Pro-Azeri and Pro-Turkish Writers Denigrate Armenia and Diaspora


Turkish and Azeri circles were displeased with my latest column where I had analyzed Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s phone call to Armenia’s President Serge Sarkisian.

'In view of such persistent attacks, Armenian-American political organizations should forcefully counter all deceitful and defamatory articles written by the likes of Elmira Tariverdiyeva and Alexander Murinson.' (Photo: RFE/RL)
‘In view of such persistent attacks, Armenian-American political organizations should forcefully counter all deceitful and defamatory articles written by the likes of Elmira Tariverdiyeva and Alexander Murinson.’ (Photo: RFE/RL)

Azerbaijan’s Trend news agency published a ridiculous article by Elmira Tariverdiyeva, titled: “Yerevan’s failed phone call or why Trump did not respond.” She is the head of Trend’s Russian-language news service.

The Azeri article is replete with nonsensical and false assertions. The author, who has a limited knowledge of American politics, calls the Pence-Sarkisian phone calls a “disaster.” She wrongly claims that Pence simply returned Sargsyan’s phone call. In fact, it was Vice President-elect Pence who made the call to Sarkisian.

The real disaster is that the President of filthy rich Azerbaijan, Aliyev, would have been unable to talk to President-elect Trump or Vice President-elect Pence without the assistance of highly-paid lobbyists in Washington.

The Azeri journalist goes on to make bigger gaffes by claiming that Hillary Clinton’s defeat “was a big disappointment for Yerevan. It is known that Clinton maintained fairly close relationships with an extensive Armenian diaspora in the U.S.” Tariverdiyeva does not seem to know much about either Armenia or the Diaspora. Contrary to her false assertion, most Armenians did not support Clinton.

Tariverdiyeva also claims that Yerevan is frustrated because Trump is more familiar with Azerbaijan based on his investments in that country. In my opinion, it is too premature to make such self-serving and unwarranted assumptions. On the contrary, President-elect Trump has many reasons to be tough on Azerbaijan given its dictatorial regime, serious violations of human rights, and the participation of many Azeris in ranks of ISIS terrorists in Syria. It is ridiculous to claim that Pres. Trump would be more favorably inclined toward Azerbaijan because of his $323,150 licensing fee from the Baku Trump Tower, which he does not own.

Another more sinister article was written by Alexander Murinson, who is neither Azeri nor Turk, but for some questionable reason, has written a series of anti-Armenian tirades over the years in various publications. In his LinkedIn page, Murinson describes himself as: “Currently seeking new [job] opportunities… An expert on Azerbaijan-Turkish-Israeli cooperation… Considered a leading expert on Azerbaijani Jewry.” Murinson serves on the faculty of an obscure school in Washington, D.C., “BAU (Bahcheshehir) International University,” recently founded by Turkish billionaire Enver Yucel.

In an attempt to seek new job opportunities and ensure that his article titled, “The Armenian Lobby’s Tenuous Relations with President-elect Trump,” is published, Murinson panders to the right-wing website The American Spectator, under the false premise that Armenians are anti-Trump, therefore, anti-conservative.

I had planned to rebut point by point Murinson’s statements, but decided to let his own words expose his faulty judgments. Here are some of his nonsensical gems:

  • American “Armenian lobby’s agenda is largely contrary to U.S. national interests and, perhaps counter-intuitively, to the best interests of the Republic of Armenia….”
  • “Turkey [is] a key and indispensable strategic ally of the U.S. in the Middle East….”
  • “This may lay at the core of the deep concern and disappointment of the U.S. Armenian lobby with the election of Donald Trump as President. For observers of the region, the nasty anti-Trump campaign executed by Armenian-American activists is no secret. The online campaign proudly announced that Armenian pop stars Cher and Kim Kardashian are ‘pulling all stops’ against Trump, while a noted pro-Armenian celebrity Amal Clooney, whose odd list of clients once included Armenia’s government and Julian Assange, led the anti-Trump effort along with her husband George.”
  • “The Armenian concern seems to stem from the fact that Donald Trump is not beholden to Washington’s typical web of special interest groups. He might pursue a more clear-eyed approach to the region, basing it on America’s national interest rather than the interests of a particular lobby. He might even take a sober look at the oversold notion of Armenian political influence in the U.S. and notice its increasingly obvious irrelevance.”
  • “The next Secretary of State should be different from the once pro-Armenian Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, who favored his Armenian friends….”

In view of such persistent attacks, Armenian-American political organizations should forcefully counter all deceitful and defamatory articles written by the likes of Elmira Tariverdiyeva and Alexander Murinson. It is high time to establish an Armenian Anti-Defamation Committee.

Harut Sassounian

Harut Sassounian

California Courier Editor
Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the Armenia Artsakh Fund, a non-profit organization that has donated to Armenia and Artsakh one billion dollars of humanitarian aid, mostly medicines, since 1989 (including its predecessor, the United Armenian Fund). He has been decorated by the presidents of Armenia and Artsakh and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.


  1. I have looked extensively to see what kind of world citizens Turks and Azeri’s have been with US history. I found that they were our enemies in WWI, contemplated being our enemies in WWII and did not support usage of the airbase in Incirlik to conduct airstrikes against Al Queda.

    Why are they (the Status Quo) continuing to push Turks down our throats as our friends instead of our deadliest enemies in democracy and freedom.

  2. Sassunian your article is clear and to the point…
    congratulation ..for analysing the odds…

    Azeris and Turks parents in USA are teaching their children how to hate innocent Armenians and why?

    I verse….and always …

    Teach Your Child Love
    Nothing Else

    Teach Yours Love, Yes, nothing else.
    Talent will grow if love enters the race.
    Teach your child love; watch flowering life
    In gardens, in deserts, in chilly terrains.

    Teach your child love, and nothing else.
    Do not teach hate for others’ faiths.
    Teach your child love that grows . . . cares.
    Teach, cuddle your child . . . endless embraces,

    Thee, learns to give to others in joyful ways,
    Gifting those who didn’t taste love, to grow in grace.
    Teach real love, love without fences,
    Restricted love cannot brighten shades.

    Teach their spirits to breathe love . . . and nothing else.
    Can you change minds locked in bony caves?
    Teach love that says, that changes, that depletes hate.
    Try to seed love in each heart cell; gain fruitful praise.

    Teach your child love, Yes, nothing else.
    Hate will crush their innocent, angelic, gliding breeziness
    Inventing satanic grimness . . . revengefulness
    Give your beloveds utmost . . . deepest hearty love . . .

    Even the luckless will receive, distribute, blessed courage.
    See how life will smile on the faces of even hard-livers of
    Confused millennial races . . . melting invaded hatefulness;
    Insist on, persist in spreading, piercing peacefully loving phrases.

    Mother of Love
    From Sylva’s poetry collection, “Gomidas~Komitas,My Musical Saint (April 2016)”

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