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Eurovision Contest Inflames Regional Rivalries

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Earlier this month Armenia announced that it would not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest scheduled to take in Baku from May 22-26. This is not the first time Armenia and Azerbaijan—and to a certain extent, Turkey—have clashed over the song competition. Armenia’s latest decision, however, elicited responses from Azerbaijani and Turkish officials. Turkey’s EU Minister Egeman Bagis, told journalists, “We would like Armenia to stay away not from Eurovision, but from Karabagh. I think they should revise their decision.”

The Eurovision 2012 Logo

Asked whether he knew of the appeal sent to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) by Armenia to reconsider the location of the contest, Bagis said he was not aware of such a move, and added that Azerbaijan’s right to host the event could not be disputed. Azerbaijan’s Ell and Nikki came first in Eurovision 2011, earning Azerbaijan the right.

“Azerbaijan is already a respected factor in the international arena. It’s a member of the United Nations. This country respects international law and is directed to democracy. No country has [a] right to deny it,” added Bagis.

Eurovision in ‘dark place’

In a March 19 article titled “Eurovision: Light Entertainment in a Dark Place,” The Independent newspaper questioned the choice of Azerbaijan as a host country in light of Baku’s “abysmal” human rights record of the country, the “authoritarian measures” adopted by its rulers, and the “beautification” efforts that have led to the eviction of thousands of citizens in Baku. The article cited criticisms from the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, and added that this year’s contest “could be the most controversial Eurovision since it was held in Franco’s fascist Spain.”

Azerbaijani officials have argued that their country is on the path to democracy, and that no opposition members or journalists are imprisoned as a means to suppress freedom of speech. “No one outlaws freedom of speech [in Azerbaijan],” said Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. Yet, human rights organizations strongly dispute this assertion. When asked whether Armenia-Azerbaijan relations would suffer as a consequence of Armenia’s withdrawal from the contest, Mammadyarov criticized the “politicization” of the event. “The Eurovision Song Contest should not be politically exploited and especially not in this conflict,” he said to the German press.

Armenia explains decision

On March 7, Armenian Public Radio (APR) informed the EBU that Armenia would not be participating in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, explaining that “it would make no sense to send a participant to a country where they would be received as an enemy.”

APR went on to say that anti-Armenian statements made by Azeri officials, including a recent comment by President Ilham Aliyev, had created an atmosphere where one “cannot ensure equal conditions for all singers participating in Eurovision.”

Aliyev had posted the following on the presidential website: “Our main enemies are Armenians of the world and the hypocritical and corrupt politicians that they control… Members of some parliaments, certain political figures, etc. who live on the money of the Armenian lobby.”

The executive supervisor of the contest, Jon Ola Sand, expressed his disappointment on behalf of the EBU. “Despite the efforts of the EBU and the host broadcaster to ensure a smooth participation for the Armenian delegation in this year’s contest, circumstances beyond our control led to this unfortunate decision,” he said.

Anti-Armenian sentiments

The shooting of an Armenian soldier on the Azeribaijan-Armenia contact line in February had already brought a rise in tensions before the APR’s announcement. Armenian performers had also issued a statement calling for a boycott. “We refuse to appear in a country that is well-known for mass killings and massacres of Armenians, in a country where anti-Armenian sentiments have been elevated to the level of state policy,” read a statement signed by 22 musicians, including 3 past Eurovision contestants.

Anti-Armenian sentiments from the top-level is frequently highlighted in the media. One often-cited incident is the elevation of Ramil Safarov to the level of national hero. (In 2004, during the NATO Partnership for Peace program in Budapest, Hungary, Safarov, an Azerbaijani army officer, axed his Armenian counterpart to death.) In August 2011, during a speech marking Azerbaijan’s 20th anniversary of independence, the head of Azerbaijan’s Presidential Administration’s political analysis department Elnur Aslanov told over 400 youth, “The victory in Eurovision Song Contest, wins of Azerbaijani athletes and the fact that sons of Azerbaijan like Mubariz Ibrahimov and Ramil Safarov did not kneel down before the enemy give special spirit to Azerbaijani youth.”

Conflict spillover

Despite Azerbaijan’s expressed distaste for mixing politics with a kitschy music competition, a much different tune was heard from the oil-rich republic as recently as in 2009. That year, Azerbaijani authorities tracked and interrogated dozens of citizens who had dared to vote for Armenia’s entry, the Inga and Anush Arshakyan sisters. Called to police stations, 43 citizens had to justify their vote and affirm their allegiance to their country. Also that year, the EBU found that the Azerbaijani broadcaster Ictimai Televiziya had intentionally distorted the TV signal to blur out the telephone number during Armenia’s performance. Similarly, during the 2010 Junior Eurovision, Baku authorities were accused of taking the live broadcast off air when it became clear that Armenian Vladimir Arzumanyan would win.

In 2010, when then 22-year-old Eva Rivas sang “Apricot Stone” during the national selection process, a Turkish composer claimed the song’s first seven lines had a political message—that it was about the Armenian Genocide, and that “motherland” referred to lands under Turkish control. The story appeared in numerous Turkish and Azerbaijani newspapers, such as the Anadolu Ajansi (Anatolian News Agency), the Azeri Press Agency, CNN Turk, and Radikal. Rivas and her producer said the lyrics in question“Many, many years ago / when I was a little child / mama told me you should know / our world is cruel and wild / but to make your way / through cold and heat / love is all that you need…”were about love and peace, and about the diaspora yearning for the homeland.

Eurovision bans songs that have a clear political message. In 2009, Georgia’s representatives were instructed to change the words to “We Don’t Wanna Put In” which, they believed, took a jab at Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Georgia, in turn, withdrew from the contest, which was held in Moscow.

Last year, Azerbaijani newspapers accused Armenia of stealing the “Azerbaijani national dance,” the kochari, when it was featured in Emmy’s performance. In 2009, the media attacked the Inga and Anush sisters for “stealing” an Azerbaijani song titled “Nakhchivan.”

Armenia has also used the song contest as a platform to highlight its position, irritating Azerbaijan. For instance, in 2009 an introductory video that aired before Armenia’s semi-final performance showed the “We Are Our Mountains” monument located in Karabagh. Infuriated, Azerbaijani representatives complained to EBU officials, and the scene was deleted from the video. Armenia did not give in easily, however. As Sirusho, Armenia’s 2008 contestant, read Armenia’s 2009 votes, she repeatedly flashed a large image of the monument—taped to the back of her clipboard—as another screen shot of the controversial monument was displayed brightly behind her.

This most recent decision is not the first instance of Armenian competitors refusing to travel to Azerbaijan. About a month ago, 29-year-old Grandmaster Levon Aronian, one of two top chess players in the world, notified the World Chess Federation (FIDE) that he would not compete in the Candidates Tournament for the World Championship if Azerbaijan were to host the games. Aronian said that being in a hostile atmosphere would have an adverse effect on his mental capabilities, and would rob him of his “peace of mind.” In a Feb. 2 letter, he wrote, “No circumstances, if they are not chess-related, should prevent the grandmaster from demonstrating all of his skills. Unfortunately, at this moment no Armenian can find [a] favorable or adequate psychological atmosphere in Azerbaijan, whereas that is something absolutely necessary. In my opinion, all the participants should be in equal conditions, which is impossible in case of holding the tournament in Azerbaijan. Security guaranties and any kind of additional support cannot be a remedy.”

67 Comments on Eurovision Contest Inflames Regional Rivalries

  1. Azerbaijan is already a respected factor in the international arena. It’s a member of the United Nations. This country respects international law and is directed to democracy. No country has [a] right to deny it,” added Bagis.

    Oh really Bagis??? can you even spell Azerbaijan to begin with Bagis befor you speak of democracy, respecting International law (liar liar pants on fire) and respected factor in theinternational arena????

    So Bagis believes no country has a right to deny the above, yet Azerbajian openly denies Artsagh’s people to decide how they want to live on THEIR OWN LANDS.. hypocrite to the last fiber…

    Turkey and Azerbajian are comedies.. jokes.. and yet with their fake everything they try to pull a wool over world’s eyes.. have not figured how that can happen to this day..

    • “yet Azerbajian openly denies Artsagh’s people to decide how they want to live on THEIR OWN LANDS.. ”

      Even Armenia doesn’t recognize NKR as an independent nation, what do you expect from Azerbaijan?

    • and you think Armenia has the power to just get up and recognize it RVDV?? you are viewing matters with oversimplified manner RVDV..

      Azerbajian can go to hell if you ask me.. they are as worst as the Turkish govt

    • and you think Armenia has the power to just get up and recognize it RVDV?

      Yes, yes I do. Stop feeling sorry for yourselves, Armenia isn’t that powerless.

    • RVDV,

      You are right that Armenia has not recognized the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR) but Azerbaijan did even though they scream otherwise. They are similar to their Turkish brothers in that regard-they sign treaties/agreements when they have no choice, and if it does not suit them they do not ratify/comply what they have signed.

      Can anyone explain me what does it mean for Azerbaijan to sign a ceasefire agreement with Armenia and NKR? As you know, Heydar Aliev singed a ceasefire agreement with Armenia and NKR in 1994. How can you sign a ceasefire agreement with a country you do not recognize? Does that make sense?

      It is not a good idea for Armenia to recognize NKR now. Armenia should have recognized NKR right after the war.

    • {“Even Armenia doesn’t recognize NKR as an independent nation, what do you expect from Azerbaijan?”}

      RoA is very smart not to recognize NKR de jure : it will be worth zero on the International level and will bring a lot of unnecessary headache. No benefit and lots of problems.
      Turkey’s recognition of self-declared TRNC has resulted in zilch: nobody else in the world cares. And certainly Turkey has far more pull on the International scene than RoA. (yeah, even Azerbaijan has not backed up their Turkic buddies in recognizing TRNC: so there you have it – Realpolitic)
      (NOTE: no historical equivalency between NKR and TRNC; just the recognition issue)

      I don’t think either NKR or RoA realistically expect Azerbaijan to recognize NKR.
      What is expected is for them to honor the cease-fire that Azerbaijan asked for in 1994 and signed with NKR (RoA cosign).
      What is expected is they stop killing NKR border guards for no reason other than to kill Armenians for joy.
      What is expected is they stop interfering in NKR’s internal affairs; like threatening to shoot down civilian passenger airplanes slated to fly between Yerevan and Stepanakert.

      Things like that.

    • “RoA is very smart not to recognize NKR de jure : it will be worth zero on the International level and will bring a lot of unnecessary headache.”

      Why would it bring headache? If Armenians, as you say, are the rightful owners of those lands, then the international community should support it.

    • RVDV.. no one is feeling sorry .. where the hell did you get that???

      If you think it is that easy with the situation Armenia is, why don’t you go and propose that…..

      Better yet.. why don’t YOU propose Azerbaboons to take their claws out of our lands…..

      how about that??

    • and maybe Armenia does not want to recognize it just yet RVDV… Azeris can’t even keep their dirty paws off of the land/people even after they signed the cease fire… killing people for no reason other than joy…

      but you know what strikes me? RVDV’s very subtle ways to derail the spotlight away from Azeris or Turks and put it back on Armenians.. hmmm. this is not the first time he did this..

    • “Better yet.. why don’t YOU propose Azerbaboons to take their claws out of our lands…..”

      Isn’t that why a WAR was fought? Why would I propose, when Armenia could have DICTATED that when the ceasefire was made?

      ” you think Armenia has the power to just get up and recognize it RVDV?? ”

      So Armenia can win a war in which they were outnumbered by Azeri forces, YET, Armenia does not have the power to recognize a country/territory born out of the war? What exactly is your definition of power?

      Sella,

      Yes, Armenia should have recognized NKR immediately.

      Avery: “I don’t think either NKR or RoA realistically expect Azerbaijan to recognize NKR.”

      Of course Azerbaijan won’t do such a thing, but Armenia won the NKR war. They WON. Couldn’t Armenia have forced Azerbaijan to recognize it? I’m not diverting the topic here, I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that Armenia would just let NKR go unrecognized. It makes no sense to me. Didn’t Armenia set out to end Azeri aggression in NK, and free it? How free is an unrecognized state? You’re right, the Turkish “liberation” as we call it meant nothing to Turkish Cypriots. They’re more isolated then ever now. Heck, they could have been in the EU now.

    • avatar Random Armenian // March 28, 2012 at 11:30 pm //

      Regarding all this discussion of Armenia not recognizing NKR, now or at the end of the war, what role does Russia play in this? Are they pressuring Armenia to not recognize? Russia benefits the most from the current unresolved state. What is the wording of the 1994 ceasefire? Does it say anything about Armenia holding off on recognition? How is NKR identified as an entity in it?

  2. avatar Random Armenian // March 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm // Reply

    “Azerbaijan is already a respected factor in the international arena [ thanks to oil money going towards bribing foreign officials and governments ].”

    Mr Bagis, I fixed your incomplete sentence for you.

  3. Shnorhavoroutiunner tser katchari hotvadzin hamar.

    Gartatsi nayev tser gensakragane.

    Hayrenik shapataterti pajanort yenk yev dignotches Therese-i hotvadznere louys

    dessen. Khempakroutian dzanot yenk “VOSKEDAR” hradaragtchagan anounov.

    Hatchoghoutiun. . . . .

  4. “We would like Armenia to stay away not from Eurovision, but from Karabagh”

    ha ha ha .. i am not an AKP voter but i like the way this man talks .. :)

    and ..i remember Nanore last year saying :

    “Altough Armenia stayed behind -as did its neighbour Turkey…”

    Nanore, you still have same mentality ?

    • That was impressive Necati.. you actually was able to put two words together to create a sentence…but unfortunately the sentences still made no sense AT ALL… as idiotic as always..

  5. APR went on to say that anti-Armenian statements made by Azeri officials, including a recent comment by President Ilham Aliyev, had created an atmosphere where one “cannot ensure equal conditions for all singers participating in Eurovision.”

    Aliyev had posted the following on the presidential website: “Our main enemies are Armenians of the world and the hypocritical and corrupt politicians that they control… Members of some parliaments, certain political figures, etc. who live on the money of the Armenian lobby.”

    For the above two paragraphs:

    I say, if Armenians had such control their efforts would be more successful. Their opponents and their supporters have greater influence around the world that defeat Armenian interests.

    I think the Eurovision contest can be made to work for the Armenians. By not going no one is going to miss Armenia. If Armenians choose to participate, it creates the opportunity to present and make more public worldwide Azerbaijan’s frictions and short comings…

    • It is not worth the time and efforts on this one my friend.

      Eurovision is not on top of our well received and prestige rewards around the world… so by not going, it won’t hurt Armenia as much as if was for a more heavily weighted event..

      So i would keep our people out of that God aweful place… i fear for their safety….

      Gayane

  6. avatar john the turk // March 28, 2012 at 5:56 am // Reply

    GayaneH and Nanore

    I do not understand you guys.You complain that Azerbaboon is ruled by a dictator thus it isn’t a democracy but completely forgetting that the current undemocratic regime is only helping your cause. I would certainly keep quite otherwise, How comes a democratic country allows an enemy to occupy its land for more than 20 years ????

    • Yahya the Turk…

      You will never get us my denialist friends because your brain does not work the way ours do.. yours have been tinted with hate, denial and misinformation.

      in addition, Who are referring when you say how “how comes a democratic country allows an enemy to occupy its lands for more than 20 years?”

      you are not referring to the fake country Azerbyebyejan are you???

    • That is the problem. Karabakh/Artsakh does not belong to Azerbaijan. It was an autonomous region within Azerbaijan in Soviet times. Karabakh held a referendum and received her Independence from Soviet Union along with Armenia and Azerbaijan.
      Case closed.
      You think that Armenians should sit around and see how Turks/Azeris are endlessly swallowing Armenian lands and our people’s life? 70% of Armenians live outside of Armenia thanks to Turks. 90% if not more our ancestral lands are occupied by Turks. Not going to happen again. How do you like those numbers?

      How come that Turkey is illegally occupying North Cyprus and, you Turkish and Azeri citizens, are just fine with it?

    • Sella jan.. it is pure adulterated hypocracy.. that is what we are talking about when it comes to Turks and Azeris who cry wolf everytime someone nudges them but when they take away innocent people’s lives and their lands and livelihood, they immediately lose their memory about that.. funny how aweful they really are…

  7. avatar john the turk // March 28, 2012 at 6:03 am // Reply

    “We refuse to appear in a country that is well-known for mass killings and massacres of Armenians, in a country where anti-Armenian sentiments have been elevated to the level of state policy,” read a statement signed by 22 musicians, including 3 past Eurovision contestants”

    Why not try to pass a resolution in USA and France regarding the Eurovision competition? It would certainly fit your way of thinking

  8. It seems to me Armenia can benefit from a “zero problems with neighbors” policy immensely!

    • it seems to me Denialist Turks can benefit from accepting the undeniable historical fact of the Armenian Genocide first – before they haughtily dispense vacuous advice to Armenians.

      People who deny the Armenian Genocide have mental issues: last thing we need is advice about anything from them.

    • Murat.. i think you got it wrong in your messed up head…

      It is not Armenia tha will benefit zero problems with neighbors policy as Armenia does not have ANY problems with her neighbors..HOWEVER, TURKEY on the other hand does.. hmmmmm are we talking about a simple memory loss or simple stupidity??

    • I agree that Armenia does not have a problem with Turkey, neither Turkey with Armenia. It is the Diaspora who has many problems with Turkey.

  9. john the turk
    “How comes a democratic country allows an enemy to occupy its land for more than 20 years ????” This john the turk is a real joke.
    Azerbaijan lost those lands to its own Armenian citizens, the Karabaghti’s, because of its aggressive, anti-democratic and genocidal policies against them. If Azerbaijan was in a state not to “allow” those lands to be “occupied” by its rightful owners, it would not wait a minute. It probably knows too well that any crazy act of leashing a new war can only lead to loss of more lands.

  10. Murat:

    Do you really believe Turkey has zero problems with her neighbors? I hope you’re not serious…

    If you think Armenia can benefit from this “policy”, why won’t your government open the borders, lift the illegal blockade, and establish normal diplomatic relations with Armenia?

    • Apparently in their own messed up world, Turkey is the perfect child.. well of course in their denialists eyes Turkey can do no wrong. they have no issues or problems with their neighbors… this is why these people are clueless about the real world.. they are living in their made up messed up denialists worlds… so Iam not surprised at all about how they think, what they say and what they believe…

      It is sad really…

    • Berch,

      “Do you really believe Turkey has zero problems with her neighbors?” I

      What Turkey can realistically say is that she has zero neighbor without problem. This is a typical Turkish dirty diplomacy to twist facts 180 degree. That’s how Turks have been living their 1000 years in Asia minor.

  11. avatar Van Armenya // March 29, 2012 at 1:29 am // Reply

    It is ENFLAMES not INFLAMES.

    • avatar Van Armenya // March 29, 2012 at 1:41 am //

      Actually, inflames is OKAY! Both are correct. I always say ENFLAMES (OLD ENGLISH FROM FRENCH)

  12. avatar john the turk // March 29, 2012 at 4:05 am // Reply

    Arsghag
    You mean that Turkey has been training the Azerbaijan Army for a long time. They couldn’t learn a trick or two?

  13. avatar gaytzag palandjian // March 29, 2012 at 10:41 am // Reply

    A Jogad leader(group of freedom fighters head) when war was on in Artsakh(NK) had mentioned that at a given point of time he,with a few other jogads could have entered Nakhijevan and LIBERATED that Armenian land as well…but LTP,it appears ,prompted by an unknown power(could it be power ruled by Gorbachev?) had not allowed it…
    You see, sometimes powers have a say in such critical moments,because they have other appraoch to such issues.As example:- he must have thought it a bit inciting to great turkey to enter into the conflict…

  14. All things considered, I think Armenia should participate. When Azeris show their belligerence, it only wins points for us, both morally and in the area of public opinion. By not attending we gain nothing. We should hold our heads high and not be intimidated by bullies.

    • Boyajian,

      Can Azerbaijan assure us that our Eurovision participants will be safe in a hostile country called Azerbaijan? How can we be sure that an Azeri “hero” will not secretly go to our participants room and slaughter them at night? I know that they have mentioned that our participants’ saftey will be granted, but since when we have started trusting Azeriturks?

    • No: they did right thing. I am proud of the clear-thinking patriotism of our countrymen and women.

      The decision was made right after Azeri snipers killed an Armenian officer at the LOC. Azeris regularly kill Armenian troops on the LOC, despite having asked for and signed a Ceasefire in 1994.

      We collectively raised our voice in the Diaspora on behalf of Zaruhi. The rat that killed her was jailed. (10 years: max under the law for manslaughter)
      Yet nobody seems to be bothered that young Armenian men are killed regularly by Azeris during a regime of ceasefire.

      Apparently lives of young Armenian men – 18,19,20 y.o. – are not valued very highly by some in the Diaspora.
      Men are expendable. No big deal. Why not go and have fun in Baku, when somebody’s son just got killed on orders from Baku ?

  15. Boyajian,

    I agree with you. However, do we have a guarantee that the Armenian participants will be safe? If Azeri belligerence goes too far, which is not unlikely, participation may cost somebody’s life. Even if we score points in international public opinion, is it worth it?

  16. avatar gaytzag palandjian // March 31, 2012 at 2:24 pm // Reply

    Boyajian!!!
    What you write above,would be acceptable if …..we had (Armenia had)more or less an adversary that does not SHOW their Enmity(animosity is it?).
    They do not desereve to have our artists go and endanger their lives…there,just to show the ¨others¨, sya Russians and all other Europeans and Americans, Africans eta l that we are NOT like them…
    They simply must be shunned.We should not excercise like them-is this perhaps what you mean to convey- enmity expressed and go on covertly continuing killing our soldiers on the porder. And/or our office r in sleep….with an AXE.
    These `people simple do not deserve our being their attentive-not to say kind-towards them.
    I believe I have said enough.
    Barev Hasgcoghin…
    P.S. Question is not like you say ¨we gain nothing¨.
    Gain? We started their oil wells in BAki century ago with our engoineeers architects and Armenian capitalists investing them. They were just coolies,porters and at best plain workers or head wokers.
    is that the appreciation from them ? Sumgait and kirovakan killings-.
    They HATE US!!!! unerstnad that!!!!
    We can be non committal. that ´s all.Forget they are there until they attack then we give it to them properly!!!!

  17. I’m clearly in the minority here and I honestly can’t argue against the practical concerns of my passionate friends. But the idealist in me wonders what our intrepid forefathers would do. Haven’t we Armenians always dealt with enemies? Isn’t it in our nature to defy attempts to intimidate us? Aren’t we in the right? Are we really safe staying within our borders (which our neighbors try to encroach on regularly)? Do we make a strong statement by not going or do we make a stronger statement by going and asserting our right as members of the larger European community to participate without threat from hostile and belligerent neighbors? These are the questions that I ask myself and the answers are not so easy for me.

    • I agree with you in an idealistic sense, but I agree with the others that if a President of a country publicly announces you as enemy no.1, you shouldn’t go to said country for a song contest. On the other hand, what if Armenia went to Azerbaijan and won? What if an Armenian singer waved the Armenian flag in victory in Baku? Or even just find a way to incorporate the Armenian colors in the presentation of the song. Would that not bring satisfaction or put a smile on Armenian faces? Image the look on Ilham Aliev’s face…..

    • RVDV– here is the thing… Armenia is already a winner but on paper, they WILL NOT win because the contest is in Azerbaboons soil and this contest is very heavily inclined by politics….. so your suggestion of having Armenia winning is not feasible given the situation.. and you think Azeris are going to allow Armenian participants freely wave our Flags colors and display such demos in their songs/presentation? it is good to suggest it but not going to cut it.. Armenia does not need Azerbaboons or any Eurovision to show our talents… The world is aware of our talents… missing ONE year of not participating in Eurovision won’t make or break anything.. There are going to me other song contest and Armenia will participate.. just not in this hell where anything can happen.. ONCE our participant leave our soil and go to Azerbyebyejan, there is no guarantee he or she will be safe.. period…

      So there is no IF.. Armenia should not participate period…Having taken such steps is not a matter of being cowardly.. it is being smart about not putting your own life in danger knowingly…

      Gayane..

  18. I like to see Armenia is participating in Eurovision as usually does, but what troubles me is, who is going to take the responsibility for guaranty the safety and unharmed return of the participants from in the midst of wolves.
    Can we trust the Azeri government after all we being going true?

  19. RVDV
    These Eurovision contests have long become politicized and, realistically, no one would allow an Armenian singer, for political considerations, to win in Baku and, moreover, wave the Armenian flag. Be real… I personally prefer beating azerbaboons on the battlefield again rather than risking lives at dubious singing competitions.

  20. avatar john the turk // April 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm // Reply

    Serko
    Why call Azerbaboon? Why not Azerbaijan? Why not Turkeybaboon? Why call Turkey?

  21. Boyajian
    I respect your arguments, but in this case I am inclined to support the decision not to participate. A precautionary act should not be mistaken with being intimidated.

  22. I respect the opinion of those who agree that Armenian should not participate in the Eurovision contest in Azerbaijan and I can see their point Just for the record, I did not mean that we were intimidated, but that we should defy attempts to intimidate us. Subtle difference. I can see the wisdom in the decision to not attend based on a desire to protect our artists from being sent into a den of waiting wolves AND to protest the bellicose actions of the Azeris. But I can see merit to the other side of the argument as well.

  23. What kind of backward country persecutes its own citizens for voting for an Armenian artist like the Azeri’s did last Eurovision?

  24. “Aliyev Calls Armenians Fascists at Euronest Meeting”
    http://asbarez.com/102098/aliyev-calls-armenians-fascists-at-euronest-meeting/

    This is the main reason for Armenian non-participation: not the supposedly “being intimidated” reason – Not to give an opportunity for the psychopathic racists in Baku to use the occasion of the presence of Armenians for another one of their hatemongering Anti-Armenian tirades.

    One thing we can be 100% sure: no RoA citizen or Artsakhtsi is genetically capable of being intimidated by Azeri mobs. Take a look at some archival pictures of Armenian warriors (men and women) during the 1988-1994 war standing around, talking shop. See if you can detect anything other than supreme self confidence and total lack of fear or even concern, with Azeri columns just over the hill poised to attack.
    (Here: even an Armenian Grandma does not know the meaning of the word ‘intimidation’: http://laviesouffrante.tumblr.com/post/4936642526/106-year-old-armenian-woman-guarding-her-house )

    Let us not insult our brothers and sisters in RoA. As was noted above, they did the eminently patriotic thing, after a brother Armenian officer was killed by Azeris at the LOC. Let me repeat: the decision was made as a direct response to another unjustified, wanton killing of an Armenian soldier by Azeris.
    How could they possibly go to Baku and celebrate when one of our/their own was just killed on orders from Baku ?

    And finally regarding the pronoun “we”, as in “We should hold our heads high and not be intimidated by bullies.”
    Since the writers of these posts are not the ones placing themselves in (hypothetical) danger, no Armenian who himself or herself is not personally going to Baku has the right to criticize those who don’t.

    • avatar Boyajian // April 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm //

      Avery, I certainly am not criticizing anyone who decides not to put themselves in harms way or not to engage with Azeri warmongering. Sorry if I gave this impression. I just shared another viewpoint and didn’t intend to judge anyone. I tried to explain above my intent in the use of the word intimidation and my own struggle with the issue of what is the best response to Azeri provocation. I find no fault with those who think we should not go but I can also make a case for going. Again, it is thankfully not my decision, and I understand and respect the reasons for not going.

    • avatar Boyajian // April 3, 2012 at 7:50 pm //

      On the pronoun “we:” I get your point, but I also proudly count myself among the family of Armenians everywhere and feel a ‘we-ness’ with my brothers and sisters in Hayasdan. That’s all that was meant by that.

  25. john the turk
    Why call yourself a sacred Christian name of John and not, more appropriately for you, Yahya? Why call Armenians “bastards” as recently on Taksim square?

    • serko,

      1. i explained this before but again: There were a million people at Taksim commemorating Khodjali Genocide. The banner saying : “you are all ermeni, you are all bastards” was not for real ermenians. it was for some so-called Turks saying “we are all ermeni” thus who are not sure their fathers were , .

      2. dont be so obsessed with names. There are many ermenians still having Turkish surnames.

    • LOLLLLLLLLLLLLL..wow.. Necati Bey is explaining what the banners meant.. ESPECIALLY when he/she is the epitomy of ultra nationalist denialist and does not understand what it means to act like a human being….. aboslutely hillarious…

      Necati.. if you are so keen in translating and explaining what things mean as you usually do… would you mind explaining why your ancestors murdered 1.5 plus counting million Armenians and wiped out close to 85% of the Armenian population in the time frame of 1894 to 1909 to 1915 ..was it because they were REAL ermenies and REAL ermenies were the enemies??

    • Gayane,

      i could also reply to your assertions but i wont…since i know you will censor me if i do.

    • Necati Bey.. thank you for taking me as someone who can do such things as censor you..but that is AW’s power and not mine..if it was up to me, i would not allow you on our pages because you owe several apologies to several posters including me for: disrespecting their family members specifically a grandparent, acting like a genocidal physco by threatening, and simply lying by cutting and pasting partial statements and presenting in the most negative way to different audience… but then again.. your presence is sort of beneficial because you and your ilk truly show the outside reader what TUrkey produced and continue to produce.. so no skin off my nose if you are here speaking nonsense.. better for us..

      So that said… i asked you a question.. if you say you know it all as Turks are superior race and the rest simply need to look up to see the moon (as you graciously wrote in your previous posts to boast about your existance), why don’t you answer my question..

      “would you mind explaining why your ancestors murdered 1.5 plus counting million Armenians and wiped out close to 85% of the Armenian population in the time frame of 1894 to 1909 to 1915 ..was it because they were REAL ermenies and REAL ermenies were the enemies??”

  26. avatar john the turk // April 4, 2012 at 3:53 am // Reply

    Serko
    No one called Armenians bastard in Istanbul. Get the facts right. The word that was used for those Turks saying “We are all Armenians” It had nothing to do with Armenians whatsoever. Either they didn’t translated the word properly or there is no equivalent in English.
    I am sure from now on, Turks who said “we are all Armenians” can not go out and say the same. If they do, they will become laughing stock of their relatives and friends. This was really an effective banner.

  27. {“But here is the worst part: The interior minister of the Justice and Development (AKP) government, İdris Naim Şahin, also joined the rally. He gave an inane speech about how the 21st century will supposedly be a “Turkish century,” and, most crucially, he said nothing to the fascists around him whose posters insulted all Armenians by calling them “bastards.”}

    MUSTAFA AKYOL, ‘Insulting Armenianness’. Hurriyet Daily News March 3, 2012.

    I am sure Mr. Akyol reads, writes, speaks, understands Turkish fluently, being educated and a man of words.

    • mr. avery jan,

      mustafa akyol knows nothing.. i was there , i know what it meant…

    • Genis.. aka Necati… you know nothing my notorious denialist ….that is the problem…

  28. Avery
    Peculiar, to say the least, Turkish mentality as we know it: “The word that was used for those Turks saying ‘We are all Armenians’ had nothing to do with Armenians.” No comments…

  29. And another pearl of Turkish mentality: “The banner saying: ’you are all ermeni, you are all bastards’ was not for real ermenians.” Besides contextual nonsense, note the spelling of “Armenians” and collocation “real ermenians”. It’s like to say that by stating that “the Turks were, upon the whole, from the black day when they first entered Europe, the one great anti-human specimen of humanity” British prime-minister William Gladstone didn’t mean “real Turks”.

  30. Necati:

    Khojaly event is mostly referred to as Khojaly Massacre or Battle of Khojaly or Khojaly tragedy. If you really want to comprehend what the Genocide is, look into the history of your own nation and its atrocities against Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians of the Ottoman empire.

    A recorded testimony of a Khojaly survivor, Salman Abasov:

    “Several days before the [Khojaly] tragedy, the Armenians told us several times over the radio that they would capture the town and demanded that we leave it. For a long time helicopters flew into Khojaly and it wasn’t clear if anyone thought about our fate, took an interest in us. We received practically no help. Moreover, when it was possible to take our women, children out of the town, we were persuaded not to do so.”

    Think about these words and with the strength of your Turkish mental capabilities try to figure out whether the event really constituted a genocide in the classic and legal understanding of the term, such as the world knows mass extermination of the Armenians by the Turks.

  31. Noted is an advice from necati the Turk: “don’t be so obsessed with names. There are many ermenians still having Turkish surnames.” Note the absence of a single word as to why would many Armenians living in Turkey change, Turkify their surnames. Not a word… So typically Turkish, as we all know it. No comments…

  32. avatar john the turk // April 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm // Reply

    Avery
    If you go out and ask 100 people in istanbul, I am sure they will confirm me.

  33. I think it’s aliyev and their paper money from oil bills they have all the possiblyity of bringing peace within armenian and its own borders but htey fail to see their rejection of Christ and their hate towards other people of other races incuing georgians u might think only they have, a problem with armenians georgians claim armenian lands even tho ancient wise some of those r more georgian azeri claims are not benificial to truth so I think Azeries you should turn the tables to your hatred towards others

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