Yerkir Newspaper Resumes Publication

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Following a long and imposed hiatus of more than three years–the Yerkir newspaper–the official publication of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation of Armenia–resumed publication Wednesday.

"Yerkir newspaper does not envision itself as becoming an example or a model for other newspapers. It will–however be a newspaper which respects the norms of freedoms of speech and press," said Yerkir executive editor Moushegh Mikaelian.

The newspaper "will serve our country as the official publication of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Executive Council of Armenia; to serve as a free and accurate press and become a participant in addressing issues confronting our state," added Mikaelian.

The newspaper was shut down following the now infamous Dec. 28–1994 decree by former president Levon Ter-Petrosyan–who forcibly shut down ARF operation in Armenia. Its property and assets were all seized during a Soviet-era-type siege.

Mikaelian reported that all assets seized by the Ter-Petrosyan administration was returned–but all were in looted condition and almost unusable.

Meanwhile–the editors of Hayots Ashkharh newspaper–which was acting as the de facto ARF publication–announced that the newspaper would continue to publish and would be an independent publication.

"From now on–Hayots Ashkhar is an independent newspaper and does not have any ties with the ARF," stated Hayots Ashkhar editor Gagik Mkrtichian–himself a member of the ARF Executive Council of Armenia.

Mikaelian stated that relations between his publication and Hayots Ashkhar would remain professional and that the latter could complement the newly resumed Yerkir–for it would have the opportunity to address more issues.

Mikaelian believed that Yerkir would have to focus on ideological and political issues–whereas Hayots Ashkhar can cover social–economic–cultural and educational matters.

He wished the Hayots Ashkhar newspaper success in future endeavors.

"We have attempted to remain true to our mission: presenting the people with objective news and accurate interpretation of the realities in Armenia. We have attempted to echo your voice–our dear reader; your opinions and your expectations. Through you–our reader–Hayots Ashkhar has become one of the more influential daily newspapers in the republic," stated an editorial in the Wednesday issue of Hayots Ashkhar.

The newspaper stated that "Hayots Ashkhar will continue its mission with the same conviction and direction–but with added enthusiasm."

The editorial also stressed that "beginning today–Hayots Ashkhar is an independent newspaper. From now on–as our ideological base–we will protect our national ideology–the Armenian Cause–[our national] deman’s–our traditional values–the Armenian church and our belief."

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