And In Other News…

Erdogan

A billboard in New York’s Times Square placed by https://silencedturkey.org/ declaring “STOP ERDOGAN” has gotten the Turkish leader’s attention. In reply, a PR blitz has kicked off not just throughout Turkey but also the world with the demand to “Love Erdogan” instead:  

This New Yorker however was not impressed: 

During his successful visit to Iraq this past week to draw attention to the threatened Christian populations of the region, Pope Francis made a visit to destroyed Christian churches in Mosul including an Armenian one which had been torched by Islamic State insurgents after they captured the city in 2014. The Armenian families of the city fled and it is said there are no Armenians left in Mosul ever since. 

International Women’s Day (March 8) was marked in Baku this year with a march by female human rights activists protesting gender-based violence and femicide; however police broke it up before it even began. At least 25 people were detained, many described being harassed by police, and some were injured: 

Don’t look now but there’s a new partisan think tank in town! This past week the “International Conflict Resolution Center” came to Armenian Twitter’s attention due to their staffers tweeting about meetings with Azerbaijani officials such as Hikmet Hajiyev. 

The organization was founded during the autumn war in Artsakh, and its employees include its international fellow Christopher Chambers, a journalism professor and author of retro pulp fiction novels, and Austin Clayton, a former Baku-based journalist for Eurasianet. Clayton drew particular ire for his use of Azerbaijani propaganda-approved hashtags such as #KarabakhCulturalGenocide, which was used to describe an exhibition of Armenian rugs from a private collection established before the first Karabakh war even began. Chambers and Clayton are now returning to DC from Baku and have expressed their keen interest for an invitation to Yerevan as well. Clayton put out a call for any Armenians able to connect him to think tanks and government officials in Yerevan to contact him, while Chambers echoed that by expressing his desire to be “hooked up with Armenians who aren’t whackos or trolls of beholden to the Russians”. 

They deny being specifically paid by the Azerbaijani government, but as of yet the think tank’s funding has not been disclosed. Watch this space. 

Finally, the Twitter replies are full of collective shock and sadness as Armenia announces it will not take part in Eurovision this year…