ANKARA: Turkey delays rite at Armenian Church over referendum, Turkey
May 16 2010

Turkey delays single day rite at Armenian Church over referendum

The rite at the Akdamar Church will take place each year in the second
week of September.
Sunday, 16 May 2010 11:53

The single day rite at the Akdamar Armenian Church in the Akdamar
island on the Lake Van was postponed due to the referendum on the
constitutional amendment law.

A press release of the Van Governor’s Office said they mutually agreed
with Archbishop Aram Atesyan of the Armenian Patriarchate in Turkey to
postpone the single-day rite from September 12 to the 19th of the same

Turkish authorities announced earlier that the historic Armenian
Church on the Akdamar island would be opened to religious worship for
a single day, as a symbolic gesture to the Armenian community around
the world, as part of Turkey’s efforts to normalize relations with

However, the Higher Board of Elections recently announced that the
referendum on the constitutional amendment law would be held the same
day, which forced authorities to postpone the single-day rite in
Akdamar church to September 19 in order to allow Turkish citizens of
Amenian origin to vote in the referendum.

Turkey’s decision to open the Akdamar Church for a single-day rite,
was met with enthusiasm by Armenian communities across the world.

The 1,100-year-old Akdamar Church was opened in 2007 at a ceremony
that hosted officials from Armenia and Turkey after it was restored by
the Turkish government. The restoration costed some 1.7 million USD.

The Akdamar Church was constructed by architect bishop Manuel between
915 and 921 A.D. under the supervision of King Gagik I. Among the
important pieces of Armenian architecture, the church draws attraction
with its stone workmanship and the relieves on its walls.

Earlier this March, Turkish government gave permission for a
single-day religious that would take place once every year at the
church upon a proposal by the Van Governor’s Office and approval by
Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Ertugrul Gunay.

The rite at the Akdamar Church will take place each year in the second
week of September.

Turkish officials believe it will boost religious tourism in the region.


6th time Armenia partakes in the `Museum Night’ project

Aysor, Armenia
May 15 2010

6th time Armenia partakes in the `Museum Night’ project

Today in the frameworks of the `Museum Night’ Armenia as well as
museums in around 40 countries from all over the world will be open
for the visitors not only at day time but also at night. Many Museums
will have new presentations for their visitors. The entrance for all
the museums that participate in that action is free.

The project `Museum Night’ has been originated in 1999 in one of the
French museums on one of the Sundays of the spring, by the suggestion
of the French culture ministry.

It is the 6th year that Armenia takes part in this wonderful action.

The `Museum Night’ is aimed at concentrating the attention of the
public on the Museum arts and the present situation of the museums. It
is a great occasion for all of those who have no time to visit museums
on working days.

Armenian Delegation Also Had Its Own Share Of ‘Guilt’ In Chavushoglu


Mevlut Chavushoglu, a Turkish national and President of the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, is a biased person,
Heritage Party MP Zaruhi Postanjyan said at a press conference today
in response to Chavushoglu’s recent statement made in Yerevan.

Earlier Mevlut Chavushoglu had said during a meeting at the Armenian
National Assembly that he is known as an objective delegate, and that
it was for that reason he was elected as the PACE president.

"Of course, I do not think that he was elected as PACE president
because of being an objective delegate," said she, adding that the
Armenian delegation had its share of what she called "guilt" for
Chavushoglu’s election as PACE president.

Given Chavushoglu is biased, according to Postanjyan, the Armenian
delegation must do some relevant work to prevent him from heading
the PACE sub-committee on Nagorno Karabakh.

Google Translate Adds 5 More Languages Azerbaijani, Armenian, Basque


/Google-Translate-Adds-5-More-Languages-142057.sht ml
May 14 2010

Google has added five more languages to its popular Google Translate
tool. These languages are now in the early stages of support, so
translations may not be as polished or as accurate as the other
languages in Translate. With the addition of Azerbaijani, Armenian,
Basque, Urdu and Georgian to the list of supported languages in Google
Translate, the total number goes up to 57.

"In 2009, we announced the addition of our first ‘alpha’ language,
Persian, on Google Translate. Today, we are excited to add five more
alpha languages: Azerbaijani, Armenian, Basque, Urdu and Georgian —
bringing the total number of languages on Google Translate to 57,"
Ashish Venugopal, research scientist at Google, wrote.

"These languages are available while still in alpha status. You can
expect translations to be less fluent than for our other languages,
but they should still help you understand the multilingual web. We are
working hard to ‘graduate’ these new language[s] out of alpha status,
just as we did some time ago with Persian," he added.

There are 100 million speakers of the five languages included now
in Google Translate. Urdu is the most widely spoken language of the
bunch, by 70 million individuals, mostly in Pakistan and surrounding
areas. All languages are labeled as ‘alpha’ and their graduation will
depend on how fast the quality of the translations meets Google’s
internal standards.

This mostly depends on user contribution, as Google’s translation
technologies rely on the machine learning to improve the accuracy
of the translations. You can help by providing better translations
using the link on the Google Translate site or by employing tools
like translation memories or the Google Translate Toolkit. Google
Translate also expanded support for the text-to-speech feature. The
latest addition brings up the total number to 34 languages, which
have the text-to-speech option.

Armenian Museums Will Be Open To Visitors During Museum Night


May 14, 2010 – 20:55 AMT 15:55 GMT

On May 15, the public is invited to participate in a Museum Night
international initiative and enjoy a free admission to all galleries
of Yerevan. In addition, films will be screened, as well as jazz and
rock concerts will be organized in Yerevan, starting from 06:00pm.

Unique exhibitions will be featured in the State Museum of Nature,
Mayr Hayastan military museum and Armenia’s National Institute and
Museum of Architecture.

Besides, a series of special events will be organized throughout
Armenia with the assistance of the Armenian Ministry of Culture.

The Cafesjian Center for the Arts (CCA) will also mark the
International Museum Day established in 1977 by the International
Council of Museums (ICOM). People will have the opportunity to view
monumental sculptures by prominent artists located in the Cafesjian
Sculpture Park, the first open air museum in Yerevan, and visit
galleries of the Center free of charge, as well as to listen to live
music and view art films.

Political Consultations Between Armenian And Romanian Foreign Minist


MAY 14, 2010

YEREVAN, MAY 14, ARMENPRESS: Political consultations between the
Armenian and Romanian Foreign Ministries were held today at RA
Foreign Affairs Ministry. An official from the press and information
department of RA Foreign Affairs Ministry told Armenpress that the
Armenian delegation was headed by Armen Liloyan, head of the European
department of RA Foreign Ministry, and the Romanian delegation was
headed by Mrs. Irina Zidaru, director general for regional cooperation
of the Romanian MFA.

A wide spectrum of issues on bilateral relations was discussed during
the consultations. The two sides expressed their satisfaction for
the high-level political dialogue and, at the same, mentioned
about the necessity for adding a new content to the bilateral
cooperation. The representatives of the Armenian and Romanian Foreign
Ministries touched upon the further activities of the Armenian and
Romanian intergovernmental joint committee for trade-economic and
scientific-technological cooperation.

They also touched upon the measures to be undertaken for making the
economic, cultural and legal-agreement cooperation more active.

Preliminary arrangements were made for organizing cultural events
in Armenia and Romania within 2010-2011, for holding joint business
workshops and for preparing the signing of a number of bilateral

The Romanian representatives said they are interested in organizing
lessons of the Armenian language and literature in Bucharest
University and inviting a lecturer from Armenia. The prospects of
cooperation with EU Eastern Partnership, BSEC and other international
establishments were discussed as well. The two sides exchanged
thoughts on regional issues. RA Foreign deputy Minister Karine
Ghazinyan received the Romanian delegation within the framework of
the political consultations.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed issues on the relations
between Armenia and Romania, Armenia and the EU and touched upon
the latest developments in the regulation of the NKR conflict and
improvement of the Armenian-Turkish relations. The next stage meeting
of the political consultations between Armenia and Romania is intended
to be held in Bucharest.

BAKU: Armenia Is ‘Not Willing’ To Live In Peace With Azerbaijan

May 13 2010

Fariz Huseynov News.Az interviews Dr Fariz Huseynov, Assistant
Professor of Finance, North Dakota State University.

Do you think that Azerbaijanii Diaspora of US is already strong enough
to solve the problems of Azerbaijan in America?

First let’s define the problems of Azerbaijan in America. The most
important problem has been the lack of awareness about Azerbaijan
among Americans. We need to both introduce cultural and historical
aspects of our country, as well socio-economic achievements and
our problems. Every Azerbaijani living in U.S. must feel obliged to
promote our culture and traditions. This is an on-going process and we
can never say that we finished our job. Diaspora organizations need
to provide our community with various platforms (virtual or real)
to introduce our country. For example, USAN has done a tremendous
job in connecting our community to US senators, congressmen and
media through its web platforms. These organizations often release
written statements about historical or cultural days and try to
bring American and Azerbaijani communities together during these
important events. Apart from organizations, our students from various
universities host cultural events to access different layers of
society. I would say we have been successful so far in this goal,
however we need to work more organized around the country and use
each others’ resources efficiently.

Second, it is essential to deliver the truth about Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict (NK), as U.S. is taking an influential part in peace building
process. Unfortunately, for many years Americans have learned only
Armenian side of story. We have been literally re-educating Americans
about the history of this conflict. However, we cannot expect an
average American to learn everything about this or any other conflict
taking place in Caucasus. Besides educating regular Americans, our
Diaspora actively participated in or organized scholarly meetings and
invited more American scholars to our events to discuss U.S. policy and
NK conflict. Our community members have been actively sending letters
about Khojaly, invasion of Shusha etc. to senators, congressmen or
local media. Moreover, Turkish government’s stance in Turkey-Armenia
rapprochement publicized our position as many newspaper articles
explained concerns of Turkey and Azerbaijan laying down details about
on-going negotiation process.

Third, we also need to ensure Americans that our nation values
democratic principles and we are in the process of transition to a
country where human rights, freedom of speech and other practices are
preserved. This is very important for the sake of our country’s image
which is, unfortunately, often deteriorated due to many reasons. I
must confess that this also hurts our Diaspora’s efforts as a single
op-ed in top newspaper criticizing the violation of human rights
may easily damage the image gradually built through several events
organized by our fellow members. Unfortunately, many domestic issues
have negatively affected our community’s integrity, as well. AZAD has
been a sole organization to emphasize democratic values and ensuring
Americans that we still care about and pursue these values flagged
by our fathers who founded ADR, the first democratic state in this
region, back in 1918.

Another thing worth to mention is that we still need to be actively
represented in national daily press by submitting op-ed articles
on various issues from current administration policy to regional
politics, to socio-economic issues. Our involvement in U.S. daily
agenda must be multi-dimensional, only one of them being NK and our
history. Therefore, we should not only respond to NK-related issues,
but also to other issues that regular people are interested in. We
should also get involved in local activities to expand our outreach and
amplify our impact. We need to respond to daily newspaper articles more
often by submitting our comments or letters to editors. Moreover, we
need to improve our intra-community communication through establishing
web resources where news about recent community related developments
is published or where our leading community members publish their
articles on various issues. We may also need to bring more students
with journalism major and lead them to national media sources to
expand our outreach in U.S. society.

Azerbaijan has been participating in Infowar with Armenia since the
Karabagh conflict began. Can we say that Azerbaijan already has much
more friends now among American political establishment?

Yes, indeed we were far behind Armenians when we started telling
our side of story. Our grassroots organizations, such as USAN, AAC
and ASA along with scholars and students around the country have
tried their best to balance the positions. I have already mentioned
about participating at scholarly meetings. Pleasantly, Congressional
Azerbaijan Caucus has grown to 50 members now and most of them support
our positions when needed. Our diaspora leaders continuously meet
officials from various states to deliver our position. We often contact
local and federal officials to deliver the truth about NK conflict
and asked them vote against Armenian-supported resolutions in state
or federal legislature. We receive many letters from House or Senate
members, as I personally did from senators of North Dakota. But we
need to work harder this year, as we are entering elections period
and candidates are more responsive to their electorate.

Armenians have mostly concentrated on false "genocide" claims
and reaped benefits by misinforming and affecting decisions of
U.S. officials. However, we witnessed the strong results of efforts
by Azerbaijani and Turkish organizations when House Committee for
Foreign Affairs approved the "genocide" resolution only by a single
vote. Even this fact shows how positions are balanced now.

Overall, I think we are in much better situation compared to 10 years
ago but we need to diversify our efforts as I mentioned before to
reach more layers of society.

How would you estimate the current cooperation of Azeri Americans
with Turkish and Jewish community?

Azerbaijani Americans have always acted together with Turkish
community and I do not think this will change ever. There is no
question that we are the closest communities and we both benefit from
that. We always collaborate and contribute to the events organized by
both communities. This is evident in all kinds of activities, from
cultural events to politically oriented protests. We have recently
seen a tremendous joint-activity through newly established Pax Turcica,
which gathers Turkic communities in both scholarly and cultural events
several times a year. This April we again gathered our efforts during
"genocide" campaign and I consider our efforts to be successful.

In regards to Jewish community, it has always stood in support of
Azerbaijani or Turkish interests. This community is also one of our
major supporters against anti-Turkish campaigns run by Armenians. Our
organizations, such as ASA and AAC, along with Turkish Coalition
of America cooperate with American Jewish Association and as a
result of this collaboration they recently hosted Pax Turcica Jewish
idendity symposium. No doubt that Jewish community is one of the most
influential communities in U.S. political life and we should continue
to cooperate with this community.

They say that there is a significant difference in views on Karabagh
problem between Armenia Republic and Armenian Diaspora, and Diaspora
put a huge pressure on Yerevan in this issue. Do you agree with that
and how can you explain such a destructive role of Armenian Diaspora?

I agree that Armenian Diaspora has substantial impact on
Armenian government but I would not specify it as a major
driving force. Armenian Diaspora and Yerevan officials try to
separately benefit from NK conflict and not to accept any resolution
yet. Status-quo works for Yerevan as it expands their power and tools
to rule the country. Armenian Diaspora leverages "genocide" claims
more than NK conflict as they already have a well-established agenda
around the former. Although they used NK issue early ’90s to achieve
Section 907, they would not like to draw attentions to NK conflict
now, as they realize that Armenia needs to compromise for any solution
in this conflict. I would say Yerevan and domestic nationalists has
more destructive role than Diaspora. Yerevan is more vulnerable to
domestic pressure as Yerevan realizes that any compromise may result
in loss of power.

However, Armenians need to realize that status-quo will further
deteriorate their already critical socio-economic conditions and
impede any improvements in the country. Azerbaijan has expressed
its partial agreement to neo-Madrid principles. Now Armenians need
to realize the value of compromise and use this chance to reach a
long-term solution as this may be their last opportunity.

Do you believe that public diplomacy between societies of Azerbaijan
and Armenia can be useful in the Karabagh settlement?

Truly speaking, at this point I do not believe that we should put
public diplomacy efforts forward as 20 percent of our lands are still
under occupation. Under these premature circumstances we cannot reach a
friendly environment by just bringing some people from these societies
together. Armenia has not showed any signs of strong commitment
in solution and I have no reason to believe that it is willing to
live in peace with Azerbaijan. Only after they vacate 5+2 regions
surrounding NK, we may start such efforts to start dialogue-building
process. Meanwhile, we should bring forward Azerbaijani community
leaders of NK and let them appear in international media to emphasize
our needs and intentions.

Russia Hopes For Armenia-Turkey Reconciliation

12.05.2010 16:19

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday he hoped Turkey
and Armenia would be able to restore full-fledged relations. "

"We are closely watching the development of relations [between Ankara
and Yerevan] and hope the positive momentum gained after the signing
of relevant documents in Zurich will go on," Medvedev told a news
conference after his talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

Although, Medvedev noted, "the process of mending relations between
the two countries is not easy and find different response in Turkey
and Armenia."

According to the Russian President, the normalization of
Armenian-Turkish relations will undoubtedly contribute to the
stabilization of situation in the rgion, the active development of
economic ties. "We welcome the process and will be closely watching
the developments," he said.

"Encouraging steps have recently been taken to settle the Nagorno
Karabakh pissue," Medvedev noted. "The sides are holding meetings,
are speaking with each other, certain progress has been reached
on a number of issues, but it does not mean all issues have been
agreed upon. I personally offered the two presidents my intermediary
services.Naturally, other members of the OSCE Minsk Group should make
their contributions, but all the issues should be discussed by the
conflicting sides first."

The Russian president refused to comment on "certain disputable
aspects" of the Karabakh settlement, saying "the subject requires
more scrupulousness," ITAR-TASS reports.

Catherine Ashton Welcomes Adoption Of The Association Agreements Bet

12.05.2010 10:56

Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union
for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the
Commission, made today the following statement:

"I welcome the adoption by the General Affairs Council on 10 May
of the negotiating directives for the future Association Agreements
between the EU and Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

The adoption of these negotiating directives is a clear sign of our
strong commitment to further deepen the relationship between the EU
and the countries of the South Caucasus, on the basis of shared values
and principles, including democracy, the rule of law and respect for
human rights.

The Eastern Partnership, launched at the Prague Summit on 7 May 2009,
provides an ambitious framework for taking the relationship with the
countries of the South Caucasus to a new level. In this context,
Association Agreements are an important instrument to upgrade our
relations beyond existing commitments with a view of political
association and gradual economic integration with the EU.

The negotiation process will be guided by the principles of
inclusiveness and differentiation, as well as joint ownership.

Successful implementation of the Eastern Partnership with the active
engagement of the partner countries both in its multilateral and
bilateral track will strengthen relations on the basis of shared
values and will help advancing political and economic reforms,
consolidate governance and foster regional stability, prosperity and
confidence building.

I look forward to the launch of negotiations on these ambitious and
comprehensive agreements with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia."

President Sargsyan Hosts Newly-Appointed Belgian Ambassador


May 11 2010

Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan hosted Tuesday a newly-appointed
Belgium’s Ambassador to Armenia Stefan de Locker, who presented
his Credentials to Armenian President, a spokesperson to the State
Administration said.

President Serzh Sargsyan said he hopes Mr. Stefan de Locker will
contribute to strengthening of the Armenian-Belgian relations and added
is interested in deepening the cooperation with Belgium. The parties
also stressed the importance of cooperation within the framework of
the EU Eastern Partnership Plan.

Referring to the international issues, Mr. Stefan de Locker said
that the Belgian parliament welcomes efforts of President Sargsyan in
direction to normalisation of relations with Turkey. Parties talked
about the current stage of the settlement to the Karabakh conflict,
and discussed details of Sargsyan’s upcoming visit to Brussels.