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Letter to the Editor of Asbarez
Author: Stepan Sargsyan | Date: 08-05-2009 | Print

I recently read the following article on’s English website titled “Karabakh Leaders Uneasy With Armenia-Azerbaijan Talks”

Being familiar with the anti-Armenian position of on various issues concerning Armenia I was not surprised with the content and tone of the article. What really shocked and disappointed me was the fact that I read the word occupied on Asbarez in reference to Artsakh and its territory, without any special quotation marks or other markings to indicate that it does not represent the view of Asbarez.

Here is the entire quote:

"In particular, it was stressed that the OCCUPIED Azerbaijani territories around Karabakh are, according to the territory’s constitution, a security zone. The Madrid principles, though, envisage the withdrawal of troops from this area."

This sentence (and the rest of the article, for that matter) is not only offensive to any patriotic Armenian, but it is blatantly inaccurate. Per the constitution of NKR all territory under the control of NKR defense forces is considered to be part of NKR, just as Stepanakert is. No special status or the concept of a “security zone” are defined or designated within the NKR constitution.

Most importantly, since when has the editorial board of Asbarez changed its position on the issue of Artsakh? Since when has Asbarez started considering our ancestral lands of lower Artsakh - the LIBERATED territories that surround the artificially created former Autonomous Oblast of Nagorno-Karabagh (NKAO) - to be occupied territory? Is this a new editorial position? Does Asbarez prefer the name Karabakh over Artsakh so much that it feels it should specifically note that it is “the Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh”? Then let’s start using Erivan, Ermeni, Eastern Anatolia, etc.

If the answer to the questions above is no, then you should either:

- Eliminate this and other nonsensical sentences from the article and note that the article is reprinted with certain cuts; or

- Write a special comment from the editor stating that the thoughts expressed in the article do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Asbarez and its staff.

It would be more prudent and beneficial to eliminate such one-sided articles with anti-Armenian bias written by unpatriotic and unprincipled Armenian journalists, such as this HAROUTIN KHACHATRIAN. At best, your writers can simply regurgitate and rephrase important information from such biased sources, but not reprint in their entirety. Recently, a known Armenian journalist, Emil Danielyan, in an article written for Eurasia Daily Monitor had used the expression “mass killings of Armenians” instead of the word genocide:

Would Asbarez simply reprint this article without editing?

We all know that there is a methodically executed information war going on against Armenia, with Armenians being a particular target audience. If our own newspapers and media outlets are not propagating the truth and our viewpoints, who else will? Allowing such blatantly anti-Armenian expressions and statements on Asbarez simply will confuse, disorient and brainwash the remainder of patriotic Armenians who are still looking to read an unbiased, yet pro-Armenian, viewpoint of issues of concern to Armenia and Armenians. Not every Asbarez reader knows what is Eurasianet or who is Haroutiun Khachatrian (by the way, the first name is misspelled on Asbarez). The use of the word “occupied” and the name Karabakh peppered throughout the article in an ARF-affiliated newspaper, the most nationalist and patriotic party, sends the wrong message.

I hope next time I visit I do not see the use of Eastern Anatolia instead of Western Armenia. Though I am certain that this was an honest mistake and will be corrected promptly.

Thank you,
Stepan Sargsyan

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