Russian businessman German Sterligov detained at Domodedovo airport

Businessman German Sterligov has been detained at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, TASS reports.

“He arrived in Moscow from Yerevan at 5 p.m. on Monday and was detained upon crossing the state border,” Sterligov’s lawyer Artur Airapetov said.

He explained that Sterligov might have been detained because his name was on the inter-state wanted list.

The border guards detained the businessman when he was crossing the Russian state border, a police source told TASS.

As it became known on July 28, Azerbaijan asked Interpol to put Sterligov on its international wanted list for the businessman’s activities in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan has initiated criminal proceedings against Sterligov on charges of making open anti-government calls and for illegal crossing of Azerbaijan’s state border (articles 281.2 and 318.2 of the Azerbaijani Penal Code, respectively).

On August 23, Airapetov said Interpol had stopped searching for Sterligov following a request from his defense lawyers and recognized that the businessman’s prosecution by Azerbaijan was politicized.

Kim Kardashian, Kanye West win $440,000 settlement from YouTube co-founder over engagement video leak – Video

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West will receive a $440,000 settlement from YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley, who secretly shot their engagement and posted it online. The couple had sued Hurley claiming that he manipulated his way into AT&T Park in San Francisco in 2013 to see the proposal.

Despite signing a confidentiality agreement, Hurley leaked the video online on MixBit, an app founded by him, reported. Kardashian and West were reportedly furious when they found out about the leaked video and their lawyer, Eric George, filed a case against Hurley. George claimed in the lawsuit that Hurley was desperate after two flops following his YouTube sale.

Hurley needs to pay the amount within the next few days to get the case against him dismissed.


Thai police examine Turkish role in Bangkok blast

Police in Thailand have launched a probe into whether Turkish nationals were involved in a recent blast in the capital Bangkok, reports. 

Officials said on Thursday that they were checking the arrivals of Turkish nationals in Thailand in the days leading to August 17, when the blast killed 20 people in Bangkok’s Hindu Erawan Shrine.

Turkey was infuriated last month after Thailand deported more than 100 Turkic-speaking Uighurs to China, with people in Istanbul staging a demonstration in front of the Thai consulate.

Turks say they share many cultural and religious characteristics with the Uighurs who are mostly based in far west China and complain about discrimination by the Chinese government.

According to the Thai media, an investigation has been launched into the arrival of 15 to 20 Turkish people in Thailand over the two weeks before the blast.

“There are probably more Turkish [people] coming into Thailand than that. We investigated groups which may have come into the country,” Prawut Thavornsiri, the spokesman for Thai national police, said.

Observers say the attack on the shrine may have been in retaliation for Thailand’s decision on July 9 to deport Uighurs to China. They say a famous Turkish gang known as the Grey Wolves could be the prime suspect in the case.

Turkish authorities said they were aware of the probe on their nationals in Thailand, adding, however, that Bangkok has submitted no official request to Ankara for receiving relevant information for the investigation.

The case of Uighurs has also sparked a diplomatic row between Turkey and China, with officials in Ankara accusing Beijing of being too harsh with the Muslim community. China defends its crackdown on the community, saying its members have intensified their attacks on civilians and security forces over the past years.

Prominent Armenian American event planner Arsineh Alenkin on the rise

features a story of Armenian American Arsineh Alenkin (maiden surname Bedrosian). The owner of AB-Weddings & Special Events, she has been in business for over a decade starting off with wedding coordination from 80-500 guests to planning/hosting special events.

Her specialty is charities/fundraisers for non-profit organizations that need awareness and raising donations as well. This esteemed event planner has had the honor of planning numerous events throughout LA venues such as after parties, screenings, festivals, launches and many more,

She has collaborated with prominent actors such as Scott L Schwartz (Oceans 11. 12. 13, Buffy the Vampire), Sean Kanan (General Hospital), Andre Gordon (You’re My Angel), Producer David Oman (House at the End of the Drive) and many more. She also had the distinct honor to give a class at the prestigious Napoleon Perdis makeup school in Hollywood.

“I love what I do from my heart and giving back to the community is something that I am passionate about,” says Arsineh. “When I see people smile it gives me more love and energy and my calling that this is where my journey will be forever,” she says.

Armenia committed to taking steps to design a new legal foundation for relations with the EU

President Serzh Sargsyan today took part in the fourth Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga, where he delivered a statement.

Statement by the President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan
at the fourth Eastern Partnership Summit

Distinguished Prime Minister Straujuma,
Distinguished President Tusk,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I thank the Latvian authorities and our EU colleagues for the excellent organization of the Fourth Eastern Partnership Summit.

Since the launching of the Eastern Partnership we have considered it a format for deepening our cooperation with the EU, encouraging contacts between our societies, and carrying out targeted sectoral cooperation in various areas. Throughout this period consolidation of cooperation with the EU has given new impetus to efforts to modernize our State upon the principles of democracy, human rights and rule of law, prompted our agenda of large-scale reforms and significantly contributed to the consolidation of civil society.

Dear colleagues,

Peaceful resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is also important for building Europe free of dividing lines. The approach of Armenia is in consonance with the international community’s position, which was reflected in the Statements by the leaders of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairing nations. It is well-known that the parties negotiating under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Process upon the mediation of Russia, France and United States agreed that the Nagorno Karabakh conflict shall be settled upon the provisions of the UN Charter and Helsinki Final Act, in particular those pertaining to the people’s right to self-determination, refraining from the threat or use of force and territorial integrity. It is also well-known that Nagorno Karabakh has no relation whatsoever to Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity since it has never constituted a part of independent Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, the authorities of that country considered territorial integrity to be the only principle, jingled it as their top slogan and consistently aborted the peace process by denying other, no less important and equally legitimate principles for resolution. In the 21st century the territorial integrity, indeed, shall be respected by States, but when that integrity leads to mutilation of fate of a part to that society, when it leads to decease of any prospect for the latter’s development, the people’s right to self-determination shall not be subordinated to such integrity. At the end of the day, if the principle of territorial integrity was the only game in the book there ought not to be so many representatives of various States present around this table because there should have not simply been so many States.

Dear colleagues,

This year we have been commemorating the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide that was perpetrated in the Ottoman Empire. Numerous European nations joined us paying respect to the memory of its one and a half million victims, who had been martyred only for their being Armenian and Christian.

We are grateful to all those, who did not calibrate their actions with political expedience, and brought their contribution to the cause of prevention of crimes against humanity. On April 15, 2015 the most representative structure of the European Union adopted Resolution on the Armenian Genocide sending the Genocide recognition message to all nations of the united Europe, and also to Turkey.

Distinguished Mr. President,

Armenia is committed to take steps jointly with its EU partners to design a new legal foundation for our relations, which will reflect, on one hand, the content of the preceding negotiations Armenia conducted with the EU and, on the other, will be compatible with the other integration processes, in particular, with the commitments stemming from our accession to the Eurasian Economic Union. Armenia, meanwhile, highly values application of differentiated and tailor-made approaches to every individual country, which shall be designed around the progress made in the implementation of reforms, and reiteration of the principle “more for more.” We strongly believe that all partners shall adhere to shared values and ensure peace and stability of the region. The Republic of Armenia will continue working exactly in this direction.

I thank you.

Turkish authorities destroyed the Armenian orphanage, where Hrant Dink grew up

Regardless the petition and the appeals of Armenians of Istanbul, on May 6 the Turkish authorities destroyed the camp-orphanage located in the Tuzla district of Istanbul, where among many Armenian orphans Hrant Dink, founder of the Turkish-Armenian Agos newspaper who was murdered in 2007 and his wife Raquel Dink used to work and live for decades.  The destruction of the orphanage was suspended by the intervention of citizens, including Karo Balyan, Sezin Uchari and Ali Tcheliqi, opposition candidate members to the Parliament from Peoples’ Democratic Party.

According to Agos, in the morning of May 6th construction machines entered into the premises of Camp Armen and started destroying the building despite the recent protest against the destruction of the Camp initiated through internet.

Camp Armen was one of the most symbolic and important property belonging to the Armenian community and confiscated by Turkish authorities. In 1915, after the Armenian Genocide, there was no school left in Western Armenia and more than 1500 Armenian orphans were living in the camp and being taught the Armenian language.

The destrcution of Armen Kamp coincides with the strong reactions on the part of Turkish against the condemnation of the Armenian Genocide by Pope Francis I on April 12, during the famous Vatican mass dedicated to the Centenary  of the Armenian genocide, the condemnation of the Armenian Genocide by the German president on April 15, the EU Parliament’s call to Turkey to show moderation subject of the Armenian Genocide on April 22, the Austian Parliament’s recognition and condemnation the Armenian Genocide and its call to Turkey, considering the recognition of the historic complicity as a precondition for reconciliation etc.

The Assembly of Armenians of Europe (AAE) condemns Turkey’s consistent pressure against Armenians and the persistent and non-constructive approach, which was reflected in its provocative attitude by transfering the Dardanelles celebrations from March 18 to April 24. This was not only a dishonoring act and an offense towards 1,5 million Armenian victims, but also to the whole civilized world.

We call upon world’s and Turkey’s leaders to condemn the extremist and irresponsible attitude of the Turkish authorities and to show solidarity to the Armenian survivors living in their countries. Turkey’s aggression and discrimination against the Armenian community and other national and religious minorities must be condemned.

AAE believes that such provocative and intolerent policy adopted by Turkey will lead to instability and agitations and will generate a new wave of national hatred and tension. We shouldn’t forget about Turkey’s everyday violations of human rights and freedom of speech and the fact that the number of imprisoned journalists is higher in it than in any other country of the world. The Assesmbly of Armenians of Europe expresses its gratitude to the countries and international organizations that have adopted a positive stance concerning the issue of the Armenian Genocide and the Turkish intellectuals, journalists and writers for  their solidarity to the Armenian people despite of the many threats that they face.

On Martyrs Day Syrian President recalls the Armenian Genocide

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday attended a ceremony organized by the Martyrs’ Sons and Daughters Schools Establishment to honor the children of martyrs who followed in their fathers’ footsteps and joined military academies, SANA agency reports.

President al-Assad addressed the children of martyrs and the schools’ staff members, saying that he feels great joy when he meets the sons and daughters of martyrs, and that he wanted to join them on this occasion, which takes place on Martyrs Day.

President al-Assad stressed that Martyrs Day has many values associated with it, some of them symbolic, and some very tangible linked to the history of Syria, as around 100 years ago, the Ottomans carried out a campaign of arrests and executions of Syrian patriots and nationalists which culminated in 1916 when a large group of nationalists were executed by the Ottomans for defending the Syrian people from oppression.

The President noted that the Ottomans’ crimes at that time weren’t restricted to nationalists; they also committed heinous crimes against millions of Armenians, Syriacs, and other groups under their rule at a time, and now these same massacres are being repeated in the same way but with different tools and names, as back then it was the Othman Jammal Basha “the Butcher” who had ordered the executions, and today history repeats itself as his ancestor Erdogan “the Butcher” is the one committing these crimes.

President al-Assad said that martyrdom is the most noble value to be championed by human beings anywhere in the world when they are defending their homeland, and the nobility of martyrdom isn’t restricted to the martyrs themselves; rather it extends to all those who continue to champion this value, and none can champion it better than the families of the martyrs.

Armenian Church, lawyers seek return of Camp Armen in Istanbul

– The GedikpaƟa Armenian Protestant Church and volunteer lawyers are initiating a legal campaign for the return of the camp, or compensation for losses. A new appeal will be made for the amendment of the decision for the cancellation of the sale, and the prevention of the demolition planned for the end of May.

Among the Armenian Community’s properties seized by the State, the Tuzla Children’s Camp, also known as Kamp Armen, is among those with the most powerful symbolic meaning. When Anatolia was left devoid of Armenian schools in the post-1915 process, orphaned and impoverished Armenian children who made their way to Istanbul received their education at this camp. The camp, once home to around 1500 children, including Hrant Dink, Rakel Dink and member of parliament Erol Dora, is now abandoned and in a derelict state, and faces the threat of demolition.

Legal campaign fruitless

The land of the camp, purchased by the GedikpaƟa Armenian Protestant Church Foundation, was returned – along with the facilities constructed on the site with the efforts of the children who studied there – by the State to its first owner on the basis of the 1936 Declaration, and the seizure process of the camp was completed when the Court of Cassation approved the decree of the local court in 1987.

The foundation administration tried all legal means for the return of the camp, however the efforts remained fruitless. Even the cases filed for compensation for the facilities built on the land were inconsequential.

When in 2011, a change in the Law on Foundations triggered a process for the return of seized foundation properties; an application was made to the Foundations General Directorate for the Tuzla Children’s Camp as well. However, the Foundations General Directorate, on the basis of the legal cancellation of the sale of the Tuzla Camp, did not treat the file as a ‘seized property’ file, and thus the return of the camp or the payment of compensation did not take place. The demolition of the camp will begin within the month of May.

The GedikpaƟa Armenian Protestant Church Foundation and volunteer lawyers are now initiating a new legal campaign for the return of the camp, or the compensation of losses. A new application will be filed for the amendment of the decision for the cancellation of the sale, and the prevention of demolition.

The story of the Atlantis Civilisation

Hrant Dink had described the Tuzla Children’s Camp where he grew up, met his future wife, and later assumed its administration along with his wife Rakel Dink as ‘the Atlantis Civilisation’. This reference specifically underlines the contribution of the children’s own labour in the creation of the camp. The history of the camp is as follows: The GedikpaƟa Armenian Protestant Church Foundation, when the population of its orphanage began to increase, decided to purchase a plot of land for the relocation of the orphanage that was in the basement of the church.

In 1962, the Church Foundation administration, after receiving the necessary permissions from all relevant State institutions like the Foundations Regional Directorate and the Istanbul Governorate, purchased the land plot of the Tuzla Camp from Sait Durmaz, and registered the deed in the foundation’s name. Then, the children at the orphanage worked an entire summer to build the camp where hundreds of children would eventually attend.

How was the camp seized?

Meanwhile, on 6 July 1971, the 2nd Civil Chamber of the Court of Cassation, by unanimous vote, approved the recognition as foundation vouchers of the 1936 declarations of community foundations that had no foundation voucher. This served as a legal provision to prevent community foundations from acquiring real estate properties directly or through inheritance.

When the General Assembly of the Court of Cassation approved the decree of the 2nd Civil Chamber of the Court of Cassation on 8 May 1974, the legal precedent was set. In cases filed following this approval, the great majority of immovable assets community foundations acquired after 1936 were seized.

On 23 February 1979, the Foundations General Directorate applied to the Kartal 3rd Civil Court for the cancellation of the deed held by the GedikpaƟa Armenian Protestant Church Foundation and the return of it to its former owner. At the end of the case that lasted four years, the court ruled for the return of the property to its former owner. Thus, Sait Durmaz, retook the land he had sold in 1962 as an empty plot, without paying a single penny, and with the camp facilities built on it in the meantime. The Armenian Protestant Church Foundation was forced to return a property it had purchased years ago by fulfilling every manner of legal procedure to its former owner as if it had stolen it in the first place.

‘This is a disgrace of the State’

The GedikpaƟa Armenian Protestant Church Pastor Kirkor Ağabaloğlu states that the condition of the Tuzla Camp is a disgrace of the State, and adds, “A property of our church is in the State’s hands. It was clearly seized from us. It is a disgrace, and the State must relieve itself from this disgrace”.

Ağabaloğlu says that they tried all legal paths following the seizure of the camp, but that the case was not included within the scope of the new regulation brought to the Law on Foundations in 2011, adding that the State had to bring a new legal regulation regarding the matter.

Ağabaloğlu relates the struggle so far in the following words: “We are told the site will be demolished, but there has not been an official notification as of yet. We are hurting inside, we are anxious. For years, under difficult conditions, we tried every possible path. After Hrant Dink wrote an article on the subject, the person who at that time was holding the deed, wanted to contact him. We went and met with him. He paid 1 million dollars for the site at that time. “I did not know it belonged to orphans. Pay me the sum, and I will sell it to you,” he said. He had good intentions, but we find it offensive to have to purchase for the second time a property that already belongs to us. It is the State that must pay them this sum. The legal regulation introduced in 2011 proves in actual fact that the State admits its crime. The status of the Tuzla Camp lies in a legal vacuum. This vacuum can be filled with a court decision.”

Ağabaloğlu also stated that they welcomed all manners of legal support.