Category Archives: Armenia

What Triggered The Conflict In Nagorno-Karabakh? Interview with Daniel Hamilton, Sergey Strokan and Marcus Papadopoulos

In this episode of Inside Story presenter Martine Dennis talks to Daniel Hamilton, political commentator on eastern European and South Caucasus affairs, Sergey Strokan, political commentator at the daily newspaper Kommersant, and Marcus Papadopoulos, editor of Politics First magazine, about the long-standing dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. (Al Jazeera English)

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Nagorno-Karabakh: Azeri-Armenian Ceasefire Reportedly Agreed In Disputed Region

Shaun Walker reports for The Guardian:

A ceasefire has been announced in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh after four days of intense fighting that has left dozens dead and threatened to degenerate into full-blown war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Karabakh is technically part of Azerbaijan but has been run by an ethnic Armenian government ever since the Soviet Union collapsed. Azerbaijan said 16 servicemen were killed in the past 48 hours, while the separatist Karabakh authorities said 20 of its troops had died and also reported civilian casualties.

The ceasefire announcement on Tuesday came amid diplomatic pressure to stop the fighting, with fears the localised clashes could spiral into a wider conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and possibly even a proxy war involving Russia and Turkey.

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Kim Kardashian Tweets Selfie With Armenian Genocide Flip-Flopper Hillary Clinton

Jon Schwarz reports for The Intercept:

It turns out Kim Kardashian isn’t as politically sophisticated as I’d hoped.

Kardashian’s father Robert was Armenian, and I was impressed when she traveled to Armenia with Kanye West in a blaze of publicity this past April 24 to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide. At the same time she wrote a piece for Time describing her father’s family’s escape from Armenia and her deep disappointment that Obama had broken his iron-clad promise to call what happened there genocide.

There aren’t many celebrities who’ll stick their necks out on anything at all, so this was brave, even though it’s unlikely that talking about the Armenian Genocide will screw up your endorsement deal with Carl’s Jr.

So I’m bummed out to see Kardashian kvelling about her selfie with Hillary Clinton at a Hollywood fundraiser Thursday night. Just like President Obama, Clinton has cynically abused the trust of Armenian Americans by calling it genocide when she was looking for votes, but not when it mattered.

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A People Expunged: Marking the 100th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide amid Ongoing Turkish Denials

‘This week marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. On April 24, 1915, the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire began a systematic, premeditated genocide against the Armenian people — an unarmed Christian minority living under Turkish rule. An estimated 1.5 million Armenians were exterminated through direct killing, starvation, torture and forced death marches. Another million fled into permanent exile. Today, the Turkish government continues to deny this genocide, and since becoming president, President Obama has avoided using the term “genocide” to describe it. We’re joined by Peter Balakian, professor of humanities at Colgate University and author of “The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response”; Anahid Katchian, whose father was a survivor of the 1915 Armenian genocide; and Simon Maghakyan, an activist with Armenians of Colorado. We also play a recording of Armenian broadcaster and writer David Barsamian’s mother recalling her experience during the Armenian genocide as a young girl. Araxie Barsamian survived, but her parents and brothers did not.’ (Democracy Now!)

What Obama’s Refusal to Acknowledge the Armenian Genocide Tells Us About the U.S. — and the Rest of the World

Jon Schwarz writes for The Intercept:

‘[…] During Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, he explicitly promised that “as President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.” Samantha Power, author of A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide and now Obama’s ambassador to the U.N., recorded a video urging Armenian Americans to support him because he would acknowledge the genocide: “I know [Obama] very well and he’s a person of incredible integrity. … He’s a true friend of the Armenian people, an acknowledger of the history … he’s a person who can actually be trusted.”

Obama’s commitment was quietly removed from his website sometime afterDecember 2010, and this Armenian Remembrance Day, he broke his promise for the seventh year in a row.’

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The Gallipoli centenary is a shameful attempt to hide the Armenian Holocaust

Robert Fisk wrote for The Independent back in January:

An image from 1915. Turkey deported two thirds of the Armenian population; many were either killed or died of starvation during the journeyWhen world leaders, including Prince Charles and the Australian and New Zealand prime ministers, gather at Gallipoli to commemorate the First World War battle at the invitation of the Turkish government in April, the ghosts of one and half million slaughtered Christian Armenians will march with them.

For in an unprecedented act of diplomatic folly, Turkey is planning to use the 100th anniversary of the Allied attempt to invade Turkey in 1915 to smother memory of its own mass killing of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire, the 20th century’s first semi-industrial holocaust. The Turks have already sent invitations to 102 nations to attend the Gallipoli anniversary on 24th April — on the very day when Armenia always honours its own genocide victims at the hands of Ottoman Turkey.

In an initiative which he must have known would be rejected, Turkish President Recep Erdogan even invited the Armenian President, Serge Sarkissian, to attend the Gallipoli anniversary after himself receiving an earlier request from President Sarkissian to attend ceremonies marking the Armenian genocide on the same day.

This is not just diplomatic mischief. The Turks are well aware that the Allied landings at Gallipoli began on 25th April – the day after Armenians mark the start of their genocide, which was ordered by the Turkish government of the time – and that Australia and New Zealand mark Anzac Day on the 25th.’

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Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Robert Fisk, author of The Great War For Civilisation, writes for The Independent:

At seven o’clock on Thursday evening, a group of very brave men and women will gather in Taksim Square, in the centre of Istanbul, to stage an unprecedented and moving commemoration. The men and women will be both Turkish and Armenian, and they will be gathering together to remember the 1.5 million Christian Armenian men, women and children slaughtered by the Ottoman Turks in the 1915 genocide. That Armenian Holocaust – the direct precursor of the Jewish Holocaust – began 100 years ago this Thursday, only half a mile from Taksim, when the government of the time rounded up hundreds of Armenian intellectuals and writers from their homes and prepared them for death and the annihilation of their people.

The Pope has already annoyed the Turks by calling this wicked act – the most terrible massacre of the First World War – a genocide, which it was: the deliberate and planned attempt to liquidate a race of people. The Turkish government – but, thank God, not all the Turkish people – have maintained their petulant and childish denial of this fact of history on the grounds that the Armenians were not killed according to a plan (the old “chaos of war” nonsense), and that the word “genocide” was anyway coined only after the Second World War and thus cannot apply to them. On that basis, the First World War wasn’t the First World War because it wasn’t called the First World War at the time!’

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100 years later, Armenian genocide still not universally accepted

Roy Gutman reports for McClatchy:

In the swank shops and tidy cafés that line the new pedestrian zone in Armenia’s capital, there’s barely a hint that nearly everyone here is the descendent of a generation that escaped with their lives in a harrowing flight from Ottoman Turkey in the midst of World War I.

On the eve of the centennial commemoration of what Armenians call Meds Yeghern, or “the great calamity,” posters featuring a violet forget-me-not and a slogan, “We remember and we demand,” dot Yerevan.

The symbol hasn’t caught on, even in government offices.

Yet Armenia, and the slaughter, is at the center of world attention as the April 24 anniversary nears.’

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Armenia Joins Russia-Led Eurasian Economic Union

The Moscow Times reports:

‘Armenia officially joined the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) on Friday, banding together with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus in a Moscow-led project meant to counterbalance the European Union.

As part of a deal signed last October, Armenia will have limited representation in the organization until the end of 2015. Three Armenian members will share one vote in the union’s governing body, the Eurasian Economic Commission, TASS news agency reported Friday.

Kyrgyzstan is also set to join the union on May 1.’

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Azerbaijan’s president threatens war with Armenia via Twitter

Enjoli Liston  reports for The Guardian:

‘Azerbaijan’s president has threatened war with Armenia via Twitter, after dozens were killed in clashes over a disputed area of land that both countries lay claim to. In a lengthy series of tweets, President Ilham Aliyev said several Azeri lives had been lost in clashes over Nagorno-Karabakh, and pledged to restore what he said was his country’s “territorial integrity”. The two sides began fighting over the mountainous region in the final years of the USSR. Armenian forces took de facto control of Nagorno-Karabakh, where some 90 per cent of the population is ethnic Armenian, but it remains part of Azerbaijan under law.

A Russia-brokered ceasefire was signed in 1994 after six years of fierce fighting, which claimed the lives of an estimated 30,000 people. The dispute has become one of the world’s ‘frozen conflicts’, and dozens are killed in clashes along the highly-militarised ‘line of contact’ each year. Tensions erupted last weekend, leaving at least 14 people dead in the bloodiest violence the area has seen for years. Both sides blamed each other for sparking the clashes, and details of exactly what took place remain unclear. ‘

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Armenian president accuses Turkey of genocide denial

From AFP:

ArmeniaPhotograph: Karen Minasyan/AFP/Getty Images‘s president has accused Turkey of an “utter denial” in failing to recognise the mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman empire during the first world war as genocide. On Wednesday the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan,offered condolences over the massacres, calling them “our shared pain”. The US hailed the move as historic.

But in a statement on Thursday marking the 99th anniversary of the start of the killings and mass deportations, President Serzh Sarkisian made no acknowledgement of Erdogan’s statement and instead accused Turkey of continuing to ignore the facts.

“The Armenian genocide … is alive as far as the successor of the Ottoman Turkey continues its policy of utter denial,” he said. “The denial of a crime constitutes the direct continuation of that very crime. Only recognition and condemnation can prevent the repetition of such crimes in the future.”

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