Monday, November 29, 2010

WikiLeaks Reveals Turkey’s Efforts to Derail Genocide Affirmation, Force Pro-Azerbaijan Settlement

WikiLeaks Reveals Turkey’s Efforts to Derail Genocide Affirmation, Force Pro-Azerbaijan Settlement
Posted By Weekly Staff On November 29, 2010 (12:49 am) In News
WASHINGTON—The public disclosure today by WikiLeaks of tens of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables included many of special interest to Armenian Americans, most notably a “smoking gun” revelation that Turkey has aggressively used the Turkey-Armenia protocols, particularly the prospect of its ratification, to pressure American leaders against U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide and in favor of a pro-Azerbaijani settlement of the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“These files are a smoking-gun,” explained ANCA executive director Aram Hamparian. “They reveal the remarkable candor with which Ankara has, from day one, sought to pressure the United States to enforce it preconditions for the Turkey-Armenia protocols. It’s painfully clear from the words of Turkey’s own leaders that, rather than seeking peace, they instead sought to use the prospect of the ratification of these accords to block the Armenian Genocide recognition and to force a pro-Azerbaijani resolution of Nagorno-Karabagh.”
In a Feb. 25, 2010 confidential cable from the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffery noted that Turkey had made it clear that its ratification of the Turkey-Armenia protocols was predicated on Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev’s approval. Specifically, in describing a Feb. 18, 2010 meeting between U.S. Under Secretary of State William Burns and Turkish Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Sinirlioglu, Jeffery writes: “Sinirlioglu appealed for ‘simultaneity’ between Armenian Protocols ratification and the Minsk Process. He emphasized ‘a strong reaction’ against the protocols among ruling party MPs had to be overcome before the government would hazard a ratification effort. He warned Congressional passage of an Armenian genocide resolution would ‘complicate’ his government’s domestic political calculations regarding ratification. He said if something acceptable to Azerbaijani President Aliyev can found, then ‘we can move’ the protocols forward.”
Read the complete cable at
In a Jan. 20, 2010 confidential cable, Jeffery provided his analysis of Turkey’s foreign policy, citing concerns about Turkey’s “inability to bring to conclusion foreign policy initiatives,” specifically noting the Turkey-Armenia protocols and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s “tendency to substitute rhetoric for long term investment of diplomatic, military, and assistance capital.” Jeffery went on to note that “Turkey will have to stand and be counted on Iran, in the Security Council, with MD, and in implementation of UN or US sanctions. This will have a profound effect on relations second only to the fate of the Armenian protocols over the next year.”
Read the complete cable at
Aliyev: April 24 a ‘Sword of Damocles’ over Turkey-Azerbaijan-Armenia relations
In a confidential cable from the U.S. Embassy in Baku, senior diplomat Donald Lu reported on a meeting between U.S. Under Secretary of State Burns and President Aliyev, in which the Azerbaijani leader advocated the combining of the Turkey-Armenia protocols discussion and the Karabagh peace negotiations. He also urged the postponement of any protocols ratification until after April 24th, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, describing this date as a “Sword of Damocles” hanging over political initiatives in the region. Lu wrote: “U/S Burns stressed that the U.S. believes that progress on the Turkey-Armenia protocols could create political space for Sargsian to be more flexible on NK. He continued that the reverse was also true, that a failure of the Turkey-Armenia process would almost certainly result in serious negative consequences for the NK process. Aliyev said that NK progress would require a minimum of five or six months. He suggested that the entire Turkey-Armenia protocol ratification process be delayed until after April 24. He said that the ‘Sword of Damocles’ of Armenian Remembrance Day is hanging unhelpfully not only over the Turkey-Armenia process, but also now the NK progress. ‘If there were no deadline, maybe we could see how to combine our efforts (to resolve NK).’”
According to the cable, Aliyev urged Burns to pressure Armenia to accept the most recently proposed OSCE Minsk group settlement regarding Karabagh, calling on the three co-chair countries to “send a strong message that the independence of NK is not under review,” and urging “consequences in terms of international isolation” if Armenia does not accept the measures.
Read the complete cable at
Concerns over Armenia-Iran relations
A cable citing the text of a letter from U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte to the Armenian government expressed concern about the reported sale of weapons to Iran, stating, “Notwithstanding the close relationship between our countries, neither the Administration nor the U.S. Congress can overlook this case.” The letter went on to note that there would be consideration “whether there is a basis for the imposition of U.S. sanctions.”
“What this cable, and all that has transpired since it was written in 2008, shows is that the U.S. government, having reviewed all the relevant facts, concluded that Yerevan did not merit sanctions—on assistance, on exports, or, for that matter, in any other area,” commented Hamparian.
Read the complete cable at
Additional resources
A complete list of WikiLeaks cables related to Armenia, released to date, can be viewed at
A complete list of WikiLeaks cables relating to Turkey, released to date, can be viewed at
A complete list of WikiLeaks cables related to Azerbaijan, released to date, can be viewed at
Article taken from Armenian Weekly - to article:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Daron Acemoglu among Top 100 Global Thinkers: Foreign Policy

Daron Acemoglu among Top 100 Global Thinkers: Foreign Policy
12:52 • 27.11.10
American-based economist of Armenian descent, Professor Daron Acemoglu, has been ranked among the Top 100 Global Thinkers by the Foreign Policy journal, Turkish newspaper Sabah reported, adding in the meantime that the list also includes two Turkish nationals' names, one of them being Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.Ankara demonstrates a great interest in the Turkish-born scholar, wishing him to make his contribution to the country's economy. FM Davutoglu recently invited him to live and work in Turkey."I haven't had the chance to meet Davutoglu in person, but I hope I'll be able to return to Turkey soon," the professor said.Acemoglu was born in Istanbul, Turkey. He graduated from the Galatasaray High School in Istanbul in 1986. He got his B.A. degree from the University of York, UK and his M.S. degree in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics and then his Ph.D. degree in 1992 from the London School of Economics. He was a lecturer in economics at the LSE from 1992-1993. Acemoglu became a member of the M.I.T. faculty in 1993. He was promoted to full professor in 2000, and was named the Charles P. Kindleberger Professor of Applied Economics in 2004. He is a member of the Economic Growth program of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research. He is also affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research, Center for Economic Performance, and Centre for Economic Policy Research. Acemoglu is currently Professor of Applied Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and winner of the 2005 John Bates Clark Medal. He is among the 10 most cited economists in the world, according to IDEAS/RePEc.

Friday, November 26, 2010

$20.8 million pledged at Telethon 2010

$20.8 million pledged at Telethon 2010
09:52 • 26.11.10
Hayastan All-Armenian Fund has raised a record-breaking $20.8 million in pledges at its 13th International Telethon.
The live 12-hour show aired from KCET Hollywood Studios on Thursday and reached millions of households globally.
The live program featured a rich presentation of Armenian music and entertainment, as well as celebrities, political and community leaders, and long time Armenia Fund supporters and donors. The Telethon culminates Armenia Fund’s global fundraising campaigns that included Phone-a-thons, gala dinners, and benefit concerts, as well as the annual benefit gala held in Moscow and the 11th Pan-European Phone-a-thon held in Paris.
Armenia Fund, along with its global affiliates will provide detailed information within the next few weeks, regarding total number of donors and pledges. The Fund will conduct and verify, as well as collect, all pledges made during Telethon 2010. Within the next few weeks, the Fund will release further details.
As always, Armenia Fund continues accepting donations online ( or through 1-800-888-8897 or 1-888-300-9271.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Court of Berlin fined Azerbaijani nationalist for insulting President Serzh Sargsyan

Court of Berlin fined Azerbaijani nationalist for insulting President Serzh Sargsyan
A court of Berlin charged Azerbaijani Gabib Abdulayev who lives in Germany 900 euros for making offensive statements towards President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan. According to “Media Forum”Abdulayev was arrested on June 22, 2010 for crying anti-Armenian slogans during President Sargsyan’s visit to Germany.Abdulayev declared he didn’t think he was guilty and wouldn’t pay the penalty. Thus he violates the country’s legislation where he is an ordinary immigrant.It’s said that Abdulayev spread anti-Armenian and nationalist statements through different social networks, including “Facebook”.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Vladimir Arzumanyan from Nagorno-Karabakh wins Junior Eurovision 2010

Vladimir Arzumanyan from Nagorno-Karabakh wins Junior Eurovision 2010
November 21, 2010 01:29
Vladimir Arzumanyan, 12, from Armenia, has won the Junior Eurovision 2010 with his song “Mama”. The song contest was held in Minsk on October 20.
Armenia got the highest points from Sweden and Macedonia. Song contest featured participants from 14 European states: Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, The Netherlands, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine and Sweden.
Vladimir Arzumanyan, pupil of Yerevan school # 1, was born in Nagorno-Karabakh.
News from Armenia -

Hundreds of Armenians return to their roots

14:34 20/11/2010 » IN THE WORLD
Hundreds of Armenians return to their roots
Turkish “Radikal” publication referred to citizens of Turkey who return to their Armenian identity. It’s reported that the toll of returning lost identity is getting increased, particularly in eastern parts of the country. For example, Yusuf Yilmaz of Armenian origin told the story of his “return”.“They knew we were Islamic Kurds. My parents were believers. When I was 12, my friends called me giaour. I asked my mother and she told me we were Armenians. In school they called Armenians killers. I was crying being an Armenian. Unless I decided to return to the religion of my roots. Islam says if you reject your roots, you are evil.”
Islam calls the dissidents giaour. “Radikal” reported that during the last 3 years hundreds of Armenian calimed Armenian Patriarchate of Polis to return them to their origin.

Monday, November 15, 2010

US interested in construction of new nuclear power plant in Armenia

US interested in construction of new nuclear power plant in Armenia
15:57 • 15.11.10
US is interested in the construction of the new nuclear energy bloc in Metsamor, Armavir marz (province), Coordinator of US Assistance to Europe and Eurasia at the US State Department Daniel Rosenblum said at a joint press conference with Armenia's Ministry of Economy at the second session of US-Armenia intergovernmental commission that kicked off this morning in Yerevan."American private companies are interested in the construction of Armenia's new nuclear power plant." We have discussed that issue with the Armenian side," said he. Mr Rosenblum also said that the US has for several years been engaged in consultations with Armenian over the safe use of the NPP."We are ready to cooperate over the construction of the nuclear power plant too," Mr Rosenblum said.

Gunaysu: The Jews of Turkey and the Armenian Genocide

Armenian Genocide
By: Ayse Gunaysu
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A groundbreaking book by independent scholar and historian Rifat Bali was published recently in Turkey, unearthing facts and first-hand accounts that unmistakably illustrate how the Turkish establishment blackmailed the leaders of the Jewish community—and through them Jewish organizations in the United States—to secure their support of the Turkish position against the Armenians’ campaign for genocide recognition. The title of the book, Devlet’in Ornek Yurttaslari –Cumhuriyet Yıllarında Türkiye Yahudileri 1950-2003, can be roughly translated into English as “The Model Citizens of the State–Jews of Turkey in the Republican Period 1950-2003.” (I will refer to the book as “The Model Citizens” in this article.)
The book is a product of the meticulous work Bali carried out for many years at around 15 archives worldwide, including the American Jewish Archives (Cincinatti, Ohio), B’nai B’rith International Archives (Washington, D.C.), National Archives and Records Administration (Maryland), Israeli National Archives (Jerusalem), Central Zionist Archives (Jerusalem), Turkish State Archives (Ankara), public archives in Tel Aviv, private archives (like that of Manajans Thomspson A.S., an advertising agency based in Istanbul), and his personal archives. He also researched hundreds of books, dissertations, and articles in Turkish and other languages, and interviewed numerous individuals.
“The Model Citizens” is in fact the complementary volume of Bir Turklestirme Seruveni–Cumhuriyet Yıllarında Türkiye Yahudileri, 1923-1945 (A Story of Turkification–Jews of Turkey in the Republican Period 1923-1945), a reference book Bali published in 1999 that reveals the true picture of the relations of domination between the ruling elite and non-Muslims in general (and Jews, in particular) after the founding of the Turkish Republic.
Rifat Bali’s books are the richest sources of information for anyone looking to study the history of the non-Muslims in Turkey during the republican period. These books differ from others by their sheer wealth of archival references, details from daily life, and insights into the political, social, and cultural background. They are the result of arduous and untiring work carried out in both the public and private archives, in addition to a very detailed scanning of the daily press—which, apparent in both volumes of the history of the Jews of Turkey, significantly sheds light on how the “establishment” in Turkey, an organic system covering not only the state apparatus but also the representatives of the “civil society” from business organizations to the press, operated as a whole to treat the non-Muslims in Turkey as hostages and not as equal citizens. Although the history of the minorities in Turkey has become a topic of interest among the dissenting academia and a limited circle of intellectuals (especially after the turn of the millennium simultaneously with Turkey’s prospective membership to the European Union), as far as I can see, none of the works in this field is supported by such a comprehensive press scan, which includes cartoons in addition to news items and articles.
Turkish Jews lobbying against the Armenian Genocide
In his 670-page book, Rifat Bali gives a detailed account of the Turkish government’s efforts to mobilize its Jewish subjects to win the support of the Jewish lobby in the United States against the Armenian campaigners. At the same time, Bali shows, how the Turkish authorities played the Israeli government against U.S. policymakers for the same purpose, by making use of its strategic position in the Middle East, at times promising rewards (i.e., raising the level of diplomatic relations with Israel), at times overtly or covertly making threats (i.e., cutting off Israel’s vital military logistical resources by hindering the use of U.S. bases in Turkey).
The book also offers rich material about how Turkish diplomats and semi-official spokesmen of Turkish policies, while carrying out their lobbying activities, threatened both Israel and the U.S. by indicating that if the Jewish lobby failed to prevent Armenian initiatives abroad—Turkey might not be able to guarantee the security of Turkish Jews. Such Armenian initiatives included the screening of an Armenian Genocide documentary by an Israeli TV channel in 1978 and 1990; Armenian participation in an international conference in Israel in 1982; Armenian genocide bills up for discussion in the U.S. House of Representatives, and so on. It has been a routine practice for Turkish authorities to invariably deny such threats. However, Bali’s industrious work in the archives reveals first-hand accounts that confirm these allegations.
But this is not all. Rifat Bali throughout his book unfolds the entire socio-political setting of the process of making the Jewish community leaders active supporters of Turkish governments’ struggle against the “Armenian claims” in the international arena.
Now let us look at this background. From what Bali brings to our attention, we can see that there has always been a frantic, extremely vulgar anti-Semitism freely expressed by Islamic fundamentalists and racists, and openly tolerated by the government and judiciary. Such anti-Semitism—escalating at times with the rising tension between Israel and the Muslim countries of the Middle East—often went as far as warmly praising Hitler for doing the right thing and exterminating the Jews; declaring Jews the enemies of the entire human race; listing characteristics attributed to Jews as the worst that can be found in human beings; in one instance, putting up advertisements on walls in Jewish-populated neighborhoods in Istanbul; and in another case, sending letters to prominent members of the Jewish community threatening that if they didn’t “get the hell out of Turkey” within one month, no one would be responsible for what happened to them.
Whenever Jewish community leaders have approached the authorities for a determined stance against such open anti-Semitism, the answer has been the same: These are marginal voices that have no significant effect on the general public; and there is freedom of expression in Turkey.
The eternal indebtedness of Jews to Turks
An important fact about such violent anti-Semitism is that it goes hand in hand with the widespread official and public conception of the Jews as guests who are indebted to their hosts; it is a debt that cannot be paid no matter how hard the debtors tried. This view isn’t only shared by extremist elements in Turkey, but by the entire society—from the elites to the average person. It is a conviction purposefully designed and maintained by the establishment. And it enables the perpetual, unending, and unrestricted generation and regeneration of the relations of domination in Turkey between the establishment and non-Muslims in general, and Jews in particular, manifested in the treatment of the latter as hostages.
There are regular manifestations of this relationship. The most unbearable is the shameless, extremely offensive repetition by both top-ranking government officials and the mainstream media of how Turkey generously offered shelter to the Jews in 1492, when they were expelled from Spain, and how the Turkish people have always been so “kind” to treat the Jews with “tolerance” throughout history. This theme is repeated on every occasion but is voiced more loudly and more authoritatively whenever pressure on Turkey regarding the Armenian Genocide increases abroad. Another theme has been the obligation of the Jews to show material evidence of their gratitude to Turkey on account of the latter’s welcoming of German Jewish scientists right after the Nazis’ ascension to power. (Readers of Bali’s first volume instantly will remember how Turkey declined thousands of asylum requests by German Jews; how 600 Czeckoslavakian Jews on board the vessel “Parita” were turned down; and how 768 passengers on the Romanian vessel “Struma,” after being kept waiting off Istanbul for weeks in poverty and hunger, were sent to death in the Black Sea by Turkish authorities, with only one survivor in the winter of 1942.)
An illustrative example is the story of the fury that broke out in Turkey in 1987 when the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Council in Washington, D.C. decided to include the Armenian Genocide—as the first genocide of the 20th century— in the Memorial Museum that was going to be built.The mainstream media, and not only the ultra-nationalist extremists, started a campaign that would last for years. Melih Asik from Milliyet (which has always positioned itself as a liberal and democratic newspaper), in his article on Dec. 20, 1987, accused “Jews” for being “ungrateful.” After observing the regular ritual of reminding the Jews of the Turks’ generosity in 1492 and during World War II, he wrote: “We treated them with utmost kindness for many years and now these same Jews are preparing to present us to the world in the Holocaust museum as genociders. Before everything else this behavior should be exhibited in the museum of ‘historical displays of ingratitude and disgrace.’”
Melih Asik, as can be seen, is so confident that his readers would not question the use of the words “these same Jews,” nor ridicule the identification of those Jews who sought shelter in the Ottoman Empire in 1492 with those sitting in the Holocaust Memorial Museum Council in 1987. He is that confident because he knows that such identification and essentialization is a regular, daily pattern internalized by the readers of the Turkish press.
Another very liberal and democrat anchorman of Turkey, Mehmet Ali Birand, known as a taboo breaker in recent years, joined—and even surpassed—Asik in his Dec. 29, 1987 article that appeared in Milliyet. In it, he publicly called on the Jews of Turkey to fulfill their “duty of gratitude” and do their best to prevent the Armenians from including the Armenian Genocide in the museum. He added: “Isn’t it our right to expect [such a display of gratitude] from every Turkish citizen?” There’s hardly any need to mention that just before this call to duty, Birand paid tribute to the routine of mentioning the Turks’ generosity towards the Jews back in 1492.
Not an apologist at all
Yet, it is important to note that Bali is by no means interested in justifying the Jewish lobby’s vigorous efforts to please the Turkish authorities. While he puts forth a wealth of evidence of the huge pressure the Jewish community in Turkey is subjected to, that evidence does not prevent him from giving a critical account of how the Jewish leadership in Turkey has displayed an eagerness to advocate Turkish views and to support official Turkish policies. There are numerous accounts in the book of how the Turkish chief rabbinate confirmed the Jewish community’s happiness and well-being in Turkey, opposing the promotion of the Armenian Genocide thesis, and how the Quincentennial Foundation, established by Turkish Jewish leaders in 1992 to celebrate the 500th year anniversary of the arrival of the Jews to Ottoman lands, actively championed Turkish official theses.
It is clear from the book that Bali does not like to make comments on the meaning of his findings; rather, he puts the facts together like a scientist, avoiding to make personal comments, draw conclusions, or speculate about the reasons or outcomes of certain facts and events. What he exposes is clear enough to make the picture complete in the eyes of the reader. It’s up to the reader to acknowledge, for example, the fact that those who criticized Turkish Jews for their submissiveness had no right to expect bravery—when none of them raised their voice against the rabid anti-Semitism freely displayed by fundamentalists, or against the innuendos from government officials, or against the quite obvious threats from opinion leaders who kept asking the Jews to prove their loyalty to the Turkish state or relinquish their right to be treated as equal citizens.
A last word about Rifat Bali’s book “Model Citizens.” It should definitely be translated into English for those who are interested in the Jewish factor in Turkey’s struggle against Armenian initiatives to recognize the genocide. It would be impossible for anyone either in Turkey or elsewhere to make a realistic, objective, and complete evaluation of Turkey’s success in securing the support of Jewish leaders both in Turkey and abroad without reading this book. Not only that, but the “Model Citizens” is a guide to understanding how deeply rooted anti-Semitism still is in Turkey that claims to be a European country knocking on the door of the EU. It also shows how powerful it can be when mobilizing a country’s human resources against its Jewish citizens—to make the leaders of the Jewish community act as they are told. Turning the pages of Bali’s book, the reader is made to see that anti-Semitism has a historical context so horrifying and so vivid in the collective memory that it can be very instrumental in manipulating victims, and very successful in carving out “model citizens” as the voluntary executioners of government policies.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Azerbaijan unwilling to show realistic approach to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Azerbaijan unwilling to show realistic approach to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
November 11, 2010 13:10
The international mediators’ efforts in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process are first of all aimed at maintaining the peace process and preserving the settlement format, Konstantin Zatulin, Vice-Chairman of the Committee for CIS and ties with Russian Nationals, RF State Duma, Director of the CIS Institute, told
“Resumed sniping along the line of contact is a gross violation of the status quo. The side committing the violations, that is, Azerbaijan, is a most serious problem and threat to regional peace,” Zatulin said. He expressed concern over the growing tension during the past few months despite the OSCE Minsk Group’s efforts. Russia is against a new war in the region, he said. A final settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem must be reached on the basis of the principle of Nagorno-Karabakh people’s right to self-determination along with the return of territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh. “As far as I am concerned Azerbaijan is now unwilling to show a realistic approach to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. This may be the reason why the Armenian society will not accept any talks about any territorial concessions - even outside Nagorno-Karabakh. I think if an agreement could be reached, the co-chair countries would feel the need for showing political will, the issue could be resolved in some time,” Zatulin said.
He stressed that a military threat is in the air now. “We all know about the result very well. I would not advise anyone to tempt fate, as the ones unleashing wars are not the ones overbalancing. No one has yet convinced me that arms – even the most up-to-date – will enable Azerbaijan to resolve this problem as it wants to for ever,” Zatulin said. Any new hostilities will challenge any economic development prospects.
News from Armenia - NEWS.a

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Australia's first Armenian mayor working for positive change

Sydney, Australia - He was only two years old when his feet first trod upon the distant shores of the "lucky country", marking the end of a traumatic trek that had dragged the family all the way from the land of the Pharaohs, but Artin Etmekdjian has never looked back.
And now, a lifetime later, as he sits in his new office, at city hall, contemplating the culmination of a dream he has long held, Artin is gearing up to meet a new challenge.
As the newly elected mayor of the City of Ryde, near Sydney, Artin will have his work cut out for him. He is the first Armenian in Australia to hold such a position, but he has no time to sit on his laurels. His in-tray is already overflowing with "things to do."
Artin's election bolsters the growing strength and prestige of the Armenian entity in the Australian political arena where Joe Hockey (deputy leader of the Federal opposition party), Gladys Berejiklian (New South Wales shadow state transport minister) and fellow town hall councillor Sarkis Yedelian, have ventured, with the cheers of the electorate resounding in their ears.
Acutely conscious of his Armenian heritage, Artin nonetheless considers himself a true blue Aussie, proud citizen of a free country that has received him in open arms and that has provided a safe haven for hundreds and thousands of lost seekers of greener fields.
"I acknowledge my place of birth; however I am very grateful to my parents for selecting Australia as the family's eventual home and therefore consider myself as a proud Australian of Armenian heritage," he tells me.
Artin is confident that his election will impact on Armenians in Australia, especially young people, by encouraging them to be more involved in community life, and that "no matter where an individual may come from, success in Australia can be achieved - through hard work, patience and persistence."
He is brimming with confidence, determined to usher new winds of change and best serve the community that has accorded him the honor and privilege of mayor.
"I have always been driven by a desire and passion to serve the community and be an agent for positive change," he says.
With his cheerful countenance and avuncular bearing, Artin comes out as approachable and amicable but the appearance of docility does not mask the steel will that has seen him propelled to the seat of power he now occupies.
"Any community leader position will always require tough decisions, but most importantly the decision maker must stand on principle, and be fair and equitable in making the final decision," he says.
His constituents include 6,000 to 8,000 Armenians, scattered among a colorful multicultural mosaic made up mostly of Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese, with about 40% of them immigrants and some 60% with at least one parent born overseas.
For Artin, it is of paramount importance that the ethnic consciousness adapt to the values of the Australian way of life, and for the community to "work harmoniously and achieve greater integration and assimilation."
Many migrants promptly change their names upon arrival in Australia, opting for anglicized versions that come closer to the ethnic original, although most stop short at attempting to transmogrify their patronymics or family names.
But Artin has eschewed this expedient.
"I believe your name is sacred, at that it actually shows your heritage and should never be tampered with unless one's life is threatened," he stresses.
Although it is generally acknowledged that Armenians tend to vote Labor in Australian elections, Artin is convinced that they are ready to cross the floor to throw their support behind a compatriot, regardless of their political views.
The number of Armenians in Australia, mainly immigrants from the Middle East, has risen to 40,000. Of these, more than three quarters have settled in New South Wales. The ingathering has been propelled by the unsettled political and military situation in the Arab world. Here in Australia, on the verdant shores and among the hospitable true blues, they have found a second home where they can sleep deep o'nights, without the fear of being the random target of a sniper or a suicide bomber.
In their newly adopted home in this State, Armenians have created a vibrant nucleus, complete with youth clubs and Saturday schools, concentrated mainly around the capital city, Sydney's, verdant north shore, with the City of Ryde attracting a faithful following.
Artin has grand plans aimed at further helping develop Ryde, making it more attractive as the place to work and live in. He cites as an example a recently opened multi-stage shopping center that ranks as one of the most ambitious in the region.
From time to time, despite his preoccupation with his current mayoral mandate and the demands of his job, Artin's thoughts hover around the city of his birth, Cairo. And although he was too young to remember life there, he still feels a strong kinship with Egypt, and has been back there twice to visit with members of his extended family.
Perhaps, one day, when times are more auspicious, city hall might even envision strengthening the ties between Australia and Egypt, with some sort of twinning agreement, a "sister city" relationship.
But such a step would require careful consideration.
"My belief is that any relationship of this nature must be dealt with caution - firstly, due to the costs involved and ultimately, the importance of the relationship being beneficial to both parties.
If the occasion arises that the above is satisfied with an Egyptian city, the matter would be considered," he says.
Right now, he has more compelling tasks at hand. Championing accountability and transparency, he intends to be a team player, his aim in life to be able "to live a full life and give more to the community than I have been given myself."

John Kerry: Armenian Genocide Resolution to gain stronger support this year

PanARMENIAN.Net - Chairman of the United State Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Democrat John Kerry has said that the Armenian Genocide Resolution will gain stronger support this year.
However, he did not elaborate on further activity regarding the issue, Radikal Turkish newspaper reported.
As to Israeli-Turkish relations, Senator Kerry said the U.S. will seek to ease tensions between the two countries.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Seyran Ohanyan: Armenian armed forces will continue coercing Azerbaijan into peace

Seyran Ohanyan: Armenian armed forces will continue coercing Azerbaijan into peace
November 9, 2010 - 12:14 AMT 08:14 GMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Bellicose statements constantly made by the Azerbaijani leadership are not new for Armenia, RA Defense Minister said.
“Instead of threatening war, Azerbaijan had better control the situation at the frontline, otherwise subversives would have not made attempts to penetrate into the Armenian territory. Moreover, it’s extremely strange when the Azerbaijani leaders present the subversives as heroes,” Seyran Ohanyan stated when commenting on the recent threats of the Azerbaijani President.
“Nevertheless, Armenian armed forces will continue coercing Azerbaijan into peace,” the Minister stated.
Delivering a speech at the funeral of a raider, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said Baku is ready for a new war, not only against Karabakh but against Armenia as well.

Russia to become involved in another war on post-Soviet space?

World » Former USSR
Russia to become involved in another war on post-Soviet space?

Azerbaijan is ready to unleash another war. This times it does not go about Nagorno Karabakh. The story is about Armenia. Azeri President Ilkham Aliyev made a bellicose statement on November 7 at the funeral ceremony held for the saboteur, who was killed in an armed clash on the border with Nagorno Karabakh. The Azeris, the president said, were ready to use military force to solve the Karabakh question any time. Speaking about Armenia, Aliyev said that it was an illegal state.
The president's remarks fit the circumstances in which they were announced. On November 7, Azerbaijan bid farewell to two military men. One of them died on June 18 when the Azeri army was trying to break through the line of contact with armed forced of Nagorno Karabakh. Ilkham Aliyev signed a decree to award the title of the Hero of Azerbaijan to the saboteur; a street in Baku will be named after the military man.
According to the president, Azerbaijan does not refuse from negotiations with Armenia, albeit only before the moment when it is possible to retrieve the country's integrity peacefully. "If we see that it is impossible, Azerbaijan will retrieve its territorial integrity militarily," Aliyev said.
"I don't doubt that we have all opportunities for it - combat training, material and technical means, ammunition and weapons, the professional army, high morale and the will of the Azerbaijani nation. We will be able to retrieve the territorial integrity of the country militarily," Aliyev said.
Russia Today: Leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia discuss Nagorno-Karabakh settlement in Russia
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It is worthy of note that the Azeri president is known for his bellicose remarks. However, the statement that he said after the threat of using military power in Karabakh, has never been made before. Aliyev's remarks may mean that he denies the right of being an independent state not only to Karabakh, but to Armenia as well.
"Azerbaijan will retrieve its territorial integrity. Nagorno Karabakh is our land, our native land. The present Armenian state was founded on the land that historically belonged to Azerbaijan," Aliyev said. The president has probably forgotten that the ancient Armenian Kingdom was established hundreds and even thousands of years prior to the establishment of the Azerbaijani nation, not to mention the fact that Azerbaijan as an independent state was founded only in 1918.
Aliyev's remarks followed the talks with the President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, which took place on October 27. The two presidents agreed to exchange the bodies of the military men, who were killed in a battle on the contact line between the conflicting parties. In addition, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to continue the dialogue to regulate the long-standing conflict.
Was Aliyev intended to gain political profit from his bellicose remarks? It could be possible, taking into consideration the fact that parliamentary elections took place in the country on November 7.
Armed clashes in the area of the Karabakh conflict occur on a regular basis during the recent six months, and the conflict seems to escalate. In addition, Azerbaijan has been involved in arms deal lately, purchasing arms from foreign countries.
For the time being, officials of either Armenia or Nagorno Karabakh have not showed any reactions to Aliyev's remarks. Armenia has its own vision about the history of the region. There are officials in the Armenian administration who believe that Azerbaijan is the territory of Armenia, which was taken away from the country by Arab, Persian and Turkish conquerors. Such an interpretation is obviously an exaggeration. Aliyev went too far as well. The Armenian state was founded over 2,000 years ago and took the vast territory from the Caspian to the Mediterranean Sea during the peak of its power. Armenia was the first state in the world to have recognized Christianity. Therefore, it is incorrect (to say the least) to consider the Armenian land as the land of Azerbaijan.
The recent statement from the Azeri president is another fact to prove how complicated the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia is. Too much blood has been shed during many centuries of the conflict between the two nations. The massacre of Armenians in Sumgait in 1988, the expulsion of Armenians from Baku, the subsequent expulsion of Azerbaijanis from Armenia and the war in Karabakh during the 1990s that ended with the defeat of Azerbaijan's army - all that is still fresh in memory.
It goes without saying that the Azeri army is technologically more powerful than it was in 1994. The Armenian army was not born yesterday either. Baku needs to bear in mind the fact that neither Brussels nor Washington will support Azerbaijan, as it happened with Georgia in 2008. The Armenian lobby in the West will be stronger than the influence of Azeri energy carriers.
The Nagorno Karabakh conflict is like the conflict in the Middle East, which seems to last forever. Bellicose statements shatter all hopes for peaceful regulation of the conflict. Armenia may take efforts to prove that Azerbaijan is a militarist state that nurtures another genocide against the country.
Armenia is one of the few countries where Russia has its army bases. Like it happened with South Ossetia, Russia will not be able to sit on its hands in case of a military attack against its ally.
Sergey Balmasov Vadim Trukhachev Pravda.Ru

Monday, November 8, 2010

Aliyev buries possibility of Karabakh conflict settlement through compromises

Aliyev buries possibility of Karabakh conflict settlement through compromises
November 8, 2010 - 18:33 AMT 14:33 GMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenian Deputy Foreign MinisterShavarsh Kocharyan said that apparently the Azerbaijani leader continues ignoring his own obligations before the international community and mediators, cynically acts contrary to the documents signed by him in Meiendorf and Astrakhan.
“Aliyev is dissatisfied with the history, which he taught in Moscow State Institute of Foreign Relations, and creates his pseudohistory. He ignores the modern international law and tries to speak from the baseless positions of the law of might,” Shavarsh Kocharyan said, commenting on provocative statements of the Azerbaijani President.
The Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister noted that the Astrakhan declaration foresees confidence building measures through swap of POWs and bodies of dead persons. However, Ilham Aliyev uses the process quite the opposite – for contributing to the tension.
“The inherited regime of Aliyevs needs to be fed with blood, including of own nation. The consequences of the aggression unleashed by it are no longer sufficient - it wants to plunge own people into a new abyss, instigating to new bloodshed and continuing the efforts aimed at making the Azerbaijani society a hostage of its own unhealthy illusions. Aliyev sends subversives to their doom, who, according to him, knew in advance that they will not return alive, solemnly buries them together with the possibility of the conflict resolution through compromises,” said Shavarsh Kocharyan.
According to the Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister, the new round of the anti-Armenian hysteria has been launched the day of “elections” of representatives of Aliyev’s clan to the parliament to distract attention from another stage of the formation of medieval khanate.
“Aliyev has presented himself with a choice – either rejection of the medieval obscurantism, which is based on lie, hatred towards neighboring peoples, and of suicidal attempts of warlike gesture, or self-isolation of Azerbaijan and final rollback to the middle ages with inevitable political, psychological and humanitarian catastrophe,” said Kocharyan.
On November 7, speaking at the funerals of an Azerbaijani subversive, who died on the line of contact of the NKR and Azerbaijani armed forces, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that Baku is ready to unleash a new war - this time not only against Nagorno Karabakh, but against Armenia as well. According to him, Azerbaijanis are ready to resolve the Karabakh conflict in a military way at any moment.

Friday, November 5, 2010



CELL 810-5018

US midterm elections reset lobby dynamics for Turkey

US midterm elections reset lobby dynamics for Turkey
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Thursday, November 4, 2010
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

Barack Obama (L) and John Boehner (C) are the two faces of America's divided government — the humbled Democrat president and the triumphant Republican House leader. Boehner, House speaker-in-waiting, has good working ties with Turkish diplomats. AP photo
A more Republican-leaning Congress brought by Tuesday's midterm elections in the United States is a mixed blessing for the future of the U.S.-Turkish relationship, diplomats and analysts said Thursday.
"We eventually got rid of the Californian gang, and it's good," said one Turkish diplomat privately, referring to campaign losses for both Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrat Howard Berman, who were known to be hostile to Turkey. California has a large Armenian community.
Pelosi will cede her post to the present Republican minority leader, John Boehner, with whom Turkish diplomats have good working relations.
Berman, the pro-Armenian chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will also be replaced by a Republican, likely Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Ethnic Turks win office
Two Turkish-Americans were victorious on Nov. 2 in their campaigns for office, according to the Turkish Coalition USA Political Action Committee, or TC-USA PAC. The winners, Jay Karahan and John Alpay, two of five Turkish-Americans running for office in the 2010 elections, represent a young but growing interest among the Turkish-American community in civic activism, TC-USA PAC said. Karahan was re-elected by a wide margin to his position as Presiding Judge of the Harris County Criminal Court 8 in Houston, Texas. Alpay, an attorney and community activist in San Clemente, California, was elected as Area 3 Trustee for the Capistrano Unified School District, one of the largest districts in the state. "We are extraordinarily proud that Judge Karahan and John Alpay were judged by their constituents yesterday and found to have the qualities necessary to be a public servant," said Lincoln McCurdy, treasurer of the TC-USA PAC. "But we are just as proud of all five candidates for investing time and money on campaigns to help bolster the Turkish-American community’s presence in American civic life. They represent the first significant step in a long journey for Turkish-American activism, setting the stage for the eventual election of a Turkish-American to national office," McCurdy said.
The changes affecting Turkey mirrored the trend across the country, as Tuesday's midterm elections dealt a massive upset to Democratic President Barack Obama, with the opposition Republicans regaining the control of the House of Representatives, Congress' lower chamber. The Democrats managed to keep their control in the Senate, Congress' upper chamber, but their formerly comfortable majority diminished.
For Turkey, however, the so-called Armenian lobby remains strong in both houses of Congress. For example, Republican Representative Mark Kirk of Illinois, a leading sponsor of the "Armenian Genocide" resolution in the House, won his election bid to the U.S. Senate in Illinois, filling the seat once held by Obama.
Also in a hotly contested race, Senate majority leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, an "Armenian Genocide" resolution co-sponsor, won re-election, as did the same bill's other co-sponsors, Senators Barbara Boxer, a Democrat from California, and Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York.
In the House, all major pro-Armenian lawmakers were re-elected, with the exception of George Radanovich, a Republican from California, who previously announced his decision not to run again.
In the 1990s, Turkish diplomats dealing with the United States had a motto: "Democratic presidents and Republican Congresses,” since Republicans were less concerned about Turkey’s human rights history.
The situation in Turkey, however, has changed in the last 15 years or so. Whereas Turkey was once a loyal ally of the United States, it now has its own independent foreign policies and initiatives, particularly in the Middle East, including rapidly improving ties with Iran and Syria and a worsening relationship with Israel. As such, many U.S. conservatives, especially in the Republican Party, are upset with Turkey.
Lame-duck sessions
The new Congress to be elected Tuesday will take office Jan. 3, and any congressional sessions between now and the New Year are called "lame duck" sessions. There is a slight chance two important things could happen for Turkey during the lame-duck sessions. First, there has been no U.S. ambassador in Ankara for more than three months. Obama's ambassadorial nominee for Ankara, Frank Ricciardone, has so far failed to win Senate confirmation as prominent Republican Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas has effectively blocked Ricciardone’s nomination.
Ricciardone can at best be confirmed in the Senate's lame-duck sessions beginning in mid-November on the condition that Brownback lifts his veto. Brownback was elected governor of Kansas on Tuesday and will leave his Senate job at the end of the year.
If Brownback were to lift his hold on Ricciardone – despite there being no sign of such intent – and the Senate confirmed Ricciardone, the latter could take his job in Ankara. However, if Brownsback does not lift his veto and the Congress does not vote for Ricciardone, the Ankara envoy’s seat will remain vacant at least until the new Congress is convened in January.
Secondly, Turkey is also concerned about a vote on the "Armenian genocide" resolution pending in the House of Representatives during the lame-duck season.
The House Committee on Foreign Affairs narrowly approved the "genocide" bill in March, and the resolution is awaiting a possible vote on the House floor. U.S. Armenians are seeking a vote on the resolution in one of the lame-duck sessions, but Obama's administration is standing resolutely against this bill.
Many Republicans are ultimately angry about Ankara's rapprochement with Iran and the new hostile relationship between Turkey and Israel; if this situation continues, they could take hostile action against Turkey.
Moreover, if pro-Armenian deputies do not bring forth a “genocide” resolution bill during the lame-duck sessions, they could conceivably reintroduce such a bill after Jan. 3. Many Republicans, angry with Turkey, could back these bills.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How an Armenian beauty Araksi Cetinyan became first Miss Turkey in 1925

-----Original Message-----Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 2010 4:41 PM
Subject: Fwd: Araksi Çetinyan was the 1st Miss. Turkey 1925

How an Armenian beauty Araksi Cetinyan became first Miss Turkey in 1925
Submitted by Armen Hareyan on 2010-10-31

It is unimaginable to picture an Armenian becoming Miss Turkey, but it is more difficult to believe that the first Miss. Turkey was an Armenian beauty Araksi Cetinyan, especially when the pageant was held just few years after the Armenian genocide.
Indeed, today's Hurriyet, one of the top Turkish newspapers in English language, is running an interesting story about how the first beauty queens where chosen in the Turkish Republic and how an Armenian lady became the Republic's first beauty representative. The debate, amid which the first Miss Turkey was chosen, was very tense.
Araksi Çetinyan was the 1st Miss. Turkey
The debate was tense not because of Araksi's Armenian origine, but because of the times and the people's attitude toward women in Turkey. According to the researcher on the subject "the general public thought it immoral to hold events showcasing women so openly," writes Hurriyet. "The first title went to Araksi Çetinyan, an Armenian Turk, in 1925, while Keriman Halis won both the Turkish and international titles in 1932," the newspaper writers.
The first beauty pageant was held in Istanbul in 1925 and Araksi von it.
“Despite the establishment of the Republic, the approach based on seeing everyone as an Ottoman subject was maintained. It was not her Armenian identity but her Ottoman identity that was more important. That’s why there was no problem in giving Çetinyan the right to represent Turkey,” said Feza Kürkçüoğlu, who is currently conducting a study on the subject.
The second contest for the title Miss. Turkey took place in 1929 at the call of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. He was the reformer that aimed to create a modern Turkey. Nearly 125 young women participated in the pageant. Araksi entered the contest, but finished the third. Feriha Tevfik was the winner of the second contest

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Over 90% of ANCA backed Congressional candidates win mid-term elections

Over 90% of ANCA backed Congressional candidates win mid-term elections
November 3, 2010 - 11:29 AMT 07:29 GMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Over 90% of the Congressional candidates backed by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) prevailed in Nov. 2 hard-fought mid-term elections.
“We join with Armenian Americans from across the country in congratulating the winners of these elections from both parties, and look forward to working constructively with the new members and leaders of Congress,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We are especially proud of our community’s pivotal role in the outcome of several key races, including Mark Kirk’s victory in Illinois, Barbara Boxer’s win in California, Harry Reid’s triumph in Nevada, and, of course, Mike Grimm’s defeat of Representative Michael McMahon.”
Five out of the six Senators endorsed by the ANCA emerged victorious, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). The only ANCA backed Senate candidate to lose was Russ Feingold (D-WI), a perennial cosponsor of Armenian Genocide legislation.
On the House side, ANCA endorsed 158 candidates in 31 states. Of this total, 152 were incumbents, of which, as of 2:00 am on November 3rd, only seven were reported to have lost their re-election bids. Each of the six non-incumbents endorsed and backed by the ANCA won their elections, including, most notably Michael Grimm, who, with the energetic support of ANCA activists in New York, unseated Armenian Genocide Resolution opponent Rep. Michael McMahon (D-NY).
Among the key winners were Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA), who will likely be the House Majority Leader, and Thaddeus McCotter, who is also set to remain in the Republican leadership. House Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ), who received an A+ rating and was endorsed by the ANCA, survived a strong challenge by Republican Anna Little.
Members of Congress who have worked against Armenian American priorities and were defeated, include: Reps. Ike Skelton (D-MO), Solomon Ortiz (D-TX), and John Spratt (D-SC). Rep. Gerry Connolly, who voted and spoke against the Armenian Genocide Resolution in committee this past March, remains in a tight race that appears, headed for a recount.
As a result of these elections, the Democratic majority in the Senate will narrow, and the U.S. House will shift from Democratic to Republican control, moving leadership of key committees, including Foreign Affairs and Appropriations, into the hands of GOP chairmen.

Hrant Dink’s murderer may go unpunished

Hrant Dink’s murderer may go unpunished
November 03, 2010 12:53
Ogun Samast, a Turkish ultra-nationalist who killed Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink on January 19, 2007, may be released due to the recent reforms in the Turkish judicial system.
The new amendments to the relevant laws limit terms of custody. Specifically, persons charged with grave crimes can be in custody for up to three years, and ones charged with minor crimes, up to one year.
The amendments were approved on March 23, 2005, and are to be in effect until Dec. 31, 2010.
Due to the amendments Ogün Samast, as well as Dogu Perincek and Veli Kucuk, may be released.
At the request of Ogun Samast’s lawyer his case was referred to the Istanbul juvenile court, as Ogun Samast was considered a juvenile delinquent when he murdered Hrant Dink.
News from Armenia -

Monday, November 1, 2010

Armenians Have Strong, Legitimate Claim for Reparations

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Friday, October 29th, 2010 Posted by Asbarez Staff
Armenians Have Strong, Legitimate Claim for Reparations
The Armenian Weekly published this week the full text of the comments given by Prof. Alfred de Zayas (Geneva School of Diplomacy) via videoconference on Oct. 23 at the UCLA conference titled ‘Genocide and Then What? The Law, Ethics, and Politics of Making Amends,’ hosted by the International Human Rights Law Association. We present his remarks below:
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Armenians have undoubtedly a strong and legitimate claim to receive reparation from Turkey for the material and moral injury that accompanied the genocide perpetrated between 1915 and 1923.1 Bearing in mind that there is no prescription in international law in cases of genocide and crimes against humanity, the Armenian entitlement for reparation has certainly not lapsed. Therefore, it is only normal that Armenians should continue to press their demand for reparation in the form of restitution of their cultural and religious heritage, including churches and monasteries, compensation for destroyed property as well as for the immense moral suffering endured, and a measure of satisfaction in the form of an official apology from the government of Turkey and recognition of their status as victims of genocide. This right to the various levels of reparation can and should be invoked by the survivors of the descendants of the Armenian Genocide both in Armenia and in the Diaspora.
The norms of international law, which I shall briefly outline, are fairly clear. Nevertheless, these norms are not always self-executing and may require legislative action in order to identify the specific legal basis and establish the proper forum where claims for restitution and reparation may be adjudicated. What is most needed is the political will of governments throughout the world to ensure that appropriate legislative and judicial measures are taken in order to implement the applicable norms of international law. For this political will to materialize, it is necessary to mobilize civil society in all countries, to educate through the universities, high schools, and the media, and to appeal to the overarching principle of human dignity from which all human rights derive. To discriminate among victims of genocide is unacceptable and entails in itself a separate and distinct violation of human dignity.
Now, the principle of reparation for violations of international law is not a new normative development attributable to the work of the League of Nations, or of the United Nations, or of the International Law Commission. The obligation to make reparation for violations of international law is a general principle of law as referred to in Article 38, Paragraph 1c of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. Already the Permanent Court of International Justice stated in its 1928 Judgment in the Chorzow Factory Case2: “It is a principle of international law, and even a general conception of the law, that any breach of an engagement involves an obligation to make reparation.”
Similarly, Article 31 of the Draft Articles on State Responsibility, which essentially reflect pre-existing international law, stipulates that “the responsible State is under an obligation to make full reparation for the injury caused by the internationally wrongful act.”
Article 34 stipulates further that “full reparation for the injury caused by the internationally wrongful act shall take the form of restitution, compensation or satisfaction, either singly or in combination.”
More concretely, in the Armenian case where enormous destruction was visited on the cultural heritage of thousands of years, the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property of 19543 and its protocols give us guidance.
Among other general principles of law that apply in the context of the obligation to make reparation are the principle of “good faith,” the prohibition of “unjust enrichment,” the rules on “estoppel,” and the principle “ex injuria non oritur jus,” which provides that no rights can be derived from a prior violation of law. Bearing in mind that genocide and crimes against humanity are the most grievous offences against international law, it is obvious that the murderer cannot keep the fruits of the crime. International ordre public or public order imposes this conclusion.
Some will object that the Chorzow Factory Case Judgment, the Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property, the Genocide Convention, and the International Law Commission’s Articles on State Responsibility are all subsequent to the Armenian Genocide and that therefore they cannot be applied retroactively. This is wrong. Not only is it a fallacy in international law, but also a red herring intended to distract attention from the core issues and to undermine the Armenian entitlements.
The fact is that the Armenian claims did not arise with these instruments and judgments, but were already in existence in 1915 and were recognized internationally in Article 144 of the Treaty of Sevres of 1920, which was signed by the representatives of the Sultan but not ratified after the Kemalist revolution. The non-enforcement of Article 144 does not mean that the entitlements did not exist, but rather that the use of force by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk prevented the implementation of applicable norms of international law.
Law, ladies and gentlemen, is not mathematics. And the norms—as good as they may look on paper—are certainly not equivalent to their enforcement. On the other hand, the non-enforcement of norms, even for a prolonged period of time, does not detract from their validity. And you should not be discouraged because of the reluctance of some journalists and politicians to endorse your claims. It is your right to continue pressing the claims until they are satisfied.
As far as compensation is concerned, Article 36 of the Articles on State Responsibility4 stipulate the obligation of a state “to compensate for the damage caused…insofar as such damage is not made good by restitution.”
As far as satisfaction is concerned, Article 37 stipulates that “The State responsible for an internationally wrongful act is under an obligation to give satisfaction for the injury caused by the act insofar as its obligation cannot be made good by restitution or compensation. Satisfaction may consist in an acknowledgement of the breach, an expression of regret, a formal apology or another appropriate modality.”
In this connection it is useful to recall that in 1993, President Bill Clinton issued an apology5 to the people of Hawaii for the crimes and abuses committed in connection with the overthrow of the legitimate government of the Hawaiian queen 100 years earlier, in 1893. Similarly, on Feb. 13, 2008 the prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, issued an apology to the Aborigines of Australia for the injustices visited upon them. It should be noted that the title to huge areas of Australia has been returned to the Aborigines, who are now administering these territories in cooperation with Australian authorities. Thus, even “historical inequities” can be partly redressed provided that there be a modicum of good will. Indeed, over the past decades the various governments of Germany have issued countless apologies to the governments and peoples of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, etc. in connection with the Holocaust. Germany has also made meaningful reparation in the form of both restitution and compensation to the survivors of the victims of the genocide.
In obtaining reparation, the Armenians should also appeal to international solidarity and to the erga omnes obligation not to recognize the effects of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Article 10 of the United Nations Draft Declaration on the illegality of population transfers of August 1997 stipulates: “Where acts or omissions prohibited in the present Declaration are committed, the international community as a whole and individual States, are under an obligation: (a) not to recognize as legal the situation created by such acts; (b) in ongoing situations, to ensure the immediate cessation of the act and the reversal of the harmful consequences; (c) not to render aid, assistance or support, financial or otherwise, to the State which has committed or is committing such act in the maintaining or strengthening of the situation created by such act.”6
Of particular relevance to the Armenians are the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law, adopted by the General Assembly in its Resolution 60/147 of Dec. 16, 2005.7 Section VII, Paragraph 10 of the Basic principles stipulates: “Remedies…include the victim’s right to the following as provided for under international law: (a) Equal and effective access to justice; (b) Adequate, effective and prompt reparation for harm suffered; (c) access to relevant information concerning violations and reparation mechanisms.”
Section IX, Paragraph 15 stipulates: “Adequate, effective and prompt reparation is intended to promote justice by redressing gross violations of international human rights law or serious violations of international humanitarian law. Reparation should be proportional to the gravity of the violations and the harm suffered.”
Paragraph 16 stipulates: “States should endeavour to establish national programmes for reparation and other assistance to victims.”
Paragraph 17 stipulates: “States shall, with respect to claims of victims, enforce domestic judgements for reparation against individuals or entitles liable for the harm suffered and endeavour to enforce valid foreign legal judgements for reparation in accordance with domestic law and international legal obligations. To that end, States should provide under their domestic laws effective mechanisms for the enforcement of reparation judgments.”
Paragraph 19 stipulates: “Restitution should, whenever possible, restore the victim to the original situation before the gross violations of international human rights law or serious violations of international humanitarian law occurred.”
Paragraph 20 stipulates: “Compensation should be provided for any economically assessable damage as appropriate and proportional to the violation and the circumstances of each case…such as “(a) physical or mental harm; (b) lost opportunities, including employment, education and social benefits; (c) material damages and loss of earnings, including loss of earning potential; (d) moral damage; (e) costs required for legal or expert assistance, medicine and medical services and psychological and social services.”
Section XI is of particular relevance. Paragraph 25 stipulates: “the application and interpretation of these Basic Principles and guidelines must be consistent with international human rights law and be without any discrimination of any kind or on any ground, without exception.”
Another significant United Nations document that gives support to the Armenian claims is the report of the Independent Expert Sergio Pinheiro, known as the United Nations Principles on Housing and Property Restitution, or simply as the Pinheiro Principles.8
Principle 2 stipulates clearly: “All refugees and displaced persons have the right to have restored to them any housing, land and/or property or which they were arbitrarily or unlawfully deprived, or to be compensated for any housing, land and/or property that is factually impossible to restore as determined by an independent, impartial tribunal.”
Ladies and gentlemen, I could continue citing norms of hard law and soft law that apply to or are of particular relevance to the case of the Armenian Genocide. Suffice it to say that international law is on the side of the Armenians.
Another issue is that of implementation, and you know better than anyone else what an uphill battle it has been to obtain recognition of the historicity of the genocide. Here again the United Nations can strengthen your claim through its increasing insistence on the right to truth9, including historical truth. This may be a right de lege ferenda, but a right that you can already invoke in the form of pertinent United Nations resolutions.
I do not underestimate the obstacles before you in obtaining reparation for the injuries suffered in connection with the Armenian Genocide. One problem is that of non-self-executing international norms. This is why Austria and Germany have adopted laws related to the restitution of objects to victims, as has the United States in the form of its Law on Restitution for the World War II internment of some 120,000 Japanese-Americans and Aleuts.
It is the responsibility of politicians to propose such legislation in Congress, e.g. to make Armenian claims against Turkey justifiable in United States courts. The United States has adopted the Federal Alien Tort Claims Act pursuant to which Jewish claimants have been able to obtain redress.
Before finishing this short introduction, I should mention the possibility of entrusting the United Nations with the responsibility of administering a Fund for Victims of the Armenian Genocide and their Descendants. Already the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights administers several funds, e.g. for the Victims of Torture, and this experience would provide a blueprint for an Armenian United Nations Fund.
I thank you for your attention.
Alfred de Zayas is a professor of international law in the Geneva School of Diplomacy in Switzerland. He has served as senior lawyer in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and as secretary of the Human Rights Committee. To learn more, visit

Lenin gave Mountain Ararat to Ataturk as gift

Lenin gave Mountain Ararat to Ataturk as gift
10:09 • 01.11.10
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Russian Marxist revolutionary, communist politician and leader of 1917 October Revolution in Russia, gave Mountain Ararat to the founder of the Turkish state Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as a gift, writes Financial Times in article about Armenia and its scenic nature. Referring to Armenia being the first state to officially adopt Christianity and the sufferings St Gregory Illuminator had to endure in Khor Virap, the newspaper writes: "'The seventh-century monastery of Khor Virap now stands above the pit where Gregory languished for 13 years. It is a popular postcard, the church framed against the snowy backdrop of Mount Ararat, where the Ark came to rest, with a foreground of vines purportedly planted by Noah himself. Ararat, the supreme symbol of Armenia, now lies across the border in Turkey, the gift of Lenin to Ataturk in 1921."

Armenian Araksi Çetinyan - first Miss Turkey

18:01 01/11/2010 » SOCIETY
Armenian Araksi Çetinyan - first Miss Turkey
The first “Miss Turkey” title went to Araksi Çetinyan of Armenian descent, in 1925 at a contest in Istanbul’s iconic Beyoğlu Emek theater, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News says. Thus, the Armenian girl not only won the title but also came to break the stereotype with the general public thinking it immoral to hold events showcasing women so openly.While rarely viewed as a triumph for gender equality in today’s world, the contests of the 1920s and 1930s were devoid of the catwalks and bikinis of contemporary Miss World pageants, researcher Feza Kürkçüoğlu, who is currently conducting a study on the subject, recently told the Hürriyet Daily News.“Despite the establishment of the Turkish Republic, the approach based on seeing everyone as an Ottoman subject was maintained. It was not her Armenian identity but her Ottoman identity that was more important. That’s why there was no problem in giving Çetinyan the right to represent Turkey,” said Kürkçüoğlu.