The last time Armenia was the first section of Google's breaking News was in May of 2006, when an Armenian airplane had crashed over the Black Sea.

Five months after the tragedy, Armenia is again top news leaving behind North Korea’s nuke tests, the plane crash in New York, Madonna’s application for adoption and Republican party’s infamous adventures in the U.S. Congress.

Attached Image
Faces of Denial: Official Turkish denialists watch as the Lower House of French parliament makes it a crime to say the Armenian Genocide never happened

Armenia usually makes news for tragedies. In the 1910s, there were hundreds of news headlines in the New York Times and the rest of the world press about Armenian massacres. In 1988, Armenia made the top news for the earthquake that left tens of thousands of people dead.

The current top Google News is also about an Armenian tragedy. It is news about a French law, passed today, that criminalizes denial of the Armenian Genocide.

The next top news is North Korea’s nuke tests – indeed, a major issue that might become a world tragedy.

Once you scroll down the page, the third top news also deals with the Armenian tragedy, more precisely with the recognition of a righteous man who made news in the last months for speaking on the Armenian Genocide. The Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk received the Nobel Prize today.

(Actually I learned about both of the events while talking to Armenia this morning, October 12, 2006.)

From the Associated Press…

Turkish Novelist Orhan Pamuk Wins Nobel
By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer

Thursday, October 12, 2006


The real Orhan, the famous one, is now an international symbol of literary and social conscience, whose frank talk about the slaughter of Armenians brought the threat of imprisonment, and whose poetic, melancholy narratives brought him the book world's ultimate blessing.


The selection of Pamuk, whose recent trial for "insulting Turkishness" made headlines worldwide, continues a trend among Nobel judges of picking writers in conflict with their own governments. British playwright Harold Pinter, a blunt opponent of his country's involvement in the Iraq war, won last year. Elfriede Jelinek, a longtime critic of Austria's conservative politicians and social class, was the 2004 winner.

Pamuk, whose novels include "Snow" and "My Name Is Red," was charged last year for telling a Swiss newspaper in February 2005 that Turkey was unwilling to deal with two of the most painful episodes in recent Turkish history: the massacre of Armenians during World War I, which Turkey insists was not a planned genocide, and recent guerrilla fighting in Turkey's overwhelmingly Kurdish southeast.

"Thirty-thousand Kurds and 1 million Armenians were killed in these lands, and nobody but me dares to talk about it," he said in the interview.


"I think that Orhan Pamuk was a splendid choice for the Nobel Prize, not only for the evident literary merit of his work, but because of his courageous defiance of political pieties in Turkey," historian Ron Chernow, president of the PEN American Center, the U.S. chapter of the international writers-human rights organization, said in an e-mail to the AP.


Pamuk will receive a $1.4 million check, a gold medal and diploma, and an invitation to a lavish banquet in Stockholm, Sweden, on Dec. 10, the 110th anniversary of the death of prize founder Alfred Nobel.

From Voice of America…

French Lawmakers Vote to Outlaw Denials of Armenian Genocide
By VOA News
12 October 2006

French lawmakers have approved a draft law making it a crime to deny that mass killings of Armenians in Turkey nearly a century ago were genocide. The vote prompted immediate criticism from Turkey and the European Union.

The measure passed by the lower house of the French parliament Thursday would impose jail terms and fines on those who deny the Armenian genocide.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry called the French action a "heavy blow" to bilateral relations. In Brussels, the European Commission said the vote could hinder efforts for dialogue needed for Turkey and Armenia to resolve the dispute.

Armenians say the Ottoman Turks slaughtered up to 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 to 1923, in a push to drive them out of eastern Turkey.

Turkey calls the figure exaggerated, and says a large number of people died in civil unrest during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

France's conservative government has called the opposition-sponsored draft unnecessary. The measure still needs the approval of the French Senate and President Jacques Chirac.