Also on the main regional issues like Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Caucasia, (inaudible) and all the relevant issues we have as common agenda we went through. And I am very happy to see that we have very identical, similar approaches to many of these issues.

On global affairs also, we agreed together that our cooperation should not be limited only by regional efforts, but there is a big potential between Turkey and the United States to work together on global issues like relations between civilizations, Alliance of Civilizations, like G-20 and economic – the situation after economic crisis, like our cooperation in United Nations Security Council. As you know, Turkey took over the presidency a few days ago. And I was in New York yesterday for the first formal meeting of UN Security Council.

As Turkey – as minister of foreign affairs of Turkey, and as the Government of Turkey, we are ready to cooperate with the United States in all these significant issues for achieving regional and global peace. That is our contribution to the (inaudible). Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Very well said, Minister.

MR. WOOD: The first question will be from Jill Dougherty of CNN.

QUESTION: Thank you. Madame Secretary, what is the U.S. doing to free the journalists being held in North Korea? And how open are you to using a special negotiator/envoy, perhaps former Vice President Gore?

And also, if I could, just one very quick question. Any update on the situation of the Goldman boy in Brazil?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Jill, the concern that we feel for these two young women who are in prison in North Korea has been driving our efforts. We want to strike the right balance between expressing our deep concerns, our belief that these two young women should be released immediately. The trial which is going on right now we consider to be a step toward the release and the return home of these two young women.

I personally have spoken with a number of foreign officials who have influence through various channels with the North Koreans. The State Department has had direct contact with the North Koreans through the channel by which we communicate. The Swedish ambassador has been extremely helpful. He has actually met with the two young women on three occasions. He’s helped to facilitate the delivery of materials and the passing of messages. So we are incredibly concerned on both a diplomatic and, on my behalf, a personal basis. I have met with their families, and I share the grave anxiety that they feel about the safety and security of these two young women.

We call again on the North Korean Government to release them and enable them to come home as soon as possible. We have explored other approaches, including the use of special representatives strictly for this humanitarian mission. But as things stand now, we know that they’re in the middle of a trial in Pyongyang, and we hope that the trial is resolved quickly and that the young women are released.

With respect to Sean Goldman, we were very pleased when the Brazilian courts reached the conclusion they reached earlier this week. And we were very disappointed when a hold was placed on the release of this young boy and his return with his father to the United States. We will continue to support Mr. Goldman in his efforts to speak out on behalf of the family relations that is at the core of this legal case, and to urge the Brazilian Government and judiciary to release Sean and enable him to return to his father now that the legal decision has been rendered.

QUESTION: This is Umit Enginsoy with Turkish NTV television. Madame Secretary, since the release in April of Turkish, Armenian, and Swiss statements about joint intention for normalization of ties, have you observed any progress toward that end, and also toward resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem? And are you hopeful that these could be resolved in the not-too-distant future? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I have been very encouraged by the progress that has been made and by the commitment of the governments involved. Certainly, Turkey and Armenia, with the assistance of the Swiss Government, have committed themselves to a process of normalization. We’re well aware that this is difficult. It requires patience and perseverance. But we have seen no flagging of commitment.

The minister and I discussed this at length. He brought me up to date on developments. And we are continuing to encourage the parties to proceed on the path which they themselves have set. We are supportive, but it is up to the Turkish and Armenian governments and people to realize the great opportunity this poses. The normalization of relations not only continues what I have seen from the Turkish Government, which is a desire to actually solve problems, and I applaud that, but we think it will bring great benefits to the region.

Similarly, with the ongoing negotiations over Nagorno-Karabakh, the Government of Azerbaijan and of Armenia are proceeding and working together. They were just in a recent meeting in St. Petersburg. So we believe that a lot of progress has been made in a relatively short period of time to resolve issues that are of long standing.

What’s important is the commitment to get to a point of resolution of these conflicts, and I see that commitment. Now are there problems along the way? Of course. There is in any difficult undertaking. But I do not doubt the commitment, and I certainly appreciate the very strong position that the Turkish Government has taken. And perhaps, Minister, you would like to add to that?

FOREIGN MINISTER DAVUTOGLU: I would like to express also my thanks to Secretary Clinton because of her personal and American Government’s support for these two processes. We are very optimistic. We want to achieve a prosperous, peaceful Caucasia. And in that sense, we are fully committed to our normalization process with Armenia, and also, we are fully committed and we are ready to work together with United States and other co-chairs of Minsk Group for the resolution of Armenian-Azeri issues.

And I was very impressed and I want to repeat my thanks for the commitment of Madame Secretary Clinton in this sense, and we will be working together. There is a strong will politically by Turkish side to continue all the efforts to achieve our common goal of creating a prosperous, peaceful Caucasia together.

MR. WOOD: Next question will be from Arshad Mohammed of Reuters.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, how seriously is the United States considering imposing either multilateral or unilateral financial sanctions on North Korea and its banks? And what makes you confident that such a step wouldn’t be counterproductive? When the sanctions were imposed on BDA, it essentially froze the process for months on end until the United States effectively removed them and returned the money.

And a small – well, a separate thing, maybe not small. Dov Weissglas, the former Israeli chief of staff to former Prime Minister Sharon, argues publicly this week that Israel had understandings with the Bush Administration, under which it was permitted to continue so-called natural growth under the Roadmap, that it could continue building within the construction line. Do you believe that there were such understandings or agreements between Israel and the Bush Administration? Do you feel bound by them?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Arshad, let me start with North Korea. As you know, the United States is working very hard in the Security Council, now chaired by Turkey, to come up with a resolution that would represent the will of the international community with respect to North Korea’s actions that are viewed with considerable concern on the part of not just the United States or South Korea or Japan, but also China, Russia, and many other countries internationally.

We’ve made considerable progress in devising the kinds of actions that would represent consequences imposed upon the North Koreans by the international community. I have personally spoken with a number of the foreign ministers, our ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and her team are involved on a hour-by-hour basis, because we want to come up with the strongest possible resolution.

And I think we’ve learned a lesson. One of the lessons we’ve learned is that with the North Koreans, it’s never over till it’s over, that if there are effective sanctions that we believe can be imposed, an arms embargo and other steps to be taken, we need to see real results. We, along with other neighbors in Northeast Asia as well as the international community, stand ready to resume negotiations with the North Koreans over their nuclear program. Our goal remains to have a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. So I am quite heartened by the progress that we’re seeing in the United Nation Security Council. And when we believe we’ve gotten the strongest possible resolution we can get, we will table it and then proceed.

With respect to the conditions regarding understandings between the United States and the former Israeli government and the former government of the United States, we have the negotiating record. That is the official record that was turned over to the Obama Administration by the outgoing Bush Administration. There is no memorialization of any informal and oral agreements. If they did occur, which, of course, people say they did, they did not become part of the official position of the United States Government. And there are contrary documents that suggest that they were not to be viewed as in any way contradicting the obligations that Israel undertook pursuant to the Roadmap. And those obligations are very clear.

QUESTION: Foreign Minister Davutoglu, how do you evaluate President Obama’s speech to the Muslim world in Cairo? And Secretary Clinton, after President Obama’s visit to Turkey, what is the state of Turkish-American relations?

FOREIGN MINISTER DAVUTOGLU: Thank you very much. President Obama’s speech yesterday in Cairo is a speech of wisdom, a speech of vision, and a speech of peace. And we share the insight with Secretary Clinton as well. We share this vision and we are ready to cooperate. I am sure you remember President Obama’s visit and his speech in Turkish parliament. And when you look at the substance of two speeches, you can see an integrated approach, the continuation and follow-up of many issues that are very important principles for regional issues as well as global order in general. And it is a good message, clear message to the Muslim world that the future relations between the United States and the Muslim world, as well as between different cultures will be bright, based on a mutual understanding of coexistence, living together, sharing all human values in all fronts. And therefore, we share that vision and we will continue to work to realize this vision as a program and project together.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I appreciate the minister’s perceptive remarks about President Obama’s speech yesterday. Clearly, the President is laying out a vision, and it is a vision that invites all people of good faith to come together, to work together, to recognize that we may have differences of experience, differences of background, of religion and race, but that we are all part of common humanity. And we have an opportunity in the 21st century to work toward realizing that vision. And I applaud the Turkish Government for taking a practical, hands-on approach to solving problems, to clear away the obstacles that prevent people from living up to their own God-given potential, of countries breaking the bounds of the past so that they can have a better future.

And I think the relationship between Turkey and the United States is extremely strong. We have a durable bond that goes back many decades, but we’re exploring new ways of expanding and deepening that strong relationship. And that was the purpose of our meeting today is to begin to look at how we can take our shared vision of what Turkey and the United States can do to further humanity’s quest for peace and prosperity and progress, recognizing and respecting our legitimate differences of culture and religion, but making it clear that we’re going to share this increasingly interdependent world. And we can either have positive or negative interdependence. And Turkey and the United States believe in a positive future.

So I could not be happier and more optimistic about the relationships and what we together can do for the future.

Thank you all very much.


Atom Egoyan Explores Genocide In New Art Exhibit, Ctv Toronto, June 05, 2009, By CTV.ca News Staff
Atom Egoyan has two Oscar nominations and a Cannes Film Festival award. But his latest project, "Remains to Be Seen," is a new art exhibition showing in Toronto.

Produced under the umbrella of The International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies in Toronto, the multi-media show hopes to raise the public's awareness about genocide.

Featuring work from 16 artists across North America, Egoyan says the show at Toronto's Lennox Contemporary gets to the core of what human genocide really means.

"It's one thing that a journalist's piece can do. But an artist's work can pierce the heart in a different way," says Egoyan, 48.

"In the case of genocide there's been such a history of denial about that," the Canadian director told Canada AM today.

Delving into the subject matter in 2002's "Ararat," Egoyan's movie was loosely based on the Siege of Van during the Armenian Genocide of the early 20th century, an event that is denied by the government of Turkey.

That film explored the specific impact of that historical event. It also examined the nature of truth and its representation through art.

As Egoyan says of "Ararat," "I wasn't so much talking about the historic event, but rather how that denial had created a transmission of trauma from one generation to another."

That tragedy holds deep personal meaning for Egoyan and his wife, actress Arsinée Khanjian

The pair are supporters of The Zoryan Institute of Canada, Inc.

Together with The Zoryan Institute for Contemporary Armenian Research and Documentation in Cambridge, Mass., this non-profit research institute is devoted to scholarly research that documents, studies, and disseminates material related to the life of the Armenian people in the recent past and the present within the context of larger world affairs.

In 2003, the couple launched the "Atom Egoyan and Arsinée Khanjian Fund" to support the Zoryan Institute's Genocide and Human Rights University Program.

The after-effects of genocide are clearly evidenced in the works by Ulysses Castellanos, Joyce Lau, Steven Loft, Katie Pretti, Shannon Scully, Veronika Szkudlarek, Bill Wolff and Arie Galles.

"It's a non-propagandistic kind of show," says artist and educator Galles, who was born in 1944 in Uzbekistan and raised in Poland.

Galles's contributions to this show are based on aerial photography taken during the Second World War. But each artist's entry, he says, explores the intensity of what it is to be involved or witness a genocide.

"These works have incredible strength," says Galles, who appeared with Egoyan on Canada AM. "Any genocide does not happen in a Martian landscape. It happens on this earth. The horror is that humanity can perpetrate it on this incredibly beautiful blue marble we are flying on."

On display until June 7, "Remains to Be Seen," says Egoyan "Is both open to interpretation but able to be emotionally devastating."


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