· January, 2009

Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from January, 2009

Armenia-Azerbaijan: Young Bloggers Bridge Geopolitical Divides

  28 January 2009

Nearly 15 years after a ceasefire agreement put the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh on hold, a lasting peace remains elusive and few citizens of either country have the opportunity to meet or communicate with the other. That might all be set to change, however, with DOTCOM, a project funded by the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by Project Harmony.

Armenia: Council of Europe Reprieve

  28 January 2009

Yesterday's meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) gave Armenia one last chance to avoid sanctions following last year's clashes between opposition supporters and security forces in the aftermath of a bitterly contested presidential election. Armenian bloggers react to the news.

Azerbaijan: Parliamentary Deputy Blogs

  28 January 2009

The USAID Internet Access and Training Program (IATP) blog reports that it has helped five deputies from the Azerbaijani parliament set up their own blogs. The blogs in Azeri are at kamranramazanov.blogmilli.com, mmehdi.blogmilli.com, mmfirdovsi.blogmilli.com, rafikismayilov.blogmilli.com, and vuqarqaracayev.blogmilli.com.

Armenia: Voting Rights

  27 January 2009

As the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) gathers to consider the possibility of withdrawing Armenia's voting rights in connection with the arrest of opposition supporters and unfulfilled resolutions against the country following last year's presidential election, The Armenian Observer comments on news reports that sanctions will most...

Azerbaijan: Airport Woes

  26 January 2009

Flying Carpets and Broken Pipelines arrives back in Baku and despairs at the condition of Azerbaijan's main international airport. The blog says the arrivals area is understaffed and that the procedure for visas and passport control is even worse for foreigners.

Georgia: Uneasy Reading

  26 January 2009

This is Tbilisi Calling comments on a new report released by Human Rights Watch detailing war crimes committed during the August war between Georgia and Russia. The blog says that the report is uneasy reading, but essential nonetheless. Meanwhile, while both sides violated international humanitarian law, The Tbilisi Blues says...

Mongolia: Tsagaan Sar

  26 January 2009

Bilguun writes about the national Mongolian holiday called Tsagaan sar (New Year), which is celebrated on different days every year, and this year's Tsagaan sar – as usually – provoked the same old debate amongst the astrologers and the lamas as to when it should be celebrated.

Azerbaijan: Language Lessons

  25 January 2009

Linda in Azerbaijan details the trials and tribulations of learning Azerbaijani. Despite the difficulties, the Peace Corps Volunteer says she is determined to learn the language at the highest level possible.

Turkey: School Textbook Changes

  25 January 2009

Armenia: Higher Education & Sciences comments on changes to 8th grade school textbooks in Turkey which will deal with the massacre and deportation of much of the Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire in a more neutral way. The blog says that while the changes might seem negligible at first...

Azerbaijan: Martyr's Alley

  25 January 2009

Learning to Walk in Stilettos pays a visit to Martyr's Alley in Baku, a cemetery for those killed in the Soviet crackdown in the Azerbaijani capital on 19-20th January 1990. The blog details the walk to the eternal flame at the end of the alley and posts photographs.

Armenia-Turkey: Are We Hrant Dink?

  25 January 2009

Following the second anniversary of the murder of Hrant Dink in Istanbul, Unzipped comments on a recent piece by Glendal News Press’ Patrick Azadian on the ethnic Armenian journalist who stood for peace, democracy and human rights in Turkey. The blog despairs the fact that nationalists are attempting to hijack...

Ukraine: “The EU Neighbour ‘Reality’ Problem”

  24 January 2009

Wu Wei writes about the EU and “the Ukrainian (or Georgian) reality”: “I speak from experience in working on oil stocks in Ukraine, where the Ukrainian “reality” apparently required to set up an agency for oil stocks first, then worry about what it would do later (legislation, finance, ownership of...

Armenia: Human Rights Defender Awarded

  24 January 2009

Unzipped: Gay Armenia pays tribute to local human rights activist Mikael Danielyan who received the Defender of Freedom award during a reception held at the U.S. Embassy dedicated to Martin Luther King Day. The blog congratulates Danielyan, but also notes that award was not so welcomed by the pro-government media...

Azerbaijan: Probing Questions & Observations

  24 January 2009

Linda in Azerbaijan compares life in the country with that back home and especially when it comes to often probing questions about an individual's personal life. Despite the lack of privacy often encountered, the blog concludes that Azerbaijanis are nonetheless very friendly and have kind hearts.

Azerbaijan: Referendum

  24 January 2009

Thoughts on the Road updates its readers on the referendum to be held in Azerbaijan in March. Seeking to remove the two-term restriction limit for the president, the blog says that despite voter apathy and a boycott by the opposition for last year's presidential election, opponents of the move are...

Azerbaijan: Jam

  24 January 2009

Sheki, Azerbaijan continues to introduce its readers to some of the many cultural traditions in the country, and especially those involving food. In a new post the blog writes about mürəbbə, a sweet and sour jam.

Azerbaijan: The Big Picture

  24 January 2009

Flying Carpets and Broken Pipelines comments on the referendum to be held in March to remove the presidential two-term restriction and questions whether the legal procedures ahead of the vote have been adhered to by the authorities. In a second post the same blog details the arrest of a group...

About our Central Asia & Caucasus coverage

Nurbek Bekmurzaev
Nurbek Bekmurzaev is the Central Asia editor. Email him story ideas or volunteer to write.

Arzu Geybullayeva
Arzu Geybullayeva is the South Caucasus editor. Email her story ideas or volunteer to write.