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Fridtjof Nansen’s Statue Unveiled in Yerevan

YEREVAN — President Serzh Sargsyan participated today in the ceremony of unveiling of Fridtjof Nansen’s statue in the c enter of Yerevan within the framework of the events dedicated to the 150th birth anniversary of the explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate and a great friend of the Armenian nation.
The opening ceremony was attended also by the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Norway, Jonas Gahr Støre, and Nansen’s granddaughter Marit Greve.
“Today, in the center of our capital, I would say in the heart of Yerevan, we are unveiling the statue of Fridtjof Nansen, one of the greatest friends of the Armenian people. Indeed, it is in the heart of Yerevan as a testimony to the extent the Armenian people cherish in their hearts the memory of their venerable friends,” Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said, speaking at the ceremony.
“This statue adds to the several schools, streets, orphanages and hospitals bearing the name of Nansen, scattered across Armenia – in Yerevan, Spitak, Gyumri, Vanadzor and elsewhere – signifying the warmth and reverence of the Armenian people towards the fond memory and name of Nansen,” he said.
“Rendering assistance during the most difficult period for the Armenian people, Nansen saved not only hundreds of thousands of Armenians, but also our nation’s shaken belief that the human being was created in God’s likeness, that inside a human being the goodness can not be overtaken by evil. Is there any greater mission than saving a belief, a belief towards the human nature, a belief not only towards one’s own future, but also towards the future of humankind, a belief that April 24 will be followed by April 25?” Minister Nalbandian stated.
Edward Nalbandian expressed gratitude to Mrs. Marit Greve, granddaughter of Fridtjof Nansen, for making a long journey all the way from Norway to participate at this remarkable event. He thanked also the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, who is on official visit to Yerevan.
Following the opening ceremony President Serzh Sargsyan handed a passport of special residence in Armenia to Mrs. Greve. On behalf of the Armenian people, the President expressed gratitude for Fridtjof Nansen’s activity, noting that thousand of Armenians once had the chance to find their place in the world thanks to similar passports.

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Prof. Vahakn Dadrian to Present “Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials” at the Glendale Central Library

GLENDALE, CA — Glendale Public Library invites the public to a lecture and book signing, with Vahakn N. Dadrian internationally-renowned expert on the Armenian Genocide, on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 7pm at the Glendale Central Library Auditorium, 222 East Harvard Street. Admission is free and the seating is limited. Library visitors receive 3 hours FREE parking across the street at The Market Place parking structure with validation at the Loan Desk.
Vahakn N. Dadrian’s field of specialization is genocide, in general, and the Armenian Genocide, in particular. For several years he was engaged as director of a large Genocide Study Project sponsored by the H. F. Guggenheim Foundation. The project’s first major achievement was the publication of an extensive volume titled The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus. His extensive list of publications includes several articles on the Jewish Holocaust and the victimization of the American Indians. In 2005, he received four separate awards for his lifetime contribution to genocide studies. Dadrian is currently the director of genocide research at the Zoryan Institute.
Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials is a prime source of legal evidence and authentic Turkish eyewitness testimony of the intent and the crime of genocide against the Armenians. These documents show that Wartime Cabinet ministers, Young Turk party leaders, and a number of others incriminated in these crimes were court-martialed by the Turkish Military Tribunals in the years immediately following World War I. Most were found guilty and received sentences ranging from prison with hard labor to death. In remarkable contrast to Nuremberg, the Turkish Military Tribunals were conducted solely on the basis of existing Ottoman domestic penal codes. This compilation is significantly enhanced by an extensive analysis of the historical background, political nature and legal implications of the criminal prosecution of the twentieth century’s first state-sponsored crime of

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Turkish Prosecutor Appeals Dink Ruling, Says Murder Work of Ergenekon

ISTANBUL — An Istanbul prosecutor investigating the 2007 murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink has appealed a January court verdict that ruled out involvement of an organized criminal network in the killing, saying the murder was undoubtedly the work of Ergenekon, Today’s Zamman Daily reports.
Specially authorized Istanbul Public Prosecutor Hikmet Usta filed his appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeals on Thursday. Similar to his final opinion submitted to the Istanbul court hearing the Dink case in September of last year, the prosecutor insisted that the murder was committed by Ergenekon’s cell in the Black Sea province of Trabzon.
Usta said the court’s ruling acknowledged the existence of an organization behind the killing, but said there was a “lack of evidence” to prove its existence. The prosecutor said he based the appeal on the grounds that the court reached a verdict despite serious deficiencies in the investigation of the case.
The prosecutor said in the appeal that the Dink murder is a “flawless” Ergenekon plot and that the court failed to make an accurate assessment of the incident in this regard. He said the court should have waited for a decision from another court currently hearing the Ergenekon case.
In what many said was a shocking and frustrating ruling in the five-year-long trial in the Dink case, the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court in January cleared all suspects of charges of membership in a terrorist organization, angering lawyers and many others who say the trial failed to shed light on alleged connections between the suspects and state officials.
The court convicted Yasin Hayal, a major suspect in the killing, of instigating a murder and sentenced him to life in prison, while another suspected instigator, Erhan Tuncel, was acquitted by the court. A juvenile court had already sentenced Dink’s assassin, Ogün Samast, to 22 years, 10 months last July. He was 17 when the killing took place.

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International Conference on “Armenia in the Eastern and Western Sources” Held in Cairo

CAIRO, EGYPT — The 4th international conference on “Armenia in Eastern and Western Sources” was held at the Center for Armenian Studies at Cairo University on November 14-15. This time the conference was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s independence and was organized under the auspices of the President of Cairo University Dr. Hussam Kamel and with support from the Armenian Embassy in Egypt. 
Attending the solemn opening ceremony were Deputy Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt Waheed Galal, renowned Egyptian intellectuals, students and professors of Cairo University and other universities, as well as members of the Egyptian-Armenian community.
 The participants of the conference were greeted by the Ambassador of Armenia to Egypt H.E. Dr. Armen Melkonian, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Cairo University Dr. Motaz Sayid Abdallah and Director of the Center for Armenian Studies Dr. Zeynab Abu Sinna, who praised the role of the Center in the development of Armenian-Arab cooperation in science, education and culture. The Armenian Ambassador underlined that the presence of more than 30 speeches by Egyptian scientists goes to show the fact that the Center has managed to increase Egyptian scientists’ interest in Armenian studies throughout the last couple of years. The two-day conference included speeches by experts from Armenia, Syria and Lebanon. 
One of the five sessions was entirely devoted to the Armenian Cause in the Ottoman Empire. What especially sparked great interest were Muhammad Refaat Al-Imam’s speech on “The Description of the Armenian Cause in Contemporary Arab Literature (1878-1923)”, Ali Sabet Sabri’s “Academic Viewpoint of the 1894-96 Armenian Massacres”, Narine Harutyunyan’s (Armenia) “Reflection of the 1894-96 Armenian Massacres in Cairo’s “Al-Mushir” Magazine” and Nora Arisian’s (Syria) “Armenians in the Syrian Media”. The materials of the conference will be printed in a book

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Professor Richard Hovannisian: Woodrow Wilsons Arbitral Award Has No Legal Power

YEREVAN — Professor Richard G. Hovannisian, AEF Chair in Modern Armenian History at UCLA, delivered a lecture on Woodrow Wilson’s Arbitral Award in Yerevan last week. 
Under the Wilson’s Arbitral Award, Armenia was granted the provinces of Van, Bitlis, Erzurum, and Trabzon. US President Woodrow Wilson issued the Arbitral Award on November 22, 1990, while the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers had decided to apply to the President in April. 
In reality, this was a trap, Richard Hovhannisian stated. “They (the Supreme Council) waned to lay the responsibility for the Armenian Cause on Woodrow Wilson. What’s surprising is that Wilson fell into that trap. Why, if he knew that the US Senate would never accept that mandate? Senators were advising him not to pose the question, as it could turn worse for Armenians.”
Wilson is a hero for Armenians today. However, his political mistakes further contributed to the Armenian tragedy. “Look, the Supreme Council applied to him in April, but the directive came to Senate only in November. Wilson signed it in ten days, it was sent to the US Ambassador in December. When the decision was handed to the great powers, the Republic of Armenia had already stopped existing.” 
Part of Armenia was conquered by the Turkish army. The other part voluntarily declared a Soviet Socialist Republic on December 2, 1920, which is now the Republic of Armenia. “If the Arbitral Award was implemented, it would grant Armenia 160 000 square km instead of the current 30 000.”
As for the Treaty of Sevres, it was not ratified by any country. It was followed by the Treaties of Moscow and Kars, as well as the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923, with which the great powers actually buried the Armenian Cause. 
Thus, Richard Hovhannisian does not attribute any legal importance to Wilson’s Arbitral Award. He says, however, that the Armenian authorities must use the document as a diplomatic tool and draw lessons from the past not to face similar problems in the future.

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Patriarch Zaven Der Yeghiayan’s List of Armenian Genocide Organizers: Exterminators and Virtuous Muslims

A hundred years ago, the humanity had experienced a disaster of epic proportion, namely, Armenian genocide. Everybody told over, discussed whether or! Some said “Armenians deserved to die, be killed because they were not Islamized!”; “Armenians disappeared while they were killing Muslims!” said others. While some were arguing “Turks, Kurds, Circassians and so on are innocent; we were not involved in,” others argued “the main killers are Kurds! Turks saved the rest.” Some alleged “the Turkish Republic is no concern with the Ottoman deportation. Calling the Republic to account means being busy with trifles!” Some said “it is not genocide; Armenians were defeated and pushed off at the end of the mutual clash!” Others said “ while they were disturbing Muslims, the God damned them, and they disappeared!” …
There were many who kept saying ‘I would finish you off like Armenian!’ or ‘Son of a bitch Armenian!’ whenever they got angry. 
Many oldsters were there, who took that genocide as starting point saying “that year when the Armenian massacre has occurred!”
But these discussions made way during the last twenty years. The documents and the historical consciousness prevailed. Despite the fact the official ideology did not face oneself, the people who are getting a share from the history of humanity can not say “this event didn’t happen” any more.
Now we must lay bare the identities of the killers responsible for massacres and present their  acts and biographies to the rising generation.
In this book, Sait Çetinoglu is getting A for effort to initiate another discussion on the basis of Patriarch Zaven Der Yeghiayan’s (1868-1947) ‘List of the organizers of the Armenian Genocide: Exterminators and Virtuous Muslims.’ You can find the names and biographies of those who have killed or come to help Armenians. It is high time to tear darknesses up because “This world suffices all of us!’ as Sarkis Çerkezyan said.

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New Book Sets Post-WWI Ottoman Trials in Their Historical and Legal Context

TORONTO — In the aftermath of its disastrous defeat in WWI, Ottoman Turkey had to face the wartime crime of the destruction of its Armenian population. An inquiry commissioned by the Ottoman government in 1919 presented enough preliminary evidence to organize a series of trials involving the perpetrators of these crimes. It is the record of these trials and the unparalleled details they provide on the planning and implementation of these heinous crimes that has brought together the two most renowned scholars of the Armenian Genocide, Professors Vahakn Dadrian and Taner Akcam, in their first joint publication. It is with great pride that the Zoryan Institute announces that after years of research and analysis, the authors have compiled for the first time in English the complete documentation of the trial proceedings and have set these findings in their historical and legal context.
The book is entitled Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials and is published by Berghahn Books of New York and Oxford.
In describing the book, Prof. Dadrian commented, “This is a most important work, for two reasons. First, it is based on authentic Turkish documentation, which the Ottoman government was forced to release during the trials. Second, unlike most books on the Armenian Genocide, which are historical interpretations, this study, for the first time is based also on the testimony of high-ranking Ottoman officials, given under oath, on the magnitude of the crimes against the Armenians, and in this sense, serves as a legal case study of the Armenian Genocide.”
During his more than fifty years of research on the subject, Dadrian discovered that the Takvim-i Vekâyi, the official Ottoman government’s gazette, was not the only major source of information on these military tribunals. In fact, Renaissance, a French language Armenian newspaper in Constantinople at the time, reported summaries of many of the trial proceedings taken from the reports of the Ottoman language newspapers of the day, which were otherwise not accounted for in official government records.

Prof. Akçam, the book’s co-author, noted that “While the official government record lists only twelve trials, newspapers provide us details on sixty-three. For the first time, information from the Ottoman newspapers of the era has been utilized to reconstruct the trials. A great deal of effort was required to track down all issues possible of fourteen different Ottoman newspapers, which meant visiting many libraries in different cities. Often, the articles we were looking for had been cut out of the paper in one location, but we were able to find a copy in another location.” The Zoryan Institute sponsored the collection of these newspapers, their translation and transliteration, as part of the long-term project known as “Creating a Common Body of Knowledge,” and retains copies in its archives.
According to the Institute’s President, K.M Greg Sarkissian, “The objective is to provide knowledge that will be shared by Turkish and Armenian civil societies and western scholarship. The aim is to locate, collect, analyze, transliterate, translate, edit and publish authoritative, universally recognized original archival documents on the history of the events surrounding 1915, in both Turkish and English. Elaborating on the importance not only of the primary source material in this book, but also the analysis provided by the book’s authors,” he continued, “the more such documents are made available to Turkish society, the more it will be empowered with knowledge to question narratives imposed by the state. Restoring accurate historical memory will benefit not only Turkish, but also Armenian society. Both will be emancipated from the straightjacket of the past. Such a Common Body of Knowledge will hopefully lead to an understanding of each other, act as a catalyst for dialogue, and aid in the normalization of relations between the two societies. Judgment at Istanbul is the most recent example of the Zoryan Institute’s strong belief in the importance of a Common Body of Knowledge as a key factor in helping the future of any relationship between Turkey and Armenia.”
The trials described in Judgment at Istanbul had a far-reaching bearing in the international community. As the first national tribunal to prosecute cases of mass atrocity, the principles of “crimes against humanity” which were introduced then had their echo subsequently in the Nuremberg Charter, the Tokyo Charter, and the UN Genocide Convention. This book is an essential source for historians, legal scholars, political scientists, sociologists, policy makers, and those interested in Genocide Studies, Turkish Studies, and Armenian Studies. It also holds great current relevance, with recent interest internationally regarding the Armenian Genocide and its denial.

Vahakn N. Dadrian and Taner Akçam, Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2011. 363p. ISBN 978-0-85745-251-1 (hardback), ISBN 978-0-85745-286-3 (ebook). $110.00 ($75.00 to Zoryan Friends).
To order a copy or to help sponsor a book to be placed in university libraries, contact the Zoryan office, 416-250-9807,

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Armenian FM Responds to Ahmet Davutoglu’s Statements on the Genocide

YEREVAN — Armenian authorities have repeatedly stated that the fact of the Armenian Genocide and the importance of its international recognition and condemnation has never been and can never be put into question, Armenian FM Edward Nalbandian said in an interview to Dutch De Volkskrant newspaper in Hague.
In response to the journalist’s report on the process of the international recognition of Genocide, Armenian FM in particular, slammed Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu for his recent statement on the establishment of a committee of historians to look into the “1915 events” made while his meeting with his French counterpart. Nalbandian called the statement an attempt to compromise the position of France and other states and international organizations on Genocide recognition.
It is nothing else but continuation of a dangerous denial policy, about which French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a clear statement in Armenia, Nalbandian added.
Regarding Turkish FM Ahmed Davutoglu’s claims that Turkish PM Erdogan’s letter addressed to the Armenian former President Robert Kocharian was left unanswered in 2005, Nalbandian said that Kocharian has sent an answer, which was published on April 25, 2005. Both Turkey and international community are well aware of the content, except for several people, Davutoglu among them, Nalbandian concluded.

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Obama and Erdogan Discuss Karabakh Conflict and Armenian Genocide Resolution at Seoul Talks

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan held a meeting on Sunday, on the sidelines of the South Korea-hosted Nuclear Security Summit, to discuss among other things, the Armenian Genocide resolution and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Erdogan has suggested to Obama that Turkey and the OSCE Minsk Group join efforts in solving the long-standing Karabakh conflict. Erdogan also expressed Turkey’s discontent over the new resolution in the U.S. Congress regarding the Armenian Genocide.

“I reminded Obama that during the past two decades the OSCE Minsk Group has not succeeded in settling the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. And since the issue has reached a deadlock, I suggested that we talk to Azeris and Minsk Group co-chairing France, Russia and the United States try to persuade Armenia, so that they can solve the issue,” said Erdogan, as quoted by the Turkish Sabah newspaper.

“I told Obama that we are tired. Every year in April we face the same problem, whether Republicans come [to power] or Democrats, the issue remains the same. I showed him the steps we had taken, brought Akhtamar as an example,” said Erdogan, referring to the reconstruction of the medieval Armenian church in the Van lake island of Akhtamar in 2010, and the permission to Armenian Christians to hold liturgies there once a year.

The Turkish premier called on Obama “not to mistake U.S. senators, lawmakers and politicians for historians”.

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Turkish PM Apologizes for 1930s Mass Killing of Kurds

ANKARA — Turkey’s prime minister has for the first time officially apologized for the mass killing of Kurds in an uprising 80 years ago. The statement is seen by some as groundbreaking and the first step in the country facing up to its difficult past, but others see it as more to do with politics.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed a meeting of supporters holding a copy of an historical paper, which he said documents the killing of nearly 14,000 Kurds in a rebellion in the 1930s. He then went on to do what no previous prime minister has done.
Erdogan said if there is need for an apology on behalf of the state, “I will apologize and I am apologizing.”
The killings occurred between 1936 and 1938 in Dersim province. It was renamed Tunceli as part of the suppression of the rebellion, which also saw tens of thousands Kurds forced from their homes.
The mass killings of the restive Kurdish minority in Dersim, most of whom were civilians, have until recently remained a largely taboo subject for mainstream politics.
Observers say Erdogan’s groundbreaking statement has as much to do with party politics, however, with the prime minister pointing out that the main opposition People’s Republican Party, or CHP, was in power when the killings occurred.
It was the leader of that party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who demanded that Turkey acknowledge its past actions. Kilicdaroglu, who is from Tunceli, accused Erdogan of seeking to undermine the legacy of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Kemal Ataturk, who was in power at the time of the mass killings.
Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party, the BDP, has questioned the sincerity of the prime minister’s move, pointing out that mass arrests of its members and sympathizers continue.
More than 70 Kurds were detained this week, most of whom were lawyers. More than 1,000 Kurds have been arrested since Turkey’s general election in June.
Some ruling party lawmakers called for a probe into the Dersim slayings, where troops of Turkey’s newly founded republic brutally crushed Kurdish clans that rejected central authority.
”Instead of looking for a culprit, we must chose to face history,” government legislator Mustafa Elitas said.
Mustafa Armagan, a historian and researcher, told state-run TRT television on Wednesday that the military’s campaign in Dersim was followed by forced migrations and massacres as well as policies of assimilation.
Turkey is also under pressure to acknowledge other dark pages in its history, including the mass killings of Armenians in 1915, a special wealth tax imposed on Jews in the 1940s and attacks on its Greek minority in 1955.
Dogu Ergil, a political scientist, told the Hürriyet Daily News that the apology was remarkable and that the prime minister should not stop at one apology. “I wonder if Erdogan would have done the same thing if the perpetrators had been close to his political views,” he said. “And the debate should not be limited to Dersim killings. Turkey should apologize for the 1915 Armenian killings and the Sept. 6-7, 1955, events, which resulted in the mass exodus of minorities from the country.”
The Genocide of up to 1.5 million Armenians and their forced migration under the Ottoman Empire has been the main barrier to Turkey’s reconciliation with Armenia.

Dersim Massacre is a name given to the violent suppression during the Dersim Rebellion in the summer of 1937 and the spring of 1938 of the local population of Dersim, now called Tunceli Province (in Turkey). Tens of thousands of Alevi Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks and others were killed and thousands more forced into exile.

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'Genocide Monument'

Using the unrecognized Genocides of the past as a reason to keep vigilance on all current ones around the world. The iPhone app is now available free on the Apple App Store. The Android and Blackberry versions of 'Genocide Monument' are currently being funded for production.