Gibrahayer – 04/19/2004



April 19, 2004 – Nicosia (Gibrahayer) – Armenians in Cyprus, are
preparing to commemorate the 89th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide
with events that will begin on Friday April 23, 2004 and continue
throughout the weekend. The community will also participate in a
nation-wide referendum which will takeplace on April 24, 2004 to
decide the fate of the notorious Annan Plan, which is being served to
the Cypriot people, one week before the formal accession of Cyprus to
the European Union.

The main event for the commemoration of the 89th anniversary of the
Armenian Genocide will take place on Friday April 23, 2004 in Nicosia,
at the Genocide Memorial on Armenia street. The Komitas choir of the
Hamazkayin Chapter of Ainjar – Lebanon will participate in the
three-day events. Speaker of the day will be Asadour Devletian.

The community in Larnaca will also remember the Martyrs of the
Armenian massacres of 1915Â in a separate event on Sunday 25 April
which will be held in the Armenian Church of Sourp Stepanos.

Like every year, our community will call on the international
community and Turkey to recognise the Armenian Genocide and accept the
political consequences of an unpunished act that stands between
normalisation of relations with Armenia and Armenians world-wide.

The Parliament of Cyprus has been one of the first legislative bodies
in the world that through relative resolutions has recognised the
Armenian genocide in 1982 and 1990.

The irony of April 24 this year, is that the Armenian community of
Cyprus, will also be voting on a referendum on the political future of
the island, that housed and sheltered them as refugees as survivors of
the first genocide of the 20th century.

Armenians in Cyprus seem to be split on the vote, just like their
local Greek and Turkish Cypriot compatriots. While local debate on the
referendum continues, it is likely that ideology and party affiliation
will not affectvoting trends.

Being fully aware of the political cost a public statement may carry,
Armenian representative in the Cyprus Parliament Bedros Kalaydjian –
in statements made in last week’s Cyprus Weekly -Â refrained from
taking a stance onthe vote and simply called the Annan Plan “unfair”.

Others were more specific. Webmaster of the community portal
from the home page of his website called for a “yes”
vote, while Gibrahayer received a short article from the editor of
Artsagang monthly Jean Ipdjian advocating for a “no” vote, which you
can read here


While in Ankara, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said that if the
Greek Cypriots vote “no” in the April 24 Annan Plan referendum and the
Turkish Cypriots vote “yes”, Azerbaijan will recognise the “Turkish
Republic of Northern Cyprus”.

Turning his “guns” on Armenia he also said that Azerbaijan will never
accept Nagorno Karabakh becoming an independent Armenian entity. He
restated his position that if Armenia withdrew from five of the seven
occupied Azerbaijani districts, Baku would be ready to reopen the
border and railway through Armenia and begin negotiations and
concluded that it would be a blow to Azerbaijani-Turkish relations, if
Turkey were to open its border with Armenia.

Reaction to Aliyev’s comments was quick from Nicosia. Cypriot Foreign
Minister George Iacovou implied that comments of this sort should be
taken with a pinch of salt. “We should remind ourselves where these
comments were made”,he concluded.

Press Representative of the Cypriot President’s office Marios
Garoyian, commenting on Cyprus State TV, said that the President was
not sitting idleand was following political developments closely.

Garoyian was interviewed on Saturday’s issue of Simerini online at


by Honor Mahony

France’s new foreign minister Michel Barnier has caused a furore by
saying that France would oppose Turkey’s entry into the EU “under
current circumstances”. The former European Commissioner, who was
named foreign minister after a government reshuffle last week, told
French parliament on Wednesday (7 April) that Ankara has not met the
conditions necessary for membership. “Turkey does not respect the
conditions, even if it is preparing to do so,” he said, adding that
there was “no question” of Turkey’s joining the EU “under current
circumstances.” He was joined in his comments by Alain Juppé, leader
of the centre-right UMP and a close associate of French President
Jacques Chirac. Mr Juppé said countries on the periphery of the
growing EU, such as Turkey, “have no business joining (the bloc),
otherwise it will be diluted.” “The UMP does not want to see
discussions with Turkey at the end of the year”. The comments caused
uproar in the Turkish media, however Turkish politicians have
attempted to play them down. “Various exaggerated words can be said
for reasons related to domestic politics,” said Foreign Minister
Abdullah Gul, according to the Anatolia news agency. But France’s
words are significant as all member states have to give the nod of
approval when the decision is taken at the end of the year on
Ankaraâ=80=99s eligibility for starting membership negotiations.
However, the mainly Muslim country does have friends in the EU. Both
Germany and the UK have spoken out strongly in favour of beginning
membership negotiations with the country if it meets the political
criteria for joining. Member states will take the decision at the end
of this year based on a report by the European Commission to be
published in October.


The Gomidas Institute Armenian Genocide Documentation Project
announces a powerful new work, United States Official Records on the
Armenian Genocide 1915-1917. This work is a systematic documentary
publication comprised of hundreds of letters and reports on the
genocide of Armenians written by American officials and other
nationals in Ottoman Turkey between 1915-1917. It includes reports
from US Consulates in Harpoot, Trebizond, Aleppo, Beirut,
Damascus,Samsoun, Baghdad, Adana, Smyrna and Adrianople. Many relate
the mass murder of Armenians in explicit, harrowing terms. Further
reports, written mainly by American missionaries and private citizens,
provide further details. The reports from the United States Embassy in
Constantinople also provide further insights into the American
Government’s understanding of the Genocide while the killings were in

United States Official Records on the Armenian Genocide 1915-1917
comp., ed. and intro. By Ara Sarafian with a preface by
U. S. Congressmen Pallone and Knollenberg (Gomidas Institute:
Princeton and London, 2004) xxxvi + 706 pp., includes illust., maps,
index and foldout. Hardback $50.00

Released on 28 May 2004. Advance copies available from 24 April
2004. Your orders at [email protected]


Cyprus born Nouritza Matossian, author of Black Angel, A Life of
Arshile Gorky, the book which inspired Atom Egoyan’s Ararat is also
Egoyan’s model for the screen role of Ani, the Armenian biographer of
Gorky who reads from Nouritza’s book.

After Matossian’s recent successful run off-Broadway in collaboration
with the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Arshile Gorky Drawings
Exhibition when she performed for a week in December 2003, she
followed by organising an Armenian week in Oxford at Magdalen College,
Oxford in February, Nouritza Matossian has accepted an invitation to
perform her fascinating solo show in Tehran.

The Armenian Club Ararat, Tehran on 21 and 22nd April she will present
Black Angel, The Double life of Arshile Gorky with 100 slides and
music. The first performance will be in English and the second in

The author will then visit Armenian communities in Iran in cities and
outlying villages for a forthcoming publication. More details from

Hard cover copies of Black Angel may still be obtained from Moufflon
Bookshop, Soffoulis Street, Nicosia or from Amazon.


– AGBU President Berge Setrakian, clearly upset
by the negative turn of events in Cyprus criticising the closure of
the Melkonian, and the bad publicity in Friday morning’s Yerevan
press, recruited the services of a â=80=98friendly’ interview on
Armenia TV (H1) on Good Fridayto air his views and justify the

The well-orchestrated â=80=98interview’ focused on all aspects
ofdiaspora issues, ethnic identity and the past and present of the
AGBU, praising at all times the benefactors of the AGBU Central Board
(including Setrakian’s boss and father-in-law), as if they had applied
for sainthood.

The AGBU President, with the evident lack of Armenian education that
is offered only at the Melkonian, even found time to mention his
favourite â=80=9C azkah-bah-bah-noom’ just once, but the more exciting
`globalisation’ five times in one breath. Unfortunately, many of his
own sayings about the good work of the AGBU contradicted the decision
to close the Melkonian.

However, waiting for the pre-arranged question, Setrakian used a third
of the near 90-minute â=80=98interview’ to argue the CB decision to
close the Melkonian, where he started with a scathing attack against
Haygashen Ouzounian and the article that first appeared last year with
the headline â=80=98Melkonian is not for sale’. He did not mention
that the article preceding Haygashenâ=80=99s â=80=98 unsubstantiated’
argument was by his own puppy-dog Dorian in the first place.

The pathetic arguments even included blaming the internet and the
e-mail employed by the Alumni camp, suggesting that time and money
should not be wasted in court battles, praising the impeccable work of
the school’s principal and board (oh, and by the way, he remembered to
mention the teachers too!), butthe that fault was of the
â=80=98circumstances’. Not wasting any time or valuable space here,
we shall not deal with many of the petty arguments. Instead, here are
the main points:

You can hear the TV commentaries on


Undoubtedly the scope and intensity of the continuing UN efforts for
the settlement of the Cyprus problem are unprecedented. It is obvious
that these efforts would have been impossible without the insistence
(and not only the encouragement) of the US. This overzealous
involvement should be compared with several other occasions during the
last few years when the UN and its Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan,
appeared powerless in the face of serious developments. For example,
the role played by the UN during the Iraqi crisis was that of a
detached observer. Be that as it may, a careful examination of the
contents of the Annan Plan as well as the broader objectives of the
Bush administration explain to a great extent the intensive efforts
for a solution and the insistence of the Bush administration for a
solution to the Cyprus problem before May 1st 2004. The following are
some of the main contributing factors:

In spite of the American military victory in Iraq, stability has not
been established in this country. On the contrary, not only do
Americans face daily casualties but it seems that at maximum chaotic
and anarchic conditions prevail in Iraq and at minimum normal
conditions have not been re-established. It is therefore important for
the only superpower in the world today to manifest success in the
diplomatic arena – by contributing to the resolutionof a long-
standing international problem with broader implications.

The Bush administration has repeatedly expressed its goal for a
redefinition of the ideological and political map of the Middle
East. According to this line of thinking, these broader objectives
would be facilitated by a solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis
of the Annan Plan.

For the US, the accession of Turkey to the EU is a vital
objective. The resolution of the Cyprus problem removes a serious
stumbling-block for Turkey. On the contrary, the perpetuation of the
status quo creates serious complications in EU-Turkish relations.

The solution of the Cyprus problem before May 1st 2004, the date for
the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU, is considered
especially important because it is possible to exert serious pressures
in order for Cyprus to accept the geostrategic realities created by
the Turkish invasion of 1974. If the Republic of Cyprus accedes to the
EU prior to a resolution of the problem, it would be more difficult to
justify excessive and permanent derogations fromthe acquis
communautaire. It would be most likely that Turkey would have to
adapt – to European norms and principles – thus in effect reversing
the results of the invasion to a great extent.

We should also bear in mind that this is a presidential election year
in the US. With the solution of the Cyprus problem, Bush wishes to
project anew image – the image of a leader promoting peace and the
settlement ofregional disputes. In other words, President Bush would
not only appear to be the leader of dynamic confrontations, but also
the leader promoting peace regionally and internationally.

What is the position of Cyprus on these issues? The Republic of Cyprus
should remain firm, holding on to positions and principles promoting a
solution that advances prosperity for all Cypriots as well as
stability. An unfair, unbalanced and imposed solution would lead to
socio-economic problems and to destabilisation in Cyprus and beyond.Â
Such an outcome cannot be expected to contribute to the implementation
of any serious `big pictureâ=80=9D objectives. The Republic of Cyprus
may legitimately declare that it cannot accept any solution that in
effect undermines democracy, human rights and free market principles.

Last but not least, the Republic of Cyprus should not be expected to
adjust to the `realities’ of the results of the Turkish invasion of
1974 so as to facilitate Turkey’s European objectives. On the
contrary, Turkey should be asked to act in accordance with
international law and European norms and principles if it is serious
about its European ambitions.

Dr. Andreas Theophanous Professor of Political Economy, is the
Director General of the Research and Development Center – Intercollege
and the Head of the Department of International Relations at

– One of the six men sentenced to life for the 1999 attack on
-parliament that killed Armenia’s prime minister and seven others
-committed suicide. Vram Galstian was found hanging from his bed sheet
-in his cell last Friday by prison guards.

– Turkish Ambassador to Baku denied reported plans of opening state
border between Turkey and Armenia. He said that Ankara’s position was
remaining unchanged: Ankara would not establish relations with Yerevan
until Armenia does not show willingness to establishment of good
neighbouring relations and occupies a constructive position on
Karabakh settlement.

– Law-enforcement agencies detained several dozen opposition activists
following an opposition rally in Yerevan while the offices of two
leading Armenian opposition parties were seized by police and their
leaders went into hiding last week.

– The Armenian ruling coalition of Dashnaktsoutiun, HHK and Orinats
Yerkir made an offer of `dialogue’ with the opposition in an attempt
to defuse the political crisis sparked by the vocal opposition
campaign against PresidentRobert Kocharian.

– A Sunday school with 30 students in Akhalkalak has commenced its
activities, teaching religious education and Armenian history.

– A business-forum on the topic “Investment potentialities of the
Republic of Armenia” was held in the UAE from April 3-7, 2004, to
increase the volume of trade between two countries, and to present the
industrial potential of Armenia. – Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan
Oskanyan met Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the China Li
Gu. Armenian President Robert Kocharian is to visit China at the
invitation of Chinese President Hu Dzintao.

– Armenian soccer national team’s player from Cameroon Carl Lombe was
attacked by two unidentified men and stabbed in the back with a
knife. He was rushed to the hospital and kept for treatment.

– In the past four years more than 40 million dollars of foreign
investments were made in Karabakh, the economy of which is still
considered a risk zone because the international community has not
recognize the right for self-determination of the people of NKR, and
the conflict has not been settled yet.Â

Here are a number of Genocide sites that Graciela Kevorkian
([email protected]) from Argentina has sent to us. Please
forward them specially to your odar friends.

Links in English in
Spanish Links
in German Links in Russian

The Armenian community and Church Council of Great Britain have sent
the following letter addressed to Prime Minister of the United
Kingdom, Tony Blair. Click on the following link atÂ


g i b r a h a y   c a l e n d a r

â=80¢ “Timag” drama group of Hamazkayin Oshagan chapter proudly
presents its 5th annual production on Saturday 8th May 2004 at the
PASIDY auditorium in Nicosia. A hilarious comedy by the French author
Francis Webber, titled “Entrik Himari Hed” (Dinner With an Idiot) will
be presented under the direction ofMs. Janna Tahmizian. Taking part
are Nazaret Adourian, Harout Tahmazian, Aram Tavitian, Natasha
Tavoukdjian, Alidz Sarkissian, Arto Tavitian, Ardash Der
Bedrossian. Tickets on sale as from next week at 6.00 (3.00 for

â=80¢ Armenian Easter was celebrated in all Armenian Churches in
Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca on Sunday April 11, 2004 Images at:
images of Sourp Kevork in Limassol at

â=80¢ The 89th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide which coincides
with the Annan Plan Referendum of April 24, will be commemorated in
Cyprus, possiblyon the evening of Friday April 23 at the 1915 Genocide
Memorial on Armenia street. Light a candle in memory for the martyrs
of the Armenian Genocide on

â=80¢ A Tour to Armenia is being organised by the Central Executive of
Hamazkayin from August 20-September 3, 2004 with the participation of
members and friends from Armenian diaspora communities. Trips to
Karabagh are also scheduled. To receive more info and to apply for the
trip please contact the Cyprus Hamazkayin committee members until
April 31, 2004.

â=80¢ HAMAZKAYIN FORUM 2004 The 10th Forum, Lebanon:From July 12-18
(Optional) Armenia:From July 19-31, 2004. Thought provoking lectures,
trips to historic and amazing destinations, and nights of dancing and
entertainment are only some of the Forum highlights. For many Armenian
students across the globe, the Hamazkayin Summer Forum is oneof the
most anticipated events of the year. Those interested should visit
the website for more details on how to apply.

â=80¢ The Armenian Prelature of Cyprus announces that the next permit
for the Armenian Cemetery visitation at Ayios Dhometios on the Green
line, is scheduled for Sunday May 16, 2004.