There are approximately 20,000 Kurds living in Armenia according to the country’s last census.
Today, they celebrate Nowruz; New Year’s Day.
Only two parties running in the April 2 parliamentary election have anything to say about Armenia’s national minorities in their campaign platforms.
The ruling Republican Party of Armenia says, “Citizens of Armenians, Armenians, Yezidis, Russians, Assyrians, Kurds, Greeks and representatives of other national minorities have the opportunity for full-fledged expressiveness.”
The Azat (Free) Democrats propose to spur free competition in the fields of education and the arts, to rule out politics of sponsorship and discrimination, in addition to creating necessary conditions for the organization and recognition of the cultural life of national minorities.
Knyaz Hasanov, President of the Kurdish National Council of Armenia, is running for the parliament on the Republican Party of Armenia’s ticket.
Her says that having national minorities represented in parliament will allow for issues of concern to them to be voiced in the legislature.
Hasanov says that while such issues have been raised community issues in various state bodies, an MP can voice such matters with greater clarity and impact within parliament.
“We face a serious water issue in our villages. Water isn’t being provided residents. Raising such issues in parliament is very important for the communities and for everyone,” Hasanov told Hetq.
When this reporter asked what investments the government must make so that the Kurdish community in Armenia progresses, Hasanov noted that he’s always received support from the government.
As an example, Hasanov mentioned that when he requested textbooks in Kurdish, the government supplied them.
As a looming problem facing the Kurdish community, Hasanov mentioned the ongoing process of village consolidation in Armenia.
Hasanov said there are many small Kurdish villages up in the mountains that should be left alone and have their individual mayor.
In Armenia’s next parliament there will be representatives of four national minorities. Four of the nine parties/alliances running in the April 2 election have national minorities on their ballots – 27 in all
Eight Russians, seven Assyrians, seven Yezidis, and five Kurds are running for four parliamentary seats.