Armenian Concert to Take Place Despite Turkish Protest

BRATISLAVA–Slovakia (Noyan Tapan)–A delegation of Yerevan’s Municipality headed by Vice-Mayor Vardan Vardanian is currently visiting the Slovak capital of Bratislava. The delegation was received by Mayor of Bratislava Joseph Moravcic–who announced his plans to participate in the celebrations of the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity as a state religion in Armenia due next year.

As was earlier reported–a concert with the participation of Bratislava-based musicians of Armenian origin – renowned soloist of the Bratislava Opera House Gurgen Hovsepian and gifted pianist Hasmik Gabrielian – is expected to be staged in honor of the guests from Armenia. The schedule of the concert includes music by Armenian and European composers. However–the concert aroused interest not only within musical circles but also within political circles. It is connected with the fact that the Turkish Embassy in Slovakia presented an official note of protest to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia and demanded that the concert be banned. In particular–the note points out that through similar arrangemen’s Armenia is seeking to pressure the parliamen’s of various countries to get an international recognition of the Genocide and that the arrangement "may have a sharply negative impact on the development of relations between Turkey and Slovakia".

Nevertheless–the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia and the Municipality of Bratislava found it advisable to stage the concert–agreeing with the statement of the Armenian side that one must not turn a cultural event into a political act.

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