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...Read Further...

Reclaiming the Good Name of Liman von Sanders

On November 4, retired Gen. Eckhard Lisec delivered a lecture in Darmstadt, Germany entitled, “Marshall Liman von Sanders – An Honorable Soldier?” The question mark reflects the doubt cast on the role of the German First World War commander by authorities of the city Darmstadt, where von Sanders is buried.Read Further...

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. Read Further...

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. Read Further...

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.Read Further...

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.Read Further...

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...Read Further...

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. “Again,” because the two countries had in fact had relations in the brief period between 1918 and 1920, of the Armenian Republic. The first Armenian ambassador to Germany during those two years, she explained, was James Greenfield. Then, in the wake of the October Revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union, a new era began. In 1992, following independence, Armenia therefore re-established these, among many other, bilateral relations.Read Further...

Wolfgang Gust Honored in Berlin

BERLIN, OCTOBER 5, 2017 — 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.Read Further...

Wiesbaden Musician Renews Ties to Armenia

WIESBADEN, Germany – 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.Read Further...

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 Further...

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 Further...

German Government Draws the Line

If 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 Further...

Aramean Day of Remembrance in Berlin

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. In the afternoon, participants gathered at the Evangelical Luisenkirchof cemetery, at the site of a memorial in honor of the 3 million Christians who died between 1912 and 1922. The three altars of remembrance are dedicated to the Armenians, the Arameans, Assyrians and Chaldeans, and the Greeks from Eastern Thrace, Asia Minor and Pontus.
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‘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. When one of the lads played a solo piece, his companion grabbed the hands of a woman (who turned out to be his mother) and swept her up in dancing across the floor. In another room, a child hovered over his notebook, carefully writing out exercise sentences in Armenian under the watchful eyes of his teacher. In other small rooms, the same one-on-one combination of specialist and student was to be seen: whether in speech therapy or physical therapy. The scenes depicted youngsters concentrated on tasks that they were carrying out in their own fashion, with serenity, or delight or outright joy. The meaning of the center’s slogan — “I am different, I am one of you” — was immediately apparent.

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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.Read Further...

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 Further...

Armenia’s Heart: Poems … and Nothing More

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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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.Read Further...

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.Read Further...

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.Read Further...

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. In what is shaping up as a tight race, the ruling AKP seeks to win over Turkish citizens living abroad for a “yes” vote and therefore demands the right for its politicians, be they government representatives or party officials or not, to campaign freely in Germany, the Netherlands, France and other countries with a Turkish community. The AKP has cheerfully ignored the fact that such campaigning abroad is in flagrant violation of Article 94/A of Turkish electoral law.Read Further...

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 Further...

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 Further...

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 Further...

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. The reason? According to official Israeli historiography, there were no expulsions, killings or seizure of Palestinian lands. Some say the Palestinians as a people never existed, or if they did, not in that geographical location.Read Further...

Music for the Republican Army

If last year Armenians celebrated the silver anniversary of independence, the year 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Army of the Republic of Armenia. And to kick off a series of cultural celebrations, two Armenian associations in Germany organized a concert on January 28 in Frankfurt featuring guitarist and singer-songwriter Ruben Hakhvedyan. The renowned musician from Yerevan was joined on the stage by cellist Levon Arakelyan and accordionist Gevorg Movsisyan.Read Further...

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 Further...

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 Further...

Liman von Sanders: A Matter of Honor

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 Further...

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 Further...

Portraits of the Artists as Young Men

WIESBADEN, Germany — 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. Four of the six exhibiting artists have travelled to Germany for the occasion and have shared their experiences with a large number of visitors.Read Further...

A History Lesson in Germany

Living in Europe, the past envelops you like a warm garment, and is never absent, especially the recent past, say developments over the last century. This is particularly true of Germany, where the political class, as well as the broader population, have invested immense intellectual, financial and emotional resources to work through the darkest chapter in their country’s history. But not only: in the 20th century, Europeans either lived under a totalitarian dictatorship, as in Italy and Germany, or suffered the consequences through occupation, repression, internment, concentration camps and the ravages of war. So when a public figure expresses the view that some event smacks of Nazism, he or she is not engaging in reckless name-calling.
Increasingly over the past week, politicians in Europe have raised the question explicitly, whether the Turkey of Recep Tayyip Erdogan is becoming a dictatorship, a fascist regime, like under the Nazis.Read Further...

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.
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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 Further...

Freedoms Are Not Relative

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 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...

Jailed Writer, Linguist Nisanyan Receives Saroyan Medal from Armenian Diaspora Ministry

On September 23, the Cezayir complex in Istanbul hosted the ceremony awarding Istanbul-based Armenian intellectual, philologist, writer and publicist Sevan Nisanyan’s family the William Saroyan Medal of the Diaspora Ministry. Renowned political, public and cultural figures were invited, including Turkish lawmaker Selina Dogan with her husband Erdal Dogan, President of “Anadolu Kültür” foundation Osman Kavala, Ufuk Uras, Armenian representative of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Arsen Avagyan.  The event was moderated by journalist Hrant Gasparian.Read Further...

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...

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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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...

Interview: The Implosion of the Erdogan-Gülen Family Devastates Turkey

BERLIN — Special Correspondent for the Mirror-Spectator Muriel Mirak-Weissbach recently interviewed prize-winning author Dogan Akhanli on the recent coup attempt in Turkey and its devastating purge in the country. Akhanli is a German of Turkish descent who escaped the military dictatorship and received asylum in Germany. A prize-winning author of novels and plays, as well as a human rights activist, he has come under attack for having dealt with the Armenian Genocide in his works.Read Further...

To Be a German or a Turk, That is the Question

Relations between Berlin and Ankara, already strained by the German Bundestag’s June 2 resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide, have ratcheted down since, reaching a new low point in the wake of the Turkish government’s responses to the failed coup attempt on July 15. Though sighs of relief could be heard throughout Germany when it was confirmed that a military coup had been defeated (albeit at the cost of many lives), new apprehensions arose with the blow by blow reports of mass arrests, not only of military actors who had commanded tanks and occupied buildings, but of legions of others whose alleged crime was association with the movement of Fethullah Gülen, the man promptly designated as the mastermind behind the coup.Read Further...

Armenians Celebrate to Help Artsakh Victims

For Nathanial Ullmann, a journalist for the largest regional newspaper in Germany, the response of participants at a concert in Bochum on July 8 showed just “how different German and Armenian culture are.” He explained: “Whereas Germans at an elevated cultural event sit there in silent wonder, Armenians sing, dance and clap in happy enthusiasm.” And that is the case, even if the occasion might be a sad one.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.Read Further...

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. Two are Genocide survivors from Western Armenia, who made their way across the Middle East to Yerevan, whereas the other two were born and raised in Armenia, studied and worked there and in Russia. Through their personal and artistic histories, one encounters life in the diaspora, struggles in the Soviet period and the challenges of the independent Republic of Armenia.Read Further...

Turkish-German Relations: Threats, Taboos and Truth

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...

Bundestag’s Genocide Recognition: A First Step

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...Read Further...

Genocide Is Genocide: Views from 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...

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.Read Further...

Of Politics and the Pope

Pope Francis is preparing to visit first Armenia, then Azerbaijan and Georgia. With this visit, he is trying to bring peace and hope to a region that has been recently beset by troubles. He will visit Armenia June 24-26, and in the autumn, go to Georgia and Azerbaijan. According to the program released by the Vatican press office on May 13, the Pontiff’s visit will be apostolic, but will also include political talks. Read Further...

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. He studied Musicology with Gennrich und Schmitz, and Music Psychology with Prof. Albert Wellek. He was also a philologist, having studied Classical Philology with the leading authority Prof. Thierfelder at the Mainz University, and delivering a final paper on Cicero’s Somnium Scipionis.Read Further...

Sharing the Gift of Music

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. Read Further...

Khachkar Dedicated in Berlin

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. Read Further...

Sargsyan in Berlin: A Balancing Act

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. The government of Chancellor Angela Merkel managed to walk the tightrope successfully. But not everyone cheered. Read Further...

Let The Trumpets Sound!

YEREVAN — “The world is changing, and so are human values. Only music remains a constant spiritual island.” These wise words are those of Diana Hovhannisyan, director of the Anahit Tsitsikian Music School, in Yerevan. In a message to readers of the school’s home page she points to the responsibility of parents and teachers in guaranteeing that the younger generation preserve “timeless human values”.Read Further...

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. Read Further...

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. Read Further...

Paruyr Sevak, Patriot and World Citizen

“Can poetry open the hearts of people, even at a distance?“ This is a question that Azad Ordukanyan, President of the Armenian Academic Society in Bochum, Germany, had included in a letter written to Armenian Ambassador Ashot Smbatyan, inviting him to open an event in Berlin featuring the poetry of Paruyr Sevak.Read Further...

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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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.Read Further...

Germans Celebrate Paruyr Sevak

The saying goes that “there is no more beautiful woman than the Armenian language.” If that is the case, German author Jochen Mangelsen writes, then the two women who have just published a new German translation of poems by Paruyr Sevak “have tackled a really audacious task.”

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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.Read Further...

Recognition, Realpolitik and the Ravages of War

BERLIN — 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...

 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair: New Studies on Armenia

FRANKFURT, Germany — 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 Further...

Armenia and Germany Renew a Thousand-Year-Old Friendship

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. For broader layers of the two populations, it is virtually unknown. But thanks to the initiative of Armenians and their German friends in the city of Bochum, the exciting history of this close relationship is being brought to light. Read Further...

Of Summer Doldrums, Scoops and Spoofs

One hot day in late July I received emails from two friends — one is Armenian and the other Italian — both alerting me to a curious letter circulating widely on the Internet. It had to do with the protests against electricity price hikes in Armenia, and coverage hinted that these might signal the start of a “colored revolution” in the country, aimed at toppling the government. Read Further...

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.Read Further...

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.
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Beyond Recognition

In times of grave crisis, when it seems that the world has gone insane, when violence reigns, taking the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocents, and more often than not, the ideologically crazed perpetrators claim to be killing in the name of religion, then conventional political discourse seems to ring hollow. Crisis management at urgently convoked special summits yields well-meaning declarations and peace plans, but the bloody conflicts spread. In such critical junctures it may be that institutional actors from a loftier stance enter the stage and speak out, to assert a moral authority capable of emboldening political forces to think and act on a higher level. This is what has occurred on the occasion of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide. Read Further...

ACF Releases Second Edition of Armenian Orphan Rug Book

On May 20 at 7 p.m. at the Winchester Public Library, the Armenian Cultural Foundation (ACF) will present an illustrated talk on President Calvin Coolidge and the Armenian Orphan Rug by Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian. The first edition, released in October 2013, coincided with an exhibition planned under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution. However, the exhibition was cancelled because the White House refused to lend the rug to the Smithsonian.Read Further...

Historic Genocide Remembrance in Berlin

BERLIN — Much has been made of the fact that German leaders, both spiritual and political, broke the taboo and acknowledged the Armenian genocide by name. More importantly, in their April commemorations they used Germany’s moral authority to shape an approach that Turkey could embrace.Read Further...

‘If Winter Comes, Can Spring Be Far Behind?’

With these words Percy Bysshe Shelley concluded his “Ode to the West Wind,” and they serve as well to characterize the mood pervading the commemorations in Germany of the 100th anniversary of the Genocide. On the one hand, it is the grim facts of that murderous process that are being presented in a variety of forms; on the other, it is the triumph of life over death which is being celebrated. True, the Armenians were massacred, their lands, homes and possessions confiscated, the traces of their very presence erased in clumsy attempts to write them and their culture out of the history of what is current-day Turkey. But the experiment has failed. Armenians and Armenian culture are alive and well, and that is cause for celebration.Read Further...

Germans Say It Was Genocide Germans Say It Was Genocide

BERLIN — On Friday, April 24, when this issue of the Mirror-Spectator appears, the German parliament will be holding a session to commemorate the centenary of the Armenian Genocide. And, according to late news reports on April 20, they will name it by its proper name. As Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert announced, the final text that party leaders had presented their parliamentarians for the Bundestag debate would say that a hundred years ago the Turkish regime in Ottoman Constantinople began the planned expulsion and mass murder of over one million Armenians.Read Further...

Pope Francis Issues Challenge to Turkey – and Germany

By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach APRIL 16, 2015 – Special to the Mirror-Spectator
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...

Germany and the Genocide
Witness, Accomplice or Perpetrator?

While in Turkey institutions a good hundred years after the fact are still inventing ways to deny that their predecessors in the Ottoman Empire perpetrated a genocide against the Armenians, in Germany efforts are afoot to explore its role, as Turkey’s wartime ally, in the extermination campaign.
Among the numerous events organized throughout the country to commemorate the centenary was an international conference March 1-3, focusing on the role of the German empire. Read Further...

Genocide Centenary: Where Does Germany Stand?

As the New Year opened, several German cities hosted events commemorating the centenary of the genocide, many of them scheduled to coincide with the eighth anniversary on January 19 of the assassination of Hrant Dink. Those in Berlin and Frankfurt attracted large crowds of Germans and Armenians, as well as Turks, Kurds and many other minorities.
At a memorial convened in Cologne on January 25, one central issue discussed was the need for official recognition of the genocide, not only on the part of the authorities in Turkey but also in Germany.Read Further...

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

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 Further...

‘Our Medium is Art, the Book, the Violin…’

Armenian Cultural Autumn Concludes in Bochum – What do Germans know about Armenians? The answer will vary from city to city and from one social layer to another. But surely overall it can be said, they do not know enough...Read Further...

Teachers, Businessmen, Robots and Youth
United to Rebuild Armenian IT

YEREVAN — Karen Vardanyan has an ambitious vision for Armenia’s future. If his program continues to garner success, the country will become a leader in the field of complex engineering solutions, not only in software but also in related fields. Thus far, the project has captured the imagination of hundreds of Armenian youngsters and enjoys the support of private industry and some governmental agencies.Read Further...

A Fairy Tale — But True...

BERLIN — How can a film about the Genocide be good? How can one shape the representation of such a crime against humanity into a work of art? And how can one do that without reducing the magnitude of the horror or sacrificing historical veracity? The Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin has succeeded with his work, “The Cut,” now playing in movie theatres across Germany.
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Armenians Make a Strong Showing at Frankfurt Bookfair

FRANKFURT, Germany — Frankfurt plays host to the most important and the oldest book fair in the world. This year 7,400 exhibitors from more than 100 countries joined to present their most recent publications and other cultural products.Read Further...

Much Ado About a Little Book

BOCHUM, Germany — That little book by Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian continues to provoke debate, now even in Germany. The slim volume, President Calvin Coolidge and the Armenian Orphan Rug, released last fall by the Armenian Cultural Foundation, unleashed broad discussion in the US, because the story it tells raises questions about the 1915 Genocide, questions which a proTurkish lobby finds increasingly uncomfortable...Read Further...

Creating a Transnational Memory Space Dogan Akhanli Honored in Cologne

COLOGNE, Germany — If post-war Germany was able to acknowledge the Holocaust and work through its implications, politically and psychologically, why cannot the present Turkish establishment do the same regarding the 1915 Genocide? It is not only Armenians in and outside Germany who raise this question, but also Germans of Turkish descent, first among them Dogan Akhanli, who received the Georg Fritze Memorial Award in Cologne, Germany on September 19. Read Further...

Today Gaza, Tomorrow Iran?

As again a ceasefire comes and goes between Hamas and Israel, “to be followed by negotiations,” one cannot evade the feeling of déjà vu. It is not only the ritual announcements but the modus operandi of the war that comes across as already experienced. During this month-long war, as in 2008-2009, the aggression began with a pretext and unfolded with brutal force against civilian targets. First Gaza was cordoned off (for 18 months back in 2008, this time for 7 years), its border closed, its people penned up inside what Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino from Justitia et Pax in the earlier conflict called a “concentration camp”; then the assault began.Read Further...

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.
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‘Aleppo Protocols’ Depict What Children of Genocide Saw

Today when the name Aleppo appears in the press, the story will be about human suffering in the once-beautiful Syrian city, now a battleground between terrorist-linked forces and the Syrian government military. The war has been raging for more than three years and those most victimized by the killing are the civilian population, increasing turned into a mass of refugees. Read Further...

Armenian Embassy Hosts Book Launch in BerlinBy Muriel Mirak-Weissbach


A new little book written by an Armenian and about Armenians has been attracting public attention in the United States. This is the volume by Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian, which tells the story of an oriental rug, woven by Armenian orphan girls in Ghazir, Lebanon and sent in 1925 to Calvin Coolidge…
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The Play’s the Thing... Dissent, Denial and Artistic Freedom

KONSTANZ, Germany — At one point in Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet,” the young prince stages a pantomime play, which features a murder scene: Gonzago is poisoned and the murderer gets his wife. Hamlet’s strategy is a masterpiece of psychological insight: he knows that his uncle Claudius, the king, who will be among the audience, will be overcome by guilt when he witnesses the scene, because he had killed Hamlet’s father, and then married his widow. Hamlet explains:Read Further...

A Cultural Capital of the Diaspora in Berlin

BERLIN — When you walk into the spacious locale of Archi Galentz’s atelier in the Wedding district of Berlin, and move from one room to the next, you see paintings, drawings and objets d’art displayed, perhaps all created by one person in a solo exhibition, or perhaps the work of a large number of artists, as is currently the case in a show centered on the theme of “The Nude as a Guest.” Though the themes and the exhibitors change, one feature remains constant: a generously scripted phrase in German painted in elegant cursive letters on the wall just above the entrance door...Read Further...

Power of Art to Move Mind and Heart:
Dink Remembered in Frankfurt

By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
FRANKFURT — Anyone who doubts the existence of a growing movement in Turkey committed to profound political reforms, emphatically including the recognition of the 1915 genocide, should reflect on the mass turnout in Istanbul on January 19, reported by the Mirror-Spectator last week. Several films circulating on the Internet (such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RuZDt6wj4k and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELFOe-lvZ5Q) transmit a sense of the potential that this Turkish civil society movement represents, not the least because it has increasingly woven the strands of several related political demands together into one fabric. Thus, those calling for “justice” are demanding not only that Hrant Dink’s assassins be identified and prosecuted but also that the rule of law replace a system fraught with politically motivated rulings, corruption, violation of human rights and willful distortion of historical fact. From the Gezi Park protests to the ongoing upheavals triggered by the corruption scandals, a new process has been unfolding which may put the country on a course toward fundamental change.
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Taner Akçam Teaches ‘Genocide 101′ in Germany

BERLIN — Two classes of high school students in northern Germany had the rare opportunity to learn about the Armenian genocide from one of the most authoritative researchers on the topic, Prof. Taner Akçam from Clark University in Worcester, Mass.
During his brief visit to Germany over the Thanksgiving holidays November 26-29, Akçam also lectured for adults, among them a seminar group at the Free University in Berlin, and a broader general public at the Potsdam University and the Lepsiushaus in Potsdam. For Akçam it was not foreign territory. As the dean of the philosophy department of the Potsdam University noted in introducing him, Akçam had found political asylum in Germany after his escape from prison in Turkey, where he had been sentenced for articles he had written about the Kurds. In 1996 he took a degree from the Hannover University with a thesis on the Armenian Genocide and then worked at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, before moving the US, where he studied at the University of Minnesota and Michigan, and went on to a position at Clark University.Read Further...

Revisionsprozess gegen Akhanli / Akhanli Case at Istanbul Court

Revisionsprozess gegen Akhanli / Akhanli Case at Istanbul Court
www.gerechtigkeit-fuer-dogan-akhanli.de
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3) us  Please click herenpdfRead Further...

Bad Theater in Istanbul: Turkish Court Performs Kafka

ISTANBUL — Like any other day in the summer season, on July 31, thousands of tourists were standing in lines in the blistering heat to visit the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace and numerous other sites here.
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Mubarak, Morsi, and then?

In his famous novel Animal Farm, George Orwell satirized the outcome of the Bolshevik revolution and Stalinism. His allegorical tale showed how a gang of animals had risen up against the exploitative farmer and seized power, only to reproduce the political structures they had sought to eliminate. Something similar may be unfolding in Egypt...Read Further...

Discovering Hayastan Through the Eyes of Children

WATERTOWN and YEREVAN — For too long the term “diaspora” designated both the identity and homeland for many Armenians. The post-World War I republic was short-lived and Soviet Armenia, especially during the Cold War, was a remote reality, both geographically and politically. Since 1991, that has happily changed, and Armenians worldwide can look at the Republic of Armenia as their “other half.” Armenian Ambassador to Germany Armen Martirosyan has said of these two pillars, “Our unity is the source of our strength and our diversity is the source of our resilience.”Read Further...

Activist Targeted by Turkish Authorities Again

What is really happening in Turkey? And where is it going to lead? What began as a protest against government plans for Gezi Park in Istanbul’s Taksim Square has swelled into a mass movement throughout the country and those thousands of citizens engaging in civil disobedience are giving no signs of capitulation. Not only: solidarity actions are unfolding in other countries especially in Germany, which hosts a very large Turkish community. Here, a new judicial scandal against a leading German-Turkish intellectual, which broke out just prior to the Gezi protests, is intersecting the ferment and fuelling the wave of solidarity with those fighting for democracy and free speech in Turkey.
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The Quest for a Culture of Remembrance

Armenians in Germany Commemorate Armenian Genocide

By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
BERLIN — Among the many nations where people gather on April 24th every year to commemorate the victims of the 1915 genocide, Germany holds a special place for three reasons: first, because it was here that the Holocaust occurred, a case of mass murder that was modeled on the Armenian genocide; secondly, because the post-war German political world faced up to what the Nazis had perpetrated. It was not only the fact that many of the criminals were brought to justice at the Nuremburg trials, and that Germany acknowledged it as genocide, but also that in the years and decades that followed, the reality of what had been committed was subjected to historical scrutiny, so that broader layers of the population and members of the successor generations became aware of this past. Germans refer to this process and what it has produced in civil society as “a culture of remembrance” (Erinnerungskultur). The third reason is that Germany’s Turkish population is the largest outside of Turkey, a fact which has a political, social and cultural impact in both countries.Read Further...

Rediscovering Franz Werfel: Potsdam Conference Analyzes Life of Brave Humanitarian

POTSDAM, Germany — Among the required reading for most Armenians is the novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh by Franz Werfel, and the author is thus known among Armenians mainly — if not exclusively — for this monumental work.Read Further...

Gutenberg Museum Displays Armenian Book Treasures

MAINZ, Germany — The relationship of Armenians to their language is very special, actually unique. To my knowledge, Armenia is the only country that offers the foreign visitor a monument composed of giant letters of the alphabet, standing as stone sculptures in a vast field outside Yerevan. And Mesrob Mashtots (360-440), the genius who invented the alphabet as a perfect phonetic system in the year 405 AD, is not only honored as a great intellectual but is revered as a canonized saint. Read Further...

German-Turkish-Armenian Project
Dramatizes Search for Identity

Her name is Sabiha, the same name as the favorite adopted daughter of Kemal Mustafa (Atatürk), who as a female pilot was a symbol for her nation. But this Sabiha is German, and lives with her immigrant mother, whom she calls Anne – “mother” in Turkish. This Sabiha, we learn from her best friend (actually soul mate), also named Anne, is 150 per cent German, and only learns Turkish when she attends university. She soon feels drawn to Turkish nationalist circles, and even participates in nationalist demonstrations, honoring Talaat Pasha, for example.
But who is Sabiha really? Is she German? Is she Turkish? Or is she, perhaps, something else? Could she be Armenian? Read Further...

Komitas Honored in Berlin

BERLIN — Every Armenian knows (or should know) Komitas Vardapet. He was the great musicologist, musician and composer who literally founded modern classical Armenian music and whose songs, dances and liturgical works play a prominent role in our musical culture. But perhaps fewer people know about the influence of Germany on his work. On September 5 in Berlin, a gathering of scientists, politicians and artists convened to honor Komitas, unveiling a bronze commemorative plaque at the Humboldt University, which was the composer’s alma mater.Read Further...

Working Through the Past to Embrace the Future

Book review: The Armenian Genocide in Literature: Perceptions of Those Who Lived Through the Calamity, Rubina Peroomian, Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, 2012.
http://armenieninfo.net/muriel-mirak-weissbach/4106-muriel-mirak-weissbach-working-through-the-past-to-embrace-the-future
http://asbarez.com/104802/book-review-working-through-the-past-to-embrace-the-future/
http://www.mirrorspectator.com/2012/08/16/book-review-working-through-the-past-to-embrace-the-future/

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German Archive Material Raises Stir in Turkey

“Especially as 2015 approaches, the pressure will increase. Turkey will, as it has done before, react harshly. It will utter threats, but they will remain ineffective.
“Do you know why? It is because the Armenians have gotten a significant part of the world to accept their claims of genocide.”
Who is speaking here?Read Further...

New Perspectives for Armenian Genocide Studies in Germany

On June 6, two important cultural institutions in Germany signed an agreement that may break new ground in research on the 1915 genocide against the Armenians. The contract signed by University of Potsdam’s Philosophy Department and the Lepsiushaus for enhanced cooperation was anything but a bureaucratic act. If the two partners fully exploit the potential in the deal, they could create the conditions for significantly enhancing genocide studies which would include the Armenian case. The Lepsiushaus (“House of Lepsius”) in Potsdam is a museum and research center located in the former home of Dr. Johannes Lepsius, the renowned theologian and scholar who documented the 1915 Armenian genocide. It was there that Professor Dr. Johann Hafner, Dean of the Philosophy Faculty, and Dr. Rolf Hosfeld, Scientific Managing Director of the Lepsius House, held the official signing ceremony.

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Turks Join Armenians in Germany to Honor Genocide Victims

It is not usually the case that the guest speaker at a commemoration event for the victims of the 1915 genocide against the Armenians is Turkish, at least not in Germany. But in Hamburg, it is becoming somewhat of a tradition, since Toros Sarian first broke the ice two years ago. Sarian, who issues a multilingual online publication ArmenienInfo.net (HayastanInfo.net), is co-founder of the Initiative for Remembrance of the 1915 Genocide, which organized a gathering in the St. Petri church on April 21st. In recent years, he has invited not only Germans of Turkish origin to speak, but has consciously engaged representatives of other communities. Thus, this year, flanking keynote speaker Cem Özdemir, National Chairman of the Green Party whose family comes from Turkey, was Ali Ertam Toprak, Chairman of the Alevi Community in Germany and Secretary of the Alevi Communities in Europe, and a spokeswoman for the Turkish-Kurdish Initiative for Democratic Rights and Freedom.Read Further...

Peace and the “Power of Poetry”: In Defense of Günter Grass

It should come as no surprise that from Germany – the “land of poets and thinkers”—a most powerful message warning of threats to world peace should appear in the guise of a poem. Nor should anyone marvel at the fact that this poem has created a political earthquake. Günter Grass, a famed Nobel Prize writer who is best known for his novel, The Tin Drum, published a poem on April 4, 2012 in the Süddeutsche Zeitung warning of an Israeli first strike against Iran and its consequences. The piece, entitled, “What must be said,” provoked a barrage of criticism on one side and just as loud a chorus of applause on the other.Read Further...

To Be, or Not To Be, a Turk
Reflections on the Inner-Turkish Debate on 1915/1916

Why does Turkey have such difficulty in dealing with its historical past? Why can the Turkish authorities not acknowledge that in 1915 the Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire was the victim of genocide? If the German post-war political elite was capable of facing up to the Holocaust and establishing relations with the Jewish people, in Israel and elsewhere, why cannot the Turkish leadership do as much? The question was raised during a seminar in Potsdam, Germany on November 5, on “The Inner Turkish Discussion of 1915/1916.”Read Further...

Can Germany Mediate Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation

In 2005, the German Bundestag passed a resolution calling on the German government to facilitate a process of Armenian-Turkish understanding and reconciliation. Now, six years later, scholars and civil society activists are asking: what has been achieved since then? This was the subject of a one-day seminar on “The Armenian Genocide and German Public Opinion” on September 22, organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation at its Berlin headquarters. Read Further...

Una fantasia orientale: la rivoluzione in Israele-Palestina

19 Sep 2011 – Le strade di Tel Aviv sono inondate da dimostranti che stanno sventolando la bandiera della Palestina, le sue insegne sovrastano un mare indistinto di altre bandiere, alcune di queste con la stella di Davide.
Al culmine di mesi di proteste di massa, anche qui, come in altre città israeliane e in tutta la Striscia di Gaza e nella Cisgiordania da tanto tempo sotto occupazione, Israeliani, sia arabi sia ebrei, uniscono le loro mani con i rifugiati Palestinesi liberati dai campi, per festeggiare la nascita della nuova Palestina.MRead Further...

An Oriental Fantasy: Revolution in Israel-Palestine

The streets of Tel Aviv are overflowing with demonstrators, who are waving the Palestinian flag, its insignia dominating a blurred sea of other flags, including some with the star of David. At the culmination of months of mass protests here as well as in other Israeli cities and across the Gaza Strip and the formerly occupied West Bank, Israelis, both Arab and Jewish, join hands with Palestinian refugees released from the camps, to celebrate the birth of new Palestine.Read Further...

„Die Steine werden aufschreien“

   Mitte Juni kam es bei einer Ausstellung der UNESCO in Paris zu einem Skandal. Die Ausstellung zeigte Bilder traditioneller Steinkreuze der armenischen Kirchenkunst, bekannt als Khachkars. Die einzigartigen Skulpturen und Reliefs waren im November 2010 in die repräsentative Liste des unantastbaren Kulturerbes der Menschheit aufgenommen worden. (1) Die Ausstellung stand unter der Schirmherrschaft des Kultusministeriums der armenischen Republik und war in Anwesenheit zahlreicher Diplomaten, Künstler, Historiker und Kirchenvertretern eröffnet worden. Sie hätte eine Anerkennung und Wertschätzung der Khachkar-Tradition werden können, wenn nicht die UNESCO in letzter Minute die Ortsnamen unter den Fotografien gelöscht hätte, wo sich die Khachkars befinden.Read Further...

“The Stones Will Cry Out”


   A scandal erupted in mid-June and marred an exhibit in Paris at UNESCO which featured traditional stone crosses from Armenian church architecture known as Khachkars. These unique sculptures and reliefs had been included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in November 2010. The exhibit, co-sponsored by the Republic of Armenia’s Culture Ministry and inaugurated in the presence of numerous diplomats, artists, historians, and clergy, would have celebrated a magnificent tribute to the Khachkar tradition had it not been for the fact that at the last minute UNESCO erased all mention of where the stone crosses featured in photographs were to be found.Read Further...

Wurden Bagdads Museen im Auftrag von US-Händlern geplündert?

Interview mit Dr. Donny George Youkhanna, dem Direktor des irakischen Antikendienstes. Das Interview führten Muriel Mirak-Weißbach und Ortrun Cramer in Sommer 2003. Die Plünderung und Zerstörung der weltweit einzigartigen Museen und Bibliotheken ist kultureller Völkermord.Warum ließen die US-Truppen die systematischen Plünderungen zu, obwohl amerikanische Archäologen das Pentagon seit Monaten davor warnten?Read Further...

World Robbed of Iraq's Museums, Antiquities

Dr. Donny George Youhkanna, the national Director of Antiquities of Iraq, was in Germany in late May-early June, 2003, for meetings with archaeologists as well as political representatives. On June 3, he spoke with Muriel Mirak-Weissbach and Ortrun Cramer. Read Further...

The Birth of the New Egyptians

The victory of the Egyptian revolution has not only forced out a hated regime but has ushered in a new culture for the nation and the region. Whatever develops now politically in the transition to democratic rule, it is important to examine the subjective factors in the process, to try to go inside the mind of those who organized the demonstrations nation-wide, and also penetrate the mindset of President Mubarak and his cohorts. In this way one can grasp the reason why there is no way of bridging the gap between the two, and can appreciate the profound revolution in thinking that has taken place.
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The Armenian Genocide:
Hopes for Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation

Bookreview – In the Land of Blood and Tears: Experiences in Mesopotamia During the World War (1914-1918) by Jakob Künzler. Arlington, Massachusetts, 2007. Translated from the 1999 German edition.Read Further...

Revival of a Military Option: Israel's Covert War Against Iran Is On

After talks in Istanbul between Iran and the West on its nuclear program broke down on January 22, the danger of revival of a military option looms large. It may not come in the form of a direct, conventional US and/or Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear installations, but rather in the guise of the warfare of the future, with cyber-weapons and terrorism. Political forces opposed to such an escalation in the Iran conflict would do well to examine the reasons why dialogue on the nuclear issue has failed thus far, and reshape their approach to dealing with the Islamic Republic. Read Further...

Palestinian Statehood on the Agenda

The alacrity with which a lame duck U.S. Congress passed legislation against Palestinian aspirations to independence should cause alarm bells to ring, and loudly. That this Congress would so openly endorse the position of Benjamin Netanyahu’s intransigent government is not surprising. What is surprising is the message that the hastily passed bill sent regarding profound changes in the attitude of the “international community” towards an increasingly rogue state Israel. For, the Congress was not putting forward an objective statement regarding the Mideast conflict, it was reacting – hysterically -- to the threat of punitive actions by powerful institutional forces against Israel. Increasingly, leading factors on the world political scene are signaling that they are fed up with Israel’s continuing sabotage of negotiations and are preparing to introduce corrective action if it continues.Read Further...

Judicial Scandal: A Test Case for Turkey

Is Turkey making progress in the democratization process? Has the September referendum led to reform of the judiciary? Who really rules Turkey? These are some of the questions raised, albeit implicitly, by a recent court case in Istanbul which has become a cause célèbre.The case of Turkish-born German citizen, Dogan Akhanli.Read Further...

America's "Justice" in Occupied Iraq:
Why Tariq Aziz Should Be Released

The appearance on August 5 of an interview with former Iraqi diplomat Dr. Tariq Aziz in the Guardian was a minor bombshell, whose repercussions were to be felt worldwide. Like an underground explosion, the interview sent waves throughout international waters, rocking many boats and reaching far distant shores. It was not only what the former top Iraqi diplomat said -- although his brief statements were of utmost relevance -- but the mere fact that he was allowed to speak out in public, which sent eerie signals across international diplomatic circuits.Read Further...

Imprisonment of Human Rights Activist Puts Turkish Establishment on the Dock

When Turkish authorities seized Dogan Akhanli on August 10 on his arrival from Frankfurt at the Istanbul airport and threw him into prison, they may have thought they could proceed unhindered, with the law on their side. But they miscalculated utterly. As soon as the news circulated, human rights activists, intellectuals, and political figures denounced his arrest and demanded his immediate release.Read Further...

Israel’s Insane War on Iran Must Be Prevented


Israel’s attack on a humanitarian aid ship headed for Gaza may prove to be the greatest strategic error the government has ever made. Like the Soweto riots in South Africa in 1976, or Bloody Sunday – the American civil rights march on March 7, 1965, in Selma, Alabama, where police opened fire and killed civilians – the Mavi Marmora affair crossed a red line. It has triggered an international wave of condemnation, expressing a shift in attitude toward Israel. The hope is that this international outrage, flanked by growing anti-government dissent inside the country, will provoke an identity crisis among the elite and people of Israel, shake up the political kaleidoscope and allow for a viable pro-peace force to emerge. Unless this occurs, new Israeli aggression, including against Iran, will remain high on their immediate agenda.Read Further...

The Historical Reconciliation of Armenians and Turks

Germany, the same nation allied in World War I with the Young Turk regime which sought to exterminate the Armenian population, is emerging today as the stage on which the two formerly adversary communities are extending their hands in dialogue aimed at understanding and reconciliation.Read Further...

Preparations for a Hit against Iran: Stopping Israel’s Next War

Israeli political and military leaders have been broadcasting their bellicose intentions loudly enough for the deaf to hear. “A new war in the region is inevitable.” This is the pronouncement made by Mohammad Seyyed Selim, political scientist and professor at the universities of Cairo and Kuweit. Prof. Selim delivered his forecast on February 13, in a program on Nile TV’s “Cairo Watch,” in which I also participated. The moderator, Mohamed Abdel-Rahim, started off by asking what crisis situations in the region were most acute; Iran and the Arab-Israeli conflict were the obvious answers.Read Further...

Gaza One Year After. The World Has Changed

In this holiday season, we celebrate the birth of Christ, and the message of brotherly love, compassion, and forgiveness. This year we also commemorate the first anniversary of Israeli’s punitive aggression against the civilian population of Gaza, a conflict that left 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead, and thousands wounded. The toll taken in economic, social, and psychological terms on the victim population has yet to be adequately tallied.Read Further...

Armenia-Turkey Rapprochement Puts Ideologies to the Test

When Armenian and Turkish Foreign Ministers Nalbandian and Davutoglu signed the protocols on reestablishing diplomatic relations on October 10 in Zurich, one would have thought that that event would mark the beginning of a new era in the troubled, if not tormented, history of the two countries. Instead, the protocols became the hottest new potato being tossed back and forth in the arena of politics in the Caucasus. Opinions, editorials, and in some cases, just plain gripes vied for attention in the pages of the Armenian and Turkish press, not only at home but especially in the Armenian Diaspora. Read Further...

“Football Diplomacy”: Armenia-Turkey Rapprochement

Before the end of the year, if all goes according to plan, Armenia and Turkey, after having reestablished normal diplomatic relations, will reopen their common border. This is not only good news for the two parties, but could set a precedent for dealing with similar log-jammed situations in other parts of the world. But, if the formal steps toward mutual recognition are to lead to reconciliation, it will require more than a settlement of outstanding political and territorial disputes. Read Further...

The Target is Iran: Israel's Latest Gamble May Backfire

The aerial war against Gaza launched by Israel just after Christmas, and the ground offensive, with which it rang in the New Year, were shocking in their brutality, but should constitute no surprise, if viewed from the standpoint of long-term Israeli strategic aims. The Israelis have argued that the offensive was launched in response to eight years' of relentless attacks by Hamas rockets into Israel. But then, one asks: why now? Why should they wait eight years?Read Further...

Obama’s Heavy Agenda: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine ... Iranian Expectations from Obama

All eyes have been riveted on the U.S. elections, and with good reason. The hated Bush-Cheney regime has finally been sent packing, and peoples around the world have been joining Americans, not only in breathing a sigh of relief, but in daring to hope that a real change may emerge in U.S. domestic and foreign policy.Read Further...

Kazakhstan: Central Asian Giant Battles World Crisis

Kazakhstan's success story has been rightly praised in both the East and in the West. Under the leadership of its President, Nursultan Nazerbayev, this leading political and economic power in Central Asia has made the transition from a Soviet-style economy to a modern social market economy, without falling into the excesses of neoliberal policies, and without relinquishing its national sovereignty. That notwithstanding, it has not been able escape the ravages of the current financial crisis which has swept across the globe.Read Further...

The Republicans' Subliminal Ticket: Will American Voters Be Hoodwinked?

There is something very funny about the current Republican Party ticket, and I don't mean "funny ha-ha" but "funny pe-e-e-culiar." And that is the following: If it has been ascertained (and it has), that the GOP Presidential hopeful John McCain promises nothing but a continuation of the disastrous Bush-Cheney policies...Read Further...

Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Is Possible – and Necessary!

The visit by Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Yerevan on September 6 will be remembered as a historic event, even if concrete results are not to be expected immediately. Read Further...

Armenia’s Struggle for Independence

When Armenia declared independence on September 21, 1991, diaspora Armenians joined hands across oceans with their 4 million compatriots in the former Soviet republic, to celebrate. Certainly, mainly bottles of excellent Armenian cognac were emptied. Finally, the Soviet occupation had ended, and a perspective had opened up for an independent, sovereign Armenia, to join in collaborative economic relations with its neighbors, to develop the enormous potentials of the country in the context of regional economic expansion.Read Further...

War Party in a Bind:
After Nuclear Talks in Geneva, Iran Will Likely Agree


The meeting in Geneva on July 19, between representatives of the 5+1 (U.N. Security Council permanent members plus Germany) and Iran, should be heartily welcomed by all those who seek a diplomatic solution to the hoked-up case against the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy program, and, thus, an end to the threat of a new war in the region. Read Further...

Iranians Float an Offer the West Should Not Refuse

If there were any substance to Condi Rice's repeated assertions, that the strife over Iran's nuclear program could, and preferably should, be solved through diplomatic means, then one would expect the U.S. Secretary of State to seize on recent offers made by Iranian figures, designed to facilitate the start of talks. Read Further...

Countdown to the end of Bush-Cheney regime: War with Iran: What Could Happen If ... ?

If war is averted, hopefully a Democratic President may enter the White House, then, who knows? Dialogue with Iran?
As the countdown to the end of the hated Bush-Cheney regime proceeds, calls for the U.S. and/or Israel to take military action against Iran, have been multiplying almost in inverse proportion. At the same time, the Islamic Republic has redoubled its efforts to thwart such aggression, in a two-pronged maneuver. Read Further...

Global Food Crisis: Egypt and Sudan Join Forces For Food Security

No one can doubt that the news being transmitted from Egypt, and also from Sudan in early May, is dramatic. Egypt is in the throes of an economic crisis, inflation is reeling out of control, people have taken to the streets, and desperate measures taken by the government in an attempt to alleviate the strains on the population, may be not only ineffective, but even counterproductive. Read Further...

Build Railways for Peace in Africa

In the "good news" department is the announcement that Egypt has founded a committee with the Government of Sudan, to sign an agreement in the third week of May, on establishing vital railway links.Read Further...

Iran Opens War Avoidance Flank

As threats of military action against Iran continue to issue from various spokesmen of the war party in the U.S., the Islamic Republic has launched an ambitious initiative aimed at preventing war, based on a comprehensive package of economic, political and security measures on a vast regional plane. The package includes proposals to settle remaining questions related to Iran's nuclear energy program, but is not limited to that.Read Further...

Iran should be "Set Up for an Attack"

The Agenda Behind The Anti-Sadr Agenda.
When Gen. David Petraeus along with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker gave their testimony to the Senate on April 9, they did nothing more than to confirm in spades what had been being mooted and duly leaked by the Washington-based press: that the Bush-Cheney Administration had officially endorsed the line that Iran should be set up for attack, on grounds that it--and not any indigenous resistance--were responsible for the mounting death toll among American troops in Iraq. Read Further...

Iraq War. Failure of the US Sponsored Assault: Learn The Lessons of Basra

If it is true, that political forces in Iran did contribute to preventing the explosive conflict in Basra from careening totally out of control, then that means that prevailing attitudes and preconceptions in Washington have been shown to be totally bankrupt. If cooler heads exist in Washington, especially among the military, they must draw the lessons from the last week's events, and seek to finally introduce an element of rationality into U.S. foreign policy for the region. The lesson, to put it in a nutshell, is that Iran can play a key role in stabilizing Iraq, and therefore the region. If forces in the U.S. were to acknowledge this fact, a lot of precious human lives could be spared, and a perspective for finally ending this God-awful war, could be realized.
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Who Is Blocking Peace In Darfur?

The tragic, years-long conflict that has raged in Sudan's three Darfur states, is again competing for headlines, as new estimates on the number of dead are being debated, and yet another United Nations Security Council resolution (1591), is on the table. But neither haggling over figures, nor casting blame and meting out new punishment, is the issue: the issue is peace must be brought to the war-torn region. And for that to happen, key international players backing the rebels, must change course.Read Further...

A New Asian-African Alliance? China supports Sudan's Economic Growth

"You have heard about the Asian tigers. Now, there is an African lion ... and it is beginning to roar!" This is the message sent out by the Sudanese-European Relations Forum, held in Khartoum on March 10-12.Read Further...

Iran On Eve Of Elections

Muriel Mirak-Weissbach was in Tehran in late February and had the opportunity to talk to political figures, intellectuals, journalists, and the all-too-important "man on the street." The picture that emerged from this brief visit clashes fundamentally with the line promulgated by the international press, and, therefore, might be worth considering. Muriel Mirak-Weissbach brings us this exclusive report.Read Further...

Breaking Taboos In the Search For Truth. Arun Gandhi's Pursuit of Peace

The fact that the fifth grandson of legendary peace activist Mahatma Gandhi, should be forced to resign as head of his own peace institute in the United States, after critical remarks he had made about Israeli policy, should set alarm bells ringing -- not one, but two sets of bells. On the one hand, his forced resignation seemed to confirm the fear that anyone in the United States who dared criticize Israeli policy as aggressive, would be dubbed a "bigot" or "anti-semite," and forced to withdraw from public life. On the other hand, however, a different alarm has been sounded, one that warns that such blanket condemnation of any criticism of Israeli policy, will boomerang, and force an open, honest, no-holds-barred debate on a crucial political and moral issue. So, from this standpoint, I say, let the alarm bells ring.
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Showdown with Iran: Government Accountability Office (GAO) deals Blow to Bush's anti-Iran Sanctions Policy

If the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report hammered a nail into the coffin of the Bush-Cheney Iran war policy, a new report may do similar damage to the same duo's anti-Iran sanctions policy.Read Further...

After The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran: Let The Great Debate Begin!

The issuance of the National Intelligence Estimate on Dec. 3, could be compared to the historic "shot heard round the world;" but, perhaps the characterization given by Barbara Slavin is more to the point. As she put it [...] the NIE report was " a preemptive surgical strike by the intelligence community against the war party" of Dick Cheney et al, those who have been building for a military attack against Iran.
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The Iran War is on the Front Burner

The war that Dick Cheney has been planning against Iran, has moved from the back burner to the front, and those who do not see this are either blind or complicit. Read Further...

Dollar Crash: The Real Challenge For OPEC

At its recent summit in Riyadh, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries faced an unprecedented crisis: the price of oil was edging up towards the $100 per barrel mark, as the dollar itself was continuing its inexorable slide on all financial markets. Read Further...

Kurdish Crisis Boxes In Neocons

When Secretary of State Condi Rice descended the stairs of her plane in Ankara on November 2, she must have been thanking her lucking stars that her security detail was shielding her from the massive groups of Turkish demonstrators, who were wielding aggressive signs, some showing her face as the backdrop for a target practicer's bulls-eye, and others saying, "Terrorist Condi: Hands Off Turkey." Read Further...

Caspian Summit: Putin Puts Forward A War-Avoidance Plan

Putin has grasped the fact that what the Cheney Crowd is threatening is World War. The Russian President's trip to Teheran --the first of a Russian head of state since the 1943 Tehran conference of war-time powers--was geared to register his government's commitment to prevent a new war in the region, at all costs. That new war is the one on the strategic agenda of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, against Iran.
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Cheney's Oil Law For Iraq Is Neocolonial Theft

Although a great deal more is at stake in the Iraq war than oil, there can be no doubt that the rich petroleum reserves of the country have stood high on the agenda of the war party since long before the 2003 invasion, and continue to be the focus of policy for the occupying powers. Read Further...

Behind Bush's Latest Anti-Iranian Threats

President Bush's most recent ranting, in which he accused Iran of threatening to unleash a "nuclear holocaust," must be seen, for sure, in the context of the drumbeat for military aggression against the Islamic Republic. Read Further...

International Mobilization To Stop U.S. Attack on Iran

Anyone, including those in Iranian political circles, who cherished the illusion that the Cheney-Bush cabal was not committed to a new war in Southwest Asia, has had to abandon such dreams in the wake of George W. Bush’s Jan. 10 speech on his “new” policy for Iraq. The so-called “surge” in troop strength for Iraq which Bush announced, was recognized, correctly, by all in the region, as a commitment to open a new war front, this time against Iran or Syria. This analysis, which EIR had been circulating for weeks, including during a visit to Tehran in late November-early December, was finally embraced as the correct reading.Read Further...