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27 September 2009

2964) Media Scanner Sep 2009 (251 Items)

  1. Armenian PM: Closed Border Between Neighboring Countries Armenia & Turkey Is Nonsense
  2. European Armenian Federation:Sargsyan Had To Listen Diaspora's Voices Long Time Ago
  3. Schiff: True Reconciliation Between Armenia & Turkey Will Occur When Turkey Acknowledges Genocide
  4. Armenia Not To Avoid Dialogue With Turkey
  5. Heirs Of Armenians Who Escaped Turkish Yataghan Will Never Renounce Their Rights
  6. Turkey Will Recognize Genocide Rather Than We See Karabakh Problem Resolved
  7. RA President Will Hear Out Diaspora's Opinion On RA-Turkish Protocols
  8. Political Situation In Country Not Depend On Acceptance Or Rejection
  9. "Armenian-Turkish Protocols Have More Pluses Than Minuses
  10. Why Do Police Officers Intervene In Other Protests, But Not ARF-D Protests?
  11. Amb Evans Calls Protocols ‘Flawed Document’
  12. Recent Court Ruling Against Genocide Victims Rights Discussed At Glendale Forum
  13. National Academy of Sciences Backs Protocols
  14. Over 800 Protest for Justice, Oppose Armenia-Turkey Protocols
  15. Ter-Petrosian Calls for Broad-Based Coalition to Topple Sarkisian Regime
  16. Obama Marks Armenian Independence Day
  17. Andranik Tevanyan: Situation Getting Dangerous for Armenia
  18. Signing Of Turkish-Armenian Deal ‘Set For October 13’
  19. Campaign Contributions To Representative Ed Perlmutter Linked To Turkish Government’s Association
  20. Armenians Go Beyond Limits In Boston
  21. Nalbandian Slams Erdogan, Urges Him to Respect Genocide Survivors
  22. As Community Unites, Armenian Assembly Steps Away, Aprahamian
  23. Transaction Publishers Announces New Book on Effects of Genocide
  24. Erdogan: Our Goal Is Restoration Of Ottoman Empire Might
  25. Turkey’s Armenians Express Support For Opening Of Border
  26. PM Sets Oct 10-11 As Date For Sending Armenia Protocols To Parliament
  27. Turkish PM: Initialed Deal With Armenia Be Sent To Parliament
  28. Auschwitz And Facing History
  29. Transparency International On Corruption In Armenia
  30. Send Your Cash On-Line, Leave To ANCA, Be Divine!
  31. NKR Neutral To Armenian-Turkish Dialogue
  32. Azerbaijan Sends Note To Turkey
  33. Caucasus Reporting Service: Armenians Lick Lips at Prospect of Turkish Trade
  34. "To Be Or Not To Be", A1plus
  35. Erdogan Wants President Sargsyan To Make Trip, Hetq
  36. Turkish PM: Protocols Signed With Armenia Are Of Great Significance
  37. Several Thousand Strong Oppositional Rally Held In Yerevan
  38. New Allegations In Genocide Fight, Mike Doyle
  39. Harut Sassounian to Receive ANC Legacy Award
  40. Istanbul Calling: Kevin Costner Entering Turkish Politics?
  41. Oskanian Is To Apologise To Armenians
  42. Armenian American Artist Ara Dinkjian to Perform in Turkey
  43. Opening of Border with Turkey Will Devastate Armenian Businesses
  44. Turkey’s Armenians Express Support For Opening Of Border
  45. Dr Vartan Gregorian to Be Honored As Professional Of Year
  46. Activists Pursue Armenian Genocide Insurance Claims Despite Court Ruling
  47. Armenian Court To Hear Genocide Denial Case In Oct
  48. Armenia & Turkey Are Not Authorised "To Define" The Border
  49. Pro-Turkish US Lawmakers Endorse Turkey-Armenia Deal
  50. European Armenian Federation to Host Conference Against Denial in EP
  51. System Of Political Discussions Not Established
  52. Turkey Has Four Positions On The Issue: Prosperous Armenia
  53. Armenia & Turkey Are Changing Caucasus: A Jackson
  54. Scientific Mind Of The Turkish Is Based On Lies
  55. Turkish Newspaper Writes Of Armenian Genocide
  56. Awakening Of "Hidden Armenians" May Come True
  57. Melkonyan: Ottoman Empire's Archives Have Been Purged
  58. Armenian President Builds Backing For Turkey Ties
  59. Erdogan: Border With Armenia Will Be Closed Till Conflict Resolution Karabakh
  60. Reconciliation Doesn't Mean Armenians Will Stop Seeking Genocide Recognition: US
  61. Turkish-Armenians Like To See Open Border
  62. ARF-D Sees Hints Of Nagorno-Karabakh In Armenian-Turkish Protocols
  63. Bryza's Spouse Discloses Nkr, Armenian-Turkish Processes
  64. ADL Of US & Canada Letter To President Obama
  65. Conference To Struggle Against Genocide Denails To Be Held In European Parliament
  66. It's Naive To Believe Turkish Archives Retained Proofs Of Armenian Genocide
  67. "Ukrainian Armenians Conference: Present, Past And Future" In Crimea
  68. Monument To Armenian Genocide Victims To Be Erected In Moscow,
  69. Armen Ashotyan: Armenians Disinterested Attitude About Knowledge
  70. IMF: Open Borders Can Whip Up Armenian Economy
  71. Turkey, Australia, New Zealand To Conduct Historical Studies In Gallipoli
  72. Conference On Genocide & International Law Concludes
  73. Armenian-Turkish Protocols To Confirm Kars Treaty
  74. What Happened In 1909?
  75. Armenian Opening
  76. AgGBU Issues Statement On Armenia-Turkey Protocols
  77. Armenian Weekly, Asbarez Survey On Turkey-Armenia Protocols
  78. ‘Next 100 Years’ May Not Bode Well For Armenia
  79. Armenian-Turkish Rapprochement Controlled By US
  80. Opening Of Border To Contribute To Tourism Development On Historical Armenian Lands
  81. Armenians Over 12.000.000 Worldwide
  82. Armenian Will Become A Token Coin
  83. ARFD Not Anti-Turkish Party
  84. Protocols Be Signed On Kars Treaty Anniversary
  85. Is Turkey Renaming Istanbul Constantinople?
  86. Memorandum Of Website Establishment Is Signed
  87. Ara Guler Awarded With French Vermeil Medal
  88. Turkey To Open Lobbying Ministry
  89. Efforts To Mend Turkish-Armenian Ties `Order From US
  90. MP Safaryan– Government & Opposition Joining Forces Against Heritage Party
  91. Meeting Armenian Margaret Thatcher
  92. Ex-Spy Is BP's Lawrence Of Arabia
  93. Bryza Criticizes Armenian Opposition
  94. Armenia’s Financial Woes
  95. Petty Crime In Yerevan: Growing Trend?
  96. ARF Begins Protest Against Armenia-Turkey Protocols
  97. RA Government: Open Border Means Economic Gains For Armenia, Turkey
  98. 'Armenian-Turkish Border Opening, Armenia's Diplomatic Victory'
  99. Armenian-Turkish Protocols- Real Documents
  100. Vardan Khachatryan: Border Opening Will Increase Turkey's Influence On Armenia
  101. First Memorial For Armenian Genocide Victims Be Erected In Israel
  102. Turkish Historian: Coming To An Agreement Is No Easy Task
  103. U.S. Government To Provide $2.3 Million Assistance To Armenia To Support Justice Sector Reforms
  104. Name "Ergenekon" May Not Be Familiar To Non-Turks
  105. Vardan Khachatryan: Protocols Contain Threat
  106. Khachatryan: Armenian-Turkish Relations Small Part Of Mosaic
  107. Petition Opposing Some Provisions In Protocols
  108. ARF Declaration On Armenia-Turkey Protocols
  109. Armenian Political Forces On Armenian-Turkish Protocols
  110. Recognition Of Armenian Genocide By Turkey Security Issue For RA
  111. M Legrand: Germany & Turkey Are To Blame For Genocide
  112. Armenia Orders New Trains, Ready For Open Border
  113. A Perfect Injustice Unveils Effects Of Genocide Which Occurred In Armenia
  114. Turkey Never To Take Actions That Might Disappoint Azerbaijan: A Gul
  115. Yerevan, Ankara Mum On Reported Deal Date
  116. Sarkisian's Defeatist Diplomatic Overtures To The Turks Continue Armenia And Turkey Announce Agreement To Normalize Relations
  117. S. D.Hunchakian Party Central Committee Statement
  118. Social Democrat Hunchakian Party Disagrees With Armenian National Congress
  119. Book Report: Children of Armenia, A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-Long Struggle for Justice
  120. Armenia, Turkey to Sign Protocols in Six Weeks
  121. Turkey Clarifies Position on Armenian Ties to Aliyev
  122. ARF Slams Protocols as ‘Dangerous’ for Armenia
  123. ANCA Warns Capitol Hill About Dangers Of ‘Protocols’
  124. Davutoglu Says Border Opening ‘Out of the Question’
  125. Schiff Calls on Turkey to Recognize Genocide
  126. US, EU Hail Protocols as Sarkisian Upbeat about Ties
  127. ARF Warns of Dangers for Armenia and Karabakh
  128. Turkey to Push International Actors for Swift Move on Karabakh
  129. ARF Western US Statement On Proposed Armenia-Turkey Protocols
  130. Ter-Petrosian Says Turkish-Armenian Deal ‘A Step Forward’
  131. Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Voice Concerns Over Protocols
  132. Lawmakers Issue Statement On Normalization Of Relations Between Armenia And Turkey
  133. Azerbaijan Wants Turkey To Keep its Promise
  134. Ohio Elections Panel Hears Krikorian-Schmidt “Blood Money” Case
  135. "Let's Learn Tolerance Through English": Armenian And Turkish Students Communicate Across Cultural Boundaries
  136. International Conference: The Armenian Genocide & International Law
  137. We Do Not Consider Recognition Of Genocde Precondition: Armenian President
  138. Edward Nalbandyan: New Process In Armenian-Turkish Relations Under Way
  139. Melikyan: Karabakh Not A Price To Pay For Reconciliation
  140. Serge Sargsyan's Message, Lragir
  141. AAA Released A Statement On Protocols Between Turkey And Armenia
  142. ANCC Released A Statement On Protocols Between Turkey And Armenia,
  143. Creation Of Intergovernmental Committee Of Historians - Unacceptable For Armenia
  144. ANCA Shares Reservations Regarding Protocols With Us Congress,
  145. There's No Mention Of Kars Agreement In Armenian-Turkish Rapprochement Protocols
  146. Edward Nalbandian: On August 31 Ra -Turkish Relations Reached An Important Phase,
  147. Ra President's Statement Introduced Activeness In Armenian-Turkish Process
  148. Adam Schiff: Real Armenian-Turkish Conciliation Will Happen When Turkey Recognizes Genocide
  149. ARFD Displeased With The Latest Developments In Armenian-Turkish Rapprochement Process
  150. Russia Hails Improvement In Armenia-Turkey Relations,
  151. RF Foreign Ministry Has Positive Attitude To Armenian-Turkish Rapprochement
  152. Turkish Premier: Armenian-Turkish Protocols Need Two Parliaments' Approval
  153. Press Release Of Ministries Of Foreign Affairs Of Republic Of Turkey, Republic Of Armenia And Swiss Federal Department Of Foreign Affairs
  154. Turkish And Armenian Presidents To Meet If Border Is Opened: Serzh Sargsyan,
  155. Turkey To Normalize Ties With Armenia After Full Resolution Of Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: FM
  156. Look At Issues Dividing Neighbors Armenia And Turkey,
  157. Turkey-Armenia Hostility Thaws After 100 Years,
  158. Armenia-Turkey Deal A Big Leap, Saudi Gazette
  159. Armenian Public Remains Divided On Relations With Turkey
  160. Turkey Takes Bold Step For Change Of Status Quo In Caucasus
  161. Armenian Diaspora Reflects Both Anger And Balanced Attitude
  162. Armenian Authorities May Commit Gravest Political Blunder, Arf Rep States
  163. CIA Atrocities Revealed To A National Shrug, by Ted Rall
  164. Hulusi Kilic: We Expect Azerbaijan To Believe Turkey Under These Circumstances
  165. Protocols' Consultations In Ankara
  166. Novruz Mammadov: "Turkish Newspaper's Disinformation About Azerbaijan Shocked Me"
  167. Turkish Think That They Have Made A Historical Mistake,
  168. "Heritage" Demands A Referendum,
  169. Ankara Actually Chose Armenia And The World Community As Partners
  170. Armenian Genocide Is Discussed In The Middle East
  171. Shavarsh Kocharyan: Whether Any Changes Will Occur During Ra-Turkish Rapprochement Process, Depends On Ankara
  172. Marat Hakobyan: Armenian People Have To Consolidate
  173. Armenia Shouldn't Have Initiated "Football Diplomacy"
  174. Armenia Must Work Out A Single Concept On RA -Turkish Relations
  175. Armenian-Turkish Protocols Reflect Turkish Side's Preconditions
  176. Ruben Mehrabyan: Defeat Of Armenian Diplomacy Outlined In Protocol's Paragraphs,
  177. Cyprus Has Always Stood By The Side Of Armenians Financial Mirror,
  178. Turkey To Push International Actors For Swift Move On Karabakh
  179. Turkey Warns Armenia Border Re-Opening To Take Time
  180. Turkish Minister Says Recognising Borders "Basic Element" Of Talks With Armenia
  181. Azeri Experts Comment On Turkish-Armenian Rapprochement
  182. Turkish Fm: Turkish-Armenian Border Could Re-Open By Year's End
  183. Armenians Accuse Obama On 'Genocide'
  184. Armenia Claims Ready For An Offensive
  185. Armenian Fm Claims Border With Turkey Will Open In January,
  186. Turkey And Armenia: Can They Shake That Hand?, Forbes
  187. Garoyian: Armenian Genocide, Famagusta Gazette
  188. Erdogan's Honesty, Europenews
  189. Analyse
  190. To Make Turkey Say "No"
  191. Armenian-Turkish Relations. A Schedule
  192. Protocols Contain No Information Conflicting With Armenian Nation's Interests
  193. Armenia Will Never Discuss The Genocide With Turkey
  194. Armenia To Be Able To Gain Benefit In Any Circumstances
  195. ARF Europe: 'Not To The Compromisings Of The Armenian Authorities'
  196. Before Border Opening, Lragir
  197. Vahan Hovhanisyan: "This Is Called Surrender"
  198. Turkey And Armenia Seek To End A Century Of Antagonism
  199. US Armenians Insist On 'Genocide Recognition'
  200. Armenian-Turkish Protocols Contain Several Undisclosed Points
  201. Football Diplomacy: Turkish-Armenian Relations
  202. Baykal Asks For Clarity On Kurdish, Armenian Moves
  203. How Long The Process Between Armenia And Turkey Can Last Is Anybody's Guess
  204. Milliyet: Why Turkey Should Be In Favor Of Normalizing Relations With Armenia?
  205. Genocide Against Armenian Population Was Committed In Azerbaijan In 1988-1992
  206. Turkish Journalists Study General Moods
  207. Strict Eye On Protocols: Armenia-Turkey Dialogue Under Increasing Diaspora Scrutiny
  208. Scholar Backs Turkish-Armenian Genocide Study, Sargis Harutyunyan
  209. Azerbaijan-Armenia-Turkey Highway
  210. Turkey And Armenia Open Diplomatic Relations
  211. Agreement Between Yerevan And Ankara Should Contain Elements Eliminating Consequences Of Armenian Genocide,
  212. Hayk Demoyan: From Now On In The Relations With Armenia Turkey Is Making Two Steps Forward And Just One Step Back
  213. Armenian Parliament May Pass Statement Blaming Azerbaijan For Genocide
  214. Davutoglu: Turkey Aims To Change The Region's Geopolitical And Geo-Economic Panorama
  215. ARFD Against Referendum On Armenian-Turkish Protocols
  216. Arfd Ready To Cooperate With Ra Political Forces On Armenian-Turkish Relations
  217. Antalya Trafficking Trial Underway: Brother and Sister Face 8.5 and 11 Years Respectively
  218. Hrand Margaryan – It’s Possible that ARF Might Call for President’s Resignation
  219. Contact The Foreign Ministry of Armenia
  220. Turkish And Azeri Nationalists Spout Hatred
  221. Gul And Sarksyan To Be Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize?
  222. Armenian Breakthrough Will Help Turkey’s Eu Bid, Bagis Says
  223. Responses To Turkey-Armenia Pact Point To Hurdles Ahead Wsj
  224. Former Speaker Of Turkish Parliament: “the Protocols Agreed With Armenia Cannot Be Discussed In The Parliament In Such A Way”
  225. Armenia-Turkey To Sign 'Dangerous' Protocols
  226. To: the Governments, The Presidiums and the Parliaments of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey
  227. Why Serge Sargsyan Contrasts What He Combined A Year Ago
  228. PBS ( Plattsburgh, Ny ) Will Broadcast The Armenian Documentary
  229. Peace Road
  230. Turkey To Send Envoy To Help Ease Abkhazia Tension
  231. Armenian Parliament To Discuss Turkey Ties
  232. Estranged-Neighbors Turkey, Armenia Edge Toward Peace Deal
  233. Azerbaijan Hints At Progress Over Nagorno-Karabakh
  234. Pamuk Says Loves And Wants To Live In Turkey
  235. Armenia, Turkey Look To Economic, Diplomatic Gains
  236. Q&A-Does Turkey-Armenia Deal Affect European Energy Security
  237. Europe's Top Human Rights Watchdog Welcomes Turkey-Armenia Thaw
  238. Sarksyan: No Visit If Border Remains Closed
  239. Turkey Hopes To Open Armenian Border By Year-End
  240. Arameans Search For Roots And Rights In Mardin
  241. agreements concern the Turkish-Armenian friends of Armenia in Congress
  242. European Parliament: Conference To Fight Against The Denials
  243. Kurdish Activist, Former Member, Condemned Turkey
  244. Diplomatic Warming Reassurance
  245. Supreme Court Suspends Key Articles Of A Law On Mining
  246. Turkey Wants Lachin
  247. T Protocols Between Turkey And Armenia Are Unacceptable
  248. Armenian-Turkish Issue Continues To Be A Lot Of Talk In The Armenian Press
  249. Davutoglu Would Discussions With Mrs. Clinton
  250. Turkish Singer Hadise Prohibited Scene In Baku
  251. U.S. Rep. Schmidt Denies Receiving Turkish `Blood Money'



Armenian Prime Minister: Closed Border Between Neighboring Countries Armenia And Turkey Is Nonsense, 2009-09-25
ArmInfo. The closed border between the neighboring countries Armenia and Turkey in XXI century is nonsense. Restoration of the confidence between Yerevan and Ankara is a difficult problem, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said in his interview with "Rossiyskaya Gazeta" ("Russian Newspaper") when asked about possible normalization of relations with Turkey and changes in the economic picture in the South Caucasus, which may have a positive effect on the economic ties with Russia as well.

Tigran Sargsyan stressed that Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan took the liberty of solving this problem. "The establishment of good neighborly relations with Turkey will create a comfortable platform for our strategic partners, for Russia, which has a big significance and obvious positions in our region",- he said.

As regards Armenia's ties with Russia, the prime minister said that these ties are based on not only economy. "Certainly, the humanitarian aspect of cooperation, like the military-strategic one, is very important. Russia is our strategic partner we are cooperating with deeply and efficiently, as well as within the CSTO. We always remember that we have a common past with Russia. And it is for the nations of our countries to decide what future to have. We think that future will be bright",- T.Sargsyan stressed.


European Armenian Federation: Serzh Sargsyan Had To Listen Diaspora's Voices Long Time Ago, 2009-09-25
ArmInfo. "In my opinion the President's step to meet Diaspora is a good initiative but I think he's a little late, for he had to listen Diaspora's voices long time ago", - President of the European Armenian Federation of Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) Hilda Tchoboian told ArmInfo correspondent when commenting upon Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan's initiative to organize a Pan-Armenian tour.

According to her, the president should not wait the split created between these two parts of the nation, and that's'what is happening today. "On the contrary he had to prevent it. This tour of the Diaspora should not be merely a PR operation, because in that case the crisis would deepen.",- she said.

"As Turkish leaders announced every day that they had to take into consideration Azerbaijani interests, and have their agreement at every stage of the discussions with Armenia, our leaders had to declare and do the same for the Armenians of Artzakh and Diaspora. Instead, Armenia's leaders let Turkey to stigmatize the Diasporan Armenians as extremists because they don't give up their rights",- Tchoboian said.

"This is a unique opportunity for MR Sargsyan to integrate Diaspora in a global Armenian strategy for some vital issues regarding Armenia and the Armenian nation",- she concluded and added that the representatives of her organization are indeed planning to meet the president.

To recall, on October 1 Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan will start his single-week Pan-Armenian. He will visit Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Beirut and Rostov-on-Don to meet the Armenian communities and familiarize himself with their opinion on Armenian-Turkish process.


Adam Schiff: True Reconciliation Between Armenia And Turkey Will Occur When Turkey Acknowledges The Armenian Genocide, Armradio.Am 25.09.2009
Armenian Council of America (ACA) representatives met with Congressman Adam Schiff and discussed recent developments on the Armenian Genocide resolution, US-Armenia relations, Armenia-Turkey relations; and the Obama administration's policies toward Armenia and Artsakh.

The ACA delegation commended Congressman Schiff for his continued stance and insistence on the reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide, democracy in Armenia, the sovereignty of Artsakh, and his apprehension towards the Armenia-Turkey protocols.

Specifically, the Congressman reiterated his position on the protocols, stating, `While I welcome what may be an important step in the rapprochement between Armenia and Turkey and hope that the upcoming talks result in a swift opening of full diplomatic and commercial relations between Ankara and Yerevan, as well as a reopening of the border, I have serious concerns about some provisions of the protocols accompanying the announcement.'

`In particular, I was deeply disappointed to see that the protocols call for the creation of an historical commission to review the events of 1915-23. This is a thoroughly discredited idea; there is no dispute among scholars that the Armenian people were the subject of genocide during the waning days of the Ottoman Empire and an histor ical commission is another effort to obfuscate the truth,'

`Turkey cannot be allowed to re-write this tragic part of its history as a price for normal relations with Armenia. To do so means acquiescence in a charade that demeans the memory of so many victims.

`True reconciliation between the Armenian and Turkish peoples will occur when Turkey acknowledges the genocide that was committed by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians from 1915 - 1923. The Armenian Genocide, the first genocide of the 20th Century, resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children and the sorrow that the Armenian people carry in their hearts cannot be healed by diplomatic relations alone,' he added.

The Congressman also expressed congratulations to the people of Armenia on the eighteenth anniversary of Armenia's independence and continued his commitment to ensuring that the United States government does all that it can to help Armenia build governmental institutions and civil society with the goal of helping democracy flourish.

The ACA delegation updated the Congressman in their continued efforts helping the Congressman in strengthening; US-Armenia relations, democracy in Armenia, the development of Artsakh and advocacy for a just and truthful representation of the Armenian Genocide. The delegation presented the Congressman with a copy of `The Morgenthau Story' DVD which they have been distributing to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congressman thanked the ACA for their efforts and diligence.


Armenia Not To Avoid Dialogue With Turkey, 25.09.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenian-Turkish relations are like a chess game where every piece is obliged to think, leader of National Consent party Aram Harutyunyan told a press conference in Yerevan. Armenian side, he said, has made its first move, pending the next step by Turkey. `Armenian-Turkish Protocols cannot respond to both parties' interests,» politician said, adding that the party which first renounces the process will find itself in an unfavorable situation. «We don't have to avoid open talks over Armenian Genocide issue. Armenian side has nothing to lose in this situation,» Harutyunyan noted.

«`It doesn't actually matter how many countries have recognized Genocide; Armenia should enter into a dialogue with Turkey,' he said. Regardless what the situation will be like and who will be United States President, America will not recognize Armenian Genocide unless it is advantageous to it, said the politician.

Despite possible slowdowns in Genocide recognition process Armenian lobby should continue its work; victim's role is of no benefit, Armen Harutyunyan finds.


Heirs Of Armenians Who Escaped Turkish Yataghan Will Never Renounce Their Rights, 25.09.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenians of Jerusalem are disappointed with the process of normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, said Georgetta Avakian, head of Hay Dat Jerusalem Office.

`We welcome RA President Serzh Sargsyan's decision to visit major Armenian communities across the globe and discuss the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation process. But the point is what price we will have to pay for normalization of relations,' she told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

`The protocols signed recently actually mean that Armenia renounces its 95-year struggle for justice,' she said.

Mrs. Avakian reminded that Turkey closed the border with Armenia and is obliged to open it

`Armenians of Diaspora will express protest against these documents.
Heirs of Armenians who escaped Turkish yataghan will never renounce their rights,' she said.

Turkey Will Recognize Armenian Genocide Rather Than We See Karabakh Problem Resolved 25.09.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Resolution of Karabakh issue will conflict with interests of superpowers, according to Aram Harutyunyan, leader of National Consent party.

`No one is interested in violation of the status quo. Armenia will never agree to re-annexation of Nagorno Karabakh to Azerbaijan,' he told reporters on Friday. `Resolving the Karabakh problem, superpowers will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Turkey will recognize Armenian Genocide rather than we see the conflict resolved.'


Will The Arf Use Coarse Methods?, a1plus.am, September 24, 2009
If this doesn't lead to any outcome, we will use coarse methods," said one of the participants of the hunger strike declared by the ARF, but did not go into detail as to what kind of methods he meant.

The Dashnaks say that they are not worried over the fact that no state official has approached them in the past nine days. The participants of the ARF hunger strike are most offended by the television stations. One of the participants, artist Musheghyan noted that only "Yerkir Media" television has filmed and shown the strike.

"There is nobody to provide coverage of our concerns," said Anahit Kirakosyan, standing in front of the government building with photos of her son Andranik Hayrapetyan who was killed in the army.

"Serzh Sargsyan has turned television into his own show, but they never show the protests of the parents of soldiers who died while serving in peaceful conditions," said Anahit Kirakosyan.

Participants of the protest were unaware that the government held a session yesterday and that no state official would hear their voices today. "I came from Hoktemberyan and didn't know that there was no session. But I am here," said Mrs. Anahit.

Member of the Armenian National Congress, former political prisoner Vardges Gaspar demanded that the government fulfill the resolution of the European Court of Human Rights regarding "A1+" and open the television station. "At least put up with one television network along with the other 17," as stated on the sign held by Vardges Gaspar.

The Dashnaks are actually in good relations with the law-enforcement bodies as they hold their protest. There were only two policemen near the government building and they were mainly overseeing four or five protesters, including parents of dead soldiers and Vardges Gaspar.

The Dashnaks informed that on September 27 their US-based organization will organize a protest in front of the UN building along with the Armenian Liberal (Ramkavar) Party and the Social Democratic (Hnchakyan) Party.

Let us remind that the UN General Assembly is currently holding its session and RA Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan has left for New York to participate in the session.


Ra President Will Hear Out Diaspora's Opinion On Ra-Turkish Protocols 24.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ RA President Serzh Sargsyan met Catholicos of All Armenians, Garegin II to discuss state-church relations as well as RA-Turkish rapprochement process.

According to RA President, the rapprochement process entered the stage of social and political discussions. Serzh Sargsyan characterized the discussions as a positive factor. `Whether RA-Turkish Protocols will be signed or not, they're a good platform for discussion of issues the country faces. Discussions are of rather emotional nature as the majority of our people are the generation of Genocide victims. Besides, places, sacred to our people: churches, capital cities, are located abroad,' the President said.


Sargsyan informed His Holiness that on October 1 he'll stat series of visits to Armenian Diaspora representatives of Paris, New York, Beirut, Los Angeles and Rostov-on-Don, where he intends to hear out Diaspora's opinion on RA-Turkish protocols. Garegin II approved of RA President's initiative, stating that Diaspora is the most important and inseparable part of Armenian people.


Political Situation In The Country Not Depend On Acceptance Or Rejection 24.09.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ NKR many times stated that ready to negotiate with Azerbaijan and to discuss various issues, unfortunately, Azerbaijan refused from negotiations, NKR Foreign Minister Georgy Petrosyan said.

`In my opinion, Azerbaijan has no grounds for such a persistant refusal from direct relations with us. We have repeatedly said that without taking into account the opinion of the Nagorno Karabakh's people settlement is very unlikely to be productive. This is perhaps the only example of a state not recognized by anyone," he said.

The Nagorno-Karabakh foreign minister also stressed that international law is very clearly states that political situation in the country does not depend on whether it is admitted or denied. "Since 1992 we have proved that we are able to build a statehood, and this is the base of our overall current policy. Sooner or later the question of recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh independence will receive its solution. We have quite restrained attitude towards political events in our region, and we never take hostile actions in the information field. I hope this is appreciated by both the international community, and our enemy.

We offer the other side of the conflict to behave similarly, as well as to all those countries that try to speculate or put the the Karabakh problem settlement at the service of their interests. It is clear that the solution to the problem is a matter of time. Time is an irreversible category," Mr. Petrosian said in an interview to the NTV Turkish television channel.


"Armenian-Turkish Protocols Have More Pluses Than Minuses," Editor Of Aravot Daily Says
YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 24, NOYAN TAPAN. According to editor-in-chief of the Aravot daily Aram Abrahamian, the Armenian-Turkish protocols have more "pluses than minuses" and it is very doubtful that they would be ratified, signed and fulfilled. As he mentioned at a meeting with reporters on September 24, Turkey will hardly ratify them without the Nagorno Karabakh problem.

As to ARFD's actions taken against the ratification of those documents, according to A. Abrahamian, he would be very surprised if they were for.

"Thus it would not be Dashnaktsutiun. Professing that ideology, request of Armenian Cause, it is very natural that they responded in that way," the editor of the Aravot daily said.

Touching upon the development problems of press in Armenia, A. Abrahamian noted that the freedom, independence and development of press first of all are conditioned by economic problems. "As any branch of economy printed media will aslo develop and will be free as much as our economy is," he said.


Why Do Police Officers Intervene In Other Protests, But Not Arf-D Protests? Tert.Am 25.09.2009
Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun (ARF-D) party member Ruzan Arakelian, was asked by journalists today to explain why protects organised by her party seem to pass peacefully, while during yesterday's national initiative "Miatsum" demonstration the police used force.

The police used force to disperse the participants in yesterday's protest against the Armenian-Turkish Protocols by trying to seize, from the mother of a soldier who died in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a sign which demanded President Serzh Sargsyan's resignation.

In recent weeks, the ARF-D has organized protests rallying against the same document, while also demanding the foreign minister's resignation.

"Not everything passed calmly and peacefully," Arakelian said. According to her, there are also provokers during the protest acts, who try to "taint the atmosphere." "We do our best in order to prevent such occurrences," the MP said.

She also said she doesn't know why police officers intervened during yesterday's demonstration. "If something or a small clash takes place before the government building, police officers, naturally, will intervene," Arakelian concluded.


Amb. Evans Calls Protocols ‘Flawed Document’
WASHINGTON—Former US Ambassador to Armenia John Evans, during an international webcast of an Armenian National Committee of America town hall meeting Thursday, called the Armenia-Turkey protocols “flawed.”

“This is a flawed document,” said Evans.
“I think that the impulse to try to get diplomatic relations started and to get the border opened was a good impulse. In the execution there may have been, and there certainly were some shoddy work,” added Evans who prefaced his remarks by noting that he was speaking on his own behalf and not as a representative of any government or organization.

The 90-minute program, organized by the ANC of Greater Washington, touched on many facets of the protocols on the establishment and development of relations between Armenia and Turkey and featured Evans as a speaker.

The retired diplomat, who was fired by the State Department for speaking honestly and calling the events of 1915 Genocide, addressed a broad range of legal and diplomatic concerns related to the protocols. The full scope of his remarks, as well as the ANCA presentation and question and answer session, are available on-line at anca.org/townhall
Asbarez


Recent Court Ruling Against Genocide Victims Rights Discussed At Glendale Forum
GLENDALE—Nearly 200 community members including young professionals, attorneys, and students gathered at the Saint Mary Armenian Church community hall in downtown Glendale on Wednesday for a public briefing to address the implications of the recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision declaring California’s Armenian Genocide Life Insurance Recovery law as unconstitutional.

The educational event was organized by the Armenian National Committee Western Region Legal Research Team, in collaboration with the Armenian Bar Association, Armenian Youth Federation USA-Western Region and the ARF Shant Student Association.

“There are currently several major developments impacting the Armenian nation at every level – locally, nationally and internationally. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recent ruling is no different,” remarked Raffi Kassabian, an attorney and head of the ANC-WR’s Legal Research Team.
Locally, Kassabian, explained, this court decision “directly impacts the genocide heir who is seeking the recovery of insurance proceeds in a California court.”

Meanwhile, on the national, he added, “it impacts our Diaspora living in the United States who is seeking its Federal Government to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide.”

“Internationally, it impacts every genocide and holocaust survivor living around the world by establishing a dangerous and chilling precedent to prohibit survivors from seeking reparations under a court of law,” Kassabian concluded.

Panelists included Mark Geragos, one of three attorneys representing Genocide victims’ heirs, Armenian National Committee of America National Board member Seto Boyadjian, ABA Board Member Armen Hovannisian, as well as attorney and community activist Steve Dadaian. Harut Sassounian, publisher of the California Courier, moderated the event.

The speakers provided background and fielded questions from the audience regarding the case and what is being done by the plaintiffs as well as community organizations such as the ANCA and the ABA to challenge the ruling.

“Those who attended tonight’s event were able to get an in-depth look into this issue provided by an exceptional panel of attorneys,” commented Saro Kerkonian, Chairman of the ABA’s Armenian Rights Watch committee. “With their years of litigation experience, they were able to educate the audience about the Movsesian case and its impact on the Armenian community.”

“This event demonstrated how our community can join together to meet the legal challenges that face us,” he added.

On August 20, heirs claiming life insurance entitlements from Armenian Genocide era policies were denied the right to sue insurance carriers for their long withheld benefits. A three judge panel of the Appellate Court struck down the underlying statute, California Code of Civil Procedure Section 345.5 which allows for redress through the California Courts, on Federal Preemption grounds. The majority reasoned that the mere use of the phrase “Armenian Genocide” conflicts with United States foreign policy objectives.

Attorneys for the heirs disagree and are appealing the decision citing no express foreign policy against the Armenian Genocide or use of the phrase. Various groups including the Armenian Bar Association, the Armenian National Committee of America, the Zoryan Institute, and the International Association of Genocide Scholars have filed an Amici Curaie brief, also known as a “friend of the court” brief, in favor of the appeal. The State of California through its Attorney General Edmund G. Brown, Jr. has also submitted an Amicus Curaie brief emphasizing the State’s long standing interest and right to regulate insurance carriers within its borders.

“As an Armenian-American law student, I think it’s important to stay in touch with Armenian issues, particularly legal ones,” said Nayiri Keosseian, a first year student at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law who noted that the discussion covered issues covered in the classroom. “I was not very familiar with the particulars of the case and its litigation so, I found it very interesting and informative.”

The Armenian National Committee – Western Region is the largest Armenian American grassroots community organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANC-WR works to promote understanding regarding issues of concern to the Armenian American community.
Asbarez


National Academy of Sciences Backs Protocols
YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Armenia’s National Academy of Sciences officially expressed support on Thursday for the government’s policy of rapprochement with Turkey and the recently publicized Turkish-Armenian relations in particular.

The state-funded institution, which rarely challenges government decisions, discussed the matter at a special meeting of its top decision-making body, the General Assembly, held late Wednesday. The meeting, attended by more than 150 members of the academy and directors of its research institutes, took place behind the closed doors. Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian also took part in the discussion.

Journalists were only allowed to be present at the opening remarks made by Radik Martirosian, the president of the Academy. He was reported to claim that public attitudes toward the two draft protocols on the normalization of Armenia’s relations with Turkey have been “mainly positive” despite existing “concerns” about some of their provisions.

Martirosian noted that all Armenian presidents sought to mend ties with Turkey but that only Serzh Sarkisian has managed to achieve major progress with his “dynamic and active foreign policy.”

In a statement issued the next day, the academy’s press service said the meeting overwhelmingly adopted a resolution welcoming Sarkisian’s efforts to “settle relations with neighbors and get Armenia out of the [Turkish] blockade.” “It is said in the resolution that the normalization of relations with Turkey and the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border without preconditions would contribute to the strengthening of Armenia’s geopolitical positions,” the statement said. The agreements allow for the “continuation of that policy,” it added.

The academy meeting was part of “internal political consultations” which Ankara and Yerevan have pledged to undertake before signing the deal next month. Sarkisian discussed the sensitive issue with leaders of 52 political parties mostly loyal to him last week.
Asbarez


Letter to Armenia’s Representatives in the US : Over 800 Protest for Justice, Oppose Armenia-Turkey Protocols

NEW YORK, N.Y.—Over 800 people turned out for the “Protest for Justice” organized by the Armenian Youth Federation-YOARF Eastern Region USA on Sat., Sept. 19 in front of Armenia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

Displaying Armenian flags and signs protesting the announced protocols for diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia, the crowd chanted slogans in support of the independence of Artsakh (Karabagh), recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey, and reparations and the restitution of land. “Justice Not Protocols” was the resounding message.

“We came in the name of justice. The protocols ask Armenia and the Armenian nation to give up on what is rightfully theirs, what was taken away from them during the genocide. These protocols are not only a step backwards for the Armenian nation but also set a dangerous precedent at the international stage,” said Lauren DaSilva, the chair of the AYF-YOARF Eastern USA Central Executive.

The protocols are the latest manifestation of a continuing Turkish genocidal policy towards the Armenian nation. It is clear that Turkey, which imposes an illegal blockade and whose geographic existence and economic prosperity were founded on the losses of the Armenians, is using its advantage to convince the Armenian state to concede any possibility of restorative justice.

These concessions go beyond the authority of the Armenian government, which has no legitimate right to speak on behalf of the eight million Diasporan Armenians. Worse, discussions on normalization were held secretly, in the dark, with no participation from the citizens of Armenia. Furthermore, unlike Armenia’s concessions, Turkey’s “concessions” are deferred, reversible, and vaguely worded.

“I am absolutely disgusted with the foreign policy of the Sargsyan-Nalbandian regime,” said Hrag Arakelian, a member of the Chicago “Ararat” Chapter Executive. “They have either sold out on the Armenian Cause for their own personal interest or are just incapable of making sound policy decisions.”
Coming from as far away as Racine and Chicago, people of all ages boarded buses early in the morning from Boston, Providence, Worcester, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. to participate.

The protest began with the singing of “Mer Hairenik” by Nina Froundjian. Dikran Khaligian then led a program that included speeches by Lauren Da Silva on behalf of the Central Executive of the AYF, Antranig Kasbarian and George Aghjayan on behalf of the Central Committee of the ARF Eastern USA, as well as Mourad Topalian, Levon Attarian, Hovig Charchaflian, and Hrag Arakelian.

The rally ended with the symbolic presentation of a letter to the Armenian mission from the AYF on behalf of the “Protest for Justice,” reprinted below.
For more information, visit justicenotprotocols.com.
***
Ambassador Garen Nazarian
Permanent Mission of Armenia to the United Nations
119 East 36th Street
New York, NY 10016

We have come here today, from Massachusetts to Florida, from Chicago to Philadelphia, to demand justice.
For centuries, Armenian people have lived in servitude to Turkey. However, the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia must be based on equality, not capitulation.

The independence of Artsakh must be guaranteed. The Armenian Genocide must be accepted by the Turkish government as a crime against humanity with justice requiring reparations and the restitution of land.

These demands are non-negotiable.

The announced protocols aim to extinguish the rights of Armenians everywhere. We find this unacceptable. In the name of our ancestors who sacrificed so much and generations yet to come, we demand Justice Not Protocols.


AYF Protest for Justice
Sept. 19, 2009
ARF CC Urges Wide Community Support for AYF Protest
ARF Declaration on Armenia-Turkey Protocols
AYF Issues Call to Protest
Aghjayan: In Pursuit of Justice and True Friendship
Aghjayan: More Diplomatic Naiveté
Hairenik


Ter-Petrosian Calls for a Broad-Based Coalition to Topple Sarkisian Regime
YEREVAN -- Opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian on Friday rejected as pro-Azerbaijani the existing international plan to end the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and urged Armenia’s leading political forces to thwart its realization by helping him topple President Serzh Sarkisian.

Rallying thousands of supporters in Yerevan, Ter-Petrosian acknowledged that his Armenian National Congress (HAK) can not effect leadership change in the country without building a more broad-based anti-government coalition. He also claimed that Turkey will not ratify its fence-mending agreements with Armenia without a breakthrough in the Karabakh negotiating process.

“Even in exchange for Serzh Sarkisian’s sacrifice of the [international recognition of the Armenian] genocide, Turkey will not ratify those protocols and will not open its border with Armenia until the Karabakh conflict is resolved,” he said, referring to the documents envisaging the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations.

While reiterating his earlier allegations that Sarkisian was “fooled” into making concessions to the Turks, Ter-Petrosian, unlike most of his close associates, stopped short of explicitly denouncing the draft protocols made public on August 31.

In his more than hour-long speech, Ter-Petrosian spent much more time discussing the basic principles of a Karabakh settlement proposed by the U.S., Russian and French mediators. “When a compromise is not balanced, it’s not a compromise,” he said. “The analysis of the above-mentioned facts shows that the existing settlement plan violates that principle. Azerbaijan is getting much more than Armenia and Karabakh are.”

“In other words, Serzh Sarkisian, for unacceptable considerations, is opting for a solution which, to put it mildly, is not favorable to the Armenian side and, speaking more strictly, jeopardizes the existence of Nagorno-Karabakh,” he added.

The HAK leader based his critique on key elements of the proposed deal that were revealed by the U.S., Russian and French presidents a joint statement last July. He said the statement was too vague on international security guarantees offered to Karabakh and an overland link between the disputed enclave and Armenia proper.

Ter-Petrosian also cited another key point of that statement whereby Nagorno-Karabakh’s status would be determined through “a legally binding expression of will.” This, he said, does not necessarily mean a referendum of self-determination in the Armenian-populated territory. The ex-president stressed that the only way to avert “undue concessions” to Azerbaijan is to force Sarkisian to resign with a “powerful and sustained wave of popular indignation.” “As I tried to substantiate with a detailed examination in my December 21, 2008 speech, the Armenian National Congress is unable to solve that issue single-handedly, no matter how unpleasant that may sound,” he told the crowd.

Without naming anyone, Ter-Petrosian went on to appeal to other major political forces to join in his fight against the country’s “kleptocratic” leadership. To that, he said, he is ready to pledge not to stand in a snap presidential that would follow Sarkisian’s resignation and would not feature Kocharian as a candidate.

“Waiting for the activation of other Armenian political forces and even temporarily ceding the arena to them, the Congress is not announcing today the date of its next rally. Depending on the reaction of those forces, we will decide our further actions together with you,” Ter

Petrosian said before the crowd marched through the city center, chanting “Levon! Levon!” and other opposition slogans.


President Obama Marks Armenian Independence Day
U.S. President Barack Obama marked the 18th anniversary of Armenia’s declaration of independence late Tuesday with a special statement and a congratulatory message. “The people of the United States join the people of Armenia in celebrating Armenia’s day of independence today,” Obama said in a statement posted on the White House website. “We deeply value the many cultural and historic ties that bind our two countries.”

“The United States gains strength as a nation from the contributions of so many Americans of Armenian ancestry. We congratulate the people of Armenia on their national day,” he added.

Obama had similarly hailed Armenians on their “spirit of independence, self-reliance, and survival” one year ago, when he was still a presidential candidate. “Even in the face of genocide, the pain of the past has not defeated the Armenians, either in Armenia or the far-flung diaspora,” he said in a September 2008 letter to Sarkisian.


Andranik Tevanyan: Situation Getting Dangerous for Armenia
YEREVAN -- The Armenian authorities made a single hasty step in “football diplomacy” with Turkey, and the process got out of control, Andranik Tevanyan, Director of the Political Economy Center, told NEWS.am.

According to him, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian made the first hasty step when he invited his Turkish counterpart to a football match in Yerevan. “At that moment Sarkisian did not think of further developments – he just invited the Turkish President to Armenia. At that very moment the Armenia-Turkey rapprochements process got out of Yerevan’s control. Now, in the morning the Armenian authorities will know about what was prepared for them to sign in the night,” Tevanyan said. According to him, the reason for the President’s “very first hasty step” was his seeking to “clearly outline” his policy as distinguished from that of his predecessors. “It is typical of all the politicians having a legitimacy problem,” Tevanyan said.

He stressed that the processes are getting more and more dangerous for Armenia in the course of time. The international community and Turkey are aware of the fact that Yerevan has lost control of the situation. So they are trying to find a “package solution” to all the problems

– it is the Nagorno-Karabakh problem.

“The Nagorno-Karabakh problem is being dealt with along with the issue of Armenian-Turkish rapprochement, and the Turkish side’s repeated statements are striking evidence thereof,” Tevenyan said. He added that, if continued, this process may result in the loss of Nagorno-Karabakh: concession on even one of the regions under Nagorno-Karabakh’s control means the loss of Nagorno-Karabakh.


Signing Of Turkish-Armenian Deal ‘Set For October 13’
Official Ankara and Yerevan have pointedly declined to refute media reports that the signing of agreements on the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations has been scheduled for October 13.

Citing unnamed Turkish diplomats, the “Milliyet” daily reported on Thursday that the foreign ministers of the two neighboring states will sign the two protocols the day before the return match of Armenia’s and Turkey’s national football teams. Turkish President Abdullah Gul and his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisian are expected to attend the World Cup qualification game to be played in the Turkish city of Bursa.

Commenting on the “Milliyet” report, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Burak Ozugergin was quoted by AFP news agency as saying, “We have a month.... I think the signing will be sometime around this time.”

The Foreign Ministry in Yerevan also did not deny the information. “We will inform the public about all actions stemming from the Turkish-Armenian protocols, including the signing dates, in due time,” the ministry spokesman, Tigran Balayan, told RFE/RL.


Colorado -- Campaign Contributions To Representative Ed Perlmutter (D7) Have Been Linked To The Turkish Government’s Association with American military contractors and appear to have dramatically altered his moral compass and political support of the Armenian genocide. Persuaded by Perlmutter’s extreme April repositioning on the Armenian genocide and fueled by investigative reports linking lobbying by American military contractors to Turkey’s effort to undermine congressional support for the Armenian genocide, the RMHA collected facts and assembled a Perlmutter timeline.

Representative Perlmutter, an almost decade-long avid advocate for Colorado’s American-Armenian community, now appears complicit with Turkey’s genocide denial claim. In March, the Colorado Independent broke the first Perlmutter connection: [“Perlmutter gives tainted money from defense contractor lobbyist to charity”]. In June, the Associated Press moved the story forward and identified five American military contractors lobbying for the Turkish government on the Armenian genocide: [“Companies lobby (quietly) on Armenia genocide bill”]. (attached)

RMHA research uncovered ties to Perlmutter with two of these contractors. The information persuaded the highly esteemed Colorado non-partisan advocacy group, “Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action” to send a highly critical letter to Mr. Perlmutter. RMHA completed a timeline of Mr. Perlmutter’s record, documenting the apparent payto-play connection. It was provided to the Congressman on June 30th, as a courtesy, prior to its public release.

The Perlmutter timeline was released to statewide readership in a July 7th e-newsletter. In August, Sibel Edmonds, a FBI whistleblower offered testimony under oath addressing the relationship between the Turkish government and the ‘Turkish Lobby’ giving details into its pay-to-play relationship with Members of Congress. RMHA reviewed the transcript, connected a number of dots, and established a Colorado connection. Our findings were published on August 30th, in issue 10 of the RMHA e-newsletter.

On September 15 the ‘Eastern Colorado News’ broke the pay-to-play story.

Perlmutter has declined to cosponsor the current Armenian Genocide Resolution # 252. The historical facts of the genocide remain the same. The current wording of the resolution is identical to H.Res. 106, the 110th Congressional session Armenian genocide resolution — a resolution Perlmutter cosponsored. This year, Perlmutter dramatically distanced himself from his nearly decade-long record of active support for Armenian genocide affirmation.

Perlmutter’s financials document reveal that he has accepted contributions from and provided earmarks to military contractors linked to lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government and its unremitting genocide denial campaign. One of those contractors is Raytheon. Raytheon is deeply involved in working with the lead player of the “Turkish lobby’ - specifically the American-Turkish Council (ATC). Raytheon is one of just nine board members on the American-Turkish Council (ATC). Raytheon was a primary corporate sponsor this year at the ATC’s annual major event.

Loussapatz


Armenians Go Beyond The Limits In Boston, Turkishny.Com, 22 September 2009
Armenian diaspora carries its efforts on for building an Armenian park and a monument symbolizing so called Armenian genocide within the park.

The monument that is planned to be erected at the center of Boston, will be completed in the fall of 2010 if the efforts of Armenian diaspora gives results.

Armenians keep on their efforts for erecting a so called Armenian genocide monument in Boston since 2000.

If Armenians succeed on their wishes for spreading their propaganda, names of some Armenian cities including Turkish cities such as “Van” will be listed on the monument.

On the other hand, especially New England Turkish-American Culture Foundation and many other Turkish organizations and various groups struggles against efforts of Armenians to erect a so called genocide monument at Boston since 2000.

Member of Assembly of Solidarity for Citizens Living Abroad Ali Cinar said that they will stand against such injustice against Turkish people and history of Turkey and that they will carry on a comprehensive and serious work about this issue.

Stressing that local administration of Boston should be aware of facts too, Cinar called for attention that Armenian diaspora in United States is uncomfortable about the dialogue process between Turkey and Armenia.


Nalbandian Slams Erdogan, Urges Him to Respect Genocide Survivors, Asbarez Sep 18th, 2009
YEREVAN (Combined Sources)Armenias foreign minister, Eduard Nalbandian, Friday slammed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for announcing that without a resolution to the Karabakh conflict, the protocols would not be signed. Nalbandian also urged him to respect the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and their descendants.

If the current Turkish authorities are unable to recognize the fact of the Genocide during the Ottoman Empire, then the least they can do is to show respect toward the survivors of the Genocide and their children, said Nalbandian in a surprise departure from his usual modus operandi.

Nalbandian was responding to comments made earlier on Friday by Erdogan, who was quoted by the Milliyet daily as saying that Turkey would not open its borders with Armenian without a final resolution of the Karabakh conflict.

We told them [Armenia] about that, said Erdogan, adding [Azeri President Ilham] Aliyev, [Russian President Dmitry] Medvedev and [Armenian Presdient Serzh] Sarkisian have intensified negotiations recently. We are closer to the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict that ever. It is impossible for us to open the borders without solution of this problem.

The Turkish side has been informed and we are certain that they know that we are against steps for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict to be addressed within the framework of normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations, said Nalbandian.

The Armenian foreign minister said efforts to tie the two together can hinder both processes.

Many countries have expressed the same position, among them the Minsk Groups co-chair countries, who have announced on several occasions that normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey must take place without precondition, announced Nalbandian.

If the Turkish leadership has issues with signing the protocols, then it must not attempt to address those concerns by going against the goals, the letter and spirit of the documents, added Nalbandian.

The signing and realizing the agreed upon protocols is a process fraught with complications. However, Armenia is ready to respect the agreements, in order to move forward, explained Nalbandian.

In his remarks, Erdogan also said that Armenia should be freed from the influence of the Diaspora.

The Diaspora does not bring any advantage to Armenia. On the contrary, it takes away from Armenia, said Erdogan.

Nalbandians prompt response to Turkeys ongoing enmity is commended. As the protocol processes advance, the Armenian authorities should be vigilant to proceed with the same level of respect they are anticipating from Turkey.
ASBAREZ.COM


As Community Unites, Armenian Assembly Steps Away By Serouj Aprahamian, Sep 18th, 2009
As political parties and community organizations have come together to express a loud and collective disapproval of the dangerous protocols on Turkey-Armenia relations, one faction in the communitythe Armenian Assembly of Americahas opted for a route of dissention and has chosen to herald the protocols benefits as a cure all for Armenias ills and step forward for US interests in that area.

I am not willing to call it quits at the outset, said Peter Kezirian a spokesperson for the Armenian Assembly of America in an appearance on a live television panel last Sunday discussing the Armenia-Turkey relations protocols.

Mr. Kezirian was using that argument to fortify hisand his organizationsbelief that the protocols are meant to begin a long-awaited and much-needed process of normalizing relations between Turkey and Armenia and admonished all those opposing the protocols as doing the work of the enemy by, at the end of the day, pointing out the inherent flawsdangersof the documents.

On Sept. 2, the Assembly issued an announcement on the protocols saying This announcement is consistent with the U.S. position that normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey proceed without preconditions. Armenian authorities have also made it clear that no preconditions means just thatno linkage to progress on the Nagorno Karabakh peace talks and no conditions on affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, or debating whether a genocide occurred through a commission-style process.

In expressing its wholehearted support for the protocols, the Assembly referredand more importantly deferredto the US State Department position on the matter, clearly signaling that the course the US administration has charted out for Armenia is the desired outcome for the Assembly.

Mr. Kezirian was quite adamant to reiterate these claims and inferred that only the Armenian government can determine what its national interests are, apparently, if, and only if, they are consistent with the US position.

By now we have all become accustomed to the Armenian Assemblys posturing on issues of Armenian national interest. The vernacular used in their communicationsboth written and verbalseems to be emanating from the State Department.

Memorable past instances of this have included:

Spearheading of the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission TARC;

After brazenly claiming responsibility for the passage of Section 907, the provision in the Freedom Support Act that prohibited US aid to Azerbaijan until that country lifted its blockade of Armenia, the Assembly worked hard in supporting a waiver by the State Department;

Support for the nomination of Richard Hoagland as US ambassador to Armenia, because the US needed an ambassador there.

While we might have become accustomed to other instances of parroting the State Department line, the blind acceptance of the protocols as a set of documents that will guide Turkey and Armenia into a détente is as unacceptable as the protocols themselves.

Mr. Kezirian was eager to convince his television audience and fellow panelists that the protocols did not endanger the Karabakh peace process, despite Turkish foreign ministers insistence that borders would not open without a resolution of the Karabakh conflict. As such, he also went on to justify that the mere fact that a protocol was being announced attested to the stipulation of principles of self-determination, which are conveniently omitted from the protocols. Instead, the provisions dictate that modern-day borders are to be recognized as valid under international law, a notion that is at odds with rights and title held by the Armenian Republic which have yet to be properly adjudicated. And if the principle of territorial integrity is to guide future development of relations, shouldnt those rights be based on legal title, a basic pre-requisite to legal right, and not in fact the notion of what makes right, which Turkey has so artfully exercised.

Mr. Kezirians insistence that the Armenian government was prudent in agreeing to the protocols, which he called a negotiated document, not only cements the Armenian authorities blatant disregard for the Diaspora and what it stands for in the context of national interests, but it also goes to the State Departments objective of decades to marginalize the voices that run counter to US policy interests.

In both instances Mr. Kezirian and the Armenian Assembly have undermined their own stated mission of allegedly being the largest Armenian advocacy organization in the US. First: by blindly toting the Armenian governments position, with impunity towards the legal rights of the Armenian nation they have all but ceded to Turkish interests and undermined the Diasporathe very entity that has maintained and preserved Armenian national interests since the Genocide and beyond the 1991 independence. Second: by vocally reiterating and constantly deferring to US policy, they have failed to advocate for the true aspirations of the Armenian-American community, those that are based on the solid foundation of law and justice.
ASBAREZ.COM


Transaction Publishers Announces New Book on Effects of the Armenian Genocide
`A Perfect Injustice' by Hrayr S. Karagueuzian and Yair Auron is an essential contribution to understanding why the issue of stolen Armenian wealth remains unresolved after all these years'. That topic is addressed for the first time in this volume.

Except for a short period after the end of the First World War and the ensuing armistice, Turkey has consistently denied that it ever employed a policy of intentional destruction of Armenians. The 1913-1914 census put the number of Armenians living in Turkey at close to two million.

Today only a few thousand Armenians remain in the city Istanbul and none elsewhere in Turkey. Armenian sites in Turkey, including churches, have been neglected, desecrated, looted, destroyed, or requisitioned for other uses, while Armenian place names have been erased or changed. As with the Jewish Holocaust, Armenian properties that were seized or stolen have not been restored. Sixty and ninety years after these terrible events, Jewish and Armenian victims and their heirs continue to struggle to get their properties back. There has been only partial restitution in the Jewish case and virtually no restitution at all in the Armenian case.

`The authors accumulated the material item by item and slowly began to
piece together the story of a massive injustice towards the victims of genocide. . . .A fascinating investigation, a book rich in details and full of documents,' says Dickran Kouymjian, who is an Emeritus Haig & Isabel Berberian Professor of Armenian Studies at California State University in Fresno.

No adequate reparation for the deeds committed against the Armenians can ever be made. But resolving claims with respect to stolen property is a symbolic gesture toward victims and their heirs. This is unfinished business for Jewish heirs and survivor of the Holocaust, as it is for Armenians.

To order a copy of A Perfect Injustice, contact Transaction Publishers at 888-999-6778 or order online at www.transactionpub.com.
The California Courier


Erdogan: Our Goal Is Restoration Of Ottoman Empire Might 21.09.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Turkey's goal is to live in peace with all countries and restore the might of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

"I believe that each Turkish family should have at least three children. We believe in Turkey's future and call on everybody to believe," he said.

Dwelling on Turkish-Russian relations, he described them as strategic.

"Russia is our partner. The trade between our countries has reached $40 billion," Milliyet newspaper quoted Erdogan as saying.


Turkey’s Armenians Express Support For Opening Of Border
Turkish Armenians have expressed hope regarding the opening of the border between Armenia and Turkey, saying such a step would help the two peoples remember that they do not have only sad memories of each other, but also have a long common history.

On Aug. 31, Ankara and Yerevan announced that after talks which have been continuing under Swiss mediation, they have decided to launch an internal consultation process on both sides before signing two protocols aiming to normalize relations by opening the closed border between the two countries and re-establishing diplomatic ties after 16 years. Earlier this week, speaking in New York, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that he expects to present Parliament with documents on establishing diplomatic ties with Armenia by early October. In its latest edition, the bilingual Agos newspaper spoke with Armenian citizens of Turkey concerning the recent developments. The founder of Agos, Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, was shot dead outside the newspaper's offices in January 2007. Dink's murder trial is still ongoing.

Lerna Kuyumcu, a 67-year-old housewife, voiced her pleasure over the protocols, saying she believed they would serve for the good of both countries, while Tabita Toparlak, an 18-year-old student, reflected her enthusiasm over the developments.

“Open the borders so that both of the countries can breathe fresh air. We have gradually become rusty, since we remained closed [to one another],” Toparlak was quoted as saying by Agos.

A middle-aged finance employee, Vartkes Hergel, 43, was cautious in welcoming the developments. “As a Turkish Armenian, I consider the signing of these protocols as a beautiful start, though I'm not very hopeful. Despite dragging their feet, supporters of the status quo on both sides will not be able to block the rapprochement of the two peoples. Progress will continue on this road on which Hrant Dink took big steps,” Hergel said. “My dream is to cross the border one day together with my Turkish friend Şafak, hand in hand. Even if Şafak and I cannot do this, our children will make it happen,” Hergel added.

Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic ties and share a history of animosity stemming from the killings of Anatolian Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I. Turkey denies the 1915 killings amounted to genocide but has agreed to set up a commission of international experts on the issue under a protocol it signed with Armenia.

Ankara has said it hopes to open its border with Armenia by the end of the year and establish diplomatic ties. Anticipation over an Ankara-Yerevan thaw has been growing ahead of a planned visit by Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan to Turkey on Oct. 14, when he is due to attend the return leg of a World Cup qualifying soccer match between the two countries.

Jeweler Hagop Can Hulyar, 49, was critical of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), which has not lent its support to the government's steps for rapprochement with Armenia. “I never vote for the CHP, and I will never do so. I also have the conviction that a sane Armenian indeed should not vote for the CHP,” Hulyar said.
26 September 2009, TODAY'S ZAMAN

Pm Sets Oct. 10-11 As Date For Sending Armenia Protocols To Parliament
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and US President Barack Obama make a toast at an annual luncheon hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday, during the 64th UN General Assembly. Erdoğan also addressed the General Assembly on Thursday.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and US President Barack Obama make a toast at an annual luncheon hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday, during the 64th UN General Assembly. Erdoğan also addressed the General Assembly on Thursday.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated that he expects to present Parliament with documents to establish diplomatic ties with Armenia by early October, just before a critical meeting between the two nations' leaders. Erdoğan, in a wide-ranging foreign policy speech before faculty and students at Princeton University said the negotiations “have really taken us to an important position.”

Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic ties and share a history of animosity stemming from the killings of Anatolian Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I. Turkey denies the 1915 killings amounted to genocide but has agreed to set up a commission of international experts on the issue under the protocol it signed with Armenia.

“If we don't see prejudice or some domestic political considerations at play, I believe the preparation for an agreement, which has been initialed between Turkey and Armenia, could be taken to Parliament to be ratified. We hope to take those steps by the 10th or 11th of next month,” Erdoğan said in his speech delivered on Wednesday.

Ankara has said it hopes to open its border with Armenia by the end of the year under a protocol to establish diplomatic ties. Anticipation over an Ankara-Yerevan thaw has been growing ahead of a planned visit by Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan to Turkey on Oct. 14 when he is due to attend the return leg of a World Cup qualifying soccer match between the two countries.

Sarksyan has said he will not travel to the game, the first leg of which Turkish President Abdullah Gül watched last year in Yerevan, unless the border has reopened or there are clear signs it is about to open.

Erdoğan said he thought there should be no hesitation on the part of Sarksyan to make the trip.

New quadrilateral meeting on Iraqi-Syria tension planned in New York

A quadrilateral meeting between three neighboring countries -- Iraq, Syria and Turkey -- and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa is planned to take place this week on the sidelines of the ongoing UN General Assembly in New York as part of a Turkish-initiated process to reconcile the political differences between its common neighbors, Iraq and Syria, the Anatolia news agency reported, citing anonymous sources.

Iraq and Syria recalled their ambassadors last month after Baghdad accused Damascus of sheltering militants it blames for a string of bombings, including two huge truck bombs outside Iraqi government ministries on Aug. 19 that killed 95 people.

The issue was also on the agenda of a meeting which took place on Wednesday in New York between Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Anatolia reported, underlining that the Iraqi side expressed its appreciation for Turkey's efforts to resolve the Baghdad-Damascus tension.

As of Wednesday Erdoğan also had talks with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country holds the European Union presidency, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha.

Erdoğan also attended a luncheon on Wednesday hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and attended by presidents, prime ministers and diplomats from the UN's 192 member states.

Erdoğan, who sat at the same table as Ban and US President Barack Obama, met with Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias as he was entering the luncheon hall. Erdoğan and Christofias had a lengthy conversation while standing, Anatolia said, noting that UN Secretary-General Ban also joined the two for a while. Ankara Today's Zaman with wires

“If the Turkish president can easily go to Armenia to watch a game, then it should be just as easy and simple for the Armenian president,” to come to Turkey, Erdoğan said. “I think asking for certain conditions to be met to decide to come is not the right way forward in international politics anymore.”

Internalization of democratization initiative

In his speech Erdoğan also touched upon his government's democratization initiative which ultimately aims at reaching a comprehensive resolution to the decades-old Kurdish question by granting more rights to the country's Kurdish citizens.

“We have set off for resolving problems regarding the rule of law, democracy and human rights,” Erdoğan said.

In response to a question from the audience, Erdoğan said their democratization initiative did not solely include the Kurdish issue: “When we established our party, our party program had already included -- whatever you call [it] -- the Kurdish issue or the East or Southeast [Anatolia] problem.”

Recalling steps that have been taken so far such as lifting bans on teaching and broadcasting in Kurdish and the presence of a new state-run Kurdish television station, Erdoğan added a new step has been taken recently, referring to the approval of teaching the Kurdish language as part of the establishment of a “living languages” institute at a state university in Mardin.

“We aim at continuing [the] functioning of this entire democratic initiative process in the short, medium and long run. It is not possible to carry out the entire process at once. We need to continue this process by internalizing and by having it internalized,” Erdoğan said.
25 September 2009,TODAY'S ZAMAN


Turkish Premier Says Initialed Deal With Armenia To Be Sent To Parliament
The Turkish prime minister said on Wednesday that an initialed deal with Armenia could be sent to the parliament soon.

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he believed an initialed deal with Armenia could be brought to the Turkish parliament soon.

"We have reached an important stage with the step we have taken with Switzerland's mediation, and I believe we can send the initialed document to the parliament if we do not face any prejudice and if steps are not taken by just thinking about the internal politics," Erdoğan told a conference at the Princeton University in New York.

Erdoğan said that the document would be sent on October 10 or 11.

The Turkish prime minister said that the president of Armenia could visit Turkey for a World Cup qualifier between Turkey and Armenia in October with comfort as the Turkish president visited Armenia for an away match last year.

"Turkey will have neighborly relations with Armenia within the framework of mutual respect," he also said.

The Turkish prime minister enumerated recent problems the world was facing as wars, economic crisis, hunger, poverty, terrorism, energy safety and climate change, and underlined the need for a new global order for solution of problems.

"There should be a fair and pluralist order embracing every one, based on confidence and which sees differences as a richness," Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan said there was need for a new understanding of leadership, and said Turkey could contribute to the new global order.

The Turkish prime minister said the new world system could rise on four main principles, including the global political order, economic order, cultural order, and universal legal norms.

Erdoğan said that the global political order should be pluralist and egalitarian, and countries had to perceive relations among actors correctly.

The prime minister said Turkey was implementing a fair policy embracing every one in its region, and was trying to gain friends, not enemies.

"If you end prejudices, it is not difficult to gain friends, and the constructive and pacifist policy we pursue in our region aims at not only regional but also global peace," he said.

Erdoğan said, "is it possible to see Middle Eastern problem only as a regional problem? I believe many problems in the world would be solved when Israeli-Palestinian dispute is overcome."

Prime Minister Erdoğan said the new economic order should also be fair. Referring to the cultural aspect of the new global order, Erdoğan said Turkey had assumed the co-leadership of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative, which proved it was possible and necessary for different cultures and civilizations to live in a constructive atmosphere.

On the universal legal norms, Erdoğan said, "fundamental rights such as right to live, human rights, freedom of expression and belief, immunity of private life and safety were the common goals of humanity."

Erdoğan also referred to Turkey's democratic move, and said Turkey wished to complete this process with success.

"What I am saying is to create a system for a new global order, based on justice, peace and confidence," he said.

Also, Erdoğan said Turkey was a country that had suffered much from terrorism, and was one of the countries supporting international fight against terrorism.

"Our aim is to ensure peace and stability in our region, and contribute to world peace," Erdoğan also said.

Erdoğan said there was need for a dialogue platform that would bring together regional countries, and therefore Turkey proposed to set up a stability and cooperation platform in the Caucasus.

The Turkish prime minister said Turkey aimed to make the region a basin of peace, and wanted to solve Azerbaijan-Armenia, Turkey-Armenia and Russia-Georgia problems through this platform.
24 September 2009, ANATOLIA NEWS AGENCY NEW YORK


Auschwitz And Facing History
Here, at the Auschwitz camp, which has become synonymous with the Holocaust, is the place where the “Final Solution” was implemented.

In fact, the Nazis had a total of 30 camps, and they were all death camps. The camp directors recorded the deaths that took place at these camps in “Totenbuch or a book of death.” These books, however, lacked in information as the deaths sped up, and most were destroyed when the Allied forces were victorious. Toward the end of the war, certain SS officers competed over who had killed more people, increasing the sheer scale of the horror. Everyone should see these camps if they have the opportunity. Like Nagasaki and the gulags. It seems as though there are no empires without bloody, dirty events from the past. True courage and civilization is being able to see the dark periods of an empire, as well as praising the bright dimensions from the past, and being able to learn from the past as a lesson for the future. It would be helpful to view the whole Armenian matter from this perspective.
23 September 2009, STAR ERGUN BABAHAN


Transparency International On Corruption In Armenia, News.Am 09/24/2009
The Transparency International organization has released its Global Corruption Report 2009.
The report specifically deals with corruption in Armenia. According to the authors, corruption is thriving in all the spheres of Armenia's life and takes such forms as mass bribery and political pressure, which causes grave damage and impedes steady economic progress in Armenia.

The report contains information on 45 countries. In the part dealing with Armenia, the authors focus their attention of the misfortunes of the Royal Armenia Company and the Gala TV Company. The owners and managers of the Royal Armenia Company found themselves in prison for exposing the facts of bribery in Armenia's customs system, which is one of the most corrupt in Armenia. Transparency International refers to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, who severely criticized the Armenian customs bodies on April 17, 2008. The organization doubts the situation in the country will be improved, as the system is headed by Gagik Khachatryan, the person that demanded a bribe from the Royal Armenia Company.

As regard the Gyumri-based Gala TV Company, the report says that it was subjected to economic pressure after airing the speech of Armenia's first President Levon Ter-Petrosyan in September 2007. Grigor Amalyan, Chairman of the RA TV and Radio Commission, demanded that the TV company stop broadcasting political programs. After the company refused, it was subjected to economic pressure.


Send Your Cash On-Line,
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Dear ANCA activist,
Armenia's under pressure from all sides.
You've heard about the dangers. And I know you want to do something to help.
That's why I'm inviting you today to send a secure online donation to empower the ANCA to fight back against all the forces hell-bent on driving Armenia right off a cliff.

Here's the situation in a nutshell:

* On one side, Turkey and its allies are using illegal blockades to force Armenia to accept "Protocols" that threaten the future of Armenia, cast doubt on the Genocide, and surrender the rights of all Armenians.

* On the other, Azerbaijan and the oil industry are pressuring Armenia to accept the "Madrid" principles, giving away hundreds of square miles of Armenian land in return for a possible decision on Karabagh's status - at some point - in the future.

These dangers are real and urgent.
Decisions may be only days away.
That's why it's so vital that you send your
secure online donation today so we can put your contribution to work right away fighting the enemies of the Armenian Cause in Washington.

Your contribution, large or small, allows the ANCA, a true grassroots organization that relies on community donors, to be your voice in pressing the U.S. government to:

* Stand up for truth, and against Turkey's "historical commission."
* Stand up for freedom, and against the surrender of Nagorno Karabagh.
* Stand up for justice, and against the sacrifice of Armenian rights.
* Stand up for real peace, and against foreign pressure.

Your secure online donation of $250, $100, $50, or even $15 is needed right away to lift the pressure from Armenia and pave the way toward a real and lasting peace based on enduring principles.
Please give today as generously as you can.

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P.S. I know you want to do something about the dangers facing Armenia. So please click here to send a secure on-line donation today to protect Armenia from the intense pressures and deadly dangers she is facing right now.



Nkr Neutral To Armenian-Turkish Dialogue, News.Am 09/24/2009
Stepanakert will not interfere in the Armenian-Turkish dialogue or in the positions the Armenian authorities and people are taking, Georgy Petrosyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), stated in his interview with the Turkish NTV channel.

"Our position is quite clear: we have never interfered in Armenia's life despite issues of pan-Armenian importance we are concerned over in the context of the Armenian-Turkish rapprochement," Petrosyan said. He expressed a wish that Turkey show a similar attitude to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, without linking it with the Armenian-Turkish dialogue.

"We would like the two issues be separated from each other. Attempts to link them will hardly contribute to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Turkey is obviously hostage to its own promises to Azerbaijan - it gave the promises and has to keep them now," Petrosyan said. According to him, Turkey is becoming an interested party in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. "It is being perceived as a kind of pressure, but positive results can hardly be attained by means of pressure," Petrosyan said.


Azerbaijan Sends Note To Turkey, 25 September 2009 Today.Az
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has presented a note to the Turkish Embassy in Azerbaijan.
"The note stated that a while ago journalists of the Turkish NTV TV channel, who were issued accreditation in the so-called "Foreign Ministry of the Nagorno-Karabakh", visited the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. The fact disappointed Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry strongly opposes such visits to country's occupied territory and requests the Turkish Foreign Ministry to investigate this fact and take measures," Foreign Ministry's Spokesperson Elkhan Polukhov said.


Caucasus Reporting Service : Armenians Lick Lips at Prospect of Turkish Trade
Economists predict huge boost for Armenian economy if ties between Yerevan and Ankara are normalised.
By Hasmik Hambardzumian in Yerevan (CRS No. 512, 25-Sep-09)
Economists have welcomed the progress Yerevan and Ankara have made towards normalising relations, anticipating it will open up vast new markets for Armenian producers.

There is currently a near-total blockade on Armenian goods going to Turkey. In 2008, according to Armenia’s National Statistics Service, less than two million US dollars worth of Armenia products were exported to Turkey, whereas more than 250 million dollars of Turkish goods were imported.

Correcting this imbalance could prove revolutionary for Armenia, which currently depends on exporting most of its goods to Russia via Georgia, since its borders with both Turkey and Azerbaijan are closed.

“A significant growth in the economy is expected, with an increase in the volume of exports and a growth in investment, as well as an improvement in the population’s living conditions,” said Mark Lewis, the head of the International Monetary Fund’s mission in Yerevan.

Armenia and Turkey have lacked diplomatic relations since shortly after Yerevan gained independence from Moscow. Ankara, in a mark of support for its allies in Azerbaijan, who were fighting Armenian forces for control of the region of Nagorny Karabakh, cut ties in 1993 and has not restored them. Armenians still rule Karabakh, and the Azerbaijan-Armenia peace process is mired in difficulties.

Armenia and Turkey, however, have made significant progress since the two presidents met at a football match between their national sides a year ago.

They issued two protocols at the end of August, pledging to sign them after six weeks of public discussion. Appropriately, the six week discussion period, which should end with the border being opened, is due to end just before the return fixture.

The initial meeting also featured a deal between the Turkish UNIT company and High-Voltage Electric Networks of Armenia to sell 1.5 billion kilowatt/hours of Armenian electricity to Turkey. The size of the contract is a clear sign of the potential for cooperation.

Harutiun Khachatrian, an economic analyst from the Noyan Tapan agency, did not believe the official explanation for why no electricity has been sold so far. Officials say technical complications have prevented progress being made, but Khachatrian said its failure was linked to the progress of the peace talks.

“The fact that the project is not yet completed is obviously political,” he said. “You cannot even imagine how beneficial this cooperation will be for Armenia. Completely new possibilities will be opened, joint ventures will appear, products will be exported.”

Some economists have predicted, however, that the businessmen who currently dominate the Armenian market will object to the border with Turkey being opened, since it would let in a flood of competing products and services that could well undercut them on price.

Few of the so-called oligarchs Armenian have actually expressed a negative opinion of the peace process, with just Hrant Vardanian, president of the tobacco and confectionary company Grand Holding, being quoted in April as saying he looked on it “without particular enthusiasm”.

“The opening of the Turkish border means an end to monopolies. This is a significant step,” said Hrant Bagratian, a former prime minister and an economist by training.

Bagratian said some reluctance to open the border to competition from Turkish operators was natural, since Armenian businesses have faced little competition since independence.

He said Armenia just had to exploit its strengths, and trust its producers to become efficient enough to combat Turkish competitors.

“Whatever they do in Turkey, they won’t have the same harvest of tomatoes, apricots and grapes that we have and in this sense, I think the opening of the border won’t do much harm to our farmers. It’s possible that there will be a temporary shock, but within one or two years we will see that we have good chances for development,” he said.

Other businessmen agreed that Armenians should not be concerned, and should just rely on their country’s natural advantages. Besides the agricultural sector, the energy business, for example, is one where Armenia has a clear advantage, thanks to the Soviet legacy of decent infrastructure.

“With the correct implementation of international standards, there is no cause for concern, since in Armenia the industrial base, the infrastructure and the workforce are cheaper than in Turkey, where there are high salaries. It is necessary to occupy ourselves with increasing the productivity and efficiency of our production methods,” said Gurgen Arsenian, founder of the Arsoil company.

Hasmik Hambardzumian is a correspondent from www.panorama.am. IWPR country director Seda Muardyan contributed to this report.
© Institute for War & Peace Reporting


"To Be Or Not To Be", A1plus, September 23, 2009
"The two-sided Protocols on Armenian-Turkish relations put forth numerous preconditions," says Armen Aivazian, Director of "Ararat" Center for Strategic Research.

Regarding Republican Party's statement that the Protocols set no preconditions and do not refer to the Karabakh conflict, Mr. Aivazian said: "When in 1915 they displaced and drove people away to "safer places," did they warn against the pending massacre? Surely, they did not. The same is true with the Protocols which speak of the Artsakh problem and the Kars Treaty omitting the names.

Armen Aivazian says he has written about Armenia's wrong policy towards Turkey for ten years.

"During the so-called "diplomatic relations" during the football matches I made speeches signaling to the destructive effect of the negotiation process. After the road-map was determined this April I called the document "the first act of capitulation" to be followed by new ones. Surely enough, the Protocols were signed in a few months by which Turkey attempts to illegally formulate Armenia's colonization."

Turkey aims to annihilate Armenians - a fact ignored by Armenian authorities. We face a dilemma today. To be or not to be - this is the question."


Over 800 Protest For Justice, Oppose Armenia-Turkey Protocols Hairenik September 23, 2009
NEW YORK, N.Y.-Over 800 people turned out for the "Protest for Justice" organized by the Armenian Youth Federation-YOARF Eastern Region USA on Sat., Sept. 19 in front of Armenia's Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

Displaying Armenian flags and signs protesting the announced protocols for diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia, the crowd chanted slogans in support of the independence of Artsakh (Karabagh), recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey, and reparations and the restitution of land. "Justice Not Protocols" was the resounding message.

"We came in the name of justice. The protocols ask Armenia and the Armenian nation to give up on what is rightfully theirs, what was taken away from them during the genocide. These protocols are not only a step backwards for the Armenian nation but also set a dangerous precedent at the international stage," said Lauren DaSilva, the chair of the AYF-YOARF Eastern USA Central Executive.

The protocols are the latest manifestation of a continuing Turkish genocidal policy towards the Armenian nation. It is clear that Turkey, which imposes an illegal blockade and whose geographic existence and economic prosperity were founded on the losses of the Armenians, is using its advantage to convince the Armenian state to concede any possibility of restorative justice.

These concessions go beyond the authority of the Armenian government, which has no legitimate right to speak on behalf of the eight million Diasporan Armenians. Worse, discussions on normalization were held secretly, in the dark, with no participation from the citizens of Armenia. Furthermore, unlike Armenia's concessions, Turkey's "concessions" are deferred, reversible, and vaguely worded.

"I am absolutely disgusted with the foreign policy of the Sargsyan-Nalbandian regime," said Hrag Arakelian, a member of the Chicago "Ararat" Chapter Executive. "They have either sold out on the Armenian Cause for their own personal interest or are just incapable of making sound policy decisions."

Coming from as far away as Racine and Chicago, people of all ages boarded buses early in the morning from Boston, Providence, Worcester, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. to participate.

The protest began with the singing of "Mer Hairenik" by Nina Froundjian. Dikran Khaligian then led a program that included speeches by Lauren Da Silva on behalf of the Central Executive of the AYF, Antranig Kasbarian and George Aghjayan on behalf of the Central Committee of the ARF Eastern USA, as well as Mourad Topalian, Levon Attarian, Hovig Charchaflian, and Hrag Arakelian.

The rally ended with the symbolic presentation of a letter to the Armenian mission from the AYF on behalf of the "Protest for Justice," reprinted below.

For more information, visit justicenotprotocols.com.
***
Ambassador Garen Nazarian Permanent Mission of Armenia to the United Nations 119 East 36th Street New York, NY 10016

We have come here today, from Massachusetts to Florida, from Chicago to Philadelphia, to demand justice.

For centuries, Armenian people have lived in servitude to Turkey. However, the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia must be based on equality, not capitulation.

The independence of Artsakh must be guaranteed. The Armenian Genocide must be accepted by the Turkish government as a crime against humanity with justice requiring reparations and the restitution of land.

These demands are non-negotiable.

The announced protocols aim to extinguish the rights of Armenians everywhere. We find this unacceptable. In the name of our ancestors who sacrificed so much and generations yet to come, we demand Justice Not Protocols.


Erdogan Says He Wants President Sargsyan To Make Trip, Hetq 2009/09/24
Yesterday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, commenting on President Serzh Sargsyan's declaration that he would only travel to a football in Turkey next month if there is progress towards opening the border, stated, "~TAsking for certain conditions to be met in order to decide to come is not the right way to conduct international relations anymore."

Mr. Erdogan made the comment during a policy address at Princeton University in New Jersey. Turkey's prime minister said that nations should solve their problems based on trust rather than threats and he would like Armenia's president to travel to Turkey for the match pitting the national teams of Turkey and Armenia.


Turkish Pm Says Protocols Signed With Armenia Are Of Great Significance, Panorama.Am 23/09/2009
The reporter of Turkish Hurriyet managed to have a talk with the Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan while he was walking in one of New York streets.

One of the questions addressed to the Turkish PM concerned Armenian matter and the protocols.

"I'd say that the so called closed-door session of the parliament is going to be open. The pre-signed protocols with Armenia are very important. I guess they are success but there is nothing definite yet. The protocols will be presented to the committees first, and then put on discussion. Let's wait for the parliament's decision which we are looking forward to."


Several Thousand Strong Oppositional Rally Held In Yerevan, Kavkaz-Uzel.Ru Sep 19 2009
The situation in economy, with democracy and observance of human rights, and in foreign policy of Armenia continues to be extremely unfavourable. This was stated by former President Levon Ter-Petrosyan, leader of the Armenian National Congress, at a rally in central Yerevan, where, by different estimates, from 5 to 25 thousand persons got together.

A special place in Ter-Petrosyan's speech was given to the topic of foreign policy - the problem of normalizing Armenian-Turkish relations and settlements of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as the "Interfax" reports.

"By the protocols, signed by him on August 31, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, put in doubt the fact of Armenians' genocide. Besides, the Turks have deceived him by failing to fulfil their promise to open the border after signing on April 22 of the Armenian-Turkish roadmap," said the political leader.

In his turn, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan said on September 17 at his meeting with the leaders of political forces of Armenia, dedicated on normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, that he did not regard establishment of diplomatic relations with Turkey either programme-minimum or programme-maximum.

According to the President, it was important for him to show that Armenians are able to be the first "to demonstrate the absence of reason in moving against global development."


New Allegations In Armenian Genocide Fight, Mike Doyle Fresno Bee September 22, 2009 CA
There's a new and bizarre twist in the unending political battle over an Armenian Genocide resolution -- a battle in which San Joaquin Valley lawmakers and local residents have long played key roles.

As part of an Ohio election dispute, a woman named Sibel Edmonds who served very briefly as an FBI translator has been making pointed and wide-ranging allegations against Turkish officials. The unproven and reputation-damaging allegations against past and present members of Congress, which she first raised in a deposition, now get broader play in a story coming out this week in Pat Buchanan's magazine The American Conservative. Without endorsing any of Edmonds' unproven claims, the article might be worth a look for those deeply interested in Armenian-American issues.


President Never Gave Alleged Interview - Spokesman, Interfax Sept 23 2009 Russia
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan never gave an alleged interview the text of which was published in Russian daily Moskovsky Komsomolets recently, his spokesman said.

"The Armenian president gave no interview either to that correspondent or to Moskovsky Komsomolets," Samvel Farmanyan told Interfax.

The reporter who claimed to have interviewed Sargsyan was at an event in Yerevan that was part of a Russian language festival and the president was there at the same time, Farmanyan said.

The journalist never asked the questions she claimed to have asked Sargsyan, "and the Armenian president's words were completely distorted," the spokesman said.

The newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets has acknowledged it made an error in the story, titled "Yerevan, Kinship Remembered"", published on September 21 on the occasion of the 18th anniversary of Armenia's independence and passed off as an exclusive interview allegedly granted by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.

"In fact, Sargsyan did not give an interview to Moskovsky Komsomolets. An unprepared article was published through the fault of the editor on duty. The article carried wrongly interpreted excerpts from the Armenian president's statements, with hypothetical questions he was never asked," Moskovsky Komsomolets' Deputy Editor-in-Chief Vadim Poegli told Interfax.

"The newspaper editors have offered their apology and those responsible were disciplined. The newspaper staff again congratulates the president and the Armenian people on independence. We hope our regrettable mistake will not spoil anyone's holiday," Poegli said.


Harut Sassounian to Receive ANC Legacy Award, Asbarez Sep 25th, 2009
LOS ANGELES—Community legend and Armenian National Committee long-time activist Harut Sassounian will be honored with the ANC Legacy Award at the organization’s annual banquet.

The honor is among the organization’s highest awards and is being granted to Sassounian for his volunteer support for the ANC and many other sister organizations for more than 30 years. The banquet, which is set to be a sold out event, will be held on November 8th at the Pasadena Convention Center.

“For the past three years, the ANC-WR has been bestowing the Legacy Award to individuals who have made a difference in the Armenian community and the advancement of Hye Tad,” said Aida Dimejian, ANC-WR Board Member. “We are honored to award Mr. Sassounian with this distinguished award.”

Sassounian is the Publisher of The California Courier — the nation’s oldest independent Armenian weekly newspaper. His political columns are reprinted in scores of U.S. and overseas publications and posted on countless websites. In tandem, he is the President of the United Armenian Fund, a coalition of the seven largest Armenian-American charitable organizations. The U.A.F. has supplied $575 million of humanitarian assistance to Armenia and Artsakh over the past 20 years.

“Wait. There’s more,” exclaimed Dimejian. “Harut serves in many capacities.” As Senior Vice President of Kirk Kerkorian’s Lincy Foundation, he has overseen the implementation of $250 million of infrastructure-related projects in Armenia. From 1978 to 1982, he worked as an international marketing executive for Procter & Gamble in Geneva, Switzerland. For 10 years, he was a non-governmental delegate on human rights at the United Nations. He played a leading role in the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities in 1985.

Sassounian has a Master’s Degree in International Affairs and a Certificate in Middle East Studies from Columbia University in New York, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Pepperdine University.

He is the author of “The Armenian Genocide: The World Speaks Out, 1915-2005, Documents and Declarations.” The book has also been published in Arabic in Lebanon.

He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Diaspora Ministry of Armenia. For more than a dozen years he served on the Board of Directors of the Armenian National Committee of America, Western Region.

Sassounian has been decorated by the President and Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, as well as the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

“We are proud to be honoring Harut Sassounian,” remarked ANC-WR Banquet Chair Elizabeth Boyadjian. “We are pleased that Harut, who has supported the ANC’s work and mission for many years, will be receiving the ANC Legacy Award.”

Individuals interested in attending the ANC-Western Region banquet where Sassounian will be honored are encouraged to contact ANC-WR office at (818) 500-1918 or visit www.itsmyseat.com.

The Armenian National Committee – Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANC-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.


Istanbul Calling: Kevin Costner Entering Turkish Politics? September 25, 2009 Yigal Schleifer
Just what is it about Turkey and Kevin Costner? He may be remembered in the United States for “Dances With Wolves” and several other hit films (as well as for “Waterworld” and “The Postman,” two of the most spectacular cinematic duds ever), but he’s certainly no longer the star he once was.

Not so in Turkey, where the Costner magic still seems to be at work. It all started two years ago when Costner and his “rock” band, Modern West (don’t tell me you’ve never heard of them!), came to play a benefit concert in Istanbul for a children’s aid group. During the visit, it was even suggested that perhaps Costner could play the role of Ataturk in a proposed biopic about the secularizing founder of the modern Turkish state. High praise, indeed!

Earlier this year, meanwhile, Turkish Airlines deemed Costner’s star bright enough to recruit him for a massive (and strangely ineffective) ad campaign promoting the airline’s new and improved first class service. Soon his face was plastered on billboards all over Turkey, telling Turks that now they, too, can “feel like a star.” (You can watch the English-language television commercial, where Costner works his charm on a lithe flight attendant, here.)

But now things are getting even more serious. According to reports in the local press, Costner is now getting involved in Turkish politics. In a Friday report in the English language Today’s Zaman, we are told “American actor and director Kevin Costner [has] joined the ranks of celebrities supporting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s democratic initiative aimed at addressing various problems, including the Kurdish issue.” According to the article, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had actually invited Costner to attend the party’s upcoming congress, but wasn’t able to make it. Still, according to a statement released by party deputy chairwoman Edibe Sozen (a former professor of “communications,” it should be noted), Costner “conveyed his support for the democratic initiative because it shows the value Turkey attaches to human rights.” (A brief about this in the semi-official Anatolian Agency news service makes it sound like the invite was only issued after Costner himself contacted the AKP to give his unprompted support for the government’s new initiative.)

The Turkish government has been busy laying the groundwork for the unveiling of its highly-anticipated “democratic initiative,” which is mostly aimed at dealing with the long-standing Kurdish problem. A big part of laying that groundwork has involved meeting with civil society groups and other political parties. But now it looks like the government is pulling out the big guns by unveiling “celebrity” endorsements for the initiative. Of course, the ultimate endorsement of the initiative would be the one given by the Turkish people (Kurds, in particular), but having Kevin Costner on board certainly doesn’t hurt.

(UPDATE — Speaking of celebrity endorsements, the Turkish papers have been running front page headlines about U2’s decision to add an Istanbul leg to their current world tour. According to Hurriyet, Egemen Bagis, the government minister who is handling Turkey’s European Union membership process, even promised the band that if they come to the country, he will arrange for them to play a gig on one of the bridges crossing the Bosphorus, which would allow them to play at the spot where Europe and Asia “meet.” The last ones to try this bi-continental stunt were a pair of top-ranked Chinese and Austrian ping pong players, who played a 30-minute match earlier this summer in the middle of one of the Bosphorus bridges. Motorists in the city of 18 million were not amused.)
istanbulcalling.blogspot.com)


"Vartan Oskanian Is To Apologise To Armenians" A1plus, September 23, 2009
Armenia's former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian yesterday made a statement on the pre- signed Armenian-Turkish Protocols saying he would never dare put a document like that on the negotiation table.

Senior representative of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), Levon Zurabian, says the former FM "made a wonderful statement" saying "he is not envious of the person who is to sign the document on Armenian-Turkish relations."

"In fact, Robert Kocharian and Vartan Oskanian stand behind the whole process," Levon Zurabian said to A1+.

"The current state of Armenian-Turkish relations is resulted by Robert Kocharian's prompt decision to involve the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the agenda of Armenia's foreign policy. Turkey seized the opportunity and made use of Kocharian's mistake which enabled Turkey to suggest formation of an interstate commission to inquire into the 1915 massacres and to present its responsibility in the light of an Armenian-Turkish interstate variance.

"Today Serzh Sargsyan does nothing more Robert Kocahrian was ready to do in time," Levon Zurabian said regarding Serzh Sargsyan's policy on Armenian-Turkish relations.

"After Turkey suggested setting up an interstate commission, Kocahrian sent a letter to Recep Tayyip Erdo?an confirming his approval of the common commission and suggesting formation of a sub-commission to study the genocide issue."

Does it mean that the formation of a historians' sub-commission was initiated by Robert Kocahrian?

Responding to A1+, Levon Zurabian said:

"Surely, it was. Serzh Sargsyan has no intent to refuse from Kocharian's heritage. Being an indispensible part of the clan, Serzh Sargsyan cannot act by himself or correct Kocharian's grave mistake."

Levon Zurabian thinks Vartan Oskanian should be made accountable like Robert Kocharian. "If today Oskanian speaks frankly he must shoulder responsibility for the March 1 clashes and apologise to Armenian people for becoming a tool in the hands of this kleptokratic regime and imposing a state of emergency throughout the country. I am sure that Armenians are generous enough to forgive Vartan Oskanian."


Armenian American Artist Ara Dinkjian to Perform in Turkey, Asbarez, Sep 25th, 2009
ANKARA (ArmRadio)–World renowned Armenian lute virtuoso Ara Dinkjian, whose family migrated to America in the beginning of 19th century, will appear on stage in Istanbul’s Hagia Irene as part of a hospital project to be built for the disabled.

Dinkjian, who has previously given a concert in Turkey, will appear on a Turkish stage once again on Sept. 26 for the benefit of the Turkish Disabled Society, or TSD. Dinkjian will be accompanied by Turkish folk singer Erdal Akkaya during the concert titled “Roots and Branches.”

The revenues from the show will be donated to the project “life house,” to be constructed with a capacity of 500 beds in the Marmara city of Balikesir’s Gonen district, Hurriyet Daily News reports.

Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Dinkjian said his grandfather went from the eastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir to France at the beginning of the 19th century, and after the death of his parents, his father was adopted by a family. Later on, his father immigrated to America and he was born in 1958 in New Jersey, Dinkjian said.

Dinkjian said he didn’t have relatives in Diyarbakır, adding that he went there for the first time in his life five years ago. He said his father was involved in music and thanks to that he learned how to play lute on his own in his early childhood.

Dinkjian said he had formed a band named Night Ark with Arto Tuncboyacyan, and has released two solo albums titled “Armenian in America” and “Peace on Earth.”

His biggest dream is to give a concert in Diyarbakir, he said, He adding that he has always wanted to play for an audience in Diyarbakir and that he would feel like returning home if he got a chance to perform there.

“One side of me is Armenian, and the other is American. Both sides are nourished by each other. I am inspired by all types of music, such as Armenian music, Anatolian melodies and American blues,” Dinkjian said.


Opening of Border with Turkey will Devastate Armenian Businesses, Asbarez Sep 25th, 2009
YEREVAN (PanArmenian.net)—The opening of the Armenia-Turkey border will devastate Armenia’s local economy and throw businesses into bankruptcy, warned an expert from the Mitk Analytical Center on Friday during a news conference in Yerevan.

“We are seriously concerned that the opening of the border will considerably damage the Armenian economy,” said Edgar Helgelyan.

Adding to his research, which has been submitted to the Armenian government, Turkey exports 168 times more goods to Armenia than Armenia does to Turkey.

A very serious threat looms over the Armenian economy, he warned, explaining that once the border is opened, large Turkish companies will gain unfettered access to Armenia’s markets and the ability to buy and control critical and strategic spheres of Armenia’s economy.

“Imports from Turkey to Armenia account for about $178 million, while exports from Armenia to Turkey do not surpass $1.8 million,” he said, adding that Armenia’s economy cannot match the massive amounts of goods that will flood its markets once the borders are opened.


Turkey’s Armenians Express Support For Opening Of Border
Turkish Armenians have expressed hope regarding the opening of the border between Armenia and Turkey, saying such a step would help the two peoples remember that they do not have only sad memories of each other, but also have a long common history.

On Aug. 31, Ankara and Yerevan announced that after talks which have been continuing under Swiss mediation, they have decided to launch an internal consultation process on both sides before signing two protocols aiming to normalize relations by opening the closed border between the two countries and re-establishing diplomatic ties after 16 years. Earlier this week, speaking in New York, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that he expects to present Parliament with documents on establishing diplomatic ties with Armenia by early October. In its latest edition, the bilingual Agos newspaper spoke with Armenian citizens of Turkey concerning the recent developments. The founder of Agos, Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, was shot dead outside the newspaper's offices in January 2007. Dink's murder trial is still ongoing.

Lerna Kuyumcu, a 67-year-old housewife, voiced her pleasure over the protocols, saying she believed they would serve for the good of both countries, while Tabita Toparlak, an 18-year-old student, reflected her enthusiasm over the developments.

“Open the borders so that both of the countries can breathe fresh air. We have gradually become rusty, since we remained closed [to one another],” Toparlak was quoted as saying by Agos.

A middle-aged finance employee, Vartkes Hergel, 43, was cautious in welcoming the developments. “As a Turkish Armenian, I consider the signing of these protocols as a beautiful start, though I'm not very hopeful. Despite dragging their feet, supporters of the status quo on both sides will not be able to block the rapprochement of the two peoples. Progress will continue on this road on which Hrant Dink took big steps,” Hergel said. “My dream is to cross the border one day together with my Turkish friend Şafak, hand in hand. Even if Şafak and I cannot do this, our children will make it happen,” Hergel added.

Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic ties and share a history of animosity stemming from the killings of Anatolian Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I. Turkey denies the 1915 killings amounted to genocide but has agreed to set up a commission of international experts on the issue under a protocol it signed with Armenia.

Ankara has said it hopes to open its border with Armenia by the end of the year and establish diplomatic ties. Anticipation over an Ankara-Yerevan thaw has been growing ahead of a planned visit by Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan to Turkey on Oct. 14, when he is due to attend the return leg of a World Cup qualifying soccer match between the two countries.

Jeweler Hagop Can Hulyar, 49, was critical of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), which has not lent its support to the government's steps for rapprochement with Armenia. “I never vote for the CHP, and I will never do so. I also have the conviction that a sane Armenian indeed should not vote for the CHP,” Hulyar said.
26 September 2009


Dr.Vartan Gregorian to Be Honored As The Professional Of The Year, Asbarez Sep 23rd, 2009
LOS ANGELES—Dr. Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, will be honored by the Armenian Professional Society on November 7 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

Dr. Gregorian will be in Los Angeles to discuss the economic challenges of obtaining higher education in the United States and possible solutions.

As President of The Carnegie Corporation of New York, Dr. Gregorian strives to help students obtain a higher education. In a recent interview with PBS correspondent Bill Moyer, Gregorian proposes a twenty-year plan to help re-engineer and re-ignite its workforce by educating its leadership.

Dr. Gregorian has worked diligently “to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding by providing grants to support programs of higher education” through the Carnegie Corporation.

Dr. Gregorian has recently been appointed by President Barack Obama to the Commission on White House Fellowships and is responsible for recommending exceptional young men and women as White House Fellows who will ultimately gain experience working in the federal government.

Dr. Gregorian is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts of Sciences. Gregorian is the author of The Road To Home: My Life And Times, Islam: A Mosaic, Not A Monolith, and The Emergence of Modern Afghanistan, 1880-1946.

The Armenian Professional Society was formed in 1958 for the advancement of education and fellowship among Armenians.

The APS acknowledges the achievements of outstanding individuals, encourages students who have attained university education to proceed to post-graduate studies, and has awarded scholarships to graduate students in the United States and grants to institutions of higher learning in Armenia.


Activists Pursue Armenian Genocide Insurance Claims Despite Court Ruling, 2009/09/24
The following Glendale News Press article focuses on community-wide efforts to have the August 20th U.S. 9 Circuit Court of Appeals ruling prohibiting insurance claims stemming from the 1915 Armenian Genocide overturned. Armenian community leaders believe they can sway a split 3-judge appellate panel to collect insurance.

Armenian activists insisted Wednesday that a recent federal appeals court ruling would not stop them from seeking payments from life insurance companies on the policies of those killed in the Armenian Genocide.

Representatives from the Armenian National Committee and Armenian Youth Federation, among other groups, assured attendees during a town hall meeting at St. Mary’s Apostolic Church that the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, which number in the thousands, would win a favorable decision from the court as the group fights a recent legal hurdle.

The group’s goal is to sway a split three-judge appellate panel, attorney Mark Geragos said.

“We’re hoping it just takes one vote,” he said of plans for an appeal.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 20 that descendants of Armenian Genocide victims could not request payment from insurance companies, despite a state law that allowed them to do so, because it would interfere with U.S. foreign policy.

“The federal government has made a conscious decision not to apply the politically charged label of ‘genocide’ to the deaths of these Armenians during World War I,” said Judge David R. Thompson, who wrote the majority opinion in the ruling. “Whether or not California agrees with this decision, it may not contradict it.”

That logic, agreed to by two of the three judges on the appellate panel, drew harsh criticism not only from town hall attendees, but also from Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who has written legislation to push for national acknowledgment of the genocide and, as an state senator, co-wrote California’s law allowing the descendants of genocide victims to claim insurance benefits.

“The problem with that is that there is no federal policy against genocide recognition and there has never been,” said Schiff, who petitioned the court this week to reconsider its ruling.

Congress has considered three resolutions in the last decade that would have paved the way for official recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

But the White House has worked to kill each effort, fearing they would damage relations with Turkey, which denies a genocide took place.

The U.S. government currently has no official position on the mass killings of 1.5 million Armenians that occurred between 1915 and 1923 in Ottoman Turkey.

“I think when they examine the record more closely, they’ll realize that the court made a poor judgment, not based on the facts or the law,” Schiff said.

Lawsuits from genocide victims have yielded a combined total of $37 million in settlements from two firms, New York Life Insurance Co. in 2004 and AXA S.A. in 2005.

Glendale priest Vazken Movsesian, of St. Peter Armenian Church, filed a case six years ago seeking a settlement of claims under policies issued by German insurers Victoria Versicherung and Ergo Versicherungsgruppe, as well as parent company Munchener Ruckversicherungs-Gesellschaft AG.

Thousands of Armenians whose relatives were genocide victims also joined in the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs scored a partial victory two years ago when U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder said the law passed in 2000 by the California Legislature gave the descendants standing to sue. But that ruling was overturned by the appellate court.

Town hall organizers hoped their forum would give stakeholders confidence despite the recent court ruling, said Zanku Armenian, chairman of the Armenian National Committee Glendale chapter.

“It’s a legal matter that often times [includes] complicated matters and so it’s important to get the community to understand both what transpired, what the implications of the court decisions are, as well as what the potential avenues for them are, in terms of appeals,” Armenian said.

Representatives for Shant Student Assn. and the Armenian Bar Assn. participated in the town hall discussion, bringing more than 100 people, including many students and attorneys.

An overwhelming majority of those in the audience had no direct ties to the outcome of the case, but were interested nonetheless, they said.

The court’s ruling to block the push for a settlement on insurance claims was unfair because a law was in place to allow similar suits, La Crescenta resident Caroline Tashejian said.

“Taking it back, it pushes us further back, in terms of progressing our cause,” she said.

Sylvia Natalie Manoogian, of Los Angeles, had benefited from the New York Life settlement and came to learn more about what she said was an unfortunate appellate court ruling.

Her family, which received $20,000 in the New York Life settlement, claims to own property within modern Turkey’s borders, but has not been able to secure it.

She saw the battle for life insurance claims and genocide recognition first hand, she said.

“The more information I have, the more it gives me tools and means [for moving forward],” she said.


Armenian Court To Hear Genocide Denial Case In October 23.09.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Ararat Center for Strategic Research has filed a suit against Caucasus Institute on accusation of Armenian Genocide denial.

"In 2008, Caucasus Institute published "Caucasus neighborhood: Turkey and South Caucasus" collection, which included TESEV expert Aybars Gorgulu's "Armenian-Turkish relations: An Eternal Deadlock?" In his report, Gorgulu used the term Genocide in quotation marks for 34 times," said Armen Ayvazyan, director of Ararat Center.

Ararat Center urged a disclaimer for disputable information published by Caucasus Institute. It also called to exclude use of the term Armenian Genocide in quotes.

The initial court session is due in mid-October.


Lragir 22/09/2009, Armenia And Turkey Are Not Authorised "To Define" The Border
In the fifth clause of the protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey, the parties agree to define the existing border.

In this regard, it is necessary to take up a very important question, even if strange at first glance, whether the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey are in fact within their authority according to international law "to define the existing border".

Let me clarify the idea behind the question. From the perspective of international law, any international multilateral agreement, no matter how it ends up, be it a treaty, an agreement, protocol, etc., can be altered (amended, modified, suspended, terminated or nullified) only with the participation and agreement of all parties to the given document. This principle, in terms of treaties, is codified in Articles 39-41 of the Vienna Convention on Treaties (1969).

The "definition" of the Armenian segment of the border of the former USSR as the border between Armenia and Turkey, from a legal point of view, implies a change in the border (1) because the de jure Armenia-Turkey border is very different from the Soviet-Turkish border. This de jure, and thus the only legal border was "defined" by a multilateral treaty, and consequently "to define the existing border" is in reality a change in frontiers and, in this case, falls outside of bilateral relations for the following reason.After suffering ignominious defeat in the First World War, on the 30th of October, 1918, the Ottoman Empire signed the Mudros Armistice. Legally speaking, this armistice was an unconditional surrender, i.. e. unqualified capitulation, and so the entire sovereignty of Turkey was transferred to the victors until a peace treaty was signed. That is to say, the victorious Allies (2) were to subsequently decide which part of the Ottoman Empire was to come under the sovereignty of a Turkish state and to what degree.

During 1919-1920, the Paris Peace Conference took place to discuss the conditions of the peace treaties. In April, 1920, the San Remo session took up the fate of the Ottoman Empire. Naturally, one of the most important questions was the future of Armenia. Therefore, on the 26th of April, the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers officially approached the President of the United States Woodrow Wilson "to arbitrate the frontiers of Armenia" as per an arbitral award (3).

Two factors in this previous paragraph need further clarification:

a) The Supreme Council of the Paris Peace Conference was authorised and functioning on behalf of all the Allied Powers. That is, the compromis for the arbitration deciding Armenia's border, and consequently the unqualified acceptance of obligations by the award to be made on that basis, was made on behalf of all the Allied Powers. During the First World War, more than thirty states formed part of the Allied Powers, and, counting the British Empire, the Third French Republic, the kingdoms of Japan and Italy, with all their dependent territories, it came to almost a hundred countries.

b) The border with the Republic of Armenia, as opposed to other borders with Turkey, was to be decided not by a peace treaty, but through arbitration. From a legal perspective, this is an extremely important detail, because treaties can always be modified, suspended or terminated upon the agreement of the parties, whereas arbitral awards are "final and without appeal", as well as being binding (4). That is, arbitration cannot be altered or repealed, as opposed to treaties. Besides which, arbitration and treaties are carried out with opposite procedures. While in treaties, the agreement is first reached and only then a corresponding legal document put in place, arbitration begins with signing the compromis on unqualified acceptance of the future agreement, after which only the award is granted.

And so, as a consequence of the aforementioned compromis on the 26th of April, US President Woodrow Wilson officially took on the arbitration of the Armenian-Turkish border in writing on the 17th of May, 1920, and began to carry out the required work. It is necessary to point out here that this was almost three months before the Treaty of Sèvres was signed (the 10th of August, 1920) and so, the arbitration process commenced independent of the signing of that peace treaty and this compromis which is mentioned in it as Article 89.

In summary, one may draw this clear conclusion. The border between Turkey and the Republic of Armenia was decided based on the arbitral award which came out of two independent compromis (San Remo, 26 April 1920, and Sèvres, 10 August 1920). The award was granted on the 22nd of November, 1920, to come into effect that same day. Two days later, on the 24th of November, the ruling was officially conveyed to Paris by telegraph. This Arbitral Award has never been appealed, it is in effect to this day. The award was legal and lawful. It functions independent of the Treaty of Sèvres. The compromis included in the Treaty of Sèvres as Article 89 was and continues to be an additional, but not the basic compromis.

And so, the border between Armenia and Turkey has been decided by a multilateral instrument of international law, an arbitral award, to which almost a hundred countries are party today.

After all this, let us return to the real question at hand:

Upon what basis of international law do the authorities of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey wish to dismiss their own international obligations by transgressing an inviolable international decision, the arbitral award, through a bilateral protocol?

Additionally one must bear in mind that international law does not take into account in principle any procedure or precedent for modification or annulment (nullification of the legality) of an arbitral award which has legally come into effect. Refusal by the losing party to comply with the award is not in itself equivalent to a lawful annulment. The plea of nullity is not admissible at all and this view is based upon Article 81 of The Hague Convention of 1907, and the absence of any international machinery to declare an award null and void (5).


Pro-Turkish Us Lawmakers Endorse Turkey-Armenia Deal September 24, 2009 Ümit Enginsoy Hürriyet
The three leaders of a group of pro-Turkish lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives late Wednesday voiced full support for a protocol recently signed by Armenia and Turkey aimed at normalizing relations between the two neighbors.

"It is our understanding that the 'Protocol for the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey' confirms the decision of the two governments to open their shared borders and to establish full diplomatic relations once the protocols enter into force," said Robert Wexler, Ed Whitfield and Kay Granger, co-chairs of the congressional caucus on U.S.-Turkish relations in a joint letter to all 435 members of the House of Representatives.

Wexler is a Democrat, and Whitfield and Granger are Republicans. Under the Turkish-Armenian protocol signed on Aug. 31, the two sides pledged to work for six weeks to establish full diplomatic relations. Under the reconciliation process, Turkey and Armenia also are working for the reopening of their land border closed since 1993.

Outstanding disputes

Armenian claims of "genocide" for the deaths of their kinsmen in the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I and Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani lands in a war in the 1990s have prevented normalization of ties between Ankara and Yerevan.

"We are heartened by the significant progress made by Armenia and Turkey toward normalizing their bilateral relations. This historic development between Armenia and Turkey is critical to ensuring peace, security and prosperity in the South Caucasus region," Wexler, Whitfield and Granger wrote.

"Unfortunately, this is a region where decades-long conflicts have long overshadowed bilateral cooperation and engagement, limiting economic growth, stability and political reform," they said.

"To that end, we strongly encourage both the Armenian and Turkish governments and their respective parliaments to continue to move the rapprochement process forward under the good offices of the Swiss government and build a better future for Armenia, Turkey and the entire South Caucasus region," the three lawmakers said.

Pro-Armenian lawmakers in the House, for their part, are working to pass a resolution qualifying the Armenian killings as "genocide."


European Armenian Federation to Host Conference Against Denial in European Parliament, Asbarez Staff Sep 24th, 2009
BRUSSELS (ArmRadio)–The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD), in association with the Centre Communautaire Laïc Juif (Jewish Laic Community Centre) and IBUKA Mémoire & Justice (Ibuka Memory and Justice Association), will hold a conference entitled Denial and Democracy in Europe on October 6, 2009 in the European Parliament, Brussels.

The conference will be held under the aegis of Elmar Brok, a member of the European Parliament from the German Christian Democrat party. It is being organized in light of the adoption of the Framework Decision against Racism and Xenophobia by the European Council in December 2008.

Article 1 of the Framework Decision prohibits genocide denial in the EU. It is now a requirement that EU Member States incorporate the provisions of this Framework Decision into their national legislations by 2010.

The conference will be an occasion for political leaders, historians, experts, human rights workers, philosophers and others to exchange their views and their concerns regarding the state of genocide denial in Europe. Specifically, the speakers will explore critical questions for Europe arising from increased genocide denial within the EU as well as the potential benefits or drawbacks of the Framework Decision.

The increase in genocide denial is evidenced by comments such as those of the president of Iran regarding the Holocaust. More recently, the Republic of Turkey has incorporated provisions into a recent agreement with the Republic of Armenia that call for the establishment of a committee of experts to revisit and review the actuality of the Armenian Genocide.

Among others, the experts to take the floor on October 6 include Ralph Giordano, a Jewish journalist and essayist who survived the Nazi regime, Professor Yves Ternon, one of the main French historians who specialize on the 20th century genocides, Professor Mihran Dabag, founder and director of Institute for Diaspora and Genocide Studies in Bochum (Germany) and Marcel Kabanda, the chairperson of Ibuka France.


"System Of Political Discussions Is Not Established", Aysor Sept 23 2009 Armenia
"We must admit that parliamentary system of Armenia passed through a short interval during which system of political discussions still hasn't been established," told journalists Republican Party's member Mkrtich Minasyan.

According to Mr. Minasyan, the National Assembly is not only a legislative body but also "the only political structure".

"Driven by people's voting political parties came here to share their views on discussions or hearings. The last discussions were stormy and proved once again that in Parliament is a platform where views of all segments are expressed," the MP said.

Regarding of political discussions establishment Mr. Minasyan underlined the importance of two opposition parties' existence: "Heritage" and "Dashnakcutyun". This fact will make NA's discussions become political and ideological and will help to solve various problems.

Speaking about last session's discussions Mr. Minasyan stated: "Recent discussions satisfied that there are problems demanding attention, concern and neutrality of everyone."


We Wish Turkish Friends A Happy Ramadan and Festive Season

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Turkey Has Four Positions On The Issue: Prosperous Armenia Information-Analytic Agency NEWS.am , Armenia Sept 19 2009 14:03 / 09/19/2009Turkey should explain why it has four different positions on Armenia-Turkey relations' normalization, Naira Zohrabyan, Prosperous Armenia Party MP told NEWS.am, commenting on Nalbandyan's statement, that `Attempting to link Armenian-Turkish and Karabakhi processes, Turkey might fail both'. `It is absolutely clear that currently Protocols do not contain any preconditions and they should not say so at any stage, including signing. If Turkish Government representatives pursue their policy of four positions, that is: 1) for international community; 2) for talks with Armenia; 3) for Turkish society and 4) for Azerbaijan, then it is Turkish authorities' problem. They have to explain why there are several viewpoints on one matter,' Zohrabyan said. According to MP, relations' normalization is equally advantageous both for Armenia and Turkey. Asked whether Serzh Sargsyan will go to Turkey October 14 if the border is not open, Zohrabyan replied: `It is not a good start. Not everything should be turned into practicality. I consider crucial RA President's statement that he would go to hear out Diaspora's opnion.'
What About Kocharian's Criminal Accountability? Says Heritage Party Leader, Tert Sept 18 2009 Armenia During the special parliamentary session held yesterday, Heritage Party Leader Stepan Safaryan, who criticized the March 1 Commission's conclusion, noting that after becoming familiar with the report, he had the impression that the report was on the topic of social status, since, according to him, the report more so discussed the polarization of the classes. Safaryan expressed a conviction that the report's entire summary was that the events which took place in the Republic of Armenia could've been prevented, if ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosyan wanted. "This is nothing else, if not to affirm that during those days the president was Levon Ter-Petrosyan. I cannot accept another conclusion, it turns out that Robert Kocharian could not contain the situation, and the army and official bodies worked spontaneously," announced Safaryan. In Safaryan's opinion, when speaking about the March 1 events, one must also speak about the three presidents (Kocharian, Ter-Petrosyan, Sargsyan), who were participants in the events during those days. In Kocharian's case, according to Safaryan, one must speak about criminal accountability, because at the time he was the one in charge of the situation. Safaryan is convinced that during those days under Kocharian's charge, actions took place which were in conflict with Armenia's Constitution.
Armenia And Turkey Are Changing The Caucasus: Alexander Jackson, Tert Sept 18 2009 Armenia The Protocols on establishing and developing Armenian-Turkish relations, which omit any reference to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, seem to reverse statements made earlier which said that the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border is contingent on settling the Karabakh issue, stated Alexander Jackson in the Caucasian Review of International Affairs, as reported by the Azeri Press Agency. Jackson goes on to say that if no progress is made on Karabakh by the end of the six-week process, Azerbaijan's options would be to hold off on the Nabucco pipeline and increase cooperation with Russia, in order to reroute gas in Azerbaijan through Russia's network. In Jackson's words, domestic political upheaval in either Armenia or Turkey is a real risk, particularly Armenia, which will have to deal with engaging Turkey and withdrawing from the occupied regions around Nagorno-Karabakh simultaneously. A serious domestic setback could stall all regional peace processes for the near future. "Azerbaijan's position is crucial, and is inflexible. Exactly what it will - or can - do if Turkey opens the border without Armenian gestures on Karabakh is impossible to establish at this stage, but gas projects from the Caspian to the West are clearly under threat. This would ruin Turkey's reputation as an energy hub, one of its key attractions for the EU. Russia would lose some of its influence over Armenia, but could gain far greater power over Azerbaijan's energy exports, reshaping the whole oil and gas game in the region," says Jackson. Jackson concludes by saying that "Most strikingly, we could see an end to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ankara axis, which has proved one of the most enduring alliances in Eurasia. The next six weeks could reshape the Caucasus as we know it."
The Scientific Mind Of The Turkish Is Based On Lies, Aysor Sept 18 2009 Armenia "It is not true that there are no osmaniologists in Armenia. First of all the osmaniology is a complex science. The one who reads in Osmanian language is not yet an osmaniologist. He mast have vast amount of knowledge", - said Tukiologist Ruben Melkonyan speaking to the journalists. The speaker informed that in the Soviet times Armenian has had a school and professors of Osmaniology, but the school has been stopped working and at present they are working over recovering the teaching of the Osmanian language. "The continuation of the school of osmaniology is in the agenda.",-stressed Ruben Melkonyan and added that in YSU, Yerevan State University has been created a center of Osmaniology. The importance of osmaniologists is in there ability to examine the materials that are kept in Turkish archives. R. Melkonyan stressed that all the documents of the "Osmanian archives that are available for the Armenian scientists are already translated in modern Turkish language." "Our scientific mind is more ready as our theoretical conclusions are based on facts, while the Turkish historic mind of has been breed with falsifications for centuries." The speaker mentioned that since the times of Ataturk having the intention to create a new Turkish history, the Turkish scientific mind has been "based on lies". "If there would be discussed concrete historical facts in the international areas, at presence of the third side the poorness of the Turkish side will be revealed for any scientist", - declared Ruben Melkonyan.
Turkish Newspaper Writes Of Armenian Genocide, Aysor Sept 18 2009 Armenia In a very rare news article published by one of the top newspapers in Turkey Today's Zaman the author openly speaks about the Armenian Genocide and how they were orchestrated. In the beginning it was total silence and denial. Then in the recent two years we started seeing phrases like "so called Armenian Genocide," "Armenian claims of genocide," and so on. In any case the word genocide was always written in quotation marks. Yet today, one of Turkey's premier newspapers Today's Zaman published a rare story about how the Armenian Genocide was organized and orchestrated by the ruling elite of the Turkish government in 1915. Orhan Kemal Cengiz, a human rights advocate writes that the "Massacres of Armenians were orchestrated and organized by the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) -- which came to power through a military coup --while the Ottoman Empire was falling apart. After these massacres and as a result of the lack of confrontation with our past, the CUP and its gangs changed their format and turned into the "deep state" in Turkey. These deep state elements continued their massacres and manipulations and drenched Turkey with blood during the Republican era. We have these deep state elements, but we also have many people fighting against them with or without knowing the history." True the word genocide is not used in that paragraph. Instead Cengiz is using the phrase Massacres of Armenians. However, in the 5th paragraph he openly talks about the Armenan genocide in the following way. "I was in Toronto last year attending an extremely interesting course on genocide. For two weeks we went into all the details of different genocides that took place in various parts of the world. All lecturers gave exemplary presentations, and I felt I had really learned something. However, I also realized that there was a fundamental difference in the way in which the Armenian genocide is being handled. When we spoke about the Holocaust, we spoke of the Nazi regime; when we discussed the genocide in Cambodia, we talked about the Khmer regime; when it came to the Armenian genocide, though, we only heard the word "Turks." While his sincerity is most appreciated he does have a point that when the world refers of the Jewish or Cambodia national tragedies we do refer to regimes. However, we speak of the Armenian Genocide Turks are indeed pointed. But why is this? It is the 90 years of the denial of the truth and the fear to face its own history that has made things come to this place, where a Turk is pointed when speaking of the Armenian Genocide. Why is it taking Germany only 20 years to face the Jewish Holocaust, say thank you and compensate, but when it comes to the Armenian Genocide even the past 90 years are not enough? It is believe that if Turkey had earlier recognized the genocide and condemned it the following generations would have blamed it to the ruling regime of the time not the nation. In fact, I have heard many stories that many Turkish families have risked their lives hiding the Armenian families, their neighbors from massacres and killings in and around 1915. A historic moment is upon us. Today the president of Armenian, meeting with the leaders of various Armenian parties and discussing the pre-signing of the Turkey Armenia normalization protocols, despite much criticism, said that "we want to show that even the nation that has fallen a victim to a genocide can be the first to offer a hand of normalization of relationship." Arming themselves with sincerity, honesty and the sense of fairness and justice the Armenian, Turkish and Azerbaijani nations should look to a new South Caucasus, building a better future for their children and themselves.
The Awakening Of "Hidden Armenians" May Come True, Aysor Sept 18 2009 Armenia "If the diplomatic ties are established and the border is reopened then Armenians which hide their identity, the so-called "hidden Armenians", may awake," said at today's meeting with journalists Ruben Melkonyan, a turkologist. As he forecasts the "hidden Armenian's awaking" may become the positive development coming true in the context of Armenian-Turkish relations. Mr. Melkonyan also touched upon the total number of Armenians living in Turkey, noting that circulating quantity of 4 million Armenians in Turkey is not realistic. More realistic number is 1-1.5 million. Note that data of 1-1.5 million Armenians is provided by Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul. Speaking about relations between Armenian and Turkish intelligentsia, Mr. Melkonyan said that there were communications with Turkish intelligentsia; however, those of Turkish are strained. According to Mr. Melkonyan, the issues concerning both sides are closed for Turkish and even banned. These things explain tension inside Turkish intelligentsia. "The very small part of Turkish intelligentsia which has courage to call a spade a spade and not to avoid historical reality, is communicating with Armenian intelligentsia."
R. Melkonyan: Ottoman Empire's Archives Have Been Purged, Aysor Sept 18 2009 Armenia "Both item on committee [of historians] and mutual recognition of borders are those ones that have definitely caused different assumptions and opinions, and there is a reason to," said at today's meeting with journalists Ruben Melkonyan, a turkologist. Mr. Melkonyan underlined that Para on committee of historians needs to be systematized. Thus, the turkologist is interested how the committee will form an agenda, who will enter the committee, and what have the historians do in committee if that is governmental and so on. Mr. Melkonyan thinks that none of Armenian historians will discuss issue of Armenian Genocide and at the same time he doesn't exclude that Turkish side will do its best to make it the subject of discussions. "The most important issue that the Turkish push is Ottoman Empire's archives learning," said Mr. Melkonyan. He noted that the Turkish are trying just to play, having announced that one can find facts that prove otherwise. He says the issue of archives is their "trump card", that is why the Turkish side offers mutual opening of archives referring to Dashnaky's ones in Boston. "Ottoman Empire's archives were purged many times," said Ruben Melkonyan, "after Young Turks lost they have just destroyed all the archival documents." "Documents directly confirming Armenian Genocide have been destroyed," the turkologist said adding that issue of Armenian-Turkish relations has numerous other problems which are closed even for the Turkish researchers.
Armenian President Builds Backing For Turkey Ties (Afp) YEREVAN — Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian held five hours of talks with the country's political leaders on Thursday as he sought to build support for the delicate aim of establishing diplomatic ties with Turkey. Speaking at the opening of the closed-door talks, Sarkisian said the meeting with members of 52 political parties was aimed at hearing all perspectives on the controversial issue. "I have heard various opinions in detail, I have heard positive, encouraging statements, and I have heard criticisms and concerns as well," Sarkisian said. "Obviously I also see risks and have concerns. But in order to assess the risks properly... we must bring all of our observations together," he said. "I see the end of this process only as providing the minimum environment to begin a dialogue with Turkey," he said. Armenia and Turkey announced last month they had agreed a framework to establish diplomatic ties and reopen their border after decades of hostility, in what was internationally hailed as a major breakthrough. The two countries said they would hold internal political consultations for six weeks before submitting to their parliaments two protocols on establishing diplomatic ties and developing bilateral relations. The deal has come under fire from opposition groups in both countries, which accuse their governments of making concessions. Turkey has long refused to establish diplomatic links with Armenia over Yerevan's efforts to have World War I-era massacres of Armenians by Ottoman Turks recognised as genocide -- a label Ankara strongly rejects. Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their kin were systematically killed between 1915 and 1917 as the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor of modern Turkey, was falling apart. Turkey also closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in solidarity with ally Azerbaijan over Yerevan's backing of ethnic Armenian separatists in the breakaway Nagorny Karabakh region. Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved.
Erdogan: Border With Armenia Will Be Closed Till Conflict Resolution Karabakh 18.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated that his country's position has not changed and that the border with Armenia will be kept closed unless the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is resolved. "Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents intensified talks between with mediation of their Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev," he said. "If we do not see Armenia taking action, the border will not be opened," Milliyet quoted Erdogan as saying.
William Schabas: No State Can Renounce International Commitments, Information-Analytic Agency News.Am Sept 17 2009 In his interview with the Lebanon-based Aztag daily, Professor William A. Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, referred to the principles of international law, saying that a successor state is responsible for its predecessors' actions. Prof. William A. Schabas participated in recent conference on the Armenian Genocide and International Law in Beirut. Speaking of the complicated relations between Armenia and Turkey, as well as of the Armenian Genocide, Prof. Schabas pointed out that a state cannot renounce its international commitments, reorganizing itself. The relevant provisions of international law are quite clear. As regards the different opinions that in 2015, after a hundred years have passed since the events in the Ottoman Empire, the issue may be removed from the agenda, Prof. Schabas stated no law sets any terms, particularly 100 years, as a time limitation for crimes like that. On the other hand he pointed out that it is more and more difficult to lay claims as time passes. No doubt, deported people have the right to return to their native lands. The same principle applies to their children and grandchildren. The law says that the rights to claims become less and less topical in the course of time. Prof. Schabas did not say anything definite concerning the Armenian Cause. He once more pointed out that no law sets any time limits to the right of claim.
Reconciliation Doesn't Mean Armenians Will Stop Seeking Genocide Recognition: Us Official, Tert Sept 17 2009 Armenia David L. Phillips, a senior fellow at the US-based Atlantic Council, has said the Turkish government is working on democratic reforms not to satisfy the demands of the European Union or the United States but because of its own interests. A journalist from Turkish daily Today's Zaman asked Mr. Philips about genocide recognition demands from the Armenian side. "Adopting a treaty on normalization and recognition is an event that occurs on a specific date. Reconciliation between Turks and Armenians is a process that is going to require a long time and a lot of interaction. Opening the border, Turks and Armenians will be able to come together. That will deepen mutual understanding and promote reconciliation between these two peoples. But that doesn't mean that Armenians will stop seeking recognition of the genocide. My experience with historians is that they come to the table with piles of books and papers justifying their conclusions. I suspect that this commission will not reach a definitive conclusion that is satisfactory to either side," David L. Phillips answered.
Turkish-Armenians Would Like To See An Open Border, Tert Sept 17 2009 In speaking with Tert.am's correspondents recently, representatives of the Armenian community in Turkey state that the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border would be a positive step for the community. People from all walks of life -- lawyers, journalists, businessmen --echoed this opinion. Tert.am's correspondents, while in Istanbul, attempted to investigate, in particular, what would the benefits be for the Armenian community if the border were to open. All those whom Tert.am correspondents spoke to were in favour of developing Armenian-Turkish relations and for the border opening. An open border could provide a range of benefits to Istanbul's Armenian community: the community would be able to preserve itself and further its development. Today the Armenian community in Istanbul has challenges. Basic statistics show this. Though Armenian churches and schools have played and still play a serious role in Istanbul, their number has reduced in the past few years. For instance, about ten years ago, the number of children studying in Armenian schools was 4,500, while this year that number has dropped to 3,092. There is an issue of textbooks in the schools, they are old, and quite possibly, it is difficult to print new textbooks, though the Turkish government has already agreed to finance the project. It's only natural that more and more Turkish citizens of Armenian descent prefer to send their children to Turkish schools: this way, the children can integrate more quickly into society. In the case of an open border, parents who left Armenia for Turkey and who currently have no legal status would be able to send their children to Armenian schools. Currently, however, the absence of legal status prohibits those children from attending school. For example, one eleven-year-old girl, whose parents came to Istanbul ten years ago, has never attended school. She is literate in neither Armenian nor Turkish. This child has no future in Turkey, though returning to Armenia is not really an option either. During his life, Hrant Dink raised this concern. Today, the Turkish paper Agos continues to write about it. They call upon the Armenian community to exercise pressure on the Turkish government so that it will allow immigrant children from Armenia to attend classes in Armenian schools at least informally -- to at least sit in on the classes. For now, it is difficult for the community to raise this issue, since there are many other challenges. Turkish-Armenians mention that establishing diplomatic relations will change the situation greatly; in particular, many Armenians will gain legal status, their children will attend Armenian schools, and they will be able to participate in the community to the fullest extent.
Arf-D Sees Hints Of Nagorno-Karabakh In Armenian-Turkish Protocols Tert, Sept 17 2009 The foreign minister of the Republic of Armenia has no intention of making any changes to Armenian-Turkish Protocols, said ARF-D 'Armenian Cause' and political affairs bureau director Kiro Manoyan to journalists today. "Logic dictates that the aim of these discussions is that, at the end of the day, if the sides have proposals, they must present them," Manoyan said. According to him, the ruling party and the opposition, considering ARF-D's objections, preferred not to speak about the nature of the issue, but rather, to speak about the ARF-D's achievements and faults. ARF-D representatives complain that "Armenia in practice satisfies the three preconditions set by Turkey back in the 1990s. One of them is that Armenia states it has no demands from Turkey, the second is that Armenia refuses to continue the process of Armenian Genocide recognition." Besides, Manoyan expressed his dissatisfaction with the governing party's statement that the Armenian-Turkish Committee will not be "a committee of historians" but "a committee of experts." "It's clear that it is the subcommittee of the same "committee of historians," which will be used by Turkey to hamper the international recognition process of the Armenian Genocide." Manoyan named the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue as the third precondition, noting the authorities' statement that there is no mention of the word "Karabakh" in the Protocols. ARF-D representative stated that there are hints about Karabakh in the Protocols, recalling the statement of the Turkish foreign minister, which said that Armenian-Turkish relations would not be established before the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.
Bryza's Spouse Discloses Nkr, Armenian-Turkish Processes Azg Daily 09-09-2009 The re-opening of the Armenian-Turkish border fully meets the West's interests, as it will make Armenia less dependent on Russia and Iran, that the U.S. has failed to achieve for many years despite the great financial assistance to Armenia, Zeyno Baran, Director of the Center for Eurasian Policy and a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, a research centre located in Washington D.C., said in her interview with the TURAN news agency, news.am reports. The prospective reopening of the Armenian-Turkish border will draw Armenia closer to the West, which will allow the country to have partners other than Russia and Iran. It will enable Armenians and Turks to turn to their past together and try to make their future better, Baran said. According to her, official Ankara has been and will be taking Azerbaijan's interests into account in making decisions on all the Caucasus-related issues, including the Armenian-Turkish rapprochement. Baran gave assurances that Armenian-Turkish diplomatic relations would ensure caution on the part of all the regional players and enhance stability and security in the South Caucasus. Baran said she, as well as many in Turkey, understand Azerbaijan's concern. However, she does not think Turkey will make a step to the detriment of Azerbaijan's interests. It is not only because of strategic relations and growing exports of Azerbaijani energy resources through Turkey, but also because of the affinity between the two nations, she said. She also made an almost straightforward statement that a breakthrough in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process should be expected soon: after the Armenian-Turkish negotiations, the sides are speaking of the possible reopening of the border by the end of the year. This will enhance the efficiency of negotiations for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The present agreement may evidence the ness to settle the conflict now than leave it for the future. In the next few months, all the three Governments (Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan) will be seeking to resolve these most complicated and important problems. It would make the region free of recriminations and mutual threats, Zeyno Baran said.
Adl District Committee Of Us And Canada Letter To President Obama, AZG DAILY, 09-09-2009, September 7, 2009 Honorable President Barack Obama, The White House 1800 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington, DC 20001 Dear Mr. President, Your election as the leader of world's most powerful nation on earth restored America's credibility among nations and placed the country on the path of its Founding Father's. We believe that your vision will be able to bring peace to the world and prosperity at home, because your policies match America's moral power to its military strength. It was that vision which took all the Armenians by storm and helped to give a landslide mandate to your administration. One million strong American-Armenian Community was also mobilized to join the movement mostly inspired by your unswerving stand on issues that concern the us the most. Your continued actions as senator, and later your pledge as presidential candidate did not leave any doubt that this time around moral fortitude would prevail over political expediency. Most reassuring was specially your statement made in April 12, 2007 which said in particular: "For those who aren't aware that there was a genocide that did take place against the Armenian people. It is one of these situations where we have seen a constant denial on the part of the Turkish government and others that this occurred". In April of 2009 your statement about the Martyrs' Day Commemoration, unfortunately fell short of your earlier pledges, allowing the Turkish government pretending a breakthrough in Armenian-Turkish relations and then retracting. However we do believe that your other public and private relevant statements in Ankara and your administration's relevant political actions have brought about a change in Turkish policy's long standing intransigence, we believe that those changes must not stand on your way to fulfill your pledge deny Turkish policy makers to find subterfuge in Armenia's hesitation. For many years the promise that using the word Genocide may harm American-Turkish relations has proven wrong. Every time Turkey makes a headway in that direction, America's moral paradigm is compromised. Hiding festering wounds will not help healing. Thanks to your leadership, recent Protocols were made public by the representative foreign ministries of Armenia, Turkey and Switzerland on August 31. Those advances must not pre-empt America's moral standing, nor its credible foreign policy. We urge you at this critical stage of the entire Caucasus region to confront Turkish leaders with the historic through. That will help in the first place heel the deep wounds in the history of the Turkish people, thereby laying the foundations of a true democracy aspiring the family of civilized nations. We believe that will also be consonant to your conscience of America's global leadership and help Armenian region its place in the world.
A Conference To Struggle Against Genocide Denails To Be Held In European Parliament, ArmInfo 2009-09-09 ArmInfo. A conference to struggle against genocide denails will be held in European Parliament in October, European Armenian Federation reported. The European Armenian Federation, the Jewish Laic Community Centre and IBUKA-France have organised the conference. This conference comes in the scope of the future Pan-European penalisation of denial: a decision[1] of the European Union which enforces criminal prosecutions against deniers must be transposed in the 27 Member States legislations before the end of 2010. The conference entitled "Denial and Democracy in Europe" must be transposed in the 27 Member States legislations before the end of 2010. The conference entitled "Denial and Democracy in Europe" is placed under the patronage of the European deputy Elmar Brok (German Conservative). Political officials, lawyers, historians and scholars in social sciences - great figures in the fight against denial - will present the common points between denials of the various genocides. They will aim to convince the European leaders of the need for extending the penal provisions against all cases of proven denials as allowed by the European decision.
It's Naive To Believe Turkish Archives Retained Proofs Of Armenian Genocide 09.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ "The point stipulated in RA-Turkish protocols on creating historic research subcommittee is unacceptable, as by researching archives on Armenian Genocide, we automatically question the fact of the Genocide," Gnchakyan Social Democratic Party Leader Lyudmila Sargsyan said at today's joint news conference with RA Republican Party representative Sukias Avetisyan. According to Sargsyan, by discussing the Genocide issue with Turkey, Armenia not only allows to question the Genocide fact, but also places states which already recognized the crime against humanity in awkward situation. Sukias Avetisyan noted that by researching Turkish archives for proofs of Genocide, Armenia will acquire new facts to confirm truthfulness of Armenian party. In reply to RA Republican Party representative's statement, Lyudmila Sargsyan noted that Armenia would be very naive to believe Turkish archives retained any documents proving the fact of Armenian Genocide
II International Conference On "Ukrainian Armenians: Present, Past And Future" Finished In Crimea, 09.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ II International Conference on "Ukrainian Armenians: Present, Past and Future" finished in Crimea. The event was dedicated to the history of Armenian people, one of conference organizers David Davtyan, expert at Analitika.at.ua, told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter. "After several years of restoration work, the monastery today revives its one time glory of a religious and scientific centre," said conference organization committee member, Doctor of Philosophy Oleg Gabrielyan, addressing scholars and other guests from different parts of Ukraine, as well as Armenia, Russia, Belarus and Poland. Participants heard reports of 30 people. Conference closed yesterday at 6:00 p.m. During the festive dinner, participants exchanged views on reports delivered. Scholars expressed great desire to visit Sourb Khach Armenian monastery once again and share views on their new works and ideas," Davtyan said.
Monument To Armenian Genocide Victims To Be Erected In Moscow, 09.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ On September 8, Moscow Municipal House hosted the regular session of Monumental Art Committee which reviewed the proposal on building a sculptural composition dedicated to Armenian Genocide victims. Considering initiators' willingness to cover financial costs, committee members found it advisable to include the proposal in the "Appendix on Building Monumental Constructions of Urban Importance. " Architectural composition may be placed on the territory of New Nakhichevan and Russian Eparchy of Armenian Apostolic Church, which is currently at the stage of construction, Regions.ru reports.
Armen Ashotyan: Armenians Have Disinterested Attitude About Knowledge, 09.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Ministry of Education has to main goals. These are to secure the economy sector with highly skilled specialists and to make education inseparable part of upbringing of generations, Armenia's Education Minister Armen Ashotyan said. Reorganization of the legislative field is one of major tasks, according to him. "Our legislation suffer from grave shortcomings and is not in line with international standard," he said. "Although the government managed to secure AMD 270 million (out of planned AMD 370 million), further development of the education system will demand heavier expenses." The Minister also remarked that Armenians have disinterested attitude about knowledge. "Curiously enough, many prefer to pay in order not to study," he said.
Imf: Open Borders Can Whip Up Armenian Economy, 09.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ The International Monetary Fund hopes that open borders will be a perfect stimulus for Armenia's economy. "Armenia is still a transition economy with ongoing market processes," Ms. Nienke Oomes, IMF Resident Representative in Armenia, told reporters in Yerevan today. "There is a large number of market mechanisms but the country is not competitive enough," she said. Armenia's competitiveness index has not changed. The country is 97th in the list of 133 countries of the world.
Switzerland-Armenia Association Opposes Protocols ; Issues Position Paper BERN—The Switzerland-Armenia Association issued a position paper Wednesday criticizing the protocols on the establishment and development of relations between Turkey and Armenia. In the announcement, the organization fleshes out the contentious points of the protocols and dangers it poses to Armenia and its national security. It is significant since Switzerland is mediating the talks between Turkey and Armenia. Below is the position paper: Switzerland – Armenia Association (SAA) Position Paper on the Protocols for the Establishment and Development of Diplomatic Relations Between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey Protocols intended to be ratified by the Parliaments of Armenia and Turkey Introduction If ratified by the respective Parliaments of the two Republics, these Protocols will have the value of an international treaty; they will be legally valid under international law, and the parties will assume obligations among themselves. It will not be possible to object to these obligations unless a new treaty, with different content is ratified. The following items and clauses of the Protocols are to be disputed: I. Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Armenia and Republic of Turkey 3rd point: “Reconfirming their commitment, in their bilateral and international relations, to respect and ensure respect for the principles of equality, sovereignty, non intervention in the internal affairs of other states, territorial integrity and inviolability of frontiers.” • Armenia has already subscribed to these principles by signing the UN Charter at the time of independence. • Armenia will no longer have the right to negotiate for Karabakh. Under international law, the region of Karabakh is currently, legally part of Azerbaijan territory. Karabakh runs the enormous risk of no longer being supported by its mother country (the Republic of Armenia), thus being left alone in its claim for self-determination, part of the Principles of Madrid. • It is unclear as to why the Protocols expressly cite the principles of sovereignty, non intervention in the internal affairs of other States, territorial integrity and inviolability of frontiers, but do not make any explicit or implicit reference to the principle of the right of self-determination. This right does not appear in this, or in any other paragraph within both this Protocol and the one on the Development of Relations Between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey. In fact, the indirect reference to it, by citing the Final Act of Helsinki (which includes the right to self-determination, quoted in point 2 of the same protocol) does not imply that the Protocol could make reference to it. It implies that the issue of self-determination cannot be raised unless the Republic of Azerbaijan agrees to refer to it. If raised, the right of self-determination under these Protocols would be subordinate to territorial integrity. • By not mentioning it separately, and not asking Turkey for a clear reference to it, the right to self-determination and the reaffirmation of this principle which has the value of an “imperative norm of international law” will loose its prevalence over any other principle; there is an acquiescence by the signatory, that this principle does not apply to the subject matter because the subject is not open for discussion. The reference to the final Act of Helsinki, whose dogma of territorial integrity prevails, is nothing more than a direct intention to undermine this willingness. • Armenia will no longer have the right to raise concerns about the possible abuse of Armenian cultural patrimony in Turkey and as part of its claims in relation to its historical properties. It is indirect acknowledgement of the effective legislation applied by Turkey since the events of 1915 to render ineffective any claim on such properties. • Directly related to this point is that as a signatory of the Protocols in question, Armenia will no longer have the right to hold Azerbaijan accountable in front of an international authority for the destruction of the Khatchkars (Cross-Stones) of Djougha (Nakhitchevan), the Armenian cemetery in Baku and many other Armenian monuments on Azerbaijani territory. • In addition, the destruction of Armenian monuments and churches in Georgia, especially in Tiflis and in the Armenian populated Region of Samtkhe Djavaketi (Djavakhk), will never be subject to international condemnation. Moreover, by signing these protocols Armenia will not have the right to defend Armenians in Djavakhk, this is a direct reference to the Vahak Chakhalian case. 5th point: “Confirming the mutual recognition of the existing border between the two countries as defined by the relevant treaties of international law,” • This is a direct reference to the Treaty of Kars (1921) and the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), but not the Treaty of Sèvres (1920), which was signed by the Ottoman Empire on August 10, 1920, but has not been ratified by the Ottoman Parliament. Armenia was not present during the negotiations leading to the Treaty of Lausanne and could thus advance the reserve that it did not sign this treaty. Armenia could also make the point that Soviet Armenia was forced to sign the Treaty of Kars. It is vital to note that President Wilson got a Mandate from all of the Powers present in Sèvres in order to establish the new territorial boundaries for Armenians, the Kurds and the Turks. The definition of these boundaries did not depend upon ratification. An international arbitration on these boundaries has been rendered, and as a judicial instrument, is still in force. If Armenia signs this Protocol, it will put an end to the existing judicial controversy and the Republic of Armenia will permanently loose all of its claims to land in Turkey. • The recognition of borders would put an end to the debate; the victims of the Armenian Genocide were subject to a massive ethnic cleansing campaign and are entitled to reparations. Accepting these boundaries leaves by definition, the question of liability aside. Responsibility under international law leads by definition to appropriate reparations; this is what would have happened with recognition of the Genocide. Here Armenia recognizes the borders, recognizes the Treaty of Lausanne, and the crime is left in the hands of a “sub committee”, whose decisions will not be considered a judgment having relevance under international law. At best, this committee will recognize a historical fact. Therefore, Armenian claims of any nature whatsoever, territorial, legal etc. will be waived and no longer considered. 6th point: (…) Reiterating their commitment to refrain from pursuing any policy incompatible with the spirit of good neighborly relations.” (…) • This point is a direct intention, and Turkey’s aim, to definitively block international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Furthermore, this point would be used against any claim or issue Armenia should make concerning the destiny of Armenian cultural and architectural patrimony in Turkey, bilaterally or under international law. Although indirectly, this point could be used against Armenia’s role in the Karabakh conflict, given the close ties between Turkey and Azerbaijan. II. Protocol on the Development of Relations Between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey 6th point: “Reiterating their commitment to the peaceful settlement of regional and international disputes and conflicts on the basis of the norms and principles of international law,” • The Karabakh conflict is directly implied here as is the issue of Armenian Genocide reparations. Clear reference is made to the Karabakh conflict, and implies that the Republic of Armenia is no longer entitled to support, help, or contribute to the defense of the Republic of Karabakh. • Karabakh: what are the criteria under international law for defining the legitimacy of a region within an existing country, giving that region its independence? As mentioned previously, under international law the right of self-determination prevails over any other principle, including that of territorial integrity. However, by signing these Protocols where such criterion is not included, is a clear indication that this principle is to be excluded from this issue; it would therefore be impossible for the Republic of Armenia to make any reference to it, in relation to the conflict at stake. • Reparations: As long as: Turkey will not sign a document recognizing the Genocide, or an international criminal court does not condemn Turkey (as successor of the Ottoman Empire) for the Armenian Genocide, the General Assembly of the United Nations will have no reason to condemn it; as a consequence, there will be no instrument under international law to pursue Turkey — as legal successor of the Ottoman Empire, for this crime (even only to require that moral reparations be met). • Directly related to the former is a decision of a court case in the United States on 20 August 2009, where the absence of such an instrument, as well as the absence of legal recognition by the U.S. Government that the Armenian Genocide occurred, was fundamental in the ruling by a federal appeals court. The ruling found that Armenian American descendants of the victims of the 1915-18 massacres by Ottoman Turks, are not permitted to sue foreign insurance companies for unpaid claims. Amazingly, the appeals court did not take then US President Ronald Reagan’s speech commemorating and recognizing the Armenian Genocide in 1981 into consideration, and did not take into consideration both joint resolutions passed by the US House of Representatives in 1975 and 1984, textually recognizing the Armenian Genocide. However, the recognition of this crime by more than 20 national Parliaments and five Governments (France, Greece, Argentina, Uruguay and Canada), the Swiss Supreme Court in condemning the denialist Dogu Perincek, and the Whitaker Report (on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide, approved by the UN Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and the Protection of Minorities) is tangible evidence of heightened sensibility and international law in this sense. 2nd agreement, 2nd paragraph: “Implement a dialogue on the historical dimension with the aim to restore mutual confidence between the two nations, including an impartial and scientific examination of the historical records and archives to define existing problems and formulate recommendations;” • This item is one of the most controversial points in this Protocol, and puts Armenia at great risk with respect to its relations with the Diaspora: Armenia does not have the right to speak on behalf of the entire Nation, which includes the Diaspora (this point in the Protocol specifies “Nations” and not Countries, and holds true for the remainder of the text). • The SAA does not concur with following phrase in the Protocol: “to define existing problems”. Is the Genocide an existing problem that needs to be redefined? Or is the problem in fact that the Genocide has not yet been recognized by the Republic of Turkey? Or is it that relations between the two Nations cannot move forward because of the unresolved issue of the Genocide? Mutual confidence between Armenia and Turkey on the “historical dimension” cannot be restored but by Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Affirming that an “impartial and scientific examination” is needed leaves the assumption that such work did not take place before the drafting of this Protocol — such an intention is flagrantly untrue. • The conclusions by a Sub-Commission on the “historical dimension” will not be a binding resolution for Turkey; only recommendations are foreseen. Given Turkey’s track record, it would be highly unlikely that the Republic of Turkey will take any responsibility for the Armenian Genocide based on simple recommendations. Worthy of particular note however is that if the Protocols are ratified, it will be the first time that the Republic of Turkey has participated in a commission, at an international level in relation to the 1915 events. The following is certain: the commission’s conclusions will have no impact or effect under international law; the objective of the commission being explicitly defined, is to study “the historical dimension”. The SAA finds it evident that the commission shall not be allowed to deviate from this objective, nor entitled to conclude in a manner different from that of mere historical appreciation. Bern, 8 September 2009 Asbarez/
Turkey, Australia, New Zealand To Conduct Historical Studies In Gallipoli, September 9, 2009 Anatolia News Agency Turkish, Australian and New Zealander historians are readying to carry out historical studies on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Australian Ambassador to Turkey Peter Doyle; Ian Campbell, a secretary of the Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs; and Matthew Cartledge, the adviser to the secretary; paid a visit on Wednesday to the Onsekiz Mart University rector, Ali Akdemir, in the western province of Çanakkale. During the meeting, the Turkish and Australian authorities discussed the launching of joint studies in the historical national park on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Ian Campbell said that Turkish, Australian and New Zealander historians and archaeologists would launch joint historical and archaeological studies in the Anzac Cave, where Anzac soldiers landed during the Çanakkale Battles. Campbell also said he hoped the studies would illuminate many unknown issues regarding the Anzac Cave. The Battle of Çanakkale took place on Gallipoli Peninsula in the west of Turkey from April 25, 1915 to Jan. 9, 1916, during World War I. A joint British Empire and French operation was mounted to capture the Ottoman capital of Istanbul, and secure a sea route to Russia. The attempt failed, with heavy casualties on both sides. In Australia and New Zealand, the campaign was the first major battle undertaken by a joint military formation, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, or Anzac, and is often considered to mark the birth of national consciousness in both of these countries. Anzac Day (April 25) remains the most significant commemoration of military casualties and veterans in Australia and New Zealand, surpassing Armistice Day/Remembrance Day. Each year, thousands of people, many of them Australians and New Zealanders, travel to the battlefields in northwestern Turkey on Anzac Day, the anniversary of the start of the campaign.
International Conference on Genocide and International Law Concludes, 8 September 2009 BEIRUT—The two-day international conference entitled “The Armenian Genocide and International Law” organized by Haigazian University and the Armenian National Committee of the Middle East (ANC-ME) concluded on September 4. This long-planned conference began on Sept. 2, with an inaugural speech by the President of the House of Representatives of Cyprus, Marios Garoyan who stated that his presence as the guest speaker of the conference was driven by his country’s “commitment to international law, peace, security and stability, but also the determination to continue to condemn, on every possible occasion, any infringement of International Law by acts of Genocide.” During the next two days of the conference, 13 experts in the fields of Genocide and international law from the US, Canada, Switzerland, Ireland, Armenia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon joined more than 80 local political scientists, activists, sociologists, historians, religious leaders, educators, academicians, international correspondents, journalists and students, in taking an important step forward in addressing the consequences of the Armenian Genocide and promoting a fair perspective through international law. In a profoundly academic atmosphere, the conference covered such topics as genocide denial and recognition issues, Turkish nationalism and the politics of denial, as well as the economic aspect of the genocide and the issues of lands and assets. Within the framework of international law, the conference discussed the general topics of genocide and crimes against humanity, retribution, and preservation of the Armenian cultural heritage. Conference panoramic (Medium)More specifically, Dr. George Charaf from the University of Lebanon lectured on the problem of minorities and majorities, discussing the case of the Ottoman Empire. Dr. Ugur Ungor, from the University of Sheffield, talked about demographic engineering in the Ottoman Empire and the Armenian Genocide. Dr. Mohammad Rifaat, from the University of Alexandria, discussed the Armenian Question according to Arab sources. Dr. William Schabas from the National University of Ireland discussed the problems and prospects of the Genocide and international law, 60 years after the International Genocide Convention. Dr. Alfred De Zayas, from the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, elaborated on the issues of justice and international law regarding the Armenian Genocide. Khatchig Mouradian, a Ph.D. candidate in Genocide Studies at Clark University, lectured on the Armenians, Raphael Lemkin and the UN Convention. Dr. Taner Akcam’s paper entitled, “Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide Issue in Turkey Today” was presented in absentia. Dr. Ragip Zarakolu, Vice President of Human Rights Association of Turkey, tackled the issue of Genocide denial and law in Turkey. In the same context, Dr. Seyhan Bayraktar, from the University of Zurich, covered the evolution of the Armenian Genocide denial in the Turkish Press. A PhD. Candidate, at John Hopkins University, Bilgin Ayata discussed Kurdish-Armenian relations and the Armenian Genocide. Dr. Roger Smith, a professor emeritus of government at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, lectured on professional ethics and the denial of the Armenian Genocide. Dr. Henry Theriault, from the Worcester State College, discussed restorative justice and alleviating the consequences of genocide. And finally, Dr. Richard Hovannisian, from UCLA, covered the issue of universalizing the legacy of the Armenian Genocide. The sessions were moderated by Dr. Arda Ekmekji, Dr. Naila Kaidbey, Giro Manoyan, Dr. Rania Masri, Dr. Joseph Bayeh, Dr. Ohannes Geukjian, Antranig Dakessian and Dr. Haig Demoyan. Haigazian University President, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian said that such conferences will always keep the Genocide issue alive, giving an increasingly growing international momentum to it. Haidostian said that “the topic of Genocide, and this conference in particular, will hopefully open the door to further academic studies and research, activating deeper study in the economic, social and legal aspects of inter-state relations.” On the sidelines of the conference, public lectures were held spanning over three evenings on related topics. Conference organizers announced that the presentations were expected to be published in a volume. The inaugural session of the conference took place at the hall of the First Armenian Evangelical Church of Beirut. Among the capacity audience were present Minister Alain Tabourian, representing the Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, Parliament Member Hagop Pakradouni, representing the Parliament Speaker Mr. Nabih Berry, Minister Jean Oghasabian, representing the President of the Council of Ministers, Fouad Sanioura, Member of Parliament Sebouh Kalpakian, representing the appointed President of the Council of Ministers, Saad Rafic Hariri, Parliament Member Shant Chinchinian, ambassadors of the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Uruguay, the Czech Republic, President of the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East, Rev. Megrdich Karagozian, Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Lebanon, Bishop Kegham Khatcherian, the president of the Armenian Protestant community in Syria, Rev. Haroutune Selimian, representatives of embassies, Armenian and Lebanese political parties, cultural associations, former members of parliament and ministers, religious leaders and guests of the conference. Haigazian University’s public relations director Mira Yardemian welcomed the audience, noting that “this conference is being held at a time when world politics and indeed the relations between Turkey and Armenia are witnessing significant change, a season of breaking news.” In his message, the President of Haigazian University Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian emphasized that “the Armenian Genocide is not simply an Armenian problem but essentially an international burden.” Haidostian added that, “the victim carries a strong sense of ownership of pain, but human civilization cannot be considered as highly developed if it does not embrace a sense of advocacy for the victimized.” Speaking of Genocide, Haidostian drew the attention to four key points. First, “that injustices of any nation against any other nation are part of the same human manifestation of evil that require joint, and effective global action.” Second, “that this international conference convenes in a country, Lebanon, which continues to be a unique land of dialogue and culture despite the ever-present seeds of misunderstanding.” Third, giving the example of Haigazian University, and more specifically, giving the name of Armenag Haigazian, a victim of the Armenian Genocide, Haidostian emphasized, “our calling has been and continues to be standing up for new life not only for Armenians but especially for our Arab brothers and sisters, and really, all people of the world.” Finally, Haidostian explained that given the fact that this conference is being held at a university it reminds us that no academic community can be value-neutral. “A university may be a neutral medium of dialogue, but it is essentially a forum of passion for deeper knowledge, responsibility, and enlightenment.” In her message, Executive Director of the ANC-ME, Vera Yacoubian, spoke about the efforts of the Armenian National Committee in highlighting the important role of the Armenian community throughout the Middle East and its coexistence with it surrounding Arab and Islamic communities and the efforts it invests in addressing the Armenian question with all its historical, political and judicial implications to public opinion. Yacoubian expressed hope that this conference would provide a significant breakthrough in analyzing the Armenian Genocide given the fact that it brings together a large group of specialists in the arena of genocide and international law and because that this conference is taking place in a region which is still suffering the its Ottoman inherited values. Regarding Turkish-Armenian relations, Yacoubian noted: “we cannot ignore or disregard recent developments and address these pending issues without resolving past history between the two nations.” Yacoubian added that “indeed Turkish-Armenian relations carry the heavy burden of the Armenian genocide and there is high level of doubt and mistrust regarding Turkish intentions.” Yacoubian concluded by questioning that in the context of these developments, what are Turkey’s responsibilities towards the acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide and the future of the Armenian Question. Garoyian expressed his gratitude to the organizing bodies, expressing that his presence here is driven by his country’s “commitment to international law, peace, security and stability, but also their determination to continue to condemn, on every possible occasion, any infringement of International Law by acts of Genocide.” Garoyian reiterated the fact that “on the one hand, governments and parliaments should act together and closely cooperate in terms of assessing the progress made with regard to the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and identify measures to be taken at all levels. On the other hand, it is the States that must cooperate for the prevention and punishing of those responsible for the crime of Genocide.” Garoyian questioned the role that Turkey is playing as mediator, peacemaker and peacekeeper, in the wider Middle East, while Turkey continues to deny the truth of the crimes perpetrated by its Ottoman predecessors. He noted that Cyprus has always stood by the side of the Armenian people in regard to their struggle for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. In 1975 the Cyprus House of Representatives was one of the first Parliaments in the world to adopt a resolution calling the atrocities inflicted upon the Armenians in and around 1915 as genocide. Garoyian added that Cyprus and its people have many more reasons to understand the injustice of the Armenian Genocide due to, “the implementation of Turkey’s policy of ethnic cleansing against Cyprus’ population during the 1974 invasion and the continuing occupation of 37 percent of Cyprus’ territory.” Comments: A big ho-hum reaction Submitted by David Boyajian on Wed, 2009-09-09 When some academicians in Armenia recently wrote that Armenian American academicians were bought off and were minimizing how far back in time the history of the Armenian people goes, Armenian American academicians reacted with an angry petition. When a young Turkish academician was arrested in Armenia a few years ago for allegedly trying to take historic books out of the country, Armenian American academicians were outraged and reacted with an angry petition. But when Armenia negotiates Protocols with Turkey that call the Armenian Genocide into question and subject it to the whims of genocide deniers, and when those same Protocols strip the Armenian nation of its rights to regain its Western Armenian homeland and patrimony, these same academicians (like the ones in the conference in Lebanon above) react with a big ho-hum. Now we know where their priorities lie: in an Ivory Tower. reply from United States Scholars are not politicians Submitted by Patille on Wed, 2009-09-09 These scholars are not politicians nor lawyers to enact international law, which is what the conference apparently addressed. In fact, it pains me to say that many if not most Armenian scholars have allowed themselves to "pay for play," that is: be co-opted, silenced and/or bought off in order to keep their jobs or advance in their fields. With urgent matters at stake, these academics should have taken the opportunity, during an international gathering, to collectively produce a protest letter rejecting the Turkish/ Armenian protocols! "Studies" could go on indefinitely. Let us move on to restitution and reparations!
Armenian-Turkish Protocols To Confirm Kars Treaty, By Asbarez Staff on Sep 17th, 2009 YEREVAN (PanArmenian.net)—If signed, the protocols on establishing relations between Armenia and Turkey will give legal power to the treaty of Kars, signed between Kemalist Turkey and the Soviet government on October 13, 1921, according to Arman Melikyan, the former Foreign Minister of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The fifth clause in the first protocol establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries requires “the the mutual recognition of the existing border between the two countries as defined by the relevant treaties of international law.” The only relevant treaty defining the de facto borders between the Republic of Armenia and Turkey is the Treaty of Kars, signed between Turkey and Bolshevik Russia, as well as the Soviet Republics of Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. Armenia, as vassal state at the time, was forced to relinquish its rights to the treaty of Sevres and cede control of Nakhichevan and Nagorno Karabakh to Azerbaijan. The treaty was not reconfirmed following the collapse of the Soviet Union. “The Kars agreement stipulated the acknowledgement of borders between Turkey and the Caucasian states: Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. At present, the protocols specifies only the Republic of Armenia’s de facto border with Turkey,” Melikyan explained, adding that Yerevan should “annul the Kars agreement, and then continue its negotiations with Turkey.” Melikyan added also that neither Azerbaijan nor Georgia have acknowledged their borders with Turkey, thus automatically annulling the agreement. As a result, Nakhichevan, which was given to Azerbaijan by the Kars treaty, legally does not belong to Azerbaijan. According to Melikyan, Armenia will find itself at an unfavorable position vis-à-vis Turkey if it signs the protocols. “I don’t want such fate to befall our country,” he said, adding that Armenia will be at the mercy of the Turks if the Kars treaty is indirectly ratified through the protocols. “We have to clarify our relations with Turkey.”
What Happened In 1909?, Dover-Sherborn Press Sept 16 2009 Here are some of the key events of 1909, as recorded on suite101.com: Popular novels of the time included "The Wonderful World of Oz," by Frank Baum, and Jack London's "Call of the Wild." Leisure time was spent in family get-togethers, baseball, picnics and long Sunday drives (mostly by horse and buggy). In the evenings, families gathered for sing-alongs around the piano. These 1909 events made headlines: · German researcher Paul Ehrlich found a cure for syphilis. · Shackleton's expedition reported finding the magnetic South Pole. · The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded. · Construction on the Titanic was begun. · The Roman Catholic Church named Joan of Arc a saint. · William Howard Taft took over from Teddy Roosevelt as President of the United States. · The first credit union in the U.S. was established. · The first event was held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. · Construction was begun on the modern city of Tel Aviv, Israel. · In the Ottoman Empire, thousands of Armenian Christians were slaughtered. · In 1909, life expectancy was under age 50, and the average worker made $12.98 per week for 59 hours. · The Model "T" Ford (or "Tin Lizzy") was starting to roll off the assembly lines, and people could buy homes from the Sears Catalog of Modern Homes. · In addition to Mary McCarthy, other notable births from 1909 included Benny Goodman, Burl Ives, Katharine Hepburn, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Barry Goldwater, Gene Krupa, Simone Weil, Carmen Miranda, Queen Juliana (of the Netherlands) and Al Capp.
The Armenian Opening, Hurriyet Daily News Sept 15 2009 Obviously, there are objectionable and perhaps deplorable elements in the Turkish-Armenian protocols but a careful reconsideration might vividly demonstrate that they are products of a successful and diligent diplomacy that caters to most of Turkey's outstanding interests. Most important of all, though tacit, with these protocols Armenia has delivered Ankara two crucial concessions. What are they? First of all Armenia has accepted for the first time ever the creation of a history commission that might feature historians from interested third parties in examining the genocide claims. That is, without saying so the Serge Sarkisian administration of Armenian has conceded from the "Genocide is a fact, there is no need to verify it through scientific research or to discuss it" position. Secondly, for the first time ever in the post-Soviet era, Armenia has agreed to recognize the joint border with Turkey as was defined in the Kars treaty, though there is no reference in the protocols to the Kars treaty. Such recognition by Armenia is no less than declaring it has no territorial claims from Turkey or it has turned a cold shoulder to diaspora's land claims from Turkey. Because of those concessions Sarkisian is now having a tough ride with the Armenian opposition, while many Turkish diplomats who devoted a life to battle Armenian claims against Turkey are expressing with satisfaction appreciation for the Turkish "diplomatic victory" in Armenia relations. Yet, the opposition parties are fuming over the protocols and delivering tough statements as if the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, government has betrayed Turkey's national interests. All the issues on the table in Turkish-Armenian negotiations, excluding one, are problems between the two countries. Recognition of the Kars treaty or the joint border defined by that treaty and Armenia declaring it has no territorial claims from Turkey, resolution of the genocide claims through studies of a joint historical commission, normalization of relations including establishment of diplomatic relations and opening of the border gates are the most prominent issues the Swiss-mediated silent diplomacy between Turkey and Armenia has been aiming to achieve. Of these topics, only normalization of relations and opening of the border gates heading was not a purely bilateral subject as suspension of the plans to open a Turkish embassy in Yerevan and closure of the border were decided by Ankara as a reaction to the invasion and subsequent occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly Armenian dominated enclave in Azerbaijan, and several Azerbaijani-population regions around the mountainous enclave. Indeed, without abandoning Azerbaijan and landing Turkish-Azerbaijani relations in an unprecedented crisis and risking his own political future very seriously no Turkish leader can open the border without a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh occupation or at least declaration of a withdrawal timetable by Armenia. Can Armenia undertake such a move now? What if, as was suggested earlier, Armenia withdraws from Nagorno-Karabakh and the Azeri regions around and Russian peacekeepers are deployed in the mountainous region? Even if with Azerbaijani demands Turkish troops join Russians as peacekeepers in the disputed territory, such a development might still be acceptable for Yerevan as an "interim formula." After all, were not Russian military elements together with Armenian troops in the occupation of the region? Such a development may as well help Erdogan escape "treason" accusation in the 2010 or 2011 early polls while convert him into a "national hero" in Azerbaijan as he would have secured "liberation" of occupied Azerbaijani land. The outcome would serve to Turkish-Russian relations, as well as the U.S. interests in this geography. Furthermore, such a resolution would be a great contribution to Western energy security, and thus would be applauded by the EU, too. Can Armenia declare a withdrawal timetable? That might make Erdogan a hero, otherwise, he will find himself in some very serious reputation problems in domestic politics. Would he care? So far he proved that he has no such worries.
AGBU Central Board of Directors Issues Statement on Armenia-Turkey protocols YEREVAN (ArmRadio)-The Armenian General Benevolent Union's Central Board of Directors issued an announcement Monday on the protocols for the establishment and development of relations between Armenia and Turkey. Below is the text of the statement: On August 31, 2009 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, together with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, jointly produced two documents of protocol concerning the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey and the development of bilateral relations. These documents provide details on the initial steps to be taken for the normalization of relations, the establishment of consular representation, and the opening of the current border between the two countries. This marks a significant moment in the history of relations between the Armenian and Turkish peoples. It presents major ramifications for both the government of the newly independent Republic of Armenia and the Armenian nation worldwide. The Armenian people in both the homeland and the Diaspora have followed these negotiations with great interest and concern. We recognize the great geopolitical challenges faced by Armenia - its concern for its national security, the need to improve its accessibility and communication links vital to its economic development, the desire to participate in regional programs of political and economic cooperation. All of these objectives motivate the Armenian government to be positive and sincere in its approach to these negotiations and to adopt a pragmatic policy with regard to Turkey. However, as practical as such a policy may be, it should not be implemented at the expense of the fundamental and historic rights of the Armenian people. We believe the official governmental authorities in Armenia are both the administrators of the state and the guardians of its future. Therefore, they must be guided by pan-national goals and aspirations in making these difficult and far-reaching decisions. The documents establishing diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey touch directly or indirectly upon the enduring issues of the Armenian Genocide and our territorial demands. We understand the importance for the Republic of Armenia to have normal diplomatic relations with neighboring states, including Turkey. We also believe that justice for the sacred Armenian Case and the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide should transcend and not be sacrificed for any immediate diplomatic consideration. The start of negotiations between Armenia and Turkey has been favorably encouraged by the international community. The sole opponent to this dialogue between Armenia and Turkey has been the country of Azerbaijan. For almost two decades, Turkey has joined with Azerbaijan in the blockade of Armenia due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In the past, Turkey has used the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as justification for its refusal to pursue a separate rapprochement with Armenia. This current effort to normalize relations between Armenia and Turkey should not be pre-conditioned by any terms of concession involving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The people of Nagorno-Karabakh have already clearly expressed their will to live freely through their exercise of the sacred right of peoples for self-determination. This is a rare moment of opportunity for Turkey. It must show that it is ready to move forward in earnest. If it falters, hesitates or withdraws, it will expose itself to the reproach of the international major powers and those regional nations which are fostering this rapprochement between Armenia and Turkey. As this bold diplomatic initiative moves toward normalized relations between the two countries, Turkey will find itself subjected to even greater international scrutiny. To justify its membership in the European Union, Turkey will be under pressure to fulfill its international commitments. It will become more exposed and accountable to world public opinion. It will be forced to adhere to principles of human rights and democratic rule and to cooperate with its neighboring countries. We know the authorities in Armenia face a difficult path as they endeavor to build new relations with Turkey without imposed preconditions. We also believe the government of Armenia shares our serious concerns about the sincerity of Turkey, given its historic anti-Armenian policy that has continued to the present time. We commend their initiative and lend our support in their efforts to find a just and fair outcome in the building of good neighborly relations between Armenia and Turkey, while safeguarding the historic claims and rights of the Armenian People. The Armenian General Benevolent Union has been steadfast in serving the Armenian people for more than a century. It has been a leading voice for the desires and aspirations of the Diaspora. AGBU unwaveringly adheres to its time-honored policy of supporting the homeland, safeguarding the rights of the Armenian nation, and promoting the historic and cultural legacy of our people. On this occasion, we appeal to all Armenians to face the challenges of this historical moment, in collaboration with the government of the Republic of Armenia, with wisdom, national unity and the spirit of cooperation among our people. Armenian Life
Take the Armenian Weekly, Asbarez Survey on Turkey-Armenia Protocols, Weekly Staff • September 16, 2009 President Serge Sarkisian has invited political forces in Armenia to discuss the protocols on the establishment and development of relations between Armenia and Turkey on Thursday. What are your thoughts on the protocols? Asbarez and the Armenian Weekly are asking their readers to take a moment and complete a short survey on the matter. Click on the link below to take the survey: Survey on Turkey-Armenia Protocols Required Question(s) 1. Do you agree with the creation of a historical commission of Turks and Armenians to study whether the events of 1915-23 were a genocide? Yes - No 2. Do you agree with Armenia officially recognizing its current border with Turkey? Yes - No 3. Do you agree that the lifting of Turkey’s blockade of Armenia should be linked to Azerbaijan’s approval of a Nagorno Karabagh settlement? Yes - No 4. Are the recent Turkey-Armenia protocols better for Turkey or Armenia? Better for Armenia - Better for Turkey 5. Do you support the adoption of the Turkey-Armenia protocols? Yes - No
‘The Next 100 Years’ May Not Bode Well for Armenia, By Andy Turpin • on July 16, 2009 Corporate Intelligence Guru George Friedman’s Latest Book Predicts Turkish Superpower WATERTOWN, Mass. (A.W.)—To personify the tone of George Friedman’s newest book of speculative geopolitics, The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century (Doubleday, 2009), I shall quote F.D.R. when he allegedly said of Nicaraguan despot and U.S. proxy Anastasio Somoza García: “Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.” Likewise, I will say of Friedman that while I’d probably disagree with his personal social views if seated beside him at a dinner party, there was little in his book’s research or analysis that I—nor, I’m assuming, any charter member of the ANCA—would disagree with that staunchly. Friedman is the chief executive of STRATFOR, the leading private global intelligence firm he founded in 1996. The son of Hungarian Holocaust survivors and raised in New York City, he spent almost 20 years in academia prior to joining the private sector, teaching political science at Dickinson College. During that time, he regularly briefed senior commanders in the armed services on security and national defense matters, as well as those in the Office of Net Assessments, the SHAPE Technical Center, the U.S. Army War College, the National Defense University and the RAND Corporation. For all intents and purposes, I have honed my review to focus on Friedman’s predictions for Armenia, Turkey, and the Caucasus, although his general outline for a realistic 21st-century timeline is as ruthless and American-interest driven—never to be confused with the goals of true American values—as any State Department report I’ve ever perused. Keenly, of all U.S. foreign policy decisions, Friedman writes with veritas that the U.S. “has no key interest in winning a war outright. As with Vietnam or Korea, the purpose of these conflicts is simply to block a power or destabilize the region, not to impose order. In due course, even outright American defeat is acceptable. However, the principle of using minimum force, when absolutely necessary, to maintain the Eurasian balance of power is—and will remain—the driving force of U.S. foreign policy throughout the 21st century. There will be numerous Kosovos and Iraqs in unanticipated places at unexpected times… But since the primary goal will more likely be simply to block or destabilize Serbia or al Qaeda, the interventions will be quite rational. They will never appear to really yield anything nearing a ‘solution,’ and will always be done with insufficient force to be decisive.” In short, Friedman predicts that following the August 2008 war in Georgia, conflicts in the Caucasus will remain relatively stable until roughly 2020, at which point “Americans will see Russian domination of Georgia as undermining their position in the region. The Turks will see this as energizing the Armenians and returning the Russian army in force to their borders. The Russians will become more convinced of the need to act because of this resistance. A duel in the Caucasus will result… But it will be Europe [namely the Polish border and the Baltic states], not the Caucasus that will matter.” He continues of this proposed conflict: “The Turks will make an unavoidable strategic decision around 2020. Relying on a chaotic buffer zone to protect themselves from the Russians is a bet they will not make again. This time they will move north into the Caucasus, as deeply as they need to in order to guarantee their national security in that direction… The immediate periphery of Turkey is going to be unstable, to say the least. The United States will encourage Turkey to press north in the Caucasus and will want Turkish influence in Muslim areas of the Balkans.” In Friedman’s view, the opening of the border between Turkey and Armenia can be postponed but is inevitable. And when it finally occurs, the Tashnag nightmare scenario—of the Armenian market being flooded with Turkish goods, and Turkey taking over all industrial sectors, leading to Armenian economic serfdom and client state status—will also be unavoidable. The difference is that like a therapist objectively and impassively listening to someone’s problems, Friedman comments but doesn’t care about Armenia’s interests. He simply notes that such an outcome will be deemed by the U.S. to be in America’s interest, before the country makes adequate progress in transitioning to more sustainable “green” energy policies. By 2040, Friedman writes, an Armenian, Greek, and pro-West anti-Turkish movement will begin to coalesce as the U.S. and Britain no longer regard Turkey as a friendly ally but as the rival superpower against the U.S. alongside a rejuvenated militant Japan. “Turkey will move decisively northward into the Caucasus as Russia crumbles. Part of this move will consist of military intervention, and part will occur in the way of political alliances,” he writes. “Turkey’s influence will be economic—the rest of the region will need to align itself with the new economic power. And by the mid-2040’s, the Turks will indeed be a major regional power. There will be conflicts. From guerilla resistance to local conventional war, all around the Turkish pivot. Turkey will wind up pushing against U.S. allies in southeastern Europe and will make Italy feel extremely insecure with its growing power.” In Friedman’s view, such a build-up will eventually lead to a limited-World War conflict between the U.S. and Poland against Turkey and Japan for divided world hegemony around 2050, with any actual ground combat occurring primarily in the vicinity of the Balkans and the Polish border areas surrounding U.S. and Turkish military targets. Naturally it remains to be seen what will occur on the world stage, but like Groopman’s How Doctors Think (Mariner, 2008), Friedman’s Next 100 Years is as best an educated guess as anyone in the geopolitical analysis field can give, pending all variables—and that’s something. Comments By Free Ashot Manukyan on July 16th, 2009 Andy, you write that “the Tashnag nightmare scenario—of the Armenian market being flooded with Turkish goods, and Turkey taking over all industrial sectors, leading to Armenian economic serfdom and client state status—will also be unavoidable”. However, this has already happened to Armenia at the hands of Mother Russia. Russia has killed 3 generations of Armenians already and yet it is continously ignored. As we speak, Russia and their minions in Yerevan are starving and killing the country. They are driving the rest into expatriation. They’ve crippled the Armenian soul and mind. Meanwhile, not a word on these pages of today’s slaughter. The Diaspora is focused 100 years in the past or 50 years into the future…on Turkey. What drives the Tashnag, really? Is it true concern for ‘Armenians’ or is it rather a self-identity of personal and ancestoral vegengance against the Turk? Any honest and objective perspective points to the latter. Ironically, this is another losing position. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Genocide survivors may stay connected through this identity, but it is not sustainable. As greed and corruption lose the Homeland, the Diaspora will fall apart as Great-great Grandchildren and beyond cease to have a real Armenian identity beyond simply hating Turkey. By Haro on July 17th, 2009 Friedman must do his homework more carefully, the last 150 years, turks have only lost land, while their political system cannot function without the West and USA (or Russia). Moreover, during these 150 years, there never was well formed Armenian, Greek, Syrian or Iranian states, while Russia was in the midst of two deadly revolutions. In the best scenario for Friedman’s turkic superpower, we need at least two centuries for the geopolitical landscape of the Euroasia changes in their favor, assuming that Armenians have the mentality of sheep, which is highly unlikely. Also, to reflect Ashot’s comments, we should look at the Russian dominion over Armenia as the actual practical test. Soviet influence migrated to South America, China, as well as other places far away from Russia, but a 3-4 million Armenian state persisted and remained Armenian. It’s not so simple to win against Mesrop Mashtoz, the only way to win Mashtoz is to kill the body and mind of the nation. The whole Europe, Russia and Turks have tried this for almost 300 years, and they have failed. Perhaps, Armenians are dorment now, but this sleep will not last long, they will be awaken soon… Concerning the Diaspora, it acts like a complex viro-biological entity, when it assimilates, it acts like a connector agent. It also has it’s awakening moments. So, I wouldn’t underestimate the potentials of Diaspora. By ED on July 17th, 2009 To the previous comment: The issue with Turkey is that Turkey’s life would be much simpler if Armenia did not exist or if it was reduced to the level of a puppet state. Turkey is not interested in strong, independent and, perhaps even friendly Armenia and in this respect the “nightmare scenario” may indeed turn into a nightmare for Armenia. The Russians are no angels but they are the best protection we have. Would love to see US or EU in this role but for some reason they are in no particular rush. By Armen on July 17th, 2009 I briefly read a section of the book concerning Armenia and while the author makes some valid predictions, he makes some obvious mistakes as well. He writes (p. 109) “Azerbaijan is hostile to Armenia – and therefore close to Iran and Turkey.” While Azerbaijan certainly is hostile and is allied with Turkey, the allusion that Azerbaijan and Iran have coinciding interests stands on weak pillars. Iran certainly does not want an emboldened Azerbaijan nor does it want Turkey to stick its nose in the affairs of the Caucasus, making it a reliable bulwark against further pan-Turkic expansion. Fascinating article, though. By ZM on July 19th, 2009 I agree partially with Ashod about Russia. They are a major player and small countries like Armenia are the pawns. I don’t believe there is any hope for Armenia. The country is in a permanently stalemated position. Worse yet, the people there mostly sold their souls to the Russians in return for the appearances of real country. When the Russians took off the training wheels so to speak, all of the paper republics, including Armenia, hit the ground hard. Based on the 1 million+ people who abandoned their beloved “Hayrenik” for places like Hollywood, I think that says it all about the Republic of Armenia and the qualities of its (former) citizens. As for Armenians who have lived for generations outside Armenia for many generations, I think that also speaks for itself. Unlike Armenia, there has been a certain level of stability that has lasted in those scattered communities for over a century. Obviously Ashod isn’t aware of this or is avoiding it altogether. Armenians, like Irish, Scottish, Jewish and a number of other people tend to function better in a decentralized system than in a formal state. Thats just the reality and the facts back it up. By john on July 20th, 2009 Free Ashot Manukyan you are really a turkish agent mascarading as god know what. go fool yourself. By Haro on July 20th, 2009 Actually, Friedman is like a so called “sailer” sailing his boat on a paper map. He may predict certain obvious things, but in order to go deeper, he needs to be actually sailing a real boat in a real ocean, because the last mast angle may determine whether he survives the storm or not. Go to Arstakh and Armenia and gather some real facts before predicting anything. Because, a single soldier’s last bullet may really change the whole scheme of the future. Concerning the claim of Armenians in Armenia “selling their soul”, please visit Armenia and talk with real Armenians and not those that are trying to sell their last tomato box for a few drams. I really pity the Armenians that have suffered so much in poverty, and I would not make such a careless claim about them “Selling their soul”. Have you ever suffered starvation, believe me, you will sell your soul and body if you had the experience. Did you know that Komitas did not understand one word of Armenian when he was brought to Echmiazin, would you say that he sold his soul. Believe me when I say that the key is Mashtoz, you cannot kill Mashtoz very easily, even if you entirely assimilate. Have you heard of such names as Hrachya Acharyan or Gevorg Jahugyan, etc. If not, then please learn more before making some claims. By ZM on July 23rd, 2009 To Haro: Armenians easily killed Mashdots with their own hands – and spit on his grave while doing nationalistic talk like you. Gomidas spoke Turkish as his first language, and though he did a great service to Armenians, Armenians made his work irrelevant by ignoring it. If you pity poor Armenians so much, get off the internet, get out of Yerevan and do something about it. As with Mashdots and Gomidas, you’re using the names of other people (including all of the poor people of Armenia) and actually ignoring those people in the process. It sounds ridiculous but the most of the people going into Armenia are Armenians born outside of that country.
Armenian-Turkish Rapprochement Controlled By United States 11.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Protocols submitted on August 31 were prepared back in March. They served as a source for Basic Principles publicized on April 23, said Hovhannes Igityan , board member of Pan-Armenian National Movement and former Head of Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee. The original version of a document which has full legal effect is available in two copies. The initial variant, according to speaker, was written in English and then translated into Armenian and Turkish. "Normalization of Armenian-Turkish is a process dictated from abroad. The document was elaborated by US State Department. Armenian-Turkish rapprochement and Karabakh conflict settlement are dealt with by one and the same person," activist said, stressing that the main threat of two documents consisted in their interpretation. Igityan also criticized the Protocol clauses on setting up historical commission dealing with Armenian Genocide. According to him, the issue bears no relationship to Armenian-Turkish border opening.
Opening Of Border To Contribute To Tourism Development On Historical Armenian Lands 11.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ In case of opening border with Turkey, Armenia can become Turkey's competitor in sphere of developing tourism on its historical lands, i.e. in Lake Van region, said Arsen Kazaryan, Head of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. Armenian entrepreneur finds that within several years, our tourism and construction specialists will create very good Armenian tourism centers there. "I hope in the near future we'll be able to light candle on Akhtamar island and enjoy the water of lake Van," he said. Kazaryan also noted that border opening will contribute to the development of agriculture, energy and textile industry. In that connection, he informed participants that negotiations are currently held with Turkish companies for acquiring raw materials in sphere of knitted fabric production. Such enterprise with Turkish capital already operates in Spitak. "Our cement plants will be able to increase their production capacities and meet the demands of Turkish industry," he added. There is also potential for cooperation in spheres of healthcare, science and information technologies. Frontier trade in Gyumri-Armavir and Kars-Igdir directions will also receive positive impulse, leading to new job openings.
Armenians in the World over 12.000.000 ASIA Armenia 3.000.000 Arzax 140.000 Azerbaijan 18.000 China 36 Georgia 460.000 Hong Kong 22 India 1.200 Iran 90.000 Iraq 42.000 Israel 3.600 Japan 100 Jordan 10.500 Kazakstan 22.000 Kuwait 6.500 Kyrgystan 3.800 Lebanon 245.000 Philippines 12 Qatar 180 S.Korea 15 Singapore 55 Syria 160.000 Tajikistan 6.400 Thailand 1.100 Turkey Christians 80.000 Hamshens 820.000 Other Muslims 1.200.000 TOTAL Turkey 2.100.000 Turkmenistan 56.000 U.A.E 3.200 Uzbekistan 76.000 Vietnam 12 Others 3.000 G.TOTAL 6.426.732 Europe Albania 550 Austria 3.300 Belarus 26.500 Belgium 5.800 Bulgaria 30.000 Cyprus 2.800 Czech Republic 11.200 Denmark 3.600 Estonia 2.100 Finland 1.100 Former Yugoslavian 10.000 France 550.000 Germany 70.000 Greece 35.000 Hungary 15.000 Ireland 150 Italy 2.800 Latvia 2.500 Lithuania 2.600 Luxembourg 70 Moldova 7.200 Monaco 210 Netherlands 9.600 Norway 1.300 Poland 90.000 Romania 14.000 Russian Federation 2.600.000 Spain 40.000 Sweden 5.200 Switzerland 5.800 U.K. 12.400 Ukraine 150.000 TOTAL 3.688.780 Africa Cote D´Ivoire 22 Egypt 6.700 Ethiopia 430 Ghana 16 Republic of South Africa 800 Senegal 16 Sudan 1.040 Swaziland 12 Zambia 10 Zimbabwe 33 TOTAL 9.079 North America Canada 100.000 Costa Rica 23 Cuba 220 Dominican Republic 75 Honduras 900 Mexico 390 U.S.A. 1.500.000 TOTAL 1.601.608 South America Argentina 155.000 Brazil 62.000 Chile 1.200 Colombia 290 Uruguay 19.000 Venezuela 3.500 TOTAL 240.990 Oceania Australia 34.000 Indonesia 14 New Zealand 650 TOTAL 34.664 TOTAL in the WORLD 12.023.853 http://www.armanum.de/edjer/armzahl.html
"Armenian Will Become A Token Coin", A1plus September 11, 2009 "Whenever we speak of Armenian-Turkish relations and frontier reopening we should bear in mind that Turkey considers Armenia its number one enemy," advises Armenian MP Vardan Khachatrian. After the frontier opening both Turkey and the West will double pressure on Armenia. Armenia will be unable to yield to foreign pressure and will lower its role in the Karabakh conflict resolution. As a result, Armenia will become a token coin within the realms of geopolitical interest for this or that country to fill its scanty liabilities." The Armenian MP sees serious threats under the lines of the recently announced Protocols on Armenian-Turkish relations. "The devil is hiding in deflections and ambiguity." After a mutual recognition of the countries' borders Karabakh will become an enclave in the territory of Azerbaijan, adds Vardan Khachatrian. Besides, formation of a historical sub-commission will lead Armenia and other countries recognizing the Armenian Genocide to an "idiot situation." Vardan Khachatrian is convinced that Turkey will destroy Armenian agriculture which is of great strategic importance for the country. He fears lest the frontier reopening should lead to the "loss of Armenian immunity." Karabakh war veteran Vardan Malkhasian thinks the recent attempts towards Armenian-Turkish rapprochement speak of Turkey's perfidious policy. "We must annihilate Armenians with love," Mr. Malkhasian cited a Turkish official.
ARFD Not An Anti-Turkish Party 11.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ ARF Dashnaktsutyun was never against opening of Armenian-Turkish border without preconditions. However, Dashnaktsutyun believes that normalization of ties with neighboring state is possible only after recognition of Armenian Genocide and elimination of its consequences, ARFD Bureau member Aghvan Vardanyan told a press conference in Yerevan. "Dashnaktsutyun is not an anti-Turkish" party," he said. ARFD representative was concerned that many people consider Protocols perfect documents not containing any threat. Commenting upon Republicans' statements on ARFD's being aware of National Security Conception which contains a clause on Armenian Turkish ties normalization, he mentioned that it was the only document which required Armenia to conduct consistent policy in achieving Genocide recognition. "If that clause is currently effective, Armenian Foreign Minister should call on international community, including Turkey to recognize Armenian Genocide regardless current normalization process. That's the only factor which can convince us that Genocide recognition process is not suspended and we can normalize ties with Ankara without any precondition," Aghvan Vardanyan said. Under the Protocols, Armenia and Turkey should normalize ties without preconditions. "Such requirement was not reflected either in April 22-23 statement or the documents currently on table. Besides, statements on considering Baku's interests are voiced by Turkish side," speaker stressed.
Armenia Braces For More Protests, September 17, 2009 Vercİhan Zİflİoğlu Yerevan - Hürriyet Daily News Armenia is bracing for more protests on Friday against the normalization of relations between Ankara and Yerevan, as President Serge Sarkisian begins talks with Armenian party leaders on a landmark deal to establish diplomatic ties with Turkey. Thousands of Armenians are expected to stage a demonstration in Yerevan on Friday to protest the recent diplomatic thaw with Turkey. The former Soviet republic’s first president, Levon Ter-Petrossian, will lead the rally, organizers told Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review. “Sarkisian, who came to power without the support of the Armenian people, is trying to win the international community’s approval by bargaining with Turkey. If Ter-Petrossian were in power, there would be no such deal on the table,” said Levon Zurabian, a spokesperson for Ter-Petrossian. Turkey and Armenia agreed last month on steps to establish full diplomatic ties for the first time between the neighbors. The countries will hold six weeks of domestic debate over the protocols, drawn up under Swiss mediation, before they are submitted for ratification by their parliaments. A first sign of rapprochement came in September last year, when Turkish President Abdullah Gül went to the Armenian capital to visit Sarkisian and watch a World Cup soccer qualifying match between the two countries. Sarkisian is expected to visit Turkey for a return match on Oct. 14. U.S. President Barack Obama visited Ankara in April and said he hoped efforts to normalize relations between the two would “bear fruit.” Armenia claims up to 1.5 million Armenians were systematically killed in 1915 under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey denies this, saying that any deaths were the result of civil strife that erupted when Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia. Diaspora deeply anxious Turkey is taking advantage of the weak political position of Sarkisian’s government, Zurabian said. “The recent steps toward normalization will harm bilateral relations between both nations,” he said. “The protocols are nothing but fake and they [Ankara and Yerevan] want us to believe there are no preconditions.” Commenting on the reaction of the Armenian diaspora to the normalization talks, Zurabian said many Armenians abroad are deeply anxious about the protocols and disappointed with what he termed “the wrong steps taken by the Sarkisian government.” The Armenian parliament will ratify the protocols, predicted Zurabian, but the Turkish parliament won’t. “Besides, Ankara will not open the border with Armenia unless Yerevan takes steps toward solving the Nagorno-Karabakh issue,” he said. Nagorno-Karabakh is an enclave in Azerbaijan that has been occupied by Armenian forces since the end of a six-year conflict in 1994, which left about 30,000 people dead and displaced 1 million. The region’s unilateral independence is not recognized by the international community. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in solidarity with ally Azerbaijan over Yerevan's backing of ethnic Armenian separatists in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region. Karabakh is an internal issue of the self-proclaimed republic, said Zurabian. “Let’s leave Karabakh to itself, and it will decide its own future.” “Stop the Protocols” Campaign to Protest Swiss Consulate Friday LOS ANGELES–The “Stop the Protocols” Campaign, a broad-based coalition of Armenian youth groups and organizations across the United States, will be holding its first direct action against the Turkey-Armenia protocols at the Swiss Consulate in Los Angeles on Friday September 18 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. (11766 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025) “Stop the Protocols” is rallying the entire community, and all youth in particular, to gather at the consulate Friday and express their disapproval of the Swiss government’s role in drafting a set of one-sided protocols that threaten Armenia and undermine the rights of all Armenians. As the primary mediator between the Turkish and Armenian governments, the Swiss government has both abandoned the core humanitarian values of its own people, as embodied in their adoption of laws recognizing the Armenian Genocide, and also played a highly destructive role in facilitating Turkey’s use of economic blackmail to force Armenia into devastating concessions of its security, rights, and even its very viability. Built around the shared conviction that these protocols must be stopped at all costs, the Coalition consists of the ARF Shant Student Association, Unified Young Armenians, Armenian Youth Federation, Woodbury University Armenian Students Association, UCLA Armenian Students Association, and others.
Protocols Will be Signed on Kars Treaty Anniversary, "Ara Khachatourian" Neither the Turkish nor the Armenian foreign ministries refuted reports by the Milliyet newspaper that the dangerous Turkey-Armenia protocols are scheduled to be signed on October 13. It is interesting that the news came from unnamed officials at the Turkish foreign ministry and, once again, Turkey—and not Armenia—is setting the course and the agenda for normalizing relations. And what an agenda it is. October 13 is not merely the day before the scheduled Armenia-Turkey European qualifier soccer match, it also marks the 88th anniversary of signing of the Kars treaty, on which the recognition of the current boundaries provision of the protocols is based. With neither country refuting the report on the signing of the protocols, Turkey is poised to capitalize on its past misdeeds, while Armenia legitimizes a clandestine treaty through which Turkey annexed historic territories of Armenia, among them Ani, Kars, Ardahan and, of course, Mt. Ararat. What Serzh Sarkisian thought to be a shrewd political move when he invited his Turkish counterpart to Armenia in June 2008 has evolved into a national disaster with detrimental consequences for the future of the Armenian Nation. Now, that nation is divided, especially in Armenia, where the authorities are utilizing the protocol-imposed six-week public discussion period to forcefully convince the people of Armenia that the protocols will not endanger Armenia’s national security nor the future of the nation. In his customary patronizing manner, Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian, having returned from a “crucial” jaunt to China, finally addressed the parliament regarding the protocols and expressed his surprise at inquiries regarding the provisions of the protocols. In conclusion, in his often demeaning rhetoric, he simplified the matter by saying that the protocols cannot be changed because they are agreed upon documents by both sides and it is incumbent on the parliament to make the final ratification. Similarly, on Thursday, President Sarkisian, in meeting with political forces, after acknowledging that the protocols had pitfalls, nevertheless pushed ahead with his belief that the move to normalize relations with Turkey would eventually benefit Armenia. In his presentation to parliament, Nalbandian asserted the Turkey had made significant concessions in the final document. The foreign minister did not clarify what those concessions were. So we are left to read between the lines of this crucial document and not to judge when provisions of the protocols call for the recognition of current boundaries, respecting of territorial integrity, the creation of a sub-commission on historical issues and now the announced date for the signing of the protocols. In his remarks Thursday, Sarkisian said: “By inviting Turkey’s President to Armenia, I intended to open a window of the possibility to normalize relations and to demonstrate that a people who have suffered Genocide, and the Armenian nation, have enough courage and the will to be the first to extend a hand.” Announcing of a “roadmap” on the eve of the Genocide anniversary, the provisions of the protocols and now, scheduling the signing of the defeatist documents on a day that symbolizes an historic setback for Armenia do not speak to the “courage” of a nation that survived a Genocide, but rather they demonstrate the “will” of a new generation of misguided leaders who are prepared to undermine historic justice and national dignity. While Mr. Nalbandian is adamant that the protocols cannot be changed, perhaps he can be assertive in ensuring that when he signs the protocols he does not throw the baby out with the bath water.
Is Turkey Renaming Istanbul Constantinople? www.worldbulletin.net Sept 9 2009 Turkey Last month, Turkish President Abdullah Gul broke a long-standing national taboo: He called the remote village of Guroymak by its Kurdish name, Norshin. The president's opponents say renaming Istanbul Constantinople on highway signs will inevitably follow. Or worse. For many Turks, saying Norshin leads to saying Kurdistan, and saying Kurdistan leads to recognizing an independent Kurdish state stretching across Iran, Iraq, and southeastern Turkey. After a 1980 military coup, Turkey "Turkified": It banned the Kurdish language, imposed new Turkish place names, and famously declared that Kurds were actually "mountain Turks." Its government has since abandoned this extreme form of forced assimilation. But allowing or using Kurdish names is still a politically charged act, seen by many Turks as a concession to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (better known as the PKK), which has fought a brutal 25-year battle for Kurdish independence. The Turkish government wants to end the PKK's terrorist campaign without splitting off a Kurdish state -- and sees extending cultural rights and linguistic freedoms as the way to do it. But what will it take to reconcile the Turks and the Kurds? The verbal recognition of Kurds and Kurdish culture at the highest political level is a first step, as Gul's use of the name Norshin demonstrates. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently brought a number of parliamentarians to tears by saying that something is terribly wrong when the mothers of Turkish soldiers and the mothers of PKK fighters are saying the same prayers over their sons' bodies. That such a comparison can even be made is itself a sign of progress. And there are concrete changes, too. Already, the government has opened a Kurdish radio station and promoted Kurdish literature classes at universities. In late July, Erdogan announced his government was beginning a "Kurdish Initiative." He has not yet provided any details. But most Turkish journalists expect the government to allow public servants and politicians to speak Kurdish, end restrictions on Kurdish media, give some form of amnesty to all but the highest ranking PKK members, and possibly even revise the Constitution to allow Kurds to be full Turkish citizens without giving up their Kurdish identity. (Those Kurds who are proud to call themselves Turks have always been accepted and often risen high in the ranks of politics and pop culture) These initiatives have met -- and will meet -- tremendous push-back. Previous leaders have considered similar changes, such as calling citizens "Turkiyeli" (from Turkey) rather than "Turkish," to emphasize citizenship over ethnic identity. But obstacles to implementing such initiatives have been insurmountable. Already, the two leading opposition parties have denounced Erdogan's plan. Plus, Turkey has a Constitutional Court with the power to strike down laws that alter the country's "unamendable" constitutional articles --one of which declares that the national language is Turkish. This time around, though, the government has the army, a long-time rival, on its side. Realizing at last that the fight will never be won through purely military means, Turkey's leading general now supports greater cultural freedom for Kurds and wants to make it easier for PKK members to surrender. The National Security Council, traditionally a vehicle for the military to "advise" the government on political issues, also gave its blessing to the initiative. Still, security and foreign-policy concerns complicate the issue. Numerous Turks are convinced that the U.S. government -- a friend to politicians and generals, a foe to most everyone else --is behind the Kurdish initiative. They presume that the United States is desperate to ensure stability in northern Iraq as it prepares to withdraw from the country. Thus, they claim, the United States, after supporting the PKK for years, is now forcing Turkey to give in to PKK demands in order to foster peace with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The conspiracy theory is only two parts crazy. The PKK is based in the Kandil Mountains, in Kurdish Iraq. The United States, hesitant to upset Iraq's lone functioning region, has proven unwilling to take decisive action against it. But such U.S. strategic intransigence stokes anti-American sentiment in Turkey. Further, the KRG's refusal to prevent the PKK from launching attacks in Turkey has poisoned relations between Ankara and Erbil. But in the past year, for Turkish policymakers the KRG has increasingly looked less like a threat than a potential ally. Turkish firms have been doing billions of dollars worth of business with Iraqi Kurds for some time now, in every field from construction to telecommunications. Moreover, if chaos follows the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, a peaceful Kurdistan would help protect Turkey from the spread of violence. On top of this, Turkey's new foreign minister is the architect of a regional policy awkwardly but succinctly rendered in English as "zero problems with neighbors." In practice, this has meant trying to mend fences with traditional rivals such as Greece, Syria, Russia, and even Armenia. Recent developments have also left the KRG eager to improve relations with Turkey. The Kurds are increasingly concerned about being left friendless in the region, as Arab-Kurdish tensions mount, a confrontation over Kirkuk seems possible, and U.S. forces continue to withdraw. As the chief of staff of the president of Iraqi Kurdistan told the International Crisis Group, "If the Shiites choose Iran, and the Sunnis choose the Arab world, then the Kurds will have to ally themselves with Turkey." Economics figure in as well: The oil-rich Iraqi Kurds export their oil though a pipeline that leads to the Turkish port of Ceyhan . But what does all this intricate politicking mean for Ankara and the PKK? The insurgent Kurdish group's imprisoned leader, Abdullah Ocalan, continues to maintain a unilateral cease-fire and is no longer demanding independence. But he has also made proposals that no Turkish government would accept. For example, he has said Turks and Kurds must recognize Turkey and Kurdistan as a "joint homeland," whatever that means. He may also harbor dreams of transforming the PKK into a legitimate political party, like Ireland's Sinn Fein. Even the most liberal Turkish politicians balk at any legitimization of the PKK. But why would the group give up its guns if that meant agreeing to disband? The United States could be one reason. As the Pentagon considers sending troops to northern Iraq to stem an armed Kurdish-Arab conflict, it could also pressure the KRG to crack down on the PKK's camps. In this scenario, PKK would have no safehaven in Iraq or Turkey. Then, it might accept amnesty without any politicians in Ankara having to appear to negotiate or concede too much. Turkey is closer now than ever before to solving the problem that has kept it estranged from the United States, the European Union, and millions of its own citizens. Turkish politicians have started speaking the right language. With luck, action will follow.
A Memorandum Of Website Establishment Is Signed, Aysor Sept 9 2009 Armenia Yesterday, September, 8, RA Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and creative group "Hanguyc" signed a memorandum of website establishment which would have pan-Armenian values and significance, the press-office reports. DA minister Hranush Hakobyan highlighted the using of high technologies in unification of Armenian world and the involving of Diaspora into strengthening the capacity of the Armenian statehood. In this regard Hranush Hakobyan noted the importance of using Armenian language, translations and converters for eastern-Armenian and western-Armenian. "I am sure we'll have our own Google but as DA minister I dream on Armenian CNN," H.Hakobyan said adding that the Armenian search system would also contribute the creation of pan-Armenian television. "Time for unification all the high technologies to solve Armenian identity conservation came," minister said adding that in November 6-10 in San-Francisco it would be hold the 3rd Conference on Armenian high technologies "ArmTech-2009". Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and creative group "Hanguyc" (www.hanguyc.am) will facilitate the establishment of the Armenian search system and networking system that will eventually be able to assume the role of the national local regulator, combining all Armenian sites in one system and reducing in this area increasing financial leakage. "This network may become the basis of a virtual "Armenian world" which will also include a number of specialized professional networks that allow combine intellectual, cultural and scientific potential of Armenians around the world and send a unified work of the network for the benefit of Armenians in Armenia and Diaspora."
Ara Guler Awarded With French Vermeil Medal, 09.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Christophe Girard, deputy mayor of Paris, honored Turkish photographer of Armenian heritage Ara Guler with the "Vermeil Medal" during a ceremony Tuesday held at the municipal building in the French capital within the framework of the "Turkey Season" activities in France. The award is being granted to dignitaries who make artistic contributions to the people of Paris. The Paris Municipality had decided to also decorate Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Nobel-laureate author Orhan Pamuk with the same medal. An exhibition comprised of black-and-white photographs taken by Ara Guler in Istanbul between 1950 and 1960 will open at the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie on Tuesday evening. The exhibition will stay open through Oct. 11, HDN reported.
Turkey To Open Lobbying Ministry, 09.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Faruk Celik, Turkish Minister of Work and Social Security, has elaborated a new project to be submitted to Milli Majilis for approval. Project envisages creation of a new ministry protecting the rights of Turks living beyond the country's borders. The ministry will have a special department which will deal with lobbying issues and represent Turkey in international structures. New Ministry staff will consist of a Minister, 7 department heads and 15 specialists, Turkish Sabah newspaper reports.
Efforts To Mend Turkish-Armenian Ties `Order From US`, AzerNews Sept 8 2009 08-09-2009 23:31:41 The initiative by Turkey and Armenia to normalize their strained relations is due to pressure from the White House, a Turkish politician has said. Husamettin Cindoruk, Turkey`s former parliament speaker and Democratic Party chairman, told Dogan news agency that US President Barack Obama`s recent address to the Turkish legislature "contained a part that was more of an order than advice." Due to that statement, the issue of normalizing ties with Armenia has now come into the spotlight, Cindoruk said. On August 31, Ankara and Yerevan agreed to participate in Swiss mediation to begin discussions on forging diplomatic ties and developing bilateral relations. The two countries announced they would complete domestic consultations over two protocols within six weeks, to be followed by ratification in their parliaments. The protocols ultimately seek to open the Turkish-Armenian border. Cindoruk noted that the normalization issue should be addressed not only bilaterally, but with the participation of Azerbaijan. "Any agreement not involving Azerbaijan will not be adopted anyhow," the former Turkish speaker added. Turkey and Armenia have been at odds, and their shared border has been shut, since 1993 due to Armenia`s policy of occupying Azerbaijani territory and Armenian claims of World War I-era genocide. The latest agreements are considered the first substantial move toward normalizing ties between Ankara and Yerevan. The US government welcomed the initiative, saying the normalization should take place without preconditions and within a reasonable timeframe, and urged Armenia and Turkey "to proceed expeditiously."
MP Safaryan – Government and Opposition Joining Forces Against Heritage Party, 2009/09/09, Lilit Nurijanyan At a press conference held today Heritage Party MP Stepan Safaryan stated that after reading the Armenian press he clearly noted that when it came to their attitude regarding his party the interests of both the regime and the opposition converged. MP Safaryan commented that the opposition, via today’s article in “Haykakan Zhamanak”, didn’t seek to defame Armen Martirosyan or Hovsep Khourdoushyan, but only Raffi Hovhannisyan, the founder of the Heritage Party and Armenia’s first foreign minister after independence. “The ‘official organ’ of the Armenian National Congress (HAK), or those who sponsored the article, simply wished to misdirect the attention of the public away from the true reason that Raffi Hovhannisyan has given up his seat in the parliament and thus devalue his move,” stated Mr. Safaryan. According to Mr. Safaryan, the real reason that Mr. Hovhannisyan has given up his parliamentary seat is the recently agreed upon Armenian-Turkish protocols. He said that the leader of the Heritage Party saw real threat to the Republic of Armenia in the document and that the party had recently pointed out these threats. “In particular, the positions of Heritage and the HAK regarding Armenian-Turkish relations have radically diverged of late. I don’t know. Perhaps by discrediting us the HAK wishes to resolve an issue regarding the leadership of the opposition or perhaps their attitude is one of personal ambition.” Hetq
Meeting The Armenian Margaret Thatcher, Iain Dale's Diary September 7, 2009 Having only had four hours sleep, today got a bit of getting through. Eyelids were drooping at one stage. This morning was spent in meetings with the British Council here in Yerevan and then meeting the British Ambassador to Armenia, Charles Lonsdale (pic) at the embassy. We then had lunch in a French restaurant where we were serenaded loudly by some very loud French music. Watching my travel companion Aisling from the John Smith Memorial Trust eat her salmon steak to the strains of Je T'Aime was a delight indeed. During the afternoon we made our presentation to thirty or forty possible candidates for a JSMT Fellowship, encouraging them to apply to come to Britain next summer for five weeks. Find out about the fellowship programme HERE. The room we were presenting in felt like a sauna as the air conditioning had failed. But the potential Fellows seemed impressed by what we had to tell them. This evening we attended a reception at the Ambassador's residence related to the EU Skills initiative. It turned into a highly entertaining evening firstly because the Ambassador took a shine to my tie - clearly a man of taste. I then had the pleasure of having an uproarious chat with the Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister, a lady called Karine Ghazinyan (pic). She's only been in the job six months, having previously been Armenian Ambassador to Rumania and Germany. Armenian Ministers are not politicians - they are appointees by the Prime Minister. She was the most untypical diplomat I have ever met - a real Margaret Thatcher in the making if ever I saw one. She also had a good line in jokes from the Soviet era... Both the American and Soviet constitutions guaranteed freedom of speech. The difference was that the American constitution guaranteed freedom after the speech. Boom boom. And... Damn, I can't remember the other one. Tomorrow I have three TV interviews to do, and in the morning I am visiting the genocide museum and then going on a trip outside the capital. And back to London on Wednesday morning. I wish we were here longer. There's a lot to see and because of all the meetings we'll barely scratch the surface. I won't make that mistake again.
Armenia And Turkey Not Establishing, But Legalizing Their Economic Cooperation: Armenian Expert Arka September 8, 2009 Yerevan An Armenian economist said today that Armenia and Turkey are not establishing economic cooperation, but legalizing the existing one, that has grown substantially in the recent decade. Tatul Manaserian, who serves as an aide to parliament speaker on economic issues, said about 25% of Armenia's foreign trade falls on Turkey. According to official figures of the National Statistical Service (NSS), Armenia's trade with Turkey in Jan.-July, 2009 shrank by 28 % to $86.7 million. Armenian exports to Turkey plunged by 50.1% year-on-year to $539,8000 (0.2% of all Armenian experts), while imports from Turkey fell by 27.8% to $86.2 million. According to Manaserian, Armenia is still unable to offer quality goods at competitive prices and this is why Armenian imports from Turkey dominate over Armenian exports. He believes that the opening of the border, expected on both sides, will force Armenia and Turkey to form a new relationship. He argued that Turkey wants to open the border more than Armenia because as a nation aspiring to join the European Union, 'Ankara needs to show the world that it is not only a civilized country but a country with free economy and open borders.' He added that normalization of relations with Armenia will allow Turkey to buy Armenia-generated electricity20and cover a huge shortage of power in its eastern regions. In a joint statement released on August 31 night, the foreign ministers of Armenia and Turkey as well as Switzerland said Ankara and Yerevan have agreed to start "internal political consultations" on two bilateral protocols on the establishment of diplomatic relations and reopening of their border. According to the press release, the protocols provide for a framework for the normalization of Turkish-Armenian bilateral relations within a reasonable timeframe. 'The political consultations will be completed within six weeks, following which the two Protocols will be signed and submitted to the respective Parliaments for the ratification on each side. Both sides will make their best efforts for the timely progression of the ratification in line with their constitutional and legal procedures,' it said. Turkey and Armenia have had no diplomatic ties since Armenia became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in a show of support for its ally, Azerbaijan, which had a dispute with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, the ethnic Armenian enclave of Azerbaijan. There are several sensitive issues complicating the establishment of normal relations between the two countries, particularly, Ankara's blatant support of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process and Turkey's refusal to acknowledg e the mass killings of Armenians in the last years of the Ottoman Empire as a genocide. The thaw in the strained relations began in 2008 September after Turkish president Abdullah Gul arrived in Armenia, at his counterpart's invitation, to watch together with Serzh Sargsyan the 2010 World Cup qualifying football game between the two countries' national teams. During that visit the two presidents discussed prospects for engaging in dialogue and normalization of relations.
Ex-spy is BP's Lawrence of Arabia, By Glen Owen, 06th September 2009 He is the modern Lawrence of Arabia who used his relationship with Colonel Gaddafi to help to secure a £200,000-a-year job with BP. The career of ex-MI6 agent Sir Mark Allen, the driving force behind the suspected ‘deal’ to return Abdelbaset Al Megrahi to Libya, reads like an espionage novel, taking in Middle East spy schools, falconry and secret meetings in Pall Mall gentlemen’s clubs. Our investigation has discovered how Sir Mark, 59 – who resigned from MI6 to join BP in 2004 – used the contacts made during a life in the shadows to build a new career in business. Sir Mark Allan, a modern Lawrence of Arabia, was the driving force behind the suspected 'deal' to return Abedlbaset Al Megrahi to Libya It reveals that he: Led the diplomatic drive to lift sanctions against Libya, teaming up with a top CIA agent for private meetings with Colonel Gaddafi. Chaired a secret meeting with Gaddafi’s spy chief in The Travellers Club in London, which included discussion of the Megrahi case and led to the Libyan leader being allowed to trade again with the West. Resigned from MI6 six months later to join BP and was cleared by the Cabinet Office to start working for the oil giant immediately. Is a friend of Justice Secretary Jack Straw, who backed his unsuccessful attempt to head MI6. The Mail on Sunday tracked Sir Mark to his secure £1million apartment in Westminster but he refused to talk about the role he may have had in securing Megrahi’s return. Last week it was revealed that he lobbied Mr Straw to speed up an agreement over prisoner transfers – which had been expected to lead to Megrahi’s return – to avoid jeopardising a trade deal with Libya worth up to £15billion to BP. Allen's book, Falconery In Arabia which was published in 1980 Yesterday Mr Straw admitted the agreement had played a ‘very big part’ in his decision to include Megrahi in the transfer deal. In 2003, Sir Mark, then head of MI6’s counter-terrorism unit, joined forces with Steve Kappes, now deputy director of the CIA, to lead secret talks with Gaddafi’s regime to end international sanctions. The two men embarked on shuttle diplomacy, flying around the world to meet senior Libyan figures, including Gaddafi. Pulitzer prize-winning US author Ron Suskind, who has investigated British and American dealings with Gaddafi, said Sir Mark had several meetings with the Libyan leader in summer 2003. ‘He played a key role in charming Gaddafi out of his international isolation,’ he said. ‘His job was to make it clear to Gaddafi that anything could be put on the negotiating table, including Megrahi.’ At that point, Megrahi had been in a Scottish jail for two years. A deal to end sanctions was sealed in December 2003 at The Travellers Club, where Sir Mark thrashed out an agreement with Gaddafi’s external intelligence chief Musa Kousa. In return for the lifting of sanctions – and, sources say, assurances from Britain about Megrahi’s future – Gaddafi promised to abandon plans for weapons of mass destruction. Britain and America resumed relations the next month. In May 2004, Sir Mark was the favourite of Mr Straw, then Foreign Secretary, to succeed Sir Richard Dearlove as Head of MI6. But the following month, after it was announced that the job had gone to John Scarlett, Sir Mark resigned to take up a special adviser’s job with BP. Unlike Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Britain’s special representative to Iraq who joined BP at the same time, Sir Mark was told by the Cabinet Office’s Advisory Committee on Business Appointments that he could start work immediately. Sir Mark, who was knighted in 2005, immediately used his Libyan contacts in BP’s drive to win gas and oil contracts in the country, flying with the then BP boss Lord Browne to meet Gaddafi in the desert. The BP deal with Libya was announced in May 2007. But by November it had still not been ratified because of delays in finalising prisoner transfers which had been arranged between Tony Blair and Gaddafi in tandem with the BP deal. The sticking point was debate in the British Government over whether to exclude Megrahi. Sir Mark made two calls to Mr Straw, asking for the agreement to be speeded up. Within six weeks of his second call in November 2007, Mr Straw had written to Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill to say Megrahi would be included. In the Seventies, Sir Mark studied at the Middle East Centre for Arabic Studies, a British ‘spy school’ in a village near Beirut. He was posted to Cairo in 1978, where he developed a love of falcon-hunting with Bedouins. In 1980 he published Falconry In Arabia, with a foreword and photos by Wilfred Thesiger, the late writer-explorer who devoted his life to roaming deserts in the spirit of Lawrence of Arabia. A BP spokeswoman refused to comment yesterday. © 2009 Associated Newspapers Ltd
Bryza Criticizes Armenian Opposition Matthew Bryza, the US envoy on the Minsk Group sponsored by the OSCE, met with the press on Friday, August 8 in Yerevan to discuss recent developments in the Nagorno-Karabagh peace process. It was most likely his last visit to Armenia. In the press conference he was critical of Armenia’s oppositional parties which has been voicing its concerns that the agreed upon Madrid principles of 2007 would in no way serve Armenia’s interests. He called such sentiments “empty” in ridicule. He said that, “Certainly those who are claiming that the update of the Madrid document, based on what we did in Krakow, somehow disadvantages Armenia … are operating out of sheer ignorance.” The Madrid principles were outlined in a previous post on this blog. The article I read quotes Bryza explaining what the Minsk Group has in mind by revising the Madrid principles: Bryza maintained that the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders agree on the “fundamental concept” behind the compromise settlement favored by the United States, Russia and France. “But it’s a long distance from agreeing on the basic concept to actually agreeing or to having a finalized document,” he cautioned. “An analogy would be that they have agreed on the menu for a meal,” he said. “They know what dishes they want to cook, maybe they’ve even started cooking some of them, but none of those dishes are prepared yet. They’re still cooking. We don’t know what they will finally look like until the cooking process is finished.” I just wanted to add here that I enjoy roasting a whole chicken from time to time. Usually I coat the skin with some oil and then apply fresh tarragon and even some basil. I also insert garlic cloves into the breast by first cutting small holes in the flesh. After an hour in the oven I know that the chicken will have a crispy skin and appear light golden brown in color. The meat will be very tender and infused with a subtle garlicky flavor. I know it will be delicious. But the three cooks of the revised Madrid principles seem to be ruining their dish with too many spices, although I am certain that it will be cooked to perfection for their main customer, Azerbaijan. Armenia will be served the leftovers–some skin and cartilage with a little meat hanging from the bones. Soon Bryza will be off to Baku as the US ambassador to Azerbaijan. During his tenure as part of the Minsk Group he obviously failed to get the two sides to agree on a definite peace proposal, despite the “agreements” the two sides have made over the years that he has time and time again presented to the public with his pretentious smiles and aloof comments. His role in the peace settlement process will seemingly end unless he plays a behind-the-scenes role to appease his buddies in Baku. A good friend of mine told me a couple of weeks ago, when I conveyed to him my concerns about the peace process and how the conditions seem to be wholly in Azerbaijan’s favor, that if a peace deal was indeed vitally important for stability in the region Moscow would have insisted that Yerevan sign the proposal a long time ago. Russia’s only safe outlet for maintaining its influence in the Caucasus has been Armenia, and the bond of friendship as well as trust has been fostered for hundreds of years. Georgia in its various incarnations has proven time and time again to be totally untrustworthy, and the Russians were historically always weary of the Tartars. A century ago Baku was prospering due to the influence of Armenian businessmen who were making a fortune there, and Russian interests were in that way safeguarded. Thus any interests Armenia currently has need to be protected as they are also those of Russia. Russia is not about to lose access to its interests in the South Caucasus–it simply needs Armenia to allow that influence to continue. Therefore it will not allow Armenia to lose out in any peace deal, despite its perceived active role in the Minsk Group. These opinions of his make sense, and they provided some comfort, they put my mind somewhat at ease. After all, not one Armenian I have spoken to believes such a peace agreement will ever be signed. My friend believes that even President Sarkisian’s closest allies will never allow it to happen. Perhaps he’s right. Hetq
Armenia’s Financial Woes An interesting article about the current financial situation in Armenia that appeared in business new europe was reprinted on Hetq Online. Although I am not a financial adviser or banker, I can’t say that I agree with everything that was reported in the article. Here is one excerpt that is interesting to note: The growth of banks like AEB [Armeconombank] has slowed considerably, but they are still in profit and see 2009 as a hiccup rather than a disaster. Armenian banks find themselves in a frustrating position now: they have the liquidity to make loans, but they can’t find anyone to lend to. According to AEB’s Web site, the bank is currently offering mortgages for five-year terms at an annual rate of 14 percent. These types of plans, plus or minus a percentage point payable in five or seven years, have been offered for a while now by Armenian banks, and they’re obviously not great offerings by any means. I’ve seen rates as high as 20 percent or even more being advertised for short-term loans. By contrast, mortgage rates in the US are now around 5.25 percent for a 30-year term and that’s now considered on the high side. And the rate for a 15-year mortgage is only 4.69 percent. Thus the Armenian mortgage lending business can best be defined as basically legitimized loansharking. But really, who would agree to sign on to such terms? Cash poor businessmen most likely, or people who have come into lots of money quite suddenly and have diversified their funds into several different sectors, be it real estate, consumer trade or what have you. Imagine the following scenario. A new house becomes available in a part of Yerevan where having a home is considered very trendy these days, like Nork-Marash where lots of expensive homes have been built. The buyer, finding himself short on cash but eager to buy a house in a prestigious area, takes out the loan. The percentage rate doesn’t necessarily make much of a difference to him, he just needs some cash handed over to him fast so he can buy the home. Five years gives him plenty of time to pay off the loan in monthly payments while most of his capital funds continue to be tied up elsewhere. No ordinary Armenian citizen could ever afford such a loan, not with a $200 monthly salary on the low end or even $2000 at the top tier. It doesn’t make any logical sense to consider such a mortgage loan, and it is certainly not a viable option anyway. So these loans being offered by Armenian lenders have never made much sense. What about the over $1 billion in loans coming from Russia and IMF? Some of it is supposedly going to soften the drop in the GDP while another chunk is trickling down to businesses via the banking sector, like construction companies, to help them offset losses as a result of the crisis. It’s true that housing prices have fallen considerably since the beginning of the year, but a three-room apartment in central Yerevan can still fetch around $150,000, depending on the specific location, perhaps even more. For a tiny landlocked country like Armenia, that’s astronomical. By comparison you can buy a villa in the coastal town of Guardamar, Spain for under 100,000 euros. Yet despite the construction crunch, building continues unabated. A new crane has just gone up at the foot of the slope that reaches the “Monument” area. Sure, some sites seem to be dormant, but that’s been the case for the last five years. Construction of a building starts, then comes to a halt for months on end before it resumes again. The cycle continues over and over. That’s why it’s been taking so long for these high-rise buildings to go up. That’s been the case throughout the Yerevan construction boom, it’s nothing new. These same companies that are supposedly hurting are getting money to support their business efforts. But do they really need the money? No one can tell. Try performing an audit on them to find out. Hetq
Petty Crime in Yerevan: A Growing Trend? Yesterday Hetq Online filed a report stating that four European tourists had been attacked and robbed during the last week. The victims included two people from the Czech Republic and two Dutch tourists. Luckily the assailants were found and many stolen items were recovered. Nevertheless, those foreigners are unlikely to visit here ever again, and their told stories will dissuade countless others to vacation in Armenia. This is not the first time I have heard of foreigners being harassed and robbed. A couple of years ago the chef of the now-defunct “New Delhi” restaurant was hassled and then forced by his muggers to withdraw the equivalent of $3000 in dram from an ATM machine. As a result he was obliged to leave Armenia for his home in Nepal, nearly penniless. I think he earned enough to buy a plane ticket and pocket money, then left the country. Even officials are getting into the harassing act. Back in March Abraham Manukyan, the Deputy Health Minister, was charged with creating a public disturbance, defined as “hooliganism,” in front of a restaurant in downtown Yerevan where he, his son and others who were all drunk bothered people walking by. Three people were even assaulted. Tourism has been on a decline around the world and Armenia’s tourism business is no exception. Hotel prices in Yerevan are extraordinarily high compared with those in Georgia and Eastern European countries. Restaurants are becoming increasingly expensive it seems as well, with the number of posh, trendy dining establishments offering “VIP” seating sections on the rise. Affordable, modest places to eat are falling by the wayside. Excursion packages into Armenia’s regions seem to be fairly reasonably priced, but they can always be made more affordable in an effort to increase the number of tourists. On the contrary, prices are increasing. And now, on top of the ridiculously high costs, foreigners have to worry about being beaten up and robbed when they come here, if they every do. Lately I have been wondering whether I would ever be mugged while walking around the city center in the evening. I usually stroll around as late as midnight or even later. The mafia life is not only beneath the surface of society at large, it has already slipped into the consciousness of the populace. There are at least four television programs (one of them on state-sponsored Public Television strangely enough) glamorizing criminal life. One of them, called “The Price of Life,” which is very popular, is rebroadcasted several times a day on Armenia TV. Teenagers are undoubtedly watching these programs and some, like the punks that mugged the Europeans last week, are aspiring to live that kind of life. I think the days of being able to safely walk the streets at night in confidence may be coming to an end. But I hope I’m wrong. hetq.am
ARF Begins Protest Against Armenia-Turkey Protocols, September 15, 2009 A poster released by the ARF asking Armenians not to give in. YEREVAN—The Supreme Council of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) on Tues., Sept. 15 kicked off its month-long protest against the protocols between Armenia and Turkey with a hunger strike and sit-in at the foreign ministry and government headquarters, reported Yerkir. As 24 ARF members—symbolizing April 24—began their hunger strike at the foreign ministry, some 60 members began a sit-in at the government building. Chanting “No concessions to Turkey!” and “Nalabandian must resign,” the protesters also initiated a petition campaign against the protocols, collecting signatures from passersby in high-traffic Republic Square. ARF Supreme Council of Armenia chairman Armen Rustamian told those gathered outside that the sit-in and the hunger strike would continue until provisions of the protocols are amended. “These demonstrations are meant to reject the preconditions forced on us, and demand that the provisions of the document that jeopardize Armenian interests are reviewed,” Rustamian said. “No matter how hard the government is trying to say that there are no preconditions in the document, we believe they serve only Turkish interests. They say the Kars Treaty is not mentioned in the protocols; then why does it say that we have to recognize the current boundaries? These borders are described only in the 1921 Kars Treaty. No other treaty speaks of the borders.” “We demand that authorities include our proposed changes in the protocols. These documents are anti-Armenian and cannot be signed in their current format. We’ll continue the protest and hunger strike unless all our proposals are considered,” echoed ARF parliamentary bloc member Artyusha Shahbazyan. ARF Bureau member and parliamentary bloc leader Vahan Hovannesian said that the authorities had agreed to the protocols because they did not understand the inherent dangers and consequences to their actions. “Officials also have national responsibilities,” he said. “They are responsible for our future generations.” The ARF has not abandoned its calls for Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian to resign, he added. For while in Turkey, the government has reached out to political forces on the matter, such efforts by Armenian officials have not been made in earnest. “The public at-large is not aware of the full scope of the developments,” Hovanessian said. The ARF’s political affairs director, Giro Manoyan, said the authorities had not intention of amending the protocols. “We are not given a chance to present our concerns to the people. There are two key provisions that disturb us: the recognition of the borders and the establishment of a commission tasked with addressing historical issues that would enable Turkey to discuss the issue of the genocide,” he said. ARF’s Concerns Did Not Subside After President’s Meeting YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—After a five-hour closed door meeting about the Amenia-Turkey protocols between President Serzh Sarkisian and more than 50 political parties Thursday, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation said its concerns were not put to rest. “By inviting Turkey’s President to Armenia, I intended to open a window of the possibility to normalize relations and to demonstrate that a people who have suffered Genocide, and the Armenian nation, have enough courage and the will to be the first to extend a hand,” said Sarkisian during his opening remarks at the meeting, which was part of the protocol-mandated public discussion provision. The president acknowledged his own concerns about the protocols, nevertheless, defending Armenia’s position vis-à-vis the process. “I too see risks, I too have concerns,” Sarkisian said in his opening remarks, and claimed that by signing the protocols Armenia and the Armenian nation was not sacrificing their convictions, but rather “we are paving the way for driving them home.” However, he did not specify as to how Armenia was going to achieve the latter. Sarkisian pointed out that while many had advised him to keep the negotiations confidential, his and his administration’s approach was to hold the talks in public, since, he explained, the grievances—“and yes the enmity”—was between the people and not the upper echelons of government. He said that the protocols were a mere beginning to a long and arduous process of addressing the various facets of normalization process. “I consider this process as providing a minimum platform to begin a dialogue with the Turks. We have a lot of problems with Turkey, which must be addressed: economic, political and historical. I think that we are on the way of solving the problems,” said Sarkisian. ARF Supreme Council Representative Armen Rustamian (center) speaks to delagates. The ARF’s representative at the meeting, Supreme Council chairman Armen Rustamian, explained that major changes in the protocol could be made only during the parliamentary ratification process. “This means that if there are really important and serious views the negotiating party would take them into consideration but it will be left of to that person’s discretion to address them,” explained Rustamian. After reporting that foreign minister Eduard Nalbandian was also in attendance and his staff was taking notes on the discussion, Rustamian explained that it was unclear as to which proposal would be accepted. “I understood it to mean that either we are signing whatever there is or we are not. This is unacceptable to us,” said Rustamian.
Ra Government: Open Border Means Economic Gains For Armenia, Turkey Information-Analytic Agency News.Am Sept 16 2009 19:04 / 09/16/2009By various estimates, the reopening of the Armenian-Turkish border means economic gains from dozens of millions to billions of U.S. dollars for both countries, RA Minister of Finance Tigran Davtyan stated in the Armenian Parliament. He pointed out that the RA Government has conducted extensive research to estimate the possible impact of the reopening of the Armenian-Turkish border. "The research was conducted by not only Armenia, but also foreign experts, as well as by such an authority as the Word Bank. The researchers were of the unanimous opinion that the reopening of the Armenian-Turkish border means economic gains for both the countries," the Minister said. Davtyan pointed out that the reopened border means lower transportation costs for Armenia, new markets for Armenian products as well as impetus to investment. The Minister also pointed out that the Government is ready for open hearings for the issue. RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan reported that, pursuant to the President's order, the RA Government is preparing a report on a possible impact of the reopening of Armenian-Turkish border. The Premier assured the Parliament members that the document will cover all the aspects of Armenian-Turkish relations. In contrast to the Government's position, Vahan Hovhannisyan, a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), stated that the party conducted in-depth research as well. However, unlike the Armenian Government, the ARF arrived at an unfavorable conclusion.
'Armenian-Turkish Border Opening, Armenia's Diplomatic Victory': Deletroz Tert.Am Sept 15 2009 If the Armenian-Turkish border opens in the coming months, first and foremost, it would be Armenia's diplomatic victory, and secondly, from an economic standpoint, it would change all the trading routes in the region, stated International Crisis Group Vice-President for Europe Alain Deletroz, in an interview with Azerbaijan news agency 1news.az. "It is possible to create new railway lines in the region. Currently, Armenia's trading routes are primarily with Iran, Georgia and Russia. But with Turkey, completely new routes will open for Armenia, which connect with the Near East and Mediterranean Sea ports," added Deletroz. In Deletroz's words, people from the region's countries understand this. "Relations with Turkey is a very sensitive issue for Armenians, due to a tragic past. Though, and Turkey, and Azerbaijan, and Georgia, and Armenia want to live like Europeans and to one day join the European Union."
Armenian-Turkish Protocols - Real Documents, 16.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Recently signed Protocols on normalization of Armenian-Turkish ties are real documents, Stepan Grigoryan, Head of Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation, told a news conference in Yerevan. "Opposition and experts stress time and again that Protocols containing a clause on territorial integrity do not say anything on a nation's right to self-determination. It is necessary to realize that the given Protocols are bilateral documents, and it does not simply make sense to raise a question on self-determination principle," political scientist said. Touching upon mutual recognition of Armenian-Turkish border, Grigroryan noted that Armenia, being a UN member, automatically agreed to respect all UN member states' territorial integrity. Vardan Khachatryan: Border Opening Will Increase Turkey's Influence On Armenia, 16.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Turkey's pressure will bring Armenian authorities face to face with new challenges, and the greatest disadvantage is that not all forces represented in Armenia's political domains are involved in the process, MP Vardan Khachatryan told a press conference in Yerevan. He did not rule out possibility of Armenian political forces' being unaware of agreements between parties. "Turkey will seriously benefit by those Protocols. One of its principal achievements will be the possibility of being involved in Karabakh settlement process," Vardan Khachatryan said, adding that such step will make Turkey a serious stakeholder in the region. Opening of Armenian-Turkish border will increase Turkey's influence on Armenia, parliamentarian finds. "It is necessary to realize that any provocation may lead to closing of Armenian-Turkish border," he stressed. He also commented upon ARFD's protest against Protocols, saying that such actions should awaken vigilance in Armenian society. "The protest should warn Armenian people of dangers related to signing Armenian-Turkish Protocols," NA parliamentarian said. On September 15, ARFD Dashnaktsutyun started a rally and hunger strike near Foreign Ministry and Government buildings as sign of protest against Protocols on Normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations. Protesters were holding posters which read, "No Preconditions!", "No Acceptance, No Concessions, Protest!". There was also a stand containing ARFD's demands proposed to be included in Armenian-Turkish Protocols. Initially 24 individuals, including ARFD's youth wing representatives and Supreme Body members were reported on hunger strike.
First Memorial For Armenian Genocide Victims To Be Erected In Israel YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 16, NOYAN TAPAN - ARMENIANS TODAY. Construction of Armenian Genocide memorial complex dedicated to the 95th anniversary of Genocide is launched on the initiative of the Ararat Union of Armenians of Israel and with the consent of Petach Tykva Mayor's Office. PanARMENIAN.Net correspondent was informed about it by the Ararat union. "Many states have recognized the Armenian Genocide of 1915, there are memorials for Armenian Genocide victims in various corners of the world and the memorial complex being built on the Sacred Land, state of Israel is not only symbolic but also one step on the way of restoration of historic justice," the letter of Ashot Martirosian, the Chairman of the Union of Armenians of Israel, to all Armenians read. "For implementing the sacred task of creation of a memorial complex of 1915 Genocide victims we expect assistance from all of you, ask all of you for moral and material support by providing which you will be recognized an official sponsor of the memorial complex and will make your contribution to the sacred affair of perpetuating the memory of Genocide victims. We are grateful for assistance and support," Ashot Martirosian's letter read. Turkish Historian: There Is Significant Popular Support For Armenian-Turkish Process, Arminfo 2009-09-16 ArmInfo. "I cannot speak for Armenian society, but as for Turkish society, my understanding from the Turkish press is that there is significant popular support for the protocol, Altug Taner Akcam, the Turkish historian and sociologist , says in an interview with ArmInfo when commenting on the two protocols on establishment and development of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey. "If two conflicting parties want to normalize their relations, why should it be a problem and not to be supported? There is a strong opposition from the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Party MHP and this is understandable. Both parties have a vested interest in maintaining Turkey's isolation and authoritarian rule. Neither party wants Turkey to become a democratic country that can resolve its problems with neighboring countries. The signed protocol with Armenia should be understood in the context of the continuing democratization efforts in Turkey. The establishment of diplomatic relations and open borders with Armenia is strongly related to ongoing domestic policies such as the Ergenekon investigation and attempts to resolve the Kurdish problem," he said. The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey have agreed to start their internal political consultations on the two protocols -the "Protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations" and the "Protocol on the development of bilateral relations" - which have been initiated in the course of their efforts under Swiss mediation. The two Protocols provide for a framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations within a reasonable timeframe. The political consultations will be completed within six weeks, following which the two Protocols will be signed and submitted to the respective Parliaments for the ratification on each side.
Turkish Historian: Coming To An Agreement Is No Easy Task, Arminfo 2009-09-16 ArmInfo. Coming to an agreement is no easy task, Turkish historian, sociologist and publicist Taner Akcam told ArmInfo when commenting on the agreements initialed by the Armenian and Turkish Foreign Ministries, which envisage signing of two protocols on establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. "I have no doubt about the trustworthiness of the agreement. If two states engage in certain bilateral agreements, of course, they mean it; if they don't want to implement the plan that they have announced, they will make themselves look ridiculous. So, I don't think that "trustworthiness" is the important issue here", he said. The historian thinks that the main problem is whether or not both governments possess the courage and political will to overcome the obstacles to this agreement. "Given the number of domestic and international stakeholders with conflicting interests in the process, coming to an agreement is no easy task", Akcam resumed. Armenia and Turkey have agreed to start internal political consultations around the "Protocol on Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between the Two Countries" and the "Protocol on Development of Bilateral Relations" signed during the negotiations under the Swiss mediation. It is scheduled to complete the political consultations during six weeks, after which the two protocols will be signed and submitted to the two countries' parliaments for approval.
U.S. Government To Provide $2.3 Million Assistance To Armenia To Support Justice Sector Reforms, ARKA September 16, 2009 YEREVAN, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Marie L. Yovanovitch and Armenian Prosecutor General Aghvan Hovsepyan signed today two Protocols on the amendment to the Letter of Agreement on Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Armenia. These are the ninth and tenth amendments to the Letter of Agreement, and under them the U.S. Government will provide additional assistance to the Government of Armenia in the amount of $2,286,050 for several assistance programs. These funds will support a number of Armenian institutions and bilateral projects: the forensic laboratory of the National Academy of Sciences' National Bureau of Expertises, the Central Bank's Financial Monitoring Center, a Resident Legal Adviser from the U.S. Department of Justice, a legal socialization project carried out by the NGO Project Harmony, the American Bar Association's Rule of Law Initiative, assistance for victims of human trafficking, and development of law enforcement academies in Armenia. Prosecutor General Aghvan Hovsepyan commended the U.S. government for supporting justice sector reforms in Armenia saying thanks to this assistance Armenian authorities have improved radically the operation of some agencies. He said the forensic laboratory of the National Bureau of20Expertises, established with the U.S. government assistance conducts 23 types of high level expertise. Since the signing of the original Letter of Agreement on June 11, 2001, the United States has provided over twelve million dollars of justice sector assistance to the Government of Armenia through the Embassy's International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Section. M.M. The Huffington Post September 16, 2009
The Name "Ergenekon" May Not Be Familiar To Non-Turks, but this murky political affaire has riveted Turkey's 70 million people. Thirty-three members of a neo-fascist group called Ergenekon have been on trial, accused of murder, terrorism, and trying to overthrow the elected government. The trial was temporarily suspended after the courthouse was flooded out during torrential rains that inundated Istanbul last week, leaving 31 dead. This fascinating trial has been exposing the workings of the `deep state,' a powerful cabal of retired and active military officers, security forces, gangsters, government officials, judges, and business oligarchs that has long been the real power in this complex nation. Turkey's military vigorously denies any links to the Ergenekon. The `deep state' advocates extreme Turkish nationalism and revived Pan-Turkism, or Turanism, the unification of all Turkic peoples from Turkey to the Great Wall of China. Its extreme right-wing members are bitterly anti-Islamic, and violently oppose any admission of guilt for the mass killing during World War I of many of the Ottoman Empire's Armenians. Most Turks insist the killings occurred in the chaos of war and insurrection. Armenians call it the 20th century's first genocide. Turkey's hard right also opposes improving relations with neighbors Armenia and Greece, or making any more concessions to Turkey's sizable Kurdish minority. Ergenekon's plotters stand accused of plans to assassinate officials of PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Part(AKP), a democratic, modernizing movement advocating Islamic principles of fairer wealth distribution and social welfare. While AKP is a moderate, centrist party, Turkey's secularists, without any serious evidence, claim it is the spearhead of a radical Islamic movement. The real issue is as much about the secularist's right to protect their long-enjoyed economic and social privileges as it is about religion. The plotters reportedly hired hit men to kill leading liberal intellectuals, including acclaimed writer, Orhan Pamuk, and may have murdered a prominent Armenian-Turkish journalist and three Christians. They also oppose Turkey's entry into the EU as a threat to `Turkishness.' What makes this case particularly interesting is that Ergenekon may well be linked to Gladio, a secret, far right underground group created in the 1950s by the US and NATO during the Cold War as a `stay behind' guerrillas to resist Soviet invasion or Communist takeovers. Gladio had a network of agents and caches of arms across Europe with secret links to NATO intelligence services. Gladio staged numerous bombing attacks and assassinations during the 1970s and '80s in a effort to promote far right coups in Italy, Belgium, and Turkey, where it remains active. A cell was even recently uncovered in Switzerland. In Italy, Gladio members played a key role in the P2 Masonic Lodge's plot to overthrow the government. The Vatican's Banco Ambrosiano, its head, Roberto Calvi, and Italian military intelligence, were also involved this intrigue. The Ergenekon plot is one facet of the intense struggle between Erdogan's Islamist-lite reformists and Turkey's 510,000-man armed forces which sees itself as defender of the anti-religious, westernized secular state created in the 1930's by Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey. Turkey's generals are closely allied to the deeply entrenched secularist oligarchy of business barons, judges, university rectors, media groups, and the security services that has made Ataturk's memory and anti-religious values into a state philosophy. Turkey's right-wing generals have overthrown three governments and ousted a fourth. The Turkish military establishment is traditionally close to the US and Israel, with whom it's had extensive military, arms and intelligence dealings. Until PM Erdogan's election, the military was Turkey's real government behind a thin façade of squabbling elected politicians, a fact lost on western observers who used to urge Turkey's "democratic" political model on the Muslim world. An intensifying struggle is under way between the two camps. On the surface, it's "secularism versus Islamic government." But that's just shorthand for the fierce rivalry between the military-industrial-security complex and Erdogan's supporters, many of whom are recent immigrants to the big cities from rural areas, where Islam remains vital in spite of eight decades of government efforts to stamp it out or tightly control it. Right-wing forces recently got allies in the Appeals Court to lay spurious corruption charges against Turkey's respected President, Abdullah Gul. The Erdogan government struck back by levying a US $2.5 billion tax fine on the powerful Dogan media conglomerate that has been a fierce critic and enemy of the prime minister. Both foolish acts injure Turkey's image as a modern democracy. Erdogan has been Turkey's best, most popular prime minister. He has enacted important political, social, legal and economic reforms, and has drawn Turks closer to Europe's laws and values. He stabilized Turkey's formerly wild finances and brought a spirit of real democracy to Turkey. The EU keeps warning Turkey's growling generals to keep out of politics. After 50 years of trying, Turkey still can't get into the European Union. Europe clearly wants an obedient Turkey to protect its eastern flank and fend off more troublesome Muslims, but not an equal partner and certainly not a new member, even though Turkey is as qualified for the EU as Bulgaria or Romania. Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's Nicholas Sarkozy, both leaders of Europe's anti-Muslim right, keep saying no to the Turks. The EU wants no more farmers - and productive, lower cost ones at that - and no more Muslims.
Vardan Khachatryan: The Protocols Contain Threat Karen Ghazaryan, "Radiolur" 16.09.2009 MP Vardan Khachatryan is assured that the ratification of the Armenian-Turkish protocols will become a serious threat to Armenia. He considers that Armenia will lose much. Vardan Khachatryan believes that the ratification of the protocols will undoubtedly lead to the deterrence of the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide and aggravation of relations with the Diaspora. Tomorrow the President of Armenia will convene consultations on the Armenian-Turkish relations with the political parties. Can such consultations change anything in the positions of the parties? According to Vardan Khachatryan it is possible only in the event the consultations shed light upon the agreements reached. Assessing the acts of protest organized by ARF Dashnaktsutyun, the MP said it's time for abrupt steps and the public consciousness has to wake up, since there is a threat of serious losses, and this should not be ignored. "I think that first of all it's necessary to wake up the public and inform people about the real danger those documents or their ratification contain," he said.
Vardan Khachatryan: Armenian-Turkish Relations Small Part Of Mosaic, 16.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenian-Turkish relations are a small part of the mosaic invented by world powers, according to RA National Assembly member Vardan Khachatryan. "Having experienced the negative consequences of Berlin process and Lausanne conference, Armenia should be cautious about the Protocols, which do not leave room for maneuvering. Powers are ruling," he said, adding that Turkey and Azerbaijan are important factors for Europe. "If these protocols are ratified, the process of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide will be frozen. Relations with Diaspora will be strained," Khachatryan said.
Petition Opposing Some Provisions in the Protocols, 16 September 2009, Canada We, the signatories, are in agreement with establishing neighbourly international relations between Armenia and Turkey and the lifting of the Turkish blockade. However, we strongly oppose specific stipulations outlined in the Protocols of 31 August 2009 that Include provisions for a sub-commission of historians, thus questioning the veracity of the Genocide of the Armenians, Recognize only the principle of territorial integrity to the exclusion of the principle of self-determination, effectively legitimizing Turkey's illegal occupation of Western Armenia, the appropriation of Armenian property, land, historic, cultural, and religious monuments, and jeopardizing the future of Nagorno-Karabagh. Most Diaspora Armenians are descendants of the Genocide committed by the Ottoman Turks and oppose these potentially deleterious conditions. To protest against their inclusion in the Protocols, we call upon our compatriots in Europe to galvanize all concerned, democratic and progressive forces, including Armenian parties, associations, and non-affiliated individuals and to organize a peaceful march in Sèvres, in Paris and in Lausanne, Switzerland Kkeghart.com
ARF Declaration on Armenia-Turkey Protocols The Central Committee of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Eastern United States denounces the protocols agreed to for the normalization of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia. It has been almost six months since the “road map” was announced and all efforts aimed at placing the process on the correct path have failed. The announced protocols codify the mistakes in Armenia’s foreign policy. It is time for the entire Armenian nation to be heard. The issues being addressed are Pan-Armenian and our principles can not be compromised. Turkey must acknowledge the Genocide and atone for the crime. The self-determination of Artsakh must be ensured. Armenian cultural sites must be protected. Turkey and Azerbaijan must stop their anti-Armenian agenda. Turkey and Armenia, geographic neighbors, must naturally have diplomatic relations. But it must not be done at the expense of the basic ideals which guarantee an equal partnership. The protocols instead solidify the subjugation of Armenia and the Armenian people. As such, the protocols can not serve as the foundation for respectful and friendly relations between Turkey and Armenia. Armenian Revolutionary Federation Central Committee Eastern United States
Armenian Political Forces On Armenian-Turkish Protocols, Information-Analytic Agency NEWS.am Sept 15 2009 The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) has presented draft amendments to the Armenian-Turkish Protocols to the Armenian political forces. The ARF mainly objects to the points on a commission to study historical facts and on the mutual recognition of borders. Talking to NEWS.am, Eduard Sharmazanov, Secretary of the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) faction, pointed out that some of the ARF-drafted amendments are acceptable. "Specifically, the party proposes a provision on a dialogue without any preconditions. On the other hand, why should the text be amended if it is clear as it is?" Sharmazanov said. As regards the ARF;s objections to the point on mutual recognition of borders, which, the party believes, means Armenia's renouncing any territorial claims on Turkey, he said: "During the whole history of the Third Republic, no government, including the one with ARF as part thereof, has stated Armenia has any territorial claims on Turkey." Of course, the RPA expresses its all-out support for the Armenian-Turkish Protocol and is not going to propose any modifications. "They are unprecedented protocols, which do not contain a point challenging the Armenian Genocide or one on the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. Both President Serzh Sargsyan and international representatives made relevant statements. We should trust our leaders after all," Sharmazanov said. As regards he Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP), it has not yet had time to examine the ARF's proposals. However, Aram Safaryan, Secretary of the PAP faction, told NEWS.am that the party has prepared a number of proposals. He did not provide any further information as the faction decided to wait until the RA President's meeting with the Armenian political forces. The Heritage Party has not decided on whether it will take part in the meeting. Board Chairman Armen Martirosyan pointed out that the party prepared ten proposals that are mostly similar to the ARF-prepared ones. On September 17, the Armenian President and Armenian political forces are to discuss Armenian-Turkish relations. The Armenian National Congress led by Levon Ter-Petrosyan refuses to take part in the meeting.
Recognition Of Armenian Genocide By Turkey Security Issue For Ra 14.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ There are three approaches to the Armenian Genocide issue, AFR Dashnaktsutyun parliamentary group Vahan Hovhannisyan said. "First, Turkey denies the fact of this crime against humanity. Second, Europe insists that Genocide if a fact which should not be used as a tool of pressure on Turkey. Third, Armenia understands that recognition of the Genocide is a security issue for the republic," he told reporters in Yerevan. "Turkey's is certainly under pressure. It refers to Kurdish issue and open borders with neighbors. We are under pressure as well. However, Armenian Genocide is not an issue for concessions," Mr. Hovhannisian said.
Michel Legrand: Germany And Turkey Are To Blame For Armenian Genocide, 14.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ I have never been to Turkey and don't have any desire to visit that country. Two states are to blame for Armenian Genocide," world famous composer Michel Legrand told journalists in Yerevan. "When I first visited Yerevan 2 years ago, I felt this was the only place that made me feel like my real homeland. And though I am Armenian only by my mother's side, I have relatives here whom I love very much," maestro said. On September 15, Aram Khachatryan big concert hall will host Michel Legrand's concert with the participation of State Youth Chamber Orchestra, as well as the composer's wife and daughter. Concert organizers is RA Ministry of Culture in collaboration with City Lights Productions (Director: Armenian jazzman Levon Malkhasyan) and VTB Bank. French composer, arranger, conductor and piano player Michel Jean Legrand was born in 1932 in Paris in the family of French composer and actor Raymond Legrand and Armenian piano player Haykanush Marcelle Ter-Mikayelyan. Future musician gained his first musical experience from his father. At age 11, he entered Paris Conservatory. Upon graduation, he moved to United States where he started writing music for films. Legrand's music for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Young Girls of Rochefort and many other motion pictures became masterpieces of cinema art. His musical compositions have been performed by renowned piano players Oscar Peterson, Caunt Beisya and Charlie Parker. Michel Legrand his a winner of 3 Oscar and 5 Grammy nominations.
Armenia Orders New Trains, Ready For Open Border, Today's Zaman Sept 15 2009 The Armenian administration has ordered three trains from a Polish train factory which are reportedly planned to be used when the railway between Turkey and Armenia resumes operations, upon the opening of the border between the two estranged neighbors, Polish Radio Merkury has reported. The Armenian ambassador in Warsaw, Ashot Galoyan, visited the factory and signed an agreement with the managers for the new trains, which clearly indicated Armenian hopes for the opening of the borders, the daily reported. Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza also argued that the recent orders from Armenia would help the company to overcome the negative effects of the global economic crisis. Although the company had decided to dismiss many workers, the order for three trains will protect the workers' jobs. Yerevan wants the railway between Kars and Gumru reopened after the necessary restoration and repairs are done. In previous months, Alexander Kuznestov, the general director of Russian South Caucasus Railways (SCR), stated that they are ready to provide rail transportation between Kars and Gumru. In his statements in the Armenian press, he said that if Yerevan and Ankara would approve the project (opening of the railway), they would offer rail transportation between the two countries through the Ahurian-2 rail station. He also stated that with that project, passenger and cargo transportation would be possible with these countries. On Aug. 31, Ankara and Yerevan announced that after talks that have been continuing under Swiss mediation they have decided to launch an internal consultation process on both sides before signing two protocols aiming to normalize relations by opening the closed border between the two countries and re-establishing diplomatic ties after 16 years.
A Perfect Injustice Unveils the Effects of the Genocide which occurred in Armenia Press Release by Transaction Publishers, 3 September 2009 A Perfect Injustice unearths new incriminating evidence about a long-censored mass murder and theft which occurred in Armenia. [Written] by Hrayr S. Karagueuzian and Yair Auron*, [it] is an essential contribution to understanding why the issue of stolen Armenian wealth remains unresolved after all these years—a topic addressed for the first time in this volume. Except for a short period after the end of the First World War and the ensuing armistice, Turkey has consistently denied that it ever employed a policy of intentional destruction of Armenians. The 1913-1914 census put the number of Armenians living in Turkey at close to two million. Today only a few thousand Armenians remain in the city Istanbul and none elsewhere in Turkey. Armenian sites in Turkey, including churches, have been neglected, desecrated, looted, destroyed, or requisitioned for other uses, while Armenian place names have been erased or changed. As with the Jewish Holocaust, Armenian properties that were seized or stolen have not been restored. Sixty and ninety years after these terrible events, Jewish and Armenian victims and their heirs continue to struggle to get their properties back. There has been only partial restitution in the Jewish case and virtually no restitution at all in the Armenian case. “The authors accumulated the material item by item and slowly began to piece together the story of a massive injustice towards the victims of genocide. . . A fascinating investigation, a book rich in details and full of documents,” says Dickran Kouymjian, who is an Emeritus Haig & Isabel Berberian Professor of Armenian Studies at California State University in Fresno. No adequate reparation for the deeds committed against the Armenians can ever be made. But resolving claims with respect to stolen property is a symbolic gesture toward victims and their heirs. This is unfinished business for Jewish heirs and survivor of the Holocaust, as it is for Armenians. To order a copy of A Perfect Injustice, contact Transaction Publishers at 888-999-6778 or order online at http://www.transactionpub.com. Editors interested in reviewing this book in a scholarly publication can forward the request along with company information to marketing@transactionpub.com. * Yair Auron is the author of The Banality of Denial - Israel and the Armenian Genocide (Transaction Publishers, 2004) Comments: A Pefect Injustice ... Submitted by George Y. Krikorian on Tue, 2009-09-08 I wonder whether in this recent Turkish-Armenian "arrangement", the Genocide pre-condition is neglected!? I do applaud the resumption of talks between Turks and Armenians, but not without insisting on our past tragedy and its formal recognition and acknowledgement by the present Turkish authorities. It is a shame to all our martyrs if we are going to forget about them. I hope that the organization of "historical" commissions on either side would not hamper the white naked truth everybody in this world knows about! reply from Canada Hidden Armenians Submitted by Houry Ellezian on Mon, 2009-09-07 "Today only a few thousand Armenians remain in the city Istanbul and none elsewhere in Turkey" would be an understatement. Over the years, we have learned that there are more Armenians in Eastern Turkey than we would have imagined. Only they are hidden. You could go to Google videos, "Turkey's hidden Armenians", a documentary prepared by France 24, and revive your memories with this fascinating story. Keghart
Turkey Never To Take Actions That Might Disappoint Azerbaijan: Abdullah Gul, Trend, Azerbaijan Sept 8 2009 Azerbaijan, Baku Turkey will never take any actions that might disappoint Azerbaijan, the Turkish President Abdullah Gul, said at the meeting with Azerbaijani ambassador to Turkey Zakir Hashimov. Friendly and fraternal relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey based on history were always important for Turkey, Gul said at the meeting with Azerbaijani ambassador during iftar for ambassadors of foreign countries accredited in Ankara, the Azerbaijani embassy to Turkey told Trend News. During the meeting they exchanged views on protocol envisaging normalization f Armenian-Turkish relations.
Yerevan, Ankara Mum on Reported Deal Date YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Official Ankara and Yerevan have pointedly declined to refute media reports that the signing of landmark agreements on the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations has been scheduled for October 13. Citing unnamed Turkish diplomats, the “Milliyet” daily reported on Thursday that the foreign ministers of the two neighboring states will sign the two protocols the day before the return match of Armenia’s and Turkey’s national football teams. Turkish President Abdullah Gul and his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisian are expected to attend the World Cup qualification game to be played in the Turkish city of Bursa. Commenting on the “Milliyet” report, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Burak Ozugergin was quoted by AFP news agency as saying, “We have a month…. I think the signing will be sometime around this time.” The Foreign Ministry in Yerevan also did not deny the information. “We will inform the public about all actions stemming from the Turkish-Armenian protocols, including the signing dates, in due time,” the ministry spokesman, Tigran Balayan, told RFE/RL. Another Armenian diplomatic source said earlier this week that the deal is unlikely to be signed during Sarkisian’s visit to Turkey. The source said the signing ceremony will most probably take place in a third country. The protocols envisage the normalization of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey and the reopening of their borders. In a joint statement issued on August 31, the Armenian and Turkish foreign ministries said they will be signed within the next six weeks. The documents have to be ratified by the parliaments of both countries in order to take effect.

What Some Armenians Think Of :
Floods kill at least 30 in Turkey September 9 2009 Apparently the prince of Turkey was upset and angry with the "thirsty..." post above. That prince is a wicked spiritual (not a physical one) entity, call it a demon if you wish who has put itself in charge of the welfare of Turkey. Demons like that have power to send outpouring of rains but they basically are blind and without logic or reason. So it was normal for that demon to send the rain in wrong direction not where it was needed. It send it in over the city of Istanbul and around it, and not to western Armenia which has its grounds soaked with the blood of butchered Armenians during the Genocide, the same blood that the demons are still licking from the ground in order to live. There was great damage to Istanbul with death and destruction and people there are by now cursing their demon protector. ------- Floods kill at least 30 in Turkey ANKARA, September 9, 2009 (RIA Novosti) - The death toll from flooding that has swept parts of Turkey rose to 30 on Wednesday, national media said, referring to rescuers. Istanbul was hit hardest, with 14 people reported dead there as of noon local time (09:00 GMT). Weathermen say Istanbul is seeing its worst weather for the last 80 years, and local papers have dubbed the heavy rains the Second Flood. More rain is expected. Civil defense vehicles and helicopters are involved in a rescue operation in the city. The flood also hit Bandirma, in the country's northwest. Seven women drowned in the town while trying to escape a stranded bus. The town is currently without electricity, and residents of an apartment block have been evacuated. Turkey's NTV television said some 50 people were also missing. http://en.rian.ru/world/20090909/156071090.html COME TO JESUS!

Sarkisian's Defeatist Diplomatic Overtures To The Turks Continue Armenia And Turkey Announce Agreement To Normalize Relations After more than a year of intensive negotiations Armenia and Turkey have announced a potentially ground-breaking agreement to normalize their historically strained relations in the coming months. In a joint statement released on Monday night, the foreign ministers of the two countries as well as Switzerland said Ankara and Yerevan have agreed to start “internal political consultations” on bilateral protocols on the establishment of diplomatic relations and reopening of their border. “The political consultations will be completed within six weeks, following which the two Protocols will be signed and submitted to the respective Parliaments for the ratification on each side,” read the statement. “Both sides will make their best efforts for the timely progression of the ratification in line with their constitutional and legal procedures.” According to copies of the draft agreements released by the Armenian Foreign Ministry, the Turkish-Armenian border will be reopened within two months of the deal’s entry into force. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu appeared to reaffirm that in a Tuesday interview with Turkey’s NTV television. “If everything goes as planned, if mutual steps are taken the borders could be opened around New Year,” he said, according to Reuters. But in an earlier television interview late Monday cited by AFP news agency, Davutoglu said: “At the moment opening the border is not foreseen and it is not the priority.” He also made clear that the Turkish government will not take any steps that “would hurt the interests of Azerbaijan.” “The opening of the border without the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would contradict the interests of Azerbaijan,” a spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, Elkhan Polukhov, told AFP, reacting to the latest Turkish-Armenian announcement. Polukhov said Baku therefore does not expect Ankara to lift the 16-year economic blockade of Armenia which had been imposed at the height of the Armenian-Azerbaijani war for Nagorno-Karabakh. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other Turkish leaders have repeatedly stated in recent months that Turkish-Armenian relations will not be normalized as long as the One of the draft protocols stipulates that a joint Turkish-Armenian study of the 1915 mass killings and deportations of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. will be conducted by one of six panels to be set up by a Turkish-Armenian inter-government commission tasked with tackling a broad range of issues of mutual interest. The panel in question would engage in an “impartial scientific examination of historical documents and archives.” It would comprise experts from not only Armenia and Turkey but also Switzerland and other countries. Many in Armenia and especially its worldwide Diaspora are strongly opposed to the establishment of such a body which was first proposed by Ankara in 2005. They regard the idea as a Turkish ploy designed to stop more countries from recognizing the 1915 massacres as genocide. Oddly, in an August 25 interview with the BBC, Serj Sarkisian accused the Turkish government of failing to honor understandings reached by the two sides. “We have arrangements, and I think it is only right that the parties keep to them,” he said. “Unfortunately, I have not yet seen any great desire or aspiration [from Turkey] to keep to these arrangements.” West Hails Turkish-Armenian Statement The United States and the European Union have welcomed the latest agreement announced by Armenia and Turkey and urged the two estranged neighbors to promptly complete the normalization of their relations. “The United States warmly welcomes the joint statement made today by Turkey and Armenia, with Swiss participation, outlining further steps in the normalization of their bilateral relations,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said late Monday. “It has long been and remains the position of the United States that normalization should take place without preconditions and within a reasonable timeframe,” he said. “We urge Armenia and Turkey to proceed expeditiously, according to the agreed framework as described in today’s statement.” Javier Solana, The EU foreign and security policy chief, called it a “crucial step towards normalization of bilateral relations.” “I commend the courage and vision of both sides to move forward with this historic process,” Solana said in a statement. “I hope the two protocols can be signed, ratified, and implemented in the near term.” “The European Commission attaches high importance to a rapid and steady implementation of the protocols on the establishment of diplomatic relations and on the development of bilateral relations,” read a separate statement by Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Olli Rehn, the EU commissioners for external relations and enlargement respectively. “This agreement should contribute to peace and stability in the South Caucasus.”
S. D.Hunchakian Party Central Committee Statement Social Democratic Hunchakian Party Central Committee issued a statement in connection with the release of texts of the Armenian-Turkish protocols. The statement asserts that a thorough study of the protocols will indicate the beginning of the process of unilateral concession by Armenia. Recognizing the territorial integrity and inviolability of borders of third countries, Armenia, in fact, recognizes Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan. By agreeing to the establishment of a commission to study historical issues, Armenia will close the issue of genocide recognition. Recognizing the present borders between both countries, in fact, Armenia will recognize the Kars Treaty imposed on the Armenians. “Until now, Armenia was speaking about the opening of the borders without any precondition, however, the study of texts of the protocols suggests that we are paying a huge price for the opening of the borders” the statement says. “Casting doubt on the Armenian Genocide is noting else, but a betrayal of the memory of our victims and our national interests”. “Adopting the “road map” on Armenian-Turkish relations, our people have not only to renounce their territorial claims, but also to exclude Karabakh’s participation in the negotiations”. “We have repeatedly stated that the normalization of the Armenian and Turkish relations is impossible without the participation of the Diaspora, whose existence is attributable to the genocide implemented by Turkey”. “The proposed documents are not acceptable for the SDHP and we are ready to cooperate with all forces to thwart the ratification of these protocols”, the statement adds.
Social Democrat Hunchakian Party Disagrees With Armenian National Congress YEREVAN -- Social Democrat Hunchakian Party Chair Lyudmila Sargsyan announced the party’s official statements on the Armenian-Turkish Protocols at a press conference held on September 3rd. The statements made by the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party, a member of the Armenian National Congress (ANC), called for an end to negotiations and for the Protocols not to be ratified. To Tert.am’s question of whether, since the Opposition for the most part is in agreement with the government’s position, there is a possibility that the process of establishing Armenian-Turkish relations will be suspended, Sargsyan responded, “I, for the most part, do not agree with that announcement [referring to ANC’s announcement on the Armenian-Turkish Protocols]. Our party for the most part is not in agreement with that. This is why we have come forward with our own announcement.” Sargsyan noted that on the issue of Armenian-Turkish relations, they have their own fixed perspective, though they have come together in Congress only to restore the country’s constitution and establish an exemplary governing body. On this issue, according to Sargsyan, they are united with the ANC. The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey “Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations” and “Protocol on the Development of Bilateral Relations” The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey have agreed to start their internal political consultations on the two protocols – the “Protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations” and the “Protocol on the development of bilateral relations” – which have been initiated in the course of their efforts under Swiss mediation. The two Protocols provide for a framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations within a reasonable timeframe. The political consultations will be completed within six weeks, following which the two Protocols will be signed and submitted to the respective Parliaments for the ratification on each side. Both sides will make their best efforts for the timely progression of the ratification in line with their constitutional and legal procedures. The normalization of bilateral relations will contribute to the regional peace and stability. The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey are committed are pursuing their joint efforts with the assistance of Switzerland. Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between Republic of Armenia and Republic of Turkey Desiring to establish good neighborly relations and to develop bilateral cooperation in the political, economic, cultural and other fields for the benefit of their peoples, as envisaged in the Protocol on the development of relations signed on the same day, Referring to their obligation under the Charter of the United Nations, the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris for a New Europe, Reconfirming their commitment, in their bilateral and international relations, to respect and ensure respect for the principles equality, sovereignty, non intervention in internal affairs of other states, territorial integrity and inviolability of frontiers, Bearing in mind the importance of the creation and maintenance of an atmosphere of trust and confidence between the two countries that will contribute to the strengthening of peace, security and stability of the whole region, as wll as being determined to refrain from the threat or the use of force, to promote the peaceful settlement of disputes, and to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, Confirming the mutual recognition of the existing border between the two countries as defined by the relevant treaties of international law, Emphasizing their decision to open the common border. Reiterating their commitment to refrain from pursuing any policy incompatible with the spirit of good neighborly relations. Condemning all forms of terrorism, violence and extremism irrespective of their cause, pledging to refrain from encouraging and tolerating such acts and to cooperate in combating against them, Affirming their willingness to chart a new pattern and course for their relations on the basis of common interests, goodwill and in pursuit of peace, mutual understanding and harmony, Agree to establish diplomatic relations as of the date of the entry into force of this Protocol in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 and to exchange Diplomatic Missions. Protocol on Development of Relations Between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey Guided by the Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey signed on the same day, Considering the perspectives of developing their bilateral relations, based on confidence and respect to their mutual interests, Determining to develop and enhance their bilateral relations, in the political, economic, energy, transport, scientific, cultural issues and other fields, based on common interests of both countries, Supporting the promotion of the cooperation between the two countries in the international and regional organizations, especially within the framework of the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the BSEC, Taking into account the common purpose of both States to cooperate for enhancing regional stability and security for ensuring democratic and sustainable development of the region, Reiterating their commitment to the peaceful settlement of regional and international disputes and conflicts on the basis of the norms and principles of international law, Reaffirming their readiness to actively support the actions of the international community in addressing common security threats to the region and world security and stability, such as terrorism, transnational organized crimes, illicit trafficking of drugs and arms, 1. Agree to open the common border within 2 months after entry into force of this Protocol, 2. Agree to Conduct regular political consultation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries; Implement a dialogue on the historical dimension with the aim to restore mutual confidence between the two nations, including an impartial and scientific examination of the historical records and archives to define existing problems and formulate recommendations; Make the best possible use of existing transport, communications and energy infrastructure and networks between the two countries and to undertake measures in this regard; Develop the bilateral legal framework in order to foster cooperation between the two countries; Cooperate in the fields of science and education by encouraging relations between the appropriate institutions as well as promoting the exchange of specialists and students, and act with the aim of preserving the cultural heritage of both sides and launching common cultural projects; Establish consular cooperation in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 in order to provide necessary assistance and protection to the citizens of the two countries; Take concrete measures in order to develop trade, tourism and economic cooperation between the two countries; Engage in a dialogue and reinforce their cooperation on environmental issues. 3. Agree on the establishment of an intergovernmental bilateral commission which shall comprise separate sub-commissions for the prompt implementation of the commitments mentioned in operation paragraph 2 above in this Protocol. To prepare the working modalities of the intergovernmental commission and its sub-commissions, a working group headed by the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs shall be created 2 months after the day following the entry into force of this Protocol. Within 3 months after the entry into force of this Protocol, these modalities shall be approved at ministerial level. The intergovernmental commission shall meet for the first time immediately after the adoption of the said modalities. The subcommissions shall start their work at the latest 1 month thereafter and they shall work continuously until the completion of their mandates. Where appropriate, international experts shall take part in the sub-commissions.
Book Report: Children of Armenia, A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-Long Struggle for Justice, By Michael Bobelian From 1915 to 1923, the ruling Ottoman Empire drove 2 million Armenians from their ancestral homeland; during which 1.5 million of them were viciously slaughtered. While there was an initial global outcry and a movement led by Woodrow Wilson to aid the “starving Armenians”, the promise to hold the perpetrators accountable was never fulfilled and a curtain of silence soon descended on one of the worst crimes of modern history. Now, almost a century later, the Armenians are still fighting for justice. After uncovering his family’s experiences during the Genocide, Michael Bobelian struggled to rationalize how an event as widely reported as the Genocide—more than a hundred articles ran in The New York Times in 1915, with a typical headline exclaiming “Wholesale Massacres of Armenians by Turks”—could fade from public consciousness. Why was the Genocide ignored, forgotten, and worse, relegated to fiction for so long? What role did America’s national self-interest play in helping Turkey evade public accountability? Why did Armenians themselves initially stand silent? Based on years of archival research and personal interviews, Children of Armenia is the first book to trace this post-Genocide history and reveal the events that have conspired to eradicate the “hidden holocaust” from the world’s memory. At the close of World War I, the upsurge of support for the Genocide’s survivors, considered one of the world’s first international human right movements, inspired the few remaining Armenian leaders—such as Simon Vratsian, the ravaged nation’s last prime minister, and Vahan Cardashian, Armenia’s chief advocate in the United States—to seek relief and justice for their people. But despite their tireless efforts, the promises made to them by the war’s victors were systematically cast aside during postwar negotiations. In the end, the Armenians received nothing, not even an apology, and decades of silence would pass before the Genocide’s survivors—dispersed, stateless, and on the verge of extinction—would produce a new generation of activists who would renew their fight for justice. In Children of Armenia, we meet Gourgen Yanikian, a seventy-seven year old terrorist bent on revenge, whose act of terrible violence in southern California galvanized a movement for recognition; Vartkes Yeghiayan, a lawyer who brought a class action suit against New York Life, seeking to win a judgment for thousands of unclaimed policies; and Van Krikorian, who teamed up with Senator Bob Dole to gain public acknowledgment of the Genocide from the U.S. government. From the initial acts of revenge-fueled terrorism to the birth of an organized movement seeking recognition for these unacknowledged crimes—including political maneuvering to get a resolution passed by the U.S. Congress—this is a groundbreaking account of the Armenian struggle to seek redress in the face of recalcitrant perpetrators and an indifferent world. Bobelian delivers a powerful lesson on the price that is paid when injustice goes unacknowledged and a moving story of a people living in the shadow of a century-old genocide. * * * “In this meticulously researched and moving work, Michael Bobelian reveals why the children of Armenia haven’t received justice for the genocide of their ancestors and the unconscionable efforts of Turkish leaders to rewrite their country’s history by denying its shameful past. This powerful and gripping account of a people’s century-long struggle for justice is long overdue.” — George Deukmejian, 35th Governor of California “A powerful and provocative work, Children of Armenia is a poignant and disciplined chronicle of the difficult quest for recognition of the Genocide and the efforts within the Armenian community, the American government, and international community for acknowledgement. Without such acknowledgement, there can be no redress and no way of building toward the future. One reads these pages with sadness and with anguish but also with the understanding of the perniciousness of genocide denial, which provides to the victims—and the perpetrators—no way to go forward.” — Michael Berenbaum, former project director, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum “Sadly, history is no stranger to mass murder. But what makes the Armenian Genocide so unusual is the strenuous efforts over the course of nearly a century to avoid calling it a genocide at all. Those who’ve refused include the Turkish government, the U.S. State Department, successive Presidents, key members of Congress and even some of America’s mainstream Jewish organizations. Michael Bobelian has done a real service both in reevoking the genocide and chronicling this long, sorry history of denial.” - Adam Hochschild, author of Bury the Chains and King Leopold’s Ghost Michael Bobelian, a graduate of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, is a lawyer, journalist, and grandson of Genocide survivors. His work has appeared in Forbes.com, American Lawyer, and Legal Affairs magazine and has been featured on NPR’s Leonard Lopate show. He resides in New York City with his wife and daughter. Available September 1, 2009 978-1-4165-5725-8 § $26.00 § A Simon & Schuster Hardcover
Armenia, Turkey to Sign Protocols in Six Weeks BERNE, YEREVAN, ANKARA (Foreign Ministry Press Service)—The foreign ministers of Armenia, Turkey and Switzerland issued a joint announcement Monday outlining the protocols that will guide the establishment and development of relations between Turkey and Armenia. Below is the text of the announcement and the protocols, which we received from the foreign ministry. The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey have agreed to start their internal political consultations on the two protocols – the “Protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations” and the “Protocol on the development of bilateral relations” – which have been initiated in the course of their efforts under Swiss mediation. The two Protocols provide for a framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations within a reasonable timeframe. The political consultations will be completed within six weeks, following which the two Protocols will be signed and submitted to the respective Parliaments for the ratification on each side. Both sides will make their best efforts for the timely progression of the ratification in line with their constitutional and legal procedures. The normalization of bilateral relations will contribute to the regional peace and stability. The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey are committed are pursuing their joint efforts with the assistance of Switzerland.
Timetable and elements for the implementation of the Protocol on development of relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey
Steps to be undertaken Timing
1. to open the common border Within two months after the entry into force of the Protocol on the development of relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey
2. to establish a working group headed by the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs to prepare the working modalities of the intergovernmental commission and its sub-committees 2 months after the day following entry into force of the Protocol on development of relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey
3. to approve the working modalities of the intergovernmental commission and its sub-commissions and ministerial level Within 3 months after entry into force of the Protocol on development of relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey
4. to organize the first meeting of the intergovernmental commission Immediately after the adoption of the working modalities of the intergovernmental commission and its sub-commissions at ministerial level
5. to operate the following sub-commissions:
- the sub-commission on political consultations;
- the sub- commission on transport, communications, and energy infrastructure and networks,
- the sub-commission on legal matters
- the sub-commission on science and education
- the sub-commission on trade, tourism, and economic cooperation;
- the sub-commission on the historical dimension to implement a dialogue with the aim to restore mutual confidence between the two nations, including an impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archives to define existing problems and formulate recommendations, in which Armenian, Turkish as well as Swiss and other international experts shall take part.
At the latest 1 month after the first meeting of the intergovernmental commission
For the Republic of Armenia - - - - For the Republic of Turkey Asbarez
Turkey Clarifies Position on Armenian Ties to Aliyev BAKU (Combined Sources)—Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and visiting top Turkish diplomats held talks over the weekend on recent developments in the Caucasus, the Anatolia news agency reported. The meeting between Aliyev, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu and Ambassador Unal Cevikoz, the deputy undersecretary for the Caucasus and Central Asia, was held on Saturday following a Friday telephone conversation between Aliyev and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During Friday’s conversation Erdogan briefed Aliyev on normalization efforts between Turkey and Armenia, while Aliyev informed Erdogan about developments regarding the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Prime Minister Erdogan’s office said in a written statement. Ahead of their departure from Baku later on Saturday, Sinirlioglu told reporters that they explained Turkey’s views to Aliyev concerning both the normalization efforts between Turkey and Armenia and the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, without elaborating further. Asbarez/
ARF Slams Protocols as ‘Dangerous’ for Armenia YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation, in a statement issued Tuesday, slammed the draft protocols for the establishment and development of relations between Turkey and Armenia, calling their provisions “dangerous.” The protocols were issued Monday by the foreign ministries of the two countries and Switzerland. ARF Bureau member Hrant Markarian denounced the protocols as “unacceptable,” in an interview with RFE/RL. “I regret that our president is going to sign a document he has no right to sign,” Markarian told RFE/RL. “In the next two months we will do everything to inform the public about the essence of the agreement and issues hidden in it,” he said. Markarian told RFE/RL that these concessions alone would not lead Ankara to reopen the Turkish-Armenian border. “I think it is a bit naïve to expect that state [Turkey] to subordinate Azerbaijan’s interests to its relations with Armenia,” he said. “Maybe there is another, hidden agreement whereby during the next two, three or six months the Karabakh conflict will be ‘solved.’ So [that means] all of Turkey’s three preconditions have been accepted.” Upon the announcement of the protocols, the ARF Bureau and the Supreme Council of Armenia convened an emergency session and issued the following statement: On August 31, 2009 protocols on the establishment and development of relations between the republics of Armenia and Turkey were officially announced. Armenia and Armenians entered a new phase, which is encumbered with numerous threats and danger. It was about these very concerns that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation continued to warn from the onset of the political process by intermittently expressing the following positions: a. As neighboring states, Armenia and Turkey are bound to take steps to normalize relations. However, good neighborly relations can be established between the two countries only when Turkey recognized the Armenian Genocide and reestablishes the rights of the Armenian people. The establishment of relations without preconditions and lifting of the blockade were mere first steps. b. The proposal by Armenia to establish relations without preconditions can be deemed a serious concession c. It is unacceptable to establish relations with Turkey at the expense of our government’s sovereignty and viability, as well as the national rights of our future generations. Based on these principles, the ARF on several occasions warned that Turkey is leveraging the entire process to benefit its own interests (impeding the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide effort, a pro-Azeri resolution to the Nargorno-Karabakh conflict) and is communicating with Armenia through obvious and veiled preconditions. It is already evident that the published documents contain the well-known preconditions of the Turkish side. That is, to call into question the veracity of the Armenian Genocide and to invalidate the unwavering rights of the Armenian people. Furthermore, immediately following the release of the protocols, Turkey, through official statements, reiterated its third precondition: it will not undertake any steps that would contradict Azerbaijan’s interests. This means it is continuing to use the Karabakh issue as a precondition for the Armenia-Turkey process. The ARF continues to insist that the foreign policy of Armenia has veered from its national doctrine and predictable developments will have irreversible consequences. With these considerations, during this domestic deliberation stage, the ARF will utilize all means to expose the existing dangers within the protocols in an effort to neutralize them. We call on the Armenian people and the political forces in Armenia to properly assess the Armenia-Turkey relations process with its negative consequences and, in the most unified manner, deter the possible irreversible losses. Armenian Revolutionary Federation September 1, 2009 Yerevan Asbarez/
ANCA Warns Capitol Hill About Dangers Of ‘Protocols’ WASHINGTON—The Armenian National Committee of America Tuesday shared with Members of Congress the reservations of the Armenian American community regarding a recent set of secretly-negotiated, Swiss-brokered, protocols between Turkey and Armenia regarding the normalization of their bilateral relations. In a September 1 memo to Senate and House offices, ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian reviewed these concerns, alerted these offices to the undue pressure applied to Armenia to accept dangerous concessions, and informed legislators on both sides of Capitol Hill about Turkey’s rapid backtracking from even the minor commitments it had undertaken in these agreements. In the note, Hamparian stressed that, “Among [the ANCA's] primary concerns is that Armenia, blockaded by Turkey and under intense economic and diplomatic pressure, was forced into accepting terms that threaten her interests, rights, safety, and future – very notably in the form of a proposed ‘historical commission.’” He added that, “This provision, a tactic long pursued by Ankara to cast doubt on the historical record of the Armenian Genocide, is intended to serve Turkey’s drive to roll back the growing tide of international recognition of this crime against humanity. There can be no enduring relationship between Armenia and Turkey that is not built upon the foundation of Turkey’s acceptance of a true and just resolution of this crime.” The memo closed with a set of four ANCA recommendations for U.S. policymakers, including both Presidential and Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide. The full text of the ANCA memo is provided below. To: Foreign Affairs Legislative Aide From: Aram Hamparian, Executive Director Date: September 1, 2009 RE: Reservations regarding Turkey-Armenia protocols I am writing to note that our community is seriously concerned regarding the substance of the recently signed Protocols between Armenia and Turkey, to share with you our alarm over the pressure applied to Armenia to accept dangerous conditions that prejudice the security of Armenia and the rights of all Armenians, and, finally, to inform you of Turkey’s nearly immediate backtracking from its commitments in these agreements. Among our primary concerns is that Armenia, blockaded by Turkey and under intense economic and diplomatic pressure, was forced into accepting terms that threaten her interests, rights, safety, and future – very notably in the form of a proposed “historical commission.” This provision, a tactic long pursued by Ankara to cast doubt on the historical record of the Armenian Genocide, is intended to serve Turkey’s drive to roll back the growing tide of international recognition of this crime against humanity. There can be no enduring relationship between Armenia and Turkey that is not built upon the foundation of Turkey’s acceptance of a true and just resolution of this crime. It’s worth noting that, at the same time that Turkey is seeking to gain credit internationally by appearing open to dialogue, its government is enforcing Article 301 and other laws criminalizing even the discussion of the genocide. Just hours after yesterday’s signing of this secretly-negotiated deal, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, had already started walking away from his country’s commitment to end its 16-year-old blockade of land-locked Armenia, a country that rose from the ashes of Ottoman Turkey’s genocidal campaign during and after the first Word War. Here is Mr. Davutoglu’s quote, as reported by AP, and a Wall Street Journal report on Turkish and Azerbaijani resistance to opening Turkey’s border with Armenia. ”Ahmet Davutoglu said, however, that opening the border was out of the question for now, “A longer process is required for that,” he was quoted by Turkey’s NTV television station as saying Monday.” –Turkey Armenia agree to establish diplomatic ties Associated Press, August 31, 2009 “[Davutoglu's] comment on Tuesday reflected strong opposition to opening the border with Armenia in both Turkey and Azerbaijan, opposition that could still delay or derail reconciliation. – Azerbaijan Casts Doubt on Turkey-Armenia Pact Wall Street Journal, September 1, 2009 In what has become a troubling pattern – at the expense of U.S. credibility and Armenia’s very viability – the Turkish government is once again playing a double game: Claiming public credit, on the one hand, for progress on Turkey-Armenia relations, while, on the other, assuring Azerbaijan that Ankara will only lift its blockade with Baku’s approval. This duplicity complicates the prospects for the actual establishment of Turkey-Armenia ties and undermines prospects for a durable peace in Nagorno Karabakh. The lack of good faith by Ankara underscores the need for decisive action on the part of our government: 1. The President should honor his repeatedly stated pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide. 2. The Obama-Biden Administration must affirm that it will not, in any way, support a “historical commission” or any other effort calling into question the Armenian Genocide. 3. The State Department must hold Turkey accountable for its failure to honor its commitments. 4. The U.S. Congress should move quickly to pass the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.252. Asbarez/
Davutoglu Says Border Opening ‘Out of the Question’ ANKARA (Combined Sources)—Turkey’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday, immediately after the announcement of protocols by his and his Armenian counterpart’s offices, that opening the border was out of the question for now. “A longer process is required for that,” he was quoted by Turkey’s NTV television station as saying Monday. In the same interview Davutoglu said that Turkey would “guard” Azerbaijan’s interest during its reconciliation with Armenia, saying in comments that “our aim is to establish stability in the Caucasus.” His comments reflected the strong opposition to the opening of the border with Armenia in Turkey and Azerbaijan. Turkish opposition forces have already denounced the protocol. Davutoglu said that “recognizing borders” was an important element of the protocols on “Establishment of Diplomatic Relations” and “Development of Bilateral Relations” “Recognizing borders in line with the international norms stemming from Kars agreement is a basic element. Without that, we cannot talk about being neighbors,” Davutoglu said. Commenting on the six-week internal political process that started with the protocols, Davutoglu said an agreement would be signed by the end of such period. Both Davutoglu and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed Tuesday, that the final word on moving forward with relations rested on the Armenian and Turkish parliaments. Without legislative approval, envisioned after the signing of the draft protocols, there would be no development of ties. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan said Tuesday it did not expect Turkey to re-open its border with Armenia until the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolved. Azeri foreign ministry spokesman Elkhan Polukhov told AFP that Baku was confident Ankara would not agree to open the border without a deal on Nagorno-Karabakh. “Azerbaijan’s position is based on numerous statements from high-ranking officials in Turkey on the question of opening the Armenian-Turkish border,” he said. “Opening the border without the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would contradict the interests of Azerbaijan,” he said. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu reiterated Tuesday in an interview with broadcaster NTV that Ankara would safeguard Baku’s interests while setting up ties with Armenia and could re-open the border if the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute is resolved soon. Asbarez/
Schiff Calls on Turkey to Recognize Genocide WASHINGTON—Reacting to the Monday’s announcement of protocols for the establishment and development of relations between Armenia and Turkey, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said true reconciliation will occur when Turkey recognizes the Genocide. “While I welcome what may be an important step in the rapprochement between Armenia and Turkey and hope that the upcoming talks result in a swift opening of full diplomatic and commercial relations between Ankara and Yerevan, as well as a reopening of the border, I have serious concerns about some provisions of the protocols accompanying the announcement,” said Schiff on Tuesday. “In particular, I was deeply disappointed to see that the protocols call for the creation of an historical commission to review the events of 1915-23. This is a thoroughly discredited idea; there is no dispute among scholars that the Armenian people were the subject of genocide during the waning days of the Ottoman Empire and an historical commission is another effort to obfuscate the truth,” added Schiff. “Turkey cannot be allowed to re-write this tragic part of its history as a price for normal relations with Armenia. To do so means acquiescence in a charade that demeans the memory of so many victims,” explained the Congressman. “True reconciliation between the Armenian and Turkish peoples will occur when Turkey acknowledges the genocide that was committed by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians from 1915 – 1923. The Armenian Genocide, the first genocide of the 20th Century, resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children and the sorrow that the Armenian people carry in their hearts cannot be healed by diplomatic relations alone,” reaffirmed Schiff. Asbarez/
US, EU Hail Protocols as Sarkisian Upbeat about Ties YEREVAN (Combined Services)—Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian said on Tuesday the agreement with Turkey to establish diplomatic relations could boost bilateral ties, as the US and EU hailed the protocols on establishing and developing relations. “The signing of the protocols has brought Armenia closer to the possibility of settling bilateral ties with Turkey,” Sarkisian said at the opening of an annual meeting of the country’s diplomatic corps. “We have made an attempt to settle relations with our neighbor in a decent way, as befits the civilized 21st century. I think the protocols do provide such a possibility,” the Armenian president said. The United States late Monday welcomed the announcement of protocols by Armenia and Turkey to establish diplomatic ties, saying it was “ready to work closely” with both sides in support of improved relations. “The United States warmly welcomes the joint statement made today by Turkey and Armenia,” said State Department spokesman Ian Kelly, referring to the plans to establish diplomatic relations and re-open their border in a bid to end decades of mutual distrust and resentment. “It has long been and remains the position of the United States that normalization should take place without preconditions and within a reasonable timeframe,” Kelly was quoted by AFP as saying in a statement. “We remain ready to work closely with both governments in support of normalization, a historic process that will contribute to peace, security and stability throughout the region.” French President Nicolas Sarkozy also welcomed the announcement, saying in a statement that “normalizing relations between Armenia and Turkey would constitute an event of historic import that would contribute to regional stability.” The United States, France and Russia co-chair the OSCE Minsk Group, which was set up in 1992 to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peacefully. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana hailed the agreement between Armenia and Turkey to establish diplomatic ties as a “crucial step” towards ending their decades-long dispute. “I welcome yesterday’s agreement between Turkey and Armenia to start internal political consultations… for establishing diplomatic relations,” Solana was quoted by AFP as saying in a statement. “This is a crucial step towards normalization of bilateral relations, which would greatly contribute to peace, security and stability throughout an important region of Europe,” he added. The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, also welcomed the diplomatic progress made. “This agreement should contribute to peace and stability in the South Caucasus,” EU commissioners Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Olli Rehn said in a separate statement. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe “warmly” welcomed the deal between the two OSCE members. “The establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia will be a positive step not only for the southern Caucasus region but also for the region at-large,” said Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, whose country currently holds the OSCE presidency. Asbarez/
ARF Warns of Dangers for Armenia and Karabakh YEREVAN (Yerkir)—Calling it a retreat from generations of struggle and a disgrace, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, at a rally Wednesday, warned of the dangers emanating from the Armenia-Turkey normalization process as outlined by the protocols announced earlier this week. The rally was organized to mark the 18th anniversary of Karabakh’s independence. Speaking to the thousands gathered at Yerevan’s Aznavour Square, ARF Bureau member Vahan Hovannesian expressed the unequivocal rejection by his party of the protocols for establishment and development of relations between Armenia and Turkey, which were announced on Monday. He warned that the documents did not reflect the aspirations of Armenia and were guided by elements that, in the long run, would benefit Turkey and its interests in the region, including the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and its aspirations for membership in the EU. Hovannesian pointed out that the Armenian authorities have agreed to further concessions in a process that was supposed to have been advanced without any preconditions, as articulated on numerous occasions by Armenia’s leaders. “No matter how extensively our and US officials contend that talks on Turkish-Armenian relations are proceeding without preconditions, Turkey has not abandoned them and has adeptly managed to construct the entire negotiations package around its preconditions,” said Hovannesian. He outlined that the provisions of the protocols have weakened the process to attain international recognition for the Genocide and are effectively forcing the recognition of the anti-Armenian Kars Treaty, to which Armenia was not a signatory. “We view as careless efforts by the Armenian President and Foreign Minister to seek a quick resolution through negotiations. Our people will pay a very high price for that,” warned Hovannesian, enumerating Turkey’s gains and Armenia’s losses since the announcement of the so-called “roadmap” agreement on the eve of the 94th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Hovannesian stressed that the ARF has never been against the reopening of the Turkish-Armenian border. However, he said the party can by no means agree to “the price the Armenian authorities are willing to pay” for meeting Turkey’s preconditions. “We say ‘yes’ to the establishment of diplomatic relations without any preconditions. However, in their present form, the Protocols are unacceptable and must be revised,” Hovannesian stated. The same sentiments were echoed by ARF Supreme Council of Armenia chairman Armen Rustamian, who also discussed the party’s position on the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process. He said that the current negotiations process are also pressuring Yerevan to agree to a hasty agreement, through which withdrawal of liberated territories surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is stipulated without security guarantees and the demand for determination of a new status, which goes counter to democratic norms, since Karabakh has already determined its status through popular vote. ARF parliamentary bloc member Ara Nranyan also discussed Armenia’s domestic situation, outlining socio-economic reforms to strengthen Armenian society and national interests. Asbarez/
Turkey to Push International Actors for Swift Move on Karabakh ANKARA (Hurriyet)–Promising its closest ally Azerbaijan that it won’t leave it in the lurch, Turkey will try to press influential countries to let them push for a swift resolution on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “To be able to turn this normalization [between Turkey and Armenia] into permanent peace, we are expecting a forthwith settlement on the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan with the contributions of the international community,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters late Tuesday. As stated in the joint statement issued by Turkey and Armenia, under Swiss mediation, the two countries will complete internal political deliberation on the signing of the two protocols for the establishment of relations within six weeks. Then the two countries will have to complete parliamentary ratification processes to let the protocols enter into force. If there are no delays, the process is expected to be completed before the end of this year or early 2010. However, Turkey continues to hinge the normalization of its relations on Armenia to what it calls improvements on the Nagorno-Karabakh track. Ankara earlier assured Azerbaijan that it would not open the border with Armenia unless the Karabakh Armenian territories liberated from Azeri rule during the conflict are not returned to Baku’s control. Turkey has already launched a new diplomatic initiative for mobilizing international actors in this regard, according to sources. Davutoglu held a long phone conversation with the foreign minister of France and the US Secretary of State, and the two French and US members of the Minsk Group, tasked with settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The issue was already largely discussed with Russia, the third member of the Minsk Group. Davutoglu will continue to discuss the issue with his counterparts on every occasion, Hurriyet said, citing unnamed sources. The issue will also be on the agenda of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to the UN General Assembly late September. The Foreign Ministry is also trying to arrange bilateral meetings with the United States, France and Russia with Erdogan, who also hopes to take the issue to the G-8 meeting in Pittsburgh at the end of this month. One of Ankara’s short-term expectations is to let Armenia and Azerbaijan agree on an interim agreement for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. A meeting between the leaders of the two countries is scheduled for November 8 in Moldova during the summit of the Commonwealth of the Independent States. Accompanied with this deal, Ankara is stating that the reconciliation process between the three countries will require Armenia to accept an agree to the return of the liberated territories to Azeri rule. Asbarez/
ARF Western US Statement On Proposed Armenia-Turkey Protocols The Armenian Revolutionary Federation of the Western United States comes before the Armenian nation to express its profound concerns on the so-called protocols for the normalization of bilateral relations between Armenia and Turkey. The ARF, as one of the oldest Armenian national organizations outside the Armenian Church, has always advocated the establishment of not only diplomatic but friendly diplomatic relations between the Armenian and Turkish Republics. However, these relations cannot be based upon a capitulation of Armenian national rights arising from the Genocide committed against the Armenian nation that decimated its population, destroyed its cultural heritage and usurped its ancestral homeland. First, the so-called “Protocols” provide for a clear surrender of Armenian national rights by recognizing the “inviolability of Turkish territory,” significant parts of which have a cloud over their lawful title. Included within this “territory” are large parts of modern Turkey that had been lawfully awarded to and recognized to be part of the Armenian Republic in 1920 and earlier. Much of that territory has been illegally taken from the Armenian nation through force, coercion and through the use of internationally condemned illegal and wrongful means. Second, the clause referring to the parties agreeing to “refrain from pursuing any policy incompatible with the spirit of good neighborly relations,” is objectionable for its vagueness and hidden objectives. This clause will be interpreted by Turkey as meaning that Armenia will abandon its support for the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide and its lawful entitlement to territorial and compensatory reparations from Turkey. Conversely, it is the ARF’s view that this clause must explicitly require Turkey to immediately and forever cease its shameful and reprehensible campaign of denying the Armenian Genocide and at evading its obligations for reparations to the Armenian people. Third, the “Protocols” pointedly stipulate that Armenia must agree to “implement a dialogue on the historical dimension… including an impartial scientific examination of historical records and archives to define existing problems…” This deceitful and most dangerous clause is a flagrant attempt to turn the obvious 94 year old political and legal controversy of the Armenian Genocide into an historical controversy. The fact of the Genocide has never been doubted by impartial historians and is reflected in the firsthand testimonies of not only its witnesses and its victims, but even in the testimony of its perpetrators dating back to post war Turkish tribunals and to the recent autobiographical revelations of Talaat Pasha’s own diary entries. Any agreement which entrusts political entities to re-undertake a “scientific examination” of the Genocide is a dangerous ploy, as well as an insult to the one and half million Armenian victims and to their survivors and progeny who have been dispossessed of their patrimony and their millennial old ancestral homeland. This, the Armenian nation cannot and will not accept. Was it not only a year ago that the U.S. State Department, in a letter signed by Acting Assistant Secretary of State Matthew A. Reynolds, affirmed its official policy to then Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joseph Biden when it stated: “Our goal is to help archivists protect the evidence of the past so that future generations will have the documentation of the mass killings and deportation of Armenian committed by Ottoman soldiers and other Ottoman officials in 1915. Our goal is not to open a debate on whether the Ottomans committed these horrendous acts; it to to help preserve the documentation that supports the truth of those events…the Administration recognizes that the mass killings, ethnic cleansing, and forced deportations of over one and half million Armenians were conducted by the Ottoman Empire. We indeed hold Ottoman officials responsible for those crimes.” We look to the Armenian government to take heed of the official public policy expressed by the United States government in July of 2008 and not be trapped, coerced or otherwise blackmailed into negating its own Genocide. History will not look favorably upon the authors of such a monumental disaster. Once again we look forward to the establishment of good relations with Turkey, but those relations cannot be based on lies and upon coercion, but must begin with acknowledgment of the mistakes of the past and the proper measure of atonement to a create an honest atmosphere of true good faith if we are ever to get on with our children’s futures. The Armenian government cannot and is not allowed to compromise the truth, to surrender our rights, and to endanger our national security. September 1, 2009 Central Committee Of The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Of Western United States Asbarez/
Ter-Petrosian Says Turkish-Armenian Deal ‘A Step Forward’ YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—The Armenian National Congress gave late Tuesday a mostly positive assessment of an agreement paving the way for the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations, while rejecting one of its key provisions. The Congress and its top leader, former President Levon Ter-Petrosian, have previously harshly criticized President Serzh Sarkisian’s conciliatory policy toward Turkey, saying that it has earned Armenia no tangible benefits. Some Congress representatives are also highly critical of a potentially ground-breaking statement issued by the Armenian, Turkish and Swiss foreign ministries on Monday. The opposition alliance’s official reaction to the development was more positive. “The normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations stems from the interests of the two countries and peoples as well as peace and stability in the region,” the alliance said in a statement. “The protocols on the establishment of diplomatic relations and development of bilateral ties mark substantial progress in that direction.” The Congress at the same rejected as “unacceptable” the establishment of a Turkish-Armenian panel of experts tasked with looking into the 1915 Genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, which is envisaged by one of the draft protocols. Echoing the views of many in Armenia and its Diaspora, it said the very existence of such a body “calls into question the reality of the Armenian genocide.” The Congress also expressed concern about another provision whereby the Turkish-Armenian agreements will take effect only after being ratified by the parliaments of the two countries. It said that allows Ankara to indefinitely delay the reopening of the Turkish-Armenian border. Asbarez/
Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Voice Concerns Over Protocols Co-Chairmen Raise Reservations about Turkey’s Willingness to Honor its Commitments Call for New Era of Armenia-Turkey Relations Based on Truth, Justice, Peace and Cooperation WASHINGTON–The Co-Chairmen of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today expressed their reservations regarding Turkey’s willingness to cooperate in the implementation of its agreements under a set of recently signed protocols on the normalization of Turkey-Armenia relations, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). In a public statement, the two legislators called into question several points related to the protocols, including Turkey’s pattern of using its ongoing dialogue with Armenia as a “stall tactic” to delay the lifting of its illegal 16-year blockade of Armenia. The Co-Chairman also noted their concern regarding Turkey’s efforts to impose preconditions, stressing that: “Normalization of relations should take place without preconditions.” In a clear rebuke to the “historical commission” long advanced by Turkey, they set forth their view that: “Any attempt to include a review of historical fact, such as the Armenian Genocide, or to include the ongoing Nagorno Karabakh peace process into these negotiations stands in direct opposition to the intent of these talks.” The leaders of the Armenian Caucus closed their statement by expressing their hope that, “Turkey, by lifting its illegal blockade, will open the door to normalized relations between Yerevan and Ankara, and a new era of Armenia-Turkey relations based on truth, justice, peace and cooperation.” Earlier this week, Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), the lead author of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, expressed “serious concerns about some provisions of the protocols,” stating that “In particular, I was deeply disappointed to see that the protocols call for the creation of an historical commission to review the events of 1915-23. This is a thoroughly discredited idea; there is no dispute among scholars that the Armenian people were the subject of genocide during the waning days of the Ottoman Empire and an historical commission is another effort to obfuscate the truth.” Rep. Schiff went on to state that “True reconciliation between the Armenian and Turkish peoples will occur when Turkey acknowledges the genocide that was committed by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians from 1915 – 1923.” On Tuesday, the ANCA circulated a memo to Members of Congress, noting that “among primary concerns is that Armenia, blockaded by Turkey and under intense economic and diplomatic pressure, was forced into accepting terms that threaten her interests, rights, safety, and future – very notably in the form of a proposed ‘historical commission.’” The memo went on to note that “This provision, a tactic long pursued by Ankara to cast doubt on the historical record of the Armenian Genocide, is intended to serve Turkey’s drive to roll back the growing tide of international recognition of this crime against humanity. There can be no enduring relationship between Armenia and Turkey that is not built upon the foundation of Turkey’s acceptance of a true and just resolution of this crime.” Armenian Americans began expressing their concerns to Members of Congress through an ANCA WebFax campaign urging lawmakers to call for an investigation into State Department pressure on Armenia to agree to the inclusion of a ‘historical commission’ – an affront to descendants of Armenian Genocide victims and survivors around the world.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACTS: Tali Israeli (Pallone) 202-225-4671 September 3,2009 Aaron Winters (Kirk) 202-225-4835 Lawmakers Issue Statement On Normalization Of Relations Between Armenia And Turkey Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Remain Concerned with Turkey’s Cooperation Washington, D.C. — U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) and Mark Steven Kirk (R-IL), Co-Chairmen of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, released the following statement today regarding the recent development that Armenia and Turkey will renew their efforts to normalize relations. Armenian and Turkish diplomats on Monday agreed upon two protocols, which establish the framework of talks aimed at a formal agreement on bilateral and diplomatic relations. A six-week deadline has been set for both the Turkish and Armenian governments to conclude consultations and for their respective parliaments to ratify the protocols. Once ratified, a two-month timetable has been set for the opening of the common border. In addition, the protocols include a timetable for the establishment of an intergovernmental commission. The commission would provide an impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archives in order to define existing problems and formulate recommendations. “As co-chairs of the Armenian Caucus, we support the aim of Monday’s development between Armenia and Turkey to move toward normalizing relations. We believe it is essential that the two countries do so without preconditions and in a timely manner. “While we are optimistic that efforts are being renewed to lift the Turkish blockade and establish relations between the two countries, we remain concerned with Turkey’s willingness to cooperate in the matter. On July 30, along with 80 Members of Congress, we sent a letter to President Obama expressing our concern that the Turkish government will once again stall progress on these efforts. Only weeks after announcing the historical agreement to work towards normalization with Armenia, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan steered his country away from the negotiations by placing preconditions on normalization. Once again, we fear that Turkey will use the recent developments as an excuse to continue stall tactics, which prevent a truthful working relationship between the two nations. We are concerned with certain provisions of the protocols, which may include preconditions to opening the border between Armenia and Turkey. Normalization of relations should take place without preconditions. Any attempt to include a review of historical fact, such as the Armenian Genocide, or to include the ongoing Nagorno Karabakh peace process into these negotiations stands in direct opposition to the intent of these talks. We remain hopeful that Turkey, by lifting its illegal blockade, will open the door to normalized relations between Yerevan and Ankara, and a new era of Armenia-Turkey relations based on truth, justice, peace and cooperation. By coming to terms with the past and reconciling any current conflicts, Turkey and Armenia will help bring more stability to a volatile and strategic region of the world.” Asbarez
Azerbaijan Wants Turkey To Keep its Promise BAKU (Combined Sources)–Azerbaijan signaled on Thursday that a further alignment of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process with the current Armenia-Turkey negotiations was taking place in revealing comments that follow the release of protocols by Armenia and Turkey aimed at establishing relations by year’s end. “This issue was discussed last week during a telephone conversation between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Ilham Aliyev and Azerbaijan has once again stated its position,” Novruz Mammedov, a senior aide to Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, said on Thursday commenting on the announcement of the Armenia-Turkey protocols. Armenia and Turkey said Monday they will sign accords on diplomatic ties after six weeks of domestic consultations and submit them to their respective parliaments for ratification, after which the border is expected to be opened within two months of ratification, possibly by New Year. Azerbaijan, a supplier of oil and gas to the West, opposes the opening of borders between Armenia and Turkey without Yerevan quitting its support for the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, over which Baku seeks to regain control. Mammedov told Azeri ANS television in comments posted on its website on Thursday that the Turkish- Armenian rapprochement was contrary to Azeri national interests. But he added: “I believe that before the border is opened, there could be movement in resolving the conflict, and certain agreement.” Mediators from the United States, France and Russia have for months said they were close to clinching an agreement on the basic principles of a peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Karabakh. The OSCE Minsk Group has been pushing for a speedy resolution of the conflict before October to secure similar gains in the Armenia-Turkey track. But analysts have been skeptical of a breakthrough, citing a flawed mediation approach that ignores the conflicts core issues–namely that of the Nagorno-Karabakh peoples’ right to self determination,and Azerbaijan’s culpability in launching and losing a war of aggression. That the two conflicts are being packaged together into what is increasingly looking like one all-encompassing deal is also cause for skepticism that mediators will reach a sustainable solution to either issue. Mammedov said that for Azerbaijan, “the main thing is that the opening of the [Turkish-Armenian] border should not contradict” its interests and “that certain movement should be achieved in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.” A resolution to the Karabakh conflict, he reiterated, “depends on the [Armenia-Turkey] negotiation and on conditions made in the negotiations.” “It is necessary for the Turkish side to keep its promises,” he added. Asbarez/
Ohio Elections Panel Hears Krikorian-Schmidt “Blood Money” Case COLUMBUS, Ohio (Combined Sources)–The Turkish government covertly funneled campaign money to an Ohio congresswoman in return for her denial of the Armenian Genocide, Armenian American congressional candidate David Krikorian and his high-powered attorney argued at a state hearing Thursday. U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt, a Republican, wants the Ohio Elections Commission to find that Krikorian violated election law when he said in campaign materials during the 2008 campaign that she had accepted “blood money” from the Turkish government in return for her genocide denial. Schmidt and Krikorian, who plans to challenge her again in 2010, were both questioned during Thursday’s proceedings. Schmidt said she has not accepted money from the Turkish government, while Krikorian, based on research and other publications, said Schmidt was taking Turkish government money through back channels in return for her genocide denials. Krikorian said Turkish interests, which are trying to fend off a congressional resolution recognizing the genocide, were trying to reward Schmidt for her public position in denial of the genocide. After roughly seven hours of testimony Thursday, the commission ran out of time and will resume the hearing in October. The commission is first trying to establish whether it can be proved that the Turkish government, or government-sponsored political action committees, gave money to Schmidt. If the commission decides there is no proof, it must then determine whether Krikorian made the statements in a reckless disregard of the truth. Donald Brey and Bruce Fein, attorneys for Schmidt, argued that Krikorian was reckless and should have been able to distinguish between campaign contributions from Turkish people and PACs versus money directly from the Turkish government, which is illegal. But during the hearing, Krikorian’s lawyer, California attorney Mark Geragos, used e-mails and other documents to show how $30,000 in campaign money was solicited – and possibly laundered – via lobbyists, Turkish businessmen and other “registered foreign agents” of Turkey. Geragos’ team of lawyers flipped through an inch-thick file of exhibits linking Turkish political action committees to Turkish coalitions, corporations, a legal defense fund headed by one of Schmidt’s lawyers and various members of Congress. As a free-speech issue, Geragos said, Krikorian merely has to prove he was diligent and not reckless in claiming Schmidt took tainted Turkish contributions. Schmidt testified that she has “never received money from a foreign government including the government of Turkey. … I was not raising money from the Turkish government.” But Geragos said Krikorian had already proven that Schmidt had received money from Turkish interests, but that at the next hearing he would present evidence of a direct link. “I called it ‘blood money,’” Krikorian testified of his 2008 campaign claims. “I believe that it is. I stand by everything that I wrote in the last election.” Krikorian’s defense still seeks to cross-examine Barry Bennett, Schmidt’s chief of staff, and Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower. In her four-hour deposition Aug. 8, Edmonds described Turkish attempts to bribe and blackmail other members of Congress. Edmonds is out of the country, so Krikorian will get another chance to call her as a witness on Oct. 1. Krikorian ran as an independent against Schmidt for the 2nd Congressional District in 2008 and plans to try again next year as a Democratic candidate. Asbarez/
"Let's Learn Tolerance Through English": Armenian And Turkish Students Communicate Across Cultural Boundaries 31/08/2009 On July 31 teenagers and teachers who participated in the international camp “Let’s Learn Tolerance through English” met with Her Excellency Marie L. Yovanovitch, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Embassy reports. The Camp, in which 15 Armenian, 19 Turkish and 10 American students ages 14-17 took part, was implemented July 19-31 in Canakkale with the support of the US Embassies in Armenia and Turkey. The participation of the 15 Armenian students (plus 3 Armenian teachers) was organized by “The Future is Yours” NGO. The aim of the camp was to help the students and teachers to communicate across cultural boundaries and understand each other better. For that purpose, they engaged in interactive programs using multi-cultural literature from the United States to teach English. Students were given opportunities to learn English and learn about each other’s respective cultures. Different interactive events, English language courses, and intercultural meetings were organized for the students. The Armenian participants presented their Armenian culture through dances, a performance and a presentation. They had an opportunity to visit Troy, Asos and Gelibolu (Edirne) during their stay in Turkey. Source: Panorama.am
International Conference: The Armenian Genocide & International Law Press Release By The Swiss Federal Department Of Foreign Affairs, The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Of The Republic Of Armena And The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Of The Republic Of Turkey Press release by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey Bern, Yerevan, Ankara, 01.09.2009 - The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey have agreed to start their internal political consultations on the two protocols - the "Protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations" and the "Protocol on the development of bilateral relations" - which have been initialled in the course of their efforts under Swiss mediation. The two Protocols provide for a framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations within a reasonable timeframe. The political consultations will be completed within six weeks, following which the two Protocols will be signed and submitted to the respective Parliaments for the ratification on each side. Both sides will make their best efforts for the timely progression of the ratification in line with their constitutional and legal procedures. The normalization of bilateral relations will contribute to regional peace and stability. The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey are committed to pursuing their joint efforts with the assistance of Switzerland. Adresse für Rückfragen: Presse- und Informationsdienst Bundeshaus West CH-3003 Bern Tel.: +41 (0)31 322 31 53 Fax: +41 (0)31 324 90 47 E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch www.eda.admin.ch/eda/de/home/recent/media.html
We Do Not Consider Recognition Of Genocde Precondition: Armenian President, Today.Az Aug 31 2009 The Turkish and Armenian Presidents will meet if the border is opened or countries are close to make this decision, the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said in an interview with BBC's Russian service. "I will go to Turkey for this football match if our border is opened or we are on the eve to achieve it," Sargsyan said. Term 'football diplomacy' appeared a year ago when the Turkish President Abdullah Gul arrived in Yerevan. A formal cause was a football match between teams of the two countries. The return football match will be held in Turkey in mid-October. "We have agreements. I think that a normal, correct way for sides to fulfill their agreements. Unfortunately, I have not seen any great wiling or strive to fulfill these agreements," Sargsyan said. He said that the Armenian still favors establishing relations without preliminary terms. "We have not considered recognition of genocide as a preliminary term to establish relations," Sargsyan said.
Edward Nalbandyan: New Process In Armenian-Turkish Relations Under Way, Information-Analytic Agency News.Am Sept 2 2009 Armenia "The Armenian President's policy initiated a process of new quality in the Armenian-Turkish relations. As a result, a step was made welcomed by the entire international community," RA Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan told today's news conference on the Protocols initialed by Armenia and Turkey. Nalbandyan said that the international community urges Armenia and Turkey to honor agreements and sign the Protocols as soon as possible, which will establish peace and stability in the region. The Armenian Foreign Minister said that Armenia initiated the process, wishing to open a new page in its relations with Turkey. He expressed hope that Ankara has a similar wish. Nalbandyan stated Armenia is ready to continue the process, and "we will see Turkey's behavior." As to whether Turkey may frustrate the process, Nalbandyan stated that nothing can be ruled out. "The whole world is inclined to follow one way, and if one of the sides follows a different way, it opposes itself to the rest of the world," Nalbandyan said. On August 31, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Ministries of Armenia and Turkey issued a press release, which says: "The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey have agreed to start their internal political consultations on two protocols -the 'Protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations' and the 'Protocol on the development of bilateral relations'
Melikyan: Karabakh Not A Price To Pay For Reconciliation, Information-Analytic Agency News.Am Sept 2 2009 Armenia Arman Melikyan, NKR Former Foreign Minister and Former Presidential Candidate, called the issued Protocols an "intriguing progress". Meanwhile authorities try to regard the recent developments as a victory for Armenian side, one should not prematurely "kick up heels or get the blues". The current process is nothing but ratification of Kars treaty. Melikyan stated that logical continuation of Armenian-Turkish border will be withdrawal of Russian troops from Armenia. It is not surprising, as Russia welcomes the bilateral efforts to normalize bilateral relations. Asked to comment on Karabakh problem in the context of Armenian-Turkish relations, Mekiyan said: "Karabakh should not be a price to pay for these relations." He supposes Azerbaijani side will do anything to hinder the process, but it changes nothing. According to him, there are scenarios to Karabakh conflict resolution. Whatever seemed impossible yesterday is possible today. Melikyan underlined that war can resume any time.
Serge Sargsyan's Message, Lragir 02/09/2009 On The Occasion Of Karabakhi Independence Day The past 18 years re-approved the irrevocability of the decision taken in 1991. Today the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh is a country with its own structures, army and the most important with its citizens ruling their own destiny. The Republic of Armenia as well as all the Armenians of the whole world have always been and will be Artsakh's rear. I assure the citizens of Artsakh as well as the whole Armenian nation that the settlement of the Karabakh conflict will exceptionally be agreed with Karabakhi people. Dear Artsakhi people, We owe this victory to people who became immortal giving their lives for their homeland and freedom. I again congratulate you on the occasion of this holiday and wish you well-being, happiness and courage.
Russia's Mfa Says Protocol Does Not Threat Interests Of Third State, Panorama.Am 02/09/2009 Russia approves Armenia's and Turkey's preparedness to start in-house discussions addressed to the regulation of ties, Russia's Foreign Ministry's PR department reports. "Armenia and Turkey are relative countries for us. The advancement between their relations is natural and long desired. We'd be happy to find that those discussions, which are in-house problems of those states, result in substantive agreements," message writes. According to the message the protocols, their content have been well discussed in Moscow and came to a conclusion that "both Yerevan and Ankara should decisive enough. Note that neither part of the protocol threats the interests of any third state," Russia's MFA official message says. "Russia's official representatives have been always calling on their Armenian and Turkish colleagues to regulate the problems in pragmatic way," message writes.
AAA Released A Statement On Protocols Between Turkey And Armenia 03.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Armenian Assembly of America (AAA) issued a statement in regard to the protocols between Turkey and Armenia. The full text of the statement, sent to PanARMENIAN.Net, particularly says: On August 31, 2009, the foreign ministries of Armenia, Turkey and Switzerland announced protocols to be signed within six weeks to establish diplomatic relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey and to open the border. Normalization of relations without preconditions This announcement is consistent with the U.S. position that normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey proceed without preconditions. Armenian authorities have also made it clear that no preconditions means just that - no linkage to progress on the Nagorno Karabakh peace talks and no conditions on affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, or debating whether a genocide occurred through a commission-style process. The incontestable fact of the Armenian Genocide is internationally recognized, and Turks and Armenians have previously commissioned in 2003 an independent analysis through the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), which concluded that the events of 1915 constituted genocide. The Armenian Assembly supports normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey without preconditions. The United States has spoken clearly about the need for Turkey to lift its blockade and establish diplomatic relations with Armenia. Turkey's lifting of its blockade against Armenia and opening the border is not only long overdue but obligated under international treaties. For this long-awaited effort to succeed, it is incumbent that the United States require Turkey to adhere to its commitments with respect to Armenia. Unequivocal affirmation of the Armenian Genocide While the August 31st announcement represents an important step, experience has shown that reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey requires Turkey t th its past. President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have all spoken eloquently on the need to recognize the Armenian Genocide. We could not agree more and urge President Obama and the U.S. Congress to unequivocally affirm the Armenian Genocide. In so doing, the United States will honor a proud chapter in U.S. history in helping to save the survivors of the first genocide of the twentieth century. Turkey's track record of broken promises The Armenian Assembly views as encouraging the commitments made by the government of Turkey to normalize relations with Armenia without preconditions. However, we recall Turkey's ample track record of unfulfilled promises. As such, many remain skeptical as prior governments of Armenia had also offered to normalize relations with Turkey without preconditions only to be rebuffed. Moreover, it is of particular concern that on the same day as the joint statement released by the Armenian and Turkish foreign ministries regarding the start of consultations to establish diplomatic relations that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu sent mixed signals. Foreign Minister Davutoglu not only indicated that the opening of the border would be "a long process," but also stated that Turkey would guard Azerbaijan's interests. These pronouncements by Turkey's Foreign Minister not only breach the spirit of framework just announced, but also directly contradict U.S. policy "that normalization should take place without preconditions and within a reasonable timeframe." Normalization of relations within a reasonable timeframe The U.S. government has urged "Armenia and Turkey to proceed expeditiously, according to the agreed framework..." The protocols set specific time limits and the international community expects Turkey to fulfill its commitments through measurable results and in good faith to normalize relations with the Republic of Armenia. The protocols also call for consultations and parliamentary debate, which we expect, will be vigorous a onducted with respect and dignity.
ANCC Released A Statement On Protocols Between Turkey And Armenia, 03.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) issued a statement in regard to the protocols between Turkey and Armenia. The full text of the statement, sent to PanARMENIAN.Net, particularly says: On August 31st, 2009, the foreign ministers of Armenia, Turkey and Switzerland issued a joint announcement outlining the protocols that will guide the establishment and development of relations between Turkey and Armenia. The Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) would like to express its serious concerns regarding this recent development. The ANCC finds the content of the Protocols unacceptable, because of the concessions made therein, which seriously threaten the interests, rights, safety and future of the Republic of Armenia and of the Armenian people in general. The Protocols are clearly the result of ongoing pressure exerted on Armenia to make concessions as preconditions to opening the border between Armenia and Turkey and to establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries. In particular, the Protocols call the two countries to create a "sub-commission on the historical dimension to implement a dialogue with the aim to restore mutual confidence between the two nations, including an impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archives to define existing problems and formulate recommendations..." The ANCC believes that this will be used by Turkey to cast doubt on the historical record of the Armenian Genocide. The word Genocide is in fact absent from the Protocols. By doing so, there is a tendency to find a political solution to this crime against humanity, to ignore the legal basis for the recognition on the international level and to promote a solution that serves the political interests of Turkey. Moreover, the undertaking by Turkey of a genuine dialogue is questionable, given the current denialist policy that the Government of Turkey is pursuing. Within i it is carrying out the legal prosecution of those who dare discuss the Armenian Genocide (Under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, making it illegal to insult Turkey, the Turkish ethnicity, or Turkish government institutions). On the international level, it continues the worldwide campaign of the denial of the Armenian Genocide including the lobbying among other places, in the U.S Congress and the Canadian Parliament at great expense. Furthermore, the Protocols' language regarding mutual recognition of existing borders, non-intervention, territorial integrity and inviolability of frontiers may also be used by Turkey to preclude the reparations in regard to legitimate claims based on international law, as well as to counter and distort current negotiations for a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict. ANCC believes that there should not be any such pre-conditions to the establishment of diplomatic relations and opening of the border. Normal and neighbourly relations between Armenia and Turkey can only be based on Turkey's acceptance of the Armenian Genocide, and on a true and just resolution of this crime. Attaching such pre-conditions to the establishment of diplomatic relations and to the opening of the border demonstrates a clear lack of good faith on the part of Turkey in choosing a path that leads to true neighbourly relations. On behalf of the Armenian community of Canada, the ANCC wishes to express opposition to these developments. Developments that ignore the rights of the Armenian nation as a whole, which are based on historical facts and international law. "This announcement was imminent and we should not consider it as a surprising move, given the April 22, 2009 announcement of a provisional roadmap. The protocols issued on August 31st are vague and unbalanced, in favour of Turkey. It proves that there is a lack of commitment to establish a permanent peace between the two nations and a desire to hinder work toward the worldwide recognition of the Armenian Genocide." said the president of the Armenian N e of Canada, Dr. Girair Basmadjian. The ANCC favours the normalization of the ties between Armenia and Turkey but without sacrificing the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the rights of the Armenian people. As Canadians where our Senate in 2002, our House of Commons in 2004 and our Government in 2006 have recognized the Armenian Genocide, we feel insulted: these Protocols ignore the recognitions taken in Canada as well as in other countries throughout the world and promote the campaign that is aimed at hindering similar future decisions of recognition. The ANCC encourages the Canadian Government to urge the Turkish Government to face up to and come to terms with its own history by recognizing the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Young Turks on the eve of the demise of the Ottoman Empire
Creation Of Intergovernmental Committee Of Historians - Unacceptable For Armenia, 02.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ In connection with recently signed Protocols between Armenia and Turkey, Armenian National Congress (ANC) has released a statement which says that Armenian-Turkish rapprochement is in the interest of both states, as well as regional and global security. Bilateral Protocols mark tangible progress in Armenian-Turkish rapprochement, activists say. However, ANC disapproves plans for creating an intergovernmental committee of historians, as that may question the fact of Armenian Genocide. ANC members express concerns that ratification of documents by two countries' parliaments may enable President Sargsyan to share RA Parliament's responsibility with regard to border opening, whereas Turkey may delay ratification process, refusing to open Armenian-Turkish border because of unresolved NKR conflict.
ANCA Shares Reservations Regarding Protocols With Us Congress, 02.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) shared with Members of Congress the reservations of the Armenian American community regarding a recent set of secretly-negotiated, Swiss-brokered, protocols between Turkey and Armenia regarding the normalization of their bilateral relations. In a September 1, 2009 memo to Senate and House offices, ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian reviewed these concerns, alerted these offices to the undue pressure applied to Armenia to accept dangerous concessions, and informed legislators on both sides of Capitol Hill about Turkey's rapid backtracking from even the minor commitments it had undertaken in these agreements. In the note, Hamparian stressed that, "Among [the ANCA's] primary concerns is that Armenia, blockaded by Turkey and under intense economic and diplomatic pressure, was forced into accepting terms that threaten her interests, rights, safety, and future - very notably in the form of a proposed 'historical commission.'" He added that, "This provision, a tactic long pursued by Ankara to cast doubt on the historical record of the Armenian Genocide, is intended to serve Turkey's drive to roll back the growing tide of international recognition of this crime against humanity. There can be no enduring relationship between Armenia and Turkey that is not built upon the foundation of Turkey's acceptance of a true and just resolution of this crime."
There's No Mention Of Kars Agreement In Armenian-Turkish Rapprochement Protocols, 02.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Joint statement of RA and Turkey as well as protocols on establishment of diplomatic relations clearly state that the parties respect international norms and principles. There's no mention of Kars agreement in Armenian-Turkish rapprochement protocols, and there's no need to look for something the documents simply don't contain, RA Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian told a news conference in Yerevan. "As we repeatedly stated, intergovernmental committee to be created will discuss all issues on Armenian-Turkish relations. The committee will include several subcommittees, one of them in charge of restoration of trust between the two countries," RA FM emphasized. According to him, Negotiations with Ankara did not include discussions on Armenian Genocide, neither was the issue mentioned in protocols.
Edward Nalbandian: On August 31 Ra -Turkish Relations Reached An Important Phase, 02.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ On August 31 RA -Turkish relations reached an important phase. The year started with a new stage of relations. Despite difficulties, Yerevan and Ankara managed to demonstrate political will to move forward, RA Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian told a news conference in Yerevan. "The world approves of RA-Turkish rapprochement. Superpowers urged Turkey and Armenia to move on and fulfill agreements entered within shortest terms. I hope, we'll make progress, as the rapprochement is supported by the whole world," RA FM noted. Edward Nalbandian also noted that though Yerevan and Ankara reached an important phase, the process requires serious efforts. "Armenia wants to normalize ties with Turkey. We're ready to fulfill agreements entered. Time will show if both parties will be able to fulfill them," RA FM stated. Armenian government repeatedly stated that in case agreements are reached between Armenia and Turkey, the agreements will be submitted to public discussion. "Armenian people understand that eternal enmity with Turkey is against our interests," RA FM emphasized.
Ra President's Statement Introduced Activeness In Armenian-Turkish Process, 02.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ "Recent activeness in Armenian-Turkish process and the Protocols signed between two states resulted from President Serzh Sargsyan's speech delivered during the meeting with his Serbian colleague. Thereafter, Turkish political system started searching for response to our President's statement," YSU lecturer, Turkish studies expert Ruben Melkonyan told today a press conference in Yerevan. At the current stage, Turkey is attempting to resolve problems it has been facing for several decades, the speaker finds. Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party is considered a political force which not only fights for problematic issues but also tries to solve them, as seen by heated discussions over Kurdish problem and the issue on opening border with Armenia," Melkonyan stressed, adding that one of reasons Turkish ruling party signed the document was to save the country's image vs. avoiding internal problems.
Adam Schiff: Real Armenian-Turkish Conciliation Will Happen When Turkey Recognizes Genocide, Noyan Tapan - Armenians Today September 2, 2009 Washington Adam Schiff, a Congressman from the Democratic Party, a member of the Armenian Caucus greeted the agreement reached between Armenia and Turkey meanwhile expressing serious concerns over some provisions of the presigned protocols. According to Radio Liberty, the pro-Armenian Congressman spread a statement, in particular, expressing disappointment that the "protocols call for creating a commission of historians to study the events of 1915-23." "It is an entirely discredited idea: there is no dispute between scientists that a genocide was committed towards the Armenian people in the days of Ottoman Empire's decline, and a commission of historians is a regular attempt to veil the truth," Schiff's statement read. "Turkey should not be permitted to proofread that tragic part of its history for normal relations with Armenia," the pro-Armenian Congressman mentioned. "A real conciliation between the Armenian and Turkish peoples will happen when Turkey recognizes the genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians in 1915-23."
According To Anc, Protocols On Establishment Of Diplomatic Relations And Development Of Bilateral Relations Between Armenia And Turkey Are Considerable Advance In That Direction YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 2, NOYAN TAPAN. The Armenian National Congress Central Office has made a statement presenting its estimation to the agreement reached by Armenia and Turkey on starting domestic political consultations over two protocols presigned during negotiations conducted with the mediation of Switzerland (Protocol on Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between the Two Countries and Protocol on Development of Bilateral Relations). Mentioning that normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations is in the interests of the two countries and peoples, as well as in the interests of regional peace and stability, ANC states that the protocols on establishment of diplomatic relations and on development of bilateral relations between Armenia and Turkey are a considerable advance in that direction. Meanwhile ANC considers inadmissible the provision on creation of an intergovernmental commission of Armenian and Turkish historians, which casts a doubt on the fact of the Armenian Genocide. "The condition of ratification of the mentioned documents by the two countries' parliaments causes anxiety, it gives Serzh Sargsyan a possibility to share with the parliament the responsibility of creating the commission and Turkey to delay the issue of ratification with the motivation of Nagorno Karabakh problem's being not settled, and thus to delay the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border," the ANC statement read.
ARFD Displeased With The Latest Developments In Armenian-Turkish Rapprochement Process, Arminfo 2009-09-02 ArmInfo. ARF Dashnaktsutyun is displeased with the latest developments in the Armenian-Turkish rapprochement process, says the press service of the party. The package of documents aimed at developing Armenian-Turkish relations means that Armenia and the Armenian people have entered a new stage fraught with numerous risks. ARFD has warned of them from the very beginning. The party believes that Armenia and Turkey, as neighbors, should take steps to normalize their relations but good neighbor relations between Armenia and Turkey can be established only when Turkey recognizes the Armenian Genocide and restores the rights of the Armenian people. ARFD says that the establishment of diplomatic relations without preconditions and the opening of the border are just the first steps to this end. Armenia's proposal to establish relations without preconditions is a huge concession as it is. ARFD does not accept normalization at the expense of existence of sovereign and viable state and the national rights of the future generations. Turkey has placed this process at the service of its own interests and is speaking with Armenia in language of open and hidden preconditions. "It is obvious that the published documents contain the well-known conditions of the Turkish party, particularly, the fact of the Armenian Genocide is doubted, and the Armenian people's rights having no period of limitations are being brought to naught", the statement stresses. Furthermore, ARFD thinks that after publishing the specified documents Turkey continues repeating its third precondition at the official level, i.e. Ankara will take no steps contradicting the interests of Azerbaijan, "that is it continues conditioning the Armenian-Turkish process by the Karabakh problem". ARF Dashnaksutyun continues insisting that the foreign policy of Armenia deviated from the national state line and the forecasted processes may lead to irreversible consequences. "We call on the Armenian society, political forces of Armenia to correctly assess the process of normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, possible negative consequences and rule out any possible irreversible consequences by maximal solidarity",- the statement says.
Russia Hails Improvement In Armenia-Turkey Relations, Armradio.Am 02.09.2009 Moscow welcomes Armenia and Turkey's intention to normalize bilateral relations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. "We hope that an improvement in relations between the two neighbors will revitalize bilateral trade and economic contacts and will have a positive impact on the socio-economic situation of both states," the ministry said in a statement. It added that a better relationship between Armenia and Turkey "will help normalize the situation in the region and strengthen peace and security."
RF Foreign Ministry Has Positive Attitude To Armenian-Turkish Rapprochement 02.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ "RF Foreign Ministry has positively accepted Armenia and Turkey's willingness to start internal coordination process with the purpose of signing Protocols on 'Establishing Diplomatic Ties' and 'Developing Bilateral Relations' ", RA MFA Press and Information Department says in a release. "Armenia and Turkey are our friends. We perceive current rapprochement as a normal process expected for a long time. We'll be happy if current consultations between two states result in a substantive arrangement. As shown by preliminary analysis of draft protocols, elements and implementation time-limits, Ankara and Yerevan are serious and determined about studying the issues under consideration. Let's note that none of steps envisaged by those documents can be interpreted as harmful to a third party," says the statement. Russian Foreign Ministry finds that the recent serious and mutual efforts undertaken by Armenian and Turkish leaderships create real chances for changing current situation and starting constructive cooperation after a long period of freezing. "We hope that improvement of ties between two neighbors will liven up trade-economic relations and positively affect social-economic situation in both states, especially in times of global financial recession. Russian official representatives constantly called on Armenian and Turkish partners to resolve existing conflicts within such pragmatic logic. It is also important to proceed further with Armenian-Turkish rapprochement process. That will objectively contribute to improving situation in the region and strengthening peace and security," says the release of Russian Foreign Ministry.
Turkish Premier: Armenian-Turkish Protocols Need Two Parliaments' Approval01.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Protocols on "Establishing Diplomatic ties between Armenia and Turkey" need approval by two countries' Parliaments, Turkish Prime Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. According to Turkish official, those documents cannot be considered valid unless they are approved by Armenian and Turkish legislators.
Press Release Of Ministries Of Foreign Affairs Of Republic Of Turkey, Republic Of Armenia And Swiss Federal Department Of Foreign Affairs States News Service, August 31, 2009 The following information was released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey: The Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Armenia have agreed to start their internal political consultations on the two protocols -the "Protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations" and the "Protocol on the development of bilateral relations" - which have been initialled in the course of their efforts under Swiss mediation. The two Protocols provide for a framework for the normalization of the bilateral relations within a reasonable timeframe. The political consultations will be completed within six weeks, following which the two Protocols will be signed and submitted to the respective Parliaments for the ratification on each side. Both sides will make their best efforts for the timely progression of the ratification in line with their constitutional and legal procedures. The normalization of the bilateral relations will contribute to regional peace and stability. The Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Armenia are committed to pursuing their joint efforts with the assistance of Switzerland.
Turkish And Armenian Presidents To Meet If Border Is Opened: Serzh Sargsyan, Trend Aug 31 2009 The Turkish and Armenian Presidents will meet if the border is opened or countries are close to make this decision, the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said in an interview with BBC's Russian service. "I will go to Turkey for this football match if our border is opened or we are on the eve to achieve it," Sargsyan said. Term 'football diplomacy' appeared a year ago when the Turkish President Abdullah Gul arrived in Yerevan. A formal cause was a football match between teams of both countries. It gave cause to think that the border between Turkey and Armenia will be opened and the countries will launch a process of reconciliation. However, Yerevan has recently accused Ankara of freezing this process. A football match will be held in Turkey in mid. of October. The Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is likely to attend the match. "We have agreements. I think that a normal, correct way for sides to fulfill their agreements. Unfortunately, I have not seen any great wiling or strive to fulfill these agreements," Sargsyan said. He said that the Armenian side's willing to establish interrelations without preliminary terms remains. "We have not considered recognition of genocide as a preliminary term to establish interrelations, Sargsyan said.
New Protocols Set Ground For Turkey, Armenia Common Future, Hurriyet Sept 1 2009 With the second half of 'football diplomacy' just weeks away, Turkish and Armenian leaders are pledging to sign protocols that will usher in a new era of open relations between the two countries. The future isn't certain, however, as the parliaments and presidents on both sides of the border will need to ratify the agreements before they can come into force FOOTBALL DIPLOMACY: Hopes escalate for Armenian President Serge Sarkisian to attend a football match in Turkey in October. After decades of tension between the neighbors, Turkey and Armenia are set to sign protocols that promise to shape a broad common ground for establishing good ties and undertaking joint projects important for future development. The two countries are expected to ink two protocols in six weeks, likely just before the World Cup qualifying match that will take place in Bursa on Oct. 14 between Turkey and Armenia's national teams. The first protocol, covering the establishment of diplomatic relations, and the second, on the development of relations, are accompanied by an annex that sets a clear timetable for the implementation of both. Though uncertainties remain, the agreements envision the opening of the Turkey-Armenia border within two months after the second protocol goes into force, which requires approval from both parliaments and presidents. "[Turkey and Armenia] reconfirm their commitment, in their bilateral and international relations, to respect and ensure respect for the principles of equality, sovereignty, non-intervention in internal affairs of other states, territorial integrity and inviolability of frontiers," the first protocol reads. The initial part of the agreement also touches on the issue of regional stability without making direct reference to the ongoing dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Azerbaijani territory occupied by Armenian forces. Refraining from the use of threats or force, promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms are also key provisions in the protocol. Borders to be recognized Under the agreement, the two countries will also affirm their mutual recognition of their existing border, as defined by relevant treaties in international law, a provision that directly refers to one of Turkey's most important demands, Armenia's acknowledgement of the 1921 Treaty of Kars that delimited the border. This aspect of the protocol can be seen as Armenia's confirmation that it will no longer make any claims on Turkish territory. The next item of the protocol once again affirms the countries' decision to open the common border, which was sealed by Turkey in response to Armenia's occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh. Previously, Turkey had said it would not move toward reconciliation with Armenia unless the country removed its forces from Azerbaijani lands. "Condemning all forms of terrorism, violence and extremism irrespective of their cause, pledging to refrain from encouraging and tolerating such acts and to cooperate in combating against them," are among the other terms of the protocol. As Turkish intelligence services believe that Armenia is one of the countries providing support to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, Turkey will press Armenia to severe any links with the banned organization. The protocol on the development of relations lists a number of fields in which the two countries will work to launch joint projects. In addition to political and economic ties, Turkey and Armenia will set up sub-commissions to work on energy- and transportation-related efforts, as well as other scientific, technical and cultural issues, that will foster a common future based on mutual interests. Projects set to be launched in the short term include the reactivation of existing railroads and joint electricity production. In another reference to the peaceful settlement of regional disputes, the protocol text says the countries are "reiterating their commitment to the peaceful settlement of regional and international disputes and conflicts on the basis of the norms and principles of international law." Under the new agreements, Turkey and Armenia will also work together to stop transnational organized crime, including the illicit trafficking of drugs and arms. Initiating a historical dialogue In addition to the main aims of the two protocols, the neighboring countries have also agreed to set up a sub-commission to deal with the mass killings that occurred during the World War I era. The sub-commission will be able to invite foreign experts to contribute to its work. It is charged with implementing "a dialogue on the historical dimension with the aim to restore mutual confidence between the two nations, including an impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archives to define existing problems and formulate recommendations." The two countries will also cooperate in the fields of science and education by encouraging relations between appropriate institutions and promoting the exchange of specialists and students, and will act to preserve the cultural heritage of both sides by launching joint cultural projects. The timetable After negotiations are completed, the protocols are expected to be signed in the first half of October and will then be sent to Parliament for further discussion. The final approval of the protocols must be made by President Abdullah Gul. It is not yet known how long it may take to complete the ratification process. The protocol calls for the border to be opened within two months of the documents' entry into force, meaning that if Gul approves them on Nov. 1, for example, the border would have to be opened before the New Year. The two countries will also establish a working group headed by their respective foreign ministries to prepare an intergovernmental commission, along with a number of sub-commissions, that will be convened within three months after the protocol goes into effect. The sub-commissions will convene a month after the initial intergovernmental meeting. Uncertainty over Karabakh Though a key step in the reconciliation process, the protocols do not address all the questions marks in the relationship between the two countries. After Turkey and Armenia declared their initial "road map" for reconciliation on April 22, Baku's strong reaction caused Ankara to backpedal and declare that it would only move forward if Armenia withdrawals from occupied Azerbaijani lands. The current protocol does not address this issue. Turkish diplomats say there are still two parallel tracks, but thus far, the implementation is not showing that to be the case.
Turkey To Normalize Ties With Armenia After Full Resolution Of Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: FM, Today.Az Sept 1 2009 Azerbaijan Turkey wants to normalize relations with Armenia, but also wants full normalization of relations in the South Caucasus, including Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkey wants to go beyond establishing ties with Armenia and normalize relations across the South Caucasus, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Reuters on Monday. Davutoglu also spoke of opening the border between Armenia and Turkey's Muslim ally Azerbaijan. He did not specify any other borders. "We want to normalize our relations with Armenia, but we also want full normalization of relations in the South Caucasus, including Nagorno-Karabakh," he said. "This would provide a stable, sustainable peace and stability in our region. The Caucasus has already suffered a lot from ethnic tension and frozen conflicts," he said. "We know very well from our experiences in the Caucasus and Balkans that frozen conflicts are like bombs in our hands and if we cannot control them, they could blow up in our hands," the minister said. "We hope that the international community after this step will focus on frozen conflicts in the region, especially Nagorno-Karabakh," Davutoglu added.
Dashnaksutun: Documents Signed Between Turkey, Armenia Not To Ensure Real Establishment Of Diplomatic Ties, Today.Az Sept 1 2009 The latest initiative to normalize Armenia-Turkey ties is just a game by Turkey to keep Armenia in the game, chief of 'Ay Dat' bureau and Dashnaksutun party member Kiro Manoyan said. He said the documents signed are not guarantees for real establishment of diplomatic relations. "The current initiative was triggered by an interview of President Serzh Sargsyan with BBC in which he stated that Turkey does not respect agreements and was put into practice on the eve of the planned visit of Armenian President to watch football match between the two countries," Manoyan said. He disagreed with the view that Turkey has taken this step to get reciprocal concessions from Armenia on the Karabakh issue. He said Ankara did not pursue this goal in this case.
A Look At Issues Dividing Neighbors Armenia And Turkey, Washington Examiner Sept 2 2009 (AP) Issues dividing neighbors Armenia and Turkey, which announced Monday they would establish diplomatic relations for the first time: GENOCIDE: Bitterly divided by killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I, which many scholars consider first genocide of 20th century. Armenia wants it recognized as one of worst humanitarian atrocities. Turkey denies it constituted genocide, contending toll has been inflated and dead were victims of civil war and unrest that killed Muslims as well as overwhelmingly Christian Armenians. ___ NAGORNO-KARABAKH: Disagree over Nagorno-Karabakh, predominantly ethnic Armenian region of Azerbaijan controlled by separatists. Turkey closed border with Armenia in 1993 in solidarity with ally Azerbaijan, with which Turks share common language, culture and religion. Move hurt landlocked Armenia's economy. ___ SLAYING OF TURKISH DIPLOMATS: Relations strained by murders of dozens of Turkish diplomats in 1970s and '80s by extremists seeking to expand Armenian homeland in eastern Turkey and vengeance for slayings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks. Militants also attacked Turkish Airlines counter at Paris's Orly Airport in 1983, killing eight people and wounding 56.
Turkey-Armenia Hostility Thaws After 100 Years, Press Tv, Sept 2 2009 Iran Turkey and Armenia have agreed on a protocol which could result in reopening of the border between the two long-time foes by the end of the year. The two countries have announced that they would sign accords within six weeks under a plan to end a century of hostility. According to an unofficial translation of the protocol released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the two countries have agreed to establish ties in various areas. Turkey and Armenia have also agreed to support each other in international bodies, including the United Nations. Ankara and Yerevan have agreed to open the Turkey-Armenia border within two months after the implementation of the protocol, Turkey's Yenisafak newspaper reported. "If everything goes as planned, if mutual steps are taken, the borders could be opened around New Year," Reuters quoted Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as saying. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in solidarity with Muslim ally Azerbaijan, which was fighting Armenian-backed separatists in the breakaway mountain region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenians also accuse Turkey of committing a massacre against 1.5 million of their kin between 1915 and 1917 as the Ottoman Empire was falling apart. Turkey rejects Armenian claims that the killings amounted to "genocide", and says many people were killed on both sides of the conflict. The thaw in relations between Turkey and Armenia seems to have worried Azerbaijan, which may feel it is losing its traditional supporter, Turkey. Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry spokesman Elhan Polukhov has said that any Turkish move to open its border with Armenia before "the Armenian occupation of the Azerbaijani territory" is over would be contrary to the national interests of Azerbaijan.
Armenia-Turkey Deal A Big Leap, Saudi Gazette Sept 2 2009 Saudi Arabia ARMENIA and Turkey have taken a major step forward by agreeing to a plan for establishing diplomatic ties, experts said Tuesday, but the deal does not yet mark an end to decades of hostility. Domestic opposition, objections from Turkey's ally Azerbaijan and lingering distrust between the two countries could still derail their efforts to overcome nearly a century of acrimony, analysts said. Most nonetheless agreed that the creation of a timetable for establishing ties and reopening their long-sealed border was a historic moment. "It is a very, very serious step toward the completion of the negotiating process, and the questions of the border reopening and the establishment of diplomatic ties will be solved very soon... It is a matter of six months to a year," Yerevan-based political analyst Alexander Iskandarian said. The agreement announced Monday foresees the signing of two protocols on establishing diplomatic relations and developing bilateral ties following six weeks of "internal political consultations". Turkey has long refused to establish diplomatic links with Armenia over Yerevan's efforts to have World War I-era massacres of Armenians by Ottoman Turks recognized as genocide -- a label Turkey strongly rejects. Turkey also closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in solidarity with ally Azerbaijan over Yerevan's backing of ethnic Armenian separatists in the breakaway Nagorny Karabakh region. Analysts said the agreement of a precise timetable was a sign of the seriousness of the plan. "This is fantastic news, it seems these are very serious declarations, a very serious timetable," said Hugh Pope, a Turkey analyst for the International Crisis Group. "Huge progress has been made, starting with intellectuals and academics and then with some business people getting involved and even ex-officials have been trying to get Turkey away from the old nationalist rhetorics," he said. Washington and Paris Monday warmly welcomed the deal, which followed a year of Swiss-brokered talks and a historic visit by Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Armenia for a football match last September. Still, it is unclear how long the process of ratification could take and Turkey has already cast some doubts on the reopening of the border. "At the moment opening the border is not foreseen and it is not the priority," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Turkey's NTV channel late Monday. He later added that Turkey would take no action "that would hurt the interests of Azerbaijan". Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Elkhan Polukhov said Tuesday that Baku was confident Ankara would not agree to open the border without a deal on Nagorny Karabakh. "Azerbaijan's position is based on numerous statements from high-ranking officials in Turkey on the question of opening the Armenian-Turkish border," he told AFP. "The opening of the border without the settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict would contradict the interests of Azerbaijan." Turkey's immediate raising of Azerbaijan's interests following Monday's announcement could signal a step back on the border issue, Armenian political analyst Sergei Shakarian said. "The border will not be re-opened, not within six weeks or six months, or in two years, because the Karabakh issue will not be resolved within this time," he said. The agreement could also face strong domestic opposition in both countries, analysts said, and the ratification process could drag on. "It is a very positive development, but of course we cannot say that the thing is in the bag," former Turkish diplomat Ilter Turkmen told CNN-Turk television. "There is a long process ahead of us, first with six weeks of negotiations, then the ratification of the protocols before Parliament. There is no certainty over what will happen in parliament. It is likely that the opposition will oppose this project, that there will be long arguments."
Armenian Public Remains Divided On Relations With Turkey, Today's Zaman Sept 2 2009 While the government and its close circles seek to further normalize relations with Turkey, Armenian opposition groups are distancing themselves from the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations, claiming that Armenia will lose its dignity and position. Speaking to Today's Zaman, Alexander Iskandarian, director of the Yerevan-based Caucasus Institute, said Turkish-Armenian rapprochement should be evaluated at different levels of society. "Armenian government and pro-government forces," Iskandarian noted, "are very much supportive of the initiative. They believe this is a huge step forward in Armenian foreign policy." Talking about the opposition, Iskandarian was pessimistic, saying he does not expect it to lend its hand to bolster the initiative with Turkey. "The Armenian opposition is against relations between the two countries -- its sole reason being that they are in the opposition and need to criticize." Speculating about views held by the Armenian public, the Armenian expert said it is too early to say how the Armenian public will see the latest initiative. Speaking to a local TV station in Armenia on Monday, Artyom Yerkanian, an Armenian political expert, suggested that the agreement to establish ties could be signed at an October soccer match between the two countries to be held in Turkey. Turkish President Abdullah Gul visited Armenia in September 2008 to attend a soccer match between Turkey and Armenia, a move that has since been dubbed "soccer diplomacy." Armenian political expert and Caucasus Institute Deputy Director Sergey Minasyan spoke with the Azerbaijani Internet news portal Day.Az on protocols and bilateral relations between the two countries. The Armenian expert said, "Protocols made public by Armenia and Turkey first of all point to a new stage in the process of normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations and the willingness of the parties to continue the process, regardless of the complexity of the regional context." Richard Giragosian, head of the Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS), said, "Clearly, the recent increased diplomatic and political activity over the new Turkish-Armenian 'protocols' have brought a new sense of expectations and pressure on all sides." Stressing the importance of the agreement, Giragosian warned, "But for Armenia, there is an added pressure from the Armenian diaspora, which is now very concerned over any agreement on normalizing relations with Turkey." Noting that while the events of 1915 and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have always been a significant national issue for Armenians worldwide, there is also a new domestic political context, as the current Armenian government is under new pressure to ensure and protect the national interests and security of both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. In this way, this recent announcement will also pose a test for the Armenian leadership, as Armenians throughout the world will be closely watching and carefully listening to every gesture and each word in the weeks ahead." Pointing out that the biggest danger is likely to come from the opposition to halt the ongoing process, Giragosian said, "At the same time, the current Armenian government remains under constant attack by the country's opposition, thereby raising the stakes and increasing expectations as well as exacerbating the pressure already being exerted on Yerevan." Kiro Manoyan, a member of the Armenian opposition Dashnaktsutyun party, said the latest initiative to normalize Armenian-Turkish relations is just a Turkish ruse to keep Armenia in the game. "Signed documents are not guarantees for the real establishment of diplomatic relations," Manoyan told the Armenian press.
Turkey Takes Bold Step For Change Of Status Quo In Caucasus, Today's Zaman Sept 2 2009 Turkey The ongoing status quo in the Caucasus is not advantageous for Armenia, Azerbaijan or Turkey. Now Turkey, with its leading role based on its soft power, aims to change this status quo, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday. Davutoglu was speaking in an interview with the NTV news channel after Armenia and Turkey announced late on Monday that they have agreed to start internal political consultations on the two protocols --the "Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations" and the "Protocol on the Development of Bilateral Relations" -- which have been initiated in the course of their efforts under Swiss mediation. "The two protocols provide for a framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations within a reasonable timeframe. The political consultations will be completed within six weeks, following which the two protocols will be signed and submitted to the respective Parliaments for the ratification on each side. Both sides will make their best efforts for the timely progression of the ratification in line with their constitutional and legal procedures," the foreign ministries of Armenia, Switzerland and Turkey said in a joint statement which was released simultaneously. On April 22, Turkey announced that it had reached an agreement with Armenia on a roadmap for normalizing relations, drawing praise from the United States and deepening concerns in Azerbaijan. During a subsequent visit to Baku, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would not open its border with Armenia unless Armenia withdraws its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh, raising doubts over Turkish-Armenian reconciliation in the foreseeable future. Armenian leaders also criticized Erdogan for making the normalization of ties with Armenia conditional on a settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh and urged him not to interfere in the settlement process. Turkey was actually one of the first countries to recognize Armenia's independence in 1991. The two countries have been holding closed-door talks for around one-and-a-half years on ways to restore diplomatic relations and open their mutual border, closed by Turkey in 1993 in protest of the Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territory during a war over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The dispute is further complicated by Armenian claims of genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire during the time of World War I, a charge denied by Turkey. Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan and Turkish President Abdullah Gul are seen during Gul's visit to Yerevan last year. 'Big peace starts with big dreams' "The fact that peace is delayed doesn't remove the indispensability of that peace. All big peace starts with big dreams. The biggest obstacle in front of them is prejudice. There is a status quo in the Caucasus at the moment which is not useful any of the three countries -- Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. Expecting parallel developments in the Armenia-Azerbaijan dispute is part of our vision," Davutoglu told NTV. "A partial normalization will not be sustainable. There must be a comprehensive normalization in the region," the minister said, urging the international community to display political will for the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute. Davutoglu said the upcoming six weeks would be used to explain the details of the recent development regarding the normalization of Armenian-Turkish ties to political party leaders, calling it "an internal consultation process." The protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations can only enter into force after Parliament's approval, hopefully after the six weeks of political consultation. Even if Parliament approves the protocol exactly six weeks later, it will take an additional two months to enter into force. Ankara regards this period of time as an opportunity to achieve concrete progress regarding the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute. Right after his remarks concerning the internal consultation process, Davutoglu referred to the Organization for Security and Cooperation's (OSCE) Minsk Group, which has been mediating for one-and-a-half decades to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, and said he expected both the Minsk Group and the entire international community, including the European Union, to exert all kinds of efforts to achieve the resolution of the dispute between Baku and Yerevan. "Turkey's move is sending a very strong message to the international community; it showed great responsibility in trying to resolve the 17-year-old frozen conflict. We want the Caucasus peace to be a permanent item on agenda of the United Nations," Davutoglu said. Especially after this point, the international community should do its part and synchronized efforts should be exerted to resolve disputes in the South Caucasus, he added. Diplomatic sources told Today's Zaman that on Tuesday Davutoglu initiated a telephone conversation with his French counterpart, Bernard Kouchner, informing him of the recent developments, while calling for intensified efforts by the OSCE Minsk Group. France is one of the three co-chairs of the group along with Russia and the United States. Later on Tuesday, Davutoglu was expected to call his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, as well. He had already held a telephone conversation on the issue with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday evening. A common destiny, not a soccer game Prime Minister Erdogan, meanwhile, also stressed that the protocols which are planned to be signed with Armenia cannot enter into force without Parliament's approval. "This one of the steps we have taken during the process," Erdogan told reporters during a meeting with Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Å~^ahin at the latter's office. "There is a step for starting internal consultations. It will not be functional as long as it is not approved by the Parliament," he said. The boldest step in rapprochement efforts between the two estranged neighbors was taken when President Abdullah Gul visited Yerevan last September to watch a World Cup qualifying game at the invitation of his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarksyan. At the time, Gul invited Sarksyan to Turkey to watch the return game. Sarksyan has recently said he will not accept Gul's invitation to watch the match scheduled to be played in Bursa in around six weeks time, on the Oct. 14, unless Turkey takes "real steps" to reopen its border with Armenia. When reminded of Sarksyan's remarks and the coincidence about timing of the match, Davutoglu firmly denied any connection between the recent development and Sarksyan's remarks. "The recent development has no relation to Sarksyan's recent statements. Mr. Gul went to Yerevan for the match without any preconditions, we expect Mr. Sarksyan to show the same stance regarding the upcoming match in Bursa," Davutoglu said. The minister, meanwhile, referred to remarks delivered in May by Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, who at the time suggested that it was 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." "The ball is common, the pitch is common, the region is common and the destiny is common. What matters is not on which side of the pitch the ball is, what matters is the ball's direction," Davutoglu added. This is Ankara's will, Davutoglu firmly stated, when reminded of comments suggesting that Armenia and Turkey moved further in normalization efforts due to pressure from their common ally the US. "Please remember how we improved our relations with neighboring Syria. At the time we didn't bow to any kind of international pressure which tried to prevent us from holding talks with Syria. This is Ankara's will. Either today or tomorrow, the normalization of ties with Armenia will happen." In the autumn of 1998, Syria and Turkey came to the brink of war over the presence of the now-jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, in Syria. At the time, Turkish troops were marshaled along the border with Syria, with Ankara demanding that Damascus cease its support for the PKK and hand over Ocalan. -------------------------------------- Protocols outline mutual recognition of common border, dialogue on history Two protocols which Ankara and Yerevan announced they will sign within six weeks under a plan to normalize relations include provisions to help better explain to the public the course of affairs regarding the highly sensitive issue, which may be subject to ultra-nationalist rhetoric. The protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey "confirms the mutual recognition of the existing border between the two countries as defined by the relevant treaties of international law." Over years of non-dialogue, it has been assumed that the Yerevan administration refused to recognize the Gumru and Kars Agreements that established the Turkish-Armenian border in 1920 and 1921, respectively. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, speaking in an interview with the NTV news channel on Tuesday, underlined that the recognition of the borders was an important element of the recent development. The second protocol, the protocol on the development of relations between Armenia and Turkey, says that the two countries have agreed to "implement a dialogue on the historical dimension with the aim to restore mutual confidence between the two nations, including an impartial scientific examination of historical records and archives to define existing problems and formulate recommendations." The second protocol says that Armenia and Turkey have agreed on the establishment of an intergovernmental bilateral commission which shall form separate sub-commissions for the prompt implementation of the commitments mentioned in the operational paragraph 2, mentioned above, in the same protocol. The aforementioned paragraph highlights "Considering the perspective of developing their bilateral relations, based on confidence and respect to their mutual interests." "To prepare the working modalities of the intergovernmental commission and its sub-commissions, a working group headed by the two ministers of foreign affairs shall be created two months after the day following the entry into force of this protocol. Within three months after the entry into force of this protocol, these modalities shall be approved at the ministerial level. The intergovernmental commission shall meet for the first time immediately after the adoption of the said modalities. The sub-commission shall start their work at the latest one month thereafter and they shall work continuously until the completion of their mandates. Where appropriate, international experts shall take part in the sub-commissions," the second protocol says.
Armenian Diaspora Reflects Both Anger And Balanced Attitude, Today's Zaman Sept 4 2009 The tone of the reactions of two leading US-based Armenian diaspora organizations to the news of Armenia and Turkey's agreement to establish diplomatic relations and open their joint border differ considerably from each other, with one of them urging Washington to swiftly recognize the killings of Anatolian Armenians during the World War I as genocide while the other cautiously welcomed the news. Armenia and Turkey announced late on Monday that they have agreed to begin internal political consultations on the two protocols -- a protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations and a protocol on the development of bilateral relations -- which have been initiated through the course of efforts under Swiss-facilitated mediation. Only a day after the announcement, on Tuesday, the Washington-based Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) sent a memo to offices at both the US Senate and the House of Representatives, sharing with members of Congress the reservations members of the Armenian-American community have regarding the protocols. "ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian alerted these offices to the undue pressure applied to Armenia to accept dangerous concessions and informed legislators on both sides of Capitol Hill about Turkey's rapid backtracking from even the minor commitments it had undertaken in these agreements," ANCA announced. "Among [ANCA's] primary concerns is that Armenia, blockaded by Turkey and under intense economic and diplomatic pressure, was forced into accepting terms that threaten her interests, rights, safety, and future -- very notably in the form of a proposed 'historical commission.' This provision, a tactic long pursued by Ankara to cast doubt on the historical record of the Armenian Genocide, is intended to serve Turkey's drive to roll back the growing tide of international recognition of this crime against humanity. There can be no enduring relationship between Armenia and Turkey that is not built upon the foundation of Turkey's acceptance of a true and just resolution of this crime," Hamparian said. Hamparian was apparently referring to the protocol on the development of relations between Armenia and Turkey which says that the two countries have agreed to "implement a dialogue on the historical dimension with the aim to restore mutual confidence between the two nations, including an impartial scientific examination of historical records and archives to define existing problems and formulate recommendations." Another Washington-based diaspora organization, the Armenian Assembly of America (AAA), meanwhile, stated that the announcement by Armenia and Turkey is consistent with the US position that normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey proceed without preconditions. "Armenian authorities have also made it clear that no preconditions means just that -- no linkage to progress on the Nagorno-Karabakh peace talks and no conditions on affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, or debating whether a genocide occurred through a commission-style process," AAA said in a statement released Wednesday. "The Armenian Assembly supports normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey without preconditions. The United States has spoken clearly about the need for Turkey to lift its blockade and establish diplomatic relations with Armenia. Turkey's lifting of its blockade against Armenia and opening the border is not only long overdue but obligated under international treaties. For this long-awaited effort to succeed, it is incumbent that the United States require Turkey to adhere to its commitments with respect to Armenia," AAA said. Yet it also noted that it "recalls Turkey's ample track record of unfulfilled promises." "Moreover, it is of particular concern that on the same day as the joint statement released by the Armenian and Turkish foreign ministries regarding the start of consultations to establish diplomatic relations that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu sent mixed signals. Foreign Minister Davutoglu not only indicated that the opening of the border would be 'a long process,' but also stated that Turkey would guard Azerbaijan's interests," AAA noted. Armenian nationalists protest Turkey ties In Yerevan, meanwhile, around 1,000 Armenian nationalists protested on Wednesday against the historic thaw in relations with neighboring Turkey, underscoring the risks involved in the rapprochement. Nationalists in Armenia say there can be no thaw unless Turkey recognizes the World War I killings and deportations as genocide. Ankara rejects the term, saying many people died on both sides of the conflict. Police estimated some 1,000 supporters of the nationalist Armenian Revolutionary Federation, known as Dashnaktsutyun, protested outside the Foreign Ministry, holding the flags of Armenia and the breakaway mountain region of Nagorno-Karabakh. "This document puts into doubt the Armenian genocide, the question of compensation and the right to our historical homeland," said Dashnaktsutyun official Gegham Manukyan.
Armenian Authorities May Commit Gravest Political Blunder, Arf Rep States, Information-Analytic Agency NEWS.am Sept 3 2009 Armenia Mourad Papazian, Head of the West European Office of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) is concerned over the Armenia authorities' approach to the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and over the ensuring consequences. "The Armenian Cause is endangered. The Armenian authorities will commit the gravest political blunder since Armenia declared independence if they agree to a compromise with Turkey. And they seen to be ready to all compromises to normalize relations with Turkey and get the Armenian-Turkish border reopened. They are ready to make concessions over the Armenian Genocide, Nagorno-Karabakh problem and Armenian people's rights. Papazian said that "alarming of the very fact that both the sates decided to form a commission to study the cases related to the 1915 events (slaughter of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey), which is an indisputable fact not only for Armenia, but also for dozens of other countries, as well as experts, which recognized the fact of Armenian Genocide. Now, this fact has been challenged, and even by the Armenian Government. This is a most serious blow on the Armenian Cause, and a serious victory of Turkish diplomacy." Papazian also stressed that "the Armenian Government, Foreign Minister, as well as the President, have no right to speak on behalf of the Armenian nation without knowing the Armenian people's will. The Armenian Government's decision is an instance of political irresponsibility, which is by no means legitimate. It is extremely important that the Armenian President organize a pan-Armenian dialogue with the participation of communities, major Armenian organizations and political parties, as a split between the Armenian authorities and the Diaspora is inevitable." Summing up, Papazian called for accepting the stance taken by the "true representatives of the Armenian people." "It is inadmissible that Turkey is causing a split within the Armenian nation," he said.
CIA Atrocities Revealed To A National Shrug, by Ted Rall, Columbia City Paper, Sept 3 2009 We Have Met The Nazis, And They Are Us. NEW YORK--Nazis. Americans are Nazis. We are Nazis. Godwin's Law be damned--it's impossible to read the newly-released CIA report on the torture of Muslim prisoners without thinking of the Third Reich. Sadism exists in every culture. A century ago, for example, Western adventurers who visited Tibet reported that the authorities in Lhasa, that supposed capital of pacifism, publicly gouged out criminals' eyes and yanked out their tongues. But Nazi atrocities were stylistically distinct from, say, the Turkish genocide of the Armenians or the Rwandan massacres of the early 1990s. German war crimes were characterized by methodical precision, the application of "rational" technology to increase efficiency, the veneer of legality and the perversion of medical science. Nazi crimes were also marked by public indifference, which amounted to tacit support. Here and now, only 25 percent of Americans told the latest Pew Research poll that they believe torture is always wrong. "The CIA's secret interrogation program operated under strict rules, and the rules were dictated from Washington with the painstaking, eye-glazing detail beloved by any bureaucracy," observed The New York Times. We have much in common with the Germans. "In July 2002," the declassified report reveals, a CIA officer "reportedly used a 'pressure point' technique: with both of his hands on the detainee's neck, [he] manipulated his fingers to restrict the detainee's carotid artery." Another agent "watched his eyes to the point that the detainee would nod and start to pass out; then...shook the detainee to wake him. This process was repeated for a total of three applications on the detainee." The CIA's rinse-lather-repeat approach to torture is reminiscent of Dr. Sigmund Rascher's experiments at Dachau and a parallel project conducted by the Japanese Imperial Army's infamous Unit 731 in occupied Manchuria in 1942-43. Rascher, who was tried for war crimes after World War II, froze or lashed detainees nearly to death, then revived them over and over. German and Japanese doctors developed detailed protocols governing the severity of exposure to which inmates could be subjected--protocols seized by U.S. occupation forces and turned over to the OSS, predecessor of the CIA. So it was in the CIA's prisons at Guantánamo, Bagram, Diego Garcia, eastern Europe, Thailand and elsewhere. (Or, to be more accurate, so it is. Bush publicly banned torture in 2006, but we know it was still going on as of 2007. Obama supposedly banned it again earlier this year, but then his CIA director Leon Panetta told Congress the agency reserves the right to keep doing it. Until the entire secret prison network is dismantled and every single prisoner released, it would be absurd to assume that torture is not continuing.) \ Among the verbal treasures in the CIA papers is the "Water Dousing" section of the "Guidelines on Medical and Psychological Support to Detainee Rendition, Interrogation and Detention," which "allow for water to be applied using either a hose connected to tap water, or a bottle or similar container as the water source." Ah, the glorious war on terror. Detainees may be soaked in water as cold as 41 degrees Fahrenheit for as long as 20 minutes--no longer, no colder. For the record, the CIA's medical expertise is about as reliable as its legal and moral sense. Forty-one degrees is bracingly cold; 41 was the temperature of the Hudson River was when US Airways Flight 1549 crashed into it earlier this year. (Remember the ice floes?) "Generally, a person can survive in 41-degree water for 10, 15 or 20 minutes," Dr. Christopher McStay, an emergency room physician at New York City's Bellevue Hospital told Scientific American magazine. Like its Gestapo and SS antecedents, the CIA is highly bureaucratic. CIA employees were informed that "Advance Headquarters approval is required to use any physical pressures [against prisoners]." And those permissions came from the very top of the chain of command: the White House, which ordered the Office of Legal Counsel and other legal branches of the federal government to draft "CYA" memoranda. The memos, wrote Joshua L. Dratel in his introduction to "The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib," a compilation of memos authorizing torture of Muslim detainees reflect "a wholly result-oriented system in which policy makers start with an objective and work backward." Also reminiscent of Nazism is the utter absence of firewalls that has come to characterize the behavior of top government officials. Totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany corrupt the judiciary by using the courts to carry out political policy. Beginning under Bush and now under Obama, judicial independence has been eradicated. On August 28th The New York Times reported: "In July, Leon E. Panetta, the CIA director, tried to head off the investigation [of the CIA's torture program], administration officials said. He sent the CIA's top lawyer, Stephen W. Preston, to [the Department of] Justice to persuade aides to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to abandon any plans for an inquiry." There's a term for this: Obstruction of Justice. You're not supposed to try to influence the outcome of an investigation. It was count six of the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon. To Holder's credit, he has appointed a special prosecutor. To his discredit, the focus of the investigation is narrow: he will only go after officials who went beyond the Bush Administration's over-the-top torture directives (which allow, as seen above, freezing people to death). He does not plan to go after the worst criminals, who are the Bush Administration lawyers and officials, including Bush and Cheney themselves, who ordered the war crimes--much less those like Obama who are currently covering them up. He should change his mind. While he's at it, he should throw Leon Panetta in jail. Holder's brief currently involves just 20 cases, which include detainees who were murdered by the CIA. But even those will be tough to prosecute, reports The New York Times: "Evidence, witnesses and even the bodies of the victims of alleged abuses have not been found in all cases." Because, you see, the bodies were burned and dumped. They--the CIA--are Nazis for committing the crimes. And we are Nazis for not giving a damn. Only a third of Americans told the April 27th CBS News/New York Times poll that there ought to be an investigation of Bush-era war crimes--and they don't care enough to march in the streets, much less break a few windows. So few of my columns on torture have been reprinted by American newspapers or websites that I seriously contemplated not bothering to write this one. We have met the Nazis, and they are us. (Ted Rall, President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, is author of the books "To Afghanistan and Back" and "Silk Road to Ruin.")
Hulusi Kilic: We Expect Azerbaijan To Believe Turkey Under These Circumstances - Exclusive APA Sept 3 2009 Azerbaijan Baku. Elnur Mammadli - APA. Turkish ambassador to Azerbaijan Hulusi Kilic took a stance on the discussions concerning the protocols on normalization of Turkey-Armenia relations. To APA's question "What message can you send to Azerbaijani public after the recent developments?" ambassador said the statements made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Minister Davutoglu show the importance of the improvement in the processes aiming to ensure sustainable peace and stability in the Caucasus. "The negotiations held with Armenia can not damage Azerbaijan's interests. I believe that these negotiations will give impetus to the settlement of the problem of Nagorno Karabakh and the occupied territories. Moreover, as Prime Minister said for the protocols to be effective Turkish parliament should confirm them. We expect Azerbaijan to believe Turkey under these circumstances," he said.
Protocols' Consultations In Ankara, Information-Analytic Agency News.Am Sept 3 2009 Armenia Returning to Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan will initiate consultations on Armenian-Turkish Protocols. Erdogan is to decide who will be informed in details of reconciliation process, Hurriyet daily reports. According to the informed source, the priority will be given to the "Republican People's Party" (CHP) and the "Nationalist Movement Party" (MHP). Premier scheduled meetings with parties' leaders, as well as with mass media, NGOs representatives and intellectuals. Under Turkish diplomatic sources, the Protocols will be submitted for ratification by both states' Parliaments in six weeks. However it is needless, as this is merely one of Turkey's conditions.
Novruz Mammadov: "Turkish Newspaper's Disinformation About Azerbaijan Shocked Me", Apa Sept 3 2009 Baku. Lachin Sultanova - APA. "Disinformation about Azerbaijan published in Turkish newspaper shocked me. It is very sensitive moment. We expressed our position on the processes of normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations. But Turkish newspaper "Bu gun" spread absurd reports today", chief of the International Relations Department of Presidential Administration Novruz Mammadov told APA. He said it was impossible to understand reason and goals of this article. "It is not exception that there are some forces in Turkey and other countries, which try to cool Turkish-Azerbaijani relations and strategic partnership. I see it in Russia's Regnum agency. It is clear that who owns this agency and what goals they follow. Regnum's odious owner intends to put the region against Azerbaijan in his articles and thinks that he serves Russian interests with that. But this person is mistaken", said department chief. Mammadov noted that "Bu gun" newspaper reported that Azerbaijani president broke his visit to Georgia and return to the country to call emergency meeting of the parliament when reports about the protocols between Turkey and Azerbaijan were spread. "What does it mean? Who dares to write this? They said that Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a protocol and Azerbaijan was shocked and accused Turkey in betrayal and etc. It is not true. Such lies negatively impact on the public communities in both Turkey and Azerbaijan. Today I talked with Turkish ambassador Hulusi Kilic. The ambassador told me "take no note of it". Azerbaijan and Turkey have long history of friendship, brotherhood and strategic partnership. It can not be hurt by any Regnum's reports. But Turkish media's reports hurt me". Mammadov said "Bu gun" newspaper reported that Azerbaijani parliamentarians visited Turkey regarding the last developments. "The visit was planned two months ago. I send a message to Azerbaijani and Turkish communities not to believe to such lying and slandering reports". Turkish newspaper "Bu gun" published an article today that protocols between Turkey and Armenia shocked Azerbaijan and President Ilham Aliyev called an emergency meeting of the parliament.
The Turkish Think That They Have Made A Historical Mistake, Aysor Sept 3 2009 Armenia The opposition leader of the "National Movement" of Turkey (MHP) Devlet Bahceli has criticized the last Armenian - Turkish agreement. Bahceli has described the process started between Armenia and Turkey as a process contradicting the interests of Ankara and yielding the Armenian demands. The mentioned party has spread a statement on this occasion which according to "CNN Turk" reads: "The "MHP" will be against the signed records which will be presented to the Turkish parliament for verification. The party will speak out about the historical sin and the responsibility of the Prime Minister and his supporters that they have committed against their nation." In the message is also mentioned that the Armenian - Turkish boarder shouldn't be open before the NKR conflict settlement.
"Heritage" Demands A Referendum, Aysor Sept 3 2009 Armenia The "Heritage" Party posted a statement which expresses their dissatisfaction on signing Armenian-Turkish diplomatic and bilateral ties. According to them the Protocols on Armenian-Turkish relations threaten the national interests of Armenia, endanger the process of international recognizing of the Armenian Genocide, as well as the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The "Heritage" Party demands to hold a referendum before the final signing of Protocols and their ratification during the next six weeks. The Referendum will also raise the question whether there is a confidence in President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, - statement says. "Heritage" also initiates the signatures collection in favor of holding a Referendum and arrangement for consultations and cooperation with various parties and political forces of the country to search methods and possibilities to change the options previously signed protocols. "If it is impossible to make changes in previously signed Protocols the "Heritage" will act individually and collectively to stop and break processes that threaten the interests of Armenia" - said in statement. August, 31, Armenia and Turkey have agreed to start internal consultations on signing diplomatic and bilateral ties. The consultations will be hold on two documents - the "Protocol on the diplomatic relations establishment between the two countries" and the "Protocol on the development of bilateral relations" during six weeks.
Ankara Actually Chose Armenia And The World Community As Partners, Karine Ter-Sahakyan, Panarmenian.Net 01.09.2009 The ethnic policy of Turkey is as follows: the borderland is mostly inhabited with Kurds, while, all the villages located straight at the Armenian boundary are populated exclusively with Turks. The President of Armenia will, all the same, attend the football match in Turkey, what was to be expected. Publication of the Protocols with mandatory time frames put Turkey in a very difficult position, and to some extent Armenia gained her end, without stepping back from her stance on the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations with no preconditions. It is exactly what is most important at this time. No less important is the fact that the Protocols contain nothing on the Karabakh conflict and the Armenian Genocide. /PanARMENIAN.Net/ But in this case we are more interested in Azerbaijan's position, which can be briefly described as stupor. According to some fragmentary information, Baku politicians are now in confusion: Ankara has actually chosen Armenia and the world community as partners, having accurately calculated that under such circumstances it is better to strive for regional leadership rather than to be held hostage to the short-sighted policy of Ilham Aliyev. And though the choice in favor of Armenia is made under the pressure of circumstances, the good point is that despite everything it is made. Baku has finally realized that Karabakh is never going to belong to Azerbaijan in spite of the continuous statements of Ilham Aliyev. In principle, Aliyev can now do nothing but "calm down" his people after decades of lies, claiming that very soon the Armenians will return all the 7 regions and NKR into the bargain... Everything ended on August 31, 2009. In this regard we may assume that Armenian diplomacy won another round, but it is still too early to declare the final victory. Diplomatic relations will be established, the border will be opened, but Turkey will continue to deny the Armenian Genocide and will attempt to intervene in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, although presently there can be no question on conflict regulation. There is no conflict as such; it was solved 18 years ago by the people of NKR and was solved without assistance. Surely it was not by accident that Russia and the USA recalled their OSCE Minsk Group mediators in August and appointed no new ones. Does this mean that the Minsk Group format has already outlived its capacity and now we need something new that would make Aliyev sign a peace treaty with Stepanakert? Exclusively with Stepanakert and not with Armenia as some people still hope in Baku. But let us revert to the Armenian-Turkish relations, or rather to the prospects of their normalization. Fear of the Armenian society over the issue of opening the border is quite reasonable because once the border is opened a flow of Turkish citizens is expected to pour into Armenia and become the fifth Kurdish-Turkish colony, which could threaten the national security of Armenia. Boundary must be opened, no doubt in it, but there must be some restrictions. For example, the Turkish-Georgian boundary is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with time restrictions imposed by the Turkish side. Something similar must be done in our case; moreover, the initiative must proceed from Yerevan. The population of Eastern Turkey shows rather a positive attitude towards opening the border; however, here too Ankara shows her prudence so typical of her. Such is the ethnic policy of Turkey: the borderland is mostly inhabited with Kurds, while, all the villages located straight at the Armenian boundary are populated exclusively with Turks. So the Kurds, who are looking forward to normal relations with the Armenians, will inevitably have to confront the Turkish population, which is not really eager to normalize relations. Nevertheless, Turkey views the Armenians and the Kurds as potential allies in the struggle against the central power. Not by chance on the streets of Van do the gendarmes walk around with sub-machine-guns even in daytime. And not only in Van. The entire Eastern Turkey, i.e. Western Armenia is like a cauldron, ready to explode any moment, and the major problem of Ankara is to prevent such a scenario. Otherwise Turkey will simply collapse. And it is also one of the reasons why Turkey decided to take such a step as the establishment of relations with Armenia, no matter what it may bring about in the future.
Armenian Genocide Is Discussed In The Middle East, 04.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ A conference to discuss what is termed the Armenian Genocide will be the first gathering of its kind in the Middle East to bring together Armenian, Turkish and Kurdish views, The National reports. Participants at the two-day event in Beirut will discuss how the international community and international law should recognise the First World War events. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in protest against Armenia's support for the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, previously controlled by Azerbaijan. But this week, Turkey said it hoped to open the border by the end of the year, and the two countries have given themselves six weeks to finalise accords over establishing relations before presenting them to their respective parliaments. The protocol to establish diplomatic ties does not detail how the genocide accusations will be dealt with, although one suggestion from the Turkish side has been that a historical commission is established to look into the issue. Issues being focused on at the academic conference, titled The Armenian Genocide and International Law, include genocide denial in Turkey, alleviating the consequences of genocide and how the massacres have affected Kurdish-Armenian relations. Another subject is the evolution of the Armenian genocide denial in the Turkish press, which is likely to note that media in Turkey now more readily use the term genocide than before. Antranig Dakessian, a conference organiser and executive secretary of the Haigazian Armenological Review, published by Beirut's Armenian university, Haigazian University, said the conference was not debating whether the massacres were genocide. Instead, it will look at the reasons behind what Mr Dakessian called "genocide denial". Also, he said, the impunity of those responsible for the genocide has encouraged other people to commit genocide. "The Armenian genocide is an established reality," he said. "We have t 're trying to highlight how to deal with the consequences." Another organiser, Vera Yacoubian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee Middle East, and the great-granddaughter of Armenians driven from former Western Armenia, said similar conferences have been held before in Europe or the United States, but not in the Middle East. She said she believed some Turkish participants do not recognise the killings as genocide, so the conference would see a variety of views expressed. "They may say there were massacres," she said. "We have people at the conference [who hold these views], but I'm not sure if they will say these things at the conference. I hope they do."
Shavarsh Kocharyan: Whether Any Changes Will Occur During Ra-Turkish Rapprochement Process, Depends On Ankara 03.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ "Ankara will face serious problems unless it fulfills agreements reached with Yerevan," Deputy RA FM Shavarsh Kocharyan told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter in Stepanakert. "Whether any changes will occur during RA -Turkish rapprochement process depends on Ankara. One thing is clear: Turkey will have serious problems, should it fail to fulfill agreements and complete the process," Shavarsh Kocharyan emphasized.
Marat Hakobyan: Armenian People Have To Consolidate, 03.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ "It's a pity some politicians use Armenian-Turkish rapprochement for personal PR," Head of Analitika.at.ua Information Analytical Center Marat Hakobyan told PanARMENIAN.Net. "Politicians, who have not risen to power thanks to Armenian electors' wisdom, are trying to belittle Armenian diplomacy's achievements. Strangely, opinions of Armenian opposition synch with those of Azeri authorities. Now that official Yerevan is initiating important steps towards lifting blockade over Armenia, it's not the right time to play political games. At this crucial period, consolidated approach is important. Our power is in our unity, which was repeatedly proven by Armenian people," Hakobyan emphasized.
Armenia Shouldn't Have Initiated "Football Diplomacy", 03.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Although Protocols on normalization of Armenian-Turkish ties do not contain any clause on Karabakh issue, there are certain links between Kharabakh settlement and Armenian-Turkish rapprochement, political scientist Yervan Bozoyan told journalists in Yerevan. "Those processes are interrelated, and during the upcoming 2-3 months, we'll face superpowers' increased pressure on Karabakh peace process," expert stressed. With regard to recently promulgated Protocols, Bozoyan characterized them as the continuation of Armenian and Turkish Foreign Ministries' joint statement made on August 23. "Yerevan and Ankara have been conducting negotiations since 2007. Armenia shouldn't have initiated the 'football diplomacy' and reduced negotiation results to public domain. Turkey finds Armenia very interested in opening border and can now use that as a tool to get maximum support from Europe," Armenian expert said. According to him, Ankara is simultaneously conducting imitation policy, satisfying Baku's interests in Karabakh conflict. "Hence, Turkey can delay the process unless it faces mediators' pressures with regard to Karabakh settlement," Yervand Bozoyan said.
Armenia Must Work Out A Single Concept On RA -Turkish Relations, 03.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenakan Organisation expressed its protest against secrecy athmosphere negotiations between Armenia and Turkey are conducted in, resulting in conclusion of preliminary protocols. Organisation expressed its agreement with RA Ramkavar Azatakan Party's statement, reading, " before the process was started by RA President, public discussion with participartion of analytical and polictical organisations shoudld be initiated" and a single Armenian-Turkish relations'concept worked out based on discussion results. Armenakan Organisation is a follower of Armenakan Political Movesment ideology. The movement was founded in 1885.
Armenian-Turkish Protocols Reflect Turkish Side's Preconditions, 03.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ " 'Heritage' party always attaches great importance to Armenian-Turkish rapprochement, but disagrees with certain points enshrined in recently signed Armenian-Turkish protocols," 'Heritage' faction MP Armen Martirosyan told today a news conference. According to him, the party is concerned that authorities decided to promulgate the protocols after facing international community's demand to disclose their contents to public. "Such method of work first of all harms the reliability of the process," MP stated. Speaking about the protocols, the speaker found them unacceptable, since they reflect Turkish side's claims imposed on Armenia since 1991. By signing the protocols, Armenia will ratify Turkish bolsheviks' agreements, thus striking irrevocable blow to Armenian people's interests and putting up with Turkey's unilateral position on Armenian Genocide, Martirosyan said. The MP also stressed that ratification of such protocols may irrevocably impact Karabakh process as well, as Turkey will thus obtain the right to "voice its opinion on occupation of Azerbaijani lands within the scope of territorial integrity principle". Besides, such ratification may deprive Armenia of the right to its historical, Turkish-occupied lands, the speaker stressed.
Ruben Mehrabyan: Defeat Of Armenian Diplomacy Outlined In Protocol's Paragraphs, 03.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ "Published "night" Protocols appeared after the interview of Serzh Sargsyan on the BBC Air, where he says that he see that Turkey does not have desire to honor their commitments. Finally, we got something that could not be done! In fact, the paragraphs of the Protocols confidently outline the defeat of the Armenian diplomacy," Ruben Mehrabyan, an expert at the Armenian Center for Political and International Studies said in an interview with PanARMENIAN.Net. According to him, in spite of verbal shell-serving TV optimists and politically-biased "Teletubbies", these protocols satisfy all three preconditions of the Turkish side constantly being put forward in recent years, such as: confirmation of existing borders, cancellation of the policy of the Genocide international recognition, which did not take place by the Turkish official version, stopping of Karabakh "occupation". "The protocol of diplomatic relations has a specific item, although the international practice of establishing of diplomatic relations implies recognition of existing borders (of course, if the territorial claims are not officially announced what had not happened between Armenia and Turkey). Further, the committee has a subcommittee on historical issues, which will explore archive historical documents. Nobody is against studying any document, it is clear interstate commission mustn't be created! You just need to open the archives, and invite anyone who wants to study them. Otherwise, the Genocide issue becomes the subject of discussion, that simply an insult to every Armenian. And you will need to explain to those countries that have already recognized the Genocide and the Turks, who, sometimes persecuted, also recognized the fact of the genocide," the expert said. Meanwhile, according to the expert, the Karabakh settlement is not mentioned in the protocols. "The procedure for implementing the proto press the political leadership of Armenia to the wall and force them to sign so-called Madrid Principles in the Cracow edition, which has rejected by the official Yerevan. If Ankara would give back up to the so-called "football diplomacy", then Serzh Sargsyan would have a formal reason to delay the settlement of Nagorno Karabakh. However, the card was broken, the possible maneuver is zero. Does it make sense to insert anything else into the protocol? The Armenian side has received the promise of open borders, if they behave quietly and decently. Decently means according to the above mentioned. In fact, the dialectic of the past 1.5-2 years and by the end of this year a following scheme is seen: political crisis -a foreign policy gamble, gamble with the illusive goal to solve this crisis - diplomatic defeat - a new system crisis. The main lesson to be learned from this phase of modern history, in my opinion, is that the solution to vital national goals does not tolerate carelessness and simulation, arrogance and stupidity, and lack of the proportion sense." Ruben Mehrabyan said.
Cyprus Has Always Stood By The Side Of Armenians Financial Mirror, September 03, 2009 Cyprus has always stood by the side of the Armenian people with regard to their struggle for recognition of the Armenian Genocide, pledged House of Representatives Speaker Marios Garoyian. In his opening address on Wednesday at the Conference on "The Armenian Genocide and International Law" in Beirut, Garoyian noted "whether committed in times of peace or war Genocide constitutes a crime, condemnable and punishable under International Law". Garoyian said that "although the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide provides for an effective international tool against this crime, adhering to a Convention is only the first important step of what should actually and ultimately be pursued". Referring to the Armenian Genocide, Garoyian said that the Genocide of one and a half million Armenians by the Ottomans, in and around the year 1915, undoubtedly constitutes such a crime, for which Turkey has been toiling to prevent recognition. "Notwithstanding the importance of historical recognition of crimes, so that impunity does not gain the upper hand in international law, it is imperative that all nations proceed to a straight-forward recognition of genocides, including the perpetrators of the crime", he said. Cyprus, he added, "has always stood by the=2 0side of the Armenian people with regard to their struggle for recognition of the Armenian Genocide". "Further to the fact that, for Cyprus, this constitutes a matter of principle, in terms of justice and international law", he said, "it is also a small sample of appreciation and gratitude towards all Armenians' stance to Cyprus' struggle for reunification of our country. Solidarity between the Armenian and the Cyprus people is indeed mutual", he stressed. He noted that it was not circumstantial when the late Spyros Kyrpianou, then Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, first raised the point, in the mid 60s, of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide from the UN General Assembly podium. The Cyprus House of Representatives has been one of the first Parliaments to adopt a relevant resolution in 1975, followed by other resolutions in 1982 and 1990. Equally important, the 24th of April has been declared by the Cyprus Parliament and Government as a Memorial Day of the Armenian Genocide, the House President told the conference. These are actions of solidarity, open and unequivocal declaration of principles and a demand for the restoration of the historic truth, Garoyian said. Cyprus and its people, he said, have many more reasons to understand the injustice of the Armenian Genocide and this is not just due to the existence of a vibrant community of Armenians living in Cyprus, b ut also due to the implementation of Turkey's policy of ethnic cleansing against Cyprus' population during the 1974 invasion and the continuing occupation of 37 percent of our country's territory. "Not only one third of Cyprus' population was forced out of their homes, but also Turkey proceeded to a still continuing massive colonization of the occupied area and to the destruction of the religious and cultural heritage in the same area. Among the places of worship that were destroyed and/or left to perish, not least, is the Church and Monastery of Sourp Magar", he noted. "We, as parliamentarians, have a duty to raise our voice in all possible fora in the international arena so that the truth is heard and understood and so that history does not repeat itself", Garoyian warned. He noted that interests cannot be pursued at the cost of principles and justice. "Economic, political and geostrategic interests should not dictate the international community's response to illegality and crimes. Principles should not be negotiable, nor should they be sacrificed on today's power chessboard", he added. "The prevention of recurrence of such atrocities must be our primary aim and collective action with regard to this could be the most effective solution", Garoyian said. He remarked that as an Armenian himself, Armenians of the Diaspora are a closely knit community and are indeed indebted to many countries standing up as a second home to them. I take this opportunity to thank all countries and their peoples, that have embraced the Armenians of the world, including, of course, Lebanon and Cyprus", he concluded.
Turkey To Push International Actors For Swift Move On Karabakh, Asbarez Sep 2, 2009 ANKARA (Hurriyet)-Promising its closest ally Azerbaijan that it won't leave it in the lurch, Turkey will try to press influential countries to let them push for a swift resolution on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. "To be able to turn this normalization [between Turkey and Armenia] into permanent peace, we are expecting a forthwith settlement on the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan with the contributions of the international community," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters late Tuesday. As stated in the joint statement issued by Turkey and Armenia, under Swiss mediation, the two countries will complete internal political deliberation on the signing of the two protocols for the establishment of relations within six weeks. Then the two countries will have to complete parliamentary ratification processes to let the protocols enter into force. If there are no delays, the process is expected to be completed before the end of this year or early 2010. However, Turkey continues to hinge the normalization of its relations on Armenia to what it calls improvements on the Nagorno-Karabakh track. Ankara earlier assured Azerbaijan that it would not open the border with Armenia unless the Karabakh Armenian territories liberated from Azeri rule during the conflict are not returned to Baku's control. Turkey has already launched a new diplomatic initiative for mobilizing international actors in this regard, according to sources. Davutoglu held a long phone conversation with the foreign minister of France and the US Secretary of State, and the two French and US members of the Minsk Group, tasked with settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The issue was already largely discussed with Russia, the third member of the Minsk Group. Davutoglu will continue to discuss the issue with his counterparts on every occasion, Hurriyet said, citing unnamed sources. The issue will also be on the agenda of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to the UN General Assembly late September. The Foreign Ministry is also trying to arrange bilateral meetings with the United States, France and Russia with Erdogan, who also hopes to take the issue to the G-8 meeting in Pittsburgh at the end of this month. One of Ankara's short-term expectations is to let Armenia and Azerbaijan agree on an interim agreement for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. A meeting between the leaders of the two countries is scheduled for November 8 in Moldova during the summit of the Commonwealth of the Independent States. Accompanied with this deal, Ankara is stating that the reconciliation process between the three countries will require Armenia to accept an agree to the return of the liberated territories to Azeri rule.
Turkey Warns Armenia Border Re-Opening To Take Time, Agence France Presse September 1, 2009 Turkey warned Tuesday that it will take time before it re-opens its border with Armenia after the neighbours agreed a plan to establish diplomatic ties and end their decades-long grudge. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said it would take at least two months for parliaments in both countries to ratify the plan to normalise relations. "We want ties to normalise as fast as possible," Davutoglu told NTV television. "The agreements must be ratified by the respective parliaments and will then be implemented. It is a question of several months." In an earlier television interview late Monday, Davutoglu said: "At the moment opening the border is not foreseen and it is not the priority." Turkey has long refused to establish diplomatic links with Armenia over Yerevan's efforts to have World War I-era massacres of Armenians by Ottoman Turks recognised as genocide -- a label Turkey strongly rejects. Turkey also closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in solidarity with ally Azerbaijan over Yerevan's backing of ethnic Armenian separatists who seized control of the breakaway region of Nagorny Karabakh. Azerbaijan's foreign ministry said Tuesday that it did not expect Turkey to re-open its border with Armenia until the conflict over Nagorny Karabakh is resolved. "Azerbaijan's position is based on numerous statements from high-ranking officials in Turkey on the question of opening the Armenian-Turkish border," said Azerbaijani foreign ministry spokesman Elkhan Polukhov. "The opening of the border without the settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict would contradict the interests of Azerbaijan," he told AFP. The Turkish foreign minister said the agreement with Armenia would not damage the interests of Azerbaijan. "Turkey will not get involved in any action that would hurt the interests of Azerbaijan," Davutoglu said. Armenia and Turkey announced Monday they would hold six weeks of domestic consultations before signing two protocols on establishing diplomatic ties and developing bilateral relations. According to copies of the protocols released by the Armenian foreign ministry, the neighbours agreed to re-open the border "within two months" of the deal taking effect
Turkish Minister Says Recognising Borders "Basic Element" Of Talks With Armenia, Anadolu Ajansi Sept 1 2009 Ankara, 1 September: Turkish foreign minister said on Tuesday that there was currently a six-week internal political process which started with the two protocols initialized by Turkey and Armenia yesterday. In an interview with NTV news channel during his visit to Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu commented on the two protocols that were recently initialized by Turkish and Armenian authorities. Davutoglu said that "recognizing borders" was an important element of the protocols on "Establishment of Diplomatic Relations" and "Development of Bilateral Relations" initialized by Turkey and Armenia within the context of the efforts the two countries had been displaying under the mediation of Switzerland. "Recognizing borders in line with the international norms stemming from Kars agreement is a basic element. Without that, we cannot talk about being neighbours," Davutoglu said. Commenting on the six-week internal political process that started with the protocols, Davutoglu said an agreement would be signed by the end of such period. "The agreement will be signed, however, both countries have their own methods of domestic law. It should be presented to our parliament for approval," he said.
Azeri Experts Comment On Turkish-Armenian Rapprochement, Turan News Agency Sept 1 2009 Baku, 1 September: "I accept it as betrayal of Azerbaijan's interests and deception of the Turkish and Azerbaijani public. This contradicts the promises made personally by [Turkish] Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan to MPs and the public in Baku", political expert Vafa Quluzada has told Turan [news agency] in a comment on reports issued by Armenian and Turkish Foreign Ministries on the normalization of [Armenian-Turkish] relations. "I think that policy pursued by the Erdogan government runs contrary to the Turkish public and will undermine Turkey's reputation and influence", Quluzada said. He did not rule out that official Baku could take certain measures in response to Ankara's actions. These measures may affect plans on the shipment of hydrocarbons via Turkish territory. Commenting on the reports, the head of the For Azerbaijan public forum, Eldar Namazov, told Turan: "In all appearance, the package of agreements on normalizing Armenian-Turkish relations has been postponed and a shorter version of the [normalization] process has been given preference. This means that diplomatic relations between Ankara and Yerevan will be established at the current stage and the opening of borders and the beginning of economic cooperation will be postponed for the next stage", he said. Namazov underlined that the temporary framework for establishing diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia during the period of six months coincides with the date of the football match between the national teams of both countries in order to enable Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan to attend the game without losing his face in the framework of the so-called "football diplomacy". However, there is a need to synchronize the process of the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations with the process of the settlement of the [Nagornyy] Karabakh [conflict]. According to Namazov, there will be no complete normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations until the initiative to take real steps in Karabakh [conflict] settlement and liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is implemented. How will the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia affect relations between Baku and Ankara? In response to this question, Namazov said that this was a stage-by-stage process and Ankara would consult Baku when making each move. "Leaders of both countries talked over phone last week and Ankara sent its high profile Foreign Ministry officials to Baku", Namazov said. In any case, Baku will closely follow the developments, Namazov added. Leader of the [opposition] Musavat Party, Isa Qambar, was cautious in his remarks. "As far as I know, the two protocols do not include the issue of opening borders with Armenia. Therefore, we should have an accurate approach", he said. Expert Arastun Oruclu said that the current situation is a logical result of Turkish-Armenian relations over the past years. "The incumbent Turkish authorities do not take Azerbaijan's interests into account," Oruclu said. According to him, Azerbaijan's position is weakening, which can be seen as a defeat. "Turkey's move is a result of tensions in Azerbaijani-Turkish relations", he said. He believes that Baku's pressure on Ankara in March of this year was groundless. "Azerbaijan has remained all alone and must quickly define the priorities of its foreign policy", the political expert said.
Turkish Fm: Turkish-Armenian Border Could Re-Open By Year's End, VOA News September 1, 2009 Turkey says that its border with Armenia could reopen by the end of the year, under a plan to reestablish diplomatic ties between the two nations. In an interview with Turkey's NTV television Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that if everything goes as planned and mutual steps are taken, the border could reopen by January 1. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in solidarity with Azerbaijan, which was fighting Armenian-backed separatists in its breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh territory. Davutoglu says Turkey will not take any action that would hurt the interest of Azerbaijan. Azeri Foreign Ministry spokesman Elkhan Polukhov says he is confident that Turkey will not reopen the border until the conflict is resolved. On Monday, Turkey and Armenia issued a joint statement saying they will begin six weeks of internal consultations before signing two protocols on normalizing diplomatic relations and developing bilateral ties. The legislatures of both nations must ratify the documents. Both the United States and the European Union have welcomed the move and urged the two countries to quickly implement the protocols. Relations between Turkey and Armenia have long been strained, overshadowed by the killing of Armenians early in the last century by the Ottoman-era Turkish military. Historians estimate that 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman regime during World War I. Turkey strongly denies the charge of genocide. It says the number of Armenian deaths is inflated, and those killed died during a civil war that also killed many Turks.
Armenians Accuse Obama On 'Genocide', Azernews Weekly Sept 1 2009 Armenians have criticized US President Barack Obama for the recent court ruling that refused to compensate descendants of the victims of alleged World War I-era genocide in Ottoman Turkey. Kiro Manoyan, who heads a political research center at the nationalist Dashnaksutyun Party, claimed that Obama was to blame for the decision of the appeals court that overruled a ruling by a California court on paying out life insurance benefits to relatives of the alleged genocide victims. He believes that if Obama had used the term "genocide" in his address this April - the month Armenians commemorate a date marking the alleged massacres - the higher court would not have invalidated the previous decision. The judge at the California court of appeal who handed down the ruling said the state bears no responsibility for the developments that took place miles away from the United States, emphasizing that the US government has not reached a decision to recognize the alleged genocide. Armenians, who say Ottoman Turks killed 1.5 million people in 1915, a claim strenuously dismissed by Turkey, are seeking passage of a "genocide" bill in the US Congress.
Armenia Claims Ready For An Offensive, Azernews Weekly Sept 1 2009 Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian has warned that his country`s armed forces are unperturbed by what he called Azerbaijan`s militarist statements and are ready to withstand any onslaught. Novosti Armenii news agency quoted Ohanian as saying in an interview with the public TV channel that the Armenian military is ready to not only defend itself, but to also carry out preventive measures, if necessary. Asked about the possibility of Armenia`s launching an offensive, Ohanian maintained: "Why not? An attack, a counter-offensive. We are ready even for an attack to protect civilians from the horrors of war." Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with the signing of a cease-fire in 1994, but Armenia continues to occupy part of Azerbaijani territory, including the Upper (Nagorno) Garabagh region, in defiance of international law. The OSCE-brokered peace talks have been fruitless so far. Meanwhile, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian alleged his country relies on its military in the ongoing talks on Garabagh conflict settlement. In a recent meeting with top Defense Ministry officials, he said that the armed forces play a special role in peace talks and inspire Yerevan`s confidence in the negotiating process. Sarkisian issued orders to increase the combat readiness of the Armenian military, saying the country`s defense capabilities should comply with present-day requirements and be continuously modernized. These statements came as Armenian armed forces staged military exercises in the occupied Azerbaijani territories. The drills, conducted in the occupied areas of the Aghdam district last Wednesday night, involved only infantry units, according to the Baku-based Lider TV channel. The Armenian military began using powerful fireworks in the area after sunset, eyewitnesses said. Following the entire area being lit up, troops began the non-stop firing of small-caliber weapons. The bright light from the fireworks enveloped even the frontline villages of Aghdam that are not occupied by Armenia. Armenia conducted the exercises in response to the flight of Azeri fighter jets over frontline regions earlier in the day, commentators say. Five fighter aircraft from the Azerbaijan Air Force carried out maneuvers on the contact line with Armenian troops. The fighter jets flew over the Fizuli, Beylagan, Khojavand, Aghdam and Terter districts. Defense Ministry spokesman Eldar Sabiroghlu described the maneuvers as regular exercise flights.
Armenian Fm Claims Border With Turkey Will Open In January, Assa-Irada September 3, 2009 The Turkey-Armenia border is expected to open on January 1, media reports quoted Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian as saying. Nalbandian was commenting on the latest initiative by the two countries to normalize their strained relations, in a bid to end a century of hostility. Ankara and Yerevan on Monday agreed with Swiss mediation to start consultations on forging diplomatic ties and developing bilateral relations. The two countries announced they would complete domestic consultations over two protocols within six weeks, to be followed by their ratification at their parliaments. The protocols ultimately envision opening the Turkish-Armenian border, which has been shut since 1993 due to Armenias policy of occupation of Azerbaijani territory and Armenian claims on the genocide of their ancestors by Ottoman Turks during World War I. Nalbandian alleged that the process of mending ties with Turkey has no bearing on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Upper (Nagorno) Garabagh, saying the co-chairs of the mediating OSCE Minsk Group support this stance. As for Bakus tough position on the prospect of the border opening, the Armenian minister said the changes taking place in the turbulent region will benefit Azerbaijan as well. Nalbandian said Yerevan would strive to join all regional projects if its relations with Ankara normalize. Touching on the alleged 1915 mass killings of Armenians, he said the normalization process does not pose any threat to efforts in this regard, adding that an intergovernmental commission will be set up to research the developments. Turkeys Star newspaper reported quoting a source at the countrys energy ministry that the energy balance will be altered in the region if the Turkish and Armenian parliaments ratify the two mentioned protocols. The report claimed that, following approval of the documents, technical changes will occur in the project on the Nabucco pipeline, and the European Union is likely to call for the conduit passing not through Georgia, but Armenia, another South Caucasus republic. According to Star, the EU has long been seeking to have Armenia join the project, which aims to pump Caspian and Central Asian gas to European markets, with France being the most arduous supporter. Pointing out that the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) main export pipeline passes through Georgia, which faced a military incursion by Russian troops in August 2008, the 27-member bloc considers as risky routing another key pipeline through the country. Therefore, it believes Armenia is an alternative transit state for energy projects, Star said.
Turkey And Armenia: Can They Shake That Hand?, Forbes Sept 4 2009 On television they look just like my people--cynical, gloomy and forever complaining. I am talking about Armenians--street interviews with residents of Yerevan, Armenia's capital, who sound just as skeptical as Turks about this week's sudden announcement by the two neighbors to "normalize" relations. That normalcy, of course, is arriving about a century after the two peoples faced each other in a brutal civil war. Hundreds of thousands of Armenian citizens of the Ottoman Empire were deported and massacred in 1915 in what is now eastern Turkey, in a period of turmoil and violence that Armenians call "genocide" and Turks insist was "killing by both sides." Anatolia was "ethnically cleansed" of its Armenian heritage early last century, but the ghosts of unspeakable deeds have never quite left the crime scene. Since the founding of modern Turkey in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turks have been grappling with "the Armenian issue" one way or another, facing in recent years an ever-widening international campaign to recognize and condemn. For Turks and Armenians, the issue has always been semantics--whether or not to use the g-word in describing 1915. The majority of Turks believe, and were taught in school, that the killings were not officially sanctioned and do not amount to genocide. To Armenians on the other hand, 1915 is what the Holocaust is to Jews--the single most defining moment in establishing a national identity and a nation-state. So it made great sense this week for the official announcement to avoid the question of genocide altogether. Similarly left out was the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed enclave that Armenians seized from Turkey's close ally Azerbaijan.
Garoyian: Armenian Genocide, Famagusta Gazette Sept 4 2009 House of Representatives Speaker Marios Garoyian said yesterday that Cyprus has always stood by the side of the Armenian people with regard to their struggle for recognition of the Armenian Genocide. In his opening address at the conference,"The Armenian Genocide and International Law" in Beirut, Garoyian said: "whether committed in times of peace or war Genocide constitutes a crime, condemnable and punishable under International Law." "Although the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide provides for an effective international tool against this crime, adhering to a Convention is only the first important step of what should actually and ultimately be pursued," he added. Garoyian said that the genocide of one and a half million Armenians by the Ottomans, in and around the year 1915, undoubtedly constitutes such a crime, for which Turkey has been toiling to prevent recognition.
Erdogan's Honesty, Europenews Sept 4 2009 Galliawatch 04 September 2009 Tiberge The uncertainties surrounding the much-discussed entry of Turkey in the EU are brought home in this article posted at Francois Desouche. The article is a timeline from 1993 to the present, consisting of remarks made by Tayyip Erdogan over the 16-year period and presented in reverse chronological order. The readers' comments shed more light on the contradictions inherent in this debate: - June 26, 2009 - The head of the Turkish government, Erdogan, argued in favor of a "full and complete membership" in the European Union, and refused categorically a "privileged partnership." Note: The source given for the above is an article in Le Monde now archived. In the article, Erdogan deplored the slowness of the negotiations and pointed the finger at those countries responsible for the delays, including France and Germany. - February 13, 2008 - In Cologne, the Turkish prime minister set fire to the gunpowder when he denounced the assimilation of migrants as a "crime against humanity." The head of the German Christian Democratic Party (CSU) denounced the "Turkish nationalistic sermon on German soil" and posed the question "if in these conditions, it is still feasible to pursue the negotiations of accession" of Ankara to the European Union. Note: The source for this second remark is an article from Le Figaro, still accessible. It deals with the tensions between Germany and Turkey and the divisions within Germany itself. However the most striking comments from Erdogan deal with his contempt for any kind of assimilation, and his wish to establish special Turkish schools in Germany, manned by personnel from Ankara. According to this article the German Left maintains a dewey-eyed idealism regarding multiculturalism, while the Right has, in the past, spoken of the "virtues of a German dominant culture." And though the Right is opposed to Turkey in the EU, the Social Democrats (SPD) are favorable. Angela Merkel expressed willingness to increase the teaching of Turkish as a foreign language, but was less open to the idea of teachers being sent from Ankara to ply their trade in Germany. - February 12, 2008 - Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, asked that Turkish schools and universities be established in Germany, where all teaching would be done in the Turkish language, in order to "respect differences." The general secretary of the CSU, replied, "If you want a Turkish school, go to Turkey." Note: An English-language source, Islam in Europe, is given for the above. - January 28, 2008 - Prime Minister Erdogan declared that unfortunately Turkey was "adopting the Western immorality that ran counter to the values of Turkey." Note: Here is the source article for the above, from The Memri Blog: In his speech to Turkish graduate students going to study abroad, Erdogan made some controversial remarks that met with strong reactions in Turkey's mainstream media. Erdogan said, "The poet who penned Turkish national anthem [the Islamist Mehmet Akif Ersoy] said that we should compete with art and science of the West; but unfortunately we adopted the West's immoralities that are contrary to our values". He added that Turkey would continue sending students abroad for graduate studies for them to [learn and] compete in order to reach beyond the art and science of the West and asked the students to come back after their studies and work in Turkey. The PM's remarks were questioned by the media that asked what he meant by "the West's immoralities", whether or not he was talking about Western women not being covered, and how Turkey could become a EU member when the PM thought the West was "immoral". - January 11, 2008 - Erdogan reaffirmed his wish to join the European Union. "There can be no laxness in this question of the EU. We will do everything that needs to be done," he declared on television. "We are winning." Note: The above is drawn from a short article at the Armenian site Armenews. - 1997 - Erdogan declared: "The minarets are our bayonets, the domes our helmets and the mosques our barracks." Note: The full quote was: "The minarets are our bayonets, the domes our helmets, the mosques our barracks, the believers our soldiers." See the short article on Turkey at Lawrence Auster's VFR. - 1993 - Erdogan, mayor of Istanbul, declared: "Thank God, I am for sharia, you cannot be 'laïque' and Muslim at the same time." Note: A reminder that the French word "laïque" refers to laïcité, the separation of Church and State. The above comments by Erdogan are very instructive. He is a nationalist, a position that some of us approve of, now that we are witnessing the attempts by various forces to dissolve borders and force multiculturalism on the ancient peoples of Europe, a process, which, if carried to completion, would result in the complete mutation of the ancient ethnicities into racially and ethnically mixed societies. Erdogan clearly opposes this, but so do we! Yet he WANTS to enter into the European Union. He wants to enter on HIS terms, namely that the Turkish population in Europe remain Turkish, and NOT meld in with the Europeans. In other words, he wants to be separate but equal, with, no doubt, the ultimate goal of waging jihad and subjugating the Europeans to Islam, since he is a practicing Muslim, believes in sharia, and condemns the life-style of the West. Thus the Turks in Europe would gradually become separate and dominant, even if their actual numbers remained relatively small, since a sizable, activist minority is sufficient to destroy a culture that does not fight back. In the above comments Erdogan is being honest. He is warning the Europeans that renouncing one's origins, adopting new mores, and racially mixing blood are condemnable actions. Paradox on paradox, the Europeans CONDEMN him for this and question the advisability of allowing Turkey into the EU. Good. Then DON'T allow Turkey in. And while you're at it, stop the Utopian nightmare of multiculturalism, métissage, and slavish adoration of Islam, a culture totally alien to European traditional cultures. Dissolve the EU, send your foreign populations back where they came from, and become once again separate nations, as Erdogan advocates. Unfortunately, whenever the Right of any country makes these points, there are more than enough countervailing voices on the Left to crush the truth and to continue to lobby on behalf of Turkey. And Erdogan can continue with his nationalist rhetoric and still have enough support to get into the EU. And once in, he will be a Muslim, NOT a "laïque", while the European Union is resolutely secular, but not anti-Muslim!!! Too many paradoxes. This is good. Perhaps in the end, confusion will reign to such a degree that Turkey's accession will be placed on the back burner for another hundred years. Here are some comments from Francois Desouche readers: - The really insane thing about his comments is that we seem not to be hearing what he is kind enough to admit to us. - Watch out. Concerning Turkey there is often confusion among Europeans. In truth you must understand that it is an upside-down combat that is playing out in Turkey. There, it is the religious ones, the Islamists who favor accession to the EU; conversely, the "laïques" and the military of the Ataturk party are hostile to Turkish membership. To be clear: in Turkey, the good guys are against the EU, the evil ones are for it. - Let's not forget that the polls conducted in Turkey clearly show that the Turks are against the entry of their country in Europe. The only ones for it are the business interests. And of course, our dear bobos who grovel before "diversity." Note: A reminder that Erdogan demands separation of Turks in the name of "diversity." But for young French and German idealists "diversity" usually means "coming together and walking hand in hand into the sunset" (or something like that). - The Turks can always dream, but they will NEVER be part of the EU, despite the pro-Turkish propaganda of most of our governments. - In short, we don't like you very much, but we dream of coming to your country and imposing ourselves... even if you don't agree. The photo of Turkish women is also from Francois Desouche. Nnote that one of them is wearing both a headscarf and a baseball cap. What is the significance of that?
Analyse, Aysor Sept 4 2009 Armenia At 31, August night Armenia and Turkey with Swiss participation announced an agreement to normalize their diplomatic bilateral ties, and the "roadmap" after being the focus of Armenian and Turkish society and a number of world power centers last few months, clarified the details of the diplomatic relations establishing. The events of September marked a simple and important phenomenon: the initiative policy pursued by official Yerevan has its real results. However, World Powers which have their own interests in region are awaiting and are pressing Turkey in order the populist statements to be carried out. It looks like analysts who thought Turkey would manage to turn the process to make it inconvenient for Armenia or to make Armenia to fall into an unconventional situation were wrong. Moreover, everything carried out exactly the opposite. In fact, after Serzh Sargsyan's statement when the information-analytical field calm down, it became clear that the statement was not only the kind, it was a clear political message directed to the different sides and especially to Ankara. By the way, after the documents decelerated it may be said the PM of Turkey fall into the unconventional situation after his loyalty oaths to the "Jr. Brother". "Until Armenia doesn't sign the agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Karabakh conflict, no final ties will be carried out" - he has told. "We can work preliminary in the direction of signing the agreement with Armenia, but it ultimately depends on the resolution of the Karabakh conflict". Erdogan himself has changed his position and he makes another statement according the Armenian-Turkish relations. In particular, he says: "A number of important events are coming and it is definitely there is a progress in Armenian-Turkish relationships. However, without parliamentary approval no one signed document could have legal force". Turkey rules turning point in its policy which lead her to a new role in the region, new partnership with countries she traditionally had a tense relationship and never hold them among Turkish or Azerbaijani interests. The policy of isolation no longer justified itself nowadays. Ankara has made a political decision to go on building relations with Armenia to provide her own interests. Turkey received a brilliant opportunity to establish and consolidate its position in the region and to increase its geopolitical weight in the strategic games of superpowers. Azerbaijan must not disturb it. This point was confirmed by Erdogan's top Adviser who noted that the establishment of diplomatic relations with Armenia would continue irrespective of whether the Karabakh issue resolved or not. "If even the Karabakh issue is not resolved, Turkey will continue its efforts to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia", - Hussein Chelik said Now we can say that sounded statements indicate significant changes in the geopolitical climate of the region when the former opponents and competitors are trying to establish the foundation for cooperation. On the one hand it concerns the plane of Russian-Turkish relations, on the other hand - the Armenian-Turkish relations. However, we should remember that in order to keep friendly relations with Azerbaijan, Turkey at least formally and on public fields will relate Armenian-Turkish relations with the Karabakh conflict. By the way, Turkey has already taken some steps. The Foreign Minister of Turkey A. Davudoglu wrote to the Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov and asked Russia to accelerate the process of resolving the Karabakh conflict. It is clear that, on the one hand, Turkey tries to solve the "Jr. Brother's" problems. And it tries to withdraw from the situation of statements made before, on the other side. Energy programs and the opening of communication routes that follow such a complex processes, create a situation where the South Caucasus is changing the geopolitical significance of the region. Countries that have traditionally been in isolation will receive completely a new status and positive implications. According to the communication functions it is possible Georgia to meet with serious problems. These difficulties stem by the war in august and the future reopening of Armenian-Turkish border. Therefore Azerbaijan and Georgia will be at unfavorable situation because Azerbaijan had enjoyed blockade to deal its strategic problems, and Georgia did the same in economy. Thus, the processes of nowadays will be many stages and will reflect not only inter-state goals, they will depend on the strategic, energy and geopolitical interests of the superpowers. All these will determine the future security and stability of the region.
To Make Turkey Say "No", Aysor Sept 4 2009 Armenia The records about the development of bilateral relations between the Armenian and Turkish Republics allow everyone to comment on it in their way; today said the political scientist Levon Meliq-Shahnazaryan. "The protocol is unacceptable for us, those imperative verbs "you must, you have to", starting by them ending with the issue concerning the boarders are unacceptable. The name of Kars treaty is not mentioned there but one can see the continuation of the treaty consequences, and the Kars treaty is an illegal treaty", - mentioned Meliq-Shahnazaryan. The political scientist Alexander Manasyan mentioned that there is mentioned indirectly about the Kars treaty when they speak about the internationally recognized treaties. In the same time he said that the Karabakh issue is distorted just as the name of Kars treaty is not mentioned. "Turkey should think that it is in his interests and Armenia that it is in its. The document has no relation with the NKR, that's true, but I do not exclude that Turkey in the future will use it as a means of discussing also the NKR issue",- said Manasyan. Meliq Shahnazaryan is waiting for an activation in the progress of Karabakh issue and is also sure that Turkey will blackmail and will make it a lever of depression as a result of which will make depression over Armenia and Artsakh. "The one who is gaining a profit should be an expert too, we should do everything possible for Turkey not to verify this document. The one who will first say no will lose", - assured the political scientist. "These type of documents are being written and then the process starts, we should be flexible. It's a fight of thoughts", - announced Manasyan.
Armenian-Turkish Relations. A Schedule, January 16, 2009 Aysor Sept 4 2009 "We have never been so close with Armenia in the process of normalizing relations", - declares Ali Babajan. The answer of E. Nalbandian followed. "We are too close in the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations. We can go further and solve the problems if Turkey will approach the question like Armenia and will open the boarders without any preconditions. After that we will be able to establish a committee and discuss the bilateral issues." January 29, 2009 RA President holds talks with the Turkish Prime Minister in Davos. February 7, 2009 A. Babajan and E. Nalbandyan together with the RA President Serzh Sargsyan hold talks in the 45th summit of Munich's Security Council. February 19, 2009 Going forwards to the wave of the criticisms the Turkish Education Ministry makes a decision to stop showing "SarO~B Gelin" film in the schools replaces it with other film, which shows the "real face and of Armenians and the Armenian case". The film shows the destructions and demolitions realized by the Armenians in Igdir city. April 7, 2009 The President of the USA B. Obama mentions the following during his visit to Turkey: "Every state should function proceeding from its past, and accepting the past we can make a better future. I know that here many people have a sharp disposition concerning the events of 1915 ... but referring to the past Turkey and Armenia can establish more open, constructive relations. We have already witnessed the determined and bold steps of the Armenian leaders. But the boarders will be returned to the Turkish and Armenian people by the peaceful coexistence. This is the reason why the USA supports the final settlement of the Armenia - Turkish relations." April 6-7, 2009 The RA Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian visits Turkey; during that visit by the mediation of the USA President B. Obama a meeting with A. Babajan took place. An agreement was reached to sign a treaty during Babjan's visit to Yerevan on April 16, on establishing diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia. On April 7, in the morning the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Turkey meet each other for discussing the details. A. Babajan mentions that "He does not care about the repercussion of Baku concerning the establishment of diplomatic relations between Yerevan and Ankara. Even more within the last period Baku has lost the role that he could play in the region." April 10, 2009 The Prime Minister Erdoghan announced that "Turkey will not sign a final treaty with Armenia as there is no final agreement concerning the NKR issue." This statement was followed by suchlike repercussions of other ministers and officials of Ankara. April 14, 2009 Peter Semnebi special representative of the EU for South Caucasus calls to Turkey for opening the boarders with Armenia, highlighting that every step directed to the normalization of the relations and opening the boarders is profitable not only for the two sides, but also for EU. April 16, 2009 The Turkish Foreign Minister A. Babajan visits Yerevan to participate at the 20th session of the Ministerial Council of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation organization. The announcement of the RA FM E. Nalbandian follows the session; announcement says that the sides are not going to sign any document: the talks go on; it seems possible to solve the problem in the near future. April 22, 2009 After the USA mediation and long lasted maneuvers on April 22, at night the FMs of Armenia, Turkey and Switzerland appeared with a joint statement about the road-map of the settlement of the Armenian -Turkish relations. April 22, 2009 The USA Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes a speech in the US Congress stating that Armenia and Turkey asked for a help from the USA on their way of normalizing relations, and the US President B. Obama is completely supporting that request. The US State Secretary added that opening the boarder will accelerate the smoothening of the sad historical facts and the final settlement of the relations. April 23, 2009 The official Washington welcomed the steps of Armenia and Turkey and the planning of the "road-map". At the same time the White House stated that it wishes to see the development of the Armenian-Turkish relations without preconditions. April 23, 2009 Secretary-General of both the Council of the European Union (EU) and the Western European Union (WEU) and High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) Francisco Javier Solana de Madariaga welcomes the declaration of the "road map" aimed at normalization of the bilateral relations of Armenia and Turkey. He mentions that it is an important step both for the two countries and Europe as it will serve as a basis for the establishment of stability and security in that difficult region. April 23, 2009 Bernard Kuchner, the Foreign Minister of France touching upon the "road map" that this step of Armenia and Turkey proves to the world that friendly relations should be established through negotiations. The Armenian - Turkish talks have a special role for the security and peace of whole South Caucasus which is very important for both EU and France. In the same time parallel with the normalization of the relations the NKR conflict settlement should be processed. April 29, 2009 Russian Federation announced that Russia welcomes all the steps of RA and Turkey: they will change the present status quo and will transform the relations to the constructive platform. At the same time was mentioned that this is the problem of only Yerevan and Ankara, and there can't be interference of any third side. May 5, 2009 The RA FM E. Nalbandian meets State Secretary Hillary Clinton during the visit to Washington. Within the issues discussed they touched also upon questions like the Armenian - Turkish relations: The USA State Secretary calls the "road map" a historical document of normalizing the Armenian - Turkish bilateral relations. May 13, 2009 During his visit to Baku the Prime Minister Erdoghan states that Armenia will stay with the boarders closed as long as will keep the Azerbaijani territories occupied. "There is a cause-effect chain here: The occupation of the Nagorno Karabakh is the cause and the closure of the boarders is the effect." May 14, 2009 RA Foreign Minister E. Nalbandian in the meeting with Brian Folly, the UK and Northern Ireland Special Representative to South Caucasus, mentions, referring to the statement of Erdoghan made in the Azerbaijani Parliament, that if Turkey wants to support the NKR conflict settlement, it should not interfere the issue at all. Otherwise its interference can disturb the process. May 18, 2009 Turkey as well as the foreign press speaks about the Turkish President Gul and the Prime Minister Erdoghan having different opinions about the settlement of the relations with Armenia: if the president is for the opening the boarders, the Prime Minister, on the contrary, is against it. May 21, 2009 The French embassy in Turkey expresses the disposition of official Paris, according to which France calls to Turkish Government to stay apart from connecting the settlement of Armenian - Turkish relations and opening the boarders with the NKR conflict settlement. Those are completely different questions and France is supporting and welcoming the efforts of Armenia and Turkey for establishing bilateral relations, and in the same time it continues working as a Minsk group co-chair. June 5, 2009 During his visit to Washington the FM of Turkey Ahmed Davudoghlu stated that the negotiations with Armenia continue. The opening of the boarders till the end of 2009 depends on the negotiation process. The MFA escapes to answer the question whether the NKR issue is a precondition for the settlement of Armenian - Turkish relations. Instead it says: "Our policy is very clear; we wish to see peace and well being in the South Caucasus." June 13, 2009 The Turkish MF A. Davudoghlu appeared with a statement according to which for the stability in South Caucasus we need reach the NKR conflict settlement. In this concern Turkey tries to settle the relations with all the neighbors. The relations with Armenia, according to him, influence on its ties with the USA which shouldn't be like that. June 17, 2009 In the South Caucasus Peter Semnebi the special representative of the EU for the South Caucasus, stated that Turkey has made a step back from the settlement process conditioned with the inner and sharp repercussions. But the pause shouldn't be long, otherwise there will be a serious step back. June 26, 2009 In the meeting of the FMs of the G8 in the Trieste touched also upon the Amenian-Turkish relations mentioning that they completely support the development of cooperation in South Caucasus and the settlement of the Armenian - Turkish relations. June 30, 2009 On the non official meeting of the OSCE member states FMs in the Greek Korfu Island the Turkish Foreign Minister A. Davudoghlu seizes the opportunity and meets the RA FM E. Nalbandian. He assures that Turkey is determined to settle the relations with Armenia. July 3, 2009 The RA FM Nalbandian welcoming his Turkish counterpart's statement that said that Turkey stays faithful to the agreement got with Armenia, reminds in the interview with Dora Bakoyanis, the OSCE acting President, that the agreement including the opening of the boarders without preconditions. Nalbandian also mentions that the process between Armenia and Turkey is not just a dialogue but a negotiation. July 5, 2009 The situation in Caucasus is being discussed by the Turkish President A. Gul and the US President B. Obama on the phone call. The Turkish President according to the records of the White House, informs the US President about the present condition of the Armenian - Turkish relations. July 31, 2009 The RA President Serzh Sargsyan mentions during his meeting with the representatives of the Armenian Diaspora that, "In the 21st century we shouldn't speak by the language of preconditions." Armenia will not accept any precondition during the regulation of Armenian - Turkish relations. S. Sargsyan also added that the Armenian side has stretched out his hand to Turkey for establishing diplomatic relations, in spite of the historical facts. July 31, 2009 In the letter directed to the US President B. Obama the US 82 congressmen express their concern about the cessation of Armenian - Turkish relations settlement. The authors of the letter in the same time highlight the constructive disposition and policy of Armenia. August 21, 2009 In the phone talk with the US State Secretary H. Clinton the RA President S. Sargsyan discussed the regional developments, as well as the Armenian - Turkish relations. In the same time the RA President stated that he will leave for the Football meeting only if, according to the former agreement, the boarder will be open, or the sides will be in that process. August 29, 2009 The Prime Minister of Turkey and the President of Azerbaijan during the phone talk realized by the initiation of the Turkish side discussed the bilateral relations touching upon the NKR conflict settlement. The Turkish Prime Minister informs I. Aliev about the developments of the relations with Armenia. August 31, 2009 By the initiation of the US State Secretary H. Clinton there was a phone talk with the Turkish Foreign Minister A. Davudoghlu. The main and the only question discussed was the Armenian - Turkish relations. August 31, 2009 According to the statements of the Armenian, Turkish FMs and Swiss Confederation Armenia and Turkey had reached an agreement to launch inner discussions over the following records: "A record about establishing diplomatic relations", and "A record about developing the bilateral relations". The process will go on for 6 weeks, after which the sides will sign the mentioned above documents, presenting them to the verification of the Parliament. September 1, 2009 The Turkish Foreign Minister A. Davudoghlu informs in his phone talk with the RF Foreign Minister S. Lavrov about Armenian-Turkish last developments and asked the latter to accelerate the steps directed to the NKR conflict settlement for establishing stability and security in Caucuses. September 1, 2009 The Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation appears with the official statement, according which Russia welcomes and accepts the steps undertaken by Armenia and Turkey and expresses its positive opinion about the 2 records. September 2, 2009 The Turkish Foreign Minister A. Davudoghlu informs that soon active developments are expected on the Armenian - Turkish platform. The meetings of the Turkish and Armenian delegations have already been held in Heybeliada Island. But as Erdoghan mentions the records have no force and will not have if the parliaments will not verify them.
Protocols Contain No Information Conflicting With Armenian Nation's Interests, 04.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ "No new documents were signed between Armenia and Turkey. Protocols were ready even in April, though become published recently," RA Republican Party's Parliamentary Faction Leader Galust Sahakyan told today's news conference in Yerevan. According to Sahakyan, some political forces are trying to search documents for points conflicting with Armenian nation's interest. Still it's a waste of time, and Armenian government must not be accused with something it has not committed. Galust Sahakyan noted that opening borders with Turkey is an EU -made demand, not countered by Armenia. Armenia offers to normalize ties with Turkey without preconditions. "Discussion of Genocide and NKR issues are initiated by political forces, intending to create a stir on political scene," Sahakyan emphasized.
Armenia Will Never Discuss The Genocide With Turkey, 04.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ "Some forces believe that the protocol's point on formation of historic issues examination subcommittee questions the Armenian Genocide. This opinion is a false one," RA Republican Party's Parliamentary Faction Leader Galust Sahakyan told today's news conference in Yerevan. According to Sahakyan, Armenia will never discuss the Genocide with Turkey, moreover, the discussion stage has already passed and many countries of the world recognized the Armenian Genocide. " Turkey, per se, has also recognized it, the subject of discussion is now the phrasing which would allow Turkish government mitigate Genocide recognition consequences," Galust Sahakyan added. He noted that historic issues examination subcommittee will be in charge of Armenian churches, toponyms, monuments problems and not Genocide issues.
Armenia To Be Able To Gain Benefit In Any Circumstances, 03.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ "There's no need to jump conclusions about worsening of Azerbaijani-Turkish ties because countries may always freeze and unfreeze relations between one another," RA Ambassador to Ukraine Armen Khachatryan told a PanAREMANIN.Net reporter. Armenia, he said, should conduct consistent foreign policy, i.e. establish good diplomatic ties with Turkey and solve the problem of borders. "After all, Armenia needs direct transport communication, and Turkey in that sense occupies a favorable geographical location," Armen Khachatryan noted. Ambassador also stressed that Azerbaijani-Turkish relations were a problem to be resolved by two countries, and Armenia should be able to gain benefit in any circumstances.
ARF Europe: 'Not To The Compromisings Of The Armenian Authorities' Jean Eckian, Lragir 03/09/2009 Paris Mourad Papazian, chairman of ARF Dachnaktsutyun/Western Europe, launches a shout of alarm: ' The Armenian cause is in danger, Karabakh is in danger, authorities of Armenia will make the greatest political error since Armenia's independence . ' Precise Papazian: ' To react, it is not to criticize Armenia. It is to take part in the safeguard of avenir.' For him, ' the Armenian authorities seem ready with all compromisings with Turkish State to obtain the normalization of the diplomatic relations and the opening of the borders between the two countries. Compromising on the question of the Armenian genocide. Compromising on the question of the rights of the Armenian people. Compromising on the question of Karabakh. ' The fact even as the ' two States decide to create a structure in responsibility of study, re-study, open or to reopen the files relating to the ' events ' from 1915 ', constitutes for its eyes ' that what was an indisputable asset, not only for the Armenians but for the score of States and the community of the researchers - specialized in the genocide who recognized the Armenian genocide, today is potentially called into question, including by the Armenian government. This is an hard blow carried to the Armenian cause. A considerable retreat. A formidable victory of the Turkish diplomacy. ' , he said. In addition, chairman Papazian stresses the ' renouncement of the Armenian authorities have regard of the territorial claims. ' In the name of what? In the name of which? ' he says. Adding: ' The Armenian government, its Foreign Minister, as well as the President of the Republic do not have the right to speak in the name of the Armenian nation, without preliminary consultation, precise mandate of the Armenian people. The decision of the Armenian authorities concerns political irresponsibility and is stripped of any legitimacy. [...] It is absolutely necessary that the President of the Republic organizes a side-Armenian dialogue, consults the communities throughout the world, the large international Armenian organizations, the Armenian political parties. The fracture between the authorities of Armenia, including its diaspora, is imminente.' Mourad Papazian concluded its warning statement by a call to the representatives from the Armenian nation so that ' a position truly representative of all the Armenian people is adopted. ' ' It would be inadmissible that it is Turkey which divides the Nation armenienne.' , he said.
Before Border Opening, Lragir 03/09/2009 The Armenian government has to hold a serious and wide struggle against corruption before opening the Armenian and Turkish border, said the parliamentary member from the Heritage faction Vardan Khachatryan on September 3. He states the border opening contains serious challenges because we open the borer with a country which is economically several times more powerful than we and the greater part of the population of which thinks that Armenia is their number one enemy. Vardan Khachatryan notes that a survey in Turkey proves that according to the greater part of the Turkish population the number one enemy of that country is Armenia. Under these conditions, Vardan Khachatryan thinks that a serious study and readiness should be procured before opening the border as well as a serious anti-corruption struggle should be held in Armenia.
Vahan Hovhanisyan: "This Is Called Surrender", Lragir 03/09/2009 In the evening of September 2, the rally of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun took place on the square Aznavour in Yerevan dedicated to the 18th anniversary of Karabakh independence and was held under the slogan "Yes to Karabakh independence and no to Turkey's preconditions". The head of the ARF faction Vahan Hovhannisyan addressed the meeting. He recalled that Turkey originally imposed three main preconditions for establishing relations with Armenia - renounce from demands on the Genocide recognition, recognition of the territorial integrity of borders in accordance with the agreement signed through the Bolshevik conspiracy in 1920 and the third condition - concessions in the Karabakh issue. Vahan Hovhannisyan noted that due to confidentiality of negotiations started years ago the Armenian side managed to defend its interests. With the advent of the new president and foreign minister, the situation changed. ARF evaluates the desire of the current government to achieve quick results in the Armenian-Turkish relations through public talks as catastrophic carelessness, says Vahan Hovhannisyan. As evidence, he cited the pluses and minuses of the "football diplomacy". Among the losses, Vahan Hovhannisyan mentioned that the process of recognition of the Genocide has been frozen. Many regret for having admitted this fact. Second, the prestige of Turkey increased in the international sphere as a loyal state. Turkey became a member of the UN Security Council, expanded ties with Russia and now mediates in the Syrian-Iraqi relations. The chances of Turkey to join the EU also increased. What did Armenia get? The U.S. president Obama did not say in his speech on April 24 the word "Genocide", the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the decision on compensation to descendants of victims of genocide, in politics, Russia increasingly shows a tendency to disregard the interests of Armenia (Russia has forgotten that Turkey is a NATO member, while Armenia is its "strategic partner"). The alienation of the Diaspora keeps deepening. No coincidence that at this very moment, Georgia again decided to take a part of the northern border areas with Armenia. For the first time, Turkish diplomats permitted themselves to insult the president of Armenia, advising him to fly to Turkey by plane. Vahan Hovhannisyan thinks that the current protocols have been adopted not only for Serge Sargsyan not to refuse to leave for Turkey. Do not forget that the resolution on recognition of the Genocide is in the U.S. Congress until now, recalled Hovhannisyan. And in order to prevent its adoption the protocols have been released. He does not understand why Armenia for the second time played against its own interests. Vahan Hovhannisyan considers dangerous the provision present in the protocols on the recognition of territorial integrity and inviolability of borders. Vahan Hovhannisyan wonders if the point is not about the treaty signed by Lenin and Ataturk. Armenians did not sign the treaties of Kars and Moscow, in contrast to that of Sevres which the Turks do not want to mention. We are proposed to recognize the borders within the Kars agreement, putting an end to our national rights, said Hovhannisyan. And so Turkey will solve the first of its preconditions. The establishment of diplomatic relations does not necessarily suppose for mutual recognition of borders, he says. As to the point on the establishment of a subcommittee on historical issues, Vahan Hovhannisyan thinks that the events in 1915 may indirectly become the subject of its discussion. This is a retreat from the struggle of many generations of Armenians demanding justice. This is called surrender. Thus, we will eject ourselves to the dustbin of history, said Vahan Hovhannisyan. The issue of genocide must not be turned into a matter of academic debate. This was the second condition of Turkey. Regarding the third condition - concessions in the Karabakh conflict, although this issue is not mentioned in the document itself, however in the past 14 months, the Turkish politicians have repeatedly assured that the border will not be open until the Karabakh issue is not settled. So we will either be forced to make concessions or the border will not open, says Vahan Hovhannisyan. Vahan Hovhannisyan reminded that apart from governmental commitments, the leaders of the country have also national obligations.
Turkey And Armenia Seek To End A Century Of Antagonism By Bruno Waterfield The Vancouver Sun (British Columbia) September 2, 2009 Turkey and Armenia are seeking to end almost a century of hostility by opening diplomatic relations, a move that will help smooth the way for Ankara's membership in the European Union. The neighbours announced the deal by setting a six-week deadline to put diplomatic protocols in place for the first time. It came despite continued bitterness between the two countries. Turkey rejects Armenian claims the Ottoman Empire committed genocide by massacring up to 1.5 million Armenian civilians in 1915. Ankara contests the number of Armenians killed and defines the conflict as a civil war. In a major concession by Turkey, the agreement says both countries will "implement dialogue on the historical dimension with the aim to restore mutual confidence." President Serzh Sarkisian of Armenia said: "It is important that historical justice be restored. It's important that our nations are able to establish normal relations." The prosecution in Turkey of people who supported the genocide claims -- including Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel Prize-winning author -- has been a major stumbling block to Turkey's EU ambitions. The deal, which was brokered by Switzerland, was hailed as a breakthrough for Turkey's EU campaign and a sign of hope for stability in the South Caucasus region. Turkey's government has also been discussing easing restrictions on its Kurdish minority, with plans to end laws that prohibit free expression of political beliefs and suppress Kurdish culture.
US Armenians Insist On 'Genocide Recognition', Hurriyet Sept 3 2009 As Turkey and Armenia step up efforts to normalize their relations, two top U.S. Armenian groups said forcing Turkey to accept what they called the "Armenian genocide" remained their top-priority objective. Turkey and Armenia jointly announced Aug. 31 that they would work to sign a document to formally establish diplomatic ties within six weeks. They also pledged to work toward other aspects of normalization, including reopening the land border. The radical Armenian National Committee of America, or ANCA, qualified the move as a Turkish effort to gain time to avoid "genocide recognition," while the more moderate Armenian Assembly of America, or AAA, said it supported normalization between Armenia and Turkey but that "genocide recognition" was still a top issue. Turkey recognized Armenia's independence in 1991, but has refused to set up diplomatic relations in protest of Armenia's aggression in a war with Azerbaijan, Ankara's close friend and ally. Turkey closed its land border with Armenia in 1993. Armenians qualify World War I-era killings of their kinsmen in the Ottoman Empire as genocide. Turkey rejects the term, saying both Armenians and Muslims were killed in ethnic strife during the last years of the Ottoman Empire. Ankara and Yerevan first said in April that they had launched a normalization process, backed by the United States. But ANCA said in a statement on Wednesday that the latest move by Turkey and Armenia was meant to serve only Turkish interests. Radical Armenians criticize 'Turkish tactic' "This provision, a tactic long pursued by Ankara to cast doubt on the historical record of the Armenian genocide, is intended to serve Turkey's drive to roll back the growing tide of international recognition of this crime against humanity," said Aram Hamparian, ANCA's executive director, according to the statement. "There can be no enduring relationship between Armenia and Turkey that is not built upon the foundation of Turkey's acceptance of a true and just resolution of this crime," he said. Hamparian's remarks were conveyed to the members of the U.S. Congress, the statement said. The AAA said it "supports normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey" but that this should be done without Turkish precondition. In a written statement, the AAA said it urged "President [Barack] Obama and the U.S. Congress to unequivocally affirm the Armenian genocide. In so doing, the United States will honor a proud chapter in U.S. history in helping to save the survivors of the first genocide of the 20th century." "We recall Turkey's ample track record of unfulfilled promises. As such, many remain skeptical as prior governments of Armenia had also offered to normalize relations with Turkey without preconditions only to be rebuffed," it said.
Armenian-Turkish Protocols Contain Several Undisclosed Points, 07.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Despite the time-limits specified by Armenian-Turkish Protocols on normalization of bilateral ties, the current process obviously marks the start of long-term negotiations. Turkey has reasons for suspending and freezing ratification of documents by its Parliament, Shahan Kandaharian, Editor-in-Chief of Azdak Beirut-based newspaper, told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter. "Ankara's policy fully supports its interests. Although Protocols do not contain clear-cut statements concerning recognition of Armenian Genocide, Nagorno Karabakh conflict and Kars Treaty, they do reflect the decision on creating a historical commission. Besides, under these documents signed, parties express willingness to respect principles of border immunity and territorial integrity, thus reiterating the clauses of Kars Treaty," the speaker noted, adding that parties had expressed consent to fulfill agreements within 6 month. That time-limit expires on October 13, following signature of Kars Treaty. "The Protocols contain too many undisclosed point. But for us, the most important thing is to prevent Turkey from splitting Armenian nation. We are facing a new stage dictated by Turlish-imposed rules. Today, we are more than ever required to demonstrate vigilance," Kandaharian said. Such vigilance, according to him, is first of all required for demonstrating that Armenia is for while Diaspora is against Armenian-Turkish process and the documents signed. "It is, after all, necessary to bear in mind that Turkey mostly seeks to imitate rather than show real interest in normalizing Armenian-Turkish ties. Ankara itself will torpedo the current stage and show international community that it hasn't given up its preconditions," "Azdak's" Editor-in-Chief said.
The Economist Sept 5 2009 U.S. Edition Football Diplomacy: Turkish-Armenian Relations It may take a long time to restore relations between two old enemies AFTER decades of fierce animosity, are Turkey and Armenia getting closer to peace? This week the two countries announced plans for six weeks of "internal political consultations" before establishing diplomatic ties and reopening their border. Coming after several months of Swiss mediation and arm-twisting by America, the declaration makes reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia a real prospect'but not a foregone conclusion. Hopes of a new friendship blossomed in September 2008 when Turkey's president, Abdullah Gul, became the first modern Turkish leader to visit Armenia, for a football World Cup qualifier (which Armenia lost). A full deal seemed imminent in April when the two countries initialled a preliminary agreement, including a plan to reopen the border. This was sealed by the Turks in 1993 in solidarity with their Azeri cousins during Azerbaijan's short, sharp war with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, a mainly Armenian enclave of Azerbaijan (which Armenia won). Turkey had earlier insisted that it would not reopen the border until Armenia and Azerbaijan had made peace. But in April it seemed to change tack. The main reason was to stop America's Congress adopting a resolution to label the mass slaughter of the Ottoman Armenians in 1915 as genocide. It worked: Barack Obama did not use the term in his annual April 24th statement on the anniversary of the killings. Yet days later the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reverted to previous policy by insisting that peace with Armenia would come only if the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was solved. The switch back reflected nationalist reaction at home as well as Azerbaijan's threat to turn towards Russia. Armenia's president, Serzh Sargsyan, retaliated by saying he would not attend a return football match in Turkey on October 14th unless the border was on the verge of being reopened. This week's announcement is calculated to ensure that Mr Sargsyan comes to the match, maintaining the façade of reconciliation. By careful coincidence the time for internal political consultations ends just before the match. Links of various sorts between the two countries are growing fast and Armenian tourists have been flocking to the Turkish coast. Yet hostility to a deal from opposition parties in both countries is strong. Armenia's hardline nationalists are furious that the government has agreed both to the present border and to a joint historical commission that might yet call the genocide into doubt. They also accuse Mr Sargsyan of selling out Karabakh. Even if the April 22nd deal is accepted, another hurdle has been raised: both countries' parliaments must agree. To stifle domestic anger (and perhaps embarrass the Turks) Armenia also chose to publish the full text of the agreements in April. They do not mention Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkey's response has been contradictory. Its foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, insists that he hopes that the border will be reopened by the end of the year. But he also says that peace with Armenia is sustainable only if it makes peace with Azerbaijan. Long-running talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan seem to be going nowhere. Mr Davutoglu's most accurate assertion may be that Turkey and Armenia are at the start of a "long process." How long is anybody's guess.
Hurriyet Sept 6 2009, Baykal Asks For Clarity On Kurdish, Armenian Moves The main opposition party has asked the government to clarify the motives behind its recent initiatives on the Kurdish issue and relations with Armenia and repeated that it would not be a part of such moves. Questions on Armenian move The CHP leader also expressed reservations about the government's Armenian move. Noting that the protocols aiming at normalizing relations between Turkey and Armenia were initialized April 2, just days before U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Turkey, Baykal said he had asked President Abdullah Gül whether the two had raised the issue of protocols during their meeting. 'I just want to learn. [They were] initialized in April, announced now. ¦ It has not been written down, but the Americans are in expectation [of the signing of protocols],' he said. `The president will make a statement either to confirm or to deny.'
Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR, UK Sept 3 2009 Armenian Border Doubts, Armenian Border Villagers Distrust Moves To Open Up To Turkey. By Davit Muradian In Bagaran Armenians living along their country's border with Turkey are deeply distrustful of moves by politicians to build ties with the neighbouring state, saying they fear a repeat of the massacres of 1915. The founders of the village Bagaran were refugees from an Armenian village of the same name in what is now Turkey, who were driven from their homes by the campaign against them during World War One. The Turkish government denies that the killings were genocide, and the villagers see that as a sign that the Turks are still not to be trusted. `I have the writings of my grandfather, who came from western Armenia,' said Maria Mkrtchian, a 55-year-old resident of Bagaran, referring to the region in what is now Turkey where Armenians once lived. `They lived through an unbearable nightmare. When they heard the soldiers were coming to their village, they built a bridge in just three days and crossed over the river Akhuryan, which had burst its banks. When I read about this, the thought of that nation makes me feel terror and fear, and no matter how much the politicians talk about there being no danger, I am still scared,' said Mkrtchian, a teacher of Armenian language and literature in the local school. Bagaran sits on the banks of the Akhuryan river, which forms the border here. The Turkish-Armenian border has been closed since 1993 when Turkey decided to support its allies in Azerbaijan in their war with Armenia, when Armenians seized control of the region of Nagorny-Karabakh. The villagers would like to see a relaxation of the current tough border controls, which are here enforced by Russian border guards sent by under a Russian-Armenian pact, but are suspicious of any move to open the border itself. `The only thing that concerns me is economic aggression. They will fill the Armenian market with the same goods, just at lower prices. We will be ruined, we will have to sell our property and even our land. If there is no way of earning, that's what will happen,' said Sanasar Harutinian, the 52-year-old head of the village administration, in a viewpoint that is widely held here. `It would be better if they left things as they are. Some people say that opening the border will benefit us; that trade will start developing. But all the same, there are Turkish goods in our market anyway, so what is the sense in formally opening or closing the border?' asked 37-year-old science teacher Arshak Melqonian. `Whatever happens, it is the peasants who guard the border, and who therefore receive the first blow. The state should be more concerned about the population of the border villages.' But it is not a universal opinion. Davit Danielian, a 58-year-old accountant in the local administration, said that opening the border would help develop the economy and keep young people in the village. He said the border regime had relaxed since Soviet times, when there was even a case of a woman in labour not being allowed to leave the village because her papers were not in order, and it was time to move ahead in other ways too. `Relations will be built with the neighbouring Turkish village, movement between us will start, and mutually beneficial trade too,' he said. `The people have changed, times are not what they were. Maybe they were ignorant in 1915, when all this happened, but what can happen now?' Davit Muradian is a reporter from the Ar television company in Yerevan.
The Economist: How Long The Process Between Armenia And Turkey Can Last Is Anybody's Guess, 05.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ This week Armenia and Turkey announced plans for six weeks of `internal political consultations' before establishing diplomatic ties and reopening their border. Coming after several months of Swiss mediation and arm-twisting by America, the declaration makes reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia a real prospect - but not a foregone conclusion, The Economist writes. Hopes of a new friendship blossomed in September 2008 when Turkey's president, Abdullah Gul, became the first modern Turkish leader to visit Armenia, for a football World Cup qualifier. A full deal seemed imminent in April when the two countries initialed a preliminary agreement, including a plan to reopen the border¦ Turkey had earlier insisted that it would not reopen the border until Armenia and Azerbaijan had made peace. But in April it seemed to change tack. The main reason was to stop America's Congress adopting a resolution to label the mass slaughter of the Ottoman Armenians in 1915 as genocide. It worked: Barack Obama did not use the term in his annual April 24th statement, the article says. Yet days later the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reverted to previous policy by insisting that peace with Armenia would come only if the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was solved. The switch back reflected nationalist reaction at home as well as Azerbaijan's threat to turn towards Russia. Armenia's president, Serzh Sargsyan, retaliated by saying he would not attend a return football match in Turkey on October 14th unless the border was on the verge of being reopened, it says. This week's announcement is calculated to ensure that Mr Sargsyan comes to the match, maintaining the façade of reconciliation. By careful coincidence the time for internal political consultations ends just before the match. Links of various sorts between the two countries are growing fast and Armenian tourists h ty to a deal from opposition parties in both countries is strong. Armenia's hardline nationalists are furious that the government has agreed both to the present border and to a joint historical commission that might yet call the genocide into doubt. They also accuse Mr Sargsyan of selling out Karabakh. Even if the April 22nd deal is accepted, another hurdle has been raised: both countries' parliaments must agree. To stifle domestic anger (and perhaps embarrass the Turks) Armenia also chose to publish the full text of the agreements in April. They do not mention Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkey's response has been contradictory. Its foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, insists that he hopes that the border will be reopened by the end of the year. But he also says that peace with Armenia is sustainable only if it makes peace with Azerbaijan. Long-running talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan seem to be going nowhere. Mr Davutoglu's most accurate assertion may be that Turkey and Armenia are at the start of a `long process.' How long is anybody's guess, the article says.
Georgia Claims The Armenian Monuments In Western Armenia, 05.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Group of 'Georgian pilgrims artists' visited the historical Armenian province Taik (Artvin province of current Turkey), now located in the territory of Turkey. The trip, which took place in the framework of the Georgian festival `The word revived in music', is carried out in several stages initeated by the Writers' Union of Georgia and supported by the Tbilisi City Hall. According to the Georgian newspaper Akhali Taoba, about 80 artists arrived in Turkey `to familiarize with the historical roots and development of interactions with Tao-Klarjeti (as Georgians call this historical Armenian province'. They familiarized with the historical Armenian monuments, including Oshkvank and the church in the village Ishkhan. Georgians have declared these historical Armenian monuments 'jewels of Georgian church architecture' for a long time and want to appropriate at any cost. According to the Georgian newspaper, the program of the festival set to send a few more groups of `Georgian pilgrims to worship at historic shrines'.
Milliyet: Why Turkey Should Be In Favor Of Normalizing Relations With Armenia?, 05.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ `Despite the fact that over the last years the life in Armenia has stabilized, the population continues to decrease, due to a very difficult economic situation in the country,' the Turkish Milliyet newspaper writes. The publication reminds that Turkey closed its border with Armenia for the solidarity to Azerbaijan. `Today, about 8 to 10 million Armenians live in the world, although most of them now live abroad. According to the annual reports of the CIA in 2009, the population of Armenia was 2 million 967 thousand. As you can see most of the Armenians belong to Diaspora. The Diaspora began to rebel and express their discontent about the move in relations of Armenia and Turkey. Particularly Armenian communities in Europe and Central America behave actively,' the article writes. According to Milliyet, if the possible opening of the borders is necessary as much as the air one breathes to the population of Armenia (in economic terms), the Diaspora is not happy with the possible warming of relations. `Most of Armenians of the world are against reconciliation, so why should Turkey be for?,' the Turkish newspaper asks.
Genocide Against Armenian Population Was Committed In Azerbaijan In 1988-1992, 04.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ RA NA standing committee meeting focused on Heritage Parliamentary Faction representative Larisa Alaverdyan's statement project `On recognition of Azeri authorities' crimes committed in 1988-1992 against NKR's and Azerbaijan's Armenian population as a Genocide'. Committee Chairman Armen Rustamyan noted that Dashnaktsutyun Faction will also present an alternative project on the issue and suggested collaboration over joint project. The suggestion was accepted. Discussion was delayed for 30 days.
Turkish Journalists Study General Moods, A1plus, September 04, 2009 A group of Turkish journalists have arrived in Armenia to study the general moods over the Protocols on Armenian-Turkish relations. During a conversation with A1+ reporter of Habarturk newspaper Bulent Gunal said that the "Turkish people are ready for the frontier reopening but some nationalists are concerned about the Protocols." "I can say one thing for sure. Despite all controversial interpretations of the documents Turks are unanimous that there must be no conflicts in the region. Large-scale discussions are held over the Protocols on different levels in Turkey. The cons say Armenian-Turkish frontier mustn't be opened unless Armenia withdraws its troops from Karabakh. They are also concerned over the formation of a sub-commission of Armenian-Turkish historians," says Mr. Bulent Gunal. Armenian authorities lay no preconditions in diplomatic relations while your authorities connect Armenian-Turkish relations with a third country - Azerbaijan. Do the statements of your authorities contribute to the normalization of Armenian-Turkish ties? In reply to A1+'s question, Mr. Bulent said: "I shall not comment on the statements of Turkey's leadership but Armenia should realize that the situation has changed in the region after the Russian-Georgian conflict. Armenia should understand that besides friendly relations Turkey and Azerbaijan have certain energetic commitments and Turkey must defer to Azerbaijan."
Strict Eye On Protocols: Armenia-Turkey Dialogue Under Increasing Diaspora Scrutiny, By Siranuysh Gevorgyan** Armenianow Reporter Different Diaspora and Armenia-based organizations have expressed their views and attitudes to the hottest subject of the passing week - a major step towards reconciliation taken by Armenia and Turkey. Some have shown quite a tough position on the matter. On Monday, Armenia, Turkey and their mediator Switzerland announced the start of `internal political discussions' on two protocols that, if ratified, will establish diplomatic ties and lay the foundation for developing bilateral relations between the two historical foes. The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) issued a tough statement on September 1 warning Members of U.S. Congress about `dangers' of `a recent set of secretly-negotiated, Swiss-brokered, protocols between Turkey and Armenia.' `Among the ANCA's primary concerns is that Armenia, blockaded by Turkey and under intense economic and diplomatic pressure, was forced into accepting terms that threaten her interests, rights, safety, and future - very notably in the form of a proposed `historical commission',' wrote ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. He also added that `this provision, a tactic long pursued by Ankara to cast doubt on the historical record of the Armenian Genocide, is intended to serve Turkey's drive to roll back the growing tide of international recognition of this crime against humanity.' (In the annexed document on the implementation of the Protocol on Development of Relations between Armenia and Turkey, the `Steps to be Undertaken' include setting up a sub-commission, as part of an intergovernmental commission, `on the historical dimension to implement a dialogue with the aim to restore mutual confidence between the two nations, including an impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archive to define existing problems and formulate recommendations, in which Armenian, Turkish as well as Swiss and other international experts shall take part.' This provision has been construed and viewed by the Armenian opposition and main nationalist forces as agreement to debate the Armenian genocide, i.e. to call it into question.) Another major American-Armenian advocacy group, the Armenian Assembly of America (AAA), issued a statement on September 2, in which it `views as encouraging the commitments made by the government of Turkey to normalize relations with Armenia without preconditions.' But it recalls `Turkey's ample track record of unfulfilled promises.' `As such, many remain skeptical as prior governments of Armenia had also offered to normalize relations with Turkey without preconditions only to be rebuffed,' the Assembly said. The Assembly reminds that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu `sent mixed signals' on the same day as the joint statement was released and `not only indicated that the opening of the border would be `a long process,' but also stated that Turkey would guard Azerbaijan's interests.' (Opposition groups in Armenia, notably the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, have also expressed their growing concerns that the Armenian-Turkish rapprochement in its current format is a prelude to major Armenian concessions in the long-running dispute with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh). Meanwhile, in Armenia, the think tank founded by former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian published an analytical piece on Thursday in which it stated that the released document with its current language does not meet Armenia's national interests. According to the Yerevan-based Civilitas Foundation, `a sober evaluation reveals a dangerous scenario in which Turkey's executive authorities shows to the world its `goodwill' to improve relations with Armenia, but `as an established democracy' cannot foist its will on the parliament.' `It becomes clear already today from reactions of Turkish parliamentarians that the noise around this document will be big in [Turkish] parliament. And the Turkish government can easily explain to the international community that for the document to be ratified in parliament it is necessary that the Armenian party should make at least certain concessions in the Karabakh issue and withdraw from territories adjacent to Karabakh,' writes Civilitas. The think tank suggests that in exchange for diplomatic relations and the opening of the border with Turkey, Armenia acknowledges with this document that it has no territorial claims to Turkey and agrees to the Turkey-proposed establishment of a commission with the involvement of historians. `One must try and use the provision that the protocols need parliament ratification and leave an opportunity of amending the document or rejecting it through parliament. It would be an irreversible error if the Armenian authorities, solely out of their desire to save the face of the executive, ignore the dangers existing in the document,' Civilitas concludes.
Scholar Backs Turkish-Armenian Genocide Study, Sargis Harutyunyan, Armenialiberty, Azatutyun Sept 7 2009 Armenia -- Hayk Demoyan, director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, speaks at a news conference on September 7, 2009. A well-known Armenian genocide scholar voiced support on Monday for official Yerevan's and Ankara's plans to form a joint body tasked with looking into the mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey. The creation of such a body is a key provision of one of the two draft protocols on the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations that were made public by the two governments last week. It is supposed to engage in an "impartial scientific examination of historical documents and archives" relating to the 1915-1918 massacres. The idea of such a study appears to be unpopular in Armenia and its worldwide Diaspora. Many Armenians -- and political opponents of President Serzh Sarkisian in particular -- view it as a Turkish ploy designed to discourage more countries from recognizing the deaths of more than one million Armenians as genocide. Hayk Demoyan, the director of the state-run Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute in Yerevan, dismissed these concerns, claiming that the Turkish-Armenian panel would only pose a threat to Turkey's ruling establishment that vehemently denies that the massacres constituted a genocide. He said its Armenian members would gain access to Ottoman archives dating back to the First World War and thereby be able to uncover more evidence of what many international historians believe was the first genocide of the 20th century. Speaking at a news conference, Demoyan claimed that the purpose and format of the study is different from the one proposed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a 2005 letter to then President Robert Kocharian. "Reading the document and its formulations, we can see that this is not what the Turkish side meant," he said. Government critics found Demoyan's arguments unconvincing, however. Gegham Manukian, a historian affiliated with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), said they are at odds with pro-government politicians' assurances that the genocide issue will not be the main focus of the Turkish-Armenian "sub-commission" of historians. "That means that the genocide issue will be discussed there after all," he told RFE/RL. Manukian also stood by Dashnaktsutyun's and other opposition parties' that the Turks will now find it easier to keep foreign governments and parliaments from issuing Armenian genocide resolutions.
Azerbaijan-Armenia-Turkey Highway, Information-Analytic Agency News.Am Sept 7 2009 Turkey intends to realize Caucasus-Europe "Road of Peace" project, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said after the EU Foreign Ministers' informal summit, Turkish Sabah informs. Davutoglu underlined he voiced this proposal at the EC Ministers' summit. According to him the "Road of Peace" will start in Azerbaijan reaching Europe through Nagorno-Karabakh, Lachin corridor, Armenia, Nakhichevan and Turkey. Davutoglu also offered to hold a summit of South-East countries in Turkey. Finnish Foreign Minister replied to Davutoglu's proposal stating EU is unable to solve regional problems and become international power without Turkey. Sabah website referring to EU website, quotes IRU General Delegate Michael Nielsen: "Turkey plays a key role in New Eurasian Land Transport Initiative (NELTI) program."
Turkey And Armenia Open Diplomatic Relations, Allgov Sept 7 2009 Although the two countries still have not resolved the Armenian genocide issue dating back to the early 20th century, Turkey and Armenia announced last week they are working on establishing formal relations for the first time ever. After a year of secret diplomatic talks in Switzerland, the foreign ministries of the two countries agreed to go public with their negotiations and their intent to reopen their shared border, closed since 1993. That year, the outbreak of war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh led to the border being closed between Armenia and Turkey, which supported Azerbaijan. Russia's military action in Georgia last year prompted Turkish officials to improve their relations with neighboring countries, including Armenia. Meanwhile, a new government elected in Armenia led to a thaw in policy towards Ankara. But it is uncertain whether Armenia will establish full ties with its longtime adversary if Turkish officials don't admit to killing more than a million Armenians from 1915-1918 during the end of the Ottoman Empire. The next round of talks is expected to conclude in time for the Turkey-Armenia World Cup qualifying match in Istanbul October 14.
Agreement Between Yerevan And Ankara Should Contain Elements Eliminating Consequences Of Armenian Genocide, 07.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Any agreement signed between Yerevan and Ankara should contain elements eliminating consequences of Armenian Genocide, said Hayk Demoyan, Director of Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute. "Currently, there are minimum two elements of that kind. First, Turkey should not create obstacles for clarifying relationship ties. There are many examples when people tried to find one another through blood relations. That's one of reasons causing anxiety to Turkish side which perfectly realizes that generation change eventually leading to elimination of relationship ties is still in process," the speaker said. The second element which will hold Turkey accountable and eliminate consequences of Armenian Genocide is compliance with clauses prescribed by Lausanne agreement, Demoyan finds. "That's to say, elimination of Armenian cultural heritage on Turkish territory. That's a violation of existing agreements, including Lausanne Treaty. In that connection, it is necessary to set up a fact-finding group with the involvement of a third party which will register all Armenian monuments situated in Turkey. Under Lausanne Treaty, Turkey committed itself to restoring Christians church complexes and returning them to their owners If we are able to submit to any committee, including International Court, concrete examples and facts demanding liability, Turkey will be obliged not only to restore those monument but also return them to community," Hayk Demoyan noted. At this point, a question arises as to whether those monuments should be returned to Constantinople community or the Armenians who can return to Turkey and create communities there. "Under European law, Turkey's resistance to return Armenians to their native land is a serious violation that may create serious problems for the country," Director of Genocide Museum-Institute stated.
Hayk Demoyan: From Now On In The Relations With Armenia Turkey Is Making Two Steps Forward And Just One Step Back, 2009-09-07 ArmInfo. From now on in the relations with Armenia Turkey is making two steps forward and just one step back, Director of Armenian Genocide-Museum Hayk Demoyan told media. "Before August 31 we had dealt with the Turkish policy that might be characterized as a step forward and two back, now the situation has changed and even a step back by Turkey is imitated in order to calm down the fraternal Azerbaijan," he said. The historian believes that after August 31 the Armenian-Turkish process has moved forward. Earlier it was almost frozen, which made it possible to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan to make two ultimatums to Ankara. On August 31 the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey agreed to start their internal political consultations on the two protocols -the "Protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations" and the "Protocol on the development of bilateral relations" - which have been initiated in the course of their efforts under Swiss mediation. The political consultations will be completed within six weeks, following which the two Protocols will be signed and submitted to the respective Parliaments for the ratification on each side.
Armenian Parliament May Pass Statement Blaming Azerbaijan For Genocide, Arka September 7, 2009 Yerevan External relations commission of Armenian parliament discussed draft statement blaming Azerbaijan for genocide of Armenian population. MP from Heritage opposition party Larissa Alaverdyan is the author of the draft statement about recognizing the crimes committed by Azerbaijani authorities toward Armenian population of Azerbaijani Soviet Republic and the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous district (later Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) in 1988-1992 as genocide. Chairman of the external relations parliament commission Armen Rustamyan said he will be submitting an alternate draft on the matter and suggested Alaverdyan cooperating and proposing a joint draft, says the report. Alaverdyan accepted the suggestion. The discussion of the issues has been postponed for 30 days. Nagorno-Karabakh conflict started in 1988 when Nagorno-Karabakh with prevailingly Armenian population declared its withdrawal from Azerbaijan. On December 10 1991, just a couple of days before the collapse of the Soviet Union, 99.89% of Karabakh's population voted for full independence from Azerbaijan in a referendum held in the country in the presence of international observers. In response, Azerbaijan launched a large-scale war against Nagorno-Karabakh. Active operations were ceased on May 12 1994 by signing a cease-fire agreement that has been maintained since then. The military20operations led to about 25-30,000 deaths; a million of people had to leave their homes. Since 1992 negotiations have been held on peaceful settlement of the conflict under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the USA, Russia and France.
Davutoglu: Turkey Aims To Change The Region's Geopolitical And Geo-Economic Panorama, Armradio.Am 07.09.2009 Europe and Turkey are working towards "Peace roads" project realization, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated. "A highway network will go through Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey to Europe," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated to Sabah Turkish newspaper before leaving for Georgia. "This will be the first global project between Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey. Turkey aims to fully change the region's geopolitical and geo-economic panorama," Sabah Turkish newspaper cited the Minister as saying.
ARFD Against Referendum On Armenian-Turkish Protocols, 08.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ ARF Dashnaktsutyun Bureau representative Hrant Markarian doesn't consider it necessary to conduct a referendum on Armenian-Turkish protocols. "I believe neither referendum nor documents' ratification in RA Parliament are the right solution," Hrant Markarian told a news conference in Yerevan. According to him, tradition of free and fair elections has not yet been formed in Armenia. Besides, Dashnaktsutyun representative emphasized that, it would be more correct for RA President to consult with RA's political forces. "Parties should come to an agreement on the issue as a result of consultations, trying to disregard mutual disagreements existing," Markarian said.
Arfd Ready To Cooperate With Ra Political Forces On Armenian-Turkish Relations, 08.09.2009 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutyun is ready to cooperate with other political forces on the Armenian-Turkish relations. "We will collaborate with the forces which do not suit their own ends," he said. "I am positive about the position of Heritage party on the issue but there is no agreement on cooperation yet." Mr. Markarian refrained from commenting on Heritage leader Raffi Hovannisian's renouncement of his mandate. As to ARFD position, he said parliament is the arena where the party can present its views and approaches to different problems
Antalya Trafficking Trial Underway: Brother and Sister Face 8.5 and 11 Years Respectively 2009/09/07 Ararat Davtyan On September 3, 2008, Laura Azaryan was able to cross the Armenian border at Bagratashen and make her way to Batumi. Her Turkish husband Oumit was waiting for her there and for the “cargo” she was bringing – Lilit, born in 1979, and her 8 year-old daughter. About ten day before, however, the police had been informed that Armenian girls brought to Turkey by Laura had been subject to trafficking. Let’s remind readers that as early as May, 2008, Gagik Karapetyan, Laura’s brother, had brought 49 year-old Rima to Antalya, promising to pay the woman $500 monthly as a dishwasher in his sister’s casino-bar. Later on Laura, with her Turkish husband Oumit Ramazan Poujlu, visited Armenia and offered a similar salary to 20 year-old Irina and 23 year-old Nuneh for work as waitresses. On August 8, the two young woman left for Turkey in the company of Laura’s husband. Armenian woman forced to “entertain” Antalya casino customers According to facts revealed in the preliminary examination, upon arriving in Antalya, Rima was forced to work as an unpaid maid in Laura’s house. The girls were compelled to work in various casino-bars where they’d have to “entertain” the clients oftentimes to the extent of being sexually abused. “On September 3,Oumit took me and Nuneh to customs to extend our one month tourist visa. We accidentally bumped into Laura at the Batumi customs house. She had brought Lilit and her daughter to Turkey,” Irina recounts. “Nuneh had some issue with a passport stamp and Laura decided that she’d have to take her to the Bagratashen customs house to straighten out the matter. I started to cry and told Laura that I didn’t want to work and begged that she take me to Armenian. She told me to wait until Nuneh’s problems were resolved, that we’d return to Turkey together and that she’d send me back to Armenia two days later. They left me in Georgia by myself in some woman’s house and headed off for Bagratashen.” In court, Laura testified that Irina’s statements were false. “While at the border, my mother telephoned and said that Armineh had sent ten policemen to our house and they were still searching the hen house. I told Irina that I had a falling out with Armineh who had sent the police to our house and that I must send her to Armenia. Irina told me that she didn’t want to go, that her situation in Turkey was quite good and that she wanted to stay and make money. Even right up to my being arrested she was waiting to return to Turkey to work.” Laura’s claims however seem to be contradicted by the fact that Irina immediately went to the police after her return to Armenia and spilled the beans. Before Laura had returned to the house in Georgia where she had left her, Irina had managed to return to Armenia with the help of Armineh’s friends in Georgia to serve as a witness in the case. Returning from Bagratashen to Batumi and not finding Irina there, Laura had already sent Lilit and Nuneh to Antalya in the company of her husband. Laura, on the other hand, crossed the border at Bagratashen, again with no difficulty, and returned to Armenia since the Turks had again refused her an entry visa. Laura was arrested some one month after returning to Armenia. She was found not due to the actions of law enforcement but due to the perseverance of Nuneh’s mother. Trafficking ringleader found hiding in uncle’s house Nuneh’s mother says, “Laura was hiding in her uncle’s house in the village of Gecherli. The police were in possession of her old passport with the last name Karapetyan. She asked for help in getting her passport back and that she would go to Turkey and send back Nuneh in good shape and that she’d pay us back for the favor. Since Nuneh was in Antalya at the time, in the clutches of Laura’s husband and brother, it never occurred to her that I would trick her; but that’s exactly what I did. We got into a taxi as if we were going to the passport division but instead we drove straight to the police, where I handed her over.” All this time, Nuneh and Lilit were still working in Antalya nightclubs, performing belly-dances and keeping the customers “entertained”. Lilit, a divorced woman, told investigators that she had taken her 8 year-old daughter with her to Turkey so that the neighbors wouldn’t think the worst. Her mother and Laura’s mother were friends from way back and thus she had no reason to suspect Laura’s promises of a better life and work in Turkey. She would leave her daughter in the care of Rima when she was working in Antalya. “Nuneh told the preliminary examining board that, “I returned to Turkey since Laura had convinced me that a few days hence she’d pay me my money…Upon the urging of our parents in Armenia, Oumit and Gagik saw us off to Armenia on October 13. They had found out that Laura had been pinched in Armenia and were afraid.” After seeing the girls off, Gagik Karapetyan and Oumit Poujlu even forced 49 year-old Rima to belly dance and “entertain” clients in their absence. She testified about this in court. “Later Gago called my sister and said that I won’t be leaving for Armenia since Laura was still under arrest. He threatened my relatives and demanded that they go to the police and recant their testimony against Laura. All the while, Gagik and Oumit told me that they’d either burn me or sell me, and that they’d murder my family,” Rima recounts, “Then, one day in November the police came to the house and saw that I was washing dishes. They asked for my name and then asked if I was aware that a search warrant had been issued in my name in Armenia. They took me and Gagik to a special unit and deported us soon afterwards.” Search warrant issued for Turkish husband of Armenian “Mistress” On April 23, 2009, a criminal case was brought against Omit Ramazan Poujli and a search launched for his whereabouts. In addition, the investigation regarding the sister and brother team of Laura and Gagik by the Aragatzotn Regional Court came to a close. At the previous trial session, Prosecutor Artur Ghambaryan motioned the court to sentence Gagik Karapetyan to 8.5 years imprisonment, requesting that the court lighten his sentence due to the fact that the accused cooperated with the investigation, had offered truthful testimony and had played a secondary, passive role in the criminal activities of the group. The prosecutor sought an 11 year sentence for Laura Azaryan. During the trial, Laura argued that the examiner had only interrogated two witnesses and that she wasn’t able to impart her correct side of the story. In response, Prosecutor Ghambaryan, with the permission of the court, offered up the minutes of her deposition that she gave during their face-to-face interrogation. The prosecutor noted, “During the preliminary examination an attempt was made to conduct a face-to-face meeting but that the defense often refused to permit it and simply left the examining room several times.” During the pre-examination, the accused availed themselves of legal services. In court, however, they assumed their own defense. At their request, Judge Souren Mnoyan scheduled the next trial session three weeks hence in order that Laura and Gagik could have sufficient time to prepare their defense statements. P.S. – At today’s court session, Gagik Karapetyan declared that he was innocent of all charges and requested that the court show leniency on his behalf. His sister, Laura Azaryan, assumed the full brunt of responsibility for what had taken place, declared that her brother had no connection whatsoever with the case and that she was ready to “serve 15 years”, just as long as Gagik walk away a free man. Judge Souren Mnoyan will pronounce sentence on September 9 Hetq
Hrand Margaryan – It’s Possible that ARF Might Call for President’s Resignation, 2009/09/08 Natasha Harutyunyan “For 70 years people have drunk blood in order to raise the issue of the Genocide so that Armenia today can use it in the negotiations process. Can we now just hand it over in such an easy fashion? People need to have some dignity. We are devaluing the matter and for what purpose? What are we getting in return?” This is how ARF Bureau representative Hrand Margaryan described recent developments in current phase of Armenian-Turkish relations. He stated that developments were entering a very serious phase and that it was not a matter of simply restoring diplomatic relations with Turkey. “We do not have the right to hide behind the shadows and not address issues openly,” Mr. Margaryan said. The ARF spokesperson argued that by signing the recent protocols, we have signed away the rights that belong to future generations and have questioned the validity of the Armenian Genocide. Mr. Margaryan expressed the view that the Genocide was a security issue for Armenia, a matter of honor and an important component in the struggle for justice. “In this way, we are preparing the road leading to the division of the nation and that this threat must be avoided at all costs. We are also concerned as to whether there are mechanisms for debate that will produce actual results and that will allow for modifications. The government must address this question. They must ensure that debate on the issue is real and not symbolic. It is not enough to merely say ‘yes or no’ to these protocols. If that is the case, then our people must loudly answer – no,” Mr. Margaryan said. When asked why the ARF has only demanded the resignation of the RoA Foreign Minister and not President Sargsyan, who formulates foreign policy, Mr. Margaryan agreed that the head of state is responsible for policy but that the execution of said policy is the reserve of a professional corps of officials and diplomats. “The president works with a professional staff. There would be no need for a foreign minister if the head of state was in total mastering of the nuances of foreign affairs. The foreign minister serves as the advisor to the president, offering direction and suggestions. The role of the foreign minister cannot be underestimated. Naturally, the president is ultimately responsible for foreign policy but by calling for the resignation of the foreign minister we are also expressing an opinion on the steps being taken by the president. Calling for the resignation of the president is another matter entirely, but it too cannot be ruled out,” Mr. Margaryan concluded. Hetq
Contact The Foreign Ministry of Armenia, Sep 7, 2009 If you believe that the proposed Protocols are to the detriment of Armenians and Armenia, then please email the Foreign Ministry of Armenia info@armeniaforeignministry.com Let's make our voices heard. We all wish for a strong and prosperous Armenia!
Turkish And Azeri Nationalists Spout Hatred, Aug 27, 2009 Immediately after Aris Babikian's appointment to the position of Citizenship Judge by the Government of Canada, an orchestrated campaign of character assassination, intimidation, lies, innuendo, misinformation, and propaganda was launched in certain Canadian-Turkish media outlets, mirroring similar campaigns in Azerbaijan and Turkey. The intent of these campaigns are to tarnish Babikian's name and to distort his 32 years of volunteer contribution and service to Canadian civil society and to the Canadian multicultural mosaic. It has been insinuated, among other allegations, that Mr. Babikian has "displayed bias and hatred towards Turks", that Mr. Babikian is "against dialogue and reconciliation" between Armenians and Turks, that he is "the most aggressive anti-Turkish lobbyist in Canada", that "he has been a main sources of tension between Canadians of Turkish and Armenian origin", that "he vilifies and intimidates Turkish Canadians," that he is "against reconciliation between Turks and Armenians in Canada", that he is "opposed to the normalization process Turkey and Armenia are engaged in", and that he "does not possess the cross-cultural sensitivity" one would expect from a Canadian citizenship judge. The falsehoods, libelous and unfounded accusations in the above paragraph couldn't be farther from the truth. To reply to such high- powered, sophisticated and organized campaign is beyond the means of any individual, but to set the record straight here are the facts. Aris Babikian's cross-cultural, civic, human rights, educational, multicultural, civic projects, plus his service record, voluntarism, and contribution to the enrichment of the Canadian civil society should suffice as convincing rebuttal to this vicious, immoral, unethical and mendacious campaign. Everyone who has had the opportunity to work with and to know Judge Babikian will attest that he is man of integrity, honesty, sincerity, moderation and a firm believer in peaceful coexistence. The accolades he has received from many governments and NGOs are testimony to the man's high moral standing and commitment to making Canada a welcoming places to everyone regardless of religion, color, race or any other differences. Babikian has never held a grudge or harboured hatred against the Turkish people. During his engagements and discussions, he has always made a distinction between the Turkish people and the Turkish government. He is cognizant that the Turkish government and a minority of ultra-nationalists are out of touch with their civil society's thinking when it comes to the Armenian Genocide. He was heartened by the recent changes which have been taking place in Turkey and in Turkish Diaspora. He was encouraged by the righteous Turks' attempt to break away from the taboos and restrictions of the Turkish "Deep State". On frequent occasions he has said that he believes Turks and Armenians will eventually find a way to reconcile and to achieve a peaceful coexistence once the Turkish "Deep State" and nationalists have halted their Armenian Genocide denial campaign and stopped whipping hysteria around the issue. During his lectures, discussions, and writings Judge Babikian has advocated sensitivity towards individual Turk's feelings and advised people to refrain from recklessly painting all Turks with the same ultranationalist brush. The best vindication to his approach was the petition which 30,000 Turkish intellectuals and civil society members signed to apologize to the Armenian people for the horrific events of 1915. In private and in public Mr. Babikian has been consistent in his enlightened approach to the thorny Armenian- Turkish relations. He is a firm believer of dialogue to establish genuine and lasting reconciliation between the two peoples, based on respect of historical realities. In private and long before the current discussions between Armenian and Turkey and the `road map' announcement in the early 1990s, Babikian invited the executive director of the Federation of Canadian Turkish Associations (FCTA), to talk about the two community's relations. The meeting took place at the Queen's Park (Ontario's Parliament) cafeteria in Toronto and lasted for two hours. During the meeting the two leaders discussed all outstanding issues in a friendly and collegial manner. At the end of the meeting, Babikian expressed his wish to meet again, while the FCTA executive director preferred to keep the meeting secret because the FCTA representative was concerned that if "the nationalists in my community hear about my meeting with you [Aris Babikian], I will be in trouble". Two years ago, during a lecture at the Munk Centre in Toronto, Mr. Babikian approached Turkey's ambassador to Canada and asked him for an interview to the be published in "Horizon", a Canadian-Armenian weekly. The Turkish ambassador refused Babikian's request. A year ago, during the Canadian Ethno cultural Council's (CEC) biennial meeting in Toronto, Mr. Babikian had a lengthy discussion with Nedim Duzenli, the president of the Federation of Canadian Turkish Associations. In a follow up, Babikian contacted Mr. Duzenli to arrange another meeting to elaborate on some of the issue touched upon during the CEC meeting. Mr. Duzenli said that he could not meet because he was preparing for his federation's annual general meeting. But he promised he would call Mr. Babikian and arrange a meeting once he had wrapped up his work for the meeting. Mr. Babikian is still waiting for that call. Babikian has made a special effort not to miss any opportunity for dialogue with Canadian-Turkish community leaders and members. During Mr. Babikian's lengthy service at the CEC, as board member and as a member of various committees, he has always worked and cooperated with the members of the Canadian-Turkish community. He has always been friendly and civil with them. He has respected their feelings and sensitivities and has never antagonized them. He even seconded the nomination of Canadian-Turkish candidates to the CEC board. In addition, Mr. Babikian has very good relations with many righteous members of the Canadian-Turkish community in Toronto and in Ottawa. They visit each other for dinner and for other social events. Most importantly, they gather for discussions about the historical, social, cultural, and other aspects of their respective peoples in a very gracious and open manner. Unfortunately, because of intimidation, threats, and blackmail these righteous Turks encounter from official and non-official elements of their community, they do not want to publicize their contacts with Mr. Babikian, the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC), and other members of the Canadian-Armenian community. At the initiative of Mr. Babikian, Canadian-Turks in Ottawa and in Toronto attended a reception organized by the ANCC to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the House of Commons recognition of the Armenian Genocide. In public, as in private, Mr. Babikian has been consistent in his approach to Armenian-Turkish relations. He has never wavered from his lofty principles by saying one thing in public and doing another in private. On May 11, 1996 he conducted an exclusive interview with the Turkey's Ambassador to Canada, Omer Ersun. The ground-breaking interview was published in two instalments in "Horizon" on May 21 and 27 of that year. The interview was published verbatim, without editing alterations. In the interview the ambassador said that he highly appreciated the opportunity to speak to the Canadian-Armenian community and thanked Babikian for the opportunity and his progressive look at complicated issues, calling Mr. Babikian a "rational person". During many of his interviews with various Canadian media outlets, in articles and at conferences, Babikian has always made an emphatic distinction between the Turkish people and the Turkish government policies and its `Big Lie' machine. On April 25, 2002 Mr. Babikian did not shy away from participating in a panel discussion on the Armenian Genocide with two representatives of the Turkish Federation on Michael Coren TV program. Most recently (February 18, 2009), during a lecture by Turkish Prof. Turkkaya Ataov at the Ryerson University in Toronto, Mr. Babikian was invited by the professor to express his thoughts on Armenian-Turkish issues, despite threats by fascist Turks in the audience who tried to silence Mr. Babikian and threatened him with forceful removal from the hall. In April 2009 Mr. Babikian reiterated his open-minded and constructive views on Armenian-Turkish relations in an interview with Steve Paikin on TVO in Toronto. He stated, in no ambiguous terms, that he, the ANCC, and the Canadian-Armenian community do not have any issue with the Canadian-Turkish community. On the contrary, Mr. Babikian said, they sympathize with Canadian-Turks because the Turkish government, for over 90 years, has mislead its own people, denying them their own history. In June of this year Mr. Babikian once again demonstrated his magnanimity, and belief in the freedom of expression by joining over 1,000 Canadian-Turks, -Kurds, and -Alevies in Toronto to celebrate the second anniversary of our newspaper "Yeni Hayat." After considering the above facts, it becomes obvious to any fair-minded person that Judge Babikian is not what a state-sponsored and coordinated campaign is trying to depict. The intention of the deplorable and absurd campaign is to smear the reputation of an outstanding Canadian who has dedicated his adult life to serve Canadians. Mr. Babikian's record of volunteerism at the Canadian Ethno cultural Council, National Ethnic Media and Press Council of Canada, Boy Scouts Canada, Wishing Well Community Association, Willowdale Legal Aid Service, and numerous other organizations are well documented. His commitment to social justice, for fighting against racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia attest to the Turkish propaganda campaign's falsehoods. It is disturbing to see that a minority of ultra-nationalist, with the help and support of foreign elements, have taken over the Canadian-Turkish community and are trying to radicalize the community and sow the seed of hatred against other communities in Canada. These people are so emboldened that they have launched an open threat against Judge Babikian in an editorial in one of the Canadian-Turkish newspapers. The modus operandi of these ultra-nationalists is indicative and reminiscent of the Turkish government's tactics in suppressing freedom of speech and silencing anyone who dares to challenge the official Turkish government's narrative of the Armenian Genocide under article 301 of the Turkish penal code. The persecution of award-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk and many other righteous Turks, and the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink are eloquent examples of these venal and virulent policies. We commend the Government of Canada and Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism, and his Ministry for their wise and excellent choice in appointing Aris Babikian as citizenship judge. Judge Babikian brings to his new position a wealth of relevant experience and knowledge in addition to a deep dedication to Canada and to our country's multicultural mosaic. We are confident that Mr. Babikian will be an ideal judge, who will implement the spirit and the letter of the Citizenship Act and will be fair and just to everyone.
Gul And Sarksyan To Be Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize?, AVIM/History Of Truth 7 September 2009 Armenian diaspora in France protests initiation of protocols between Turkey and Armenia towards establishment of diplomatic relations. From the first day of announcement of agreement, Armenians in France condemns Turkey policies of Armenian government and President Serzh Sarksyan, and make “genocide cause is being lost” propaganda. Following the Liberation newspaper, Le Monde gave place to the analysis of one of the members of old ASALA terrorist organization, owner of Armenews website and the magazine with same name, Ara Toranyan. Toranyan harshly criticized the organizers of Turkish season in France that will be held between July 2009 and March 2010 with many cultural and economic activities. Toranian complained that allegations of so called Armenian genocide has no place in 400 activities that will be held in the frames of Turkish season in France. On the other hand, Head of Armenia’s European Friends Group Michael Kempek suggested nomination of President Abdullah Gul and Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan for Nobel Peace Award because of their efforts towards normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia.
Armenian Breakthrough Will Help Turkey’s Eu Bid, Bagis Says Today's Zaman 2 September 2009 On the plane en route to Austria on Tuesday, Bagis told Today's Zaman that he expects the opening with Armenia to be reflected in the upcoming progress report by the European Union. “The zero-problem policy with our neighbors has resulted in this new opening, and it reflects Turkey's commitment to compromise, which is very much at the core of the EU,” he said. He cautioned, however, that Turkey will maintain a balanced approach concerning the Caucasus and pay heed to the concerns of Azerbaijan. “We want a total and comprehensive approach in the region, and the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh needs to be resolved as well,” he underlined. As for the Armenian diaspora, which was predominantly against rapprochement, Bagis said, “We are actually helping Armenian expatriates reduce the burden of supporting the Armenian national economy.” He lamented, however, the diaspora's unwillingness to acknowledge this positive development but instead respond to issues emotionally and dwelling in the past. He reiterated that the party Turkey addresses is not the diaspora but the current Armenian government. He called upon the diaspora to stop exploiting the nationalistic feelings of Armenians. Bagis noted that his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government was the first one to allow Armenian airlines to fly to and from Turkey in 2002. “We also allow a large number of illegal Armenian workers to work and send remittances to their families,” he said. It is estimated that around 50,000 to 70,000 Armenians work in Turkey illegally. Chief negotiator Bagis also drew attention to the fact that the Armenian economy is struggling and unemployment is soaring. “Good relations with Turkey will help the Armenian economy,” he said. Bagis also noted that the conditions in the region have changed dramatically. Armenia is surrounded by energy-rich Azerbaijan and Georgia, with strong links to the US and the EU. “Turkey has also recuperated from the worsening relations with the US during the Bush presidency and established very close ties with the current US administration,” he stated. “Against this backdrop, it is in the interest of Armenia to get close to Turkey,” he added. Touching on the government democratization process, Bagis said Turkey is trying to resolve its outstanding issues on its own and dismissed the accusation that the process as well as the opening with Armenia is imposed by the EU or the US. “What we are trying to do is to place the citizen, not the state, at the center of the government,” he stressed, lamenting the fact that Turkey, for a long time, revered the state rather than not its citizens. “EU culture is actually similar to our own culture, which we have had for thousands of years,” he said. “With the membership process, we are in fact returning to our roots, which are a culture of compromise stripped of extremism on either side of the spectrum.” The chief EU negotiator pointed out that public support for the democratization process is substantial and citizens rally behind the government. He emphasized that Kurds have not only suffered from rigid state regimes but other groups, including minorities, have also paid prices. “Everybody ought to accept everybody as they are,” he stated, stressing that “total democratization is a solution to Turkey's problems.” Bagis pointed to Parliament as the entity to solve the problems and noted that the government alone cannot deliver on its promises. “The opposition should be involved, and a solution should be sought with broader public support and commitment,” he underlined. He further noted that Turkey should focus on real problems such as the economy and unemployment and stop dwelling on symbolic discussions devoid of any concrete substance. “We would like to deliver a bright and promising future to our younger generations,” he remarked. As for EU reforms, the chief negotiator deflected criticism that the government is not doing enough. “We have declared May 1 an official holiday, established a commission for gender equality, launched a major reform in the justice system, allocated billions of dollars for investment in the impoverished southeastern regions, submitted a draft law regulating the EU secretary-general in Turkey and devised a major communications strategy to boost public support for the EU membership process.” Bagis also disclosed for the first time that the government will soon be launching a strategy to fight corruption.
Responses To Turkey-Armenia Pact Point To Hurdles Ahead Wsj 2 September 2009 By Marc Champion A renewed effort by Armenia and Turkey to restore relations soured by a brutal history received high praise from Brussels and Washington on Tuesday, but neighboring Azerbaijan -- which scuttled the reconciliation earlier this year -- again cast doubt on the process. Turkish and Armenian diplomats on Monday initialed a road map to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries for the first time. In a statement mediated by Switzerland, the two governments set a six-week deadline for consultations with their respective parliaments before beginning ratification. Once the protocols are ratified, they commit the two sides to reopen their border within two months. Turkey sealed its border with Armenia in 1993 to protest what it considered Armenia's military occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh, a district of Azerbaijan populated mainly by ethnic Armenians. The protocols also commit the two sides to set up a joint historical commission. The commission could investigate the 1915 massacre of Armenians under Ottoman rule. Many historians estimate the death toll from those killings to be up to 1.5 million, in what is considered by many to be the first genocide of the 20th century. Armenians have lobbied around the world for the killings to be recognized as genocide. Turkey argues the deaths were wartime casualties. Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign-policy representative, welcomed Tuesday what he described as a crucial step in a "historic process" to bring stability to the troubled Caucasus region. The U.S. State Department also welcomed the deal. President Barack Obama pledged before his election last year to recognize the Armenian genocide, but he held back during a visit to Turkey in April, saying he didn't want to risk scuttling the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation talks. The protocols initialed on Monday had already been drafted in April. However, even before Mr. Obama visited Turkey, Azerbaijan publicly attacked the proposed border opening as a betrayal by its Turkish ally. The criticism stirred nationalist opposition to the deal within Turkey. Azeri leaders also threatened to redirect their growing oil and gas supplies away from Turkey. Turkey's leaders quickly backed away from signing the deal after Mr. Obama left. On Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the two nations were at the beginning of "a long process." He has spearheaded a policy aimed at resolving disputes with Turkey's neighbors to restore Turkey's influence as a regional player and smooth its path toward joining the EU. But his comment reflected strong opposition, repeated by officials at Azerbaijan's foreign ministry, to opening the border with Armenia before the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is resolved.
Former Speaker Of Turkish Parliament: “the Protocols Agreed With Armenia Cannot Be Discussed In The Parliament In Such A Way” APA, 2 September 2009 Leader of Turkey’s Democratic Party Husamettin Cindoruk took a stance on the protocols initialed by Turkish government and Armenia, APA reports quoting Haberturk. Cindoruk said did it under the instructions of the US. “Barack Obama’s speech in Turkish parliament contains a paragraph far beyond a recommendation. The present issue is the continuation of this paragraph,” he said. Husamettin Cindoruk said he analyzed the protocols, they may not be discussed in the parliament in such a way. “There cannot be a conditional international understanding. The parliament’s lawyers should investigate the documents,” he said. Cindoruk said Turkey-Armenia relations are trilateral, not bilateral. “If Turkey wants to solve its problem with Armenia, Azerbaijan should also participate in this process. We cannot disrespect Azerbaijani people with whom we have similar language, religion and family tree,” he said. Leader of the Democratic Party said there is no problem in the relations with Armenia that should be solved urgently. “What will happen if Armenian President does not come to watch the match in Bursa? Will the match begin with his goal, or will Sargsyan be a referee? Wrong steps should not be taken for the sake of Armenian President’s visit to Turkey,” he said.
We Do Not Consider Recognition Of Genocide Precondition: Armenian President, 31 August 2009 Today.Az The Turkish and Armenian Presidents will meet if the border is opened or countries are close to make this decision, the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said in an interview with BBC's Russian service. "I will go to Turkey for this football match if our border is opened or we are on the eve to achieve it," Sargsyan said. Term 'football diplomacy' appeared a year ago when the Turkish President Abdullah Gul arrived in Yerevan. A formal cause was a football match between teams of the two countries. The return football match will be held in Turkey in mid-October. "We have agreements. I think that a normal, correct way for sides to fulfill their agreements. Unfortunately, I have not seen any great wiling or strive to fulfill these agreements," Sargsyan said. He said that the Armenian still favors establishing relations without preliminary terms. "We have not considered recognition of genocide as a preliminary term to establish relations," Sargsyan said. /Trend News/
Armenia-Turkey To Sign 'Dangerous' Protocols This is a special edition of the Armenia Online Newsletter, detailing important developments in Armenia-Turkey relations with the announcement that Armenia and Turkey are set to sign protocols in 6 weeks which could see the borders between the countries finally opened. However, the world Armenian community is asking 'AT WHAT COST?' Careful assessment of the protocols from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) has them believing the protocols signed by Armenia will mean President Serzh Sargsyan will have accepted, on behalf of all Armenians, ALL the preconditions Turkey set up as hurdles when these negotiations began. Among these preconditions are: * Armenia, by recognising this new open border, it recognises all borders, thus dropping its persistent case for Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and subsequent demand for reparations and land return. * Armenia bowing down to creating hostorical commission on Armenian Genocide. * Nagorno Karabakh being resolved on terms favourable to Azerbaijan. ARF's Hrant Markarian has labelled these protocols as "unacceptable", and one the Armenian government has "no right" to sign. ANC America Executive Director Aram Hamparian calls these protocols "dangerous". Please read the below articles for further enlightenment. NOTE: Give your thoughts by emailing info@armenia.com.au. We will publish these at a later date. Armenia Online
www.petitiononline.com/armturk1/petition.html To: the Governments, The Presidiums and the Parliaments of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey WE THE UNDERSIGNED herby ask the Governments, The Presidiums and the Parliaments of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey to continue the dialogue and to formally ratify the Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between The Republic of Turkey and The Republic of Armenia and the Protocol on Development of Relations Between The Republic of Turkey and The Republic of Armenia. You can find both protocols are below! Turkey and Armenia set for ties (BBC) Turkey and its neighbour Armenia have moved closer to establishing diplomatic ties after decades of bitter mistrust on both sides. They are to hold six weeks of domestic consultations on the move after which their parliaments will vote on it, their foreign ministries announced. Negotiations on the mending of ties have been brokered by Switzerland. The two countries remain deeply divided over the fate Armenians suffered under Turkish Ottoman rule. Turkey has resisted widespread calls for it to recognise the mass killing of Armenians during World War I as an act of genocide. Anticipation of a diplomatic breakthrough has been growing ahead of a planned visit by Armenian President Serge Sarkisian to Turkey on 14 October. He is due to attend the return leg of a World Cup qualifying football match between the two countries. 'Border to open' A roadmap for the normalisation of the relationship between the two countries was agreed in April. The foreign ministries said the two countries had agreed to start internal discussions on two protocols: one establishing diplomatic relations and the other developing bilateral ties. "The political consultations will be completed within six weeks, following which the two protocols will be signed and submitted to the respective parliaments for ratification," their joint statement said. Armenian President Serge Sarkisian told the BBC that Turkish recognition of the killing of Armenians would be an important step for justice, for overcoming the barrier between Turks and Armenians, and for preventing "further genocides". But, he added: "The recognition of the genocide itself is not viewed as a precondition for normalising our relations with Turkey." The Turkish-Armenian border - closed by Turkey in 1993 - would be re-opened within two months of the protocols coming into force. In a statement, the US said it welcomed the move and was ready to work with both governments to support the normalisation of ties. 'Historical troubles' Dr Taner Akcam, a professor of History at Maryland's Clark University in the US, said the "historic breakthrough" was due to increased democratisation in Turkey, the reduced influence of the military in the political sphere, as well as increased international attention on the Caucasus, particularly on the issue of opening borders for trade. After first establishing normal relations, he added, the two countries would then be able to discuss historical troubles. Dr Akcam said Turkey had seen a shift in attitudes since the start of an investigation into an alleged ultra-nationalist plot to bring down Turkey's government. Such killings as the 2007 assassination of the prominent Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink - who been given a six-month suspended sentence in 2005 for writing about the Armenian "genocide" - had also prompted a change in Turkish attitudes, he added. Modern Armenia, which took shape as a Soviet republic in 1920, has only had diplomatic relations with Turkey as part of the USSR. Since declaring independence in 1991, it has pressed for recognition of what it says was genocide. Relations have also been complicated by Turkish support for Azerbaijan in its armed conflict with Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Protocol On The Establishment Of Diplomatic Relations Between The Republic Of Turkey And The Republic Of Armenia The Republic od security for ensuring the democratic and sustainable development of the region, Reiterating their commitment to the peaceful settlement of regional and international disputes and conflicts on the basis of the norms and principles of international law, Reaffirming their readiness to actively support the actions of the international community in addressing common security threats to the region and world security and stability, such as terrorism, transnational organised crimes, illicit trafficking of drugs and arms, 1. Agree to open the common border within 2 months after the entry into force of this Protocol, 2. Agree to conduct regular political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries; implement a dialogue on the historical dimension with the aim to restore mutual confidence between the two nations, including an impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archives to define existing problems and formulate recommendations; make the best possible use of existing transport, communications and energy infrastructure and networks between the two countries, and to undertake measures in this regard; develop the bilateral legal framework in order to foster cooperation between the two countries; cooperate in the fields of science and education by encouraging relations between the appropriate institutions as well as promoting the exchange of specialists and students, and act with the aim of preserving the cultural heritage of both sides and launching common cultural projects; establish consular cooperation in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 in order to provide necessary assistance and protection to the citizens of the two countries; take concrete measures in order to develop trade, tourism and economic cooperation between the two countries; engage in a dialogue and reinforce their cooperation on environmental issues. 3. Agree on the establishment of an intergovernmental bilateral commission which shall comprise separate sub-commissions for the prompt implementation of the commitments mentioned in operational paragraph 2 above in this Protocol. To prepare the working modalities of the intergovernmental commission and its sub-commissions, a working group headed by the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs shall be created 2 months after the day following the entry into force of this Protocol. Within 3 months after the entry into force of this Protocol, these modalities shall be approved at ministerial level. The intergovernmental commission shall meet for the first time immediately after the adoption of the said modalities. The sub-commissions shall start their work at the latest 1 month thereafter and they shall work continuously until the completion of their mandates. Where appropriate, international experts shall take part in the sub-commissions. The timetable and elements agreed by both sides for the implementation of this Protocol are mentioned in the annexed document, which is an integral part of this Protocol. This Protocol and the Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Armenia shall enter into force on the same day, i.e. on the first day of the first month following the exchange of instruments of ratification. Signed in (date, place) in Turkish, Armenian and English authentic copies in duplicate. In case of divergence of interpretation, the English text shall prevail FOR THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY FOR THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA Annexed document: Timetable and elements for the implementation of the Protocol on development of relations between the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Armenia Timetable and elements for the implementation of the Protocol on development of relations between the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Armenia Steps to be undertaken Timing 1. to open the common border within 2 months after the entry into force of the Protocol on the development of relations between the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Armenia 2. to establish a working group headed by the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs to prepare the working modalities of the intergovernmental commission and its sub-commissions 2 months after the day following the entry into force of the Protocol on the development of relations between the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Armenia 3. to approve the working modalities of the intergovernmental commission and its sub-commissions at ministerial level within 3 months after the entry into force of the Protocol on the development of relations between the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Armenia 4. to organize the first meeting of the intergovernmental commission immediately after the adoption of the working modalities of the intergovernmental commission and its sub-commissions at ministerial level 5. to operate the following sub-commissions: - the sub-commission on political consultations; - the sub-commission on transport, communications and energy infrastructure and networks; - the sub-commission on legal matters; - the sub-commission on science and education; - the sub-commission on trade, tourism and economic cooperation; - the sub-commission on environmental issues; and - the sub-commission on the historical dimension to implement a dialogue with the aim to restore mutual confidence between the two nations, including an impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archives to define existing problems and formulate recommendations, in which Turkish, Armenian as well as Swiss and other international experts shall take part. at the latest 1 month after the first meeting of the intergovernmental commission FOR THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY FOR THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA Sincerely, The Undersigned The Development of Relations Between The Republic of Turkey and The Republic of Armenia Petition to the Governments, The Presidiums and the Parliaments of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey was created by and written by Viktor Yengibaryan (viktor.yengibaryan@gmail.com). This petition is hosted here at www.PetitionOnline.com as a public service. There is no endorsement of this petition, express or implied, by Artifice, Inc. or our sponsors. For technical support please use our simple Petition Help form.
Why Serge Sargsyan Contrasts What He Combined A Year Ago, Forum Commenter, Sep 1, 2009 One can understand Serge Sargsyan in dilemma to go or not to go to Turkey, who presented the whole 'glamor' of the controversy and deadlock at his disposal in his interview with the Russian service of BBC. In addition, interestingly, what Serge Sargsyan said during the interview is less important than what he did not say. He keeps silence whether he is going to Turkey or not. Instead, Serge Sargsyan does some brain exercise regarding football and negotiations with Turkey. Serge Sargsyan sets two realities side by side. First, the Armenian and Turkish relations are frozen but he goes to watch football, and second, the Armenian and Turkish relations continue but he does not go to watch football. It is not so difficult, but on the other hand, it is not so easy to understand what Serge Sargsyan says, especially that the reporter had asked him only one question, if he is going to Turkey to watch the football match Armenia vs. Turkey. If the Armenian and Turkish negotiations still continue, his going makes sense as it is an excellent possibility to negotiate. From this point of view, Serge Sargsyan’s alternative is a little incomprehensible: either I am going and we freeze the negotiations, or I am not going and we continue them. The impression is that Serge Sargsyan thinks that Gul invited him to Turkey just to watch the match, and no politics. Or maybe Serge Sargsyan himself wants to separate politics from the football invitation, to separate diplomacy from football and to stop the football diplomacy initiated by him. Perhaps, Serge Sargsyan wants to show that his invitation to watch football a year ago had nothing in common with politics. It was Gul who came and negotiated then made statements that Serge Sargsyan had dwelt on the Karabakhi issue during the negotiations and had expressed readiness to yield territories. This comes out, when we analyze Serge Sargsyan’s answer to BBC. In other words, it seems that unlike Serge Sargsyan, Gul combined football and politics, football and negotiations and did not oppose them or present them as alternative. Gul came and negotiated and Serge Sargsyan did not seem to mind as he had initiated this kind of relations. It is interesting to know why the Armenian president is resisting now. Maybe the reason is that unlike the Turkish government, the Armenian government proved unable to do two things simultaneously: to watch football and to carry out diplomacy. It is all right if Serge Sargsyan would not reveal his decision to go or not to go, but he should say at least what he prefers in the Armenian and Turkish relations, football or diplomacy.
by HAKOB BADALYAN Mountain Lake PBS ( Plattsburgh, Ny ) Will Broadcast The Armenian Documentary We Drank the Same Water (Nous avons bu la même eau)by Serge Avedikian, September 13, 2009, "We are excited that PBS has decided to broadcast this program", said Armen Bechakjian, chairman of Montreal AGBU, "This is a unique documentary about the discovery of painful memories of genocide, but also of survival, redemption and developing human relations across new generations exploring a common past". "We have cooperated for several months to bring this film to the PBS audience," said Attarian, "and it will be simultaneously broadcast through other PBS stations as well. We are hoping that it gets the wide coverage it deserves. We have raised record sums for PBS through our partnership and we hope to repeat previous successes". The AGBU Scout volunteers and former chairman Viken L. Attarian will be present to assist in the membership pledge drive during the broadcast. Also present will be the award-winning filmmaker of this unique film, Mr. Serge Avedikian, who was especially invited from Paris to participate in an on-air interview with Mr. Attarian. Mountain Lake PBS has been bringing innovative Armenian programming to the Canadian and American public for close to a decade. Armenians are urged to watch this film and to pledge their support to Mountain Lake PBS. The film will be broadcast simultaneously by the Albany PBS and will be picked up later for broadcast by other stations. Coverage would go to almost 2/3 of NY state, Southern Quebec, Eastern Ontario (up to Kingston) and any cable grid that would pick up the signal. Kindly pass this information to your friends residing in these locations.
Peace Road On the way back from a very long (Baghdad, Damascus, Nicosia, Cairo and Stockholm), tiring (we experienced desert, Mediterr- anean and northern climates), but extremely interesting (we were among the first to learn of the new steps on the Armenian front) trip, we learned while chatting on the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) airplane that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had made two suggestions at an unofficial meeting of European Union foreign ministers. Here is how Davutoğlu described his suggestions: 1) Turkey could soon host a summit of Southeastern European nations. (Note: this would be a sort of Balkan summit.) 2) The second suggestion is even more important: Let's make a highway that goes from the Caucasus to Europe happen. This road would begin in Azerbaijan and would pass through Nagorno-Karabakh, the Lachin corridor, Armenia, Nakhchivan and Turkey and then would cut through the Thracian lands into Europe. This project could be called the “Peace Road.” We asked Davutoğlu what happened when he made these suggestions. Davutoğlu gave a roguish smile and told us: “When I said these things, Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb flew up from his seat and said, ‘Without Turkey, the EU will neither be able to solve its regional problems, nor become a global power'!” 08 September 2009, Sabah Erdal Şafak
Turkey To Send Envoy To Help Ease Abkhazia Tension Turkey attaches great importance to the maintenance of internal peace in Georgia and resolution of this country's problems through peaceful means, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Monday in Tbilisi following talks with his Georgian counterpart, Grigol Vashadze. Attaching great importance to Georgia's problems, Ambassador Ünal Çeviköz, the Turkish Foreign Ministry's deputy undersecretary for the Caucasus and Central Asia, will visit Abkhazia after the foreign minister's visit to Georgia ends, Davutoğlu also said. Davutoğlu arrived in Tbilisi on Monday for a two-day official visit. Davutoğlu underlined that Turkey has always supported Georgia since the first day it announced its independence. “As a friendly and neighboring country, Georgia's political and economical future, welfare and territorial integrity are elements to which we attach special importance.” Noting the significance of cooperation in the Black Sea region and the Caucasus, regions which both Turkey and Georgia are part of, Davutoğlu added: “We know very well that having peace and stability in the Caucasus region without maintaining peace and stability in Georgia is very difficult. With these thoughts and perspectives, my ministry's deputy ambassador, Mr. Ünal Çeviköz, will pay a visit to Abkhazia after my visit [to Georgia]. Turkey will continue showing its best efforts for the resolution of the Abkhazia conflict as it has done in previous years.” Georgia, Turkey strike deal on jailed captain Georgia said on Monday it had agreed with Turkey on the fate of a tanker captain jailed for violating a Georgian embargo on the breakaway Abkhazia region, hinting at his imminent release. Asked after meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoğlu, whether they had agreed on the release of the Turkish captain, who was sentenced last week to 24 years in prison, Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze told reporters: “I think we've found a solution to this issue. The final decision will be announced tomorrow after a meeting with the Georgian president.” Speaking on Friday in Stockholm, Davutoğlu said, “The captain, Mehmet Öztürk, will be released if a 30,000 lari [11,000 pounds] fine is paid, and the tanker’s operator, Densa company, has agreed to pay that fine.” Seventeen crew members were freed on Saturday. Densa says the vessel was seized at gunpoint in international waters while Georgian coast guard authorities said they detained the ship in Georgian waters. Ankara Reuters with Today's Zaman Georgia banned all economic and commercial activity in its two breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, after last year's five-day war with Russia, when Moscow repelled a Georgian assault on South Ossetia. Russia recognized both as independent states. Russian troops secure their de facto borders, including Abkhazia's coastline. Last week, a Russian official warned Georgia that attempts to block ships from reaching a Moscow-aligned separatist region of Georgia could end in military intervention. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko did not make any specific threats in televised comments on Thursday but said “attempts to install a sea blockade” on Abkhazia “could lead to a serious armed incident.” Abkhazia says Georgia has halted 23 ships in Black Sea waters near Abkhazia this year. Georgia claims they entered the region illegally. Last year, following the brief war between Georgia and Russia over the breakaway region of South Ossetia in August, Turkey proposed a Caucasus platform for a peaceful resolution to regional disputes. The proposal for the creation of the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform has been welcomed by all four countries that Turkey says should join: Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Turkey and Georgia cooperate closely in energy, transportation and other areas. Georgia is a transit country in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, which ships 850,000 barrels per day of high-quality Azeri crude oil from the Caspian to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. A parallel natural gas pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline (BTE), stretches from Azerbaijan to Turkey via Georgia. Opened in 2007, it will eventually be able to carry 20 billion cubic meters of offshore Azeri gas per year. 08 September 2009, TODAY'S ZAMAN
Armenian Parliament To Discuss Turkey Ties The Armenian National Assembly will discuss the current course of affairs in relations between estranged neighbors Armenia and Turkey in the upcoming days, the Armenian media has reported. On Aug. 31, Armenia and Turkey announced that they would sign accords within six weeks under a plan to end a century of hostility, moving closer to establishing diplomatic ties and reopening their border. The issue has already been discussed at a meeting of the National Assembly's Committee on Foreign Relations, Armenian news portal News.Am noted in its report. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) has proposed holding parliament hearings on Armenian-Turkish relations; however, the initiative has been supported only by the Heritage Party, the report said. Last week, the Heritage Party demanded that the accords planned to be signed between Ankara and Yerevan should be voted on in a referendum. The party said it would start collecting signatures in parliament in support of such a vote. 08 September 2009, TODAY'S ZAMAN
Estranged-Neighbors Turkey, Armenia Edge Toward Peace Deal Turkish President Abdullah Gül and his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarksyan wave to the audience during a World Cup qualifying match between the two countries' national soccer teams in Yerevan last year. Armenia and Turkey announced late on Monday that they have agreed to start internal political consultations on two protocols -- the “Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations” and the “Protocol on the Development of Bilateral Relations” -- which have been initiated in the course of their efforts under Swiss mediation. “The two protocols provide for a framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations within a reasonable timeframe. The political consultations will be completed within six weeks, following which the two protocols will be signed and submitted to the respective parliaments for the ratification on each side. Both sides will make their best efforts for the timely progression of the ratification in line with their constitutional and legal procedures,” the foreign ministries of Armenia, Switzerland and Turkey said in a joint statement, which was released simultaneously. The border between Turkey and Armenia has been shut since 1993, after Turkey objected to Armenia's war with Turkish ally Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Neither country has embassies in each other's capitals. Turkish-Armenian relations are often overshadowed by a dispute over the massacre of ethnic Armenians in the final days of the Ottoman Empire, more than 90 years ago. Armenians accuse Ottoman Turks of committing genocide and killing more then a million Armenians starting in 1915. Turkey strongly rejects these allegations. The proposed protocol for normalizing relations calls for creating a committee of international experts to research archives and "restore mutual confidence between the two nations." But there is no mention of the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which Armenian troops have controlled since the 1993 Armenian-Azerbaijan war. Many observers say the current diplomatic rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia was made possible by a dramatic round of "soccer diplomacy." In September 2008, Turkish President Abdullah Gül accepted an invitation to attend a soccer match with Armenia's newly elected president in the Armenian capital. Aug. 29 Turkish Foreign Trade Minister Zafer Çağlayan said despite recent political tension, Turkey and China should focus on improving trade relations. Speaking in the Chinese capital of Beijing, where he arrived with a delegation of businessmen, Çağlayan said: “Of course, the incidents that took place in Urumqi had a negative impact on our mutual relations. However, from now on, we should collaborate on projects that focus on how to boost economic relations between the two countries.” Aug. 30 Turkey celebrated Victory Day, marking the 87th anniversary of the Turkish victory in the Battle of Dumlupınar, the final conflict of the 1922 Turkish War of Independence. The day was celebrated in all 81 of Turkey's provinces as well as in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) and at Turkish embassies throughout the world. An investigation was launched into a 10-year-old girl for reportedly teaching Kurdish to young children in her Diyarbakır house. Medya Örmek was giving Kurdish lessons to a group of 10 Kurdish children in one of the rooms of her house in the Sur district of southeastern Diyarbakır province when an investigation was opened into her actions. The young girl's parents were also interrogated by the Sur Police Department. Aug. 31 Interior Minister Beşir Atalay, who is in charge of coordinating the "democratization initiative" announced in August as a general change of course in the government's Kurdish policies to focus on democratization and extending individual freedoms, stated that details of the package have yet to be worked out completely but added that they will be ready by Oct. 1, when Parliament ends its summer recess and the legislative year begins. “We are aiming to bring those efforts to a certain level by the time the new legislative year starts. We will announce these initially in Parliament, since the democratization initiative belongs to the nation and the address for the solution is Parliament,” Atalay said at a press conference in Ankara, where he briefed the public about developments that have taken place since the “democratization initiative” to solve Turkey's long-standing Kurdish problem was launched almost one month ago. Four soldiers died in the Şemdinli district of Hakkari in a terrorist attack at a time when the government has been working on a new initiative to reconcile with the country's Kurds to end the long-standing Kurdish question. Süreyya Karabulut, whose daughter was brutally murdered, demanded 3 million euros from the family of the primary suspect in response to their request that the controversy surrounding the murder be settled. The decapitated body of Karabulut's daughter, Münevver Karabulut, was found on March 5 inside a bag thrown into a dumpster in İstanbul's Etiler district, while her head was inside a guitar case on top of the bag. In the first leg of a hectic program, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu arrived in Baghdad for talks with Iraqi officials, which were followed by talks with Syrian officials in Damascus later in the day, in a bid to defuse tensions between the neighbors which erupted over Iraqi claims that Damascus was sheltering insurgents. Sept. 1 Turkey's World Peace Day was observed at a time when the country is heatedly discussing a government initiative to settle its long-standing Kurdish issue, which has cost tens of thousands of lives over the course of three decades. State officials and civil society representatives issued statements on the occasion of World Peace Day, stressing that Turkey needs to find a solution to the Kurdish issue and maintain peace across the country. The Democratic Society Party (DTP) organized a major demonstration in the city of Diyarbakır, following a sit-in called the “Peace Wait” that started on Monday. An additional demonstration, supported by various civil society organizations, was held at İstanbul's Kadıköy Square. Both demonstrations were held, the organizers said, to mark World Peace Day on Sept. 1. The ongoing status quo in the Caucasus is not advantageous for Armenia, Azerbaijan or Turkey. Now Turkey, with its leading role based on its soft power, aims to change this status quo, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said. Davutoğlu was speaking in an interview with NTV after Armenia and Turkey announced late on Monday that they have agreed to start internal political consultations on the two protocols -- the “Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations” and the “Protocol on the Development of Bilateral Relations” -- which have been initiated in the course of their efforts under Swiss mediation. Unexpected heavy rain led to traffic accidents and two people died and two others, one of whom was a child, were wounded in a traffic accident in İstanbul's Bahçeşehir district. Turkey's exports dropped to $7.67 billion in August, representing a 29.8 percent decrease over the same month of the preceding year, the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) announced. TİM President Mehmet Büyükekşi announced the exports figures for August in the southeastern province of Hakkari at a press conference. Sept. 2 Wednesday The first hearing in the trial of a massacre in Mardin's Bilge village in May in which 44 people were killed, including seven children, during an engagement ceremony was heard in the city of Çorum, where the murder suspects claimed they committed the murders in the name of honor. There are 11 suspects, including one minor, being tried. The suspects are currently jailed at the Çorum L-Type High Security Prison. The trial is closed to the media, as stipulated by the law in cases where one or more of the suspects are minors. A recent report prepared by the Human Rights Association (İHD) has shown that human rights violations in Turkey have seen a 70 percent decrease since 1999. According to the report, the decrease is attributable to reforms undertaken as part of Turkey's bid to become a member of the European Union. The report stated that human rights violations in the country decreased by 70 percent since the Helsinki summit in 1999. Human rights violations, which were around 55,000 in 1999, dropped to 15,600 in 2009. Turkey and Egypt reaffirmed that their bilateral relations are improving every day, with regular contact between officials of the two countries. Foreign Minister Davutoğlu arrived in Cairo on Tuesday night for an official visit. He had talks with his Egyptian counterpart, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and President Hosni Mubarak. Sept. 3 Thursday In compliance with an order from the Diyarbakır Public Prosecutor's Office, the Diyarbakır Police Department began investigating a mass rally staged by the pro-Kurdish DTP on Tuesday in Diyarbakır. Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli harshly criticized the government's Armenian initiative in a written statement. Accusing the government of yielding to Armenian demands, Bahçeli said, "The domestic political consultation process is an oddity with no precedent in diplomacy." He argued that Parliament has no power to modify the protocols but rather has to "approve or reject them altogether." Turkey's oil imports declined by 56.6 percent in the January-July period of this year compared to the same period of 2008 as the country's oil imports decreased to $7.7 billion from $17.7 billion in the first seven months of 2008. According to recent data compiled by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat), Turkey's oil expenditures were down $10 billion in the first seven months of the year compared to the same months of 2008, indicating to analysts that the ongoing global financial crisis has dealt a major blow to the country's industrial activities. The Energy Market Regulatory Agency's (EPDK) announced that it had approved the Turkish Electricity Trading and Contracting Company's (TETAŞ) proposal of a 21.08 percent increase in the price of electricity. The investigation into a 2006 shooting at the Council of State that had left a senior judge dead will start from scratch, the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court announced, following the decision of a higher court to merge the Council of State trial with that of Ergenekon, a clandestine gang charged with various murders, ploys and plotting to overthrow the government. Turkey will not open its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot ships and planes, a key step in its EU membership bid, until the bloc establishes trades ties with the Turkish Cypriots, the chief EU negotiator stated. State Minister Egemen Bağış also told reporters that a temporary delay in the United Nations-brokered peace talks on Cyprus this week demonstrated the Greek Cypriots' lack of commitment to resolve the island's 35-year division. In a change of heart, Turkey said it would strive to increase the amount of water it releases to Syria and Iraq through the historic Tigris and Euphrates rivers, but warned that it too was suffering from a severe drought. Hours earlier, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız had said his country was already stretched too thin with water and power demands and could not raise the flow of water any further. Sept. 4 Friday Following the EPDK decision on Thursday to approve a 21.08 percent hike in wholesale electricity prices, employers' and consumers' unions reacted harshly, demanding that the government call off the price increase. A spokesperson for Turkey's General Staff said 11 out of 31 terrorists who surrendered to security forces in the past two months have been released. In a weekly press conference, Metin Gürak, the head of the communications department of the General Staff, added that 10 other terrorists were released pending trial and eight others were arrested. The remaining two are still facing judicial proceedings. Gürak complained that the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) continued its bloody acts though it had declared a unilateral cease-fire in April. 06 September 2009
"Gates Not To Be Opened Before Upper Karabakh Issue Gets Resolved" Azerbaijan's Ambassador in Ankara, Zakir Hashimov, said Saturday the foreign ministries of Turkey and Azerbaijan discussed Turkish-Armenian relations over phone and reached a common understanding. Speaking to reporters at a fast-breaking dinner in Ankara, Ambassador Hashimov indicated that the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border prior to resolving the Upper Karabakh issue would be against Azerbaijan's interests. "As Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Premier Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, we believe that the border will not get opened unless the issue of Upper Karabakh is resolved," Hashimov said. Asked about what he thinks on two protocols signed by Turkey and Armenia, Ambassador Hashimov stressed that "Turkey is a great country. It is Turkey's own business to decide with which countries it establishes relations". 06 September 2009, The Anatolia News Agency
[Armenian Reporter] A Dream Come True For Turkey At the start of 2007, Switzerland expressed a desire to mediate in the continuation of the Yerevan-Ankara dialogue, which had stopped in 2004. Secret meetings between Armenia and Turkey had been taking place in Vienna, with Deputy Foreign Minister Arman Kirakossian representing Armenia. There were four points on the agenda of those talks. Two of the points -- ending the blockade and the establishment of diplomatic relations -- were put on the agenda by Armenia. The other two -- mutual recognition of borders and the establishment of a commission -- had been added by Turkey. When the new president and foreign minister came to office in April 2008, these talks were resumed. This was what Turkey wanted, so it could show the world that it was talking to the Armenians, and could say, "Let no one disturb this process by raising the matter of the Armenian Genocide in various legislatures." 05 September 2009
Azerbaijan Hints At Progress Over Nagorno-Karabakh Azerbaijan has hinted at possible progress in its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, in unusually positive comments that follow a breakthrough in ties between Armenia and Azeri ally Turkey. Armenia and Turkey said on Monday they had agreed to establish diplomatic relations and open their border under a road map to end a century of hostility stemming from the World War I killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks. Turkey closed the border in 1993 in solidarity with Azerbaijan during the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, where ethnic Armenians backed by Armenia fought to throw off Azeri rule. Azerbaijan, a supplier of oil and gas to the West, opposes the frontier reopening without progress in resolving the fate of the rebel mountain region. The region runs itself with the backing of Armenia but is in an armed stand-off with Azerbaijan. Novruz Mammedov, a senior aide to Azeri President İlham Aliyev, repeated on Thursday that the Armenian-Turkish rapprochement was contrary to Azeri “national interests.” But he added, “I believe that before the border is opened, there could be movement in resolving the conflict and certain agreement.” “The main thing is that the opening of the border should not contradict the interests of Azerbaijan and that certain movement should be achieved in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he told Azeri ANS television in comments posted on its Web site. “It is necessary for the Turkish side to keep its promises,” he said. Mediators from the United States, France and Russia have for months said they were close to clinching agreement on the basic principles of a peace deal. But analysts have been skeptical of a breakthrough in one of the most intractable conflicts in the former Soviet Union. A cease-fire was agreed in 1994 after an estimated 30,000 people were killed. But a peace accord has never been signed, and ethnic Armenian and Azeri forces continue to face off over a tense frontline. Armenia and Turkey say they will sign accords on diplomatic ties after six weeks of domestic consultations and submit them to their parliaments. The border should open within two months of ratification, possibly by New Year. 05 September 2009, Reuters Baku
Pamuk Says Loves And Wants To Live In Turkey Turkey's Nobel laureate author Orhan Pamuk has told a Russian news agency that he has no hard feelings about his country and that he would always like to live in Turkey. In a visit to Moscow to promote his recent book, “Masumiyet Müzesi” (Museum of Innocence), Pamuk spoke to Interfaks, saying: “I love my country a lot and I only want to live there. Of course I understand some of the risks involved in my situation. This is a serious threat. But I do all that I do out of love for my country and my native language.” Pamuk, who drew ire from some circles in Turkey when he made comments outside the official state line about Armenian allegations regarding their forced deportation from Ottoman lands in 1915, had been threatened by one of the suspects in the case of slain Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. He also said Turkey could never give up its traditionalism. “Today, Turkey is a country between technology and tradition. Just like in the West, people learn to use and consume products made possible by technological development. But we will never leave our traditions. Do I think this is a problem? No, I don't think so. For in this there is a certain Turkish uniqueness.” He also appeared on the Rus 100 TV station during a visit to St. Petersburg, where he pointed out difficulties in freedom of expression in Russia. He said: “Although the process regarding freedom of expression in Turkey is slow, our problems are being gradually solved, just as in the case of accusations made against me earlier. … Meanwhile, there are problems in Russia as well regarding freedom of expression. If not, journalists wouldn't be getting shot I think journalists and writers who receive threats should be protected by the state.” 02 September 2009, TODAY'S ZAMAN
Armenia, Turkey Look To Economic, Diplomatic Gains Armenia stands to make huge economic gains from an open border with Turkey while Ankara can claim a diplomatic triumph if the neighbours see through a promise to restore ties after 100 years of hostility. The deal, announced on Monday, could see a re-alignment of interests in the South Caucasus, for centuries the backdrop for big-power rivalry over the strategic crossroads between East and West and its energy deposits in the Caspian Sea. But the risks are real, and could yet derail the project. Nationalists in Armenia are angry at the thaw after almost a century of animosity stemming from the mass killings of both sides during World War One. Turkey rejects Armenia's allegation the killings amounted to genocide. And Azerbaijan, a supplier of oil and gas to the West, opposes any rapprochement between fellow Muslim ally Turkey and Baku's enemy Armenia in the festering conflict over breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh. For landlocked Armenia, its economy due to contract by at least nine percent this year, the benefits are obvious: "Turkey is a neighbour of the European Union, and we are a neighbour of Turkey. That means an outlet for Armenia to Europe through Turkey," said Armenian analyst Alexander Iskandaryan, director of the Caucasus Media Institute in Yerevan. Armenia and Turkey said on Monday they would begin six weeks of domestic consultations before signing accords on establishing diplomatic relations under a road map announced in April. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday Ankara hoped to open the border by the end of the year, 16 years after closing it in solidarity with Azerbaijan during the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, where ethnic Armenians threw off Baku's rule with Yerevan's backing. Its western frontier shut, Armenia's economy has become closely tied to Russia's since the collapse of the Soviet Union, with significant Russian business interests in the country of 3.2 million people and a large Armenian workforce in Russia. The global crisis and Russia's recession has hit Armenia hard. Opening the border would give the country an alternative trade route, and encourage competition, analysts say. "The open border reduces or even negates Georgia's monopoly on handling and charging exorbitant fees for all goods coming in and out of Armenia through the northern route," said Richard Giragosian, director of the Armenian Centre for National and International Studies in Yerevan. U.S., RUSSIAN INTERESTS CONVERGE "It's going to introduce a healthy dose of competition and larger markets within the closed Armenian economy," he said. "It will specifically threaten the oligarchs, the commodity-based cartels that are so strongly entrenched in Armenia." In theory, Armenia also stands to claim its stake in the lucrative oil and gas transit business in the South Caucasus, which is criss-crossed by pipelines that veer through U.S.-ally Georgia rather than Russia's strategic partner Armenia. But in practice, there are few immediate prospects. "The only pipeline that's under discussion at all is Nabucco, and we're far from even having a map of what that pipeline would even look like," said Ana Jelenkovic of Eurasia Group. "Speculating on whether Armenia would be involved in any energy projects, I think there's a long way to go and a lot would depend on how Azerbaijan feels about ... this agreement." Azerbaijan is Europe's key hope for supplying gas for the proposed Nabucco pipeline that would run through Turkey and reduce Europe's energy dependence on Russia. Fearing it will lose leverage over Armenia on Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan said on Tuesday the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border was against its national interests. Some analysts say Baku's reaction has in fact been quite restrained, and speculate whether the thaw between Ankara and Yerevan might go hand-in-hand with progress in negotiations between Yerevan and Baku on Nagorno-Karabakh, where Azeris and ethnic Armenians continue to face off over a tense frontline. "The solution for the Armenian issue will pave the way for a solution to Nagorno-Karabakh," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters late on Monday. Turkey, which wants to join the European Union, looks set to claim a diplomatic coup if the deal with Armenia goes through. "If this goes through it will be hugely beneficial for Turkey," said Hugh Pope, an analyst with the Brussel-based International Crisis Group. "It removes a stigma for Turkey ... not just in Europe but also in the United States, where this is the single biggest problem." The debate over the killings of last century has spilt over into European legislatures and the U.S. Congress where diaspora Armenians have pressed for condemnation of Turkey. The progress being made suggests that for once, in a region where last year Russia fought a war with Georgia to the consternation of the West, Russian and American interests may have converged. "Both Russia and the United States appear to see it in their interest to have Turkey-Armenia normalise relations," said Pope. The U.S. gains in further stabilising a region vital for energy export to the West. Russia -- with its huge economic presence in Armenia -- stands to make money. Moscow might also benefit from a potential shift in Azerbaijan -- its energy resources being courted by both East and West -- away from Turkey and the West, towards Russia. "They are only going to continue improving relations with Russia, moving away from their strategic alliance with Turkey," said Giragosian. 02 September 2009, REUTERS TBILISI
Q&A-Does Turkey-Armenia Deal Affect European Energy Security Armenia stands to make huge economic gains from an open border with Turkey, and Ankara can claim a diplomatic triumph if the neighbours see through a promise to restore ties after 100 years of hostility. The deal, announced on Monday, could see a re-alignment of interests in the South Caucasus, for centuries the backdrop for big-power rivalry over the strategic crossroads between East and West and its energy resources in the Caspian Sea. But it stands to upset Turkish ally Azerbaijan, a supplier of oil and gas to the West. How Will The Agreement Affect European Energy Security? The move may have negative consequences for European energy security aimed at reducing dependency on Russia. Azerbaijan, Europe's key hope for supplying gas for the proposed Nabucco pipeline that would run through Turkey and cut Europe's energy dependence on Russia, has warned any deal between Turkey and Armenia that does not include Armenian concessions on Nagorno-Karabakh would run counter to Azeri national interests. Some analysts have warned it may push Azerbaijan towards Russia, which is offering to buy all their gas at European prices. Other analysts say it is unlikely Baku will redirect all its supplies through Russia. In March, Azeri state energy firm Socar signed a memorandum with Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom on starting talks on Russia buying Azeri gas from 2010 for export to Europe. Turkey is also trying to negotiate a natural gas deal with Azerbaijan. Souring of relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan could put that deal at risk. Why Is The Border Closed? Turkey closed its land border with Armenia in 1993 in support of ally Azerbaijan during war in Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountain region in Azerbaijan where ethnic Armenians broke away with the backing of Yerevan. Turkey and Armenia track their own disagreement to the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915. Turkey accepts that many Christian Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks but denies that up to 1.5 million died as a result of genocide. Turkey also objects to Yerevan's claims on some of its land. Will It Boost Turkey's Eu Bid? While the EU has no specific policy regarding Turkey opening its border with Armenia, the bloc has said it would be beneficial for relations between the EU and Turkey as it would add to the overall stability of the Caucasus. Huge Pope, an analyst with the International Crisis Group, said on Tuesday: "A real peace deal or normalisation with Armenia will do more for Turkey in Europe than Cyprus. EU accession will grind to a halt this year and if Turkey can show it is dealing with Armenians, this will be major." Will The Agreement Affect The Status Of Nagorno-Karabakh? Hard to tell. The dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Caucasus mountain enclave is one of the most intractable conflicts arising from the Soviet Union's collapse. The Minsk group -- set up in 1992 and co-chaired by Russia, the United States and France -- is seeking a solution, and says it is on the verge of a breakthrough. But analysts say it is very difficult to call. Some point to Azerbaijan's relatively tempered reaction to Monday's announcement as a sign perhaps the Turkish-Armenian thaw might go hand-in-hand with progress on Nagorno-Karabakh. Baku, which has close linguistic and cultural ties with Ankara, fears losing leverage over Christian Armenia in the dispute if Turkey reopens the border with Armenia and restores full diplomatic relations. Will It Boost Investor Confidence In Turkey? The agreement could have positive implications for investors if Turkey can use it to its advantage in its EU negotiations, convincing Brussels that it is on the side of stability in the region and is a key energy transit state. The agreement itself is not market moving. A possible open border would also mean greater trade between Turkey, Armenia and Europe. 02 September 2009, REUTERS
Europe's Top Human Rights Watchdog Welcomes Turkey-Armenia Thaw Top European human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, welcomed an agreement between Turkey and Armenia to start internal political consultations to establish diplomatic relations and the development of bilateral relations. "This important decision for a common better future deserves the support of the international community," said Samuel Zbogar, Council chairman Slovenia's foreign minister. Zbogar expressed hope that this process would rapidly bring a successful result, "so that Armenia and Turkey overcome the wounds of the past and establish normal relations in their mutual interest, in the spirit of the Statute of the Council of Europe." Acting Secretary General of the Council of Europe Maud de Boer-Buquicchio also hailed the Turkish-Armenian agreement as "a historic event for both countries and the region." "I strongly welcome the agreement to sign two protocols between Turkey and Armenia on establishing of diplomatic relations between the two countries. It will help to normalise the relations between two member states of the Council of Europe and I would like to encourage the two countries to continue on the path which will help to improve the stability in this part of Europe," said De Boer-Buquicchio. 02 September 2009, THE ANATOLIA NEWS AGENCY STRASBOURG
Sarksyan: No Visit If Border Remains Closed Around one month after delivering similar remarks, Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan has reiterated that he will not attend the Turkey-Armenia 2010 World Cup qualifying match in Turkey if the border between Armenia and Turkey remains closed. Turkish President Abdullah Gül went to the Armenian capital city of Yerevan last September to watch the Armenia-Turkey 2010 World Cup qualifying match, accepting Sarksyan's invitation with the hope of ending the century-old hostility between Armenia and Turkey. Sarksyan was invited to watch the Turkish leg of the Turkey-Armenia 2010 World Cup qualifying match during Gül's visit to Yerevan. In an interview with the BBC, Sarksyan stressed once again that he would leave for Turkey only in the event of the opening of the border or at the threshold of such an event, the Public Radio of Armenia reported on Monday. “We have an agreement. I think that it's normal and correct for the parties to implement the agreement reached earlier,” Sarksyan said, noting that so far he has not seen a great desire or aspiration to implement that agreement. “Our wish remains the same -- to establish relations without preconditions.” 01 September 2009, TODAY'S ZAMAN
Turkey Hopes To Open Armenian Border By Year-End Turkey hopes to open its border with Armenia by the end of the year under a protocol to establish diplomatic ties, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Tuesday. The two countries, which have no diplomatic ties and a history of animosity stemming from the mass killings from both sides during World War One, announced late on Monday they would sign accords within six weeks under a plan to end a century of hostility. "If everything goes as planned, if mutual steps are taken, the borders could be opened around New Year," Davutoğlu told Turkish NTV television during a visit to northern Cyprus. The plan to normalise ties was announced in April, but Monday's statement marked the first real progress. Under the agreement, both sides would hold domestic consultations before signing two protocols on the establishment of diplomatic relations and development of bilateral relations. The protocols would have to be ratified by parliaments of the two countries. In his first comment on the issue, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan stressed that the accords would not go into effect until the Turkish parliament had approved them. Reopening the border and establishing ties with Armenia would increase predominantly Muslim Turkey's influence in the region and aid its faltering bid to join the European Union. The bloc has long asked candidate member Turkey to normalise ties with its neighbour and restoring diplomatic ties would also be beneficial for regional security. The EU on Tuesday welcomed steps to establish bilateral ties and urged the two countries to implement the protocols rapidly. "This agreement should contribute to peace and stability in the South Caucasus," EU commissioner for external relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner and EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn said in a statement. Diplomatic ties would also give landlocked Armenia, reeling from the global financial crisis, access to Turkish and European markets. 01 September 2009, TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH REUTERS NICOSIA
Arameans Search For Roots And Rights In Mardin Father Malki Gümüşsoy raises his hand toward the heavens and starts to pray in front of the locked iron door of one of the eight closed churches of Dargeçit, Mardin, a city in southeastern Anatolia famous for its multi-religious and multi-ethnic character. Gümüşsoy represents one of these groups of Mardin; he is an Aramean priest. Father Malki Gümüşsoy raises his hand toward the heavens and starts to pray in front of the locked iron door of one of the eight closed churches of Dargeçit, Mardin, a city in southeastern Anatolia famous for its multi-religious and multi-ethnic character. Gümüşsoy represents one of these groups of Mardin; he is an Aramean priest. Father Malki Gümüşsoy raises his hand toward the heavens and starts his supplication in front of the locked iron door of one of the eight closed churches of Dargeçit, Mardin, a city in southeastern Anatolia famous for its multi-religious and multi-ethnic character. Gümüşsoy represents one of these colors of Mardin; he is an Aramean priest. Also known as Syriacs, Arameans speak a Semitic language that dates back 3,000 years and was used by Jesus Christ. However, 80-year-old Gümüşsoy worries about the young generation of Arameans in Turkey. They face a lack of teachers and schools in which to teach even basic literacy. He also worries about Turkey's Aramean population, which has diminished sharply due to mass migration -- primarily to Europe. In fact, two of his four children have opted to move to Europe. The 1970s saw the last Aramean family leave Dargeçit, whose former name was Kerboran, meaning “grapes” in Aramaic. Now the district is predominantly Kurdish and boasts a population of 14,000. It is no longer famous for its grapes, but for heavy clashes between state security forces and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States. Security concerns in the region are one of the reasons for the massive migration, but neither Father Gümüşsoy nor other members of the Aramean community are willing to even mention the other reasons. They prefer to remain silent. The Aramean diaspora, however, has a different attitude. Daniel Gabriel, whose parents are from Dargeçit, hails from Australia. He is a lawyer working for the human rights department of the Syriac Universal Alliance (SUA), a worldwide umbrella organization for all Syriac people and organizations. SUA is an NGO in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. “My father is not used to speaking about those days, but he was harassed several times by Kurds. He was almost killed once, so he took my mother, and they left for Syria in 1967. From there, they went to Lebanon and finally to Australia,” he says. Gabriel was born there, in the diaspora, like many other Aramean people whose roots go back to the Mardin region, known as Tur Abdin by Arameans. Another is Johny Messo, the president of SUA. He is Dutch, but his parents come from Midyat, another city in the province of Mardin. The two are on a tour that started in Lebanon and moved to Syria, where they were received by state officials and the grand mufti. They invited Sunday's Zaman to join them for their fact-finding mission, focusing on the situation of the Aramean people. Arameans want to be treated in accordance with Lausanne According to Messo, there are no scientific statistics about their population, but estimates state that there are 25,000 Arameans in İstanbul. In Europe they number around half a million, but in their hometowns in the province of Mardin, there are only 3,500 left. Their Turkish ID cards list Christianity as their religion. Messo says that unlike the Armenian, Greek and Jewish communities, the Aramean community was not recognized as a minority group by the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, the founding document of the Turkish Republic. “Arameans were not able to enjoy the rights and freedoms that were given by Lausanne,” he says, adding that they need to be designated a minority in order to survive in Turkey. Since they were not given this status, they were not able to teach in their own schools. The lack of an official status and its subsequent consequences were another reason for them to migrate to Europe. But they have other reasons, too. Meryem Demirel is an Aramean from Dargeçit who has been living in Sweden for more than 40 years. “When I return to Kerboran for a visit, I burst into tears. I am unable to recognize the town of my childhood. There is no single person left whom I know. My hometown is a total stranger to me,” she says, adding that hers was one of the first families to leave Dargeçit. She says that when she was a child she really wanted to go to school, but was not allowed to do so. “My parents did not send me to school, fearing I would be kidnapped. The Kurds harassed us. My two brothers were able to attend school, but I was not,” she says. She works for an Aramean women's association in Sweden and worries about the situation of Aramean women in Turkey. “Their situation is very poor. They are still not well educated. They don't hold any jobs. We are thinking about what we can do for them and one of our ideas is to start computer courses and establish Internet cafes for them,” she says. Demirel is among a number of members of the diaspora who increased the frequency of visits to their hometowns since the security situation in the region improved. But when those like her returned, they recognized not only their hometowns, but also their land and farms. Some of them had already fallen into use by surrounding villages, resulting in legal disputes. Holidays celebrated together Despite all these problems, the Arameans are not totally unhappy. In some cases, life for them is getting better. Take, for example, the residents of the village of Karagöl. The village was evacuated by security forces in 1995 but is now being reconstructed. Two families, including some members were part of the diaspora, have returned to the village after being given permission by the state to do so in 2001. They are renovating its ancient church, which dates back to the fifth century and are excited about the pregnancy of Ruhat Ergün, who was born in Germany, is a German citizen, was educated there, but has decided to live in the village. “We will not give up our home here,” says Hazni Ergün, Ruhat Ergün's husband. He has to send his children to a boarding school in the nearby Aramean village of Anıtlı, where the Virgin Mary Monastery is located. Relations with neighbors are not always problematic and do not always involve lawsuits and courts. In and around Mardin, Arameans and their Muslim neighbors invite each other to traditional iftars (fast-breaking dinners) during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. “We celebrate religious holidays together. Our village has since its establishment been a mixed village, and we always have good relations with our neighbors,” says Numan İşleyen. His wife, Fehime, adds that women always cooperate in village work. The village goes by the name of Altıntaş, and it is here that Gümüşsoy serves as a priest. When he finished praying in front of the locked door of the church in Dargeçit, an old Kurdish man approached him. He said his name was Abdullah Seyid and that he was 73 years old. He also said he was very happy to see Arameans in Kerboran again -- intentionally using Dargeçit's Aramean name. He then turned to Father Gümüşsoy and said: “The Arameans were sent away; they were persecuted; it was very brutal. We later came to understand that the important thing is being a human being. It is not important who you are, but it is important to be a member of humanity.” Monastery and villages face court cases Several Aramean villages and the Mor Gabriel Monastery are facing court cases over land disputes either with neighboring villages or with the state, and sometimes with both. Nail Demirel, who lives in Australia with his five children but spends his vacations at the Dayro Daslibo Monastery, says there is an ongoing dispute with neighbors and the case has made it to court. Demirel says the monastery was once the home of more than 300 priests and more than 5,000 books but was a scene of a massacre carried out by neighboring villagers, which left 77 Arameans dead in 1914. He pointed to a wall and claimed that the bodies were buried behind the wall inside the monastery, which looks like a castle. “They came here 80 years ago from the upper village and settled here on our land. With time, they captured our land and now claim to own it even though we have the title deeds and have been paying taxes on the land. We tried to negotiate with them; we are six families and they are more, so we offered them half of our land, but they wanted more. Now we are all in court,” he says. Their case is not the only land dispute between Arameans and surrounding villages, but sometimes the state is involved. The village of Alagöz is facing just such a case. Only a few families are left in this village, so few that there are only 13 students who attend the small school it is home to. Most families from here have long moved to Europe, though some have recently built new homes here. Alagöz's court cases deal with land registry and forest regulations. As part of the EU accession process, Turkey set up cadastre offices for almost half of the country in less than five years. Remote areas and places where records were not kept well expectedly became the site of many land disputes. Additionally, new laws called for the transfer of uncultivated land to the Treasury and in some cases labeled such land a forested zone. Once this became the case, it became difficult for former owners to use from the land. The situation has become complex, with both villages and the Mor Gabriel Monastery, the oldest active Christian monastery in the world, facing similar court cases. The monastery won a case against surrounding villages, but lost another to the regional forestry directorate. Both verdicts have been appealed, and the other two cases await rulings from the local court. The lawsuits against the Mor Gabriel Monastery have turned into a Muslim-Christian dispute since the surrounding villages claim the monastery is involved in missionary work and acting against the security of the state. The Arameans think villagers in those villages were manipulated by circles trying to completely destroy their community. “The court cases against the monastery were a wake-up call for the community. We decided to cooperate to resolve our problems,” SUA's Messo says. 30 August 2009, AYŞE KARABAT MARDİN / MİDYAT
The agreements concern the Turkish-Armenian friends of Armenia in Congress 8 September 2009, by Gari / armenews The group co-chairs of the U.S. Congress in support of Armenian issues, Representatives Frank Pallone (Democrat of New Jersey) and Mark Kirk (Republican of Illinois), have expressed their doubts about the willingness of Turkey to cooperate in the implementation of its commitments in the framework of agreements related to the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations signed last August 31. In a statement issued September 7, two U.S. lawmakers have questioned various aspects of these agreements, highlighting the Turkish method of using the ongoing dialogue with Armenia as a "tactic" to delay the lifting of land held illegally blockade against Armenia for 16 years. The co-chairs have also expressed their concerns about Turkey's efforts to impose preconditions, noting that "the normalization of relations should be established without preconditions." In an obvious allusion to the "historical commission" long sought by Turkey and finally accepted by the Armenian side, they emphasized that "any attempt to integrate the review of historical fact, such as genocide Armenians, or the peace process underway in Nagorno-Karabakh in the negotiations in direct contradiction with the principle of the talks. " The leaders of the parliamentary group concluded their statement by expressing hope that "Turkey, lifting its illegal blockade pave the way for normalization of relations between Yerevan and Ankara and a new era of Turkish-Armenian relations, based on trust, justice, peace and cooperation ". Days before, Democratic Representative Adam Schiff of California, who was the author of the resolution on the genocide of the Armenians, had also expressed its "deep concern about some aspects of those agreements, and especially the one on the creation of a joint commission of historians charged with qualifying events for 1915-1923. He estimated that such an undertaking on an incontestable fact of history, was another attempt to distort historical reality. He added that "true reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian peoples is possible only when Turkey recognize the genocide committed by the authorities of the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians from 1915 to 1923.
European Parliament: Conference To Fight Against The Denials 8 September 2009, by Jean Eckian / armenews Organized jointly by the European Armenian Federation, France and IBUKA-Lay Jewish Community Center, the event is in the context of the next pan of penalty denial The Euro-Armenian Federation, the Jewish Community Center and IBUKA Lay-France co-organize a conference on Holocaust denial to be held at the European Parliament in Brussels, Tuesday, October 6 from next 9:30. This conference comes in anticipation of future pan-European ban on Holocaust denial: a decision by the European Union [1] which provides for criminal prosecutions against deniers must be transposed into the legislation of 27 Member States before the end of 2010. The conference entitled "Holocaust Denial and Democracy in Europe" is under the patronage of MEP Elmar Brok (German Conservative) and aims to explain to policymakers of the European Union in which the denial is a perversion of freedom of expression and a threat to the foundations of democratic societies. Political leaders, lawyers, historians and social scientists - the great figures of the fight against Holocaust denial - present by comparing the commonalities between the various denials of genocide. They aim to convince European leaders of the necessity of extending the penal provisions against all proven cases of denial as permitted by the European decision.
A Kurdish Activist, Former Member, Condemned Turkey 8 September 2009 by Stéphane / armenews Kurdish activist Leyla Zana, former deputy to the Turkish parliament, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for statements in favor of Kurdish rebels, it was learned from legal sources. The court in Diyarbakir, largest city in the southeast region, populated mainly by Kurds, held that the statements that were militant propaganda in favor of the Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK), prohibits the movement control for 25 years against the Turkish regime. At a conference last year in London, she said that the PKK and its imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan in life was "as important for the Kurdish people as the brain and the soul for human beings". His lawyers announced they would appeal the conviction. She has appealed a sentence of 10 years in prison that strikes since last December for belonging to the PKK and dissemination of propaganda movement. Leyla Zana, 48, was the first Kurdish woman elected to parliament. She has already spent ten years in prison with three other former deputies of Kurdish origin, in collaboration with the PKK. They were released in 2004. She was elected in 1991, but lost his seat in 1994 after the ban on his party's links with the rebels.
A Diplomatic Warming Reassurance 8 September 2009 by Stéphane / armenews The rapprochement between the two countries has been welcomed by the United States and the rest of the international community. In the local press and in Azeri newspapers are commented with cautious optimism this historic step. 02/09/2009 | Engoïan Alda, Pierre Vanrie "Within six weeks, Armenia and Turkey sign the protocol establishing diplomatic relations," reported the Armenian online newspaper Respublika Armenia. Two months after the entry into force of the Protocol, the border between the two countries, closed since 1993 because of the territorial conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh separatist republic of Azerbaijan to Armenian majority, will be open. The decision was unanimously welcomed by Washington, Moscow and Paris. For the online newspaper Gazeta.ru Moscow, the most important is that this diplomatic progress has been made "without any preconditions to the address of Armenia". According to the webzine Armenian Voskanapat.info, document signed arranged primarily Turkey, which "seeks to maximize the political dividends possible. Thus, it drowns the issue of genocide recognition, asserts on its eastern borders [former territory of Armenia] and improves its relations with the European Union, to which she aspires to integrate so long, and the United States. "As for Azerbaijan, which relied heavily on Turkey to recover its sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh, he was known by the voice of its Foreign Ministry, its concern. "We must expect a deterioration of Turkish-Azerbaijani relations," said Voskanapat.info. More lucid on this evolution of Turkish-Armenian relations, the great Turkish columnist Mehmet Ali Birand in Posta Gazetesi stresses that "the policy of opening to Armenia began to appear late 2008 or early 2009. The meetings organized by the Swiss mediation had resulted in a protocol. But, just as its contents should be clarified, Azeris protested. The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, had reacted with such violence that the case was finally referred to more later. The situation is different today. Aliyev seems to have now admitted that the talks are moving in this direction although it still expresses its opposition when it addresses the issue of open borders between Turkey and 'Armenia. Indeed, the Azeris bind the open border to the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenians, meanwhile, insist that dialogue with Turkey is not related to litigation in the High Karabakh. Let the parliaments of Turkey and Armenia to discuss, leave the possibility that normalization of relations with Armenia makes its way into the opinion. Let's see how the Armenians also will interpret this normalization and then we will take our decision. " Also in the Turkish press, the moderate Islamist daily Yeni Safak said in effect that "a period of six weeks has been scheduled for that public opinion was prepared before the Parliaments not involved. This period also corresponds to the time required for the President of Armenia Serj Sarkisian, is preparing to come to Turkey to attend the football match Armenia-Turkey [which will be held October 14, 2009]. The achievement of such a visit will be a test to gauge the level of trust between the two partners. The consensus these days and the recovery process that does involve risk, for its part believes Sami Kohen in Milliyet. "These risks are largely due to the particular situation of Armenia (the Government Sarkisian is fragile). Indeed, the opposition and especially the nationalist organization Tashnak are already on the teeth. Very negative reactions also occur on the side of the Armenian diaspora. In these circumstances, Yerevan will he be able to apply points of protocol between the two countries? In Turkey, the opposition was clearly expressed against this protocol. No doubt that the Erdogan government will struggle to defend him in Parliament, especially when it comes to progress on the issue of opening the Turkish-Armenian border. However, the greatest risk - and greater danger - would be to place too high expectations related to the normalization and some political leaders to succumb to a speech dominated by invective. For this process to evolve positively, should avoid these pitfalls. " Courrier International
The Supreme Court Suspends Key Articles Of A Law On Mining 8 September 2009 by Stéphane / armenews The Turkish Constitutional Court decided to suspend key provisions of a law on the demining of the Turkish-Syrian border which strongly opposed the opposition, arguing that it undermines national security and relations with Damascus . The eleven judges of the Court decided to freeze two articles of the law which allowed the usufruct of land cleared or transferred to 44 years with the company heading the project, said a statement from the Court. The Court will consider in coming days on the issue simply cancel the law or not, said one of its officials told AFP. The provision was adopted in May in Parliament, dominated by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP, from the Islamist movement) to power, then approved by the Head of State Abdullah Gül. Several specialized companies had submitted bids. Among them were Israeli companies, which sparked outrage and fueled many conspiracy theories in opposition. For the opposition, the sale of this border is almost half a century to a foreign company, in this case Israel would be contrary to national interests and the current good relations with Syria. No man's land between Syria and Turkey, along 510 km, is full since the 1950s of some 600,000 mines. Under the Ottawa Treaty signed by Turkey in 2003, all the equipment must be neutralized by 2014. The opposition has prevented for weeks that this provision is extended and the government was forced to amend a text that first provided an international tender and the sale of land dedicated to agriculture, to pay the cost of demining, giving priority in the final Department of Defense.
Turkey Wants Lachin 7 September 2009, by Jean Eckian / armenews According to official Turkish sources, the Europe and Turkey are currently working on implementing a project called the century by the opening of the "Route du Monde" which would connect Azerbaijan to Armenia through the Nakhichevan, Turkey and finally Europe, thus following the direction of the decisions taken by the Minsk Group of OSCE in the month of August Diplomatic sources indicate that engineering studies will begin mid-September on the Lachin corridor, particularly with regard to its width. Moscow should prepare a report on the issue. Moreover, "Yenisafak" indicates that "the report prepared by the monitoring mission will be crucial in the settlement between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh. Under the settlement of the issue, the Armenian armed forces would withdraw from 7 regions and would be rejected Lachin. Jean Eckian On October 5, 2005, Alain Délétroz, Vice-President of the International Crisis Group in Brussels, wrote: The issues are many. The Azeris can not concede more than a status of autonomy for Karabakh, while the Armenians demanding independence or a connection to Armenia. Armenians consider possibly making the five districts that they occupy the south of Karabakh, along the Iranian border, but refused to consider the return of Lachin districts and Kelbajar under Azerbaijani control. The Lachin corridor, which allows the direct passage between Karabakh and Armenia, is regarded by the authorities of Stepanakert as a "road of life" not negotiable. As control of Kelbajar, and particularly the neck of Omar which provides access, it represents a strategic advantage for the central defense potential of Upper Karabakh. The solution may lie in the signing of an agreement that would settle things in stages, pushing the issue of final status of Nagorno-Karabakh after the process. The Armenians gradually withdraw their troops from the occupied districts, which would come under international control. IDPs could well go home. The agreement provides that, once the return of displaced Azeris be done, all the people of Karabakh Armenians and Azeris living there jusqu'en1991, may decide by vote on the final status of the region. All parties commit themselves, under international safeguards, to respect the outcome of this consultation, even if it lead to the territory's independence. The Armenian strategic concerns should be taken seriously by the ban would be made to the Azerbaijani army to redeploy in the districts now occupied, and the opportunity for Armenians to maintain observation outposts in places as strategic as the neck of Omar. The Lachin corridor would become a thoroughfare completely demilitarized, linking Baku to Agdam, Stepanakert, in southern Armenia, Nakhichevan and Turkey. This model would restore the communication possibilities between Azerbaijanis and Armenians before a decision is taken on the final status of Karabakh. But to give him a small chance of success, it is urgent that governments on both sides immediately halt the campaign of hatred fostered by the media. Azerbaijan could more wisely invest its oil windfall in its own development rather than arms, and Armenia should understand that it is not healthy in the early twenty-first century, of itself on the international scene as an occupying power. Restoring contact between men is the only way to begin to build peace. Alain Délétroz, Vice-President of the International Crisis Group in Brussels. Back from mission to Nagorno-Karabakh
The Protocols Between Turkey And Armenia Are Unacceptable 7 September 2009, by Jean Eckian / armenews The Armenian National Committee of Canada considers unacceptable the protocols announced recently between Turkey and Armenia Ottawa - The foreign ministers of Armenia, Turkey and Switzerland have issued a joint announcement describing the protocols that will guide the establishment and development of relations between Turkey and Armenia. The Armenian National Committee of Canada (NACC) wishes to express its concerns about this recent development. The NACC is the content of protocols innaceptable fundamentally, because of major concessions, which seriously threaten the interests, rights, safety and future of the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian people in general. The protocols are a step back and reflect faithfully the constant pressure exerted on Armenia should make concessions, considered as prerequisites in the process of open borders''between''the two countries. Under these protocols the two countries should create a''sous''commission treating the historical dimension to a dialogue that can build mutual trust between the two nations including a scientific and impartial verification of records of historical events and archives to better define existing problems and make recommendations. The NACC believes that this is a scenario that will be used by Turkey to better obscure the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide. Moreover there is no word''genocide''in the terminology of protocols. These prerequisites would force a political solution to this crime against humanity involving the abandonment of efforts for international recognition of Armenian Genocide, will be respected and the political interests of Turkey. Besides, it would be unrealistic to begin a genuine dialogue with a country where the negation is a truth state and section 301 of the Criminal Code brought before the courts and the prosecution of intellectuals who dare mention the Armenian genocide. As the international level, the process of negation is deployed at great expense in most countries as well as Canada and the United States. It should be noted that the language of the protocols on mutual recognition of existing borders is another advance that the territorial integrity and inviolability of borders provide a loophole for the size turkey to exclude compensation for legitimate claims based on international law and also dramatically affect the current negotiations on the conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh. The NACC believes that prior to this kind should not exist in the establishment of diplomatic relations and opening of the border. The dialogue and friendly relations between Armenia and Turkey pass through the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the fair resolution of this crime. Imposing a prior approach is unacceptable, it demonstrates a lack of commitment and good faith to be necessary for the establishment of genuine friendships. On behalf of the Armenian community of Canada, NCC wishes to express its deep disappointment about these recent developments is not known where the rights of the Armenian nation based on historical facts and international law. "This statement was imminent and we should not considered surprising, considering the announcement roadmaps temporary April 22, 2009. The protocols published August 31 are vague and unbalanced and promote Turkey. Lack of commitment to establish a permanent peace between the two nations and the desire to conceal the Armenian genocide to deny him an international recognition are obvious "commented the President of the Armenian National Committee of Canada, Dr. Girair Basmadjian. The NACC is for normalizing relations between Armenia and Turkey without sacrificing the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the rights of the Armenian people. As Canadians we know that our Senate in 2002, our House of Commons in 2004 and our government in 2006 recognized the Armenian Genocide, we feel insulted and injured, and these schemes ignore the radical decisions taken by Canada and other countries to prohibiting such recognition decisions in the future. The NACC encourages the Canadian government to invite the Turkish government to acknowledge its own history and acknowledge the Armenian Genocide committed by the Government of the Young Turks of the time before the end of the Ottoman Empire. ************************************************** ************ Same story on the side of the Committee "Soghomon Tehlirian" the FRA of the RA, the central management and the premises of the Central Association of Ramgavar Freedom of Canada, and the Directorate of the Social Democratic Association Hentchag " , saying in a joint statement, following a public meeting in Toronto last September 4, that: The statements contained in the documents presented are nothing else, overall, the conditions imposed on the Armenians, as they will be the only ones to suffer losses. In déclarattion projects, it is clear that there is intention to abolish the historic rights of Armenians, urging them to submit. Approval conditions from Armenia: A. The Armenians lost the opportunity to recover the territories which have been removed B. The hope of recognizing the genocide claimed so many years and becoming more and more. C. Regarding the independence of Artsakh, despite the struggle of the majority of its population, conditions are imposed. This project against the just right of the Armenian population is filled with dangerous consequences
The Armenian-Turkish Issue Continues To Be A Lot Of Talk In The Armenian Press 7 September 2009 by Stéphane / armenews The Armenian-Turkish issue continues to be a lot of talk in the press. Daily newspapers give extensive coverage to the press conference of Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian of Armenia on this topic. The Minister called for significant achievement for the Armenian and Turkish sides the political will they have shown to reach an agreement to normalize their relations. The efforts of Armenia and Turkey are now welcomed at the highest level and supported by the United States, EU, France, Russia, several international organizations. The Armenian-Turkish negotiations were completed a few months ago, said the Minister, but because of certain barriers and difficulties the results were released a few months late. The next step will be the signing of two documents that will be followed by another step-ratification. In international practice, the protocols of diplomatic relations between two states with no problems can not be ratified, but in this case ratification is required because we can not overlook the public opinion. The two Presidents did not object to public opinion in their respective countries. Publication of negotiated documents also showed that the Armenian authorities have never deceived their company and have told the truth. Referring to concerns about the possible reduction or possible attempts by Turkey to delay the ratification of two protocols, the Minister noted that nothing is excluded, "but if the world moves towards a direction and the either party chooses a new direction, she will oppose all that. " If Turkey does not wish to open the border and establish diplomatic relations, why did she conducted the negotiations, agreed commitments, approved and published protocols and said it is ready to do its utmost to revive the ratification process in its legislature? The Minister has also swept with a wave of his hand another concern, namely the eventual recognition by Armenia of the current borders of Turkey, which involve an implicit recognition of Treaty of Kars. There is no mention of the Treaty of Kars in both protocols, the Minister noted. His explanations are described by the commentator of 168 Jam "unconvincing." Haykakan Jamanak remember it is written in one of these protocols black and white that "both countries also confirm their mutual recognition of existing borders between the two countries defined by treaties in progress." Finally, the Minister noted that the sub-committee [historians] to be established within the Intergovernmental Committee will be responsible only for the "restoration of mutual trust between the two companies and there is no question that process of recognition of Armenian genocide and the events of 1915 are subject to discussion. " He urged journalists not to look for traps in the texts of the protocols. After the favorable settlement of Armenian-Turkish issue Armenia can expect full participation in regional energy projects. Embassy of France in Armenia Press Service
Davutoglu Would Discussions With Mrs. Clinton 7 September 2009 by Stéphane / armenews According to the editorial Haykakan Jamanak, the Turkish daily "Radikal" wrote in its issue of 2.09 two days before the MFA Davutoglu would discussions with Mrs. Clinton, Sergei Lavrov and French co-chairman of GDM Bernard Fassier said that it would a serious document is on the table but will not be ratified if the process of settling the conflict in HK is not accelerated, which is another thing, according Haykakan Jamanak, a prerequisite. Another Turkish newspaper "Hurriyet" would have written, according Haykakan Jamanak, in negotiations with Armenia, Turkey has followed the instructions of Azerbaijan. "Hurriyet" has also quoted a Turkish diplomat who requested anonymity, noted that Ankara has informed Azerbaijan of all details of negotiations with Armenia. Some points of the protocols have been included at the request of Azerbaijan. There was therefore no reason, according to the diplomat, worry dissatisfaction "Azerbaijani brothers". Embassy of France in Armenia Press Service
The Turkish Singer Hadise Prohibited Scene In Baku guilty of wanting to sing with the sisters Inga and Anush Arshakian has the opportunity of the match Turkey-Armenia 7 September 2009 by Krikor Amirzayan / armenews Baku is she become one of the capitals most sectarian of the planet or the anti-Armenian hysteria has reached levels not seen to date. The latter dictates of Baku is prohibited to perform on stage azéire, the Turkish singer Hadise representing Turkey in Eurovision 2009. Nahit Emiroglu, a concert organizer in Baku said that now he refused to hold any concert Hadise in Azerbaijan. Why punish Baku wants Hadise? For the simple reason that the Turkish singer who had known the representatives of Armenia, the sisters Inga and Anush Arshakian at Eurovision 2009 in Moscow, had been invited to sing together at the football match between Turkey and the Armenia, October 15 next. Even if his side, the manager Anna Hovhannissian sisters Arshakian says it has not received any invitation from Turkey, rumors of the Armenian-Turkish trio have been a bombshell in Baku. Krikor Amirzayan
U.S. Rep. Schmidt Denies Receiving Turkish `Blood Money' 2009/08/28 Hetq The following article appeared in the August 26 edition of the Cincinnati City Beat. It deals with the on-going hearing surrounding the 2008 election for Ohioo's 2nd Congressional District that pitted Representative Jean Schmidt and and challenger David Krikorian. Mr. Krikorian alleged that Schmidt had received campaign contributions from the Turkish government in return for her opposition to an Armenian Genocide resolution in the U.S. Congress. Schmidt has since filed an official complaint against Krikorian. Schmidt Gets Taped in Election Suit U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township) just doesn't fare so well in unscripted situations. In the latest example of that political truism, Schmidt testified Monday for nearly five hours in a deposition taken by attorneys for David Krikorian. The deposition was taken in preparation for a Sept. 3 hearing before the Ohio Elections Commission. Schmidt filed a complaint with the commission alleging that Krikorian knowingly made a false statement about Schmidt in a piece of campaign literature last year. Krikorian ran as an independent against Schmidt in 2008 for Ohio's 2nd Congressional District. During the campaign, Krikorian distributed a pamphlet alleging Schmidt had received `blood money' from the Turkish government in return for her opposition to a congressional resolution that declared Turkey committed genocide against Armenia during a 1915 conflict. Schmidt's opposition angered Krikorian, who is of Armenian descent. His grandparents almost became victims of the violence, Krikorian said, and Schmidt's denial that genocide occurred is an insult to Armenian-American citizens. A Schmidt spokesman has said in the past that the congresswoman doesn't believe the conflict meets the legal requirements to be dubbed genocide. Krikorian has questioned why Schmidt accepts tens of thousands of dollars in donations from Turkish interests when there isn't any significant number of Turkish-American residents in the 2nd District. He's also called Schmidt's complaint `frivolous.' Monday's deposition was videotaped by Krikorian's attorneys, despite Schmidt's protest. `Ms. Schmidt strongly objected to David Krikorian's legal right to video tape her deposition as allowed by law,' a Krikorian press release states. `Attorneys for Ms. Schmidt complained to the Ohio Elections Commission to block distribution of the video portion of her testimony. Ms. Schmidt does not want the people of the district to view her testimony in this frivolous legal complaint she filed against David Krikorian.' During her halting and vague testimony, Schmidt said she didn't know why she was the largest recipient of campaign contributions by Turkish lobbyists in the 2008 campaign cycle. Also, she testified that she didn't know anything about the Armenian Genocide other than it occurred during World War I. Further, Schmidt said she didn't know who Yalcin Ayasli is although he and his family donated $6,900 to her campaign last year and was an escort on her all-expenses paid trip to Turkey in May. Ayalsi is a contributor to the Turkish Coalition of America, which is dubbed a `genocide denial' group by Armenians.
There Is An Armenian Scenario Of Settlement, Lragir 02/09/2009 Congratulating everyone for the Karabakh Independence Day, the NKR former foreign minister Arman Melikyan stated on September 2 that unfortunately there are people among us who speak about the decision of the Armenian Supreme Council in 1989 on Karabakh's unification to Armenia. According to Arman Melikyan, we must stop speaking about it because there is the 1991 independence declaration which declared Nagorno-Karabakh an independent republic. Arman Melikyan notes that the independence, the struggle for independence brought about a new reality a new line between Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Iran. Assessing the present stage of the settlement, Arman Melikyan says it is a phase of indeterminateness from the point of the settlement. At the same time, he sees a solution in the Karabakh settlement, but the point is whose solution it is. "I assure you that there are several scenarios of the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh issue. The Armenian version lacks among these scenarios. But this scenario exists but today's government does not have any will and wish to fulfill it. But I can assure you that we have opportunities and sooner or later we will come to it. And what seemed impossible yesterday may come true tomorrow. I can affirm that there are solutions and work is carried out in this connection", states Arman Melikyan. In answer to the question what is the Armenian scenario, Arman Melikyan answered, "The Armenian scenario is to preserve all the present territories of Nagorno-Karabakh as well as to defend the rights of the Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan, and Nagorno-Karabakh self-determination will not be the price for normalization of the Armenian and Turkish relations.

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