Armenians in Cyprus or Armenian-Cypriots (Armenian: Կիպրահայեր, Greek: Αρμενοκύπριοι) are ethnic Armenians who live in Cyprus. The relation of Armenians with Cyprus and their presence on the island are very old and there has been a mutual economic and cultural association for the last centuries. Sony Vaio VGN-NS10L/S Battery
Armenians in Cyprus are a community with a long history and their presence has enriched the island in several ways. They are a recognised minority with their own language, schools, churches, cemeteries, Sony Vaio VGN-NS10E/S Battery
monuments, media, social institutions and cultural life. The number of Armenians in Cyprus has decreased due to emigrations to other countries and integration into the rest of Cypriot society, including intermarriage;
Sony VGP-BPS21A/b Battery their number today is smaller than a few generations ago. Economically, Armenian-Cypriots have tended to be self-employed businessmen/merchants, professionals or craftsmen.
Despite the relatively small number of Armenians living in Cyprus, the Armenian-Cypriot community has had a significant impact upon the Armenian Diaspora and the Armenian nation in general: during the Middle Ages,
Sony VGP-BPS21B BatteryCyprus had an extensive connection with the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, while the Ganchvor monastery had an important presence; during the Ottoman Era, the church of Sourp Asdvadzadzin and the Sourp Magar monastery were very prominent. In modern times, Sony Vaio VGN-NS11J/S Battery
the short-lived National Educational Orphanage and the famous Melkonian Educational Institute were very influential; the presence of the Armenian Legion in Cyprus is also worth mentioning, while the emigration of a large number of Armenian-Cypriots in the United Kingdom virtually shaped today’s British-Armenian community. Sony Vaio VGN-NS20E/P Battery
Also worth mentioning is the fact that certain Armenian-Cypriots were or are very prominent on a Pan-Armenian or international level and that the survivors of the Armenian Genocide co-existed peacefully with the Turkish-Cypriots. Sony Vaio VGN-NS20J/P Battery
Additionally, the history and the various other aspects of the Armenian community of Cyprus are extremely well-documented. Finally, Cyprus was the first country to bring the issue of the Armenian Genocide recognition to the plenary session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1965 and the second country in the world to recognise the Armenian Genocide in 1975. Sony Vaio VGN-NS20M/S Battery
Currently, Armenian-Cypriots maintain a notable presence of about 3.500 on the island (including a number of non-Cypriot Armenians, mainly from Armenia, Georgia, Lebanon, Russia and Syria), mostly centred around the capital Nicosia, but also with communities in Larnaca and Limassol, where they have churches,
Sony VGP-BPS21A Batteryschools, associations, cemeteries, monuments and newspapers; there is also a small unstructured Armenian community in Paphos (all of them originating from Armenia). The Armenian Prelature of Cyprus is based in Nicosia. According to the 1960 Constitution of Cyprus, together with the Maronites and the Latins,Sony Vaio VGN-NS30E/S Battery
they are recognised as a “religious group” and have opted to belong to the Greek-Cypriot community. Armenian-Cypriots are represented by an elected Representative in the House of Representatives; since May 2006, the Representative is Vartkes Mahdessian, a prominent businessman from Nicosia, who was re-elected in May 2011 for a new term in the Cyprus House of Representatives. The religious leader of the community, since August 1997, Sony Vaio VGN-NS30Z/S Battery
is Catholicosal Vicar Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian, accountable to the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.
There is a long link between the Armenians and Cyprus, possibly dating back to the 5th century BC. However, Armenians have had a continuous documented presence in Cyprus since 578 AD: during his campaign against the Persian King Chosroes I, Sony Vaio VGN-NS20EF/P Battery
General Maurice the Cappadocian captured 10.090 Armenians as prisoners in Arzanene (Aghdznik), of whom about 3.350 were deported to Cyprus. Judging by the strategic position of the colonies they established (Armenokhori, Arminou, Kornokipos, Patriki, Platani, Spathariko and perhaps Mousere), it is very likely that these Armenians served Byzantium as mercenary soldiers and frontiersmen.
More Armenians arrived during the reign of Armenian-descended Emperor Heraclius (610–641) for political reasons, during the pontificate of Catholicos Hovhannes Odznetsi (717–728) for commercial reasons and after the liberation of Cyprus from the Arab raids by patrician Niketas Chalkoutzes (965) for military reasons.
In the mid-Byzantine period, Armenian generals and governors served in Cyprus, like Alexios Mousere (868–874), Basil Haigaz (958), Vahram (965), Elpidios Vrakhamios (1075–1085) and Leo of Symbatices (910–911), who undertook the construction of Saint Lazarus’ basilica in Larnaca. The numerous Armenians required an analogous spiritual pastorate, and so in 973 Catholicos Khatchig I established the Armenian Bishopric in Nicosia.
Relations between Cyprus and the Armenians became more intense when the Kingdom of Cilicia was established. The Kingdom, on the coast of Cilicia, to the north of the island, was established at around 1080 AD by Armenian refugees who fled the Seljuk invasion to the north and remained an ally of Byzantium. Between 1136–1138,
Emperor John II Comnenus moved the entire population of the Armenian city of Tell Hamdun to Cyprus. After Isaac Comnenus’ wedding to the daughter of the Armenian prince Thoros II in 1185, Armenian nobles and warriors came with him to Cyprus, many of whom defended the island against Richard the Lionheart (1191) and the Knights Templar (1192). Sony Vaio VGN-NS20EF/S Battery
Ganchvor monastery in Famagusta
Saint Lazarus’ basilica in Larnaca
After the purchase of Cyprus by titular Frankish King of Jerusalem Guy de Lusignan in 1192, a massive immigration of Armenians and other peoples from Western Europe, Cilicia and the Levant took place (mainly Franks, Latins and Maronites, as well as Copts, Ethiopians, Georgians, Jacobites, Jews, Melkites, Nestorians and others).
Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13B/S BatteryTo these bourgeois, noblemen, knights and warriors fiefs, manors and privileges were bounteously granted. Because of their proximity, their commercial ties and a series of royal and nobility marriages, the Kingdom of Cyprus and the Kingdom of Cilicia became inextricably linked. In the subsequent centuries,
thousands of Cilician Armenians sought refuge in Cyprus fleeing the Muslim hordes and attacks: the Fall of Jerusalem (1267), the Fall of Acre (1291), the attack of the Saracens (1322), the Mameluke attacks (1335 and 1346) and the Ottoman occupation (1403 and 1421). Sony Vaio VGN-NS20EF/W Batteryx
The Fall of Sis in April 1375 put an end to the Kingdom of Cilicia; its last King, Levon V, was granted safe passage to Cyprus and died in exile in Paris in 1393, after calling in vain for another Crusade. In 1396, his title and privileges were transferred to his cousin, King James I de Lusignan, in the Saint Sophia cathedral; subsequently,
the royal crest of the Lusignan dynasty also bore the lion of Armenia. Thus ended the last fully independent Armenian entity of the Middle Ages after nearly three centuries of sovereignty and bloom. The title was then held through the centuries down to the modern day by the House of Savoy,
through the marriage of Queen Charlotte of Cyprus to Louis of Savoy. Although the Egyptian Mamelukes had taken over Cilicia, they were unable to maintain their hold on it; Turkic tribes eventually made their way to the region and established themselves there, leading to the conquest of Cilicia by Tamerlane. As a result,
Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13A/B Battery30.000 Armenians left Cilicia in 1403 and settled in Cyprus, which continued to be ruled by the Lusignan dynasty until 1489.
During the Frankish and the Venetian Eras (1192–1489 & 1489–1570), there were Armenian churches in Nicosia, Famagusta, Spathariko, Kornokipos,
Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery Platani, Piscopia and elsewhere, while Armenian was one of the official languages of Cyprus. The Armenians of Nicosia had their Prelature and used to live in their own quarter, called Armenia or Armenoyitonia. In Famagusta, a Bishopric was established in the 12th century and Armenians lived around the Syrian quarter. Historical documents suggest the presence of an important monastic and theological centre there, at which Saint Nerses Lampronatsi (1153–1198) is said to have studied;Sony Vaio VGN-NS20EF/W Battery of the three Armenian churches of walled Famagusta, only Ganchvor survives, built in 1346. By 1425, the renowned Magaravank – originally the Coptic monastery of Saint Makarios near Halevga (Pentadhaktylos region) – came under Armenian possession, as did sometime before 1504 the Benedictine nunnery of Notre Dame de Tyre or Tortosa (Sourp Asdvadzadzin) in walled Nicosia. During the Latin Era, there was also a small number of Armenian Catholics in Cyprus. Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VN/H Battery
The Magaravank monastery
During the Osmanian occupation of the island (1570–1571), about 40.000 Ottoman-Armenian craftsmen were recruited (mainly sappers). Many of the ones who survived the conquest settled mainly in Nicosia, while the Armenian Prelature was recognised as an Ethnarchy (Azkayin Ishkhanoutiun), via the millet institution.
Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VT/H Battery However, the Bishopric in Famagusta was abolished, as the entire walled city became forbidden for non-Muslims until the early years of the British Era. Gifted with the acumen of industry, Armenians practised lucrative professions and in the beginning of the 17th century Persian Armenians settled in Cyprus as silk traders, as did some affluent Ottoman-Armenian families in the 18th and 19th century. However, Sony Vaio VGN-FW56Z Battery
with the new order of things, the number of Armenians and other Christians dramatically declined due to the onerous taxation and the harshness of the Ottoman administration, compelling many Christians to become Linobambaki (Crypto-Christians) or to embrace Islam,
Sony Vaio VGN-FW56SR Batterywhich explains why former Armenian villages (Armenokhori, Artemi, Ayios Iakovos, Ayios Khariton, Kornokipos, Melounda and Platani) were inhabited by “Turkish-Cypriots” at the end of the 19th century; a few Armenians-Cypriots became Catholics through marriage with affluent Latin families. Sony Vaio VGN-SR57S Battery
The Eramian Farm House in Dheftera
Gradually, after the bloody 1821 events, some improvements were observed during the Tanzimat period (1839–1876), resulting in the participation of the Armenian Bishop in the Administrative Council (Meclis İdare) and the employment of some Armenians in the civil service. Sony Vaio VGN-SR57V Battery
Additionally, the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 benefited the Armenian and other merchants of the island. Throughout the Ottoman Era (1571–1878), the vast majority of the Armenian population of Cyprus had been Armenian Orthodox, although there is also mention of a small Armenian Catholic community in Larnaca.
Sony Vaio VGN-FW56ZR BatteryOf the three religious groups, the Armenians are the only ones to have a continuous presence of Prelates throughout the Osmanian occupation. Based on various estimates, the Armenian-Cypriot community of the 19th century numbered between 150–250 persons, the majority of whom lived in Nicosia,
with smaller numbers living in Famagusta, Larnaca, the north and south of Nicosia (especially in Dheftera and Kythrea) and, naturally, in and near Magaravank.
Orphaned Armenian scouts (1927)
With the arrival of the British in July 1878 and their progressive administration, the already prosperous yet small Armenian community of the island was particularly strengthened. Known for their linguistic skills,
Sony Vaio VGN-SR59TH/H Battery several Armenians were contracted to Cyprus to work as interpreters and public servants at the consulates and the British administration. The number of Armenians in Cyprus significantly increased following the massive deportations, the horrific massacres and the Genocide perpetrated by the Ottomans and the Young Turks (1894–1896, 1909 & 1915–1923). Sony Vaio VGN-SR57X BatteryCyprus widely opened its arms to welcome over 10.000 refugees from Cilicia, Smyrna and Constantinople, who arrived in Larnaca and all its other harbours, some by chance, others by intent; about 1.500 of them made the island their new home. Industrious, cultivated and progressive, Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery
they brought new life into the old community and did not need long to find their feet and establish themselves as people of the arts, letters and sciences, able entrepreneurs and formidable merchants, unsurpassed craftsmen and photographers, as well as pioneering professionals who introduced new crafts, Sony VPCF11C5E Battery
dishes and sweets to the island, thus significantly contributing to Cyprus’ socioeconomic and cultural development.
The newcomers established associations, choirs, sports groups, scouts groups, bands, churches, schools and cemeteries in Nicosia, Larnaca, Limassol, Famagusta, Amiandos and elsewhere, while soon Armenophony became a reality. Sony VPCF11D4E Battery
Armenians were the first locksmiths, mechanics, seat, comb and stamp makers, upholsterers, watchmakers and zincographers in Cyprus. They were the first to introduce the cinema, they significantly improved the craft of shoemaking and it was Armenians who first introduced Armenian bastourma, baklava, Sony VPC-F11M1E/H Battery
dried apricots, gassosa, gyros, ice cubes, koubes, lahmadjoun, lokmadhes and pompes into the Cypriot cuisine – all very popular today. There were also some Armenian factory owners (ice makers, soap makers, sock makers, tanners etc.), but above all, there was a disproportionately large number of Armenian photographers. Sony VPCF11S1E/B Battery
Law-abiding by nature, Armenian-Cypriots always had a high profile with the British administration and many became conscientious civil servants and disciplined policemen or were employed at the Cyprus Government Railway and at Cable and Wireless. Sony VPC-F2 Battery
Throughout the 1920s–1950s, many worked at the asbestos mines at Amiandos and the copper mines at Mavrovouni and Skouriotissa, some of whom had been trade unionists. Some Armenian-Cypriots participated in the 1897 Greco-Turkish War, the two World Wars (1914–1918 & 1939–1945) and the EOKA liberation struggle (1955–1959). Sony VPC-F21Z1E Battery
Also, the Eastern Legion (later called Armenian Legion) was formed and trained between December 1916 and May 1918 in Monarga village, near Boghazi, consisting of over 4.000 Diasporan Armenian volunteers who heroically fought against the Ottoman Empire. Some Armenian refugees arrived from Palestine (1947–1949) and Egypt (1956–1957). Sony VPCF22L1E Battery
Visit of Armenian-Cypriots at the Magaravank in 1947
The Armenian-Cypriot community prospered throughout the British Era (1878–1960), by establishing associations, choirs, scout groups, sports teams, musical ensembles, churches, cemeteries and schools, including the renowned Melkonian Educational Institute. In many ways unique across the whole Armenian Diaspora, Sony VPCF22M1E Battery
it was built just outside Nicosia between 1924–1926, after the generous and benevolent donation of the Egyptian-Armenian tobacco trading brothers Krikor and Garabed Melkonian, initially in order to shelter and educate 500 orphans of the Genocide,
Sony VPCF12F4E/H Battery who planted the trees in front of the school in memory of their slaughtered relatives. From an orphanage (1926–1940), it gradually became a world-renowned secondary school with a boarding section (1934–2005). Sony VPCF22S1E Battery
Examining the population censuses of the British Era (see Demography section), we observe a fluctuation in the number of Armenians in Cyprus, ranging from 201 in 1881 to 4.549 in 1956. In their vast majority they were Armenian Apostolic, but there were also a small number of Armenian Catholics and Armenian Protestants.
In the 1960 population census, 3.628 Armenians were recorded – in contrast to 4.549 in 1956 – as about 900 Armenian-Cypriots had emigrated to Great Britain and elsewhere, due to the emergency situation caused by the EOKA liberation struggle (1955–1959) and the uncertainty that some felt with the departure of the British, whom they viewed as their protectors. In fact, a large portion of British-Armenians hail from Cyprus. Sony VPCF22S8E Battery
The old Armenian church in Nicosia
The 1960 Independence brought a new era for the Armenians of Cyprus, who – together with the Maronites and the Latins – were recognised as a “religious group” by the Constitution and were now represented by an elected Representative. Sony VPCF23M1E Battery
The size of the community, however, had been reduced because of the emigration of about 900 Armenian-Cypriots to the United Kingdom, due to the emergency situation caused by the EOKA liberation struggle (1955–1959).
Sony VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery A second factor that contributed to the reduction of the community’s size was the emigration of about 600 Armenian-Cypriots to Soviet Armenia, as part of the Panarmenian movement for “repatriation” during the 1962–1964 period (nerkaght).
During the 1963–1964 inter-communal troubles, the Armenian-Cypriot community suffered major losses, as the Armenian quarter of Nicosia was captured by extremist Turkish-Cypriots: taken were the Prelature building,
Sony VPCF11S1E Batterythe Sourp Asdvadzadzin church, the Melikian-Ouzounian school, the Genocide Monument, the Armenian Club, AYMA and AGBU and the Armenian Evangelical church; also taken was the Ganchvor church in Famagusta. In total, 231 Armenian-Cypriot families became victims to the Turks and/or lost their shops and enterprises. As a result, many Armenian-Cypriots left for Great Britain,
Canada, Australia and the United States. After the 1974 Turkish invasion, the Armenian-Cypriot community suffered additional losses: about 4–5 families living in Kyrenia, 30 families in Nicosia and 40–45 families in Famagusta became refugees, while an Armenian-Cypriot lady (Rosa Bakalian) has been missing since then;
the renowned Magaravank monastery in Pentadhaktylos was taken by the Turkish troops, the Melkonian boys’ building was bombed by the Turkish Air Force, while the Ayios Dhometios Armenian cemetery fell within the buffer zone. As a result, some Armenian-Cypriots emigrated, mainly to Great Britain.
The Armenian compound in Strovolos, Nicosia
Despite its losses and with the unfailing support of the government, the small yet industrious Armenian community of Cyprus continued to prosper in the remaining urban areas, contributing culturally and socioeconomically to the development of our homeland. On 24 April 1975, Sony VPCF23Q1E Battery Cyprus became the first European country (and the second world-wide, after Uruguay) to recognise the Armenian Genocide with Resolution 36/1975; two more resolutions, Resolution 74/1982 and Resolution 103/1990 followed, Sony VPCF22M1E Battery
with the latter declaring 24 April as a National Remembrance Day of the Armenian Genocide in Cyprus. Over the past decades, the dynamics of the Armenian-Cypriot community have changed with the increased number of marriages with Greek-Cypriots and the arrival over the last 30–35 years of thousands of Armenian political and economic immigrants because of the civil war in Lebanon (1975–1990),
Sony VPCF23N1E Battery the insurgencies in Syria (1976–1982), the Islamic revolution in Iran and the Iran-Iraq war (1978–1988), as well as after the Spitak earthquake (1988) and the dissolution of the Soviet Union(1991); some of them have settled permanently in Cyprus. According to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of the Council of Europe, Sony VPCF11M1E/H Battery
the Armenian language – the mother tongue of the vast majority of Armenian-Cypriots – was recognised as a minority language of Cyprus as of 1 December 2002. Today, it is estimated that Armenians living in Cyprus number over 3.500 persons; other than the countries mentioned above, in Cyprus there is also a small number of Armenians coming from Ethiopia, Greece, Kuwait, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Geographical distribution of Armenian-Cypriots
It appears that during the very first years of the Ottoman Era (1570–1878), about 20.000 Armenians used to live in Cyprus. Their number, however, rapidly declined, due to the harshness and the oppression of the regime,
the onerous taxation and natural disasters. In the mid–19th century, the number of Armenian-Cypriots ranged between 150–200, according to the censuses of the Ottoman Empire, the Armenian Prelature and the estimations of European travellers.
The British colonial censuses that took place between 1881 and 1956 provide us with fairly accurate data on the Armenian population of Cyprus. The following numbers are the combined figures of those recorded as Armenian (by religion) and those recorded as speakers of Armenian. In 1881 there were 201 Armenians in Cyprus,
who increased to 291 in 1891 and 553 in 1901; the numerical increase was due to the influx of Armenian refugees from the Hamidian massacres. In 1911 there were 616 Armenians, while in 1921 their number rose to 1.573 and to 3.617 in 1931, as a result of the huge wave of refugees from the Armenian Genocide.
In 1935 the Armenian Prelature recorded 3.819 Armenians in Cyprus. In 1946 there were 3.962 Armenians in Cyprus, while in 1956 they numbered 4.549. The table below shows the geographical distribution of Armenian-Cypriots per district from 1881 through 1960.
Table showing the geographical distribution of Armenian-Cypriots
The last accurate census of the population of Cyprus with regard to its ethnic breakdown was carried out in 1960; it recorded 3.628 Armenians. In 1978 and 1987 the Armenian Prelature recorded the Armenian population of Cyprus,
Sony VPCF22S1E Battery which was 1.787 and 2.742, respectively. Currently, about 3.500 Armenians live in Cyprus; 65% live in the capital, Nicosia, 20% in Larnaca, 10% in Limassol and 5% in Paphos and some villages. Over 95% of the Armenian population speak Armenian and are Armenian Orthodox (also known as Armenian Apostolic or Gregorian);
some 5% belong either to the Armenian Evangelical Church, the Armenian Catholic Church, the Latin Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Anglican Church, the Plymouth Brethren Church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church or they are Jehovah’s Witnesses.Sony VPCYB2M1E BatteryAbout 1.000 out of the 3.500 Armenians who live in Cyprus hail from Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Russia, Georgia, Persia, Greece, Iraq, Ethiopia, Turkey and Kuweit. Sony VPCF23Z1E Battery
Most of the first wave of Armenians from Armenia who arrived in Cyprus from 1991 onwards are the Armenian-Cypriots and their descendants who emigrated to Armenia between 1962–1964, as part of the “nerkaght” [ներգամթ (repatriation)] movement.
Places of origin of Armenian-Cypriots
The map on the right shows the places of origin of Armenian-Cypriots, based on a survey that Archbishop Bedros Saradjian conducted in 1935. According to available information, the about 1.000 refugees from the Hamidian massacres (1894–1896) mainly originated from Diyarbakir,
Sony VPCF231S1E Battery Aintab and Kilis; only about 100 of them stayed. The next wave of Armenian refugees were the about 2.000 who fled the Adana massacre in 1909, most of whom returned to their ancestral homes in Adana within the same year. Sony VPCF22M0E Battery
However, the big wave of refugees – some of whom had come before and returned – were the nearly 9.000 who escaped the massive deportations, the horrific massacres and the Genocide perpetrated by the Ottomans and the Young Turks; about 1.300 of them decided to stay,
Sony VPCF23M1E Battery while the others eventually made arrangements to settle in other countries. These refugees came mainly from Adana and Seleucia, while there a significant number of them came from Sis, Marash, Tarsus, Caesarea, Hadjin and Aintab; smaller numbers came from the other places noted on the map, alphabetically: Adapazar, Adrianople (Edirne), Afion-Karahisar, Alexandretta (Iskenderoun),
Sony VPCF22S8E BatteryArapgir, Armash Baghche, Bardizag, Balian Dagh, Biredjik, Bitlis Brusa, Chemishgezek, Constantinople (Bolis) Dortyol, Edessa (Urfa), Erzerum, Eskishehir, Everek, Ikonion (Konya), Jeyhan, Kesab, Kharpert, Kutahia, Malatia, Mersin, Misis, Musa Dagh (Musa Ler), Nicomedia (Izmit), Rhaedestos (Tekirdagh), Sasun, Sebastia (Sivas), Shar, Sivri Hisar, Smyrna (Izmir), Tokat (Evdokia), Trepizond, Van, Yerzinga, Yozgat and Zeitun. Sony VPCF13S1E/B Battery
Armenian-Cypriots have been politically organised since the mid–20th century. The breakdown below examines their involvement in local administration, Cypriot politics and Armenian politics.
Representative Vartkes Mahdessian, Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian and MP Marios Garoyian
With regard to local administration, Armenian participation has also been limited. Traditionally, there is the appointed mukhhtar of Nicosia’s Karaman Zade quarter (the Armenian quarter). So far, there have been 4 mukhtars:
Sony VPCF23QIE BatteryMelik Melikian (1927–1949), Kasbar Delyfer (1949–1956), Vahe Kouyoumdjian (1956–2009) and Mgo Kouyoumdjian (2011–today). Bedros Amirayan served as an appointed member of Famagusta’s municipal committee (1903–1905), Dr. Antranik L. Ashdjian served as an appointed municipal councillor and, later on, Vice Mayor, for Nicosia (1964–1970), while Berge Kevorkian served as an appointed municipal councillor for Nicosia (1970–1986).
With the exception of the elected Representatives, so far there has been only one Armenian MP in the House of Representatives, Marios Garoyian. He was elected MP for the Nicosia District on 21 May 2006 with the Democratic Party. In October 2006 he became the party’s President. Sony VPCF13S0E/B Battery
After the election of Demetris Christofias as President of the Republic of Cyprus in February 2008, Marios Garoyian was elected to the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the second highest political position in Cyprus. He was re-elected MP for the Nicosia District on 22 May 2011 and served as House Speaker until June 2011. Sony VPCF12Z1E Battery
The first Armenian Genocide march in Nicosia (1975)
Despite its relatively small size, the Armenian-Cypriot community has been an active participant in Pan-Armenian politics already since the late 19th century, even though this became more established in the mid-20th century. Sony VPCF12S1E/B Battery
All three major Armenian Diaspora parties are active in Cyprus, especially ARF Dashnaktsoutiun. It established its presence in Cyprus as early as 1897 but it was re-organised in 1947; its chapter is called Karenian, after Armen Karo, who briefly visited Cyprus, Sony VPCF12M0E/B Battery
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in order to organise the assembly of weapons for the Zeitoun Resistance. ARF Dashnaktsoutiun is affiliated with the Armenian Young Men’s Association (AYMA) in Nicosia, the Armenian Club in Larnaca and the Limassol Armenian Young Men’s Association (LHEM) in Limassol, as well as with the Armenian National Committee of Cyprus,
Sony VAIO PCG-8113M Battery the Armenian Youth Federation of Cyprus, the “Azadamard” Armenian Youth Centre, the Armenian Relief Society of Cyprus and the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Association of Cyprus, all based in Nicosia
The ADL Ramgavar has officially been active in Cyprus since 1957. Its chapter is called Tekeyan, after Vahan Tekeyan, who was a professor at the Melkonian Educational Institute in the 1930s. The party has never been very active on the island, mainly because it was overshadowed by the significant presence of the AGBU,
Sony VAIO PCG-7134M Battery loosely affiliated with ADL Ramgavar. The newest Armenian political party in Cyprus is SDHP Hunchakian, which was set up on the island in 2005, following the split within the AGBU, which was brought about by the decision to close the Melkonian Educational Institute. SDHP Hunchakian is affiliated with the “Nor Serount” Cultural Association in Nicosia.
Armenian Genocide recognition
Armenian Genocide memorial service with the participation of Greek-Cypriot politicians (2008)
On the level of the people, most Cypriots are aware of the great calamity the Armenian nation suffered during 1894–1923 and have always been supportive and sympathetic towards Armenians;
Sony VAIO PCG-7122M Battery the Armenian Genocide refugees who remained in Cyprus were in the unique position of escaping from Ottoman Turks and living amicably amongst Turkish-Cypriots.
Cyprus has been one of the pioneering countries in recognising the Armenian Genocide,
Sony VAIO PCG-7121M Batterywhen on the 25 January 1965 Foreign Minister Spyros Kyprianou first raised the issue to the General Assembly of the United Nations. Prior to his powerful speech, a delegation comprising ARF Dashnaktsoutiun Bureau members Dr. Papken Papazian and Berj Missirlia,
Sony VAIO PCG-7113M Batteryas well as Armenian National Committee of Cyprus members Anania Mahdessian and Vartkes Sinanian, handed him a memorandum urging Cyprus’ support in raising the issue at the United Nations.
Cyprus was also the first European country (and the second world-wide, after Uruguay) to officially recognise the Armenian Genocide. On the 24 April 1975, after the determined efforts and the submission by Representative Dr. Antranik L. Ashdjian, Resolution 36 was voted unanimously by the House of Representatives.
Sony VAIO PCG-8Z3M BatteryRepresentative Aram Kalaydjian was instrumental in passing unanimously through the House of Representatives two more resolutions regarding the Armenian Genocide: Resolution 74/29–04–1982, submitted by the Foreign Relations’ Parliamentary Committee, and Resolution 103/19–04–1990, submitted by all parliamentary parties. Resolution 103 declared 24 April as a National Remembrance Day of the Armenian Genocide in Cyprus.
Since 1965, when Cypriot government officials started participating in the annual Armenian Genocide functions, Cyprus’ political leaders are often keynote speakers in those functions organised to commemorate the Armenian Genocide. During the last years, there is usually a march starting from the centre of Nicosia and ending at the Sourp Asdvadzadzin church in Strovolos,
Sony VAIO PCG-8Z1M Batterywhere a commemorative event takes place in front of the Armenian Genocide Monument; other events may also take place, such as blood donations.
The Armenian-Cypriot community has traditionally had an active and structured social life. Various charity, cultural, educational and social events are organised,
Sony VAIO PCG-8Y3M Batterysuch as fund-raisers/bazaars, art/book exhibitions, dancing/theatre performances, balls, lunches, film screenings, camps/excursions in Cyprus and abroad, as well as lectures and commemoration ceremonies regarding Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian Diaspora and the Armenian Genocide.
Sony VAIO PCG-8Y2M BatteryThe main venue for community events is the AYMA club and the “Vahram Utidjian” Hall, at the basement of the Armenian Prelature building, both in Strovolos, Nicosia. The “Vahram Utidjian” Hall took shape in 1998 by initiative of Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian, from the proceeds of the auction in 1994 of the art collection that Vahram Utidjian had donated to the Prelature in 1954.
Sony VAIO PCG-7Z1M Battery It was inaugurated on 3 February 1999 by Catholicos Aram I. More recently, some school events have taken place at the newly-built auditorium of Nicosia’s Nareg Armenian School. In the past, numerous events were organised at the Melkonian Educational Institute in Aglandjia, the Hall of the Armenian Club in Nicosia or the Hall of the old AGBU club in Nicosia.
Currently, the following Armenian clubs operate in Cyprus:
AYMA (Armenian Young Men’s Association/Հայ Երիտասարդաց Միութիւն). Established in Nicosia in 1934, it is the leading Armenian-Cypriot club. Its premises are located near the Virgin Mary church in Strovolos, Nicosia,
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on land leased by the government, and were inaugurated on 30 May 1987 by President Spyros Kyprianou. In front of its club house, there is a white marble tomb-ossuary containing some Armenian Genocide martyrs’ remains; it was unveiled on 28 April 2002 by Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian. AYMA is affiliated with the Homenetmen Pan-Armenian organisation. Sony VAIO PCG-5J1M Battery
AGBU (Armenian General Benevolent Union/Հայկական Բարեգործական Ընդհանուր Միութիւն), with chapters in Nicosia (1913), Larnaca (1912) and Limassol (1936). The Nicosia AGBU is located next to the Melkonian,
Sony VAIO PCG-6W1M Battery while the Larnaca AGBU is located opposite the District Archaeological Museum; the Limassol chapter currently has no club house. There was also a chapter in Famagusta (1949–1974). It is a branch of the AGBU Pan-Armenian organisation. The Nicosia premises were inaugurated on 22 October 1989 by AGBU President Alec Manougian, Sony VAIO PCG-5J4M Battery
while the Larnaca premises were inaugurated on 5 May 2011 by President Demetris Christofias. To the side of the Nicosia club house, the sandstone bust of AGBU’s founder Boghos Noubar Pasha was placed in 1991.
Sony VAIO PCG-6S4M Battery Inside the Larnaca AGBU there is a black granite commemorative plaque in Greek reading: “Η τελετή εγκαινίων του Αρμενικού Πολιτιστικού Κέντρου έγινε στις 5 Μαΐου 2011 από τον Εξοχότατο Πρόεδρο της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας κ. Δημήτρη Χριστόφια επί δημαρχίας Ανδρέα Μωϋσέως” (The inaugural ceremony of the Armenian Cultural Centre took place on 5 May 2011 by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr Demetris Christofias during the mayorship of Andreas Moyseos).Sony VAIO PCG-5K1M Battery
Armenian Club (Հայ Ակումբ), which was established in Larnaca in 1931, is presently housed in rented premises opposite the Prelature of Citium. It is affiliated with AYMA.
LHEM (Limassol Armenian Young Men’s Association/Լիմասոլի Հայ Երիտասարդաց Միութիւն). Established in Limassol in 1996, it currently has no club house. It is affiliated with AYMA.
“Nor Serount” Cultural Association (“Նոր Սերունդ” Մշակութային Միոեթիւն). Established in Nicosia in 2005, it currently has no club house. It is affiliated with the Homenmen Pan-Armenian organisation.
The following associations operate within AYMA’s club house:
Armenian National Committee of Cyprus (Կիպրոսի Հայ Դատի Յանձնախումբ, 1965).
Armenian Youth Federation of Cyprus (Կիպրոսի Երիտասարդական Միութիւն, 1977).
“Azadamard” Armenian Youth Centre (Ազատամարտ Երիտասարդակամ Կեդրոն, 1985).
Armenian Relief Society of Cyprus (Հայ Օգնութեան Միութիւն, also known as HOM, “Sosse” chapter, 1988). Sony VAIO PCG-5K2M Battery
Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Association of Cyprus (Համազգային Հայ Կրթական եւ Մշակութային Միութիւն, “Oshagan” chapter, 1999).
AYMA has its widely-known football team (1945), as of 2002 playing in the second category of the amateur league, a football academy (2011), a bowling team (2011) and a ping-pong academy (2012). AYF has the “Koyamard” (Գոյամարտ) youth group and the “Artsakh” (Արցախ) teenage group (both in 1977). Hamazkayin has the well-known “Sipan” dancing group (Սիփան:
Sony VAIO VPCS12E7E Battery2000), the “Timag” theatre company (Դիմակ: 2000) and the “Ardoudig” junior choir (Արտուտիկ: 2011); Sipan’s annual dance performance has become very popular during the last years. The AGBU has the strong futsal team AGBU-Ararat (1999), currently leading the first league (in which it has been playing since 2002),Sony VAIO VPCS11B7E Battery
Sony VAIO VPCS12D7E Battery as well as an U–17 team (2010) and an U–21 team (2011). The Nor Serount Cultural Association has got the Homenmen futsal team (2006), as of 2011 playing in the third league.
In Nicosia, there is also the Sourp Asdvadzadzin church choir (Սուրբ Աստւոածածին եկեղեցւոյ երգչախումբ: 1921), under the auspices of the Armenian Prelature of Cyprus, and the “Nanor” junior dancing group (Նանոր: 2008), under the auspices of the Office of the Armenian MP.
Finally, the following foundations operate within the Armenian-Cypriot community: Sony VAIO VPCS11C5E Battery
Kalaydjian Foundation (Գալայճեան Հիմնարկոըթիւն, Larnaca: 1984).
“Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund (“Հայաստան” Համահայկական Հիմնադրամ, Nicosia: 1995).
Pharos Arts Foundation (Ίδρυμα Τεχνών Φάρος, Nicosia: 1998). Sony VAIO VPCS11D7E Battery
Sony VAIO VPCS12B7E BatteryArev Benevolent Foundation (Արեւ Բարեսիրական Հիմնարկութիւն, Nicosia: 2008).
The Kalaydjian Foundation manages the Kalaydjian Rest Home for the Elderly (Nicosia: 1988), which also houses Greek-Cypriot elderly. The Kalaydjian Rest Home for the Elderly was built on land leased by the government in Strovolos, Nicosia and it is one of the few purposely-built nursing homes in Cyprus. Its foundation stone was laid on 1 August 1987 by brothers Aram and Bedros Kalaydjian in memory of their parents,
Sony VAIO VPCS12A7R Battery Roupen and Marie Kalaydjian, and its inauguration took place on 6 March 1988 by Minister of Interior Christodoulos Veniamin. On 15 December 1995, Catholicos Aram I laid the foundation stone for the Holy Saviour of All chapel; Catholicos Aram I consecrated the chapel on 16 February 1997.
Sony VAIO VPCS12A7E BatteryIn 2005 the Rest Home underwent a major renovation and expansion with a second floor. The official inauguration of the new floor took place on 28 June 2006 by President Tassos Papadopoulos. The new floor is called “Alice and Arousiag Raphaelian” wing, after the sisters Arousiag and Alice Rafaelian, who bequeathed their house to the Kalaydjian Foundation.
In the past, Armenian-Cypriot groups were active in the following areas:
Music: The Melkonian Educational Institute was famous for its choir and band, both founded by the famous musician and composer Vahan Bedelian. Their recitals were often attended by the High Commissioner/Governor or the President;
Sony VAIO VPCS11M9R/B Battery in later years, Sebouh Abcarian became its conductor. The Melikian-Ouzounian National School also had a band founded and conducted by Vahan Bedelian (1926–1941); in 1927, the exile “King of Arabia”, Shariff of Mecca Hussein bin Ali, purchased new musical instruments for it. In the mid–1940s,
AYMA had the “Gomidas” church choir, founded and conducted by Sdepan Darakdjian, later archpriest Vazken Sandrouni. AYMA, AGBU and the Friends of Armenia Association (Paregamats) also had their amateur dance, choir and/or band ensembles. Sony VAIO VPCS11E7E Battery
Scouting: The Melkonian Educational Institute had the historical 7th Cyprus Scout Group (1932–2006), established by Headmaster Krikor Giragossian, Chief Scouts Major Onnig Cowan and Hagop Palamoudian and professors Levon Apkarian, Kersam Aharonian, Parounag Tovmassian and Vahan Bedelian.
Sony VAIO VPCS11J7E BatteryAYMA had the 77th Cyprus Scout Group (1959–1974 and 1986–1990), established by AYMA’s Chairman Anania Mahdessian and Chief Scouts Hagop Palamoudian and Artin Anmahouni. The Nicosia Armenian School had the 4th Cyprus Scout Group (1937–1963, 1966–1982 and 1999–2000),
Sony VAIO VPCS11G7E Batterywhile the Larnaca Armenian School had the 11th Cyprus Scout Group (1938–1959 και 1999–2001). Previously, there were other scout groups [e.g. Homenetmen scouts, (Larnaca: 1920–1922 and Nicosia: 1925–1930), the Larnaca Armenian School scouts (1927–1930) and the 12th Cyprus Scout Group (Nicosia: 1936–1947), Sony VAIO VPCS11F7E Battery
founded by Chief Scout Hagop Palamoudian. As most scout groups were mixed, there were only two guide groups: 8th Cyprus Guide Group (Melikian-Ouzounian: 1949–1963) and 9th Cyprus Guide Group (Melkonian: 1950–2005). Three distinguished Armenian-Cypriot scouts and guides are worth special mention: Hagop Palamoudian, Sony VAIO VPCS13S9E/B Battery
the first General Commissioner of the Cyprus Scouts Association) (1960–1962); Takouhy Devledian, amongst the founders of the Girl Guides Association of Cyprus, served as its General Commissioner (1987–1990); Artin Anmahouni, currently the oldest active scout in Cyprus is as of 1965 Honorary Commissioner of Armenian Scouts in Cyprus. Sony VAIO VPCS13V9E/B Battery
Football: The Gaydzak (Կայծակ=Lightning) team (Nicosia: 1930–1931) became Cyprus’ first cup holder in 1931. AYMA’s football team (established in 1945) is well-known amongst Cypriots, as it played in the first category (1947–1956 and 1960–1962); among its famous players were the late Armenian Archbishop of Greece, Sahag Ayvazian,
Sony VAIO VPCS11X9E Battery and the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Marios Garoyian. Other Armenian-Cypriot football teams were the ones of the Melkonian (1926–2005), of Homenetmen (1927–1928), Ararat (Արարատ) (1938–1940), Gaydzak (1943–1944 and 1960–1962, affiliated with the Armenian Club in Nicosia) and Nor Gaydzak (Նոր Կայծակ=New Gaydzak) (1944–1948, Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E Battery
affiliated with the Friends of Armenia Association); after Nor Gaydzak stopped, some of its players found themselves in the first team of Omonia, such as far-famed Sarkis Bedigian (known by his nickname “Kilis”). Sony VAIO VPCS11H7E Battery
Other sports: The Melkonian used to have volleyball and basketball teams (the latter won the first basketball championship in Cyprus, 1949–1950). The Friends of Armenia Association had a volleyball team. AYMA at times had ping-pong, darts, hockey and basketball teams; AYMA’s hockey team was established in 1945 and was for three consecutive years champion (1951–1954),
while AYMA's basketball team won the first basketball championship in Cyprus (1949–1950). The AGBU used to have women’s basketball and ping-pong teams. Sony VAIO PCG-3B1M Battery
Photography: Even though Armenians did not introduce photography in Cyprus, they improved the craft significantly and were the first ones to massively use retouching to produce coloured photos at a time where photographic lenses could record images only in black and white. There was a disproportionately large number of Armenian amateur and professional photographers active in Nicosia, Limassol,
Sony VAIO PCG-7144M Battery Larnaca and Famagusta. The most significant of these were Artin Anmahouni (Nicosia), Vahan Avedissian (Nicosia), Ardashes Bastadjian (Limassol), Diran Der Avedissian (Nicosia), Georges Der Parthogh (Nicosia), Hovhannes Gulian (Famagusta), Souren Keshishian (Larnaca), Hagop Kozalian (Famagusta), Haigaz Mangoian (Nicosia), Mateos Papazian (Nicosia), Minas Tilbian (Larnaca),
Sony VAIO PCG-71312M Battery Edward Voskeritchian (Limassol) and Giragos Zartarian (Nicosia). Their photographs are an idelible witness to the beauty of yesterday's Cyprus and constitute a window to times long gone. Today, only the descendants of the Mangoian and Voskeritchian families continue the photographic trade, in Nicosia and Limassol, respectively. Sony VAIO PCG-3C1T Battery
Printing As with photography, there was also an increased number of Armenian printers, in Nicosia and Larnaca. Historically, the first Armenian printer in Cyprus was Vahan Kurkjian (Pagouran). Pagouran set up his printing press in Nicosia as part of the National Educational Orphanage (1897-1904) and printed, Sony VAIO PCG-3D1M Battery
amongst others, the famous “Կիպրոս Կղզի” (Island of Cyprus: 1903); the book is the first out of many books dealing with the history of the Armenian-Cypriot community. Later on came Mardiros Mosditchian (Larnaca), Manuel Kassouni (Larnaca), Messia Ohanian (Larnaca), Maxoud Maxoudian (Nicosia), Setrak Guebenlian (Nicosia), Sony VAIO PCG-3G2M Battery
Haig Mosditchian (Larnaca) and Garabed Papazian (Larnaca), while during the 1940s-1950s there was a small printing press at the Melkonian Educational Institute. Some of the aforementioned printed their own newspapers, such as Arax (by Mardiros Mosditchian), Lousarpi (by Manuel Kassouni), Ovasis (by Maxoud Maxoudian),
Sony VAIO PCG-7153M Battery Nor Arax (by Haig Mosditchian), Henaran (by Setrak Guebenlian) and Deghegadou (by Garabed Papazian). It should be mentioned that Armenians were the first ones to introduce zincography in Cyprus.
Legal status & Representation
The Armenian Representatives, 1960–2012
With the Independence of Cyprus, on 16 August 1960, under Article 2 § 3 of the Constitution, the Armenians, the Latins and the Maronites were recognised as “religious groups”. In the referendum held on 13 November 1960,
all three religious groups opted to belong to the co-religious Greek-Cypriot community (as it was expected), something which consequently defined their political options in the game of inter-communal controversy and somewhat affected their relations with the Turkish-Cypriots, who in turn viewed them as an extension of the Greek-Cypriot political choices.Sony VAIO PCG-5R1M Battery
This is why the religious groups were treated similarly or even worse during the inter-communal troubles (1963–1964) and the brutal and unlawful Turkish invasion (1974). Sony VAIO PCG-7141M Battery
Article 110 § 3 recognises the administrative autonomy of the religious groups’ Churches, as it was established with the Hatt-ı Hümayun in 1856. According to Article 111, the three Churches retain their powers regarding matters of personal status. Law 95/1989 transferred the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts to the family courts,
Sony VAIO PCG-7162M Battery the configuration of which was defined by Law 87(I)/1994; of the three religious groups, only the Armenians participate in their workings.
In accordance with the provisions of Article 109 of the Constitution, Armenian-Cypriots were given political representation: as a result of their choice to belong to the Greek-Cypriot community,
Sony VAIO PCG-7154M Batteryan Armenian and a Latin participated in the Nicosia members of the Greek Communal Chamber, while a Maronite participated in the Kyrenia members (Colonial Law 36/1959, Colonial Law 6/1960 and Greek Communal Chamber Law 8/1960). The two Communal Chambers, which acted as a Lower Parliament, had jurisdiction over all religious, educational, cultural and other affairs of communal nature (Article 87). Sony VAIO PCG-7143M Battery
With the secession of the Turkish-Cypriots from the common state in 1963 and the self-dissolution of the Greek Communal Chamber in 1965, Sony VAIO PCG-7151M Battery
it was decided to transfer the executive powers of the Greek Communal Chamber to the newly-formed Ministry of Education and its legislative powers to the House of Representatives (Law 12/1965).
According to the Decision of the Council of Ministers 4.907/29–07–1965, it was decided that the three Representatives would provisionally continue to represent their communities in the House on issues pertaining to the jurisdiction of their Chamber and that the House was to request their opinion before legislating on pertinent matters (Law 12/1965). Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M Battery
Sony VAIO PCG-8152M BatteryIn order to approximate the tenure of the other MPs, the term of the three Representatives was annually extended (Law 45/1965, Law 49/1966, Law 50/1967, Law 87/1968 and Law 58/1969). The status of the three Representatives’ status in the House of Representatives was confirmed with Law 58/1970 and furthermore specified with Law 38/1976, Law 41/1981 and Law 66(I)/2011. As of 1991, Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M Battery
the elections for the three Representatives take place simultaneously and in parallel with the general parliamentary elections and the Representatives’ term is exactly the same with that of the proper MPs (Law 70/1986).
The Representatives act as liaisons between their communities and the state and they are par excellence competent to bring before the state all issues relating to their group. Their participation has a 5–year duration and a consultative character, as although they can express their views on matters relating to their group,
they do not have the right to vote. Especially in the case of the Armenians, the Representative delivers a speech about the Armenian Genocide during the plenary session of the House convened on or near the 24th of April each year.
So far, there have been six (6) Armenian Representatives: Berge Tilbian from Nicosia (1960–1970), Dr. Antranik L. Ashdjian from Nicosia (1970–1982), Aram Kalaydjian from Larnaca (1982–1995), Bedros Kalaydjian from Larnaca (1995–2005), Dr. Vahakn Atamyan from Nicosia (2005–2006) and Vartkes Mahdessian from Nicosia (2006–today ). Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M Battery
The Representatives enjoy the same privileges as the other MPs (non-liability, immunity, remuneration, tax exemptions etc.), they attend the plenary sessions of the House, they participate in the Parliamentary Committee for Education and the Consultative Committee for Private Education of the Ministry of Education and Culture, while as of 1999 they appoint the Elder MP of their group.
Sony VAIO PCG-7186M Battery Although they can express their views on matters relating to their group, they do not have the right to vote. Additionally, the Armenian and the Maronite Representatives consult with the Minister of Education and Culture, in relation to the latter’s suggestion to the Council of Ministers regarding the appointment of the Armenian Schools’ Committee and the Maronite Schools’ Committee (Law 103(I)/1999).Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M Battery
As of 1998, the elected Representative is ex officio member of the Diocesan Council (Թեմական Ժողով) of the Armenian Ethnarchy (Ազգային Իշխանութիւն).
“Concentrate your votes on the worthy candidate of the United Armenian-Cypriot Front, Berge Tilbian”. 1960 pamphlet
The first historical elections for the Armenian member of the Greek Communal Chamber took place on 5 August 1960 between Vahram Levonian and Berge Tilbian, who was elected after receiving 60,49% (1364 votes).
Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M Battery Between 1965–1970 the term of office for the Armenian, the Maronite and the Latin Representatives was extended by special laws, until Law 58/1970 was enacted, properly including them in the House of Representatives. The second elections were held on 19 July 1970 between Berge Tilbian and Dr.
Sony VAIO PCG-5S1M Battery Antranik L. Ashdjian, who was elected after receiving 56,30% (590 votes); Dr. Antranik L. Ashdjian was re-elected on 3 October 1976, with Aram Kalaydjian as his opponent, after receiving 50,96% (612 votes).
The next elections were held on 14 March 1982 between Dr. Antranik L. Ashdjian and Aram Kalaydjian, who secured 58.36% (771 votes); Aram Kalaydjian was re-elected on 13 July 1986, with Anna Ashdjian as his opponent, after securing 65,08% (792 votes), and again on 19 May 1991,
again winning over Anna Ashdjian and receiving 67,00% (875 votes). Because of Aram Kalaydjian’s death on 10 September 1995, a by-election took place on 22 October 1995, between Kevork Mahdessian and Bedros Kalaydjian, who won with 60,34% (849 votes). Bedros Kalaydjian was re-elected on 26 May 1996, securing 73,91% (997 votes) against Anna Ashdjian and again on 27 May 2001, receiving 57,13% (857 votes) against Dr. Garabed Khatcho-Kazandjian. Sony VAIO PCG-8141M Battery
Because of Bedros Kalaydjian’s death on 1 September 2005, a by-election was held on 9 October 2005, with Dr. Vahakn Atamyan receiving 52,03% (769 votes) against Dr. Antranik Ashdjian (43,91%) and Parsegh Zartarian (4,12%). The next elections took place on 21 May 2006, with Vartkes Mahdessian receiving 52,60% (899 votes) against Dr. Vahakn Atamyan. The most recent elections were held on 22 May 2011, with Vartkes Mahdessian securing 67,67% (1.105 votes) against Dr. Antranik Ashdjian.
Although not elected, the Armenians in Nicosia also have a mukhtar, appointed by the Ministry of Interior. The first mukhtar was Melik Melikian (1927–1949), succeeded by Kasbar Delyfer (1949–1956) and Vahe Kouyoumdjian (1956–2009). As of 1 January 2011, the current Armenian mukhtar is Mgo Kouyoumdjian. Sony VAIO PCG-8161M Battery
Like most communities of the Armenian Diaspora, the Armenian-Cypriot community is predominantly Armenian Apostolic (about 95%). Some 5% belong either to the Armenian Evangelical Church, the Armenian Catholic Church, the Latin Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Anglican Church, the Plymouth Brethren Church,
Sony VAIO PCG-7191L Battery the Seventh-day Adventist Church or they are Jehovah’s Witnesses; of this 5%, the most significant group has historically been the Armenian Evangelical Church, which in the 1940s and 1950s comprised about 10% of the Armenian-Cypriot community.
Armenian Prelature of Cyprus
‘The building of the Armenian Prelature of Cyprus in Strovolos, Nicosia
The Armenian Prelature of Cyprus (Առաջնորդարան Հայոց Կիպրոսի) was established in 973 by Catholicos Khatchig I and ever since it has maintained a continuous presence on the island. Historically, the Prelature has been under the jurisdiction of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia,
Sony VAIO PCG-71312M Battery while today it is the oldest theme that falls under its jurisdiction. In the past, for various reasons, it was at times under the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem (1775–1799, 1812–1837, 1848–1861, 1865–1877, 1888–1897, 1898–1908), the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople (1799–1812,
Sony VAIO PCG-7153M Battery1861–1864, 1877–1888, 1897–1898, 1908–1921), even the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin (1864–1865). The current Prelate, a Catholicosal Vicar General, is as of 1997 Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian. The parish priest in Nicosia is Fr. Momik Habeshian (since 2000), while the parish priest in Larnaca and Limassol is Fr. Mashdots Ashkarian (since 1992).
For centuries, the Prelature building was located within the Armenian compound on Victoria street in walled Nicosia; when that area was taken over by Turkish-Cypriot extremists in 1963–1964, the Prelature was temporarily housed on Aram Ouzounian street (1964–1968) and, later on, on Kyriakos Matsis street in Ayios Dhometios (1968–1984). Thanks to the efforts of Bishop Zareh Aznavorian and with financial aid from the Evangelical Church of Westphalia, the new Prelature building was erected in 1983,
Sony VAIO PCG-7181M Battery next to the Sourp Asdvadzadzin church and the Nareg school in Nicosia; it was officially inaugurated on 4 March 1984, during the pastoral visit of Catholicos Karekin II. By initiative of Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian, in 1998 the basement of the building was renovated and the “Vahram Utidjian” Hall was formed; previously a store room, it became a reality from the proceeds of the auction in 1994 of the art collection that Vahram Utidjian had donated to the Prelature in 1954.
Sony VAIO PCG-7162M BatteryIt was inaugurated on 3 February 1999 by Catholicos Aram I; numerous charity, communal and cultural events take place there. The Prelature’s consistory houses a collection of ecclesiastical relics, some of which were previously in the old Sourp Asdvadzadzin church or the Magaravank.
The Armenian Ethnarchy of Cyprus with Catholicos Aram I (2008)
The current Charter of the Prelature, first drafted in 1945 and ratified in 1950, consists of 102 articles and, in its present form, applies as of 3 September 2010. The administration is exercised by the Armenian Ethnarchy (Ազգային Իշխանութիւն) through the Diocesan Council (Թեմական Ժողով, consisting of the Prelate, two pastors and twelve elected lay persons) and the Administrative Council (Վարչական Ժողով,
Sony VAIO PCG-7151M Battery consisting of the Prelate and seven appointed lay persons), currently chaired by Sebouh Tavitian (as of 2007) and John Guevherian (as of 2011), respectively. As of 1998, the elected Representative is ex officio a member of the Diocesan Council. Sony VAIO PCG-3C1T Battery
There are also the local parish committees (թաղական հոգաբարձութիւններ, one in Nicosia, one in Larnaca and one in Limassol), the committee for Christian instruction (Քրիստոնէական դաստիարակութեան յանձնախումբ) and the Ladies’ committee (Տիկնանց յանձնախումբ). Under the committee for Christian instruction are the Sunday schools (Կիրակնօրեայ վարժարաններ) and the youth committee (երիտասարդական յանձնախումբ).
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According to the Decision of the Council of Ministers 66.589/19–12–2007, the Armenian Prelature of Cyprus receives an annual grant of €59.800 by the Republic of Cyprus; the Republic also pays the salaries of the Prelature’s clergy and covers their medical expenses (Decision of the Council of Ministers 48.166/22–07–1998). The same arrangements apply for the Maronite Archbishopric of Cyprus and the Latin Vicariate of Cyprus (the latter, however, receives an annual grant of €51.260).
List of Prelates
Below is the list of Prelates of the Armenian Prelature of Cyprus, according to available information. Unfortunately, there are some gaps:
Year Prelate Year Prelate Year Prelate Year Prelate Year Prelate
The old Nicosia Evangelical (Reformed Presbyterian) church (1950s)
Armenian Evangelical Church
The first Armenian Evangelicals in Cyprus came after the arrival of the British in July 1878. As they were not committed, and very few, they quickly became associated with the Mother Church (Armenian Apostolic Church), Sony VAIO PCG-3D1M Battery
such as Apisoghom Utidjian, the official state documents translator and the son of Stepan Utidjian, one the original founders of the Armenian Evangelical Church. With the influx of more Protestants, Armenian Evangelicals became affiliated with the Reformed Presbyerian Church as early as 1887. Although the main centres were Nicosia and Larnaca, gatherings were occasionally held in Limassol, Famagusta and Amiandos.
Sony VAIO PCG-7141M Battery In Larnaca, gatherings were held at the Reformed Presbyterian Mission church (built in 1892 and re-built in 1901–1902). In Nicosia, gatherings were initially held at the Reformed Presbyterian Mission church (built in 1906–1907), until Armenian Evangelicals built their own church in 1945–1946; a kitchen was added in 1959. Sony VAIO PCG-3G2M Battery
Armenian Evangelicals were granted provisional autonomy from the Reformed Presbyterian Mission in 1954, which was formalised in 1962. In Larnaca, as Armenian Evangelicals dwindled after the inter-communal troubles of 1963–1964, Sony VAIO PCG-5R1M Battery
services were no longer held; in Nicosia, the Armenian Evangelical church was taken over by Turkish-Cypriot extremists during the 1963–1964 inter-communal troubles and so services were held at the American Academy chapel (built in 1955) until 1973.
After nearly 30 years of inactivity, by initiative of Nevart Kassouni-Panayiotides and the late Lydia Gulesserian and with the help of Hrayr Jebejian, Executive Secretary of the Bible Society in the Gulf, Armenian Evangelicals were re-organised at the Greek Evangelical church in Larnaca in 2002. Since 2005, when Hrayr Jebejian moved to Cyprus, services are held every few months at the Greek Evangelical church in Nicosia. The following is a list of the Armenian Reverends and preachers in charge of the Armenian Evangelical community of Cyprus.
Headmaster Term Jurisdiction Headmaster Term Jurisdiction Headmaster
Places of worship
Cyprus has five Armenian churches, two in the capital Nicosia (one under Turkish occupation since 1974) and from one in Limassol, Larnaca and Famagusta; the latter has been occupied by the Turks since 1974. There are also three Armenian chapels in the vicinity of Nicosia and one within the Magaravank complex, also under Turkish occupation since 1974.
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Sourp Asdvadzadzin church in Strovolos, Nicosia
The building of the Armenian Prelature of Cyprus and the cathedral of Sourp Asdvadzadzin (Սուրբ Աստուածածին, Virgin Mary) are located in Strovolos, Nicosia. The Prelature building was built in 1983–1984 and was inaugurated on 4 March 1984 by Catholicos Karekin II of Cilicia. The Prelature’s consistory houses a collection of ecclesiastical relics,Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M Battery
Sony VAIO PCG-31111M Battery some of which were previously kept at the Magaravank or the old Sourp Asdvadzadzin church; the relics are kept at a display case, donated in 1986 by Garabed and Nshan Arakchindjian. The Prelature’s basement is the “Vahram Utidjian” Hall, which was inaugurated on 3 February 1999 by Catholicos Aram I.
Sony VAIO PCG-81112M Battery The hall, previously a store room, became a reality from the proceeds of the auction in 1994 of the art collection that Vahram Utidjian donated to the Prelature in 1954. It is one of the main venues for events of the Armenian-Cypriot community. Together with the Sourp Asdvadzadzin church and the Nareg Armenian School, the land was granted in trust to the community on 16 December 1966 by the government; Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M Battery
on 10 December 1979, Strovolos Improvement Board decided to rename the road in front of the land from “Cyclops street” to “Armenia street”, as a gesture of solidarity to the Armenian people. A freehold title deed on the land was given on 31 March 1983. Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M Battery
Sourp Asdvadzadzin church in Strovolos, Nicosia
Sourp Amenapergitch chapel in Strovolos, Nicosia
The Sourp Asdvadzadzin cathedral was built between 1976–1981,with financial help from the World Council of Churches, the Evangelical Church of Westphalia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Holy Archbishopric of Cyprus and the faithful.
Sony VAIO PCG-7186M Battery Located next to Nareg Elementary School, its foundation stone was laid on 25 September 1976 by Archbishop Makarios III and Bishop Nerses Pakhdigian. On 16 April 1978, the Co-adjutor Catholicos Karekin II blessed the 16 columns of the church, while the inauguration and consecration of the cathedral took place on 22 November 1981 by Catholicos Khoren I and his Co-adjutor Karekin II.
Sony VAIO PCG-7171M Battery It is the only church in Cyprus built in a traditional Armenian style, with a central octagonal dome and a smaller dome for the bell. The church was renovated externally in late 2005 in memory of the Tutundjian family, killed in the Helios air accident, while the belfry was also repaired that year in memory of the late archpriest, der Vazken Sandrouni.
The church was renovated internally in mid–2008. Many of its icons are the work of Lebanese-Armenian painter Zohrab Keshishian.
Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M BatteryIt is interesting that just below the holy altar, there is a khachkar donated by the Holy See of Etchmiadzin. On top of the church’s entrance there is a marble inscription in Armenian reading:
“Կառուցաւ սուրբ եկեղեցիս յանուն Սրբուհւոյ Աստուածածնին ի հայրապետութեան Տ. Տ. Խորենայ Ա. Կաթողիկոսի եւ Աթոռակցի Նորին Տ. Տ. Գարեգին Բ. Կաթողիկոսի եւ յառաջնորդութեան Տ. Զարեհայ Եպիսկոպոսի Ազնագորեան սրտադիր ջանիւք ամենայն զաւակայ Թեմիս Հայոց Կիպրոսի, եւ առատապարգեւ օժանդակութեամբ Միացեալ Եկեղեցւոյն Վեսթֆալիոյ եւ ձեռնտուութեամբ բարեխնամ կառավարութեամբ Կիպրոսի ի թուին Հայոց ՌՆԼ. Եւ փրկչական 1981 թուին” (This holy temple by the name of the Holy Mother of God was constructed during the pontificate of Catholicos Mr Mr Khoren I and His Co-adjutor Catholicos Mr Mr Karekin II and during the prelacy of Bishop Mr Zareh Aznavorian with the whole-hearted efforts of all the children of the Armenian Diocese of Cyprus, Sony VAIO PCG-8141M Battery
and the generously donated support of the Westphalia United Church and the assistance of the attentive government of Cyprus in the year 1430 of the Armenians and the year of our Lord 1981)
On the side of the church there is a marble inscription in Greek reading: Sony VAIO PCG-8161M Battery
“Ο ιερός ούτος ναός της Παναγίας των Αρμενίων εθεμελιώθη υπό της Α. Μ. του Προέδρου της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας Αρχιεπισκόπου Μακαρίου Γ’ την 25ην Σεπτεμβρίου 1976”” (The foundation of this holy temple of the Mother of God of the Armenians was laid by H. B. the President of the Republic of Cyprus Archbishop Makarios III on 25 September 1976)
The old Armenian Evangelical church in old Nicosia
In front of the church’s entrance is a white marble khachkar (cross-stone) dedicated to the eternal friendship of Armenians and Greeks in Cyprus; it was unveiled on 21 October 2001 by Presidential Commissioner Manolis Christophides. To the side of the church’s entrance is the bronze bust of Archbishop Zareh Aznavorian;
Sony VAIO PCG-5N2M Batteryit was unveiled on 1 May 2005 by Italian-Armenian donator Aleco Bezigian. Finally, in the coutryard of the church is the white marble Armenian Genocide Monument; it was unveiled on 24 April 1991 by Senior Archimandrite Yeghishe Madjikian. In 2000, two white marble ossuaries were built in front of it, as well as five small sandstone khachkar-like columns. Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M Battery
Sourp Boghos chapel in Nicosia
Sourp Haroutiun chapel in Ayios Dhometios
In the old Armenian cemetery, near the Ledra Palace hotel, there is the Sourp Boghos (Սուրբ Պօղոս, Saint Paul) chapel, built in 1892 by donation of Boghos Odadjian. Left unused since the 1963-1964 intercommunal troubles, Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M Battery
the chapel and the cemetery fell into disuse. It was restored between 2008–2009, together with the rest of the cemetery, by initiative of Representative Vartkes Mahdessian and the Armenian Ethnarchy of Cyprus. On top of the chapel’s entrance there is a marble inscription in Armenian reading:
“Կառուցաւ ս. տաճարս ‘ի հիմանց յանուն Ս. Առաքելոցն Պօղոսի արդեամբ բարեպաշտ Օտաճեան Պօղոսի Կ. Պօլսեցւոյ. Յամի Ս՟ռն 1892” (This holy temple was constructed from its foundations by the name of the H. Apostle Paul by commission of the pious Constantinopolitan Odadjian Boghos in the Lord’s Year 1892) Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M Battery
Behind it, from inside the chapel, there is another marble inscription in Armenian reading:
“Կառուցաւ մատուրս արդեամբ Օտաճեան Պօպոսի, մասնակցութեամբ արկեղ Եկեղեցւոյ Հայոց ազգի, Յ’ Առաջնորդութեամբ Տ. Խորենայ Վարդապէտի, Յ’ Ամի Տեառն 1892.ի:” (This chapel was constructed by commission of Odadjian Boghos, with the participation of the fund of the Church of the Armenian nation, during the prelacy of Archimandrite Mr Khoren, in the Lord’s Year 1892.)
In the Armenian cemetery near Ayios Dhometios there is the Sourp Haroutiun (Սուրբ Յարութիւն, Holy Resurrection) chapel, built in 1938 by donation of Haroutiun Bohdjalian and consecrated in 1949 by Bishop Ghevont Chebeyan. Left unused since the 1974 Turkish invasion, it was renovated in 2010. On top of its entrance,
Sony VAIO PCG-81112M Battery there is a marble inscription in Armenian reading:
“Ս. Յարութիւն: Շինեցաւ Ս. Յարութիւն մատուռս արդեամբ Սիար Յարութիւն Պօհճալեանի ի յիշատակ իւր եւ իւր ննջեցելոց 1938:” (Holy Resurrection. This Holy resurrection chapel was built by commission of Mr Haroutiun Bohdjalian in memory of him and his deceased 1938.)
Finally, the Sourp Amenapergitch (Սուրբ Ամենափրկիչ, Saviour of All) chapel, was built between 1995–1997, by donation of Aram and Bedros Kalaydjian. Located in Strovolos, Nicosia, within the premises of the Kalaydjian Rest Home for the Elderly, its foundation stone was laid on 15 December 1995 by the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, Aram I, who inaugurated it on 16 February 1997. On top of its entrance, there is a marble inscription in Armenian reading:
“Սուրբ Ամենափրկիչ մատուռ” (Holy Saviour of All chapel) Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M Battery
The old Sourp Asdvadzadzin church in old Nicosia
The old Sourp Asdvadzadzin (Սուրբ Աստուածածին, Virgin Mary) cathedral, today in the Turkish-occupied part of the walled city of Nicosia, also known as Notre Dame de Tyre or Tortosa, was originally a Benedictine Abbey built between 1308–1310, on the site of an older church which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1303,
where Armenian-Catholic nuns served. Sometime before 1504 it passed into the hands of the Armenian Apostolic Church and it used to be the centre of the Armenian community of Cyprus until it was captured,
Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M Batteryalong with the rest of the Armenian quarter, by Turkish-Cypriot extremists during the 1963–1964 Turkish-Cypriot mutiny and occupied by Turkey during the 1974 Turkish invasion. After the osmanian occupation of Cyprus in 1570, Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M Battery
it was temporarily used as a salt store, until it was returned to the Armenian community by a firman in May 1571; the Armenian ownership of the church was further confirmed by another firman in May 1614. During the period of the Armenian Genocide, many persecuted Armenian refugees sought shelter on its verandah.
Sony VAIO PCG-5S1M Battery It was located next to the old Prelature building, the Melikian-Ouzounian school, the Armenian Genocide monument and the Melikian family mansion.
After its illegal occupation by the Turkish army in 1974, it was used as a camp, until it suffered further damages by an earhquake in 1998. The site was abandoned and illegal Anatolian settlers inhabited the place until 2007. In 2005,
the UNDP conducted a feasibility study for its potential restoration. Heavily desecrated, its restoration finally started in October 2009 by the UNDP-USAID, and it is expected to be completed in mid 2012.
There was also a small Armenian Evangelical church, located in the Turkish-occupied part of the walled city of Nicosia, built in 1945–1946 near the Arab Ahmed mosque and inaugurated on 23 July 1946 by pastor Yohanna Der Megerditchian; it was expanded in 1959, with the addition of a kitchen. Today it is illegally used as a handicrafts centre.Sony VAIO PCG-8141M Battery
Sourp Stepanos church in Larnaca
The church of Sourp Stepanos (Սուրբ Ստեփանոս, Saint Stephen) was originally built as a chapel by the Armenian refugees who came to Larnaca after the Adana massacre in 1909. It was built as a replica of Adana’s main church and was dedicated to Adana’s patron Saint, Saint Stephen.
Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M Battery However, as most of the refugees returned, the chapel was left unfinished. After a fund-raising which started on 24 October 1912, the small chapel became a church, whose construction finished on 1 April 1913. Sony VAIO PCG-8161M Battery
Dedicated to the memory of the martyrs of the Adana massacre, it is the first monument in the entire Armenian Diaspora in memory of the Armenian massacres in the Ottoman Empire. On top of church’s façade there is a commemorative composition featuring the Armenian ethnarch Haig, the last King of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, Levon V, Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery
a scroll held by a hand – representing the Ten Commandments and the four symbols of the Four Evangelists; around King Levon V, there is a commemorative inscription in Armenian:
The commemorative façade of Sourp Stepanos church in Larnaca
“Ի Յիշատակ Կիլիկիոյ Նահատակաց – 1 Ապր. 1909″ (In Memory of the Cilician Martyrs – 1 Apr. 1909)
while under the composition and above the entrance it says:
“Հայկական Մատուռ” (Armenian Chapel)
The church was inaugurated on 20 May 1914 by Senior Archimandrite Serovpe Samvelian and was consecrated on 30 June 1918 by Archbishop Taniel Hagopian. Until the early 1940s, there was a small octagonal dome on top of the church. The church was renovated between 1956–1957 and again in 1998. To the left and the right of the entrance, there are two marble inscriptions in Armenian: to the left, the inscription reads: Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery
“Կառուցաւ մատուռս Յամի Տեառն 1909″ (This chapel was constructed in the Lord’s Year 1909)
and to the right, the inscription reads:
“Նորոգեցաւ մատուռս յամի Տեառն 1998″ (This chapel was renovated in the Lord’s Year 1998)
Many of the church’s icons are the work of Lebanese-Armenian painter Fr. Hovsep Ashkarian.
Sourp Kevork church in Limassol
The church of Sourp Kevork (Սուրբ Գէորգ, Saint George) is built on land donated circa 1935 by Satenig Soultanian, in memory of her father-in-law, Kevork. As the small Armenian community of Limassol could not afford to build a church, a theatre company was formed under Ardashes Bastadjian, giving performances in Nicosia,
Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P BatteryLarnaca and Limassol. Together with a contribution by the Armenian Prelature of Cyprus and Stepan Kavafian, the church was built between 1939–1940, while its consecration took place on 11 April 1948 by Bishop Ghevont Chebeyian. The church was renovated between 1975–1976 and again in 2006, while in 1989 its bell was made electronic by donation of brothers Garabed and Nshan Arakchindjian. Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery
During the 1975-1976 renovation, the belltower was placed on top of the entrance, while during the 2006 renovation, an Armenian cross was added with the inscription in Armenian reading:
“Սուրբ Գէորգ եկեղեցի” (Saint George’s church)
On the outside of the repository, where the belltower used to be, there is another inscription in Armenian. In front of the church is a dark brown tuff stone khachkar (cross-stone), donated by the Arakelyan family; it was unveiled by Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian on 28 September 2008. Next to the church is the Limassol Armenian school. Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery
The Ganchvor church in Famagusta
The church of Sourp Asdvadzadzin Ganchvor (Սուրբ Աստուածածին Կանչուոր, Virgin Mary the Caller) was probably built in 1346 by Armenian refugees who escaped the Mameluke attacks against Ayas of Cilicia. It is located in the Turkish-occupied walled city of Famagusta and it is believed it was a part of an important monastic,
Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN Batterycultural and theological establishment, at which Saint Nerses of Lambron is said to have studied. Left for more than three and a half centuries unused, because of Ottoman restrictions, it was repaired in 1907 by the Department of Antiquities, which restored it between 1937–1944.
On 7 March 1936, the church was leased to the Armenian Prelature of Cyprus for a period of 99 years. It was officially re-inaugurated on 14 January 1945 by Archimandrite Krikor Bahlavouni (also known as “Topal Vartabed”). On 8 March 1957, the church was partially burnt by Turkish-Cypriots, but continued to be used as an Armenian church until 1962;Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery
since then, the Famagusta Armenian community used the church of Ayia Paraskevi, which the Holy Archbishopric of Cyprus granted. In January 1964, it was taken by extremist Turkish-Cypriots during the 1963–1964 Turkish-Cypriot mutiny and was occupied by Turkey in August 1974 during the 1974 Turkish invasion. Until 2005, Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Batteryit was located in a “military area”. It has been left at the mercy of nature and vandals and it is in need of repairments.
The Magaravank in Halevga
Of great importance is the Sourp Magar (Սուրբ Մակար, Saint Makarios) monastery (Մակարավանք, Magaravank), located within Plataniotissa forest near Turkish-occupied Halevga, on the Pentadhaktylos mountain range. Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery
The monastery was originally established by Copts circa the year 1000 on a location in which Saint Macarius is said to have been an ascetic; in fact, until the early 20th century, the Armenian residents of the region believed they could hear the Saint galloping with his horse at night. The monastery passed into the hands of the Armenians sometime before 1425. Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery
During the Latin Era, its monks were known for their strict diet, while during the Ottoman Era it was known as the “Blue Monastery” (Armenian: Կապոյտ Վանք, Turkish: Կէօք Մանասթըր/Mavi Manastır, Greek: Κυανούν Μοναστήρι), from the colour of its doors and its windown blinds. For centuries, it had been a renowned place of pilgrimage for Armenians and non-Armenians alike,
Sony VGP-BPS21/S Batterya way station for pilgrims en route to the Holy Land, as well as a place of recuperation and rest for Armenian Catholicoi and clergymen (it was the favourite holiday resort for Catholicos Sahag II, who used to ride his horse around its vast lands). Amongst its guests was Hovsep Shishmanian (better known by his literary name “Dzerents”), who spent much of his time there; inspired by the visible outline of the distant Taurus Mountains, in 1875 he wrote the historical novel Toros Levoni,
Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Batteryset in the times of the Cilician Kingdom of Armenia. One of the most important visitors of the monastery had been Abbot Mekhitar of Sebaste, who spent some time there in 1695 on his way to Rome.
A large number of exquisite and invaluable manuscripts were housed there, as was the miracle-working icon of Saint Makarios and some valuable ecclesiastical vessels; the manuscripts and the vessels were transferred to Nicosia in the early 20th century and are today kept at a display case located at the premises of the Armenian Prelature of Cyprus.Sony VGP-BPS13A/B Battery
The monastery used to be a resort for Armenian scouts, students and families, especially on weekends and during the summer holidays, while after the Hamidian massacres (1894–1896), many of the Armenian refugees who fled to Cyprus found refuge here. Between 1897–1914,
Sony VGP-BPS21A Batterya small Armenian school was set up for the children of the families living around the monastery. Until 1974, Magaravank was the centre of attraction for almost the entire Armenian-Cypriot community. Its vast lands (about 8.500 donums) reached up to the seashore and included about 30.000 olive and carob trees, whose exploitation used to be the Prelature’s main source of income before 1974. Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery
Panoramic view of the Magaravank (1926)
A large-scale renovation took place between 1734–1735 by Archimandrite Haroutiun, while between 1811–1818 Symeon Agha of Crimea financed a complete reparation and built the present chapel of the monastery.
Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery The initial chapel was at the centre of the Magaravank compound, however it was destroyed by earthquakes and natural conditions; the present chapel was built next to the original chapel in 1814. Renovations and restorations took place also in 1866 (by commission of the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople Boghos Taktalian), in 1926 (by commission of Dikran Ouzounian, Ashod Aslanian and Garo Balian),
in 1929 (by commission of Boghos and Anna Magarian), between 1947–1949 (by initiative of Hovhannes Shakarian) and again in 1973 (by initiative of the Armenian Ethnarchy of Cyprus. The square, to the east of the monastery, was constructed in 1933 by commission of Catholicos Sahag II.
The chapel of the monastery was a favourite place for Christenings. It was completely defaced and desecrated by the Turkish troops, who occupied the monastery in August 1974. Left at the mercy of nature and vandals, today it is in a pitiful state. Between 1998–1999, the occupying regime intended to turn it into a hotel;
Sony VGP-BPS13/Q Batteryafter co-ordinated reactions, this unholy plan was averted. By initiative of Representative Vartkes Mahdessian and the Armenian Ethnarchy, on 6 May 2007 the first visit-pilgrimage took place there after 33 years; this visit-pilgrimage was repeated on 10 May 2009, 9 May 2010 and 8 May 2011, with the participation of a large number of Armenian-Cypriots, some of whom came from abroad Sony VGP-BPS13 Batterty
Armenians have always placed particular emphasis on education, which – in conjunction with the Church – is the foundation of their national and cultural heritage. The first Armenian school in Cyprus, established by Archimandrite Vartan Mamigonian, Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VN/H Battery
opened its doors in Nicosia in 1870. More Armenian schools followed in Nicosia, Larnaca, Limassol, Famagusta, Amiandos, Magaravank and elsewhere, some public others private. Of the private ones, the most significant ones were the Melkonian Educational Institute in Nicosia (1926–2005) and the “National Educational Orphanage” in Nicosia and Magaravank (1897–1904.
The individual public Armenian schools in Cyprus were placed under common administration in 1961, with a Headmaster in Nicosia, a senior teacher in Larnaca and a senior teacher in Limassol; the Famagusta Armenian school had only one teacher. As of 1972, Armenian Elementary Schools in Cyprus were called “Nareg National Schools” (Նարեկ Ազգային Վարժարաններ), in memory of monk, poet,
Sony Vaio VGN-FW56SR Batterymystical philosopher and theologian Krikor Naregatsi (951–1003), whose sandstone statue was placed in 1991 in front of the Nicosia Nareg school, sculpted by the famous Armenian sculptor Levon Tokmadjian.
Sony Vaio VGN-FW56ZR Battery Also in 1991, they assumed their current name “Nareg Armenian Schools” (Նարեկ Հայկական Վարժարաններ). Today, there is one Nareg school in Nicosia, one in Larnaca and one in Limassol, all under the auspices of the Armenian Schools’ Committee (Կիպրահայ Վարժարաններու Հոգաբարձութիւն).
The Committee was initially appointed by the Armenian Ethnarchy of Cyprus until 1921, when its members were appointed by the High Commissioner/Governor (Colonial Law XXIV/1920); currently, its members are appointed for a 5–year term by the Council of Ministers, after the suggestion of the Minister of Education and Culture, who consults with the elected Representative [Law 103(I)/1999].
In Nicosia, the Nareg School also operates as a Gymnasium (Junior High School), as of September 2005. As of September 2009, the schools’ Headmistress is Vera Tahmazian, while as of November 2009 the 11–member Schools’ Committee is headed by Vartan Tashdjian. All three schools are adjacent to the local churches and have about 185 students in total. Sony Vaio VGN-FW56Z Battery
The education they provide is tri-lingual (Armenian, Greek, English) and their curriculum is equivalent to that provided by the Cypriot public schools, in addition to lessons of Armenian language, history and religion, as well as activities that cultivate Armenianism and Armenology. Their budget is covered fully by the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus.
Below is a list of the Headmasters for the National/Armenian Schools in Cyprus, from 1921 until today (there is no complete information before 1921):
Headmaster Term Jurisdiction
The renowned Melkonian Educational Institute (Մելգոնեան Կրթական Միութիւն) was built after the generous and benevolent donation of tobacco-trading brothers Krikor and Garabed Melkonian,
Sony Vaio VGN-SR57X Batterywho were not left apathetic by the horrific Armenian Genocide. Adana Prelate, Bishop Moushegh Seropian, had encouraged the Melkonian brothers [commonly referred to as parerarner (բարերարներ=benefactors)] to undertake such a project, in order to give shelter and education to about 500 Armenian orphans of the Armenian Genocide who had fled to Syria, Lebanon and Mesopotamia.
Sony Vaio VGN-SR57V Battery According to tradition, the location, at the time 3 km outside Nicosia, is said to have been chosen in 1923 by Garabed Melkonian himself, because no minaterts could be seen from there. Its foundation stone was laid on 15 February 1924 by High Commissioner Sir Malcolm Stevenson and it was inaugurated on 13 February 1926 by Archbishop Zaven der Yeghiayian. Sony Vaio VGN-SR57S Battery
The grove in front of the school was planted by the first orphans, in memory of their relatives who perished during the Armenian Genocide. The Melkonian evolved from an orphanage (1926–1940) to a renowned secondary school (1934–2005). Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery
A unique and unparalleled achievement, it was a beacon of hope and culture for Armenianism and Armenophony across the world, boasting an international membership of Armenian students from over 30 countries. From 1930 until its unjust closure in 2005, 1.828 students graduates from here. Rightly, it was called an ambassador of Cyprus to all over the world. It had a boarding section, a rich library and well-equipped laboratories.Sony VPCF11C5E Battery
Garabed Melkonian assigned the administration of the school to the AGBU on 28 December 1925. Upon becoming a secondary school, the Melkonian Educational Institute offered various branches of education. Between 1935-1967 there was a pedagogigal/teachers’ section, Sony VPCF11D4E Battery
between 1936-1942 there was a technical school (according to the reports of the Director of the Department of Education, Sony VPCF11M1E/H Battery
the first true technical school of the island), between 1937–1964 and 1974-2005 there was a commercial section, between 1950-2005 there was a science section, between 1964-1973 there was a general education section, while between 1966-1975 there was a social sciences section.
Sony VPCY21S1E BatteryOther than English, French and Armenian (both Western Armenian and Classical Armenian), at times and depending on the countries of origin of the student population, the students were also taught Greek, Arabic, Persian, Bulgarian and Russian. Sony VPCF11S1E/B Battery
Also known as “an island within an island”, it had a great educational and cultural impact on the Armenian-Cypriot community. It had a theatre group, a dance group, a choir, a band, a football team, a basketball team, a boys’ volleyball team and a girls’ volleyball team, as well as the historical 7th Cyprus Scout Group (1932–2006) and the 9th Cyprus Guide Team (1950–2005).
Sony VPCF23QIE Battery The Melkonian Educational Institute published the famous Ayk magazine [Այգ (Dawn), 1937–1940, 1948–1956, 1959–1964, 1970–1982, 1993–2006], the oldest Armenian secondary school magazine, as well as the Tsolk newspaper [Ցոլք (Gleam), 1968–1991] and Hayatsk newspaper [Հայեագք (Glance), 1998–2000], which later on became the Hayatsk magazine (2000–2004).
The Melkonian Educational Institute had been the largest and longest-living Western Armenian boarding school. The new boarding section was built between 1987–1989 to the east of the twin buildings; its foundation stone was laid on 24 May 1987 by President Spyros Kyprianou, while its inauguration took place on 21 October 1989 by Acting President Vassos Lyssarides.
Sony VPCF21Z1E/BI Battery The school was administered by the New York-based AGBU, according to the contract signed by the benefactor Garabed Melkonian on 28 December 1925. Unfortunately, it was closed down in 2005 because of AGBU’s greed masked behind the façade that the school was no longer operating efficiently. Sony VPCF115FG/B Battery
Although the litigation was won by AGBU’s legal team, there is a permanent ministerial decree (02/03/2007) that characterises 60% of its total area as being of “special architectural, historical and social character and natural beauty”. Sony VPCF21Z1E Battery
Between the two historical buildings of the Melkonian Educational Institute, there is the white marble Mausoleum of the immortal benefactors, Krikor Melkonian and Garabed Melkonian; its foundation stone was laid on 24 April 1954 by Bishop Ghevont Chebeyan, who unveiled it on 15 January 1956.
Sony VPCF13M1E/H BatteryOn the buildings’ sides facing the Benefactors’ Mausoleum are the twin sandstone monuments for the Armenian Alphabet and Mother Armenia; they were unveiled by AGBU President Alec Manougian. Sony VPCF22J1E Battery
Between the old and the new buildings, there is a series of sandstone statues depicting important pillars of Armenian history and letters: (great Armenian marine painter Hovhannes Aivazovsky, first Armenian printer Hagop Meghabard, great Armenian musician, composer and conductor Gomidas Vartabed Soghomonian, Sony VPCF22L1E Battery
inventor of the Armenian alphabet Saint Mesrob Mashdots, Armenian national hero, freedom fighter and military commander General Antranik Ozanian, great Armenian poet and Melkonian teacher Vahan Tekeyan and great Armenian historian of the “Golden Century” Movses Khorenatsi), all placed between 1990–1991. Sony VPCF22M1E Battery
Finally, in front of the new boarding section there is the white marble bust of then AGBU President Alec Manougian, placed there in 1990; the sandstone statues and the marble bust are the work of Armenian sculptor Levon Tokmadjian, who chiselled them on site, at the request of Headmaster Vahe Gabouchian. Sony VPCF22S1E Battery
Originally, the Melkonian Educational Institute was administered only by the Headmaster. As of 1940, it was supervised by the Melkonian Educational Institute School Committee (Մելգոնեան Կրթական Հաստատութեան Հոգաբարձութիւն), appointed by the AGBU Central Board; usually, the school committee had 5 members. Below is a list of Headmasters and Headmistresses of the Institute: Sony VPCF22S8E Battery
Nicosia’s first Armenian school was established in 1870 by newly-arrived Archimandrite Vartan Mamigonian and was called National Armenian School (Հայ Ազգային Վարժարան). In 1886 it was repaired by priest Hovhannes Shahinian, who called it Vartanants Boys’ School (Վարդանանց Մանչերու Վարժարան), Sony VPCF23M1E Battery
while in 1902 Archimandrite Bedros Saradjian founded the Shoushanian Girls’ School (Շուշանեան Աղջկանց Վարժարան). In 1921, by the will and testament of wealthy local landowner Artin Bey Melikian, the Melikian National School (Մելիքեան Ազգային Վարժարան) was founded, thus replacing the previous two schools into a co-educational one. Sony VPCF23Q1E Battery
In 1938 the Ouzounian National School (Ուզունեան Ազգային Վարժարան) was built, after the donation of successful businessman Dickran Ouzounian; subsequently, the school operated under the name Melikian-Ouzounian National School (Մելիգեան-Ուզունեան Ազգային Վարժարան).
Both of them were taken over by Turkish-Cypriot extremists during the 1963–1964 Turkish-Cypriot mutiny. From February–June 1964, the Armenian National School (Հայ Ազգային Վարժարան) was housed at the Mitsis’ School for Girls on Makarios Avenue,Sony VPCF23S1E Battery
Sony VPCF12Z1E/BI Battery while from September 1964–June 1972 it was housed in two pre-fabricated buildings on the grounds of the Melkonian, until it moved to its current premises, built between 1971–1972. The new building was inaugurated on 12 November 1972 by Archbishop Makarios III and Catholicos Khoren I. Currently, it has about 125 students.
Just before the entrance of the school, there is a marble commemorative plaque in Greek reading:
“Το Δημοτικόν Σχολείον Ναρέκ εκτίσθη επί χώρου δωρηθέντος υπό της κυπριακής κυβερνήσεως και ενεκαινιάσθη υπό της Α. Μ. του Προέδρου της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας Αρχιεπισκόπου Μακαρίου Γ’ την 12ην Νοεμβρίου 1972 παρουσία του Καθόλικου Χορέν Α’ της Κιλικίας. Η ανέγερσις του σχολείου έγινε με την φροντίδα του Αντιπροσώπου της αρμενικής κοινότητος εις την Βουλήν Δρος Αντρανίκ Αστζιάν”Sony VPCF24M1E Battery
(The Nareg Elementary School was built on ground donated by the government of Cyprus and was inaugurated by H. B. the President of the Republic of Cyprus Archbishop Makarios III on the 12th November 1972 in the presence of Catholicos Khoren I of Cilicia. The erection of the school was made under the care of the Representative of the Armenian community in the House Dr Antranik Ashdjian)
In front of the school’s entrance is the sandstone statue of Saint Gregory of Nareg, the work of Armenian sculptor Levon Tokmadjian; it was unveiled by School Committee member Takouhi Ashdjian on 28 March 1991. Between 2008–2010, a new auditorium was built by the Technical Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture;
Sony VPCF13Z8E Battery the auditorium was inaugurated on 17 May 2011 by Minister of Education and Culture, Dr. Andreas Demetriou. On the side of the entrance, there is a marble commemorative plaque in Greek and Armenian reading: Sony VPCF11S1E Battery
“Η αίθουσα αυτή εγκαινιάσθηκε από τον έντιμο Υπουργό Παιδείας και Πολιτισμού Δρ. Ανδρέα Δημητρίου την 17η Μαΐου 2011 επί θητείας του Εκπροσώπου της αρμενικής κοινότητας στη Βουλή των Αντιπροσώπων κ. Βαρτκές Μαχτεσιάν – Սրահի բացումը կատարուեցաւ ձեռամբ Կիպրոսի Կրթութեան եւ Մշակոյթի Նախարար Դոկտ. Անտրէաս Տիմիթրիույի Հայ համայնքի Պետական Ներկայացուցիչ Պրն. Վարդգէս Մահտեսեանի պաշտօնավարութեան շրջանին” (This hall was inaugurated by the honourable Minister of Education and Culture Dr. Andreas Demetriou on the 17th May 2011 during the term of the Representative of the Armenian community in the House of Representatives Mr Vartkes Mahdessian)
Larnaca’s Armenian school (1923)
Nareg Armenian school in Larnaca
Larnaca’s Armenian school was originally established in 1909 by Miss Rebecca Gomidassian. Within the same year and after funds acquired by Adana Bishop, Moushegh Seropian, a proper building was built next to Saint Stephen’s church; in 1917 a second room was added to the Mousheghian National School (Մուշեղեան Ազգային Վարժարան),Sony VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery
Sony VPCF13M1E/B Battery by donation of Miss Hanemie Eramian. By donation of the Adana Educational Association, a larger school building was constructed in 1923 and called National Armenian School (Հայ Ազգային Վարժարան); a second floor was added in 1926, by donation of Garabed Melkonian.
The school’s yard hosted a number of Lebanese-Armenian refugees during the Lebanese civil war (1975–1990). However, over time, it exhibited structural weaknesses. By initiative of Representative Aram Kalaydjian and with funding from the Republic of Cyprus, a new school was built between 1993–1995 behind the old school and was inaugurated on 18 May 1996 by President Glafcos Clerides. Currently, it has about 25 students. Sony VPCF12E1E/H Battery
Limassol’s school was originally established in 1928 as Armenian National School (Հայ Ազգային Վարժարան), operating at a rented house. After 1940, when the Saint George church was build, lessons were held at the church’s repository. A proper school building was built initially in 1951, Sony VPCF12F4E/H Battery
with donations from the Armenian Prelature of Cyprus, and was expanded in 1954 with contributions from the local community. It was completely re-built between 2006–2007 was inaugurated on 5 November 2008 by President Demetris Christofias. Currently, it has about 35 students.
Famagusta’s Armenian school was originally established in late 1927 as “Armenian National School” (Հայ Ազգային Վարժարան) and retained this name until 1972, when it was called “Nareg National School” (Նարեկ Ազգային Վարժարան), just like the other three Armenian schools of the island. It operated in various rented houses until 1974, when the city was occupied by the Turks, as it never had its own building. Sony VPCF12M1E/H Battery
Students of Pagouran’s Orphanage
Students of Pagouran’s Orphanage
In the past, an Armenian school also operated in Pano Amiandos (1928–1939 and 1942–1948), under the auspices of Tunnel Asbestos Co., with Garabed Dzaghigian as its teacher; Garabed Dzaghigian was the teacher of the short-lived Armenian schools in Mavrovouni (1939–1942) and Prodhromos (1938–1942);
Sony VPCF13E8E Battery the Mavrovouni Armenian School operated under the auspices of the Cyprus Mines Corporation. During the World War II evacuation (1941–1942), Armenian schools operated in the villages of Agros, Anaphotia, Lefkara, Ormidhia, Pedhoulas, Pervolia, Prodhromos and Skouriotissa. The Pedhoulas school was the largest one, with Haigazoun Hagopian as its teacher. Sony VPCF13E4E Battery
There was also a small Armenian school at the Armenian Monastery in Pentadhaktylos (1897–1914) and a small Armenian school at Attalou settlement (near Kharcha village, 1910–1922); during its last years, the latter had Archimandrite Krikor Bahlavouni as its teacher,
also known as “Topal Vartabed”. In Nicosia, there was small Armenian kindergarten in (1900–1905), run by the Armenian Evangelical sisters Rachel and Hosanna Sarkissian.
The majority of the old Armenian schools were in Larnaca: chronologically, a small Armenian school for refugee children of the Hamidian massacres, under the auspices of Reformed Presbyerian missionary Susan Fluhart (1896–1899),
Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E Battery a small Armenian school under the auspices of the American Academy of Larnaca (1916–1918, with Hagop Davidian as its teacher, and again between 1923–1936 as a 4–class Elementary School, with various teachers), a small Armenian Catholic school in Larnaca (1921–1923), run by Abbot Jean Kouyoumdjian and a small Armenian kindergarten under the auspices of the Reformed Presbyerian Mission (1923–1929),
Sony VAIO VPCS11H7E Battery with Josephine Gulesserian as its teacher. There were also three short-lived Armenian schools in Larnaca in 1922–1923, as a result of the huge influx of refugees from the Armenian Genocide; these were run by Haroutiun Kalaydjian, Verkin Abadjian and the Protestant Satenig Derderian.
Of particular importance was the National Educational Orphanage (Ազգային Կրթարան-Որբանոց),
Sony VAIO VPCS13V9E/B Batterywhich was founded by Vahan Kurkjian (also known as Pagouran), in order to educate orphaned Armenian children from the Hamidian massacres. It operated in Nicosia and, during the summer months, the Sourp Magar monastery between 1897–1904. Its students later became successful and influential, some in Cyprus, others in the Armenian Diaspora.
Despite its small size, the Armenian-Cypriot community has plenty of monuments to show:
Genocide monument in Strovolos, Nicosia
The present white marble Armenian Genocide Monument was constructed between 1990–1991 by architect and painter John Guevherian and it is located in the courtyard of the new Sourp Asdvadzadzin church in Strovolos, Nicosia; its black granite cross is the work of Armenian sculptor Levon Tokmadjian. It was unveiled on 24 April 1991. It features three arches, representing Armenia and the two Diasporas, the one within the USSR and the one outside it. The monument bears three inscriptions:
Στη μνήμη 1.500.000 Αρμενίων σφαγιασθέντων από τους Τούρκους το 1915 (in Greek), Ի յիշատակ 1,500,000 ապրիլեան նահատակաց 1915 (in Armenian) and In memory of 1.500.000 Armenians massacred by the Turks in 1915 (in English)
In 1996 some martyrs’ remains, brought by members of an Armenian Relief Society mission from the Der Zor desert in Syria, were interred within the monument, while more bone remains are kept in the two marble ossuaries, built in 2000 in front of the monument by the Eghoyian and Tembekidjian families. Around the monument and the ossuaries are five khachkar-like columns, built with the donation of Anahid der Movsessian in 2000.
The old Genocide monument in Nicosia
In front of the Sourp Asdvadzadzin church, there is a white marble khachkar, the work of Lebanese-Armenian sculptor Boghos Taslakian (also known as Aghassi), which stands as a symbol of friendship between Armenians and Greeks of Cyprus.
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The khachkar was unveiled on 21 October 2001 by Presidential Commissioner Manolis Christophides and it bears the following inscription:
Յուշակոթող Հայ-Յոյն ժողովուրդներու բարեկամութեան Կիպրոս 1700ամեակ 301–2001 (in Armenian) and Σύμβολο φιλίας των Αρμενίων και Ελλήνων της Κύπρου 1700ετηρίδα 301–2001 (in Greek) (A symbol of friendship of Armenians and Greeks of Cyprus 1700th anniversary 301-2001)
Also in front of the Sourp Asdvadzadzin church, there is a bronze bust of Archbishop Zareh Aznavorian (1947–2004), the work of Lebanese-Armenian sculptor Mgrdich Mazmanian. The bust was unveiled on 1 May 2005 by the benefactor, Italian-Armenian Aleco Bezigian. Sony VAIO VPCS11C5E Battery
In front of the Nareg School there is the sandstone statue of monk, poet, mystical philosopher and theologian Saint Krikor Naregatsi (951–1003), the work of Armenian sculptor Levon Tokmadjian. It was unveiled on 28 March 1991 by School Committee member Takouhi Ashdjian.
Also in 1991, the sandstone bust of AGBU’s founder and first Chairman Boghos Noubar Pasha (1851–1930) was placed to the side of Nicosia AGBU’s entrance, also the work of Armenian sculptor Levon Tokmadjian.
It is worth mentioning the fact that the road in front of the Armenian compound in Strovolos, Nicosia was renamed on 10 December 1979 from Cyclops street to Armenia street, after a decision by Strovolos Improvement Board, as a gesture of solidarity to the brotherly Armenian people.
The decision was taken after Bishop Zareh Aznavorian and community members made this suggestion. Today, Armenia street is one of the busiest roads of the greater Nicosia area and it is the centre of the traditional march for the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on 24 April every year.
Sony VAIO VPCS12A7R BatteryAlso worth mentioning is the fact that the road to the side of the Melkonian Educational Institute was renamed on 23 March 2001 from Ephesus street to Melkonian street, after a decision by Aglandjia Municipality. The decision was taken after a request by the Melkonian Educational Institute, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the school’s operation.
On 28 April 2002, a white marble tomb-ossuary containing some martyrs’ remains, brought by an Armenian Youth Federation mission from the Der Zor desert in Syria in 2001, was unveiled by Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian in front of the AYMA premises in Strovolos, Nicosia. The monument bears an inscription in Armenian: Sony VAIO VPCS11D7E Battery
Թող աճիւններն այս անթաղ մեր պապերուն նահատակ դառնան մեզ խիղճ, սթափեցնող ռումբ, ուժանակ, մեզ օրօրող օտարութեան ախտերէն… (Let these ashes of our unburied forefathers turn our consciousness into a martyr, an awaking bomb, a dynamite, which lulls us from the maladies of the foreign lands…) Sony VAIO VPCS11E7E Battery
Next to the monument, there is an inscription in Greek reading:
(The bones of the Armenian martyrs of the 1915 Genocide which lay in this place may they remind humanity about the crime that was left without conviction, may they remind to the powerful of the Earth about the millions who were lost and are thirsty for justice, Sony VAIO VPCS11F7E Battery
may they remind the younger generations that the debt they inherit is heavy and may this monument be a requiem, an inextinguishable candle, which will keep eternal the memory of the 1.500.000 innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide)
Commemorative plate at the old Armenian cemetery of Nicosia
There is also a commemorative aluminium plate, located on top of a cenotaph in the Ayp cemetery (near Ledra Palace), which was placed 2010 and contains the names of the 419 people buried there between 1877 and 1931. This plate, probably the only one of its kind in a cemetery in Cyprus, is shown below:
The inscription on top of the cenotaph at the old Armenian cemetery in Nicosia
Finally, in the old Armenian complex on Victoria street (nowadays in the Turkish-occupied Nicosia sector) was located the first Armenian Genocide monument in Cyprus,
Sony VAIO VPCS11M1E/W Battery constructed in 1932 by architect Garo Balian and considered to be the second oldest of its kind in the world. It was inaugurated on 24 April 1932 by Archbishop Bedros Saradjian. It bore the inscription in Armenian: Sony VAIO VPCS11G7E Battery
Յիշատակարան մէլ միլիոն Հայ նահատակաց 24 Ապրիլ 1915ի կանգնեցաւ կոթողս 24 Ապրիլ 1932 ի Կիպրոս (Memorial of one million Armenian martyrs of 24 April 1915 this obelisk was erected on 24 April 1932 in Cyprus) Sony VAIO VPCS11J7E Battery
Unfortunately, it became itself a victim of the Turks during the 1963–1964 Turkish-Cypriot mutiny. All that survives of it today is its base, as the obelisk was taken down by the Turkish soldiers and its base was defaced by them. Until 2011, it bore a stencilled quote of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, which was removed during the restoration of the Armenian compound. Sony VAIO VPCF112FX/H Battery
The Melkonian Brothers’ Mausoleum
The white marble Benefactors’ Mausoleum, with the bronze busts of Garabed Melkonian (1849–1934) and Krikor Melkonian (1843–1920),
Sony VAIO VPCY216FX/G Battery is located between the twin buildings, the work of French-Armenian sculptor Leon Mouradoff and French-Armenian architect Mardiros Altounian. It replaced an older, wooden trellis monument. Its foundation stone was laid on 24 April 1954 by Bishop Ghevont Chebeyian, who also inaugurated the Mausoleum on 15 January 1956.
Between 1979–1980, artist Sebouh Abcarian constructed the twin sandstone monuments of the Armenian Alphabet and a synthesis resembling Mayr Hayastan; they were initially placed at the crossroads to the hospital and were inaugurated on 8 May 1981 by AGBU’s President Alec Manougian. In 1987 they were placed in their current position,
on the twin buildings’ sides that face the Benefactors’ Mausoleum. The Mother Armenia synthesis bears an inscription in Armenian, from Solomon’s Book of Proverbs 1:2, said to be the first sentence written in Armenian by Saint Mesrob Mashdots after he devised the Armenian alphabet:
Ճանաչել զիմաստութիւն եւ զխրատ,իմանալ զբանս հանճարոյ (To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding)
Between 1990–1991, at the request of Melkonian’s Headmaster Vahe Gabouchian, Armenian sculptor Levon Tokmadjian sculpted a series of 7 sandstone statues depicting important pillars of Armenian history and letters [great Armenian marine painter Hovhannes Aivazovsky (1817–1900), first Armenian printer Hagop
Meghabard (15th–16th century), great Armenian musician, composer and conductor Gomidas Vartabed Soghomonian (1869–1935), inventor of the Armenian alphabet Saint Mesrob Mashdots (362–440), Armenian national hero,
freedom fighter and military commander General Antranik Ozanian (1865–1927), great Armenian poet and Melkonian teacher Vahan Tekeyan (1878–1948) and great Armenian historian of the “Golden Century” Movses Khorenatsi (410–490)]. The bust of Saint Mesrob Mashdots is placed on a small circular garden behind the Benefactors’ Mausoleum, while the other busts are placed further back, Sony VAIO VPCF13M0E Battery
closer to the new boarding section. Levon Tokmadjian also sculpted the marble bust of philanthropist and AGBU Chairman Alec Manougian (1901–1996), placed in front of the new boarding section. Sony VAIO VPCF12AFM Battery
The khachkar in Larnaca
The church of Sourp Stepanos (Saint Stephen) is considered itself to be the oldest monument of the Armenian massacres, built between 1909–1913 with a commemorative façade on its entrance. It was inaugurated on 20 May 1914 by Senior Archimandrite Serovpe Samvelian and was consecrated on 30 June 1918 by Archbishop Taniel Hagopian. Sony VAIO PCG-5G2M Battery
Sony VAIO PCG-8113M Battery The commemorative façade features the Armenian ethnarch Haig, the last King of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, Levon V, a scroll held by a hand – representing the Ten Commandments and the four symbols of the Four Evangelists; around King Levon V, there is a commemorative inscription in Armenian:Sony VAIO PCG-5J1M Battery
Ի Յիշատակ Կիլիկիոյ Նահատակաց – 1 Ապր. 1909 (In Memory of the Cilician Martyrs – 1 Apr. 1909)
while under the façade and above the entrance it says:
Հայկական Մատուռ (Armenian Chapel)
In the courtyard of Sourp Stepanos (Saint Stephen) is the reddish brown tuff stone khachkar dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Adana massacre and the myriads of Armenian martyrs. It was carved in Sisian province, Armenia by Grishia Avedissian and was donated by Mihran and Jacqueline Boyadjian. It was consecrated by Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian on 25 December 2011. It bears the Armenian inscription Sony VAIO PCG-5J4M Battery
Ատանայի կոտորածի 100ամեակ 1909–2009 յուշարձան բիւրաւոր նահատակացնազգիս Հայոց (Centennial of Adana massacre 1909–2009 monument of the myriads of Armenian martyrs)
The Genocide memorial in Larnaca
The Armenian Genocide Memorial is adjacent to the Larnaca marina, marking the spot where thousands of Armenian Genocide refugees first set foot in Cyprus. A joint project by the governments of Cyprus and Armenia, Sony VAIO PCG-5K1M Battery
it was designed by architect and town planner Angelos Demetriou with the help of the architect Michael Thrassou and sculpted by Greek artist Georgios Kalakallas. Its foundation stone was laid on 24 November 2006 by Armenian President Robert Kocharyan and it was unveiled on 28 May 2008 by Cypriot President Demetris Christofias. It features a bronze eagle-like monument, surrounded by rows of pomegranate and cypress trees.Sony VAIO PCG-5K2M Battery
The four granite plaques at the base of the sculpture describing the monument were made by the government of Armenia. They read:
Το μνημείο αυτό υποδεικνύει το σημείο όπου Αρμένιοι πρόσφυγες, διαφεύγοντας τις διώξεις της Γενοκτονίας του 1915, πρωτοπάτησαν στην Κύπρο. Το μνημείο αποτελεί έκφραση ευγνωμοσύνης στο λαό της Κύπρου για τη συμπαράσταση και βοήθειά του προς τους πρόσφυγες αυτούς και είναι αφιερωμένο στη μνήμη των αμέτρητων θυμάτων της Αρμενικής Γενοκτονίας (in Greek), Sony VAIO PCG-5J5M Battery
This monument marks the spot where Armenian refugees feeling persecution during the Genocide of 1915 first landed in Cyprus. It represents the gratitude of the Armenian nation towards the people of Cyprus for their assistance and generosity to those refugees and stands in memory of the countless victims of the Armenian Genocide (in English), Այս հուշարձանը կեր է խոյանում այն վայրում, ուր 1915 թվականի ցեղասպանության կոտորածներից մազապուրծ հազարավոր Հայեր առաջին անգամ ոտք դրեցին Կիպրոս։ Այն արտահայտում է Հայ ազգի երախտագիտությունը Կիպրոսի ժողովրդին՝ իր բարեսրտության եվ օգնության համար։ Այս հուշարձանը հավերժացնում է Մեծ Եղեռնի անթիվ նահատակների հիշատակը (in Armenian) and Bu anit 1915 soykırımının katliamlarindan zor kurtarilmis binlerce Ermeninin Kıbrıs’ta ilk defa ayak bastiklari yeri gösterir. O Kıbrıs halkina kendi yi kalplin ve yardimi için Ermeni halkinin minnet duygularini ifade eder ve burada Ermeni soykiriminin sayis kurbanlarinin anisina dikilir (in Turkish) Sony VAIO PCG-5L2M Battery
The square in front of the Memorial was funded by the Kalaydjian Foundation and links the Armenian Genocide Monument with Larnaca’s main promenade.
The monument for Abbot Mekhitar at the Magaravank
A dark brown tuff stone khachkar was placed outside the Sourp Kevork (Saint George) church in 2008, as a donation from the Arakelyan family. It was carved in Gyumri and was unveiled on 28 September 2008 by Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian. On its base, there is the inscription in English:
From Arakelyans family
There are two monuments at Sourp Magar. The first one is a mortar obelisk dedicated to Abbot Mekhitar, his visit there in 1695 and the 200th anniversary of the formation of the Mekhitarist Order. It was originally erected in 1901, as a pile of stones, by the students of the National Educational Orphanage, ran by Vahan Kurkjian (Pagouran); Sony VAIO PCG-6S4M Battery
the inaugural ceremony was performed on 8 September 1901. Thirty years after this, the monument was re-constructed by 4 former students of the Orphanage (Movses Soultanian, Simon Vanian, Armen Bedevian, Rapael Pilibbossian), with the help of architect Garo Balian, and was unveiled on 21 August 1931 by Catholicos Sahag Khabayan and Archbishop Bedros Saradjian.
There are two inscriptions in Armenian on the monument; the Armenian inscription on the eastern side of the monument is a poem by Vahan Kurkjian and it reads:
ՄԽԻԹԱՐԱՅ ԲԼՈՒՐ – Ողջո՜յն քեզ բլուր, բնութեան տաճար, յիշատակ թողումք կոթողդ կարկառ նորընծայ անունդ պահէ՛ դարէ դար, կեցցէ՛ լուսաշող մեծն Մխիթար։ Վ.Քիւրքճեան (MEKHITAR’S HILL – Hail to you hill, temple of nature, may this stone monument be a memorial that preserves your holy name from century to century, long live the radiant great Mehhitar. V. Kurkjian)
The western side of the monument has the following inscription in Armenian:
8 Սեպտ.1901 – Ի յիշատակ երկհարիւրամեակի Մխիթար Աբբահօր. Աշակերտք Ազգ.Կրթ.-Որբանոցի Նիկոսիոյ. Վերականգնեցաւ նախկին 4 աշակերտաց կողմէ – Մ.Ս.,Ս.Վ.,Ա.Պ.,Ռ.,Փ. 1931 (8 Sept. 1901 – In memory of the two hundredth anniversary of Abbot Mekhitar. The students of the Nat. Educ. Orphanage of Nicosia. Restored by 4 former students M. S., S. V., A. B., R. Ph. 1931)
The other monument is a stone column, located at the monastery’s square and dedicated to the visit of Catholicos Sahag II there and the opening of the square in 1933; it was unveiled by himself on 8 September 1933. The inscription on the column, in Armenian reads: Sony VAIO PCG-6W2M Battery
Բացաւ հրապարակս այս արդեամբ եւ ըղձիւք Մեծին Բ. Սահակայ Վեհին Կիլիկիոյ ի յիշատակ այցելութեան ի Վանս, 8 Սեպ. 1933 (This square was opened by commission and desire of the Great Catholicos of Cilicia Sahag II in memory of his visit to this Monastery, 8 Sep. 1933)
No longer existing
The oldest known Armenian inscription in Cyprus
The oldest known Armenian tombstone in Cyprus
In the past, there were also other Armenian monuments in Cyprus: a) a marble plaque at the Acropolis Park in Strovolos, Nicosia (1982–1988), in memory of the 1.500.000 martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, b) a cement eagle in front of the boys’ building of the Melkonian Educational Institute (1981–1997),
c) a cement monument in memory of the 40th anniversary of Melkonian’s 7th Scout Group (1972–1989) and d) a stone monument in memory of the 45th anniversary of the 7th Scout Group (1977–1987). As noted earlier, from 1901 until 1931 there was a stone monument dedicated to Abbot Mekhitar on top of the hill overlooking the Magaravank, Sony VAIO PCG-8Y2M Battery
while from 1935 until 1955 there was a wooden octagonal mausoleum in memory of the Melkonian brothers. Finally, the Melkonian’s water tower (in Armenian: ջրամբար, chrampar), although not a monument per se, was a landmark of the school from the time it was built until the mid–1980s, when it was pulled down due to structural and safety concerns.
The inscription on the left is the oldest known Armenian inscription in Cyprus. Located in Turkish-occupied Nicosia, it marks the entrance of the old Sinanian house, owned by Yevnige Sinanian, who lived there with her sister Eojenie.
Sony VAIO PCG-8Z3M BatteryThey inherited it from their parents, Apraham and Sima Sinanian; Apraham (1844–1894) was from Yozgat, whereas Sima (1859–1929) was an Armenian-Cypriot of unknown surname; there is mention that some of her ancestors perhaps came from Caesarea at an uncertain period. What the dates mean is uncertain, but perhaps 1791 is the year that Sima’s family first came to Cyprus.
The tombstone on the right is the oldest known Armenian tombstone in Cyprus. Located in the Ayp cemetery, it is a poem dedicated to the young Sdepan Papazian (1867–1875), the only son (and second of three children) of Negdarine Eramian (1842–1909) and Ohannes Papazian (1832–1896); while Ohannes was born in Yerzinga, Sony VAIO PCG-8Z1M Battery
Negdarine was the daughter of Boghos Eramian, an Armenian-Cypriot landowner and once the Head Treasurer from Dheftera.
In both inscriptions, even though the letters used are Armenian, the language is Turkish; the use of the Armenian script to write Turkish was common amongst Ottoman Armenians, called հայատառ թրքերէն (hayadar trkeren, Turkish in Armenian letters). In fact, the first Turkish novel to be published in the Ottoman Empire was Akabi Hikâyesi (Akabi’s story), written in 1851 with the Armenian script by Vartan Pasha. Sony VAIO PCG-8Y3M Battery
Armenian-Cypriots have their own cemeteries:
The old Armenian cemetery in Nicosia
There are three Armenian cemeteries in Nicosia. The Ayp cemetery (near Ledra Palace hotel) was established probably around 1810, if not earlier. The records of burials kept at the Armenian Prelature of Cyprus start from late 1877. Sony VAIO VGN-NS10E/S Battery
They Ayp cemetery was used as a burial ground until 1931, when the Pen cemetery was established. The overwhelming influx of refugees from the Armenian Genocide made this cemetery too small for the increased number of burials; this, coupled with health concerns over cemeteries near the Nicosia city centre, Sony VAIO VGN-NS10J/S Battery
were the reasons why it became no longer operation. Within the cemetery there is the Sourp Boghos (Saint Paul) chapel, built in 1892 by the will and testament of government translator Boghos Odadjian.
Until 1963, from time to time memorial services were performed at the chapel in memory of the ones buried there. After the 1963–1964 inter-communal troubles and due to its proximity to the UN Buffer Zone, the cemetery was somehow neglected and no Liturgies were held there. After decades of neglect and the incidents that transpired in 2005, Sony VAIO VGN-NS10L/S Battery
Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Battery the cemetery and its chapel was restored between 2008–2009 thanks to the initiative and efforts of the Armenian Ethnarchy and Armenian MP Vartkes Mahdessian, who secured a substantial amount of money for its restoration from the Ministry of Interior. There is also a commemorative aluminium plate, which was placed 2010 and contains the names of the 419 people buried there. Sony VAIO VGN-NS11E/S Battery
Shelter at the Kim cemetery in Nicosia
The Pen cemetery was established in 1931 on the west of Ayios Dhometios, near the Nicosia Commonwealth War cemetery, and it was the only Armenian cemetery in use in Nicosia until 1998. In 1938 the Sourp Haroutiun chapel was built within the cemetery, by the donation of Haroutiun Bohdjalian; Sony VAIO VGN-NS11ER/S Battery
Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Battery it was consecrated in 1949. In 1963 the remains of about 100 people buried in the Ayp cemetery were transferred there, because of the demolition of a small part of the Ayp cemetery. Since the Turkish invasion of 1974, the Pen cemetery is very near the Turkish-occupied areas; as it is located within the UN Buffer Zone, visits there are allowed only on Sunday noons. A special permit by the UNFICYP is required for burials there. There are 1615 people buried in this cemetery.
In 1998, the Kim cemetery was established to the south of the road between Lakatamia and Ayii Trimithias. The cemetery has no chapel and administratively belongs in Kato Dheftera. There are 130 people buried in this cemetery. Sony VAIO VGN-NS11J/S Battery
The tombstone of the Armenian Legionnaires in Larnaca
The Armenian cemetery in Larnaca was established in 1897, as a temporary place of repose on land given by the Prelature of Citium. It was officially granted to the community in 1923 and was expanded southwards in the early 1930s. Sony VAIO VGN-NS11L/S Battery
It is located next to the Latin cemetery. Amongst the tombs and graves of that cemetery is a common grave for 9 gamavorner (volunteers) of the Armenian Legion, which was formed and trained in Monarga, Cyprus, between December 1916 and May 1918. Their names are: Movses Aprahamian, Hagop Bozayian, Hovhannes Hovhannessian, Kaloust Hovhannessian, Parsegh Klendjian, Levon Saradjian, Sony VAIO VGN-NS11S/S Battery
Hovhannes Silahlian, Artin Soghomonian and Khatchig Tchoukourian. Their grave and tombstone were commissioned by the French consulate in Cyprus. There are 630 people buried in this cemetery.
The Armenian cemetery in Limassol was granted to the community in 1946, but it was not untl 1960 that it started its operation, when the Mayor of Limassol Costas Partasides constructed its wall. It is located to the west of the Limassol-Platres road and it is the beginning of the Garyllis river linear park. Administratively, it belongs in Kato Polemidhia. There are 145 people buried in this cemetery.
There was also a small Armenian cemetery in the Turkish-occupied city of Famagusta, in the Ayios Memnon area. It was established in 1967, but unfortunately it is inaccessible since 1974, as it is located in the fenced area of Varosha. Between 1951–1966, the community in Famagusta used a different place of repose, near Stavros cemetery, which was however given to the Greek community to expand its own cemetery area; that too is located in the fenced area of Varosha. There were 8 people buried in this cemetery.Sony VAIO VGN-NS11SR/S Battery
The Armenian Legion
See also: French Armenian Legion
Liturgy held at the camp of the Armenian Legion
After negotiations in September 1916, between Boghos Noubar Pasha and French political and military authorities, the Eastern Legion (Légion d’Orient/Արեւելեան Լէգէոն) was officially established in Cairo in November 1916. Sony VAIO VGN-NS11Z/S Battery
It was to be an auxiliary unit of the French Military, which would be composed of Armenian volunteers from the Middle East, Europe and North America, whose aim was to liberate Cilicia from the Ottoman Empire, for the purpose of creating an independent Armenian state in that region. Several Armenian organisations pledged contributions to form battalions of the Legion. After negotiations with the British, Sony VAIO VGN-NS12M/S Battery
it was decided that the training of the volunteers (կամաւորներ=gamavorner) would take place at Monarga, in the Carpass peninsula of Cyprus.
The camp was built in December 1916 by Armenian refugees and in January 1917 the arrival of the volunteers started, which continued throughout 1917 and 1918. The selection and training were rather strict. The camp consisted of the headquarters, the barracks, various auxiliary installations (including a basin) and a small church. Sony VAIO VGN-NS12M/W Battery
In total, there were 4.124 volunteers, who formed 3 battalions. The commander of the camp was Infantry Lieutenant Colonel Louis Romieu and the spiritual shepherd was Archbishop Taniel Hagopian, assisted by Archbishop Krikor Bahlavouni, later known as “Topal Vartabed” (Թոփալ Վարդապետ=Lame Archimandrite). Both clergymen came to Cyprus from the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, even though at the time the Armenian Prelature of Cyprus was under the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople.Sony VAIO VGN-NS12S/S Battery
Training was completed by May 1918 and then the Legion was deployed in Palestine, marking the famous Battle of Arara on 19 September 1918. In December 1918 the Legion settled in the Cilicia region, where it remained until it was dissolved in October 1921, with its headquarters located in Adana. In February 1919 it was officially called Armenian Legion (Légion Arménienne/Հայկական Լէգէոն). Sony VAIO VGN-NS21M/P Battery
After the dissolution of the Legion, a small number of Legionnaires returned to Cyprus. It is worth mentioning the fact that in the Armenian cemetery of Larnaca there is a group grave of 9 volunteers of the Armenian Legion, commissioned by the French consulate in the late 1940s. Today, very little remains in what used to be the camp of the Legion, currently located in the Turkish-occupied area of Cyprus. Sony VAIO VGN-NS21M/W Battery
One of nerkaght’s ships (1947)
The nerkaght (ներգաղթ=repatriation) was a Pan-Armenian migration movement of Diasporan Armenians to Soviet Armenia, in the framework of a co-ordinated attempt of the Armenian SSR and the Church of Armenia to strengthen their claims on historical Armenia’s territory, appealing to the patriotic sentiments of Armenians in the Diaspora; especially after World War II, Sony VAIO VGN-NS21S/S Battery
it was also a way to partially replace the large number of Armenians who perished during the War. Massive propaganda took place, in co-operation with the AGBU and the Ramgavar party, arousing a storm of enthusiasm in the Armenian communities of the Diaspora and creating high expectations for their settling in the “homeland”,
Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery what they perceived as their ultimate destination. Nerkaght’s waves took place between 1921–1924, 1926–1929, 1932–1933, 1936, 1946-1949 (the greatest wave) and 1962–1973, when 170.703 Armenians in total migrated to Soviet Armenia from Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, the United States, Syria, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Palestine, Egypt, France, Turkey, Cyprus, Great Britain and Jordan. Sony VAIO VGN-NS21S/W Battery
With the exception of 4-5 families who emigrated to Soviet Armenia in 1947, 576 Armenian-Cypriots in total were repatriated to Soviet Armenia between 1962-1964 (amounting to about 15% of the community at the time). From Famagusta’s harbour 20 left on 19 September 1962 (with the “Felix Dzerzhinsky” steamship), Sony VAIO VGN-NS21Z/S Battery
373 on 3 October 1962 (with the “Gruzia” steamship), 168 on 19 October 1963 (with the “Litva” steamship) and 15 on 4 September 1964 (with the “Odessa” steamship). Most of them settled in Girovagan (Vanatsor) or Leninagan (Guymri). Disappointed by what they saw and lived, almost all of them wanted to return to Cyprus from the start, Sony VAIO VGN-NS31M/P Battery
as they were not accustomed to that kind of life. The return started in 1967 and continued until 2005, although most of them came during the late 1980s (after the Spitak earthquake) and the early 1990s (after the dissolution of the Soviet Union). In fact, the first wave of Armenians from Armenia who came to Cyprus after 1991 were mostly Armenian-Cypriots who had migrated to Soviet Armenia in the 1960s and their spouses/descendants. Sony VAIO VGN-NS31M/S Battery
Despite its small size, the Armenian-Cypriot community has a long list of newspapers and magazines to show.
Currently, the Armenian-Cypriot community has the following printed, electronic and online media:
Armenian-Cypriot press 1960–2011
The Armenian radio programme has been broadcasted since 1953 on CyBC’s second programme (CyBC2). For many years, it was the only Middle Eastern broadcast in Armenian, with audiences from around the Middle East. Initially broadcasted on Sundays only, today it airs every day, between 17:00–18:00.
Artsakank (Արձագանգ, Echo) was established in March 1995 (Artsakank website). It is a monthly newspaper, published by the Azadamard Armenian Youth Centre, with Arto Tavitian as its Editor-in-Chief.
Azad Tsayn (Ազատ Ձայն, Free Voice) was established in April 2003. It is a monthly newspaper, published by Kevork Zeitountsian, who as of this year is also its Editor-in-Chief; previously, that was Yeran Kouyoumdjian.
Keghart (Գեղարդ, Lance), a bimonthly newsletter, was established in October 1997 and it is published by the Armenian Prelature in Cyprus thanks to the initiative of Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian.
Lradou (Լրատու, Newsletter), a tri-monthly newsletter, was established in October 2006 and it is published by the Office of the Armenian Representative. Its contents are compiled by the Armenian MP’s assistant, Nayiri Mouradian (Lradou website).
Sony VAIO VGN-NS38M/W BatteryGibrahayer (Armenian-Cypriots), established in September 1999, is a weekly online newsletter circulating every Thursday (Gibrahayer website). The news site has most contents in English, but also carries some Armenian language articles. Its Editor-in-Chief and owner is Simon Aynedjian. In October 2010, the e-magazine won an International Media Award from the Ministry of Diaspora at the All-Armenian Media conference in Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azad Khosk (Ազատ Խօսք, Free Speech), established in April 2011, is a monthly online magazine in Armenian (Azad Khosk website). Its Editor-in-Chief is Yeran Kouyoumdjian.
Media of the past
The following is a comprehensive list of Armenian-Cypriot newspapers and magazines printed in the past:[2
Armenian-Cypriot press 1922–1960
Printed in Nicosia were the newspapers Kharazan [Խարազան (Whip), 1900], Azad Gibrahay [Ազատ Կիպրահայ (Free Armenian-Cypriot), 1922–1923], Nshouil [Նշոյլ (Ray), 1936–1938], Henaran [Յենարան (Support), 1959–1962], Gibrahay Deghegadou [Կիպրահայ Տեղեկատու (Armenian-Cypriot Informant), 1978–1993], Haytoug [Հայդուկ (Guerilla), 1979–1982), Artsakank [Արձագանգ (Echo), 1981–1982] and Paros [Փարոս (Pharos), 1997–2003], as well as the magazines Ovasis [Ովասիս (Oasis), 1928–1930] and Artsakank [Արձագանգ (Echo), 1983–1987]. 0] Sony VAIO VGN-NS31M/W Battery
Printed in Larnaca were the newspapers Kraser [Գրասէր (Bibliophile), 1923–1925], Arax [Արաքս (Arax), 1924–1929] and Lousarpi [Լուսարփի (Sunlight), 1925–1929], as well as the magazines Artsakank [Արձագանգ (Echo), 1952–1959] and Deghegadou [Տեղեկատու (Informant), 1973–1995].
The Nor Arax [Նոր Արաքս (New Arax)] newspaper was initially printed in Larnaca (1945–1946) and later on in Nicosia (1946–1948).
The Melkonian Educational Institute published the following media:
Ayk magazine [Այգ (Dawn), 1937–1940, 1948–1956, 1959–1964, 1970–1982, 1993–2006], the oldest Armenian secondary school magazine.
Tsolk newspaper [Ցոլք (Gleam), 1968–1991].
Hayatsk newspaper [Հայեագք (Glance), 1998–2000], which later on became the Hayatsk magazine (2000–2004).