California Courier Online, May 4, 2006

1 - Commentary
Turkish Consul Exposes True Colors
By Insulting Armenians on April 24
By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier

2 - Public Invited to AGBU's Centennial
Celebration on May 7 in Pasadena
3 - Publisher Zarakolu Faces 13-Year Sentence
If Found Guilty by Turkish Court Proceeding
4 - Armenian Assembly Merges
Trustees and Board of Directors
5 - ACC Student Simon Maghakyan
Earns USA Today's National Honors
6 - Fundraiser for Western Diocese's
Mother Cathedral Set for May 20
7 - Boyajian Helps Promote Sister Universities
Between US, Taiwan, Mainland China
8 - Armenian History
Book Translated
Into Spanish
9- AAREA Organizes
Candidate Forum
May 8 in Glendale
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1 - Commentary
Turkish Consul Exposes True Colors
By Insulting Armenians on April 24

By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
As a growing number of parliaments, international organizations, members of
the media, Turkish scholars and prominent world figures have come to
acknowledge the facts of the Armenian Genocide, the Turkish government has
been frantically looking for ways to counter the rapid progress of the
Armenian Cause.
The Turkish government has alternately offered economic inducements and
issued ultimatums to the fledgling Armenian Republic, in order to compel it
to give up its pursuit of the international recognition of the Armenian
Genocide. Neither tactic has borne any fruit. Of course, the real aim of
the Turkish leaders is to drive a wedge between the Republic of Armenia and
the Diaspora on this issue.
In recent years, the Turkish government has spent millions of dollars to
hire the best lobbyists that money could buy and put on Ankara's payroll
scores of Turkish and foreign hired pens who are expressly tasked to
disseminate anti-Armenian propaganda worldwide. The infamous
Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC) was another diversionary
tactic. Funded by Washington with the tacit support of Ankara and the
participation of a handful of misguided Armenians, TARC was quickly
abolished when it was met with almost unanimous resistance both in Armenia
and the Diaspora. This ill-fated stratagem, under the guise of fostering
dialogue, was in reality intended to stall the recognition of the Armenian
The New Anatolian newspaper published an article last month disclosing that
Ankara is seriously concerned with "the rapid rise" of the number of
countries recognizing the Armenian Genocide. It quoted a Turkish official
as saying that Ankara has been looking for ways of stopping this "very
negative [trend] from the Turkish point of view."
The New Anatolian reported that Turkey is alarmed by the fact that the
Armenian Diaspora is moving beyond securing the recognition of the Genocide
to having its denial punished by law. Such an initiative is being
introduced in the French Parliament later this month. Turkish officials are
also very concerned about the incorporation of the Armenian Genocide in the
school curricula of various countries.
The New Anatolian also disclosed that a high-ranking official from the
Turkish Foreign Ministry met with unnamed representatives of the
Armenian-American Diaspora on the eve of April 24. However, a Turkish
official was quoted as saying: "Turkey did not get any concrete results
from its contacts with the Diaspora." The Zaman newspaper reported that the
Turks met with "moderate" Armenians.
The reason for this failure could be that Turkish officials are simply
seeking to exploit their Armenian interlocutors rather than trying to
resolve outstanding Armenian-Turkish issues. Ankara is probably pursuing
three objectives with such meetings: 1) to remove one of the roadblocks in
the way of its application for membership in the European Union; 2) to
abort further consideration of U.S. congressional genocide resolutions by
creating the false impression that Turkey is already reconciling with
Armenians; and 3) to drive a wedge not only between Armenia and the
Diaspora, but more importantly, to split the Diaspora itself. On a personal
note, because of the above-mentioned concerns, this writer has turned down
all invitations for meetings with top Turkish leaders. Such meetings could
be meaningful only when the Turkish government is seeking honest dialogue
with Armenians.
The Turkish Consul General in Los Angeles, Engin Ansay, has been tasked
with the launching of these deceptive initiatives in Southern California.
He has been wooing a few members of the local Armenian community by
inviting them to private luncheons and briefings at the Turkish Consulate.
Regrettably, this handful of misguided Armenians have fallen into his trap
of false rapprochement. One would hope that these individuals would see
through this Turkish ploy and extricate themselves from it forthright.
Last month, Consul General Ansay showed his true colors when he lashed back
harshly and undiplomatically at the Armenian community on the eve of April
24. This is an unbecoming behavior for a Turkish official who has the rank
of an Ambassador and has served in many important diplomatic posts around
the world. The Turkish Consul General's offensive message was in response
to a letter from Steven Dadaian, who had written to the consulates of
various countries in Los Angeles, on behalf of the 91st Anniversary
Commemorative Committee, inviting them to attend the annual commemoration
of the Armenian Genocide in Montebello, California.
Dadaian received the following rude reply from Consul General Ansay, who
sarcastically said that he would like to attend the Armenian Genocide
commemoration in order to "address the gathering with regard to the first
genocide of the 20th Century initiated and committed against millions of
Muslims and Turks by Armenian forces armed and trained by Czarist Russia
during the First World War."
Hopefully, the Turkish Consul General's insulting reply would open the eyes
of the gullible Armenians who were mistakenly led to believe that they were
helping "reconcile" Armenians and Turks by cultivating a personal
relationship with the official representative of the Turkish denialist
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2 - Public Invited to AGBU's Centennial
Celebration on May 7 in Pasadena
PASADENA, Calif. - The Armenian General Benevolent Union Southern
California District will be celebrating the organization's 100th
anniversary with a celebration event on May 7, at 5 pm, at the AGBU Alex
Manoogian Center in Pasadena under the auspices of Archbishop Hovnan
Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese.
Governor George Deukmejian, California's 35th governor and a dedicated
member of the AGBU, will give the evening's English keynote address.
Assadour Guzelian, a prominent intellectual from London, will speak in
Armenian. The event will feature performances by violin virtuoso Haroutune
Bedelian accompanied on the piano by Dr. Lorna Griffitt, and the prominent
Glendale Hamazkayin Koussan Choir led by Professor Ara Manash and
accompanied by the well-known pianist, Lydia Teluntz. Anahid Nercessian and
Ruben Teluntz will also perform. Dr. Mihran Agbabian, Maral Kojayan and
Alec Pezeshkian will present the participants. A reception will follow the
The AGBU is a leader in Armenian education, cultural, humanitarian and
youth-oriented activities worldwide. The historic anniversary milestone
will be celebrated throughout 2006 by the organization on an international,
national and regional level with year-long activities, festivities and of
course, continued philanthropy. Presently AGBU is headquartered in New York
City. One of the most vibrant and active regions of the AGBU is in
Southern California. Its local activities include the AGBU
Manoogian-Demirdjian School in Canoga Park and the soon to be inaugurated
high school in Pasadena, chapters in San Fernando Valley, Orange County and
San Gabriel Valley, cultural activities such as the Ardavazt theatre and
dance groups, the Generation Next program, "Hye Geen" women's group, the
Young Professionals, AYA Youth Association as well as sports and scouting
The Glendale Hamazkayin Koussan Choir, founded by Manash forty years ago,
is the oldest and most sought after Armenian choir in the community.
Koussan, under Manash's leadership, has performed extensively for Armenian
as well as general audiences. The key of their success has been the high
caliber and talent of the singers.
Manash was born in Romania and is a graduate of the Bucharest Musical
Academy, having received his degrees in professorship and conducting. He
has been on the musical staff at the "House of Creative Arts" in Bucharest,
at the same time serving as conductor to the Armenian Cultural Home
Ensemble and the Gomidas Choir. In addition to conducting, teaching and
lecturing, Maestro Manash has composed and arranged many Armenian and
non-Armenian songs. He was invited by Vazken I, Catholicos of All
Armenians, to conduct the Holy Etchmiadzin Choir in Armenia. He has
received numerous honors In recognition of his talent and services to the
Armenian community and the people of Los Angeles which include the Saint
Mesrob Mashdotz Medal with a Gontag from Catholicos Aram I, of the See of
Cilicia; a special Certificate of Recognition from the City of Los Angeles;
and the Highest Medal of the Hamazkayin Armenian Cultural Association, from
its Central Committee.
The members of the AGBU Centennial Celebration Committee - the organizers
of the event - are chairman Haig Messerlian, Tomik Alexanian, Ara Babayan,
Sonia Babayan, Yenovk Balikian, Arda Deramerian, Samuel Ilanjian, Hermine
Janoyan, Angele Karayan, Karnig Karayan, Cecile Keshishian, Avedis
Markarian, Dr. Guiragos Minassian, Varteni Yerjanian and artistic director
Krikor Satamian, with Vahe Imasdounian, Chairman of the Southern California
District Committee. Additional support has been contributed by Shake
Toumayan, Manoug Satamian, Nercess Yerjanian and Barkev Azadian.
The AGBU Alex Manoogian Center is located at 2495 E. Mountain Street,
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3 - Publisher Zarakolu Faces 13-Year Sentence
If Found Guilty by Turkish Court Proceeding
By Erol Onderoglu
ISTANBU; (BYA) - In addition to a number of cases launched against him over
the past years for his publishing activities, Belge Publications owner and
journalist Ragıp Zarakolu now faces up to 13.5 years imprisonment if found
guilty for printing and distributing the Turkish translations of two books
related to Armenians in Turkey.
Zarakolu appeared in court once again, this time on trial for the Turkish
language publication of Prof. Dora Sakayan's book "Garabed Hacheryan's
Izmir Journal: An Armenian Doctor's Experiences, " and George Jerjian's "
The Truth Will Set Us Free: Armenians and Turks Reconciled."
The prosecution demands 7.5 years imprisonment for the Turkish translation
book "The Truth Will Set Us Free" for which the court has assigned Korkmaz
Alemdar and Cafer Yenidogan of the Galatasaray University and Prof. Dr.
Emin Artuk of Marmara University as expert witnesses. They are to read and
analyze the book for an expert report.
"Garabed Hacheryan's Izmir Journal: An Armenian Doctor's Experiences"
promises Zarakolu up to 6 years imprisonment if he found guilty of the
charges but the court decided this week that statements taken were
fulfilling and an additional expert witness report was not required for
this publication.
Appearing before Istanbul's number 2 Court of First Instance on Wednesday
and defended by attorney Osman Ergin, Zarakolu submitted a petition to the
bench where he explained that author Sakaryan was a lecturer at the McGill
University in Canada and that his book put on trial in Turkey had been
translated into nine different languages.
Zarakolu said Sakaryan had been honored by the German Presidency for his
eminent services in recognition to 50 years of his contributions to the
German language.
He said that Sakaryan was author of the most comprehensive work on the
"Western Armenian" spoken in Turkey and requested the court to interview
the author for his views.
Judge Sevim Efendiler adjourned the case until June 21.
Zarakolu faces six years imprisonment for the Turkish translation
publication of Sakaryan's book on grounds that he violated the law by
publishing context that "degraded Turkism" and "insulted and ridiculed the
He faces 7.5 years imprisonment for Jerjian's book on charges of "insulting
and ridiculing the State and Republic" as well as "insulting the memory of
The two consecutive hearings were held in the presence of International PEN
representative Eugene Schoulgin, International Human Rights Federation
(FİDH) deputy chairman Akın Birdal, Pencere publications executive Muzaffer
Erdogdu, Aram publications editor Fatih Tas and author Oner Eyuboglu who
attended the court in support of Zarakolu.
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4 - Armenian Assembly Merges
Trustees and Board of Directors
WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to streamline the effectiveness of the
organization, Armenian Assembly Trustees added their support to the merger
of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors into one governing
The approved merger was announced during the Assembly's Annual Trustees
Meeting, led by Chairman Hirair Hovnanian, in Washington, DC last month.
Nominating Committee Chair Van Krikorian reported that an overwhelming 90
percent of Assembly Trustee Members voted to approve the historic merger.
The vote by the Trustees followed the official approval of the Board of
Directors Members and comes after careful deliberation in which the
Assembly concluded that given the complex issues confronting all of us,
such a merge would provide increased efficiency and greater effectiveness
to best address today's demands and meet tomorrow's challenges.
"We had an outstanding meeting and appreciate the continued support of our
membership," said Hovnanian. "We have important work to do in Washington
for the benefit of the Armenian people and I was pleased to be in the
company of such dedicated activists," he continued.
The merged Board includes the following Members: Hirair Hovnanian,
Chairman; Carolyn G. Mugar, President; Robert A. Kaloosdian, Counselor and
Vice Chair; Edele Hovnanian, Treasurer; Van Krikorian, Counselor; Anthony
Barsamian - Board of Directors Chairman (through June 30th, 2006)/Executive
Committee Member; Lisa Kalustian, Secretary; Joyce Stein, Assistant
Secretary; Lisa Esayian, Executive Committee Member; Jirair Haratunian;
Executive Committee Member; Annie Totah, Executive Committee Member;Peter
Vosbikian, Executive Committee Member; Albert Momjian, Solicitor; Berge
Ayvazian, Daniel Ajamian, Noubar Afeyan, Gerard L. Cafesjian, Lu Ann
Ohanian, Richard Mushegain, and John Waters
Also during the Annual Trustees Meeting, Assembly leaders reviewed
operations in the Washington, Los Angeles and Yerevan offices and discussed
the 2006 operating budget, received updates on legislation pending before
Congress, the ongoing Massachusetts lawsuit, the Mission to Armenia and the
Armenia Tree Project. Having concluded its official business, the Assembly
honored one of its own, outgoing Board of Directors Member Ralph Tufenkian.
Outgoing Board of Directors Chairman Anthony Barsamian thanked Tufenkian
for his longstanding support and commitment to the Assembly and said that
in honor of his service, the Assembly planted 10 trees in Armenia in
Tufenkian's name.
Executive Committee Member Lisa Esayian also presented an award to ARAMAC
State Chair for Kansas Alex Kotoyantz for his grassroots activism and
ongoing work to strengthen the Kansas-Armenia partnership.
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5 - ACC Student Simon Maghakyan
Earns USA Today's National Honors
LITTLETON, CO - Arapahoe Community College (ACC) student Simon Maghakyan,
of Littleton, Col., has been named to USA Today's All-USA Community College
Academic First Team. This honor, co-sponsored by USA Today, the American
Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and Phi Theta Kappa International
Honor Society, was bestowed at the April 24 AACC convention in Long Beach,
Maghakyan, originally of Armenia, received an All-USA Academic Team
medallion and commemorative trophy, as well as a cash award. Annually, 20
students are named to the First Team out of approximately 1500 nominees
from two-year colleges across the nation. The nominees must have a 3.25 GPA
and an extensive record of community and campus activities. Judges
considered how well the students applied their academic and intellectual
skills in the various communities in which they live, work and learn.
While attending the AACC convention, Maghakyan was also the community
college student representative for the State of Colorado and honored as a
New Century Scholar along with 49 other students.
Prior to attending the American Association of Community Colleges
Convention, Maghakyan was recognized as a Guistwhite Scholar at the 88th
Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society Convention in Seattle,
Washington. He was selected to the 20-member group out of 600 applicants.
Maghakyan served as president of ACC's Phi Theta Kappa honor society
chapter during 2004-2005, and is currently leading ACC's Student Leadership
Council. One of his academic successes was the completion, in summer 2005,
of the graduate-level "Genocide and Human Rights Studies" course organized
by the International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies in
Toronto. His participation in the program was made possible by a full
scholarship from Colorado-based philanthropists Kaloust and Arous
Maghakyan will be graduating from Arapahoe Community College on May 13 and
plans to continue his political science studies at a four-year university.
USA Today published Maghakyan's photograph and biography in the April 24
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6 - Fundraiser for Western Diocese's
Mother Cathedral Set for May 20
LOS ANGELES - Excitement reigns high as the Mother Cathedral Fundraising
and Celebration Gala of May 20 nears. This significant event is an
opportunity for all the Armenian faithful to participate in this historic
The Diocese, under the auspices of Primate, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian,
will host an evening of celebration at the Arshag and Eleanor Dickranian
Complex in Burbank, beginning with a reception at 7 p.m. in the Galleria,
followed by dinner in the Nazareth and Sima Kalaydjian Banquet Hall.
Under the Chairmanship of Antranik Zorayan, the members of the committee
comprised of distinguished members of the Armenian community, have been
working for approximately two years to meet the formidable challenge of
raising funds for the Mother Cathedral.
The primary objective of the May 20 fundraiser is bring the amount
collected thus far to a level that will enable the Diocese to launch the
construction of the Mother Cathedral.
The committee announced that Hovig Krikorian's voice and songs will ensure
the night to be an evening of celebration.
Dr. Varoujan Altebarmakian, Chair of the Diocesan Council, will serve as
Master of Ceremonies for the gala.
The construction of the first and only Mother Cathedral of the Western
Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America will soon become a reality
since its inception 107 years ago. The Mother Cathedral will further
strengthen the bridge between the Diaspora and our Motherland Armenia and
As "Together We Build" the foundation of our community and instill wisdom
and pride within our youth, we also continue the work of the late
Catholicos Khrimian Hayrig which began in 1898. At that time with his
Encyclical he called upon a handful of immigrants to organize this Diocese.
the construction of the Mother Cathedral will be a new momentum in the
history of the Western Diocese.
Attendance to the banquet is by invitation only.
For your invitation, contact the Diocesan Office at 818-558-7474.
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7 - Boyajian Helps Promote Sister Universities
Between US, Taiwan, Mainland China
EL MONTE, Calif. - George R. Boyajian, the chairman of the United States
Pacific Rim Chamber, is working closely with Prof. Paul Pai of Cal State
University, San Bernardino, and Deputy Director of the Taipei Economic and
Cultural Office in Los Angeles, to recruit students from Taiwan and
Mainland China to study English and Business at CSUSB.
Their goal is to promote student and professor exchanges between Taiwan and
universities in the United States.
"We shall continue to assist wholeheartedly in the creation of Sister
Universities with various provinces in Taiwan and Mainland China," Boyajian
Upon finishing their courses at CSUSB, many students return to their
homeland and successfully enter into hotel management.
In addition, US Pacific Rim Chamber has been working with the Confucius
Institute, based in Beijing, China.
The Institute, Boyajian said, focuses on Chinese language and international
business. The Chinese language course will be specifically oriented towards
economics and trade. The institute will use existing classrooms in US
universities and colleges to implement the new program.
Initial funding will come from the Beijing Confucius Institute, whose
immediate goal is to create 15 Confucius institutes in 2006 in the US and
30 additional ones in 2007.
Boyajian noted, "The cooperation we have received from Cal State
University, San Bernardino and the Taiwan Economic office has been
Taiwan's Chen observed that Taiwan is the 8th largest trade country and
entrepreneurs flourish throughout the country, and noted, "We hope to
build, ever strongly, the friendly relations we have with the United
States, especially in the areas of culture, economics and trade."
UCUSB Professor Pai is an expert in English literature and international
trade and management studies. In addition, he has successfully implemented
Sister Universities like state-run Gaoxiong Science and Technology
Institute of China and the Taiwan Science and Technology Institute.
For more details, contact US Pacific Rim Chamber at (626) 527-5854.
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8 - Armenian History
Book Translated
Into Spanish
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Armenian-American historian George Bournoutian's
"A Concise History of the Armenian People" has been translated into
Considered by many to be the best textbook and one-volume reference on
Armenian history, the work places the history within the global historical
The volume titled "Historia Sucinta del Pueblo Armenia (Desde la antiguedad
hasta la epoca actual) was translated by Mariet Flores Tiravanti de
Margossian, and was published by the AGBU of Argentina with the financial
support of Vera Nazarian in honor of her parents. The book can be obtained
from the AGBU bookstore.
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9 - AAREA Organizes
Candidate Forum
May 8 in Glendale
GLENDALE - The Armenian American Real Estate Association (AAREA) has
organized a Candidate Forum on May 8 for the State Assembly's 43rd
district. The 43rd district covers the cities of Glendale and Burbank as
well as Los Feliz, Silverlake, Atwater and North Hollywood areas of City of
Los Angeles.
The candidate Forum will take place at the Glendale Pacific Community
Center auditorium from 6:30 to 8:30 P.M.
Candidates participating at the forum will be: Democrat Paul Krekorian, the
President of the Burbank School Board.;
Republican Michael Agbaba, Environmental Safety Consultant; and
Libertarian, Steve Myers, Computer Engineer.
The primary election is scheduled for June 6, with the general election set
for November 7, 2006.
The public is encouraged to attend this free civic event and participate in
the democratic process.
For additional information, contact Zaven Khanjian, AAREA President, at
(818) 507-5071
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