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General Status Updates/News of Our Website

Armenian National Institute Website Available in Spanish

The Luisa Hairabedian Foundation of Argentina Joins ANI in Launching Website

WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Institute (ANI) announced the launch of the Spanish version of its widely-consulted website on the Armenian Genocide. The creation of the Spanish ANI site follows upon the earlier successful launch of the Turkish language version of the site.

The ANI website contains extensive records on the history and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide when 1.5 million Armenian Christians fell victim to the Young Turk government policy of mass deportation and annihilation. The Spanish version reproduces ANI’s catalog of official documents from around the world. These records are posted in their original languages, many in PDF format, and can now be accessed in English, Turkish, and Spanish. The leading institutional website on the Armenian Genocide since its inception 23 years ago, the ANI website annually registers more than 7 million hits. Widely consulted by educators and students, the site is also a major source of information in preparation of April 24 commemorative activities utilized by journalists, government officials, and the public.

The ANI Spanish site reproduces many of the most popular sections of the main site: maps, photographs, FAQs, chronology, list of countries, and international affirmation records, including the milestone resolutions adopted by the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate in October and December 2019 respectively.

Countries in the Spanish-speaking world were among some of the first to reaffirm the Armenian Genocide, with Uruguay leading the process as far back as 1965. Most South American countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Brazil recognize the Armenian Genocide. Portuguese-speaking Brazil was joined by Portugal itself whose parliament recognized the Armenian Genocide in April 2019.

“We feel privileged to bring the widely used ANI resource to the attention of the Spanish-speaking world, which has produced some of the greatest champions of human rights around the world” said ANI Board Chairman Van Z. Krikorian. “Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term ‘genocide’ in 1944, cited the Armenian experience as a definitional example. In supporting the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention, the United States in 1951 did the same. In addition, the Armenian Genocide was cited as a precedent in the post-WWII Nuremberg trials. Campaigns to deny and rewrite the history of genocide and human rights violations have led to worse crimes and continue, even today.”

“The lessons those who remember the Armenian and other genocides try to teach relate directly to universal issues of basic human dignity. Genocides start with thoughts and words, build step by step, and culminate with mass scale violence, forced conversions, and similar atrocities. We stand with every person of good conscience to work against such man-made disasters and hope that instructional resources available through ANI can become additional tools for educating about this fundamental area of knowledge,” added Krikorian.

“The ANI Spanish site was created with the support and encouragement of several individuals,” added ANI Director Dr. Rouben Adalian. “I want to thank them for pulling together another chapter in the Institute’s ongoing efforts to educate the public about the Armenian Genocide. Our summer intern Serena Hajjar skillfully embarked on the project. Sonia Arakelian extended editorial support from Mexico City. Federico Gaitan Hairabedian, who heads the Buenos Aires, Argentina-based The Luisa Hairabedian Foundation, an organization dedicated to the cause of historical justice, and the team that he assembled, especially Garine Morcecian and Vilén Ter Gazarian, steered this phase of the project to completion,” added Dr. Adalian.

“Our longtime webmaster Mark Malkasian continues to guide ANI’s digital presence,” continued Dr. Adalian. “Above and beyond managing our Internet presence and seeing to it that the sites’ design makes the difficult subject of the Armenian Genocide easily accessible to the general public, especially to students and teachers, Malkasian continues to oversee making the site presentable in all platforms. As of late, he has overseen the upgrading of the ANI site and has made it even more mobile-friendly. Whichever their preferred platform, ANI visitors will be viewing a more streamlined website with easier access to content,” stated Dr. Adalian.

ANI maintains a broad range of online resources about the Armenian Genocide. The online museum is an interactive site allowing visitors to proceed at their own pace, and includes a very popular introductory video. Several digital exhibits released by ANI since the centennial of the Armenian Genocide cover many aspects of the experience of the Armenian people starting in 1915. The ANI digital exhibits are based on photographic collections from U.S. archival repositories and document the extensive humanitarian intervention of American volunteers, who arrived in Armenia and across the Middle East in the immediate aftermath of the genocide.

“I also want to thank The Luisa Hairabedian Foundation for collaborating with ANI, as well as recognize their many contributions for raising awareness about human rights and the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in Argentina. We appreciate their partnership, welcome their participation in bringing ANI resources to the attention of the Latin American public, and look forward to continuing our collaboration,” concluded Krikorian.

Sitio Web Del Instituto Nacional Armenio Disponible En Espanol

La Fundacion Luisa Hairabedian de Argentina se une a ANI en Lanzamiento del Sitio

WASHINGTON, DC – El Instituto Nacional de Armenia (ANI) anunció el lanzamiento de la versión en español de su sitio web ampliamente consultado sobre el Genocidio Armenio. La creación del sitio ANI en español sigue al lanzamiento exitoso anterior de la versión turca del sitio.

El sitio web de ANI contiene extensos registros sobre la historia y la afirmación del Genocidio Armenio cuando 1.5 millones de cristianos armenios fueron víctimas de la política de deportación y aniquilación masiva del gobierno de los Jóvenes Turcos. La versión en español reproduce este catálogo de documentos oficiales de todo el mundo. Estos registros se publican en sus idiomas originales, muchos en formato PDF, y ahora se puede acceder en inglés, turco y español. El sitio web institucional líder sobre el Genocidio Armenio desde su creación hace 23 años, registra anualmente más de 7 millones de visitas. Ampliamente consultado por educadores y estudiantes, el sitio también es una fuente importante de información en preparación de las actividades conmemorativas del 24 de abril utilizadas por periodistas, funcionarios gubernamentales y el público.

El sitio ANI en español reproduce muchas de las secciones más populares del sitio principal: mapas, fotografías, preguntas frecuentes, cronología, lista de países y los registros de afirmación internacional, incluidas las resoluciones históricas adoptadas por la Cámara de Representantes de los Estados Unidos y el Senado de los Estados Unidos. en octubre y diciembre de 2019, respectivamente.

Los países del mundo de habla hispana fueron algunos de los primeros en reafirmar el Genocidio Armenio, con Uruguay liberando el proceso desde 1965.

La mayoría de los países sudamericanos, incluidos Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela y Brasil, hoy reconocen el Genocidio Armenio. El Brasil de habla portuguesa se unió al propio Portugal, cuyo parlamento reconoció el Genocidio Armenio en abril de 2019.

“Nos sentimos privilegiados de llevar el recurso ANI ampliamente utilizado a la atención del mundo de habla hispana, que ha producido algunos de los mayores defensores de los derechos humanos en todo el mundo”, dijo el presidente de la junta de ANI, Van Z. Krikorian. “Raphael Lemkin, quien acuñó el término” genocidio “en 1944, citó la experiencia armenia como un ejemplo definitorio. Al apoyar la Convención de Genocidio de las Naciones Unidas de 1948, los Estados Unidos en 1951 hicieron lo mismo. El genocidio armenio también fue citado como precedente en los juicios de Nuremberg posteriores a la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Las campañas para negar y reescribir el historial de violaciones de los derechos humanos y el genocidio han llevado a crímenes peores y continúan, incluso hoy en día “.

“Las lecciones que los que recuerdan los armenios y otros genocidios que intentan enseñar se relacionan directamente con cuestiones universales de dignidad humana básica. Los genocidios comienzan con pensamientos y palabras, se desarrollan paso a paso y culminan con violencia a gran escala, conversiones forzadas y atrocidades similares. Apoyamos a todas las personas de buena conciencia para trabajar contra tales desastres provocados por el hombre y esperamos que los recursos de instrucción disponibles a través de ANI puedan convertirse en herramientas adicionales para educar sobre esta área fundamental de conocimiento “, agregó Krikorian.

“El sitio ANI en español fue creado con el apoyo y el aliento de varias personas”, agregó el director de ANI, Dr. Rouben Adalian. “Quiero agradecerles por reunir otro capítulo en los esfuerzos continuos del Instituto para educar al público sobre el Genocidio Armenio. Nuestra pasante de verano, Serena Hajjar, se embarcó hábilmente en el proyecto. Sonia Arakelian extendió el apoyo editorial de la Ciudad de México. Federico Gaitan Hairabedian, quien dirige la Fundación Luisa Hairabedian en Buenos Aires, Argentina, una organización dedicada a la causa de la justicia histórica, y el equipo que reunió dirigió esta fase del proyecto a terminación junto con los voluntarios Garine Morcecian y Vilén Ter Gazarian.

“Nuestro antiguo webmaster Mark Malkasian continúa guiando la presencia digital ANI”, continuó Adalian. “Más allá de administrar nuestra presencia en Internet y velar por que el diseño de los sitios haga que el tema difícil del Genocidio Armenio sea más fácilmente accesible para el público en general, especialmente estudiantes y maestros, continúa supervisando hacer que el sitio sea presentable en todas las plataformas”. Últimamente, ha supervisado la actualización del sitio ANI y lo ha hecho aún más amigable para dispositivos móviles. Cualquiera que sea su plataforma preferida, los visitantes de ANI verán un sitio web más ágil con sus contenidos aún más fácilmente accesibles “.

ANI mantiene una amplia gama de recursos en línea sobre el Genocidio Armenio. El museo en línea es un sitio interactivo que permite a los visitantes continuar a su propio ritmo e incluye un video introductorio muy popular. Las diversas exhibiciones digitales lanzadas por ANI desde el centenario del Genocidio Armenio cubren muchos aspectos de la experiencia del pueblo armenio a partir de 1915. Las exhibiciones digitales de ANI son basado en colecciones fotográficas de repositorios de archivos de EE. UU. y documentar la amplia intervención humanitaria de los voluntarios estadounidenses que llegaron a Armenia y a través del Medio Oriente inmediatamente después.

“También quiero agradecer a la Fundación Luisa Hairabedian por colaborar con ANI, así como reconocer sus muchas contribuciones para crear conciencia sobre los derechos humanos y el reconocimiento del Genocidio Armenio en Argentina. Agradecemos su asociación, agradecemos su participación en llevar los recursos de ANI a la atención del público latinoamericano y esperamos continuar nuestra colaboración “, concluyó Krikorian.

Fundado en 1997, el Instituto Nacional de Armenia (ANI) es una organización benéfica educativa 501 (c) (3) con sede en Washington, D.C., y se dedica al estudio, investigación y afirmación del Genocidio Armenio.

Miami Congresswoman Donna Shalala Commemorates Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL)

South Florida Congresswoman Donna Shalala (D-FL) joined 50 of her Congressional colleagues to issue a statement on April 24th, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.

“Over 100 years ago, my grandparents fled the Ottoman Empire to escape the #ArmenianGenocide”, she posted on Twitter.

Shalala was the only Florida Representative to issue a statement this year. She was also an outspoken supporter of the Armenian Genocide recognition resolution and spoke on the floor of the House during the debate when it passed on October 29, 2019 for the first time in U.S. history.

Armenians around the world commemorate the World War I-era mass killings of 1.5 million of their kin every year on April 24th, when in 1915 the Ottoman Turkish government rounded up and murdered over 200 Armenian intellectuals in Constantinople (Istanbul) marking the beginning of the Armenian Genocide.

U.S. Indicts Turkey’s Halkbank for Illegal Transfer of Billions of Dollars to Iran

By Harut Sassounian

Halkbank, whose majority shareholder is the Turkish government, pleaded not guilty in New York on March 31, 2020, to criminal charges that it helped Iran illicitly transfer tens of billions in dollars and gold, wrote Aykan Erdemir and Philip Kowalski in an essay published on April 3 by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute based in Washington, D.C.

On October 15, 2019, the Federal Southern District Court of New York accused Halkbank of “fraud, money-laundering and sanctions offenses,” alleging that Halkbank and its executives aided Iranian-Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab in a “multi-billion dollar scheme to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran.”

Initially, Halkbank refused to appear in court “claiming that the criminal charges are beyond the U.S. court’s jurisdiction,” Erdemir and Kowalski wrote. However, when “prosecutors proposed escalating contempt fines which could have totaled $1.8 billion after eight weeks,” the bank agreed to respond to the court charges.

Originally, the Turkish and Iranian officials had concocted a scheme to exchange gas for gold to circumvent the U.S. sanctions, by claiming that the gold was headed not to Iranian government entities but to Iran’s “private sector.” Erdemir and Kowalski stated that “the scheme ultimately yielded the Iranian regime some $13 billion in Turkish gold between 2012 and 2013. Once the U.S. Congress introduced legislation to close the ‘golden loophole’ in 2013, Iran used Turkish front companies to issue invoices for fake transactions of food and medicine that fall under the humanitarian exception to U.S. sanctions. In one infamous case of over-invoicing, a Turkey-based luxury yacht company used Halkbank to sell nearly 5.2 tons of brown sugar to Iran’s Bank Pasargad at the price of approximately $240 per pound.”

This scheme was first exposed in December 2013 by Turkish investigators who implicated then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, several of his ministers and other senior officials, including Halkbank’s managers. Erdogan shut down the probe by firing the police officials, prosecutors and judges!

The scandal resurfaced in March 2016 when Iranian-Turkish ring-leader Reza Zarrab was arrested in Miami after he flew to Florida to visit Disney World with his family.

In March 2017, U.S. authorities arrested Halkbank Deputy CEO Mehmet Hakan Atilla upon his arrival in New York. Zarrab pleaded guilty and agreed to testify in court against Atilla. Zarrab confessed that he had bribed senior Turkish ministers and top Halkbank executives. He even implicated Erdogan in the corruption scheme, stating that Erdogan had personally approved the illegal actions.

“Halkbank’s Atilla received a 32-month prison sentence in May 2018, a significantly shorter one than prosecutors had originally sought,” according to Erdemir and Kowalsky. “After Atilla’s return to Turkey, Erdogan rewarded the convicted sanctions buster by appointing him CEO of the Istanbul stock exchange, following the president’s established pattern of rewarding other senior accomplices of Zarrab with cushy appointments.”

Erdogan personally appealed to Pres. Trump and other senior officials to block the court case of Halkbank, claiming that US courts have no right to try Turkish citizens. The Courthouse News Service reported that “One of Zarrab’s shell companies, Royal Holding A.S., listed its address as a 35th floor unit in Trump Towers Istanbul. Before pleading guilty to money laundering, sanctions evasions and bribery, Zarrab retained Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to lead a campaign of shadow diplomacy that echoed the one in Ukraine. Shuttling between Turkey’s capital of Ankara and the White House, Giuliani met with Erdogan, Trump, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and other senior U.S. and Turkish officials in an attempt to negotiate a prisoner swap. The New York Times reported that Tillerson resisted the White House pressure for a deal that would have effectively killed the Zarrab case.”

Erdogan’s and Giuliani’s efforts succeeded in stalling the prosecution for almost two years, but ultimately failed when the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York went forward with the charges last October.”

Senator Ron Wyden, the Senate Finance Committee’s top Democrat, told Courthouse News Service: “It sure looked like Donald Trump was doing the bidding of Erdogan and Giuliani, and there were real questions about whether this was about getting Halkbank off the hook, even though there were allegations that they were orchestrating the largest sanctions evasion scheme in history.”

During President Trump’s Senate impeachment inquiry earlier in 2020, Senators Wyden, Robert Menendez and Sherrod Brown asked a joint question which was read aloud in the Senate by Chief Justice John Roberts: “Has the president engaged in a pattern of conduct in which he places his personal and political interests on top of the national security interests of the United States?”

Wyden told Courthouse News Service: “Donald Trump has significant financial interest in Turkey,” referring to Trump Towers Istanbul. “We read regularly that his family has forged personal relationships with important Turkish officials. And so, you have to ask — which is what is part of our inquiry — whether the Trump policy toward Turkey is in a significant way colored by his personal and political interests and not the national security of the country.” If Halkbank is found guilty of violating U.S. sanctions, the court could impose a hefty penalty, regardless of Tump’s wishes.