Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Diyarbakir Mayor Faces 28 Years in Jail

Mayor Baydemir is facing up to 28 years behind bars on charges of ‘propaganda for a terrorist organization’ in a new trial opened against him.

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (BIA News Center)—Osman Baydemir, the Metropolitan Mayor of Diyarbakir in south-eastern Turkey, is facing prison terms of up to 28 years in a trial opened against him recently. Baydemir is being tried under allegations of “committing a crime on behalf of an illegal organization without being a member of that organization” and of “making propaganda for an illegal organization.”

osman baydemir 300x224 Diyarbakir Mayor Faces 28 Years in Jail

Osman Baydemir

The indictment was prepared by the Diyarbakir Public Chief Prosecution and has been accepted by the Diyarbakir 7th High Criminal Court. The indictment identified three activities Baydemir participated in on three different dates as elements of crime: On May 4, the mayor attended the funeral ceremony of four out of seven killed members of the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). (The PKK members...

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Armenia Takes Chess Obsession into Classroom

YEREVAN (AP)—Tiny Armenia is a big player in world chess, and a new gambit could make it even bigger: mandatory chess in school.

The click-clack of chess pieces is being heard around the former Soviet nation’s primary schools this fall, as the game becomes part of the curriculum along with such standards as math and history for children between the ages of seven and nine.

Chess is a national obsession in this nation of three million people tucked away in a corner between Turkey and Iran. The passion was fostered in modern times by the exploits of chess champion Tigran Petrosian, who won the world championship in 1963 and then successfully defended his title three years later.

In July, a six-person national squad came first at the World Team Chess Championship in Ningbo, China. The returning players and their coach were greeted as heroes and collectively awarded $20,000. That group included up-and-coming player Levon Aronian, 28, who is currently rated third in the World Chess...

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Kaligian to Speak at Lowell ARF Anniversary

LOWELL, Mass.—On Sat., Dec. 10, Dr. Dikran M. Kaligian, author, visiting professor, and political activist, will address the subject “Armenia’s Evolution Toward Independence” during the 116th anniversary of the Lowell “Aharonian” Gomideh, which will take place at 6 p.m. at the Lowell ARS Community Center, 142 Liberty St.

dikran 300x225 Kaligian to Speak at Lowell ARF Anniversary

Dr. Dikran M. Kaligian

As the first organized Gomideh in the United States, its ungers take tremendous pride in their past accomplishments, both from a political standpoint as well as remaining a cultural and fraternal benchmark throughout the Armenian American community of Merrimack Valley.

In addition to serving as the ARF Central Committee’s liaison to the Lowell Gomideh, Kaligian has made a number of speaking engagements there, most notably as chair of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Eastern United States.

He remains a leading activist in fighting defamation by mainstream media outlets regarding denial of the Armenian Genocide.


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NAASR Christmas Open House to Feature Talk with Paul Ignatius

BELMONT, Mass.—On Thurs., Dec. 8, former Secretary of the Navy Paul R. Ignatius will speak in conjunction with the publication of his memoir Now I Know in Partby NAASR’s Armenian Heritage Press, highlighting NAASR’s 2011 Christmas Open House.

Now I Know Paul Ignatius portrait 238x300 NAASR Christmas Open House to Feature Talk with Paul Ignatius

Paul Ignatius

Ignatius served for eight years in the presidential administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, first as an assistant secretary of the army, then as under secretary of the Army and assistant secretary of defense, and finally in 1967 as secretary of the navy. Following his government service, he was president of the Washington Post for 2 years and president of the Air Transport Association for 15 years.

Ignatius is the recipient of the Army Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, and the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award.

A descendant of Armenian parents from the Kharpert region of Historic Armenia, Ignatius is a native of Glendale, Calif., and a...

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Yegparian: Liars’ Club Dissension

What do Presidents Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Armenian Genocide denier Abraham Foxman have in common? They’re all liars, it’s seems. But they’re also involved in the latest “open mic” scandal, when reporters heard the two presidents speaking over a system meant for interpretation that they didn’t realize was still live.

It seems Sarkozy, while speaking to Obama, called Netanyahu a liar (LA Times, Nov. 9, p. A3, “Sarkozy calls Israel’s leader a liar”). Now, I can’t vouch for the veracity of that pronouncement, but let’s assume it’s true, just to keep our quartet together.

You certainly know Obama’s a liar. He promised to properly characterize the Armenian Genocide as such, and has reneged thrice, on each of the April 24’s he has been in office.

Sarkozy ran on the promise of supporting passage of a law forbidding denial of the Armenian Genocide, then changed his tune once in office.

And of course, good old...

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Armenian Americans Ask Clinton to Protest Zarakolu Arrest

U.S. Silence Raises Risk to Jailed Human Rights Advocate

WASHINGTON—Armenian Americans have joined with free speech and human rights advocates in calling upon Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to end more than two weeks of official silence regarding the Turkish government’s October 28th arrest of long-persecuted publisher Ragip Zarakolu.

ragip zarakolu Armenian Americans Ask Clinton to Protest Zarakolu Arrest


“Ragip Zarakolu has—for no reason other than his commitment to freedom of speech –been dragged, once again, to rot in a Turkish prison, without a single word of protest from the U.S. State Department,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “This is a disgrace. The leaders of the Obama Administration—who have, by now, made it painfully clear that they lack the courage to honor their own commitments to speak out honestly about the Armenian Genocide—appear, now, also unwilling to even speak up when those, like Ragip Zarakolu, demonstrate the audacity to stand up for the truth in the face of...

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