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Tuesday 8 July, 2008 - Anatolia News Agency, Turkey - A Turkish court in Istanbul began on Monday the first open hearing of Turkish-Armenian journalist's assassination case.
This is the sixth hearing at the Istanbul Criminal Court regarding the case of assassination of Hrant Dink, the editor-in-chief of Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos.
Monday's hearing is the first one to be open to the press and other people who want to observe it. The former five sessions were closed to the press since suspect GIBRAHAYER e-magazineO.S. was a juvenile.
Nineteen suspects, eight of whom are in prison, are tried in the case.
A member of European Parliament of Turkish origin said before the hearing that those who were countering racism and discrimination were standing beside each other today.
"The democratic, secular, bright and European Turkey case, backed by Hrant, is not over yet," parliamentarian Cem Ozdemir said.
Ozdemir also said that those who killed Hrant Dink were those who did not want such a Turkey.
Dink was shot dead outside the offices of his Agos newspaper in Istanbul in January, 2007. Police arrested the gunman and a suspected associate who was identified as Yasin Hayal.
The trial began in July 2007. Prosecutors have asked for a prison term of 18 years up to 24 years for Dink's assassin, and lifetime sentences for two key suspects, Erhan Tuncel and Yasin Hayal, for inciting to the murder.


GIBRAHAYER e-magazineJuly 2008 - Brussels - (Financial Mirror) - Turkey was found guilty last Tuesday in the European Court of Human Rights, in two cases of young Greek Cypriots who were murdered in August 1996 during two separate demonstrations in the buffer zone separating the Turkish-occupied areas from the rest of Cyprus.
Anastasios Isaak was lynched by a mob of Turkish soldiers and Turkish Cypriot policemen and other Turkish and Turkish Cypriot extremists belonging to a nationalist group called "Grey Wolves".
Solomos Solomou was shot dead at short range, by Turkish soldiers when he attempted to climb up a Turkish flag pole in the buffer zone.
The Court unanimously ruled that Ankara is guilty of violating Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights in respect of the killing of Anastasios Isaak and Solomos Solomou.
The Court also ruled that Turkey is guilty of violating Article 2 in respect of the failure to conduct an effective investigation into the circumstances under which Anastasios Isaak and Solomos Solomou were killed.
Under Article 41 (just satisfaction) of the Convention, the Court awarded 80,000 euros to Anastasios Isaak’s widow for pecuniary damage. In respect of non-pecuniary damage, the Court awarded 35,000 euros each to Anastasios Isaak’s widow, his parents, and to Solomos Solomou’s father, and also 15,000 euros to each of Isaak’s and Solomou’s siblings. The applicants in both cases were also awarded 12,000 for costs and expenses.
The two applications were filed to the Court by the families of Tasos Isaak and Solomou Solomou.


Asbarez - Thursday, July 3, 2008 (Combined Sources)--In a bid to bring Azerbaijan back into its energy orbit and cement Russia's hold over Caspian Sea energy, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev signed on Thursday a declaration of friendship and strategic partnership with Azerbaijan, which contained an unusually explicit statement of support for Azerbaijan's stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict.
"The two sides underlined the importance of a speedy resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of respect for.. sovereignty, territorial integrity and the inviolability of a state's borders," said the declaration, which was penned during talks where Aliyev described the reoccupation of Karabakh as "national goal No. 1."
"We are grateful to Russia for this position," Aliyev said after talks with Medvedev.
Azerbaijan agreed later Thursday to discuss selling gas to Russia, a prospect that could undermine a Western-backed project to bypass Russia and ship fuel from the Caspian Sea region directly to Europe.
The announcement was made by the head of Russia's gas giant Gazprom on the first day of President Dmitry Medvedev's regional tour aimed at securing Russia's role as the main link between Caspian and Central Asian gas and Europe.
"In the course of talks, Gazprom and Azeri colleagues decided to start talks on the conditions for buying Azeri gas," Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told reporters in Baku after Medvedev's talks with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev.
Russia is one of the world's largest gas producers but it needs to import the fuel from its ex-Soviet neighbours to cover its own needs and export gas to lucrative European markets.
Most of the gas from ex-Soviet states around the Caspian Sea flows into Russia's pipeline network. A push by the European Union and United States to court those states and build alternative export routes has alarmed Moscow.
Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said Russia was seeking a long-term contract with Azerbaijan and was ready to buy as much gas as Baku was willing to sell. Medvedev and Aliyev said more bilateral contracts were possible in the future.
Medvedev spared no effort to win the heart of Azerbaijan, a gas producer and a potential host of a trans-Caspian pipeline linking Central Asian fields and Europe.
"Azerbaijan is our strategic partner with whom we are linked by history and special kind of relations," Medvedev said in a statement after talks with Aliyev.
Russia, which brokered a ceasefire of the conflict in 1994, has a history of manipulating the Caucasus for its geostrategic gains. In the early stages of the conflict Moscow backed Azeri efforts to ethnically cleanse Karabakh's Armenian population. In the early 1920s, Stalin placed the Armenian enclave within Soviet Azerbaijan, in a move to tighten Moscow's grip over the Soviet Armenian Republic.
Although the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic gained its independence from Azeri rule at the collapse of the Soviet Union, Baku is vowing to restore its control over the historically Armenian territory by any means necessary, including an all out war.
Thursday's developments come as an increasingly belligerent Azerbaijan continues to undermine the legitimacy of the current Nagorno-Karabakh peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group.
In recent months, Azerbaijan has used diplomatic alliances to gain support for its territorial integrity doctrine by a number of international bodies, including the United Nations General Assembly. It has also been raising allegations in the Minsk Group and the Council of Europe against Armenia's position regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process, claiming that an “Armenian occupation of Azeri lands” hampers the peace process. Official Baku has also hinted at its willingness to seek the dissolution of the OSCE's Minsk Group.
In the past few years Baku has been using its energy supplies to leverage its position in the Karabakh settlement process by embracing Western-backed energy projects including an oil pipeline to the Mediterranean built by a BP-led consortium, and a second link that pumps gas from Azerbaijan to Turkey.
Azerbaijan's BP-operated Shakh Deniz gas field will, at least initially, supply all the gas for Nabucco pipeline--an EU backed project to reduce dependence on Russian supplies.
Nabucco's backers also want Central Asian Turkmenistan, which has one of the world's biggest gas reserves, to feed its gas to Nabucco through a projected trans-Caspian pipeline.
Russia, which has struck a deal with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to upgrade the Soviet-era network of export pipelines to Europe last year, seeks to persuade Turkmen leaders against seeking alternative routes.
Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan are another two stops of Medvedev's trip which will last until Sunday.


According to a report entitled "Eight remanded in custody" in Hurriyet (06.07.08), eight of 21 suspects who were detained on 1 July in connection with an investigation into allegations about Ergenekon, a controversial organisation accused of plotting against the Turkish government, have been released while 11 were remanded in custody. In an article entitled "The missing page of coup diaries," Taraf (06.07.08) columnist Yildiray Ugur excerpts passages from speeches delivered in a meeting organised by the Kemalist Thought Association and various universities, trade unions, and non-governmental organisations at the headquarters of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce on 3 March 2004. He points out that the meeting was attended by the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and some journalists, businessmen, and academics who were recently detained in connection with the Ergenekon investigation. A report entitled "I am a victim of terrorism" in Hurriyet (06.07.08) quotes Mustafa Balbay, chief of Cumhuriyet's Ankara bureau who was released yesterday after he had been detained in connection with the probe, that he feels like being a victim of terrorism. He said: "I do not want to mislead the public by making a detailed statement about the incident. I saw that the public prosecutor felt it necessary to seriously examine all allegations. But, it would not be appropriate for me to go into details." A report entitled "Bar association cautions against prolonged waiting periods at courthouse" in Milliyet (06.07.08) quotes Ozdemir Ozok, President of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, as criticising judicial authorities for keeping suspects at courthouses for periods exceeding 24 hours which, he argued, constituted a violation of human rights. In an article entitled "We must be cautious about polarisation," Milliyet (06.07.08) columnist Fikret Bila warns that the Turkish public is rapidly heading for polarisation which mainly revolves around secularism and national unity. Accusing politicians of fuelling polarisation and escalating tension, he comments: "The closure case against the AKP and the Ergenekon investigation as well as recent detentions is exacerbating polarisation and tension among the public. Turkey must find a way out of this process before it plunges into chaos." In an article entitled "M.O. keeps secrets," Sabah (06.07.08) columnist Ergun Babahan says that former Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz provided detailed information about relations between Osman Gurbuz who is called "Ergenekon's hit man" and security forces in his testimony before a parliamentary committee set up in order to investigate the Susurluk case. Babahan goes on to say: "It means that there is not a fictitious organisation which has been fabricated. There is a crime organisation formed by some government officials which was confirmed by a former prime minister and the same crime organisation has emerged on the scene again in order to carry out another mission. This is not a struggle taking place only within the boundaries of Turkey. It is actually an international arm-wrestling." A report by Toygun Atilla in Hurriyet (05.07.08) details the three false news reports, described as the "three cosmic bubbles," which have been circulating since the detention of 21 suspects within the framework of the Ergenekon investigation a few days ago. The report adds that based on information obtained from security officials who are conducting the investigation, the four million documents seized so far do not contain any information on the "7 July chaos day" as has been claimed by the various dailies. The second false report concerns former AKP deputy Turhan Comez, who was reported to have escaped from the country through illegal channels or to have been in hiding in Turkey. The report states that Comez left the country for London legally aboard a Turkish Airlines flight on 7 June. Reports to the effect that retired Brigadier General Kadir Ali Esener was detained within the scope of the investigation also proved to be false when Esener himself issued a denial from his house. In an article entitled "There is a link between Ergenekon and Neocons", Vakit columnist Hasan Karakaya cites passages from a speech delivered by Michael Rubin whom he describes as one of the leading figures among neocons in the United States in an international symposium organised by the Turkish General Staff and asserts that there is a link between the neocons and the members of Ergenekon as well as some generals who, he asserts, is linked to that organisation. Under the banner headline "Ergenekon Planned To Assassinate Chief Public Prosecutor," Zaman carries a front-page report which says that a document about a plan to stage a coup which was reportedly found in retired Gen. Eruygur's office indicated that the Ergenekon devised a four-phase plan in order to interrupt the Turkish democracy by carrying out armed attacks, including an attempt on Yalcinkaya's life.


Hasmik Mkrtchyan, Reuters - Thousands of opposition supporters marched through the Armenian capital on Friday and vowed to hold a month-long series of protests to demand the resignation of President Serzh Sarksyan and new elections. The opposition accuses the authorities of ballot-stuffing and intimidation in the February 19 election which official results show was won by Serzh Sarksyan, an ally of outgoing president Robert Kocharyan.
His main challenger, former president Levon Ter-Petrosyan, was placed under house arrest after the vote and violent clashes followed on March 1 in which nine people died.
The protesters, supporters of opposition challenger Levon Ter-Petrosyan, chanted "Levon! Levon!" and "Levon is president".
A Reuters reporter at the scene estimated the numbers of protesters at up to 5,000 and said there were few policemen seen around the march.
"In the course of July we must maximise the mobilisation of the people to prepare for a meeting on August 1," Ter-Petrosyan said at a meeting before the march. "That means carrying out mass meetings, pickets, sit-ins."
"From August 1 our slogans will be the resignation of Serzh Sarksyan and new elections," he said.
Nine people died in fighting on March 1 between protesters armed with iron railings and soldiers wielding batons and firing rubber bullets. Seven protesters died and two members of the security forces.

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Gibrahayer - Nicosia Wednesday July 9, 2008 - The match between Cypriot football champions Anorthosis - a refugee club from Turkish occupied Famagusta - and Armenian Champion Pyunik's for the first round of the qualifications of the Champions League has been moved from Wednesday 16 July to Tuesday 15 July, with the return match being played in Yerevan a week later.
The Cypriot team strongly protested the change.
Pyunik (formerly HMEM) were founded in 1992 and have won a record of ten Championships, three Cup titles, and five Armenian Supercups.
Anorthosis were founded in 1911. They have 13 championship titles, ten Cup titles and they have won the Super Cup trophy 6 times.
Anorthosis stunned the football community three years ago when they ousted Turkish champions Trabzonspor (3-1, 0-1). Throughout the week, Anorthosis officials were secretly eyeing round two against Rapid Vienna.

Read the rest of the draws of the Armenian teams in the Sports section of the e-magazine


News in Brief - by Sevag Devledian

* The 10,000 Drams' air fee collected from air passengers leaving Armenia in the country's airports will be incorporated in airfare. The respective law is expected to be passed by the country's parliaments by the end of this year.
* Serzh Sarkisian met his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul Saturday on the sidelines of an international celebration marking the 10th anniversary of the Kazakh capital of Astana. The meeting, being termed a "courtesy meeting," came two days after Sarkisian extended an official invitation to Gul to Armenia for the September soccer match between the two national teams. Gul spoke briefly with Sarkisian and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev at the Akorda Presidential Palace. Gul walked with the two leaders for a while. During the walk, Sarkisian reportedly started the conversation by saying, "I know Turkish," in Turkish. However Aliyev assisted their conversation, acting as a translator.
* Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, is in Turkey for extensive talks with Turkish politicians, seeking to keep up-to-date with both the government and opposition, and to reduce tensions that erupted after the organisation “endorsed Armenian claims,” reports the Turkish Daily News. “We continue to oppose a resolution that would contain the word genocide,” Foxman said. “Armenia and Turkey need to solve this, not in a political forum such as Congress or parliaments,” he said, but added that the “Jewish community does not deny the suffering of Armenians.”
* Reports indicating that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly last week passed a resolution supporting Turkey's denialist position on the Armenian Genocide are distorted and false, stated Armenian OSCE delegation member Armen Ashotyan. The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's resolution on the formation of commissions of historians to normalise relations between the OSCE member states mentions neither Armenia nor the Armenian Genocide, he explained.
* Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will present the insignia of Officer of the Order of Canada to Charles Aznavour, who, as a singer, composer and actor, has helped establish important cultural ties between French-speaking communities in Canada and other countries.
* Serzh Sarksyan has invited his Turkish counterpart to visit Yerevan for a football match in September, marking a shift in relations between the two states which have no diplomatic ties. Armenia and Turkey will play against each other in the Armenian capital Yerevan on September 6 in a Qualifying match for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which will be held in South Africa.

Sports - by Sevag Devledian

* FC Ararat and FC Banants will face Bellinzona (Switzerland) and Salzburg (Austria), respectively in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Cup. The first-leg matches of these teams are scheduled for July 17.
* FC Mika Ashtarak failed to progress to the second round of Intertoto, to win slots in the main UEFA Cup tournament.
* According to the latest FIDE rankings (as of July 1), three Armenian chessmen are among the 100 top players of the world. Levon Aronyan is in the 12th position, Vladimir Hakobyan 45th and Gabriel Sargsyan 61st.
* Tens of thousands of community members flocked to Birmingham High School Sunday to attend the closing ceremonies of the 33rd Annual Homenetmen Navasartian Games, in which more than 4,000 athletes participated.

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Letters to the Editor
Dear Simon,
Having heard the shocking news about the passing away of our Nareg English teacher Lillian Gulesserian, I can't help remembering the tremendous impact she had made on me, and a large number of people at Nareg.
She was a real revolutionary, who brought to Nareg a new air of change and improvement in the style of teaching and in the teacher-student relations.
She was certainly ahead of her times. We are forever grateful to her. May she rest in peace.
Vahan Aynedjian. Class of 73
Dear Simon,
I read the wonderful letter by Gregory Megerditchian in the Gibrahayer E-Magazine and was very touched by his letter. I would appreciate it if you could forward him the attached email.
Also, a great big thanks for the wonderful e-magazine. It is a wonderful tool to keep in touch with our beloved Cyprus.

Dear Gregory Megerditchian,
Thank you for your thoughtful words of our sister Lillian. Her fondest memories of her teaching days were those in Cyprus. She loved each one of you and often spoke of all the funny, clever, silly things the students did in class. She always thought you would be very successful in life and I am so glad that you proved her right.
Keep up your good work and thanks again for your wonderful words. It is comforting to know that she was appreciated by her students. Please know that she had just as many fond memories of you.
She will be sorely missed.
Yola (Gulesserian) Pakhchanian - Washington, DC, USA
Born to Harout & Sevan Der Bedrossian-a boy-Ardash Levon (Ardo)-on June 26 at Papageorghiou & Papapetrou Clinic-Nicosia,weighing 3.025 kg. Asdvadz bahe

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Gibrahayer Calendar

* Every Wednesday 9:00pm - BINGO Night is back at AYMA. Come and win super prizes in a family environment. If you want to begin the night with the delicious specialities of Hamo, please call him on 22499889 for dinner arrangements.
* Every Saturday from 7:00 pm - midnight - Marie Louise (vocals) and Armen (guitar) perform at The Golden Bay Hotel Bar in Larnaca
* Every Thursday (starting from 17 July) and every Sunday after 10:30 pm - Hovig (vocals) and Argyro (piano) perform at Pralina Bar on Stasikratous Avenue in Nicosia
* 16 July - 3 August - The Armenian Blue Cross of Macedonia and Thrace (Armenian Relief Society - HOM Greece) like every year is organising a Summer Camp for Armenian Youth. Participation is open for juniors between the ages of 8-16, and is set for 300 euros. Sign up with Armenian Relief Society "Sosse" Cyprus Chapter Committee members by calling Lilly Hovsepian 99354552 and Isgo Guevherian 22494536. A special rate for 15 passengers has been arranged and will be given out on a first come, first serve basis.
* Sunday 27 July - Commemoration of Khanasori Arshavank and Operation Lisbon in Troodos at the Picnic Ground of Loumata Ton Aeton, by the ARF Dashnaktsoutiun Cyprus Gomideh and affiliate organisations. Speaker of the Day: To be announced. Cultural program by the AYF.
* 13-27 July in Yerevan -Hamazkayin Forum for Armenian students will take place in Yerevan. Cyprus participants should contact Raffi Mahdessian on 99441588
* 18 – 25 July in Aghavnatsor - "Hayasdanaknatsoutiun" - ARF Dashnaktsoutiun's Badanegan Panarmenian Summer Camp at Aghavnatsor Homes (55 km from Yerevan) Price 280 dollars. Eight-Day educational program filled with excursions, discussions, games. Open to youth from 14-18 years old. For additional information contact Levon Sarian on 99409988–sarian at cytanet dot com dot cy


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