The Washington Post - Wednesday 16 November 2011 - A top official with United States firm Noble Energy - Senior Vice President Susan Cunningham - said on Tuesday, that a field it is conducting undersea exploratory drilling in off the coast of Cyprus may yield between 3 to 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
TONIGHT AT 8:00 pm
TANIEL VAROUJAN LITERARY EVENING
CYPRUS CALLS TURKEY TO ABANDON GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY
Exploration in Cyprus EEZ will continue despite Turkish threats, says Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis
Cyprus News Agency Monday 14 November - Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis has called on the Turkish side to abandon its gunboat diplomacy, threats and aggression and instead adopt a policy of peaceful co-existence and cooperation with the Republic of Cyprus.
Marcoullis stressed that the Cyprus issue remains a problem of invasion and occupation, of illegal settlement and violation of international law and human rights.
Referring to the ongoing exploration efforts to find hydrocarbons within Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone, she said it is an exclusive and non negotiable right of the Republic of Cyprus, recalling that the international community fully endorses this position.
She pointed out that exploration in Cyprus EEZ will continue despite Turkish threats. She stressed that Turkeys effort to link exploration for hydrocarbons with the ongoing direct negotiation process is unacceptable.
The Cyprus issue is a problem that exists because of Ankaras intransigent policy, which insists on ignoring, pretentiously, the high number of UN resolutions and decisions of European and international courts.
Turkey has never ceased to seek the consolidation of the de facto situation, using the fruitless lapse of time with a view to leading the Republic to accept the final division of Cyprus and a solution on the basis of two states , she added.
On Turkeys European aspirations, she said that Cyprus is not seeking to halt Turkeys accession process but this, she pointed out, must not be misinterpreted as a blank cheque to Ankara, which has to meet it EU obligations.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Peace talks are currently underway to find a negotiated settlement that will reunify the country, under a federal roof.
Following a decision by Nicosia to begin natural gas and oil exploration in its exclusive economic zone, Ankara has deployed warships in the Eastern Mediterranean and has signed an illegal agreement with the Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus to delineate what it calls continental shelf.
Drilling has already begun and is being carried out by Houston-based Noble Energy, off Cyprus south-eastern coast.
A SLICE OF HISTORY LEFT TO CRUMBLE
By Patrick Dewhurst - Sunday 13 November, 2011
THE FIRST THING you should know about the Armenian monastery of Sourp Magar is that it exists.
This is an important point, because if you look at virtually any TRNC map, or ask the locals in the north where it is, you might come away thinking otherwise - and be tempted to return home after a long and fruitless search.
Its existence is also important is because, through woeful neglect by the authorities in the north, this 1,000-year-old treasure and sacred pilgrimage site could soon fall into rubble and succumb to nature, vandals and the swathes of litter and used toilet paper that mar the area.
It is already half way there, as I found out when I visited last month.
Nestled deep in the Plataniotissa forest, 10 minutes drive beyond the Pendadactylos range, Sourp Magar is thought to have been founded by Coptic Christians in memory of Saint Makarios the Hermit of Alexandria in around 1,000 AD.
By 1425 it came into the ownership of the Armenian Church, becoming a popular pilgrimage site and retreat for those en route to the Holy Land, and by the time the Ottomans arrived it had taken on the name Blue Monastery after the colour of its wooden shutters.
Back then, pilgrims would have trudged through nearly 8,500 donums of monastery owned olives groves from sea level to an altitude of 530m.
Its last use as a working monastery is thought to be around 1800, after which it fell into a variety of alternate uses, including a school, a safe house for Armenian refugees fleeing Ottoman massacres in the 1890s, a summer camp for scouts and then, after the 1974 invasion, a mess for invading Turkish officers and refuge for settlers.
Were any ancient Armenians to make the long hike today, however, they would be surely be horrified by what it has become.
Instead of maintaining the site, locals have made several attempts to turn it into a hotel - in 1998, 1999 and 2006 (each time caving in to pressure to stop by Republics of Cyprus and Armenia, the Catholicosate, the Vatican and the European Council) and it is now dilapidated ruin: unattended, unmaintained and open to vandals.
A few traces remain of these commercial efforts; a rickety picnic bench within the cloister, a basic kitchen in one room, visible through an open window, and an incongruous satellite dish on perhaps the last bit of sound roof.
An out of order sign hangs aptly on a broken toilet door and a bin full of rubbish, shamelessly dumped outside the main entrance are the only other signs that this place has been visited recently.
Wandering around the rest of the ruin is a haunting experience. Where at one time monks would stroll of the cloisters, only weeds grow. The stone paths feel unstable and every wall seems cracked and on the verge of collapse. I catch myself holding my breath as I pass under Gothic archways, hoping my footsteps dont cause the ancient keystones to collapse.
Im especially wary as I enter the tumbledown chapel, on the north side of the site. Its ornate tile flooring is still intact, but the room is bare, the font smashed and Turkish (and curiously PKK) graffiti daubs the whitewashed walls. The vestibules roof has gone, giving way to creeping plants and weeds.
Aside from the church, only two other features confirm I am even in the right place - they are two placards, written in Armenian script. The first is intact - most probably because it is set high out of reach of vandals and dated 1933.
Its tragically hopeful inscription, in Armenian script, reads: Hail to you hill, temple of nature, allow your heap obelisk to be a reminiscence that preserves your novice name from century to century, long live the radiant great Mekhitar.
The second placard -within the monastery walls - has been less fortunate, and has had mysteriously had the date of its placement scrubbed off.
In its heyday, this would certainly have been a highpoint on any pilgrims journey, but today it is has a post apocalyptic feel, and its demise another stain on Turkeys legacy.
Yet there is a glimmer of hope that the building could be restored - if not to a working retreat - then at least to safety- if funding is found.
While now might not be a good time to obtain funding, similar restoration projects have taken place in Cyprus recently. For example, in 2009 the UNDP began a 2.6 million project to restore the Armenian Church and Monastery in northern Nicosia.
Asked about funding, Armenian community leader Vartkes Mahdessian said: There is no funding for Sourp Magar monastery because it is outside of our parameters, and in our thinking, the church in Nicosia was more of an inter-communal place.
The Armenian community has reached out to authorities in the north in the past, but, as Mahdessian says, funding was the key issue: We tried but they didnt have the money. There is virtually nothing left there and the problem we now face is how to maintain what is left.
This has not stopped local Armenians from resuming their pilgrimages, however, and in 2007 Mahdessian began organising annual trips on the first Sunday of May each year.
If you do decide to visit, there are a few more things you should know, the most important probably being how to get there. When I went two weeks ago, a no-doubt well meaning local told me it was near the Buffavento castle.
Ignore anyone who tells you this, but do follow their directions as far as the Pendadactylos range. If you are approaching from the Nicosia (south) side of the range, turn right at the pass, before the Buffavento restaurant.
This will put you on a narrow road that weaves past the Pendadactylos and through the Plataniotissa forest, which incidentally has several well marked and beautiful hiking trails starting at several points along the road.
After about ten minutes you should come to a clearing where you might spot a faded sign saying Ermeni Monastiri and you have arrived... well nearly.
To the north west, a tarmac road leads down the hill to the monastery. This is now often closed to cars, in which case you will have to complete the pilgrimage in the traditional way, and follow the road down the hill on foot for around 20 minutes.
The annual Telethon of the Hayastan All Armenian Fund will take place on 24
November 2011 in Los Angeles with theme "Water is Life".
As in the previous two years, we appeal to your generosity to support this worthy
cause by making a donation that will help bring much needed relief to our brothers and sisters In Armenia and Artsakh. The first step of our community in this direction has been taken with the Karin Dag village drinking water project (see attached communique).
In the weeks ahead members of the Hayastan All Armenian Fund (Cyprus) committee
and other authorized collectors will be contacting you to receive your donations.
Donations can also be deposited directly into the Armenian Prelature-Himnatram account with Marfin Laiki Bank (Account No 001-3 1 -089439), or handed over to the Armenian Prelature in Nicosia (tel 22493560), Father Mashdots in Larnaca (tel 99465818), Mrs Zarouhi Vosgeritchian in Limassol (tel 99846583) as well as to the Church Committees in the three towns on Sundays. In anticipation of your support, we would like to thank you in advance. Hayastan All Armenlan Fund
Letters to the Editor
I enjoy reading Gibrahayer and appreciate your hard work in providing us all a valuable service.
In last week's issue, I noticed an announcement in Turkish, which served no purpose as the majority of your readers (including myself) could not understand it.
I would appreciate if in future you print text in the only two languages that your readers understand (English and hopefully Armenian), otherwise your effort will not be understood.
Good luck Shavasb Bohdjalian
Turkey is in the top 10 countries visiting our website and reading our newsletter.
Big Brother is watching its scattered children, who were driven out of their homes and created a Diaspora which is a product of a premeditated Genocide.
We would have all been fluent in the Turkish language if the Ottoman Empire were not ran by a gang of thieves and barbarians, who are also responsible that some of us do not speak Turkish today.
Perhaps we can call this cultural Genocide as well: depriving millions of Armenians the benefit of not being able to have the opportunity to speak a language.
That is why I will always allow articles in Turkish if and when they are sent to me.
On a personal note, I like the Turkish language for its simplicity and beauty and as soon as I create the mechanism to sustain Gibrahayer e-magazine, I will substitute it with lessons in Turkish language and practice it with my new-found Turkish-Cypriot compatriots in a new Cyprus. Simon Aynedjian - www.gibrahayer.com
News in Brief by Sevag Devletian
Senior Armenian officials said the country is in search of financing sources for the construction of the railway connecting Armenia with Iran. Armenia's transport and communications minister Manuk Vardanian said, "There are negotiations with Iran and China as well as other international donors and private investors." During a recent visit to Moscow the Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian discussed the issue with Russian president Dimitri Medvedev. For Armenia the railway will be significant economically and strategically. The costs are estimated to be up to USD 2.5 billion.
The Turkish Youth Union (TYU), which functions in Germany, began a signature campaign to declare null and void the bill on the Armenian Genocide's recognition, which the German Bundestag (Parliament) had adopted in 2005. TYU President Beyhan Yildirim stated they are appealing to everyone in Germany and elsewhere to join their signature campaign.
The National Archives of Armenia will publish three volumes containing eyewitness accounts of the 1915 incidents, the archival director announced during a press conference Nov. 8, according to Los Angeles-based Armenian daily Asbarez. "The first volume is ready and is currently being translated into Russian and English. The second volume is being prepared for publication. The first volume is devoted to the province of Van, the second to the province of Bitlis, the third to the province of Erzurum (Garin)," said Amatuni Virabyan, adding that each volume would have around 500 pages. The publication is being funded by donations. Virabyan said the initiative was a continuation of an effort begun in 1916 by legendry author Hovaness Tumanian, who formed a commission to gather testimonials of survivors from the 1915 incidents. These documents have been archived in Armenia, he added.
In 2012, up to $7 million will be invested into Development of Lusadzhur gold deposit in the Kotayk province of Armenia. Ankarat company obtained a license to develop the site that belongs to Armenian MP Tigran Arzakantsyan. The company plans to intensify the work of an ore-dressing plant. The possibility of installing a plant for refining precious metals is in the action plan as well.
Tatul Hakopyan in Cyprus
Images of the Armenian Prelature / Hay Tad event click here
Tatul Hakopyan's 1 of 3 videos; click here , and search for videos 2 & 3 on youtube
Community calendar at a glance:
Facebook Images of Wednesday 9 November's presentation and Film about Artsakh by journalist and political analyst Tatul Hakopyan. click here.
Wednesday 16 November at 8.00pm at Homenetmen - AYMA. "Literary night dedicated to Daniel Varoujan organised by the "Oshagan" Cyprus Chapter of Hamazkayin Cultural and Educational Association and presented by Artsakank Chief Editor Arto Tavitian. Join us for the first installment of Literary Nights in a convivial atmosphere over cheese and wine, graciously provided by La Maison du Vin and there will be a variety of delicious cheeses and bites. RSVP to Chairperson Shoushig Bakalian 99667828.
Saturday 19 November at 7:00 pm - Preparation of Madagh.
Sunday 20th November at 10:00 am - Feast of Sourp Asdvadzadzin Church in Nicosia. Divine Liturgy & Blessing of the Madagh.
Saturday 26 November at 6:30 pm - Armenian Evangelical Church service in Greek Evangelical Church, 20 Gladstonos street, Nicosia. Speaker: Hrayr Jebejian
Sunday 27 November at 4:00 pm - HOM (Armenian Relief Society) Cyprus "Sosse" Chapters Christmas Fund Raiser at Cleopatra Hotel for humanitarian projects in Armenia, Artsakh and Cyprus.
Sunday 4 December - HOM (Armenian Relief Society) Cyprus Sosse Chapters Stassikratous street Bazaar for humanitarian projects in Armenia, Artsakh and Cyprus.
Sunday 25 December at 9:00 pm Homenetmen - AYMA Christmas Ball.
Sunday 1 January 2012 Santa will be visiting Homenetmen -AYMA. Details to follow.
Saturday 21 January 2012 - Homenetmen AYMA presents "Taline & Friends". Details to follow.
Saturday 11 February 2012 - Kravadz or by Hamazkayin Cultural and Educational Association's "Oshagan" Cyprus Chapter.
Sunday 11 March 2012 - Kravadz Or - Office of the Armenian Representative.
Saturday 5 May 2012 - Kravadz or by Hamazkayin Cultural and Educational Association's "Oshagan" Cyprus Chapter.
FOR RENT NEAR THE ARMENIAN CHURCH IN ACROPOLIS
Flat on complete floor (220 sq.m). 3 Bedrooms with big verandas, big lounge, 2 WC's, Storage heating, covered parking facility, fully painted, quiet neighbourhood.
Rent 700 Euros. Telephone on 99643702 or 99878878
FOOTBALL: After a ten-year monopoly of the Armenian Premier League, FC Pyunik finally lost their crown to Ulysses FC side who clinched their maiden title with two games to go. The new champions did not even exist when FC Pyunik lifted the first of ten successive titles, but in Ulysses's fifth year of competition, and after back-to-back third-place finishes, the monopoly was finally broken. Thus Ulisses FC will now play in next years UEFA Champions League qualifying round while FC Pyunik and FC Gandzasar will compete in next years UEFA Europa League qualifying round.
FOOTBALL: The Czech Republic remain on top in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 3 after inflicting a first defeat on Armenia courtesy of two late goals from substitute Jan Chramosta.
TENNIS: Argentina-based Armenian tennis player David Nalbandian dropped to 63rd place with 760 points, according to ATP rankings released on Nov 14. Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic continues to top the standings with 13475 points; Rafael Nadal (Spain) comes 2nd with 9375 points, English tennis player Andy Murray is placed 3rd with 7380 points.
WEIGHTLIFTING: Armenias mens and womens national teams could not receive any medals in combined totals at the 2011 World Weightlifting Championships, which wrapped up in Paris. Hripsime Khurshudyan (+75kg Women) received an elbow injury and had to retire, whereas Ruben Aleksanyan (+105kg Men) could not clean and jerk 240 kilograms in all his three attempts. Armenias womens team currently has two qualifications for the Olympic Games and the men, three preliminary qualifications. Results in the European championship, which will be held in Turkey next April, will determine the final tally of Armenias Olympic qualification.
CHESS: Tying the last round with Poland, Armenian womens team finished 7th at the European Chess Championship in Porto Carras, Greece. Russia won the tournament, followed by Poland and Georgia. Armenian mens team finished fourth, after defeat by Germany, which won gold. Azerbaijan was second; Hungary came third.
SAMBO: In the second day of the 35th Sambo World Championships, which are taking place in Vilnius, Lithuania, the Armenian team won a bronze medal. Student of Olympic Junior Judo and Sambo School of Yerevan, Armenias representative Hakob Araqelyan won a bronze medal in the 100 kg category.
KARATE: Armenian Aiki Kendo Karate squad gained 4 medals at European Junior Taekwondo Championship. Andranik Yakhszyan and Edvin Avagyan gained gold in U-15 and U-13 tournaments, while Smbat Siravyan won U-11 silver. Armenias Martin Ayvazyan gained the U-17 gold, beating Azerbaijans Mukherem Khasanov.
Gibrahay Sports by Sevag Devletian
AGBU Ararat won 4-3 against City Futsal in the 1st Division.
Homenmen suffered yet another heavy defeat with a 19-5 score, against Episkopi's Panayiotis Toumazou in the Cyprus Futsal 3rd Division.
Homenetmen - AYMA announcement - The Committee, having examined the state of affairs of its football team over the last few years and having taken into consideration the fact that for the season 2011-2012 the Amateur League will have one division only because of the decreasing number of participating teams, has taken the decision to temporarily suspend its participation in the Amateur League. The Committee believes that this action will help lay proper foundations for the reorganisation of the team for the years ahead.
Homenetmen - AYMA Bowling Team (below) head Division 3 - Latest news here: www.bowlingcy.com . On Monday Homenetmen AYMA Bowling team won their fifth game in a row by defeating Termites 3-1.
Art Exhibition 2011
Direct to Yerevan
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Development project overlooking Larnaca Salt Lake, by three young Armenian professionals of our community. Click here .
an Armenian restaurant in Nicosia
Quote of the month from a Cyprus Forum:
There goes our beautiful blue beaches... Gonna be swimming in oil next summer !