(Saturday, September 6)
Writing ahead of the Armenia-Turkey football game, “168 Zham” says “nothing can cast shadow on the historic significance of the match.” “Even protests against [Turkish President Abdullah] Gul planned by Dashnaktsutyun,” says the paper. “Though it is not clear, to say the least, against whom those protests will be directed. Against Turkey or the president and national interests of Armenia?”
“There is no doubt that the Dashnaks have the right to hold demonstrations, pickets, and other protest actions,” comments “Hayk.” “But it would be highly logical if they did all this after leaving the governing coalition.”
But “Aravot” believes that Dashnaktsutyun’s protests are “right and useful in principle.” “Dashnaktsutyun is needed for such things,” editorializes the paper. “Furthermore, points contained in that party’s statement reflect the reality. Turkey does not recognize the genocide, keeps Armenia in blockade, tries to force us to give up the pursuit of genocide recognition and Karabakh. Hardly anyone in Armenia would deny this indisputable truth.” It’s just that not all Armenians are ready to take to the streets to express their feelings about Turkey, says the paper.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that Gul’s security in Yerevan will be ensured not only by the Armenian police and other security forces but 50 Turkish bodyguards and commandos, including eight snipers. “Armenian and Turkish police groups have jointly drawn up all routes of Gul’s movements in Yerevan,” says the paper, adding that the Turkish president will be riding in his own limousine flown from Ankara.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the Armenian police have opened a criminal case against two pro-opposition journalists accused of contempt of court. Gohar Vezirian, a correspondent for “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun,” and freelance photographer Gagik Shamshian allegedly insulted a judge during the ongoing trial of opposition leader Smbat Ayvazian.
“Aravot” reports that the Armenian government has submitted to parliament draft legal amendments that would prolong the de facto ban on the independent TV station A1+ by two more years. Under those amendments, the National Commission on Television and Radio will not be able to hold fresh tenders for broadcasting frequencies until July 2010. The paper notes that the commission was due to hold such tenders this October amid renewed Western pressure on the Armenian authorities to allow A1+ to resume its broadcasts. It quotes the A1+ chief, Mesrop Movsesian, as condemning the measure.