Արձագանքելով բնակիչների մտահոգություններին, Արաբկիր վարչական շրջանի ղեկավար Հրայր Անտոնյանը, աշխատանքային շրջայց է կատարել Արաբկիր 41 փողոցում, ծանոթացել խնդիրներին և հանձնարարել բակում աղբի կուտակումը բացառելու նպատակով ավելացնել ևս 2 աղբարկղ, մաքրել տարածքը, վերականգնել հարակից շինարարության հետևանքով քայքայված ճանապարհը, լուծել էլեկտրական հաղորդալարերի հենասյուների անվտանգության ապահովման հարցերը:
75-ամյա բնակիչ Գասպար Մաղաքյանն ասում է, որ առաջին անգամ է նման բան պատահում իրենց փողոցում.<Հայրենադարձվելով հայերնիք 1948 թվից այս փողոցում եմ բնակվում. այն առաջին մարդկանցից եմ եղել, որ հիմք եմ դրել այս փողոցի ստեղծմանը>,-Գասպար պապը հույսեր է կապում նորանշանակ, երիտասարդ ղեկավարի հետ. <Լավ, պարզ աչքեր ուներ, ինչ չէր կարող անել՝ չէր խոստանում: Ճիշտ է շատ վատ է, որ մեր թաղում փողոցային լուսավորություն չկա, շատ են վախենում կանայք, աղջիկները, ինչու՞ չէ մենք էլ ենք վախում այդ մթին դուրս գանք, բայց ասեց, որ դեռեւս հնարավոր չի: Կարող էր չէ՞ սուտ խոստում տալ>:
Արաբկիր 41 փողոցում մեկ ամիս առաջ մահացած մարդու դիակ էին գտել, որին սպանելով բերել, թողել էին այդտեղ՝ նախկին գործող գնացքի գծերի վրա: Բնակիչները ահաբեկվել էին. պատճառը փնտրել-գտել են. <Քանի որ շուրջ բոլորը շինարարություն է, շինարարական աղբ, լուսավորություն չկա, մի տեսակ անտեր-անտիրական թաղամաս ենք դարձել դրա համար էլ հենց այստեղ էին բերել դիակը>:
Բնակիչները խնդրեցին Արաբկիր վարչական շրջանի ղեկավարին լուծել նաեւ ոռոգման ջրի խնդիրը. <Տարիներ շարունակ ունեցել ենք, բայց մոտ 8 տարի է չունենք, բոլոր ծառերը չորացել են>:
Թաղում ավանդույթ է եղել ամեն բնակիչ իր տան առջեւ երեքից-տասը բարդի է տնկել, ծառերը մեծացել, փարթամացել էին, եւ թաղը հենց այդ հավասար շարքով տնկած բարդիներով էր հայտնի: Ոռոգման ջուր չլինելու պատճառով չորացած բարդիները փորձանք են դարձած եղել թաղի բնակիչների համար մինչեւ կտրելը: <Տանից դույլերով ջուր ենք կրում, ջրում ծառերը որքան կարող ենք >:
Հրայր Անտոնյանը խոստացել է բնակիչներին ամռանը զբաղվել նաեւ թաղի ոռոգման ջրի խնդրով:
<Կարեւորը եկավ, իր աչքով տեսավ, գիտի որ դեռ խնդիրներ մնում են, վստահ ենք կհիշի, քանի որ շատ հասկացող, լսող,թասիբով մարդ էր երեւում>,-ասում են բնակիչները:
Խնդիրներից մեկը մեծ փոսերով, քարուքանդ տարածությունն է, որտեղ հետագայում հավանաբար պետք է շենք կառուցվի, Արաբկիր վարչական շրջանի ղեկավարն ասաց, որ կհանձնարարի պարզել, թե ում է պատկանում այդ տարածությունը:
Արաբկիր 41-ում ուրախ, ոգեւորված տրամադրություն է, բնակիչները վստահ են, որ Անտոնյանը կատարելու է բոլոր խոստումներն ու դեռ մի բան էլ ավել. <Սրանից հետո գիտենք, որ կա մեկը, ում կարելի է դիմել>:
You don’t know Jack Kevorkian until you know the Armenian Genocide.
Jack “Dr. Death” Kevorkian passed away yesterday. While most news organizations are mentioning his Armenian parents, few are reporting that the Kevorkians were survivors of the Armenian genocide.
The HBO movie “You Don’t Know Jack” alludes to the influence of the Armenian genocide over Kevorkian’s work. When, during his trial, defense compares Kevorkian’s work to genocide, he, portrayed by Al Pacino, becomes extremely angry. How dare they compare compassionate killing with intended destruction of an entire nation?
Kevorkian’s own art (see the photo above I took) reflects his connection to the Armenian genocide. An oil, displayed at the Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA) in Watertown, Massachusetts, depicts Nazi and Young Turkish hands holding the hair of a beheaded figure. The Nazi hand reads 1945, the end of the Holocaust, and the Turkish hand reads 1915 – the start of the Armenian Genocide.
While Kevorkian has said that his decision to assist terminally-ill patients has roots in his own’s mother’s suffering from cancer, the murder of the Armenian nation has probably influenced his obsession over death. Interestingly, genocide – the intended and often cruel destruction of a collectivity, in some ways, is the complete opposite of doctor-assisted suicide.
I got word from a friend of mine that his colleague Alexis Hirschhorn, a Belgian consultant, has made a music video commemorating the destruction of Djulfa cemetery in Azerbaijan.
Based on the footage of my The New Tears Araxes film (2006), Hirschhorn says his video is meant “to inform my non-Armenians friends of this tragedy, and on the 1915 Armenian genocide which like the destruction of Djulfa is still denied by its perpetrators. I thought it could have an impact specially now that we are nearing the 5th anniversary of Djulfa’s destruction. Also I think it was interesting for my Armenians friends to see a non-Armenian perspective on this.”
Although written and performed in French, the video has English subtitle with Spanish subtitle to follow soon.
Turkey’s prime minister needs to relocate himself to humanity instead of threatening to expel Armenian workers in response to international recognitions of the WWI genocide.
Angry with parliamentarian moves in Sweden and the US to recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide as such, Turkey’s leader, prime minister Erdogan, has threatened to deport (and international media are surprisingly reporting it) what he counts as 100,000 citizens of Armenia working without documentation in Turkey.
Like his predecessors – and much of Turkey’s nationalist base – Erdogan has been denying that the deportation and mass killings of Ottoman Turkey’s indigenous Armenians, that reduced the number of the Armenian community from 2 million to a few thousand, was genocide. His even more radical colleagues even refuse to accept the deportations as such by using the term “relocation” instead. Here are a few rhetorical questions for him.
Mr. Erdogan, don’t you see how your unhealthy reference proves that your predecessors – who you claim couldn’t commit genocide because Muslims, let alone Turks, are incapable of that crime – could have easily exterminated an entire community (that had been one of the most loyal and the most industrious in an empire they hadn’t consented to being a part of) during a world war when you are threatening to deport their descendents – who are the indigenous people of Turkey and have as much right – if not more – to live and work in that country than you or your family do – for mere nonbinding western resolutions?
Mr. Erdogan, don’t you know that the thousands of illegal Armenians in Turkey are there because, in part, your government has helped worsen their lives by blockading already landlocked Armenia – a country unsustainable even without your blockade since it has no access to sea or other resources thanks to the genocide your predecessors committed in western Armenia with a follow-up war against the tiny first Republic of Armenia which was made even tinier after you stole more land from it?
Mr. Erdogan, don’t you know that most of Armenia’s residents are descendants of genocide survivors whose indigenous lands your predecessors stole, whose families your predecessors raped and killed, and who want nothing from you but a mere courage to recognize historic injustices?
Unfortunately, Mr. Erdogan, you know all of the above. You helped restore one of Turkey’s most beautiful churches in historic Armenia (alas, thousand others are wiped out or in ruins) a few years ago; so maybe you have some heart. What you don’t know is where to find courage – and help your mislead society do the same – to depart your factory of history and deport yourself back to humanity.
“Who controls the past controls the future;” party slogan states in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, “Who controls the present controls the past.”
While hopes are high that – despite a hostile history – Armenia and Turkey will establish diplomatic relations and that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan may finally be solved, the problem of how to deal with the official Turkish/Azerbaijani factory of history is not being addressed.
Djulfa, Nakhichevan: the worst documented case of history fabrication; Azerbaijani soldiers destroying the largest Armenian medieval cemetery in the world (December 2005) – the site is now a military rifle range
It’s not merely Turkey’s and Azerbaijan’s denial of the Armenian Genocide that makes the reconciliation quite difficult, to say the least, but also the official Turkish thesis, with its roots in the Young Turkish movement (that carried out the Armenian Genocide) and formalized by Ataturk, that Turks/Azeris are indigenous to their current homelands and that Armenians, in the best case, are unwelcome immigrants.
While the Turkish fabrication of history can be dismissed as an issue of “internal consumption” – meaning a convenient myth to boost Turkish/Azeri pride in their respective countries (with the dangerous slogan “Happy is the man who can say I am Turk”) – the implications of flip-flopping history are right there in the middle of the current developments in the region. Here is a most recent case.
Turkey’s ceremonial president Abdullah Gul is currently visiting Nakhichevan (or Nakhchivan as Azerbaijan prefers), the region of Azerbaijan which it got from the communist regime in Moscow as another gift at the expense of giving out Armenian lands. Moreover, a treaty that Soviet Armenia was forced to sign from Moscow made Turkey the “guarantor” of Nakhichevan in the 1920s.
Gul is visiting Nakhichevan with other heads of “Turkic-speaking countries” (most of them in Central Asia) to talk about common issues. Sounds like a normal political event, and nothing to protest about, especially since Armenia has no official claims toward Nakhichevan. But read the rest.
As there are no Armenians left in Nakhichevan (thanks to a Soviet Azerbaijani policy of nonviolent ethnic cleansing which attracted little attention at the time) and not a trace of the rich Armenian heritage (the most precious of which, the Djulfa cemetery, was reduced to dust by Azeri soldiers in December 2005 – see the videotape), Armenia has no claims to Nakhichevan and perhaps rightly so. Yet, apparently, the history factory in Nakhichevan is still cooking.
While Armenia restraints itself from claiming its indigenous lands, and particularly Nakhichevan, taken away from it without its consent, Turkey and Azerbaijan must discontinue their unhealthy fabrications of history. Instead…
Putting the “native” side aside for a moment, the distortion of not just basic history but of linguistics is sickening. Save for the disputed proposal that Nakhichevan comes from the Persian phrase Naqsh-e-Jahan (image of the world), every other explanation of the name of the region has to do with Armenians (see Wikipedia for the several versions), let alone that the word itself has two Armenian parts to it: Nakh (before or first) and ichevan (landing, sanctuary) – referring to Noah’s coming out of the Ark from (another holy Armenian symbol) Mount Ararat – next to Nakhichevan now on Turkish territory.
Ironically, and as almost always in history fabrication, the Azeri/Turkish distortion of “Nakhichevan” is inconsistent. According to an official Azerbaijani news website, there are discussions in Nakhichevan that admit that the word has to do something with Noah (of course after saying that it had to do with a mythical Turkish tribe that lived there thousands of years ago): “The Turkic tribes of nakhch were once considered as having given the name to it. Other sources connect Nakhichevan with the prophet Noah himself, as his name sounds as nukh in Turkic.” Moreover, as an official Nakhichevani publication reads, “There is no other territory on the earth so rich with place-names connected with Noah as Nakhichevan. According to popular belief, Noah is buried in southern part of Nakhichevan, and his sister is buried in the northwest of the city.” Hold on. Did you notice that the language uses (at least its official English translation) the Armenian taboo name of the region: Nakhichevan (as opposed to Turkified Nakchivan)? Maybe there is hope, but not really. Azerbaijan still denies that it didn’t destroy the Djulfa cemetery because, well, it didn’t exist in the first place.
A skeptic would ask what the fuss is about. The answer is that Nakhichevan’s distortion is not the first. The sacred Armenian places of Ani, Van, and Akhtamar in Turkey all have official Turkish explanations to their meanings, while those places existed for hundreds – if not thousands – of more years before Turks colonized the homeland of the Armenians.
More importantly, the changing of toponyms is not done to meet the social demands of Turks/Azeris and in order to make it easier for the locals to pronounce geographic names. Distortion is done to rewrite history in order to control the future. But it’s not the right thing to do. And both Turkey and Azerbaijan embarrass themselves when it comes to legal discussions.
Immediately prior to voting for the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2007, for example, the Turkish delegation at the United Nations made it clear that its “yes” vote was cast with the understanding that there were no indigenous peoples on Turkey’s territory. If there were indigenous peoples on the territory, the Turkish representative stated, then the declaration didn’t challenge states’ territorial integrity. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, abstained from voting.
The reservation on the UN document came from both countries who claim that there are the indigenous heirs of the lands they occupy and that their main enemy, Armenians (and also Kurds) are not only indigenous but are recent immigrants.
One version of Azerbaijan’s ridiculous inidigenousness claim is written on the website of one Azerbaijani Embassy: “The ancient states of Azerbaijan, which maintained political, economic and cultural ties with Sumer and Akkad and formed part of the wider civilization of Mesopotamia, were governed by dynasties of Turkic descent. The Turkophone peoples that have inhabited the area of Azerbaijan since ancient times were fire-worshippers and adherents of one of the world’s oldest religions – Zoroastrianism.”
Armenians (and to a large extent the Kurds, Assyrians and Pontiac Greeks) have their share of fault in the debate. Constantly repeating their indigenousness in what is now Turkey and Azerbaijan, Armenians have helped create the defensive Turkish/Azeri attitude that they, and not Armenians or others, are the indigenous peoples of the land. But when it comes to fabricating history of their own, there is little blame for Armenia.
As Armenia struggles to defend the victory it won over the Karabakh conflict, most Armenians use the Turko-Persian name for Nagorno-Karabakh (Karabakh meaning black garden, Kara – black in Turkish and bagh – garden in Farsi). While some Armenian nationalists prefer using the indigenous name of the region, Artsakh, many others indirectly admit that diverse history of Nagorno-Karabakh by keeping its Turkified name.
While Turkey ad Azerbaijan must come to terms with history, Armenia must accept that Turks and Azeris are there to stay. All the nations in the region have equal rights to existence, but not so at the unhealthy price of fabricating history.
Turkey has been bullying the United States against recognizing the Armenian genocide by threatening all kinds of sanctions. But Russia, who has recognized the Armenian genocide, is Turkey’s biggest single trading partner.
There is no G-factor, thus, in Turkish-Russian relations.
Threatening to cut diplomatic ties and kick out US bases has been one of Turkey’s predicted means of pressure against America when it comes to the formal recognition of Ottoman Turkey’s 1915 genocide against indigenous Armenians. How about threatening with a sex tape?
Bribing the former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who now works for the Turkish lobby, is one thing. Making another member to drop support for Armenian genocide resolution by threatening to reveal her private sex secrets – is another story.
The sex story just broke, years after former FBI translator Sibel Edmunds – a whistleblower of Turkish decent, shared her allegations of corruption in the federal government.
[After she left the testimony] I asked [Edmunds] if she specified whether the sitting bi-sexual, married Congresswoman who had been taped sleeping with a woman, without knowing, and then bribed by Turkish interests with the tape, to vote against the Armenian Genocide resolution had been a Democrat or a Republican. She said she is a Democrat, and that she testified to that during her deposition.
Ironically, Sibel Edmunds might not have testified on this issue without the Turkish lobby which is seeking legal action against Armenian-American politician David Krikorian. As the Armenian Weekly summarizes:
David Krikorian is the Democratic candidate in the 2010 elections for Ohio’s 2nd Congressional district. The seat is now held by Republican Jean Schmidt, who was the largest recipient of money from the Turkish lobby in the 2008 elections. Schmidt also fought the Armenian Genocide Resolution.
When her challenger, David Krikorian, pointed out that she was receiving blood money from Turks for helping deny the Armenian Genocide, Schmidt complained to the Ohio Elections Commission. Representing Schmidt and the Turkish American Defense Fund at the deposition on Aug. 8 was none other than the attorney and longtime voice of the Turkish lobby, Bruce Fein.
Hetq, the Investigative Jouralists of Armenia, details the killing with some shocking information. Apparently, Tigran died 12 days after the beating. The day of the beating, his mother went to the police station to get Tigran (who, despite horrible health conditions), had only been treated by a nurse.
At the station, his mother was forced to write a statement that Tigran had “fallen.” While unaware of the real details, the mother wanted to get her son home as soon as possible. On the way to their home, Tigran told his mother that he had been beaten by four men. When four young men (Sergei, Samvel, Valerik and Edgar) attacked him, Edgar recalled, he tried to escape. The four men, nonetheless, got on the taxi and followed Tigran.
Finding out the truth, Tigran’s relatives took him to the hospital where he lived on for 10 days. There, he was visited by the assailants’ seven relatives leaving with him several hundreds of dollars worth money.
After that, police officers showed up at the hospital – they wanted Tigran’s mother to change the initial statement by saying that she had not picked up her son from the police station but from the street.
For the second time, Tigran’s traumatized mother was forced to write another false testimony. This time, the statement had already been written by the police – she only had to sign it.
After Tigran died in the hospital, according to Hetq’s information, only one assailant Samvel, had been questioned by the police.
Samvel is the boyfriend of Lida Yedigaryan, the young woman who had her four male friends “avenge” Tigran’s Odnoklassniki message.
This tragic story speaks to many problems in Armenia: a culture of violence, uneven relationship between men and women (where the latter often seek “protection” from other men), and a failed police system.
It would be unjust to use this story to generalize Armenia, but there is a pattern of violence in the society whether starting online or in real life. Several years ago, for instance, an acquaintance at the time from Gyumri (the city where Tigran was killed) told me about his friends’ online “heroism:” straight men, posing as gay, would find online hookups, make a date with the real gay guy, show up with a gang and assault him. In Armenian chat rooms, men start “fighting” or “defending” a girl and then meet up for fights.