Updated Madrid principles: Baku claims to have accepted document

Updated Madrid principles: Baku claims to have accepted document,
expects Yerevan to follow suit

Analysis | 21.05.10 | 13:28


Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan

By Aris Ghazinyan
ArmeniaNow reporter

Official Baku declares it accepts the updated Madrid principles for
the settlement of the Karabakh problem.

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, speaking about the
details of the updated version of the principles, noted that `the
updated version presented in Athens creates opportunities for further
steps on a significant agreement.’

Under the document that international mediators propose as a basis for
a future peace deal on the first stage Armenian defense forces are to
withdraw from the districts surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, except the
Kelbajar and Lachin districts that immediately border on Armenia. (It
is stipulated that the Armenian forces should first leave not the
entire Lachin district, but its 13 villages.)

After that, according to the Azerbaijani diplomat, `all borders and
communications will be opened, programs will be launched, the issue of
international observers will be solved considering the importance of
the security of returning internally displaced persons to the places
of their former residence.’

The next stage: the return of the Azerbaijani community to Karabakh
and creation of conditions for the start of the process on determining
the status of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Azerbaijani diplomat said that `in the world there are different
types of autonomies and statuses … For example, Tatars, Bashkir also
realized their self-determination, but within the boundaries of the
Russian Federation.’

Baku-based political analyst Rauf Mirkadyrov, analyzing the statement
of Mammadyarov, says that `everything is clear about things that
concern the phased withdrawal from occupied territories and
restoration of communications.’ But then, he says, there are no
specifics in the minister’s statements.’

The analyst says that Mammadyarov, speaking about the determination of
the status of Nagorno-Karabakh after the return of internally
displaced persons, outlines the position of Azerbaijan in the
implementation of the principle of self-determination, which is based
on giving broad autonomy to Nagorno-Karabakh, while Azerbaijan’s
territorial integrity is maintained. However, the analyst doubts that
the updated Madrid principles clearly state the definition of the
final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh within Azerbaijan’s territorial

`Most likely, the document refers to the settlement of the conflict
with the consideration of the principles of territorial integrity and
the right of peoples to self-determination. If it weren’t so, the
foreign minister would have cited the phrase verbatim,’ says

The issue of the updated Madrid principles was discussed at the
meeting on May 17 in Baku between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev
and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan said that `Azerbaijan has always shown a constructive approach
to resolving the conflict. In particular, the fact that Azerbaijan has
had a positive attitude towards the latest proposal of the co-chairs
of the [OSCE] Minsk Group and Armenia has not yet expressed its
attitude to this issue, demonstrates Azerbaijan’s constructive
approach in this matter.’

President Ilham Aliyev also addressed this issue. He said: `As regards
the proposal made on the basis of the updated Madrid principles, the
Azerbaijani side, in principle, with very few exceptions, has accepted
the proposal. We expect a similar approach from the Armenian side.
Despite the fact that about six months have passed since the formal
submission of the proposal, no positive response has yet been received
from the Armenian side. Either it [the Armenian side] answers in the
affirmative and we move closer to resolving the issue, or else it
gives a negative answer and thus the negotiation process will be
disrupted and a new period may begin between Armenia and Azerbaijan.’

He did not say whether this new period will be a period of military
tension or not.

Armenian political analyst Samvel Martirosyan believes that an updated
version of the Madrid principles is not very different from the basic

In his opinion, Azerbaijan is now trying to show it accepts the
principles of settlement, while as a matter of fact it sets a
precondition: only on the basis of preserving the territorial
integrity of the [Azerbaijani] republic within its Soviet borders.

Martirosyan says that in this case `Armenia in equally measure accepts
the Madrid principles, but with its own precondition –
Nagorno-Karabakh in no case can be part of Azerbaijan.’

President Serzh Sargsyan’s speech at the Chatham House British Royal
Institute of International Affairs on February 10, 2010 is considered
to be Yerevan’s official reaction to the updated Madrid principles.

Later, in March, in an interview with EuroNews, a leading pan-European
television news channel, the Armenian president noted:
`Nagorno-Karabakh was not a part of independent Azerbaijan. It was the
Caucasus Bureau of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union which
attached Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan. Why did the international
community acclaim the collapse of the Soviet Union and not consider
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan part and
parcel of the Soviet Union? And in the case with Karabakh the
international community is still saying it is an integral part of
Azerbaidjan? It is not logical, is it?’

The Armenian side has not made any new statements after those
statements. Though, as political analysts think, the best statement
would be a normal conduct of parliamentary elections in
Nagorno-Karabakh slated for May 23.

`We do not need smiling faces’

`We do not need smiling faces’

04:34 pm | May 21, 2010 | Politics

The Caucasus Institute is holding Caucasus 2009 International
Conference in Yerevan on May 21-22, 2010. The conference has brought
together scholars, journalists and public activists from Armenia,
Georgia, Turkey, Russia and European states. Topics for discussion are
the political, social and economic development of the North and South
Caucasus in 2009; Russian, European, Turkish and U.S. policies in the
Caucasus in 2009; unrecognized states and ethno-political conflicts in
the Caucasus; regional security in the South Caucasus.

"Robert Kocahryan is a bigger threat for Serzh Sargsyan than Levon
Ter-Petrosyan," said political scientist Richard Giragosyan who
presented the report "Armenia in 2009" at the conference.

"Serzh Sargsyan wants to look ahead while Robert is pulling him back.
Kocharyan’s return to politics does not stem from Armenia’s interests.
The scenario of Medvedev-Putin, Serzh-Sargssyan-Robert Kocharyan is
excluded in Armenia," he added.

Richard Giragosyan is also displeased with opposition leaders.
"We do not need smiling faces and clever speech at rallies. The
opposition needs to take concrete steps."

In his report, the political scientist underlined that the problems
Armenia faced in 2009 and 2010 were resulted by the post-election
clashes of March 1, 2008.

"RA authorities did not want to eliminate the aftermaths of March 1.
They tried to conceal inner problems with outer ones. The authorities
failed to estimate the role of the opposition viewing the opposition
as an impeding rather than contributing factor on the path of

Note that Azerbaijani representative did not arrive in Yerevan.


Monument To Founder Of Karabakh’s First Jazz Band Inaugurated In Ste


May 20, 2010 – 10:55 AMT 05:55 GMT

On May 19, President of the Artsakh Republic Bako Sahakyan took part
in the unveiling of the monument to musician Gennady Barkhudarov,
the founder of Karabakh’s first jazz band, reported the Central
Information Department of the Office of the Artsakh Republic President.

Yerevan Hosts The Caucasus 2009 Conference


May 21 2010

A two-day International Science Conference, titled "Caucasus 2009,"
was launched in Yerevan on Friday, gathering together scholars,
scientists, politicians, and reporters from Armenia, Georgia, Turkey,
Russia, and the European countries.

It was expected that representatives from Azerbaijan would also
attend the event; however, Director of the Caucasus Institute,
Aleksandr Iskandarian, said that representative from Azerbaijan
"for reasons beyond his control" couldn’t travel to Armenia.

The conference will focus on developments and events, which took
place in the region. Among its highlights are items of policy,
economy, social development in the South and North Caucasus in 2009,
and policies of the United States, Europe, Turkey and Russia in the
region. A range of the regional issues will be discussed as well.

A representative from Turkey, Sitat Shelikpala, the associate professor
at the University of Economy in Ankara, will make a presentation on
the Turkish policy in the Caucasus in 2009.

BAKU: Insolvent Armenia May Get No Foreign Loans


May 20 2010

International Monetary Fund Currently, the IMF delegation is visiting
Armenia and working at the projects of new loans along with the

The US Senate has adopted a decision binding Washington to impose
veto on the decision of the International Monetary Fund to allocate
loans to the countries that are unable to return them.

Iragir reports that Armenia also receives loans from the fund, while
in period of crisis the country almost lived at the cost of the fund.

Currently, the IMF delegation is visiting Armenia and working at the
projects of new loans along with the government.

During the previous visits, the delegates of the fund stressed the need
to reform the tax system, settle monopoly issues, which will condition
further loans. At the same time, they noted that the correlation of the
foreign debt to Armenia’s GDP have not yet passed the dangerous line
but is approaching it. The IMF representatives will likely reduce or
stop allocation of loans to this country which is in a deep economic
crisis and unable to return debts during the visit to Armenia.

Bank VTB Armenia Lowers Interest Rates For Deposits In Foreign Curre


May 19, 2010

Bank VTB Armenia has decided to day to lower interest rates for
deposits in foreign currency by 2%. The bank said the decision applies
to all deposits, except for individual deposits equivalent to one
million Drams.

The bank has also lowered interest rates for all corporate lending
products in foreign reserve. According to its press release, the
demand for credit products in foreign currency is sluggish, prompted
in all likelihood by the lowering rates at global markets and liquidity
surplus. The bank predicted also a continued growing demand for credit
products in Drams Bank VTB Armenia’s credit portfolio grew by 5%
in the first quarter of the year. On March 31 its credit investments
totaled 74.7 billion Drams.

Bank VTB Armenia is owned fully by the second largest Russian bank
VTB. Bank VTB Armenia has the largest network of branches-68.

Who Will Present Armenia In Silicone Valley


May 19 2010

Till the end of this month the name of the winner from the Armenian
representation in the contest of Silicone valley will be announced. As
Vache Kirakosyan the head of RA Economy Ministry’s high tech and IT
Department informed Aysor.am 8 – 9 people partook in the contest,
all of them were foreigners.

"Rather interesting candidates applied. The final election will soon
be ended and we will announce the winner," V. Kirakosyan said.

Probably the Armenian representation will be placed in the incubator
of "Plug & Play" computer enterprises. They established cooperation
in 2009 in November during the visit of its director to Armenia. V.

Kirakosyan told that "Plug & Play" has such an experience and many
countries bring their representation exactly their; for example Czech,
Slovakia, Estonia and even Canada.

The presence of the Armenian representation in the Silicone valley
will allow the technological companies of the country to get
not only requests but also to better present the abilities f the
Armenian companies. It will also allow to be more informed about the
contemporary developments and tendencies.

Baku Against Further Procrastination Of Nagorno-Karabakh Talks


May 18 2010

Azerbaijan will not allow Armenia to turn the Nagorno-Karabakh peace
talks into "an endless process", Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said.

The absence of an Armenian response to the Madrid principles for
the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, which were presented by the
international mediators six months ago, confirms Yerevan’s attempt to
play for time and to "turn the negotiations into an endless process,"
Aliyev said at a news conference after talks with Turkish Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Baku.

"Certainly, we cannot put up with it. Any negotiating process should
have a certain timeframe," the Azeri leader said.

Baku wants Yerevan to accept these principles, he said.

"In principle, the Azeri side has accepted this proposal with minor
exceptions. We expect the Armenian side to adopt a similar approach,"
he said.

Armenia "should give either a positive answer to the proposal
presented by Russia, the U.S. and France, which will help us come
closer to resolving the issue, or a negative response, disrupting
the negotiating process and possibly ushering in a new period between
Armenia and Azerbaijan," Aliyev said.

The Nagorno-Karabakh peace talks have continued for nearly 20 years,
but the Armenian authorities have always taken steps to disrupt them
at the most crucial moments, the Azeri president said.

"To our regret, we are witnessing the same picture today," he said.

$175,000 Raised For Juvenile Diabetes Project In Armenia At AAMSC 25


Friday, May 14th, 2010

On Saturday May 1st, 2010, the Armenian American Medical Society of
California (AAMSC) hosted its 25th Anniversary Gala at the Glendale
Hilton, with all proceeds benefiting its Juvenile Diabetes Project in
Armenia. With over 600 guests in attendance, the AAMSC successfully
raised $175,000. The AAMSC would like to take this opportunity to
respectfully thank all of you who made this event and the AAMSC’s
vision possible through your tireless efforts, commitment and kind
donations toward ensuring the preservation and sustainability of
health services in Armenia.

The evening’s festivities began with hundreds of guests assembling
for the cocktail reception in the halls outside the Glendale Hilton
Ballroom, surrounding a beautiful Sejung White Upright Piano donated
by Hollywood Piano Company. During this time, guests were able to
network with fellow friends, colleagues and distinguished honorees.

Guests had an opportunity to place bids in the silent auction that
raised over $10,000 with all proceeds benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes
Project in Armenia. A few of this year’s auction items include:
a personally autographed Duduk by both Jivan Gasparyan Sr., and Jr.,
an Amethyst diamond pendant, ladies stainless steel diamond bezel Swiss
Army Alliance Watch, Persian rug and many other items. In addition, hor
d’oeuvres for the cocktail reception was donated by local restaurants
(Far Niente, Fresco, Minx) and a cake by Raffi’s Pastry.

The evening’s program commenced with an invocation presided by both
Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America and the
Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America. Then,
the AAMSC’s current president, Dr. Vicken Sepilian, was introduced. Dr.

Sepilian began by first welcoming the AAMSC Dignitaries, Founders, Past
Presidents, Members, Sponsors, Supporters and Guests. The Dignitaries
present were State Senator Carol Liu, Congresswoman Judy Chu,
Adam Schiff’s Representative Mary Hovaguimian, Michael Antonovich’s
Representative Rita Hadjimanoukian, Sherriff of LA County Lee Baca,
and four-time former Glendale Mayor Larry Zarian. In addition, the
President of AAHPO, Dr. Lawrence Najarian flew in from New Jersey
just for this event.

Dr. Sepilian continued by expressing the notable accomplishments
of each of the AAMSC’s Founding Fathers, Drs. Misak Barsamian,
Artin Sagherian(deceased) and Jean Momdjian, as well as AAMSC’s
Past Presidents, Drs. T. Gregory Kirianoff, Bedros H. Kojian, Silva
Karchikian, Misak H. Abdulian, David G. Davtyan, Armen J. Cherik,
Boris Bagdasarian and Varoosh Alaverdian. Dr. Sepilian emphasized
the significance of this evening’s proceeds toward the AAMSC Juvenile
Diabetes Project in Armenia, which was created under the leadership
of Dr. Silva Karchikian, sustained through Dr. Mark Nazarian and
supported by Dr. Sam Malayan, as well as AAMSC Members and Supporters.

Dr. Sepilian congratulated the honorees and their loved ones for
their "monumental sacrifices and achievements" in their vision,
leadership and dedicated service to improving healthcare in Armenia
and the Diaspora. He went on to recognize and thank all the sponsors
and supporters by saying: "I would like to thank all of you for your
support. By attending as members, supporters, sponsors and guests,
you have shown your true benevolence towards mankind."

Commendations to the AAMSC were also given from notable State Leaders,
expressed through formal letters of introduction. A California Senate
Resolution was presented to AAMSC by Senator Joe Simitian and a
California State Commendation was presented by Congresswoman Judy Chu.

California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, stated that he is "proud
of the AAMSC for their generosity and compassion to others"; and the
AAMSC has his "gratitude for outstanding efforts." Congressman Adam
Schiff of California’s 29th District stated that AAMSC’s "tireless
efforts are admirable and offer a ray of hope to people in need of
medical attention and support." Further congratulatory wishes toward
AAMSC and its Founding Fathers & Past Presidents were given by L.A.

County District Attorney, Steve Cooley; L.A. County Supervisor Michael
D. Antonovich; and City of L.A. Councilmember, Paul Krekorian.

The program was followed by announcing the establishment of the Norick
Bogossian Scholarship Fund, in memory of Dr. Norick Bogossian-renowned
plastic and reconstructive surgeon who believed that "Education
pioneers a prosperous future." Dr. Bogossian’s wife, Mrs. Hilda
Bogossian & three children, Lara, Alec and Armand, thanked the AAMSC
for helping establish this Fund which will help other students reach
their lifelong academic goals.

The program continued with dinner and special performances by Ara
Martirosyan and Jivan Gasparyan Jr. Shortly thereafter, a Tribute to
the Founding Fathers and Past Presidents was presented by Dr. Vicken
Sepilian. The honorees’ speeches all consistently praised the
achievements and progression of the AAMSC over the past 25 years,
through their growth in membership, initiatives and continued
commitment to improve the lives in Armenia and the Diaspora. Dr.

Momdjian stated that he is "proud to see how the AAMSC has been a
driving force toward advancing humanitarian initiatives." Dr.

Barsamian states that "AAMSC has achieved and grown in leaps and
bounds." Dr. Alaverdian was notably "proud of the continued success
of the Juvenile Diabetes Project." Dr. Bagdasarian commends AAMSC’s
"exponential growth". Dr. Abdulian believes "AAMSC’s camaraderie
is exceptionally admirable." Dr. Cherik believes that "the Armenian
community will continue to play a critical role in the health care
system." Jonathan Sagherian, son of Dr. Artin Sagherian (deceased),
thanked the AAMSC for this recognition on his father’s behalf, stating
that his father "served with devotion for his medical practice and
for his Armenian ancestry". Dr. Kojian thanks the Founders for "their
foresight in seeing the importance of establishing AAMSC and Dr.

Vicken Sepilian for his commitment to uphold AAMSC’s mission. Dr.

Karchikian gives her "heartfelt gratitude" for AAMSC’s vision and
believes that through "vision, passion, integrity and dedication, we
can grow and adapt to meet the challenges of the 21st century…she
hopes we all do well while doing good to humanity." Dr. Davtyan is
pleased that many bright and young professionals joining and eager
to see the amazing projects for the next 25 years.

Commendations were presented to AAMSC Supporters by Dr. Vicken Sepilian
& Dr. Serineh Voskanian Melidonian. This year’s Patron Sponsor was
Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center. The Platinum Sponsors:
AAMSC Ladies Auxiliary, Dr. & Mrs. Boris & Karine Bagdasarian,
Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Glendale MRI Institute, CHA
Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, Dr. Jean & Mrs.

Sona Momdjian, and Drs. Raffi & Jenia Papazian. Our Bronze Sponsors
include, Dr. & Mrs. Peter & Tamara Ashjian, Mr. & Dr. Hrag & Serineh
Melidonian, and, Wells Fargo Bank. Media sponsors were USArmenia and
Yerevan Magazine.

Dr. Armen Cherik, on a special note, made a toast for "a prosperous
Armenia, continued success for the AAMSC, and for Dr. Vicken Sepilian
for respecting the AAMSC Founders and Past Presidents just as a
son/grandson respects his father/grandfather."

The evening culminated with the presentation of a grandiose tiered
cake illuminated with bright fire candles donated by Raffi’s Pastry.

With closing remarks by Ms. Tatevik Ekezian, the evening culminated
with a night full of dancing with entertainment provided by Patrick
and his band.

The AAMSC would like to again thank all who participated to make this
event possible. As Dr. Sepilian emphasized, "the AAMSC will continue
to work in a collaborative manner toward all accomplishments, with
an acknowledged respect for history, and a renewed and energized hope
for the future."

This year’s AAMSC Gala Committee included: Dr. Vicken Sepilian, Dr.

Mireille Hamparian, Hasmik Keyribarian, Raffi Kendirjian, Angela
Parseghian, Sandy Bedrosian, Naz Atikian, Arpi Kestenian, Gerard V.

Kassabian, Tatevik Ekezian, Vany Cherik and Ramella Markarian.

The Generations Of The Converted Armenians In Europe

Ruben Melkonyan

"Noravank" Foundation
17 May 2010

While studying the issue of the forcedly Islamized Armenians and their
generations new and interesting details about their geographic spread
are emerging. Particularly, the issue of generations of the Islamized
Armenians living in Europe at present is interesting and peculiar at
the same time. It is known that there is scanty information about the
current condition of the converted Armenians and if over the recent
period some data about the Islamized Armenians in Turkey emerged, there
is too little material about those living in Europe. Just recently some
foreign and Armenian authors have started referring to that issue and
presented some information which is mainly of descriptive character.

Firstly, let us turn to the issue of moving of the converted Armenians
to Europe and state that in 1950s in Europe and particularly in Germany
the necessity in cheap labour emerged and that is why the agreements
on foreign labour use with a number of countries were concluded. Such
an agreement was concluded between Germany and Turkey in 1961 which
was followed by the emigration of thousands of Turkish citizens to
Germany and later on to other European countries. As a result of
that process the Turkish community, which numbers several million
members, has been formed in Europe. According to some data among
those emigrants there were Armenians, both Christian and converted
or crypto-Armenians. The converted Armenians and their generations
have been emigrating and settling in Germany, Belgium, Holland,
Sweden, and France for decades, and today there are communities or
community-like structures of converted Armenians in those countries.

After moving to a new environment some processes and phenomena, which
are connected with the reclaiming their identity, started taking place
among the converted Armenians and their generations. The reconversion,
i.e. the re-adoption of Christianity, is the most widespread phenomena
among the converted Armenians living in Europe. And today among the
converted Armenians in Europe there are many of those who returned to
their roots. According to some sources, the reconversion, the process
of searching of their roots developed in different ways and today it
continues. Particularly, first of all, Christianity was re-adopted by
crypto-Armenians who used every occasion for that purpose. In one of
the recent issues of "Hooys" biweekly Tamar Gevonian brings a story
according to which a group of people who looked like Muslims and who
arrived to Germany from Turkey just at the customs office revealed
their identity and presented to the officials not their Muslim names
mentioned in their passports but their Armenian names. This notable
example illustrates the desire to return to their true identity,
which had been hidden for decades. As the same source mentions today
those Armenians have their own community and church in Germany.

According to different sources Armenians in Europe who reconverted to
Christianity are more zealous in the matters of religion. This also
has its psychological side, i.e. to prove to their milieu that they
are loyal to the Armeniancy. Among the Armenians who reclaimed their
identity some psychological and spiritual problems are also observed.

Some of them even visited psychologists: according to their diagnoses
the traumatic memories about the Genocide, the atmosphere of the fear
and threat, in which they had lived for decades, and the fact that
they constantly concealed their true identity had a significant and
even decisive influence on their state of mind.

Today in different cities of Germany there are groups of Armenians who
reconverted to Christianity a part of which has integrated with the
local Armenian communities and the other part facing the estrangement
of the old community continues its isolated mode of life and stays
out of community live.

Kemal Yalcin, the Turkish writer living in Germany, brings many facts
about the converted Armenians in Europe and in his letter to us he
mentions: "I know many people in Germany who adopt Christianity and
are christened at a mature age." The Head of the German Dioceses
of the Armenian Apostolic Church archbishop Garegin Bekchian also
touches upon this issue and brings some interesting facts.

According to Hamo Moskofian there is restaurant "Ani" in German
Wiesbaden where Armenians gather. In this city the Armenians who
reconverted to Christianity live too. One of them, Nureddin Gurden,
who changed his name to Simon, states that he descends from the kin
of the well-known fedayi Hrayr Djokhq.

An interesting article about the reconverted Armenians in Belgium
was presented by David Zeneian. According to him, today Kurdishized
and Kurdish-speaking Armenians who arrived from Shrnak and Silop,
reclaiming their identity, form the core of the local Armenian
community (the adherents of the Armenian Apostolic Church) and are
zealous Christians. Their children study Armenian due to which their
parents also begin learning their mother tongue. One of the founders
and the leader of the Kurdishized and Kurdish-speaking Armenians
community in Brussels Mesrop Afshar, speaking about the situation in
their motherland, mentions: "The fear and the feeling of depression
constantly accompanied us. There were many harassments but our parents
reminded us all the time that despite the loss of the language we were
Armenians". Afshar tells some detail about his mode of live which makes
it clear that they were crypto-Armenians and they secretly preserved
their Christian traditions; they secretly christened their children
with the help of the Assyrian priest, performed Christian nuptials
and funerals. In Shrnak, as well as in other places, crypto-Armenians
had two surnames – one for home and the other for the milieu. Serop
Afshar tells about that: "Among our people we were Armenians. While
baptizing we gave our children Armenian names – Sargis, Nubar, David,
Gevorg and Saro, but for the rest of the environment we were like
other townsmen. We had Kurdish surnames – Euz, Yalik, Odemish, Bircin".

It is worth noting that the serious role in saving and reclamation of
that group played the Patriarch of Istanbul Shork Galustian by whose
efforts at the middle of the 60s those splinters of the Armeniancy
began leaving Shrnak and Silop for Istanbul and then (in 1980s)
for Belgium, France, Holland.

As it was mentioned above there are also groups of reconverted
Armenians in Sweden. One of such Armenians is Suleiman Faruk, born
in Adana. Revealing his true identity he reconverted to Christianity
and changed his name to Haik Aramian. He was one of those thousands
of assimilated Armenians who lived under the cover of Turk or a Kurd.

Since childhood he had doubts about his identity. He was seeking
for his roots and in 1983 he was baptized in the Armenian Church in
Damascus, and in two years (in 1985) he moved and settled in Sweden.

While speaking about his identity he said: "Inwardly I always felt
that I am different. I could remain a Kurd but I decided to do in a
different way". Settling in Stockholm Haik Aramian married an Armenian
from Diyarbekir and called his children Masis and Ani. Children
learned and speak Armenian. The most notable is that returning to
his roots Haik Aramian tries to implant in his children the sense
of Armeniancy and with that purpose he brought them to Armenia and
Artsakh for several times. "I missed a lot and I want my children
to grow up knowing who they are. I want my son to be proud of his
Armenian descent", – he said.

Today Aramian is the active member of the Armenian community in
Sweden. It should be mentioned that part of Haik’s family stayed in
Adana, i.e. there is some concern that they may be persecuted there
but this did not keep him away from reclaiming his identity. Even
more, several years ago his brother left for Sweden and returned to
his roots changing his name to Aram.

Let us mention that those Armenians living in Europe have problems
in revealing their identity because their relatives living in Turkey
may become a target for persecutions, that’s why sometimes they do
not speak openly. There are families, which being concerned about
their relatives living in Turkey, do not speak too openly about their
identity and live double mode of life. One of such families is the
Merdjanian family which moved to Holland from Diyarbekir. Settling
in Amsterdam in 1970s they reconverted to Christianity but they
have relatives in Diyarbekir. Turkish researcher Urug Ungor mentions:
"Today when they visit their relatives in Diyarbekir during the flights
from Europe to Turkey you can be the witness of transformation from
one religion to the other. Women cover their heads just in the plane
and instead of Armenian they use Muslim names and in Diyarbekir they
behave like Muslims".

Summarizing, it should be mentioned that the study of the reconverted
Armenians living in Europe is important not only from the point of view
of the researches but it is also topical and of practical significance.