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PRESIDENT SERZH SARGSYAN'S
HISTORIC VISIT TO CYPRUS
Quick image tour of President Sargsyan and his entourage's visit to Cyprus: click here
Simon Aynedjian - Gibrahayer e-magazine Thursday 13 January 2011 - The much anticipated and historic visit of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan to Cyprus became reality on Monday 17 January 2011. During his visit President Serzh Sargsyan met President Demetris Christofias at the Presidential Palace. He later met Archbishop Chrysostomos. These two meetings were followed by the opening of the Armenia-Cyprus Business Forum that took place at The Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
After his Parliament address at a special session hosted by Cyprus Parliament President Marios Garoyian (and aired live from Cyprus national TV RIK) President Sargsyan visited Nareg school in the afternoon and attended a special event in which the Nareg choir performed for the President and his entourage.
Nareg school's Hokapartsoutiun Chairman Vartan Tashdjian welcomed the President and his entourage, while Principal Vera Tahmazian presented the President with a commemorative gift. Visibly moved, President Sargsyan rushed to the microphone and addressed pupils, teachers, parents, and Gibrahay community members, who had packed Nareg Hall.
Accompanied by Armenian MP Vartkes Mahdessian, Sargsyan later met Archbishop Hergelian and members of Temagan and Varchagan bodies at the Armenian Prelature.
At 5:00pm the opening of an old Armenian manuscripts exhibition at the Cultural Center of the Ministry of Education and Culture took place where 18 manuscripts from Madenataran will be on exhibit for the rest of the week.
The first day of the official visit of the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan to Cyprus was concluded by a dinner at the Presidential Palace. Before leaving to Greece
yesterday morning, Armenia's President and his entourage visited the Genocide Memorial in Larnaca.
Cypriot and Armenian media gave extensive coverage to the President's visit, especially to his bold references to neighbouring Turkey and Azerbaijan.
We will give extensive analysis of Turkish reaction to the visit, next week.
President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan denounced the current Turkish government’s assertive foreign policy as “neo-Ottoman” imperialist designs aimed at forcing Turkey’s neighbors into submission.
17.01.2011 - Emil Danielyan - Azadutiun -President Sargsyan accused Turkey of reversing its rapprochement with Armenia and voiced strong opposition to Ankara’s perceived efforts to take on a leadership role in the region as he paid a state visit to Cyprus on Monday. In a speech delivered in the Cyprus Parliament, Sargsyan also condemned continuing Turkish occupation of a big chunk of the island and unequivocally endorsed its Greek-dominated government’s position on the unresolved conflict. “With its contradictory posture, inconsistent statements and groundless manipulation of the [Turkish-Armenian normalization] process, Turkey destroyed it,” he said. “Turkey backed away from its commitments and not only failed to ratify the signed protocols but also reverted to its old positions adopted before the process.” Sargsyan denounced the current Turkish government’s assertive foreign policy as “neo-Ottoman” imperialist designs aimed at forcing Turkey’s neighbors into submission. “What had the Ottoman Empire given the peoples under its yoke apart from massacres, tyranny and plunder?” he said. “A country that has kept the border with Armenia closed since its independence under different pretexts and has been blackmailing my people can not aspire to regional leadership,” he declared. The unusually scathing remarks reflected Sargsyan's frustration with Turkey’s refusal to unconditionally ratify the Turkish-Armenian protocols envisaging the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two neighboring states and the opening of their border. Ankara has made that contingent on a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict acceptable to Azerbaijan. Addressing Greek-Cypriot lawmakers, Sargsyan said that Yerevan has never set any preconditions for normalizing Turkish-Armenian relations despite having “more than sufficient moral and legal grounds” to do that. He singled out successive Armenian governments’ readiness to improve bilateral ties without Turkish recognition of the World War One-era massacres in the Ottoman Empire as genocide. The Armenian leader emphasized the fact that the Cypriot Parliament was one of the first legislatures to pass in 1982 a resolution recognizing the genocide. He went to express his country’s solidarity with the Greek Cypriots in their decades-long conflict with the Turks. “Armenia has never accepted and will never accept any attempt to partition brotherly Cyprus,” Sargsyan declared. “We have never come and will never come to terms with the occupation of this friendly country’s north.” “Armenians and Cypriots are not only friends and brothers but also natural allies, and we are faithful to that alliance,” he said. A joint declaration issued with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias after their talks in Nicosia, Sargsyan likewise hailed the Greek Cypriots’ “creative approach” to the conflict’s resolution and faulted Turkey for “not duly responding to these steps.” Official Nicosia, for its part, praised Armenia’s “constructive efforts” to settle the Karabakh conflict.
After the President's Cyprus visit, Ruben Safrastyan declares that Turkey's policy of neo-Ottomanism has no perspective
"President Sargsyan declared things in Cyprus, which he had never spoken loudly about. For the fist time President Sargsyan declared that Turkey’s policy was based on blackmail and made it clear that the Genocide issue could serve as preconditions in important issues."
18.01.2011 17:57 - Anna Nazaryan - “Radiolur” -President Serzh Sarsgyan’s speech at the Parliament of Cyprus and the joint declaration were of primary importance from the point of view of prioritizing the right of people to self-determination in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict and giving an assessment to the Armenian-Turkish relations on the highest level, expert of Turkish studies Ruben Safrastyan told a press conference today. He is assured that Turkey’s policy of Neo-Ottomanism has no perspective. Facing the problem of territorial integrity, for the fist time Cyprus confirmed in a written document that the right to self-determination or the free expression of will should be of compulsory character in the Karabakh issue, which is very important, taking into consideration that Cyprus is a member of the European Union, Safrastyan said. President Sargsyan declared things in Cyprus, which he had never spoken loudly about. For the fist time the President declared that Turkey’s policy was based on blackmail and made it clear that the Genocide issue could serve as preconditions in important issues. “This means that the Genocide issue can once serve as precondition in the establishment of Armenian-Turkish relations,” he said. Does this mean that the “football diplomacy” has failed? “The process has long reached a deadlock and it’s Turkey’s fault,” Safrastyan declared.
TAYYIP ERDOGAN EXPECTS AN APOLOGY FROM ANGELA MERKEL AFTER CYPRUS VISIT
Cyprus Weekly - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to apologise for blaming the Turkish side for an impasse in the Cyprus talks.
Merkel’s visit to Cyprus raised eyebrows in Ankara and in the north after she praised President Demetris Christofias’ efforts for a solution, and criticised Turkey for not doing enough.
Speaking at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Merkel said Turkey needed to show more willingness to resolve the dispute, while noting that Christofias’ readiness to compromise had not been reciprocated by the other side.
Turkey’s response was immediate. Leaving diplomatic niceties by the wayside, the Turkish leadership accused Merkel of bias and lack of historical knowledge on Cyprus. Ankara took it one step further a few days later, during an address Erdogan gave to regional leaders of his ruling AK Party. “These comments and attitudes do not give the impression of a leader who is far-sighted and visionary,” Reuters quoted him saying. “We expect Merkel to apologise to the Turkish side."
Turkish presence in Wilsonian Armenia "nothing more
than an administrative control like the Turkish status
over northern Cyprus" says historian Ara Papian
WASHINGTON (A.W.) - On Nov. 16, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) hosted an event on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Woodrow Wilson Arbitral Award, at the Woodrow Wilson House in Washington. The event featured two speakers. Ara Papian, the head of the Modus Vivendi Research Center, who has served as Ambassador of Armenia to Canada and as spokesperson for the Armenian Foreign Ministry, and Dikran Kaligian, who has taught history at Clark University, and Regis, Westfield State, and Wheaton colleges, and is the managing editor of the Armenian Review. About 90 years ago, on Nov. 22, 1920, at the request of the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers, President Wilson issued an Arbitral Award, under the Presidential Seal, to establish a Turkey-Armenia boundary pursuant to the Treaty of Sevres. Through this legal document, Armenia was granted the provinces of Van, Bitlis, Erzurum, and Trabzon.
A historian and diplomat, Papian spoke about the legal and historical background of the Arbitral Award. “It can be declared confidently, the Arbitral Award of Woodrow Wilson is still valid and legally obligatory document, because the indispensable feature of an Arbitral Award is that it produces an award that is final and binding. By agreeing to submit the dispute to arbitration, i.e. signing a compromise, the parties, in advance, agree to accept the decision… It is obligatory, also, for the United States, not only by virtue of the fact that the arbitrator was the United States president, but primarily because it was sealed in the great seal of the United States, thus it became part of the land of this country.”
Turkish presence over there is nothing more than an administrative control like the Turkish status over northern Cyprus,” said Papian. “Thus the presence and all acts taken by the Turkish Republic in the Wilsonian Armenia are illegal and invalid because the belligerent occupation does not yield lawful rule over a territory.”
THIS SUNDAY ON 23 JANUARY AT 6:00 PM
STATUES IN KARS NOT SAFE WHEN
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN IS AROUND
Dr. Harry BV Hagopian
Statues in Kars are not safe when Recep Tayyip Erdogan is around. When Turkey’s Prime Minister visited the city last year, the local mayor, who belongs to Mr Erdogan’s mildly Islamist Justice and Development (AK) party, sought to avoid his ire by ordering the removal of a public fountain featuring bare-breasted nymphs. Last week, during another trip to Kars, which lies about 45km west of the border with Armenia, Mr Erdogan called for the demolition of a local monument designed to promote reconciliation between Turks and Armenians. The statue, of two 30-metre-tall concrete figures reaching out to each other, was, he said, a “freak”.
Mr Erdogan insisted that his distaste was purely aesthetic. Yet some suspect him of pandering to nationalist sentiment in the run-up to elections in June. Many Turks see the statue as an admission of Armenia’s charge that the slaughter of up to 1.5m Armenians by Ottoman forces in 1915 amounted to genocide. In 2009 the then mayor of Kars, Naif Alibeyoglu, who had commissioned the statue, was forced out under pressure from Mr Erdogan and the city’s 20% ethnic Azeri population (egged on by Azerbaijan, which disliked Turkey’s efforts to make peace with Armenia).
Mr Erdogan has backed away from a set of protocols signed with Armenia in 2009 that foresaw the establishment of diplomatic relations and the reopening of borders. These were sealed in 1993 after Armenia’s short war with Azerbaijan over the mainly Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Mr Erdogan insists that the protocols can only be ratified if Armenia withdraws from seven regions it occupies around the enclave. Armenia is threatening to scrap the deal altogether.
But there is also a whiff of Islamic orthodoxy in the air. Mr Erdogan’s tirade against the Kars statue included references to Hasan Harakani, an ancient Muslim scholar buried nearby. “They erected a strange thing next to his mausoleum… it is unthinkable,” he complained. Many Muslim scholars consider statues to be idolatrous, and other AK officials have not disguised their aversion to them. Ankara’s mayor, Melih Gokcek, has systematically dismantled statues erected by his pro-secular predecessors. “I spit on this kind of art,” he once said.
Mehmet Aksoy, the designer of the Kars monument, says that the government risks being seen as “the Taliban” if it presses its demands. But Turkey’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has backed his boss, arguing that Mr Aksoy’s work fails to blend into the Seljuk, Ottoman and Russian character of the city. He might have included Kars’ Armenian legacy, but that is being erased. A long-abandoned tenth-century Armenian church recently reopened - as a mosque.
MEGERDITCH (MGO) KOUYOUMDJIAN APPOINTED ARMENIAN MUKHTAR
Simon Aynedjian - Gibrahayer e-magazine Thursday 13 January 2011 - The Minister of Interior has appointed Megerditch (Mgo) Kouyoumdjian Armenian Mukhtar of Nicosia (Karaman Zade quarter) as of January 1, 2011.
Mgo Kouyoumdjian succeeds Vahe Kouyoumdjian (no relation to Mgo) - who had retired from the position in 2009 and who had successfully held this position since 1955, prior to the independence of Cyprus.
Mgo Kouyoumdjian is a 61-year-old businessman in the textile industry. He and his family are active members of Gibrahay community life.
We all congratulate Mgo Kouyoumdjian and wish him and his family all the best.
You can contact him on 99611987. The new Armenian mukhtar's address is 48 Onasagorou street, 1011 Nicosia. You can also contact him by email on firstname.lastname@example.org .
LIFE AT THE MELKONIAN AGAIN
Alexander-Michael Hadjilyra - Last Sunday, 16 January 2011, the grounds of the Melkonian were filled with life once again on the occasion of the annual parerarnerou hokehankisd. Older and newer Melkoniantsis, as well as friends of the Melkonian, were joined together to commemorate the two immortal benefactors, Agha Krikor and Agha Garabed Melkonian of Caesarea, whose gift to the Armenian nation was perhaps the greatest of all. The old and the young prayed in front of the tampan, proudly sang the school’s kaylerk and then wandered around the premises. Some sat at the benches between the old and the new buildings, reminiscing old times and sharing new memories, while others had their pictures taken in front of the Tampan, the Aypoupen, Mayr Hayastan or one of the 7 sandstone statues. But that was between 11:30-12:30 of that Sunday. An hour later, life was no more at the Melkonian and the parerarner were once again alone, waiting…
View images of the Melkonian brother's 2011 memorial service here:
Vice Premier of Turkey Bulent Arinc addressed the Congress of the ruling Justice and Development Party and denied the Armenian Genocide, Zaman reported. "We had to deport them then to avoid them revolting. Armenians have been accusing us of killing two millions of Armenians for already 90 years because of the negative phenomena during the given deportation. We did not commit Genocide of Armenia. We are not like the other countries. It would be better for those who speak of Genocide to bring the example of Bosnia," he said.
Armenia supports Turkey’s EU course but believes it cannot join the bloc unless it reconciles itself with its past and develops constructive relations with its neighbours, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan said yesterday. Sargsyan, on an official visit to Cyprus, said he fully supports Cyprus’ positions as regards the Cyprus problem.
Azerbaijan has neither moral, nor legal grounds for the NKR's territory, Mr. Sargsyan said in his speech in the Cypriot Parliament. "Judging from energy interests, some countries pursue a short-sighted and momentary policy, what does not contribute to stability in our vulnerable region," said Sargsyan. He also noted that Armenia aspires exclusively to a peacefully resolution of the Karabakh conflict, however, if Azerbaijan resorts to force methods, Armenia's reaction will be decisive.
Several people gathered Sunday in the Armenian cemetery of Bolis to commemorate Hrant Dink, the slain editor-in-chief of the Armenian-Turkish weekly Agos. The ceremony was attended by Dink's widow, Rakel Dink, as well as his children and several friends, the Turkish news agency Cihan reported. Hrant Dink was assassinated on January 19, 2007 outside his office.
Turkey will spend nearly $4.5 billion on arms procurement in 2011, according to a senior official in the Turkish military involved in armaments purchasing, the Hurriyet Daily News reported. Over the next decade Turkey's military is scheduled to purchase approximately 100 U.S.-built F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II aircraft for around $15 billion along with 30 F-16 Block 50 fighters as well as cooperating with U.S. defense industries to modernize the Turkish air force's fleet of 213 F-16s. The Turkish air force is also purchasing utility and attack helicopters worth more $7 billion.
Stage and screen star Al Pacino has been awarded a Golden Globe for 'Best Actor in a Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television' for his performance in YOU DON'T KNOW JACK. His role as Jack Kevorkian was a demanding one, garnering Al Pacino accolades as best actor in the same category at the Emmy Awards last fall.
ARMTV has officially bid to host Junior Eurovision 2011. Armenia may host "Junior Eurovision 2011" this year, Aleksan Harutyunyan, the Chairman of Public TV/Radio company council told reporters.
Direct to Yerevan - Armenia
Letters to the Editor
Thank you Simon and Alexander, for a very interesting story on the monument honouring Mkhitar Sebastatzi and on Vahan M. Kurkjian. A few years ago, Vrejoohie and I came across Kurkjian's "History of Armenia" at the Vassar Book Sale and picked it up. In the inside cover, the handwritten note says: "To Nevart from Astrik, Christmas, 1958" (which was the year the book was published by AGBU).
It's part of Diaspora's rich legacy.
Gibrahayer e-magazine is, itself, a monumental achievement.
God bless you!
Shnorhavor Nor Dari yev Sourp Dznount. Garo Armenian
I was very delighted to be present at the inauguration of the ancient Armenian manuscripts' exhibition. In the last display case was a publication called Barzadoumar (Calendar-based manual), which was explained to us it was the first-published Armenian book, by Hagop Meghabard in Venice in 1512. When I saw that, I was certain that this was inaccurate, and that the first Armenian printed book was Ourpatakirk (Book of Friday). After extensive research online, I can now tell you that Ourpatakirk was indeed the first one, followed between 1512-1513 with Barzadoumar, Badarakadedr (Book of Liturgy), Akhdark (Astrology) and Dagharan (Book of songs).This is for the restoration of the historical truth. A copy of Ourpatakirk is kept at the Armenian National Library. Alexander-Michael Hadjilyra, Nicosia
Gibrahayer Calendar of Events
Saturday 22 January at 7:00pm - Arakelots Choir performance at Sourp Asdvazadzin Church, in memory of Zareh Srpazan and Kevork Kandaharian, under the auspices of Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian. Conductor: Krikor sargavak Alozyian. Accompanied by Hasmig Kasparian on the organ. Hovanavoroutiamp: Bishop of Kykkos, Nikiphoros. Entrance 10 euros.
Sunday 23 January at 6:00 pm - Hrant Dink Commemoration evening organised by the “Friends of Hrant Dink” at GOETHE Institute Hall (next to Ledra Palace check point). Keynote Speaker Sarkis Seropian: Editor of the Armenian section of AGOS newspaper (Bolis) and Niyazi Kizilyurek: Director of the Turkish studies Department of the University of Cyprus.
Friday 28 January at 8:00 pm - 120th anniversary celebrations of ARF Dashnaktsoutiun at PASIDY Hall in Nicosia. Keynote speaker: Dr. Megerditch Megerdicthian followed by joghovertayin khraghjank at AYMA-HMEM. Sign up with Sevag Gurunlian on 99202923 and Hagop Kazandjian on 99394414.
Saturday 5 February at 5:00 pm - Manougnere yev menk. Lecture by Vartan Tashdjian - Chairman of Nareg school Hokapartsoutiun. Organised by the Cultural Committee of the Armenian Club of Larnaca at the Hall of the Larnaca Nareg school.
Saturday 12 February at 8:30 pm - St. Valentine's Love Night organised by Hamazkayin's Oshagan Chapter with Love songs from Marie Louise Kouyoumdjian and her band. Sign up with Shoushig Bakalian on 99667828 and Louise Aynedjian on 99533684. Entrance 15 euros. Price includes dinner.
VAHAKN MOURADIAN-BOTH AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN: THE FIRST IN THE CYPRUS NATIONAL GUARD
Simon Aynedjian - Gibrahayer e-magazine Thursday 13 January 2011 - The first Armenian Cypriot Officer in the Cyprus National Guard - Vahakn Mouradian - reported to duty on 3 January 2011 after completing his training as an Officer in the Greek Armed forces.
When Vahakn Mouradian passed his exams in Cyprus and soon after topped more than 1,500 candidates to secure his place as a candidate, the eyes of Greek and Cypriot top military were already on him.
The proud and eager eyes of the Armenian community of Cyprus were also waiting for the arrival of their son, after a four-month training in Greece.
And having completed his training, now Officer Vahakn Mouradian, proved again his leadership skills, his self-discipline, mental and physical toughness by finishing first among 12 Greek Cypriot and 34 Greek Officers, in Loutraki Camp.
Being in a leadership position in the smallest army lined up against the biggest in the region, is a test for starters, let alone excelling as a worthy ambassador of a minority group.
We hope the coming generations of Gibrahays - serving the Cyprus armed forces - will look up to young Vahakn Mouradian and take inspiration from him, to serve our country with resilience and honour.
We salute you Vahakn Mouradian !
FOOTBALL: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to attend the 70th anniversary celebration of the legendary football club Taksimspor, the Turkish newspaper Zaman reported. Over years, the club's management and most of the players have been ethnic Armenians. "Thanks to Taksimspor, Turkish football has had such legendary sportsmen as Lefter Kucukandonyadis, Hrant Dink, Karbis Istanbologlu and George Papazian," the Turkish periodical says.
TENNIS: David Nalbandian has beaten former world number one Lleyton Hewitt in another epic five-set Australian Open battle between the two as the Armenian-Argentinean won 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-1), 9-7. CHESS: In the 4th tour of Corus Chess Tournament in Wijk Aan Zee, Levon Aronian, playing with white pieces, beat Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia. This has been the first victory of the Armenian grandmaster, who ended his previous games at the championship in ties.
FOOTBALL: On January 18, in the last match of CIS and Baltic States Commonwealth Cup group stage, Mika FC secured a 2-1 victory over Uzbekistan’s Bunedkor. In the tournament quarterfinals, Mika will rival Commonwealth Cup group A leader, Azerbaijan’s Inter.
FUTSAL: On January 19, Armenia’s futsal team will leave for Iceland to participate in the preliminary round of the UEFA Futsal EURO 2012. Armenia will rival Iceland, Greece and Latvia in Group B on January 21-24. Only the group winner will qualify for the next round.
WRESTLING: The Armenian wrestling team will participate in Grand Prix due February 11-13 in Bolis.
BOXING: Former middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (31-2, 25KOs) will make his return on February 12 in a ten round contest at WE Rhein-Ruhr Sporthalle in Muelheim, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. The first ring appearance for "King Arthur" since suffering a bad defeat to WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch in November. The frontrunner to fight Abraham is Croatian boxer Stjepan Bozic (24-4, 14KOs).
JUDO: Armenian judoists will depart for Tbilisi to participate in a World Cup tournament scheduled for January 29-30. Armenian judoists will also take part in international tournaments in Budapest, Dusseldorf and Warsaw in 2011.
FOOTBALL: UEFA's Respect Fair Play rankings, based on all UEFA competition matches played at club and national team levels between 1 May 2010 and 30 April 2011, are currently headed by Norway. Armenia is 37th in rankings with 7738 points. Armenia’s teams and clubs participated in 33 tournaments from May 1, 2010.
JUDO: On January 15, Judo International Federation's World Masters Championship launched in Baku, hosting master of sports Arsen Galstyan of Russia among other participants. Galstyan (60 kg) made it to championship final, having beaten Ilgar Myushkiyev of Azerbaijan in semifinals. However, in final stage of the championship, Galstyan lost to world leader in 60 kg weight class, Uzbekistan's Rishod Sobirov.
Gibrahay Sports by Sevag Devletian
Agnessa Hovanesyan from Limassol made a remarkable achievement by gaining the title of Karate Black Belt 1st DAN at the age of 13. In a tournament in Limassol, our brave and skilled compatriot beat the reigning champion two years older then her to win the title.
AGBU Ararat registered a 5-0 win against Panemistinio (University) in the Cyprus Futsal Premier League. The win puts Ararat 6 points behind leaders Omonia, led by Karekin Constanian who have a game in hand.
Homenmen secured a 7-2 win against Mega Alexandrou Avgorou in the Cyprus Futsal 2nd Division.
A determined AYMA/HMEM team caused havoc by defeating SEM 6-2 in the Cyprus Amateur Football League 2nd Division.
AGBU Ararat U-17's managed a 2-2 draw against Livadiakos in the Cyprus U-17 Futsal League.