Armenia Honors Ozdemir, Kantian

BERLIN — The evening was both solemn and festive, as diplomats, German political figures and members of the Armenian community gathered at the Armenian Embassy on March 23. Ambassador Ashot Smbatyan presided over the ceremony, during which he presented the State Award of the Armenian Republic to two outstanding individuals. The order of merit, which is a high honor, was conferred on Cem Özdemir (Right), Green Party member of the Bundestag (Parliament), and Dr. Raffi Kantian (Left), Chairman of the Deutsch-Armenische Gesellschaft (German-Armenian Society). Özdemir was selected “for his extraordinary services in the international recognition of the Genocide against the Armenians,” and Kantian, for his “special services in deepening German-Armenian relations.” A full story will appear next week.

The Plight of Afrin Reverberates Across Europe

On March 18, the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) carried a bold banner headline: “Battle for Afrin Now Also in Germany.” That night, television news reporters announced the fall of Afrin. And the violence on German soil has not abated. Over recent years, German politicians have increased their warnings that the political conflict inside Turkey, between AKP loyalists and opposition groups, could spill over onto German soil. Now it is the warring parties in Syria whose proxies and sympathizers are clashing here.     Read the Article...

Educators and Parliamentarians in Talks on Education

Berlin played host last week to a group of teachers from Armenia and Georgia, who had come to learn more about the education system in the German Federal Republic. Their visit was arranged by the German-Armenian Forum (Deutsch-Armenische Forum), an initiative launched in May 2015 by Albert Weiler, a Christian Democratic Union (CDU) member of the Bundestag (Parliament), along with more than 30 private individuals, MPs and representatives of business, scientific and cultural institutions.  Read the Article...

Ecumenical Altars of Remembrance in Berlin

It was a bitter cold day in mid-February, with a strong wind that chilled to the bone. As we walked from the bus stop and entered the Luisenkirchhof III cemetery through the huge gate, I thought about the women and children being deported from their homes in Ottoman Empire over a hundred years ago, and what immense suffering they must have faced as they wound their way through inclement weather, on their march toward death.

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Germany Appoints Honorary Consul in Gyumri

Gyumri has good reason to celebrate. One of its most prominent sons has been chosen as the honorary consul of Germany and this will bring relations between the two countries, on the political, economic and cultural level to new levels. The official ceremony took place on January 26, 2018. Read the Article...

MurielDink1Carrying On Hrant Dink’s Legacy

On the 11th anniversary of the murder of Hrant Dink in front of his Agos office in Istanbul, Turks and Armenians and Germans gathered in several German cities, not only to commemorate his passing but to celebrate his life’s work, with a pledge to continue his struggle for equality, dignity and reconciliation. Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne were among the several venues for events on January 19-20, where speakers from the Armenian community joined with Turkish intellectuals, journalists and artists — many in exile here — and German human rights activists.                          Read the Article...
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Erdogan’s New Year’s Resolutions

January 1 is always a good time for pledging better behavior. It is a time for political leaders to reflect on the outgoing year and project plans for the immediate future. Turkey was no exception. In his New Year’s Eve address, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that after a hard year, he was looking forward to being a friend of Europe again. His country would like to minimize the number of its enemies and increase the number of its friends, he said. There were actually no problems, he continued, with European countries, like Germany or the Netherlands; indeed they were old friends.

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Martin Luther and the Armenians

This year 2017 Germans celebrated the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Dubbed as “Luther Year,” it hosted hundreds of commemorative events, lectures, special church services, festivities, concerts and exhibitions throughout the country.
Few would have thought that “Armenia in Luther Year” could have been among the celebrations. And yet...

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Wolfgang Gust
Honored in Berlin

The German-Armenian Society (Deutsch-Armenische-Gesellschaft, DAG) has announced “with joy and satisfaction” that it has conferred an honorary membership on Wolfgang Gust. In accepting the honor, Gust wrote that he has appreciated the DAG’s efforts for many, many years.

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Turkey Frees Some Hostages

The news on October 26 that a Turkish court decided to release German human rights activist Peter Steudtner from prison, and even allow him to leave the country, was not expected and was greeted by sighs of relief. But it is by no means the end of the story.

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Writers from the ‘Other’ Turkey Speak Out in Frankfurt

If France was the Guest of Honor this year at the celebrated Frankfurt Book Fair, then Turkey — that is, the official Turkey — might well earn the title of the Guest of Dishonor. Taking part in the innumerable interviews with authors, round table discussions and special exhibits were leading Turkish personalities from the book world, who presented their recent works and engaged capacity audiences in heated debates about the current, sad state of affairs for intellectuals in their country. These were the voices of the “other” Turkey.

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Armenia and Germany Celebrate
Quarter Century of Diplomatic Ties

By all accounts, it was a wonderful celebration. Ambassador Ashot Smbatyan, who together with Brandenburg’s Minister-President Dr. Dietmar Woidke, hosted the ceremony, welcomed the numerous guests for an evening of celebration, reflection and anticipation of future developments. Music and art framed the event, along with a fine cuisine.
“Twenty-five years ago the Republic of Armenia and the Federal Republic of Germany established diplomatic relations — again,” said Rosa Eisen in her program notes.

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Wolfgang Gust
Honored in Berlin

The German-Armenian Society (Deutsch-Armenische-Gesellschaft, DAG) has announced “with joy and satisfaction” that it has conferred an honorary membership on Wolfgang Gust. In accepting the honor, Gust wrote that he has appreciated the DAG’s efforts for many, many years.

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Wiesbaden Musician Renews Ties to Armenia

On Sunday, September 17, solo clarinetist Heiner Rekeszus performed in a farewell concert in Wiesbaden, before going into retirement. The 65-year-old musician was co-founder of the Chamber Music Association of the Hessen State Orchestra in Wiesbaden, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
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Hostage to Erdogan

When Turkish authorities arrest German citizens they are not taking prisoners, but rather collecting hostages.
What was mooted as a hypothesis months ago has been confirmed by the detention of two more individuals holding German passports. Read the Article...

Erdogan's Extraterritorial Ambitions:
The Case of Dogan Akhanli

Deciphering the behavior of the President is a challenging task, and not only in the United States. Narcissism, paranoia and megalomania are the terms the psychiatrist would use to describe the brand of personality disorders driving the erratic behavior that has become routine not only in the White House but also in the thousand-room presidential palace in Ankara. And the clinical diagnosis would be on the mark. That said, it fails to explain the political calculation that the affected subject has contrived to rationalize his outrageous actions. Yet, no doubt, there must be a method to the madness. The actor is after all a political animal.
Consider the recent moves by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with regard to Germany, which, from any sane objective standpoint, he should consider his closest European ally and trade partner. Read the Article...

German Government Draws the Line

f Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan thought he could celebrate the first anniversary of the attempted coup by cementing his dictatorial rule at home and intimidating allies abroad, he made a serious miscalculation, which may end up costing more than he could have imagined. By exacerbating tensions with Germany, he has approached a breaking point neither he nor many in Berlin thought possible. On July 15, the anniversary of the coup attempt attributed to the Fetullah Gülen movement, the Turkish president celebrated by staging mass rallies, followed by a new wave of arbitrary arrests and accusations leveled against persons and institutions related to Germany. Read the Article…

Aramean Day of Remembrance in Berlin

If the Armenians were the ones who suffered the greatest losses in the 1915 genocide, they were not alone. Other Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire were targeted, among them the Arameans, Assyrians, Chaldeans and Greeks. Since 2015, the date June 15 has been designated as Remembrance Day in Germany for the Arameans, the East and West Syrian Christians, and this year members of the community, joined by Armenians and others, commemorated the victims in Berlin. Read the Article...
Deutsch-türkisch-armenische Freundschaftsgesellschaft e.V.
Feierliche Gründung der deutsch-türkisch-armenischen Freundschaftsgesellschaft
mit anschließendem Konzert

Am 1. Juli 2017 um 19 Uhr findet die Gründung der deutsch-türkisch-armenischen Freundschaftsgesellschaft e.V. im Radialsystem V in Berlin statt. Das Projekt hat prominente Unterstützung von Dietmar Bartsch (Fraktionsvorsitzender der Linken im Bundestag), Wolfgang Gust (Historiker), Cem Özdemir (Bundesvorsitzender Die Grünen) und Varujan Vosganian (Autor), sowie von zahlreichen armenischen, deutschen und türkischen Künstler*innen und Wissenschaftler*innen.


‘My Way’ Is Helping Children with Autism in Armenia

It was not the atmosphere we expected to find in a center for youngsters with autism: laughter rang out of one room where children were busily painting, while piano music sounded in another room, where two young lads were performing a duet. Playing from memory without scores, they were fully concentrated, absorbed in producing the strong rhythms.

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Erdogan’s Referendum and Germany’s Dilemma

Turkish citizens who went to the polls on April 16 were saying “yes” or “no” not only to a new constitution but to the future of relations with Europe. This was the interpretation offered at a public debate organized by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, a think-tank linked to the German Liberal Party (FDP). Convened on May 19 near Frankfurt, the event addressed the theme: “The Sick Democracy on the Bosporus: Is Turkey Taking Leave of the West?” The round table, moderated by Dr. Rainer Hermann, who was the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’s correspondent in Turkey for more than a decade, brought together prominent politicians who have been involved in bilateral relations with Turkey. Read the Article...


Armenia’s Heart: Poems … and Nothing More

GYUMRI — Anyone who knows anything about Armenians is aware of the special role their language plays in their history and culture, and nowhere is this more obvious than in their rich poetical tradition. In Germany, this tradition is not unknown; in the 1970s and 1980s, through cooperation between literary associations in the then-Communist East Germany (GDR) and Soviet Armenia, translations of works appeared by Hovhannes Tumanyan, Avetik Issahakyan and Paruyr Sevak as well as an anthology of medieval verse. At the same time, literary journals in West Germany featured some translations. Now, in the wake of the recognition of the genocide last June by the German Bundestag (Parliament), a wave of interest in Armenian literature has swept across the intellectual landscape.

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AKP in Campaign Frenzy: Crossing the Red Lines

Few could have imagined the depth to which relations between Germany and Turkey have sunk over the past weeks. No matter how accustomed one has become with outrageous statements issuing from Ankara, who could have predicted that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would accuse the government of Angela Merkel of “Nazi practices”? On March 5 in a speech in Istanbul, Erdogan, addressing Berlin, said there was “no difference between your practices and the Nazi practices in the past.” Read the Article...

In Praise of Folly

In Germany, the tradition of political carnival goes back centuries, in Mainz, for example, it reaches back to the Napoleonic period, more than 200 years ago.
This year Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the star of the show. Read the Article…

State Prize Awarded to ‘Aghet’ Director

Films are not only for entertainment, but may have the power to change political reality. This is certainly the case with “Aghet” by director Eric Friedler. First released in 2010 and widely covered on German television, the documentary on the Armenian Genocide paved the way for the Genocide recognition resolution passed by the Bundestag (Parliament) on June 2, 2016. For Green Party leader and parliamentarian Cem Özdemir, who delivered the laudation at a ceremony awarding Friedler the State Prize of the Republic of Armenia in Berlin on December 14, the director was “a very central forerunner” on the way to the resolution. Read the Article…

Decade after Dink:
Cem Ozdemir to Headline Program Honoring Late Journalist

It is hard to believe that 10 years have passed since Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was assassinated in cold blood in Istanbul, outside the offices of Agos, the bilingual weekly newspaper he co-founded and for which he served as editor-in-chief. Read the Article...

Art Inspires Artists

Art Inspires Artists
If you have ever visited any of the world’s greatest art museums, like the Uffizi in Florence, the Pergamon in Berlin or the National Museum in Cairo, you have probably encountered young art students squatting on the floor or leaning against a pillar, with sketchpad and pencil in hand. Rapt in total concentration, they are carefully reproducing in their own strokes the contours of a Raphael Madonna, or the regal profile of an Assyrian leader or a floral motif on papyrus. Read the Article...

Portraits of the Artists as Young Men

That the fine arts are alive and well in Armenia is displayed in an exciting exhibition of works by young Armenians that has opened in Wiesbaden, Germany. The show, entitled “Melody of Color: Armenian Art,” held its vernissage on November 25, and will run for a month. Not only will 65 art works be on exhibit during that time, but several workshops will also be held, to help youngsters venture into the magic world of art. Read the Article...

Politics, Polemics and Reading Pleasure in Frankfurt

For an author, a visit to the annual Frankfurt Book Fair can be a humbling experience. When you enter the massive fairgrounds, where over 7,000 exhibitors (among them your own publishers) from one hundred countries have come to put on proud display their latest productions — about 400,000 (!) new titles — it tends to put things into proportion, so to speak, and you ask yourself what, if any, place your own modest achievements might find in this immense literary universe. If you happen to be working on a new book, the challenge is overwhelming.     Read the article...
Little Singers, Great Promise
What better way to celebrate 25 years of independence? The Armenian Ambassador to Germany Ashot Smbatyan chose to focus on the achievements of the present and the hopes for the future, by inviting guests to a concert of the Little Singers of Armenia. Performing in the Berlin Philharmonic hall, a group of 40 youngsters, mainly girls, under the direction of founder and conductor Tigran Hekekyan, presented a program of works illustrating the entire span of centuries of Armenian music, as well as pieces from the international repertoire.
Starting, appropriately, with Glorious Light by Mesrop Mashtots from the fifth century, and two pieces by Komitas, the choir sang both sacred and secular music, from David Halajian, Vahram Sargsyan, Tatul Altunyan and Robert Petrosyan, to David MacIntyre, Claude Debussy, Sergey Pleshak, Richard Adler/Jerry Ross and Joe Garland. A beloved German folk song, performed impeccably in the original, enchanted the listeners. Read Further...
No Holiday for Erdogan
On October 3 Dresden hosted the celebrations for the Day of German Unity, the reunification that was forged in 1990. Bundestag president Norbert Lammert expressed optimism and pride that “We are living  together today in a way that generations before us could only dream of: in unity and justice and freedom.” A day later prosecutors announced a decision that made clear that “freedom” includes freedom of speech and opinion, freedom of the press and of artistic expression. It was not a good day for Turkish president Recept Tayyip Erdogan. Read Further...
A Special Light Shines through Art
When artist Hakob Hovhannisyan returned to Armenia in 2008, after having lived and worked for years in St. Petersburg, he started looking for a place near his native Gumri to set up his studio. Among the many locations he surveyed was Gusanagyugh, a small village about 20 kilometers outside Gumri. Read Further...
The Challenge of Peace
Much has been made of the official Turkish reaction to statements made by Pope Francis during his visit to Armenia June 24-26. That hysterical response was as predictable as it was tasteless. One might take due note, but then move on.
The central thrust of the Pope’s visit was not his recognition of the genocide per se but his guidance on the course to follow to overcome the enduring adversary relationship between Armenians and Turkey, and beyond. His appeal to Armenia’s church and political leaders, as well as its people — especially the younger generation — was to mobilize those same spiritual and psychological resources which have made Armenian survival possible to intervene in the cause of peace and justice, not only there but throughout the world. Read Further...

Bundestag’s Genocide Recognition: A First Step

BERLIN — When the results of the vote were announced — all in favor, with only one nay and one abstention – the German Bundestag burst into applause. In the visitors’ gallery, rows of Armenians pulled out signs with the message “#Recognition Now says Thank you!” This was clearly a breach of parliamentary rules of conduct, but no one seemed to care. Then an Armenian flag was unfurled, another, more grave breach of conduct. Its bearer was discreetly escorted out of the hall. No matter.
Armenian women wept for joy. Read Further...
Genocide Is Genocide: Views from Berlin
By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
BERLIN — The resolution on the Armenian Genocide, long awaited by the Armenian community especially in the diaspora, and long-feared by the Turkish establishment, is set to be put to a vote on June 2. As the Mirror-Spectator goes to press before that date, it is impossible to predict here how the proceedings will unfold and what they will yield. What is possible, however, is to present the content of the resolution, based on a draft proposal leaked to the press a few days before — a draft which as such is subject to changes in the course of the actual debate — and to sketch the parameters of the political debate it has unleashed. Read Further...

Sargsyan in Berlin: A Balancing Act

By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
BERLIN — The visit had been planned long in advance, but it could not have come at a more delicate moment. When Armenian President Serge Sargsyan (also written as Sargisian) came to Berlin on April 6 for a two-day visit, the conflict between Nagorno-Karabagh and Azerbaijan was raging and German-Turkish relations were still being shaped by concerns regarding the refugee crisis. Read Further...

Khachkar Dedicated in Berlin

By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Among the events in the German capital commemorating the 101st anniversary of the Armenian genocide was a special ceremony to dedicate a khachkar in memory of the victims.
On the invitation of the German-Armenian Society (DAG) and the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia, a large crowd gathered on April 23 at the St. Hedwig's Cathedral for the unveiling of the impressive large stone cross.
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Traces of Germany
in Armenian History and Culture

What do we know about the footprints left since the Middle Ages in Armenia, footprints made by German emperors, bishops, researchers, artists, farmers and mountain climbers? This is the question that Armenian historian Azat Ordukhanyan delved into during a discussion with German author Heide Rieck on March12 in the Bochum University.
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A Special Day in the German Bundestag

Berlin – Will the German Bundestag ever make up its mind about the genocide? This is the question raised last October when the news broke that the government coalition of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats (CDU-CSU/SPD) had agreed to put the issue on the back burner, for an undetermined period of time. The reason, clearly, was Berlin’s concerns not to endanger negotiations with Turkey regarding the refugee crisis that is destabilizing German politics and threatening the European Union with internal strife if not dissolution.
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An Artist’s Journey Along The Trail of Tears

BOCHUM, Germany — Thousands of Armenian descendants of Genocide survivors, especially from the United States, have had the opportunity to travel though eastern Anatolia, in the search for the villages and towns their ancestors lost, many of them guided on pilgrimages organized by the indefatigable Armen Aroyan. In Germany over the past year large numbers of people have been able to make a similar trip, albeit vicariously, through the unique medium of art. Starting in 2015 in commemoration of the centenary of the genocide, Lisa Stybor, a German artist and art professor, launched a series of exhibits of works she composed during a six-week trek through those same lands. After having presented the show in Bochum in the context of Armenian cultural events, on February 5 she concluded an exhibit in Chemnitz, a city in the former Communist East Germany.

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Wielding the Weapon of Truth

As politicians in Berlin debate the relative merits and dangers of Germany’s possible active military engagement in the war theatre against so-called Islamic State (IS), a number of public figures have taken up a precious weapon to wage in this conflict. This is the weapon of truth. Instead of calculating the numbers of ground troops that might be required, and who might provide them – considerations made in cheerful amnesia regarding the catastrophes wrought by similar conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq – several journalists and political figures have preferred to expose the forces behind the IS menace, in hopes of paralyzing the continuing financial, logistical, military and ideological support that has made IS a formidable agency.
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2015 Frankfurt Book Fair: New Studies on Armenia

Among the hundreds of thousands of new titles exhibited at the Frankfurt book fair, the largest such fair in the world, are numerous studies on Armenia published this year, the centenary of the genocide. The Fachbuchjournal, a bi-monthly publication that reviews non-fiction works, issued its book fair edition with a special focus on this theme, referencing 20 works, twelve of them with extensive reviews. In an in-depth interview which opens the section, Wolfgang Gust, who published the relevant documents from the Foreign Ministry archives of Ottoman Turkey’s wartime ally Imperial Germany, comments on the status of genocide studies and the significance of centenary events. Read Furtner...
International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (A Division of the Zoryan Institute)

Students from Around the World Take Part in the 14th Annual GHRUP – August 3-14, 2015

German-Armenian Forum Launched in Berlin

BERLIN – MAY 28, 2015— Ten years ago the Bundestag (Parliament) passed a resolution on the Armenian issue, but that focused on facilitating an Armenian-Turkish dialogue. The recent events in Berlin marking the centenary of the genocide constituted a breakthrough in the same direction, as reported in the Mirror-Spectator.
But what came into being on May 20 in Berlin is something new, directed towards expanding and deepening relations between Germany and Armenia on all levels.
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Pope Francis Issues Challenge to Turkey – and Germany

By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
BERLIN — The news from Rome hit Germany like a thunderbolt. As soon as the Armenian rite mass on April 12 had ended, news media flashed headlines across their websites and radio waves. The evening news programs opened with the announcement that Pope Francis had commemorated the victims of the Armenian genocide, and in those words. Pinar Atalay, the Turkish-German anchorwoman on national TV, spoke against a backdrop photo of Istanbul, a city, she said, where Armenians and Turks had lived together for centuries until the First World War. Read Further...
Papa Francesco Patriarca Karekin II
Italy  Papa Francesco sul genocidio armeno


Papst Franziskus: es war Völkermord

United States of America  

Pope Francis on the Armenian genocide

Armenia Seeks Foreign Policy Balance  

In the current Cold War climate in East-West relations, exasperated by the British-Russian crisis around the Skripal affair, it has become increasingly difficult for smaller nations to maintain an independent stance in the interest of protecting friendly relations with both the West and Russia. No one knows this better than the Armenians. Thus, when Ambassador Ashot Smbatyan was invited to speak at the Lepsiushaus in Potsdam on March 22, he faced an audience of intellectuals, political figures, diplomats and members of the Armenian community, eager to hear his views on “Armenia and Europe: Taking Stock, with a View to the Future.” Read the Article...

Weaving Close Ties between Germany and Armenia

BERLIN — “Wisdom is the art of considering things from all sides.” The saying is by Nerses Shnorhali and it was printed in Armenian and in German on the invitation issued by the Armenian Embassy in Berlin to a ceremony on March 23. And it fit the occasion: we were invited to attend an event honoring two outstanding individuals who might be considered practitioners of the “art” in the political and cultural realm. Read the Article...

Self-Defense or Violation
of International Law?

Turkey's offensive in northern Syria is coming under growing censure throughout Europe. It will be high on the list of foreign policy challenges facing the German government which has just come into being. Under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel, a new version of the grand coalition made up of her CDU and sister party CSU, together with the Social Democrats (SPD), was officially constituted in mid March.  Read the Article...

German Intellectuals and Artists in Defense of Afrin

As the Turkish military offensive in Afrin has escalated, the caretaker government in Germany has come under growing pressure to intervene to stop the bloodshed. Since Germany has supplied Turkey with military equipment, its role has been subject to harsh criticism. Photographs of the Turkish actions aired on television confirmed suspicions that German tanks were indeed involved in the aggression against the YPG, the Syrian Kurdish militias, who have been battling IS. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel declared that any decision regarding modernization of Turkey’s military — an item which had been discussed at the beginning of the year in bilateral meetings — would be put on ice, and deferred to the new government.

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Turkey Releases
One More German from Prison

One by one, and at a painfully slow tempo, German journalists and intellectuals unlawfully imprisoned by the Turkish authorities are being released. On December 18, it was the turn of Mesale Tolu, a translator and journalist who had been held for seven months.

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Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Liman von Sanders : une affaire d'honneur /
Liman von Sanders: A Matter of Honor
Otto Liman von Sanders (1855-1929)
The Project Gutenberg eBook,
The New York Times Current History:
the European War, February, 1915
Liman von Sanders : une affaire d'honneur
par Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
The Armenian Mirror-Spectator, 14.01.2017


Armenians Hold Aurora Dialogues in Berlin

It was a refreshing change to see such an initiative in the German capital. As Aurora Humanitarian Initiative cofounder Ruben Vardanyan remarked, participants “were happy to see the representatives of a developing country thinking about universal humanitarian values and expressing concern about dangerous processes unfolding today around the world.” The developing country in question is the Republic of Armenia.

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Small Town Politics in Germany Raise Diplomatic Fuss

Pohlheim is a small town in Germany, near Giessen in the state of Hessen. But a local initiative has attracted the attention and protest of a high-ranking Turkish diplomat. The city council had agreed to a proposal presented by the Christian Democrats (CDU) and Socialdemocrats (SPD) for a “Monument Commemorating the Victims of the Genocide against Christians in the Ottoman Empire 1915 – Remembrance and Admonition.”

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Ecumenical Leaders
Offer Prayers for Christians in Middle East

Among the hundreds of commemorative events organized to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation over the past year — “Luther year” in Germany — was a special gathering from October 18 to 21 in Berlin. On the invitation of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), four of the highest representatives of the Eastern Orthodox churches met in the capital for a series of meetings and religious services dedicated to the situation of Christians in the Middle East today.

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Armenian Literature in Translation Promoted in Frankfurt

“World poetry is world reconciliation.”
This line is from a poem by the German poet and philologist Friedrich Rückert (1788-1866), whose greatest gift to future generations was his immense translation work. By the end of his life he knew 42 languages, and had dedicated many years to translating works of poetry and prose, especially from the Orient, into German.

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The Great Azerbaijani Land Grab

Friday, October 13, started out as a normal day at the Armenia stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair, with little indication of trouble. The books had been carefully arranged on the shelves, the banner was hanging in full view, and two young women were on hand to present new books to visitors and answer whatever questions they might have about the country and its literature. Then, suddenly...

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Workshop on Armenian and Turkish Scholarship
Organizing Committee –  Lepsiushaus Potsdam

Turkish government harasses
international scholars in Berlin

pdf   PRESS RELEASE Berlin, September 17, 2017


German Troops to Leave Incirlik

When Turkish government officials repeated to German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel their refusal to allow German parliamentarians unconditional access to their troops at Incirlik base, it was the proverbial straw that broke that suffering camel’s back. Gabriel had travelled to Ankara on June 5 in a last-ditch effort to reach a compromise solution to the conflict that has strained relations, both bilateral and within NATO, to an unprecedented degree. After talks with both Foreign Minister Mevlùt Çavusoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Gabriel made clear that Germany would have no choice but to withdraw its troops and relocate them.

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Genocide Commemoration after Recognition in Germany

Since the German Bundestag (Parliament) passed a resolution on the Armenian Genocide last year in June, the focus has shifted from the demand for recognition to other concerns; on the one hand, there has been further study of the role of Imperial Germany in the Genocide and, on the other, there are efforts underway to introduce the theme in history lessons in German classrooms. This shift in focus was perceptible in the commemoration held in Berlin on April 24, where several speakers, remembering the past, looked to the future.

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Turkish Referendum: The Price of Winning

The “Yes” vote in the Turkish referendum may turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Not only was the reported margin in favor of the constitutional changes far slimmer than Erdogan’s AKP party and pre-election polls had expected, with only 51.4 percent of the vote, but the political fallout in Europe may be profound.

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Cloak and Dagger in German-Turkish Relations

The news that the Turkish intelligence agency MIT was not only spying on German citizens in their home country, but had requested help in this pursuit from the German intelligence service BND, signaled a new low-point in Berlin-Ankara relations. Relations had already been poisoned by wild accusations made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against the German government and Chancellor Angela Merkel that she was “Nazi-like” and “using Nazi methods.” The resulting controversy regarding whether or not to allow AKP politicians to campaign in Germany for a “yes” vote on the upcoming referendum ended in a decision, by Ankara, to cancel all such planned events. That seemed to lower the political temperature.

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Analysis: The Sick Man on the Bosporus

The ostensible casus belli in the escalating conflict between Turkey and Europe, especially Germany, is the April 16 referendum on the introduction of a presidential system which would grant the Turkish president powers so vast as to eliminate checks and balances on the part of other institutions like the judiciary and parliament.

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Poland Welcomes Promising Armenian Vocalist

“Incredible Lusine Arakelyan gave a great New Year’s concert at the Warsaw concert hall in front of 1,200 guests. Her beautiful voice and great musical experience are unforgettable. The audience gave her several standing ovations. The orchestra conductor also praised her voice and performance.” This is how singer and music critic Kristina Sulzichka put it in a review of the event.   Read the Article…

Architecture as Witness to Genocide

For almost a decade, a photographic exhibition on the “Nakba,” the expulsion of the Palestinians from their lands in 1947-48, has been travelling around Germany, and in virtually every site, the organizers from the Association of Refugee Children in Lebanon have run up against opposition. Pro-Zionist groups have mobilized to have the exhibition rooms — often in universities — cancelled, arguing that the exhibition is anti-Israel, or even anti-Semitic.    Read the Article…

Liman von Sanders: A Matter of Honor

Liman von Sanders
What constitutes honor? This is not an abstract question, but a very practical one in connection with a controversy that has recently erupted in Germany. The case involves the designation of “graves of honor” in a historic cemetery in the city of Darmstadt, not far from Frankfurt. …We came to the grave of General Liman von Sanders (1855-1929), who had been accorded this honor for his military service in World War I, as one of the German generals engaged in the Dardanelles, leading Ottoman Empire forces. On his tombstone was inscribed not only his official military title but also “The Victor of Gallipoli.” We then learned that in 2015, General von Sanders was formally divested of this honor, along with six other deceased. The reason? Officially, because of his role as a military officer in that war. In fact, the other military figures buried with honors were similarly defrocked by order of the Darmstadt city authorities on grounds that “their status rested exclusively on military successes.” But that is not the end of the story... Read the Article...

Friendship Between the Rhine and the Arax

Germans celebrated national unity on October 3, not only in Dresden but also in Yerevan. Most appropriately at the center of the festivities was the presentation of a new publication detailing the history of German-Armenian relations. Entitled Between the Rhine and the Arax: 900 Years of German-Armenian Relations, the volume published by TIGRAN METS in Yerevan, is the Armenian translation of a work issued in German in 1988, by Enno Meyer and Ara J. Berkian. Lisa Berkian-Abrahamian fulfilled her late husband’s desire by translating it into Armenian. Read the Article...

Freedoms Are Not Relative

DRESDEN, Germany —On October 3 Dresden hosted the celebrations for the Day of German Unity, the reunification that was forged in 1990. Bundestag President Norbert Lammert expressed optimism and pride that “We are living together today in a way that generations before us could only dream of: in unity and justice and freedom.” A day later prosecutors announced a decision that made clear that “freedom” includes freedom of speech and opinion, freedom of the press and of artistic expression. It was not a good day for Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Read the article…
German Government Sees
Erdogan Support for Islamist Militants

Rumors, reports and allegations pertaining to covert support for terrorists by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government have circulated since the first armed Syrian groups convened in Turkey, in the early stages of the Syrian crisis.
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Artistic Journeys
through National Destinies

This is a most rare art exhibition. Not focused on one artist or even a school, it presents the works of distinct individuals joined through family ties, whose creative endeavors trace out a multifaceted cultural itinerary across vast geographical expanses through decades of turbulent political and social developments. The show that opened in Berlin on May 14, entitled “Four Life Paths: Two Artist Couples in the Armenian Tradition,” is indeed something very special. The works displayed are by four artists whose lives span a century, from before the First World War to the present.
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Turkish-German Relations: Threats, Taboos and Truth

BERLIN — As the croupier at the roulette table says, “les jeux sont fait.” The die is cast. In the wake of the German Bundestag’s resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide, the hysterical reaction from Erdogan and his co-thinkers has raised the stakes in a risky gamble with political counterparts in Europe, a game that Ankara, contrary to its delusions of grandeur, has no chance of winning. Read Further...

Erdogan Overplays His Hand

There are good reasons to believe that on June 2, the German Bundestag (Parliament) will vote up a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide. The government coalition parties, Christian Democratic Union and Christian Socialist Union (CDU-CSU) and Social Democratic Party (SPD), plus the Green party, have agreed on a unified text, after intense debate and repeated postponements.
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German-Armenian Ties Live On In Music

When Bernhard Scheidt passed away in October last year, those closest to him thought long and hard about the most appropriate way to execute his estate. The German pianist and conductor, born in 1929 in Wiesbaden, had led a long and rich life in music, excelling as a student at the Detmold College of Music, and continuing with extensive studies under authorities like Theodore W. Adorno, whose seminar in Philosophy he attended at Frankfurt University.
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Sharing the Gift of Music

By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Students at the Anahit Tsitsikyan Music School in Yerevan celebrated the donation of new instruments in the most appropriate fashion possible: by playing them in concert for a capacity audience of friends and family. On April 25, guests gathered in the recital hall, which had been fully renovated in 2014, by the US Embassy’s organization Helping Hands and the Fuller Center for Housing Armenia. After a brief welcoming, all stood for a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Read Further...


But the Birds . . .

Of a Trip to Armenia with Trees at the Conclusion of a three-year Armenian-German Cultural Project
by Heide Rieck                                                             Read Further...

Friends of ISIS Unmasked
– First in Riyadh, Now in Ankara?

Following a series of detailed exposés of Saudi Arabia’s complicity with the so-called Islamic State, German government leaders have broken diplomatic protocol, and openly issued warnings that Riyadh must cut its ties to terrorists. ... The Turkish connection is perhaps even more insidious, given it is a member of NATO and an aspirant to membership in the European Union.
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United States of America   The following story has been published by "100 Lives".
For more information, see:

Germany  Dieser Artikel ist von "100 Lives" veröffentlicht worden.
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Recognition, Realpolitik and the Ravages of War

By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
BERLIN, Oct. 22, 2015— No one engaged in efforts to have the Armenian Genocide officially recognized — at whatever level and in whatever venue — can suffer under the illusion that it is simply a matter of acknowledging historical facts as truth. It has been, and remains a political football, which is tossed, carried or kicked according to the game plans drafted by the coaches of the opposing teams. Or, as in the case of Germany, it is punted. Instead of following through on the courageous initiatives taken by President Joachim Gauck and the Bundestag (Parliament) last April, to finally formulate and pass a unified resolution acknowledging the Genocide, the political leadership has preferred to put the entire issue on hold. Read Further...

Armenia and Germany Renew
a Thousand-Year-Old Friendship

by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Bochum – September 17, 2015 – For centuries Germany and Armenia have maintained friendly relations, but there are probably only a handful of individuals, whether in Berlin or Yerevan, who have any inkling of this fact. Read Further...

Happy Birthday Wolfgang Gust!

Wolfgang Gust zum 80.Geburtstag
„Was hat der Mensch dem Menschen Größeres zu geben als Wahrheit?“
United States of America Read Further… Germany Weiterlesen...

The rise and fall of Neo-Ottomanism in Syria

Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, the statesmen in Turkey were sure that one of the main keys for regional hegemony in the Middle East passes through Syria. In June 2011, a Western diplomat revealed to AFP, that Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered President Assad via his foreign minister a plan that includes the Syrian President is to ensure between a quarter and a third of ministers in his government to be members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood….
...In a recently published book “Turkish Foreign Policy” by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach and Dr. Jamal Wakim; the authors documented the rise of the AKP government and their neo-ottoman project…

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Armenian Trees Planted in Germany
to Bear Fruits of Friendship and Reconciliation

BOCHUM, Germany — Exactly one year ago, as Germans celebrated Pentacost, a massive storm “Ela,” swept through the industrial heartland of the Ruhr, destroying thousands of trees. As Azat Ordukhanyan, Chairman of the Armenian Academic Society 1860, witnessed the devastation in Bochum, he was reminded of the 1988 earthquake that struck his native land in his student days in Yerevan. Germany — both east and west — had at the time joined many other nations worldwide to provide relief, and in a spirit of gratitude and compassion, he decided to organize a donation of 155 trees from Armenia to plant in Bochum. It was to celebrate the 155th anniversary of the founding (in Leipzig) of his Armenian Academic Society that he chose that number. Read Further

‘With Giant Steps into the 100th Year’:
Ragip Zarakolu Honored in Berlin

Ragip Zarakolu
DECEMBER 19, BERLIN, Germany — No matter how meaningful it is that political institutions, whether governments or parliaments, have recognized the Armenian genocide, the most important such acknowledgement must be an act of the relevant institutions in Turkey. In this context, among the many commemorations that will take place next year in cities across the globe, it is what happens in Turkey that will be particularly telling. Ragip Zarakolu, the courageous Turkish publisher and human rights activist, chose to dedicate his remarks at an event in Berlin honoring him, precisely to this theme…Read the Article...

Gedenken an Völkermord
Einblick in die armenische Geschichte und Kultur

BOCHUM Im April 2015 jährt sich zum 100. Mal der Völkermord an den Armeniern. Im Vorfeld lädt der Armenisch-Akademische Verein 1860 (AAV) zum „Armenischen Kulturherbst“ ein. „Wir wollen zeigen, das wir noch leben, musizieren, schöpfen, arbeiten, produzieren“, sagt dessen Leiter Azat Ordukhanyan: „Wir wollen unsere Kultur vorstellen.“ Artikel lesen...
1914-2014: 100 Years of the German-Armenian Society
POTSDAM, Germany — Johannes Lepsius is known for his work as a pastor and humanitarian who intervened on behalf of the Ottoman Armenians in the late 19th century. When the Genocide began he returned to Constantinople from Berlin and tried in vain to dissuade the Young Turk leaders from their extermination project. His report on the systematic elimination of the Armenians through murder and deportation raised the alarm in Germany. Read further...

Book on Orphan Rug Released – But Where is the Rug?

Armenische Waisenteppich
President Calvin Coolidge and the Armenian Orphan Rug, by Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian, was released by the Armenian Cultural Foundation in late Fall in the U.S., and has generated an amazing controversy. The slim volume tells the story of a rug woven by Armenian orphan girls, survivors of the Armenian genocide, and presented to then-President Coolidge as a gift, in appreciation of the support given them by America, especially the Near East Relief. Attempts to obtain the rug from the White House for an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution failed, as the White House claimed it did not have the rug, or, later, it could not lend it out for security reasons, etc. The matter has become a political issue, with petitions to the White House and action from policy makers like Rep. Adam Schiff. The rug has become a hot potato, because it raises the question of the Armenian genocide, just one year before the hundredth anniversary of its beginning. See:


"Der armenische Waisenteppich" jetzt in Deutsch

Das Buch von Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian ist von Verlag Hans Schiler in Berlin erschienen.
United States of America   

"Book on the Armenian Orphan Rug Now in German"

The book by Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian on the controversial story of the Armenian orphan rug is now available in German translation, Verlag Hans Schiler in Berlin.

Jamal-Muriel (Turkey) final (1)

Neues Buch über die Türkei in Beirut vorgestellt

Die neue Außenpolitik der Türkei unter der AKP-Regierung (All-Prints Distributors & Publishers, Beirut) ist am 18 Dezember bei der Beiruter Internationalen Buchmesse in der libanesischen Hauptstadt vorgestellt worden. Nachdem Sarkis Abu Zaid und Saad Mehio das Buch in arabischer Sprache präsentiert haben, antworteten die beiden Autoren Muriel Mirak-Weißbach und Dr. Jamal Wakim auf Fragen des Publikums. Rezensionen sind in mehreren arabischen Zeitungen erschienen.
United States of America 

New Book on Turkey presented in Beirut

Turkey’s New Foreign Policy under the AKP (All-Prints Distributors & Publishers, Beirut) was presented on December 18 at the Beirut International Book Fair in the Lebanese capital. Following introductions to the book (in Arabic) by Sarkis Abu Zaid and Saad Mehio, the two authors, Muriel Mirak-Weissbach and Dr. Jamal Wakim engaged in discussion with the audience. Reviews appeared in several Arabic newspapers.
DE Mirak-Weißbach-Stiftung
unterstützt Musikschule in Armenien

Die “Mirak-Weißbach-Stiftung” wurde offiziell am 1. August 2012 als rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts registriert und als gemeinnützige Einrichtung anerkannt, so dass alle Zuwendungen von der Steuer abzugsfähig sind. Weiterlesen...
Die neue Musikschule in Gjumri (in Bau)
United States of America 

Al Arab review of "Madmen at the Helm"

The London-based Arabic newspaper Al Arab published this review of the book, "Madmen at the Helm: Pathology and Politics in the Arab Spring."
Germany Buchbesprechung "Madmen at the Helm: Pathology and Politics in the Arab Spring" in der Zeitung Al Arab aus London:
Herrschen bis der Früling Kommt
Das Buch "Herrschen bis der Frühling kommt" wurde auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse 2014 vorgestellt und mehrere Buchbesprechungen wurden bereits veröffentlicht.

– groessenwahn-verlag.de

– onleihe.net


– kurt-wolff-stiftung.de (Weiter zu Seite 30 oder "Mirak" suchen)  
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