Thursday, 30 December 2010

Season's Greetings & Update, 25 December 2010‏


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PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release December 22, 2010 Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian Tel: (202) 775-1918 PELOSI FAILS TO SCHEDULE VOTE ON ARMENIAN

Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel. (202) 775-1918
Fax. (202) 775-5648


For Immediate Release
December 22, 2010
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Tel: (202) 775-1918


-- House Democratic Leadership Blocks Bipartisan Majority from Voting on Genocide-Prevention Measure

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. House Democratic Leadership failed today to schedule a vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H,Res.252, despite support for this human rights measure from a broad bipartisan majority, killing the prospects for the passage of this legislation during this session of Congress, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian issued the following statement in response to U.S. House Democratic Leadership's decision:

"Armenian Americans are angered and disappointed by the failure of Speaker Pelosi and the House Democratic leadership to honor their commitment to allow a bipartisan majority to vote for passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution."

"Speaker Pelosi clearly had the majority, the authority, and the opportunity to pass the Armenian Genocide Resolution, yet refused to allow a vote on this human rights measure."

"The Speaker chose not to move forward, in the face of broad bipartisan backing for this human rights measure, including from the current House leadership and the incoming Majority Leader and Majority Whip, and despite both the relatively muted opposition from the White House, and the fact that Turkey's effectiveness in opposing its adoption was seriously undermined by controversial policies on the part of Ankara toward Iran, Israel, and Sudan that have angered lawmakers."

"Her decision to not move this legislation forward during her four years as Speaker represents a failure of Congressional leadership on human rights and, sadly, a setback to America's standing in the struggle to end the cycle of genocide."

"Coming in the wake of President Obama's string of broken promises to recognize the Armenian Genocide, Speaker Pelosi's refusal to schedule a vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution represents a major breach of trust with Armenian American voters."

"Although sharply disappointed by the Speaker's unwillingness to schedule a vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, we were, throughout this session of Congress, tremendously encouraged by the scope and depth of support for the Armenian Genocide Resolution, not only from a bipartisan majority of Congress but also from a growing cross-section of American civil society. We look forward to building on our progress and to continuing the work of the

Armenian American community for a strong U.S. moral stand on the Armenian Genocide, an end to Turkey's campaign of denial, and a truthful and just resolution of this still unpunished crime against the Armenian nation."


Armenian National Committee
San Francisco - Bay Area
51 Commonwealth Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118
Tel: 415-387-3433
Fax: 415-751-0617

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


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Sunday, 26 December 2010


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Friday, 24 December 2010

ARTICLE BY ARA PAPIAN YEREVAN, ARMENIA: Yerp e Storagrvel Alexandrapoli Paymanagir-ue

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Thursday, 23 December 2010

Armenians Sue Turkey - Claiming U.S. Air Base Land

By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
Over the years, Armenians have gradually shifted their attention from the recognition of the Genocide to the pursuit of legal remedies for their massive losses suffered between 1915 and 1923.
Several lawsuits have been filed recently in U.S. Federal Courts against Western insurance companies and banks. In July, Armenian-American attorneys sued the Republic of Turkey and its two major banks, seeking compensation for confiscated properties and loss of income.
A new federal lawsuit was filed last week by attorneys Vartkes Yeghiayan, Kathryn Lee Boyd and David Schwarcz, along with international law expert Michael Bazyler, against the Republic of Turkey, the Central Bank, and Ziraat Bank for “unlawful expropriation and unjust enrichment.” The plaintiffs are Los Angeles-area residents Rita Mahdessian and Anais Haroutunian, and Alex Bakalian of Washington, D.C.
The three Armenian-Americans, who have deeds proving ownership of properties stolen from their families during the Genocide, are seeking compensation for 122 acres of land in the Adana region. The strategic Incirlik U.S. Air Base is partly located on their property.
During the Genocide, the Turkish government initially placed all properties belonging to Armenian victims under seal. Subsequently, it directed the Ziraat Bank to hold all proceeds from the sale of seized properties in trust and for safekeeping on behalf of the Armenian owners. These properties were then transferred to the Turkish Treasury and placed under the administration of the Central Bank. The lawsuit accuses the Republic of Turkey, the Central Bank and Ziraat Bank of unfairly benefiting from the plaintiffs’ seized assets.
The three Turkish defendants are currently engaged in commercial activities in the United States which grants jurisdiction to U.S. courts. The Republic of Turkey operates several state-owned or controlled enterprises in the U.S., such as the Turkish Airlines and Tourism Information Office. Both the Central Bank and Ziraat Bank also have offices in the United States.
In addition to seizing the Armenian plaintiffs’ property, the Turkish government has pocketed the rent paid by the United States for the Incirlik Air Base during the past 60 years. The base is operated by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service -- a U.S. Department of Defense entity. Several major American corporations, such as Baskin Robbins, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, and AT&T transact business and provide services on the base for U.S. troops. These companies have also been profiting from Armenian-owned lands for many years.
The lawsuit claims that the plaintiffs "are suffering harm from the loss of use and proceeds from their property.” Turkey and its Central Bank’s "continued unlawful use of the property causes a direct effect in the United States because a U.S. commercial entity pays money" to Turkey to lease the Incirlik Air Base and "is engaged in a long-term business arrangement with defendants…."
The lawsuit also states that the "plaintiffs’ action is additionally based upon their rights in property unlawfully expropriated by defendant Turkey in violation of international law, pursuant to a Turkish campaign of genocide…. International law prohibits the taking of property when it is done in a discriminatory way or pursuant to gross violations of human rights. Plaintiffs’ property was taken pursuant to the genocidal campaign of the Ottoman Turkish Empire to destroy, in whole or in part, Armenian Christians in Turkey."
The plaintiffs assert that after the Genocide, the Turkish government transferred Armenian-owned "businesses, factories, shops, farms, and all other economic enterprises into Turkish Muslim ownership," Yet, the most shocking charge is the accusation that the Turkish authorities used "the proceeds derived from the sale of Armenian property to fund their deportation." It is noteworthy that beyond depriving Armenians of their lives and property during the Genocide, Turkish authorities strictly forbade the survivors from reclaiming their properties, by stamping their passports "Return prohibited."
The Armenian-American plaintiffs estimate the current value of the property seized from their families to be $63.9 million, since their land constitutes 3.7% of the $1.7 billion “plant replacement value” of the Incirlik Air Base, according to the latest U.S. Defense Department data. The plaintiffs are demanding the current fair market value of their property as well as the accrued rental for the past 60 years, possibly totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. This lawsuit does not include the value of other Armenian properties in Incirlik, including a church and school.
In the coming months, several other lawsuits are expected to be filed in U.S. courts against the Turkish government and other Turkish entities, including a claim for the Turkish Presidential Palace in Ankara, which is located on land owned by the Kassabian family.

Continue Calling to Advance Armenian Genocide Resolution‏

Dear Friends,

Today may be the last day of Congress. Only hours remain before the U.S. House is set to adjourn for the year. This is our last opportunity, before the House leadership changes hands, to pass H.Res.252, the Armenian Genocide Resolution.

Even if you've called before, take a moment right now to demand that Congress honor the innocent victims of this crime.

First, call Speaker Pelosi at (202) 225-0100 and leave this message: "I'm calling to ask the Speaker to keep her promise to let Congress vote on H.Res.252 to honor the victims of the Armenian Genocide."

Second, call House Majority Leader Hoyer at (202) 225-3130 and leave this message: "I'm calling to ask the Majority Leader to keep his promise to let Congress vote on H.Res.252 to honor the victims of the Armenian Genocide."

Then, go to to find your Member of Congress, and call to ask you’re her/him to speak and vote for H.Res.252.

With only hours remaining before the end of this Congressional session, we must do everything we can to help secure affirmation of the Armenian Genocide by the U.S. House of Representatives. Please call Majority Leader Hoyer, Speaker Pelosi and your Representative today and urge your family and friends to do the same.

Thank you for your continued activism.


Armenian National Committee
San Francisco - Bay Area
51 Commonwealth Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118
Tel: 415-387-3433
Fax: 415-751-0617

Will Speaker Pelosi make good on her pledge?‏

Dear Friends,

With the U.S. House set to adjourn today, the next few hours will likely be the last chance for Speaker Pelosi make good on her pledge to schedule a vote to allow a bipartisan majority to vote for the adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.252.

Please call to encourage the House Democratic Leadership to schedule the Armenian Genocide Resolution for a vote, and ask your Representative to vote YES on this human rights measure.

1) Call to ask your Representative to Speak and Vote for H.Res.252. Visit and enter you zip code to find your Representative's number and a sample script.

2) Call House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer at (202) 225-3130 and leave this message: "Please schedule a vote for and help pass H.Res.252, the Armenian Genocide Resolution."

3) Call Speaker Nancy Pelosi at (202) 225-0100 and leave this message: "Please schedule a vote for and help pass H.Res.252, the Armenian Genocide Resolution."

Please place your calls starting TODAY, Wednesday morning, 12/22 at 9:00am EST.

Thank you for your continued activism.


Armenian National Committee
San Francisco - Bay Area
51 Commonwealth Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118
Tel: 415-387-3433
Fax: 415-751-0617

Incirlik US base under Armenian law suit‏

Դաշնակցության գլխավոր խնդիրը
Դեկտեմբերի 13-ին Ալ. Սպենդիարյանի անվան օպերայի եւ բալետի ազգային ակադեմիական թատրոնում Հայ հեղափոխական դաշնակցության 120 ամյակին նվիրված միջոցառման ժամանակ ՀՅԴ-ի Գերագույն մարմնի ներկայացուցիչ Արմեն…
Added on 12/16/10
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U.S. House of Representatives will likely have its last opportunity, before adjourning, to hold a vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution on Wednesday 22 December, when the House leadership is expected to schedule a series of votes on legislation, including a measure that would provide additional health benefits for 9/11 first responders, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).




20 DecEMBER 2010 - LOS ANGELES - Descendants of Armenian Genocide victims today filed a lawsuit in U.S. Federal Court against the Turkish government and two leading Turkish banks seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in potential damages, citing the illegal seizure of their homes, business and farmland, a portion of which now houses a key U.S. airbase used to support military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The lawsuit accuses the Republic of Turkey, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey and T.C. Ziraat Bankasi, one of Turkey’s largest and oldest banks, of stealing and then profiting from land that was illegally seized during the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23, when the Ottoman Turks drove them from the Adana region, a center of Armenian culture and religion. The three Armenian Americans who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit are seeking hundreds of millions of dollars as compensation for their families’ seized property and repayment of rent and other illegal proceeds collected over the past century. This is the first lawsuit filed in a U.S. court against the Turkish government in which the plaintiffs are seeking reimbursement for specific parcels of property illegally seized during the Armenian Genocide, said their attorney Vartkes Yeghiayan, whose wife, Rita Mahdessian, is one of three Armenian American plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Mahdessian’s ancestor was a wealthy Armenian landowner who was forced to flee Turkey with his family in 1915, leaving behind his home, some farmland, a dry goods store and an insurance business. Their lawsuit seeks “fair market rents and other relief for Plaintiffs, the rightful owners and their heirs, of approximately 122.5 acres of property located in the Adana region of Turkey,” according to the filing.
The Incirlik Air Base, which is located at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, is considered strategically vital to U.S. interests in the region. During the Cold War, the base was used for U.S. spy plane missions over the Soviet Union. Today, the base is a vital transportation hub supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and humanitarian missions throughout the region. Fast food giants Baskin-Robbins, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are among the U.S. companies operating on the base, according to the lawsuit. The Turkish government has repeatedly threatened to deny Americans access to the base if the U.S. Congress recognizes the Armenian Genocide, despite the fact that the base is built on land illegally confiscated from Armenians. “I was upset when I learned that the Turkish government was renting my family’s property to the U.S. government for an airbase,” said Anais Haroutunian, another plaintiff in the case. “I cannot believe that the brave Americans who have served at Incirlik, some of whom are of Armenian descent themselves, would condone such abhorrent behavior by a government claiming to be our ally.” Today’s filing comes less than a week after the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that descendants of Armenian Genocide victims could pursue legal action against insurance firms that failed to honor the policies of Armenian Genocide victims, re-opening the door for legal claims in California stemming from the Turkish atrocities. California, home of the nation’s largest Armenian community, is one of 43 states that have passed laws recognizing the massacre of more than 1 million Armenians nearly a century ago by the Ottoman Turks. “Until Turkey acknowledges and makes amends for this Genocide, the injustice continues unabated,” said Yeghiayan, a Glendale attorney who has championed the Armenian Genocide litigation movement. “There can be no healing until Turkey does what is right.” Joining Yeghiayan in this litigation are Los Angeles attorneys Kathryn Lee Boyd and David Schwarcz of Todd, Ferentz, Schwarcz & Rimberg. Professor Michael Bazyler of Chapman University, one of the nation’s leading experts on Genocide law and restitution, has been brought in as an international legal expert. Yeghiayan has filed more than half a dozen lawsuits related to the Armenian Genocide issue and has negotiated successful multi-million dollar settlements against two major life insurance companies. In June, Yeghiayan and Boyd filed litigation against the J. Paul Getty Museum in what is believed to be the first case in the U.S. seeking the return of cultural or religious objects stolen during the Armenian Genocide.
Adana, Eski Adana, Old Adana
Haroutunian, Mahdessian and Alex Bakalian, the third plaintiff in today’s filing, have deeds proving ownership to the property stolen from their grandparents, some of which lies directly beneath the runways, warehouses and commercial buildings that have served the U.S. military since the 1950s, according to their lawsuit. The town of Incirlik, where the base was built, was also home for a large Armenian church. The lawsuit estimates the current value of the stolen Armenian land in and around Incirlik Air Base at approximately $63.9 million based on U.S. Department of Defense data.


AFP - Turkey summoned the Israeli envoy to convey its unease over a deal between the Jewish state and Cyprus over economic rights in the Mediterranean, officials and media reports said on Sunday.
A senior diplomat told AFP that Ambassador Gaby Levy was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Thursday, a day before the agreement was signed, but would not give other details.
The issue comes atop an already deep crisis in Turkish-Israeli ties since nine Turks were killed when Israeli forces raided an activist ship carrying aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip on May 31.


On Sunday, I visited Magaravank together with Diana Bridger, who is the Senior Police Advisor for UNFICYP and a friend of Simon Aynedjian. Although we had to walk up and down, often steep terrain of over a mile, the end result was very rewarding. Not only did we visit the Vank but also the Mekhitara gotogh, which is located on the Mekhitara plur, to the north-east of the Monastery.
This monument has a very interesting history. An introduction on Mekhitar first: Mekhitar of Sebaste was a prominent scholar and theologian. In his efforts to seek the truth and knowledge, he became associated with the Catholic doctrine and set from Alexandretta in 1695 to visit Rome. His first (and only) stop was Cyprus, Famagusta to be exact. There he was very much welcomed by the Armenian community, but news of his apostasy soon followed him, and the locals there ousted him from the city. He had heard of the great Sourp Magar monastery in Pentadhaktylos, and he sought refuge there, as in the mean time his brief stay in Alexandretta had given him the gift of malaria. Although the monks there, very strict in their manners, did not welcome him - as they knew he no longer retained the Orthodox faith -, they did give him however a place to stay. After he convalesced he returned back to Minor Asia and entered the Sourp Nshan monastery in 1696. In 1701 he founded in Constantinople his Miapanoutiun (Brotherhood) and from there he went to Peloponnese in Greece, which at the time was a Venetian possession. In 1715 the Order moved to the island of San Lazzaro in Venice, which until then was used for lepers. Even today one can see the small windows of the buildings that used to house these poor souls. From their base in Venice, the Mekhitarists as they were known - one of the first Armenian Catholic brotherhoods - expanded to Trieste and then to Vienna. What is perhaps their most significant contribution to the Armenian nation is their scriptoria and printing presses, which both saved/translated old texts and produced numerous books in Armenian, as well as the schools they founded.
Coming to Cyprus: In 1897, following the Hamidian massacres and the numerous orphans that these horrific massacres caused, Vahan Kurkdjian (Pagouran), a teacher and an intellectual, decided to come to Cyprus to teach here. With financial aid from Manchester, France and elsewhere, he set up a small school, called "National Educational Orphanage" in Nicosia, where he taught his about 30 or so students, most of whom were orphans. Summer sessions were held in one of the six rooms of the Monastery. His impact on his students' political beliefs was extremely powerful, and so was his impact on the deghatsi community: he made remarkable efforts to help them understand that other than being Armenian-Cypriots or Cypriots of Armenian descent, they were also part of a greater whole, the Armenian Diaspora (which at the time was significantly smaller and less scattered than it is today). He admired Mekhitar, and so on 8/09/1901 he and his students erected a small monument in memory of the 200th anniversary of the formation of Mekhitar's Order. In 1931, this was re-built with the help of architect Garo Balian, the very same who designed the twin buildings of the Melkonian. To my knowledge, this is the oldest Armenian monument in Cyprus still surviving (but not the oldest inscription in Armenian). I am attaching a photo of its inauguration, where Movses Soultanian and Rapael Philibbossian are shown together with Sahag Catholicos and Bedros Saradjian, the famous Armenian Archbishop in Cyprus at the time. Also attached is a very rare photo (first time ever digitised) of the inauguration; unfortunately it is not of good quality.
Additionally, Pagouran strived to encourage hayakhosoutiun amongst the predominantly Trkakhoss Armenian-Cypriot locals, and had great plans about turning Cyprus into a "meshagoutayin getron" for Armenianism. Unfortunately, his plans came to a halt when his two and a half year old only son Mihran died in 1904, leaving him with no choice than to leave Cyprus, as he was too hurt by his memories he had with his son here. Mihran was buried in the old Ledra Palace cemetery, though not in 1898 as erroneously the commemorative plaque mentions. So Pagouran, who had written a very interesting book about Cyprus and the community here (called "Hay Gibros, published in 1903) and published other books in his press in Nicosia, took his wife and left for Egypt, where he started printing a newspaper, Lousaper. Through this newspaper he tried to call all Armenians for unity and solidarity, which very soon (1906) led to the formation of the AGBU, with Boghos Noubar Pasha as its first President. Pagouran became even more important in Armenian matters when he moved to the United States and wrote the History of Armenia in English and although he is now long gone, his memory lives on in those who were his students and their ancestors.
Pagouran is indeed a very interesting personality and, along with Mekhitar, amongst the most important Armenians who passed by our small but beautiful island. It remains a point of guessing what would Pagouran have accomplished if he had stayed in Cyprus... (and if AGBU were to be formed if he had stayed in Cyprus.
The inscription on the east side of the monument reads as follows:

"8 Sept(ember) 1901
In memory of the two hundredth anniversary
of Abbot Mekhitar.
The students of the Nat(ional) Edu(cational) Orphanage
of Nicosia.
Restored by the former students
M(ovses) S(oultanian), S(imon) V(anian) 1931
A(?) B(edevian), R(apael) P(ilibbossian)"
The inscription on the west side of the monument (probably taken out from the original monument) is a poem by Vahan Kurkdjian and reads as follows:
"Hail to you hill, temple of nature,
may this stone monument be a memorial
of your holy name from century to century
long live the full of light great Mekhitar
V(ahan) Kurkdjian"
Let us hope that by reading my e-mail you too will become bearers of Pagouran's name and his great work.
Lavakouin parevnerov,
Images at:

Happy New Year and Merry Christmas: - (in that order) - Next issue: January 2011

ARF Dashnaktsoutiun's - Hrant Markarian's interview


Ealing Council

Armenian National Commitee of the UK London SW7 4UB - 14th December - At full Council meeting of 14th December 2010, Ealing council voted by absolute majority to recognize the Armenian Genocide. The motion moved by Ara Iskandarian a Labour Councillor of Armenian decent, stated:
“Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January 2011 is recognition of not only the suffering of those who died in the holocaust but also recognition of all the people who have suffered as a result of Genocide.
The London Borough of Ealing is home to an Armenian Community of some several thousands and has hosted an Armenian population since shortly after the First World War. The borough has subsequently been seen as the centre of Armenian community life within the United Kingdom.
Many of the Borough’s Armenian residents are the second and third generation descendants of survivors of the 1915 Armenian Genocide in which one and half million innocent victims were murdered by the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.
Last April, the Armenian community of Ealing planted an apricot tree, by way of a simple memorial to the victims. Their intention was to place alongside the apricot tree an explanatory plaque reading:
“This Apricot Tree (Prunus Armeniaca) serves as a memorial to the one and half million victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide”
The plaque has yet to be put up.
Council resolves:
- To again observe Holocaust Memorial Day as an acknowledgement of all the victims of Genocide.
- To categorically acknowledge and recognize the events of 1915 perpetrated against the Armenians as constituting Genocide.
- To include the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in subsequent Holocaust Memorial Days and related events within the borough.
- To reconfirm this Council’s commitment to cohesion between communities, both locally and nationally, and its ongoing support for dialogue and reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian communities.
- To allow the unveiling of a commemorative plaque containing the above text and for it to be placed in the closest possible proximity to the apricot tree on Ealing Green.”
The motion was carried with absolute majority.
Labour Party Councillors Julian Bell, the leader of the Council, Bassam Mahfouz and Ara Iskandarian, were instrumental in securing the vote.
The Chairman of Armenian Community and Church Council of Great Britain, Ara Palamoudian and the head of The Armenian National Committee of United Kingdom, Sevan Artin were present at the chamber during the meeting.
Member of Parliament Stephen Pound for Ealing North has been closely cooperating with ANC UK and the Armenian Community and Church Council (ACCC) of Great Britain towards successful conclusion of this resolution.

Happy New Year and Merry Chirstmas

Links of the week:

President Serzh Sargsyan's speech at the HHK Convention on December 18th. 2010, Yerevan
ARF Dashnaktsoutiun's 120th anniversary celebrations in Lebanon
News in Brief by Sevag Develetian
  • Turkey has decided to begin production on the first Turkish fighter jets in 2020.
  • Famous Turkish theatre actor, stage director and producer Haldun Dormen intends to give a performance on Armenian Genocide, on April 24. Dormen's most recent project was a Kurdish-language play Winter Story within the framework of the theater festival in Ankara.
  • Thanks to WikiLeaks, we now know that the United States of America has nuclear weapons in several European countries, without the knowledge of their populations. It will come as a surprise to millions of Turks, Dutch and Belgians to know that without their sanction, these governments have allowed the USA to station tactical nuclear weapons on their soil.
  • Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told his Parliament that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sent a letter to President Obama asking him to prevent a House vote declaring World War I-era killings of Armenians a Genocide. Davutoglu warned that a vote would endanger US-Turkish relations, saying, "We cannot allow the resolution to hang over Turkish-US ties like a Sword of Damocles."
  • The '100 Greatest Temples' book, which found its unique place in the Russian National Library of Saint Petersburg, presents the greatest and most beautiful temples and cathedrals of the world. The Parthenon, Caliph Umar Mosque, Suleimanie Mosque of Bolis, St. Peter's Basilica of Rome, Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral are listed in the book's list of the greatest temples of the world. The authors have also included the ruins of the Cathedral of Zvartnots as a unique masterpiece of mediaeval Armenian architecture.


combined Azeri news sources - Guba Genocide Memorial Complex, which is being constructed in memory of the victims of the Genocide committed by Armenians against Azerbaijanis in 1918, will be completely ready by the end of next year.
The h
ead of the Guba Genocide Expedition, research worker of Archeology and Ethnography Institute of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences Gahraman Aghayev told APA that the groundbreaking process had been completed. Aykon company of Azerbaijan is continuing the construction.
According to the head of the expedition, after the complex is ready, it must have the status of memorial complex, not the status of a museum.
“This is devoted to the memory of the Genocide committed against the Turkic world. This complex must function under the joint subordination of Archeology and Ethnography Institute and Heydar Aliyev Foundation and must be protected by them,” he said.
Gahraman Aghayev said a complex will also be built in Guba cemetery – 200m away from the complex. The project of the complex is ready and will be surrounded with glass, and the cemetery will be preserved inside the complex.


The Armenian National Committee of Spain (Consejo Nacional Armenio de España) informed that on December 14th, 2010, the Human Rights Committee of the Balearic Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution considering “the fate suffered by the Armenian people between 1915 and 1921 as a Genocide”, in accordance with the UN Convention on the prevention, and the punishment of the crime of Genocide, adopted in December 1948.
“I consider the recognition of Genocides, and in particular that of the Armenians, as being a just cause and inevitable for a historical justice; it is necessary in order to prevent other Genocides” declared the deputy Miquel Àngel Llauger, member of the Bloc Per Mallorca (Coalition of the Left, Ecologist and Nationalist Groups) and initiator of the resolution.
The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy expressed its satisfaction to the initiators of this historical resolution and is keen on giving its support to the Members of the Human Rights Committee of the Balearic Parliament for this courageous act.
“It is a big step in the fight against Genocides and denials” declared Hilda Tchoboian, President of the European Armenian Federation. “We invite all the political forces of the Parliament to join the Bloc Per Mallorca and vote in favour of this resolution when put on the Parliament’s agenda according to the predefined calendar”.
The Federation recalls that the Balearic Islands thus follow the example in Spain of the Basque Country (April 2007) and Catalonia (March 2010) Parliaments, which, based on the Resolution “For a political solution of the Armenian question” adopted by the European Parliament in 1987, formally recognized the Armenian Genocide, and call on the Spanish government to do the same. The Federation also considers that the final recognition by the Balearic Parliament will contribute to the necessary recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Spanish Parliament.
“These successive recognitions in Europe aim to Turkey to involve itself in a process of justice with respect to the Armenian people” affirmed Hilda Tchoboian.
“The members of the Balearic Parliament understood the lesson from History: at the time when Europe is concerned with security issues, the recognition of the Genocide is an additional guarantee against the dangers of the denial and the emergence of totalitarianisms which threaten the European societies. It is a significant contribution to the construction of values for a Europe of citizens” concluded Hilda Tchoboian.
Direct to Yerevan - Armenia

Letters to the Editor

Suggestion to Armenia Fund 2011 Telethon
A special Telethon should be arranged next year, where only the Oligarchs from Armenia should participate and manifest their charity towards Armenian children's, raising the necessary funds to improve the lives of our children and young people throughout Armenia, Artzakh and Armenian Apostolic Church of Cilicia's orphanage Bird's Nest at Byblos Lebanon.
Kindest regards,
Karekin Diban

AYMA BALL at The Cyprus Hilton
Saturday 25 December at 9:00pm
Featuring singers Lisa & Serop with
International & Armenian selection of songs
accompanied by Seto Baghdassarian and his orchestra
Price: 45 euros. Youth tickets at 30 euros
Sign up with Mayda Neshanian 99803039 & Krkior Mahdessian 99650897

Gibrahayer Calendar of Events

  • Friday 24 December - Madagh preparation in Larnaca.
  • Saturday 25 December - Sourp Stepanos Church madaghorhnek.
  • Saturday 25 December at 9:00pm - AYMA Ball at The Cyprus Hilton. Featuring singers Lisa and Serop with international and Armenian selection of songs, accompanied by Seto Baghdassarian and his orchestra. Price: 45 euros. Youth tickets at 30 euros. Sign up with Mayda Neshanian 99803039 and Krkior Mahdessian 99650897.
  • Saturday 1 January 2011 at 11:00am - Prayers at Sourp Asdvadzadzin Church.
  • Saturday 1 January 2011 at 4:00pm - AYF Artsakh Badanegan Miyoutyoun welcome Gaghant Baba at AYMA/HMEM. Fun & Games on the first afternoon of 2011.
  • Wednesday 5 January 2011, at 5:00pm - Jrakalouyts - Jamerkoutiun at 5:00pm and Holy Liturgy at 6:00pm at all Churches in Nicosia, Larnaca and Limassol
  • Wednesday 5 January 2011, at 6:00pm - Armenian Evangelical Church - Christmas Service in Greek Evangelical Church, 20 Gladstonos street, Nicosia. The Service will include Christmas Hymns, Carols, Scripture Reading and Message by Hrayr Jebejian.
  • Thursday 6 January 2011 - Christmas Holy Liturgy, Cherorhnek and Karoz.
Gibrahay Sports by Sevag Develetian
  • GIBRAHAYER e-magazineEdgar George Avanisian aged 10, of the reputable Famagusta Judo Academy participated in the 7th International Judo Tournament, “Olympia” that took place in Sofia, Bulgaria and on Sunday 12 December, won the Bronze medal after four wins and one defeat in the under 38 Kg category. Edgar trains three times a week with his team and with his coach Spyros Spyrou, who has been Cyprus Champion in Judo for 12 years and with numerous wins in International Tournaments to his credit, the most notable being 11th place in the Moscow Olympic Games in 1980.
  • AGBU Ararat suffered a 6-2 defeat against rivals Omonia FC in the Cyprus Futsal Cup. Omonia - managed by former Ararat FC coach Karekin Constanian - knocked Ararat FC out of the cup.
  • AGBU Ararat have confirmed the departure of head coach Ara Bedrossian. The news shocks the community as coach Bedrossian has enjoyed many successes in the past two years at the club, including being the first Cypriot team to qualify into the Elite round of the UEFA Futsal Cup.
  • AGBU Ararat suffered a 2-1 defeat against Parnassos in the Futsal Premier League.
  • Homenmen defeated Dimitrakis Christodoulou Dherynia 6-5 in the Cyprus Futsal.
  • Homenmen suffered a 4-3 defeat against CITY Futsal in the Fustal 2nd Division.
  • HMEM/AYMA's match was postponed due to the incompetency of the Cyprus Amateur League Federation, as no fields were available to host the scheduled match.
  • AGBU Ararat U-17's scored a 4-1 win against SPE Strovolou in the Cyprus U-17 Futsal League.
Sports News by Sevag Develetian
  • user posted imageBASKETBALL: Turkey's Pınar Karshıyaka basketball team took a double beating on Tuesday night when it was defeated in Nicosia by APOEL 82-20 in the FIBA Eurochallenge. Turkish media reported that "Apoel fans threw stones and gas bombs right after the referee's final whistle. The rampage continued in the corridors and locker rooms as fans carrying sticks attacked Pınar Karshıyaka players and officials. Some members of the Turkish team were injured and the Turkish team was trapped in the stadium for a while." The Turkish team left for Izmir via Athens on Wednesday.
  • BASKETBALL: LA Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has signed a 2 year agreement with Turkey’s national airline carrier. Bryant will be the reported “Global Ambassador” for Turkish Airlines. The decision has caused uproar within the Armenian-American community in the United States and especially within Southern California, which boasts the largest population of Armenians outside of Armenia.
  • FOOTBALL: Henrik Mkhitaryan has been named in the “ideal team" of FC Shakhtar 2010, voted by the club's fans.
  • TENNIS: David Nalbandian is ranked 27th with 1480 points in the men’s tennis rankings released by the ATP on December 20. Spaniard Rafael Nadal (12,450 points) continues to top the rankings, followed by Roger Federer (Switzerland) with 9,145 points and Novak Djokovic (Serbia) with 6,240 points. Cyprus champion Marcos Baghdatis is ranked 20 in the world, after a year that saw him defeat both Federer and Nadal.
  • CHESS: 12 grandmasters will participate in the 71st Armenian Chess Championship that will be held in Tigran Petorsyan Chess House in Yerevan from January 10 -12, 2011.
  • BASKETBALL: On December 16, Hatis women’s basketball club hosted Dynamo Moscow in the last 16 of the Women's Basketball Eurocup 2010. Dynamo Moscow beat Hatis Yerevan 57 - 62.
  • TENNIS: David Nalbandian has won the Copa Peugeot Argentina 2010 tournament in Buenos Aires. Nalbandian defeated Juan Monaco 6-3, 7-6 in the finals.
  • CHESS: Armenian Grandmaster Zaven Andriasian finished 17th at European Blitz Championship in Warsaw, Poland. Slovakia’s Sergei Movsisian came 4th. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France won the championship.
New DVD out from

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Clannish Mindset Impedes Armenia’s Progress & Update, 19 December 2010‏


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Rant Number 422 17 December 2010

Outside the British parliament in Westminster stands a statue. A sturdy, somewhat stern and forbidding male figure, looking as firm and as solid as a rock. In his right hand he holds a sword, in the other a book. The tourist hordes daily traipsing by hardly notice him but they and the natives should. The man matters, especially at Christmastime. Because when he ruled England that man’s parliament banned Christmas.

The book Oliver Cromwell – it is he – clutches is the Bible. His Bible-orientated regime forbade Christmas. Correction: the much-maligned Puritans did not quite do that. They prohibited the popular, neo-pagan rites and merry-making which had come to overlay the feast of the Nativity – the coming into the world of God’s eternal, uncreated Word. All stuff reminiscent of the Roman Saturnalia, the pre-Christian festivals the birth of the Holy Child replaced. Cromwell and the Puritans, such as the great poet John Milton, did worship the Saviour of the World, of course. They did so very devoutly. And they took the Bible, God’s Word, most seriously. Indeed, Puritan legislation enshrined the Ten Commandments. But they did object to the un-Christian rubbish which had crept in the celebrations. Father Frank ain’t a Puritan – as an erstwhile Anglo-Catholic he revels in the human side of the Incarnation too much – but he does admire those godly Englishmen’s intensity of faith. 400 years later, their spirit still has a lesson to teach.

‘England had ceased to be, in any real sense, a Christian nation’. Thus wrote historian A.J. P. Taylor of the England of 1928. However, he granted that, even if no longer Christian in theology or faith, the nation’s institutions then still upheld a Christian moral outlook. The BBC, directed by the fierce Calvinist Lord Reith, ‘stamped Christian morality on the British people’, according to the very Whiggish, not quite unbiased Taylor. 80 years on, even that is true no longer. The BBC openly advocates and encourages filth and fornication, without shame, at all times of the day. As to faith, ditto. This morning, on BBC Radio 4, the trivial John Humphreys interviewed two supposedly qualified females. Why are people obsessed with a white Christmas? The wittering responses ranged conventionally from the Elizabethans to Dickens and to our contemporary, mawkish cult of children – and booze. One thing no one dreamt of mentioning, though, even de passage: that the Christmas festival is not about snow but above all about God. And about the birth of one special child, the Holy Babe of Bethlehem. It is not that the disgraceful trio were ashamed, or afraid of naming him, I surmise. Probably it never entered presenter and guests’ minds to do so. Christ has not stopped at Eboli – the God-forsaken, primitive Southern Italian town that gave the name to Carlo Levi’s book – this time he has been stopped on the official airwaves of the most ‘civilised’ country in the world, England. He has been quietly forgotten, ignored, barred from whatever serves the BBC crowd for heart and mind.

Some good folks in this country are living under a grotesque delusion. England is a monarchy and because of the historical entanglement of the monarchy with the Church of England, the assumption still lingers that this is somehow a Christian country. 26 Anglican bishops sit by right in the House of Lords – though it is hard to see what Christian good they do there. Our coinage bears the word ‘FD’ – fidei defensor – Defender of the Faith after the Queen’s name. Never was a title more quaint, more anachronistic, more absurd. Pope Leo X bestowed it on Henry VIII, in recognition of his having penned the tract ‘Defence of the Seven Sacraments’, against the heresies of Martin Luther. Shortly afterwards horrid Henry went on to renounce the Papacy and to wreck faith and sacraments in his greed-driven ‘reformation’. Still, as long as England was Christian – people went to church and followed the Bible - the title had some symbolic significance. To day, it has none. Worse, it is an obscene mockery. The British parliament in the last 40 years has passed legislation that is a right negation of basic Christian ethics and doctrine. The Queen is personally beyond reproach but the mass of her subjects live as if Christ had never been born.

There are, I admit, still a few Christians left in England. They would benefit from December 25th being officially made a secular holiday. It would please secularists (one must love one’s enemies, after all...) and at a stroke remove the equivocation. Those whose heart burns with love for the Prince of Peace, the Holy Child whom God sends into the world to save it, could still worship him in sincerity and in truth. The bishops could be tossed out from the upper chamber and could better occupy their time by preaching the word of God. (See how naive the priest is? He still gives the bishops a chance!) A godly, peaceful, Christian revolution, methinks.

It would of course be necessary to change Christmas’ name. The wicked nonsense now is that we have a national feast named after Christ, whilst Christ’s meaning and message are neglected, derided and denied by the people who unthinkingly mouth the word ‘Christmas’. A bit like speaking of a ‘Great Britain’ when referring to a nation which is no longer great but self-doubting, adrift and puny. It would be better if the country was named ‘Ukania’. Or, perhaps, ‘Parva Britannia’, little Britain. As for Christmas...I don’t know. Maybe ‘Yob-Yule’? Or ‘Paganfest’? Maybe it could be called ‘Beckamia’. Dedicated to the cult of that most insipid, empty-headed hero of our imbecilic time, David Beckham? I am open to suggestions, anyway.

Is this pessimistic? By no means. Christmas is the feast of Christ’s nativity. It is followed by Easter, the great festival of the Resurrection. Birth and death are not the whole story for Christians. The Holy Child grew up to fulfil his divine mission, suffered, was killed and buried. The scumbags thought they had disposed of him for good. But...lo and behold! The tomb is empty. Christ is alive! No earthly ruler can stop him. He is out in the world. And be warned – he is coming back to judge it!

Revd Frank Julian Gelli

Azerbaijan Must Be Held Accountable For Cultural and Religious Destruction‏

Statement in House of Commons by Martha Hall Findlay
Added on 12/16/10
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Armenian National Committee of Toronto

Azerbaijan Must Be Held Accountable For Cultural and Religious Destruction

TORONTO - On December 15, 2005, the government of Azerbaijan orchestrated the final demolition of the historic Armenian cemetery in Djulfa, an ancient Armenian city now located in Azerbaijan. Today marks the fifth anniversary of the final blow to the 10,000 intricately hand carved khachkars (stone crosses) which were erected between the 6th through the 17th centuries. By 1998, following systemic destruction of the khachkars by Azerbaijani authorities over decades, only 2,000 remained.

By December 15, 2005, the final destruction was complete. Approximately 200 Azerbaijani soldiers amassed at the Nakhichevan-Iran border to desecrate the remaining grave markers at the Djulfa Armenian cemetery. The cemetery has since been replaced with an Azerbaijani military training base. Other Armenian sacred and historic sites in Azerbaijan have faced the same fate such as the Pombloz or Hovivi (Shepherd's) Church built in the 16th century which was destroyed along with its cemetery in 2002.

Members of the Azerbaijani army photographed destroying khachkars at the Djulfa cemetery courtesy of For video footage please visit

Khachkars are cross-stones approximately one metre wide and up to two and a half metres high, richly decorated with Christian symbols, flowers and arabesque climbing plants as well as depicting subjects from daily life. In November 2010, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the Armenian Khachkar an intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding.

Although this protects khachkars that remain elsewhere in the world, the oldest have already become victim to systematic campaigns of destruction by the government of Azerbaijan.

On December 5, 2010, the American Association for the Advancement of Science published a case study titled "High-Resolution Satellite Imagery and the Destruction of Cultural Artifacts in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan". This recent report further documents the destruction through clear satellite imagery.

Martha Hall Findlay, MP for Willowdale, and a friend of the Canadian Armenian community, made a statement in the House of Commons earlier today marking the fifth anniversary of the destruction of the khachkars by Azerbaijan describing it as "a significant loss of history and culture". In her remarks, she also commended the work of the Armenian-Canadian community. Her statement can be viewed at

Despite the photographic and videotaped evidence, the government of Azerbaijan has since denied their atrocities. The Armenian National Committee of Toronto calls on all Canadians to demand that UNESCO hold Azerbaijan officially accountable for this cultural destruction. Vahan Ajamian, Chair of the Armenian National Committee of Toronto said, "Recent decades have unfortunately been marked by the government of Azerbaijan's aggression toward Armenians which continues to unfold today. This hostility has become the source of massacres, mass deportations, and cultural and religious destruction in the country. The international community must condemn the Azerbaijani government's acts of aggression against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh which threaten regional peace and stability. Inaction against such harmful activities will only encourage similar destruction around the world."

Azerbaijan's aggressive history, combined with regular threats by President Ilham Aliyev to restart the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, merely cement our view that Nagorno-Karabakh's independence must be universally recognized and that a return to Azerbaijani rule jeopardizes the lives of the Armenians living there and is therefore unacceptable. Furthermore, governments around the world must condemn Azerbaijan for the continued display of religious intolerance, and aggression in the Caucasus region.

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