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South Caucasus


regarding the publications of Armenian News Agency Panarmenian and Russian News Agency Regnum

Caucasus Center of Peace-Making Initiatives
Within the project “Dialog”: Azerbaijan – Armenia – Turkey, a journalist Alekper Aliev, culturologist Elmir Mirzoev and a political correspondent of “The New Anatolian ” newspaper Nursun Erel were in Yerevan from November 27 to December 7. They held a Master-class for young journalists of Armenia.

The entire process of Master-class was open both for Mass Medias and for public. The leaders of Master-class submitted their reports and gave a series of interviews.

During the stay of the journalists from Azerbaijan and Turkey in Yerevan, scandalous distortions and disinformation were made by the Armenian PanARMENIAN News Agency and Russian REGNUM News Agency:

1. In her interview for PanARMENIAN News Agency in 29.11.2006, Nursun Erel’s views and opinions concerning all questions were completely distorted and misinterpreted. After the publication of the interview, Caucasus Center of Peace-Making Initiatives (CCPMI) and the Turkish journalist on behalf of Nursun Erel applied to the editorial staff of PanARMENIAN News Agency claiming to refute the facts and argumentations used in the publications. The facts and argumentations mostly concerned Armenian-Turkish and Azerbaijan-Turkish relations. We were denied in the refutation of the information. Nursun Erel was suggested to “edit” at the back date already published and duplicated interview texts in other Mass Medias. The Turkish journalist refused flatly such a non-professional proposal. Nursun Erel wrote “Appeal to PanARMENIAN editorial staff”, which CCPMI sent this appeal to the address demanding from them to publish it. After this the file with the interview of Nursun Erel was removed from PanARMENIAN News Agency website. The text with the appeal of Nursun Erel to the editorial staff of PanARMENIAN is attached to the present application.

CCPMI states that the publication of refutation of the information might be the only possible way to solve the problem, which was not done by PanARMENIAN. In this regard we are condemning the non-professionalism of the position of agencies which can be regarded as disrespect for readers and other Mass Medias which make use of the information of the agency.

At the present moment the distorted and misinterpreted information about the position of Nursun Erel is cited in a series of other Mass Medias. As for the interview text it is contested and disputed on all points by the Turkish journalist and the complete text thereof is posted in REGNUM News Agency.

2. In the announcement made in 29.11.2006 by REGNUM News Agency entitled “The arrival of Azerbaijan journalists in Armenia surprised the Georgian frontier guards”, the interpretation of the direct speech of Elmir Mirzoev was completely distorted (CCPMI has a dictaphone recording at its disposal).

CCPMI states not only the dilettantism of an unknown correspondent of REGNUM News Agency, but also condemns the practice to give out the wishful thing for a real one, thus, replicating the slandering disinformation related to the vulnerable sphere of a public dialog between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

At the same time it should be pointed out that the Master-class project is aimed at enhancing the sphere of informational exchange among the three countries, creation of conditions for collaboration between journalists and the activation of the activity in the destruction of an enemy’s image.

CCPMI is confident that the interest in the project displayed by the student-journalists and the listeners of Master-class, as well as the leading Mass Medias of Armenia who highlighted the arrival of their colleagues from Azerbaijan and Turkey, will serve as a basis for their further collaboration at the professional level.

CCPMI is confident that the representatives of Mass Medias of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey will contribute to the Armenian-Azerbaijan and Armenian-Turkish beneficial public dialog, thus, minimizing the politicized speculations on the existing problems.

Georgi Vanyan
Chairman of Caucasus Center of Peace-Making Initiatives
Yerevan, December 10, 2006


of Nursun Erel, the editor of political correspondent of «The New Anatolian»,
an independent commentator of «TRT Radio 1»

I am happy to be in Yerevan, although here I understood that journalists can indeed have terrible headaches because of misunderstandings with the interview.

I am not that kind of person who clings to words and I consider the events of 1915 indeed very tragic. But there are still many centuries of mutual, peaceful co-existence of Turkish and Armenian nations. The Armenian public has to be able to see the centuries that proceeded the events of 1915 when each of nations suffered colossal losses with which I am still very much concerned about.

I think that the proposal of the prime minister of Turkey to create a joint commission is a very positive and rational step. I wonder why historians and specialists must not discuss jointly their problems? But unfortunately due to the denial received from the Armenian side, this possibility “slipped through our fingers”.

We, the representatives of Mass Medias of Turkey, very negatively treat Article 301 of Constitution Charter. However, our problem does not only concern the lack of possibilities to discuss the Armenian Question. We are also deprived of this possibility and other problems which we aren’t able to discuss freely on account of this article. That’s the reason why we insist that it be amended. As for Nagorno Karabakh, in my opinion it is also a great tragedy. Should Armenians abide by the resolutions of U.N.O. adopted for this conflict, then I think that Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia will breathe again with relief.

On the first day of my arrival in Armenia, I was shocked by one incident. The rector of Yerevan State University prohibited me to meet with the students of the faculty of journalism who wanted to meet me very much. He (rector) thinks that I can recruit the Armenian students? When I told about it to Vardan Oskanyan he couldn’t restrain himself and burst into laughter. He said that the rector had acted incorrectly. And where is the freedom of word in Armenia in this case?

There was another problem about which I felt deceived and offended. That is when the word “Genocide” was arrogated to me and with capital letters. Everybody knows that I always and everywhere use the word “tragedy”. This is my personal opinion and if anybody doesn’t agree with me, then I think they’d better not interview me and after this they usually distort and misinterpret my words. After all, all Mass Medias transmit this term “Tragedy” from my lips. I wonder why only one news agency misinterpreted my words.

I am dreaming of the day when our nations will be able to solve their problems through dialogs and we will succeed in avoiding “unhealthy” and abnormal relations.

In the end I wish to point out that the closest friends of my grandfather and my aunt in Sivas were Armenians who taught me to knit …

Sincerely yours

Nursun Erel
December 2, 2006