ASBAREZ ONLINE [05-19-2004]


1) Europe Firm on Expectations from Turkey
2) Armenian, Turkish Parliament Speakers Meet in Strasbourg
3) Rustamian Speaks Candidly on ARF’s Role and Opposition
4) Foundation Seeks to Bury Gorky’s Remains in Armenia

1) Europe Firm on Expectations from Turkey

BRUSSELS (Marmara/Zaman)–Europe reiterated its recommendations and
expectations to Turkey during the 43rd meeting of the EU-Turkey Partnership
Council, in Brussels on May 18.
Addressing Turkey’s quest for EU membership, Enlargement Commissioner Günter
Verheugen praised the legislative reform package approved by Ankara as
representing “very impressive progress,” but said the EU still remains
by the shortcomings in the implementation of these reforms. And while praising
Turkey’s policy on Cyprus, the body reviewed Turkey’s unbalanced policy on
landownership by its non-Muslim population, its banning of Kurdish TV, and
necessary reforms to guarantee judicial freedoms.
Responding to the criticism, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who
attended the session, offered guarantees that all laws will be implemented by

2) Armenian, Turkish Parliament Speakers Meet in Strasbourg

STRASBOURG (Anadolu/RFE/RL)–The speakers of the Armenian and Turkish
parliaments met in Strasbourg on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of
improving relations between their estranged nations.
Armenia’s Artur Baghdasarian said the meeting marked a “positive step”
the normalization of Turkish-Armenian ties, even though it did not result in
any formal agreements. “We live in the same region and must be able to
gradually establish a normal relationship,” he said.
Baghdasarian said he and his Turkish counterpart, Bulent Arinc, agreed on
need to develop Turkish-Armenian dialogue.” He said he urged Arinc to press
Turkish government to adopt an “impartial position” on the Mountainous
Turkey sealed the border 11 years ago out of solidarity with Turkic
and still refuses to lift the embargo before a settlement of the conflict. The
government in Ankara signaled last year its readiness to drop that
but has recently ruled out such possibility. President Robert Kocharian
indicated Yerevan’s frustration with the Turkish stance last week when he
announced his decision not to attend the NATO summit in Istanbul next month.
The Anadolu Agency reported that Arinc once more conveyed Turkey’s
preconditions before bilateral diplomatic relations could be established.
According to Anadolu, Arinc expressed Turkey’s uneasiness about the
Armenian genocide and land claims taking place in [the] Armenian
and he said that not only Ankara, but also the United Nations, as well as
international organizations expect the Armenian authorities to take positive
steps in seeking a solution of “Upper Karabagh problem.”
Baghdasarian said he was specifically asked by his Turkish counterpart
Armenia has any territorial claims to Turkey stemming from its campaign for
international recognition of the tragedy. He said he told the Turkish speaker
that “the issue is not on our foreign policy agenda.”
Arinc told the Anadolu agency that if Turkey’s sensitivities were taken into
consideration, then “Ankara would welcome this and give a necessary reply to
The Strasbourg talks were held on the sidelines of a meeting of parliament
speakers from the Council of Europe member states.

3) Rustamian Speaks Candidly on ARF’s Role and Opposition

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Speaking to Noyan Tapan, Armen Rustamian said that
is a gradual demand in Armenia’s political arena for a constructive
and spoke frankly about the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s role in the
ruling coalition government.
Rustamian, Chairman of the National Assembly’s foreign relations commission
and the chairman of ARF Armenia’s Supreme Body, emphasized that if the
opposition advanced constructive proposals rather than tactics to overthrow
government, it would have a greater following.
“While individuals can complain about the authorities, they can also be
dissatisfied with the opposition, and find it difficult to choose,” he said in
discussing the existence of a large undecided electorate in Armenia, as
well as
the possibility of some of the opposition forces to step back and form a
constructive opposition with other political forces.
This opposition, Rustamian emphasized, would advance issues crucial for the
country’s development and pinpoint correct tactics to avoid the mistakes of
today’s opposition.
When warranted, he said, the ARF will play the role of an “opposition,” or it
will back certain “positions,” depending on how the party views its role in
seeking an absolute solution to the problems the country faces.
He stressed that if the ARF believes it cannot realize its full potential
as a
part of the coalition government because the tasks at hand to advance the
country remain only on paper, then the party would not remain in the coalition
to act as a veil for the authorities or as a buffer between the authorities
the people.
The effective implementation of programs stipulated by the coalition’s
memorandum will decide whether it remains in the coalition. Rustamian
however, the possibilities of solving current problems have not yet expended.

4) Foundation Seeks to Bury Gorky’s Remains in Armenia

YEREVAN (Armenpress/BrainJuice)–One of Arshile Gorky’s greatest dreams was to
“to return home and mix with Armenian soil,” after his death. Fifty-six years
after Gorky’s tragic death, his wish is expected to come true. The
Yerevan-based Arshile Gorky Foundation has undertaken fundraising efforts and
is requesting permission to transport and bury Gorky’s remains in Armenia.
The chairman of the foundation Badal Badalian, said that if the foundation
succeeds, it would be appropriate to rebury Gorky at the Dzidzernagapert
Memorial in Yerevan, which is dedicated to the victims of the 1915 Armenian
genocide, but added that the final word belongs to the government.
Born in Western Armenia, in the village of Khorgom on the banks of Lake
Van in
1904, Gorky (Vostanik Adoyan) escaped the Turkish massacres with thousands of
others refugees. After his mother died of famine, he headed for the US. His
whole life in the new country, which ended in suicide, consisted of years of
hard work and bitter struggle.
A pilgrimage is planned to Gorky’s native village of Khorgom in Turkey on
21, the day Gorky committed suicide. The foundation also plans to launch a
poster campaign across Armenia in honor of Gorky.
One of the most famous contemporary artists, the founder of Abstract
Surrealism, Gorky was described by Andre Breton as the most important painter
in American history. Tragically enough, the years in which his art was
ascending to its greatest heights were also the darkest in his life.
In January of 1946, Gorky’s studio, a converted barn on his wife’s
property, burned down, taking with it many of the paintings, drawings, and
books Gorky owned. One month later, he was diagnosed with colon cancer and
underwent a colostomy, which left him physically handicapped and emotionally
scarred. His deteriorating marriage finally exploded when he discovered that
Agnes was having an affair with Gorky’s friend Surrealist painter Matta
Echaurren. Soon thereafter, she left, taking his beloved children. The same
week as his breakup, Gorky was involved in a car accident while riding with
York gallery owner Julien Levy, who was driving under the influence. Gorky
suffered a fractured back and neck and was put in an enormous leather neck
brace that held his head up. Shattered physically, emotionally, and
spiritually, betrayed by or estranged from everyone he most loved, Gorky
retreated to his house in Connecticut, where he hung himself from the rafters
of the barn on July 21, 1948. His parting phrase was written in chalk on a
crate: “Goodbye, my loved ones.”
To Gorky, art was nothing short of a necessity; he put his painting before
else, and when all else failed him, he relied on painting to pull him through.
He faced more than his share of misfortunes, which began in his early life and
brought him to an early death. In his art, he sought to reclaim the past that
had been stolen from him, and to shape his future, which always, and
tragically, fell short of his expectations and ambitions.

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