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An old Armenian community exists in Cyprus, primarily in Larnaca, Nicosia and Limmasol. Nicosia was home to the well known Melkonian Educational Institute which was closed in 2005.


Larnaca's Armenian community is the second largest in Cyprus. The original primary school was built in 1909, the same year that Sourp Stepanos Armenian church was built.

In 1923, with donations from Armenian communities in Egypt and the USA, a new school was built. In 1926 the school was expanded with a donation from Garabed Melkonian. In 1995, with the help of the Cyprus government, a completely new and modern school was built.




Limassol is the second largest city in Cyprus, and has a small Armenian community of about 250. It has an Armenian church and primary school.

The school dates to 1951 and was built on the grounds of the "Sourp Kevork" church. It has has some renovations, but the community is considering building a new modern school. Due to the small number of pupils, some teachers teach both in Limassol and in Larnaca.

Surp Kevork church was built in 1939. It does not have its own priest, but the Larnaca priest conducts services there every fortnight.

Northern Cyprus

Site of the large Armenian Surp Magar Monastery.


Gibrahayer July 08

His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Thursday visited the old Armenian Prelacy building and Sourp Asdvadzadzin church and the Sourp Magar Monastery in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

Aram I was accompanied by Arch. Varoujan Hergelian, Cyprus Diocesan Council chairman Sebouh Tavitian and Cyprus Diocesan Executive Council Chairman Dr. Antranik Ashdjian.

In the Turkish-occupied part of Nicosia, the Catholicos and his entourage first visited the old Prelacy building and Sourp Asdvadzadzin church, after which they toured the Melikian-Ouzounian school, where a memorial for the victims of the Armenian Genocide is erected. They also visited the old Armenian center, which has now been converted to a Turkish cultural center.

The Catholicos also toured the Sourp Magar Monastery in the Kyrenia mountain range, where a monument marking the 1933 visit by Catholicos Sahag II still stands.

Aram I spent more than six hours in the Turkish-occupied part of Nicosia, after which he also assessed the amount of work required following the reunification of the island.

Interview with Catholicos Aram I on

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- Coming to a second question on that. The UN.D.P. (United Nations Development Programme) plans on restoring Sourp Asdvadzadzin Church in Victoria str. (Nicosia). However, they haven't made another provision for the church of Ganchvor in Famagusta, or Magaravank. And Magaravank, unfortunately, is falling into pieces. Does your Holiness plan on asking the restoration of these churches?

Armenian Representative


Financial Mirror, Cyprus
Oct 10 2005

Vahakn Atamyan has won the by-elections for the Armenian Representative at the Cypriot House of Representatives.

Atamyan received a total of 769 votes or 52.03%. In Nicosia, he received 224 votes at the first polling station and 272 at the second, in Limassol 113 votes and in Larnaca 160 votes.

Candidate Antranig Ashdjian received a total of 649 votes or 43.91%.

In Nicosia, he received 198 votes at the first polling station and 222 at the second, in Limassol 89 votes and in Larnaca 140 votes.

Furthermore, candidate Parsegh Zartarian received a total of 60 votes or 4.06%. In Nicosia, he received 26 votes at the first polling station and 15 at the second, in Limassol 13 votes and in Larnaca 6 votes.

Atamyan will succeed Bedros Kalaydjian, who passed away on the 1st of September at the age of 71.

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His Holiness Aram I thanks Cyprus leaders for criminalization of Armenian Genocide denial

03 Apr 2015 Siranush Ghazanchyan

His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, has sent letters to the President and Parliament Speaker of Cyprus, hailing the criminalization of the Armenian Genocide denial by the House of Representatives.

“We’ll never forget that in 1975 Cyprus became the second in the world to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide,” His Holiness wrote.

He expressed gratitude to the Parliament of Cyprus for this historic decision.

“This courageous decision is an expression of the commitment of Cyprus to the protection of justice and human rights. The ties between the Armenian and Greek peoples are deeply rooted in common history. It’s vital to continue the cooperation with renewed efforts today for the sake of justice and human dignity,” His Holiness said.

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Cyprus Mail 25 April 06

THE ARMENIAN community in Cyprus yesterday marked the 91st anniversary of the 1915 genocide in which one and a half million of their people were killed by Ottoman forces.

In commemoration of the genocide, a special church service was held at the Armenian church in Nicosia attended by Greek Cypriot politicians.

House President Demetris Christofias who addressed the congregation said the genocide of the Armenian people was a crime recognised by almost all countries but denied by Turkey.

"It is time Turkey recognised this historical reality," said Christofias.

He called on the EU to pressure Turkey to acknowledge the massacre of the Armenian people, and also the invasion of Cyprus.

The Armenian Genocide was carried out by the 'Young Turk' government of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1916. Over a million Armenians were killed, out of a total of two and a half million Armenians living under the Ottoman Empire.

Turkey still claims that Armenians were only removed from the eastern "war zone".

In addition to yesterday's church service, the Armenian community also organised a photographic exhibition at Nicosia's Eleftheria Square on Sunday and a procession along Armenias Avenue followed by a memorial service at 8.30pm at the Armenian Genocide monument in the evening.

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Los Angeles Times, CA May 22 2008

She has a solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

SAN DIEGO -- Over the last decade, Nina Katchadourian has mended broken spider webs with colored thread and glue. She has programmed a computer to translate the pulses of a popcorn popper into Morse code. She has diagramed a family tree of supermarket icons -- Uncle Ben, Mr. Clean, the Gerber baby -- and staged an endurance test for herself, attempting to smile for as long as possible while archival footage of explorer Ernest Shackleton was projected onto her front tooth.

Endearing, goofy, earnest, witty, subversive, penetrating -- Katchadourian's work leapfrogs across an array of emotional touchstones, finding a briefly comfortable fit, then moving on. Many of her projects center on thwarted efforts to categorize and simplify, to define and know. They suggest that the impulse toward order may be fundamentally human but that the complexity of nature and experience is just as absolute. Yet according to Katchadourian, misalignment brings satisfactions of its own.

"A lot of things I'm attracted to are like that: close, but not quite. The way they mismatch is often a starting point for work for me," she explained recently. "Misunderstanding is a very fertile point for making art. When things aren't quite right, that often makes them funny, or awkward, or poignant."

The Brooklyn-based Katchadourian, 40, was speaking as finishing touches were being put on her new solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. A part of the museum's so-called Cerca Series, it has brought her back to the city where she began to mature as an artist in the 1990s.

Consider one of the exhibition's two video installations, "Accent Elimination" (2005), which begins with the simplest of interviews and, within its short (less than 15-minute) loop, evolves into a meditation on voice, identity and origin.

The artist and her parents appear, head and shoulders, separately on three side-by-side monitors. Katchadourian asks them their names, which leads to questions about their nationalities and accents. Basic enough, except that her mother is Swedish and grew up in Finland, and her father is Armenian but was raised in Turkey and Lebanon.

After eliciting the mildly perplexing facts from each, Katchadourian repeats the interviews -- only this time she addresses her mother in her mother's accent and her father in his. They both answer in their best imitations of their daughter's uninflected American. Three other monitors, back to back with the first set, show the family training with a vocal coach to perfect the transformations.

"It's not a project about watching our stunning success with the task at hand," Katchadourian said. "It's much more about the brow-sweating effort to get there, and the awkwardness in all of that, and how that awkwardness is linked to a kind of goodwill, to be inside the other person's voice."

She said she was working on the piece at the same time the home she grew up in was being sold. There was a lot of discussion, she recalled, about what to keep and what to get rid of.

"That's when I started to think about the accent as something that could be handed down. What if it was a physical thing, like an heirloom?"

Assistant curator Lucía Sanroman, the organizer of the show, encountered the video piece shortly after she began work at the museum a few years ago. Its themes of translation and mistranslation seemed relevant to the San Diego-Tijuana region, she says, and to her own experience.

"It resonated with me personally, because I also have a strong accent," says the Mexican-born Sanroman. "For Nina, it was a very personal and keen observation of being from so many parts, of having an identity that is beyond hybrid, and how to negotiate that."

Katchadourian, boyishly slim and angular, with wavy dark hair, soft brown eyes and a deep, mellifluous voice, was born and raised in Palo Alto, where her mother worked as a literary translator and her father was a professor of psychiatry at Stanford. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Brown, she enrolled in the master of fine arts program at UC San Diego, studying with the late Allan Kaprow -- the father of happenings and currently the subject of a retrospective at the Geffen Contemporary in L.A. -- as well as performance poet David Antin and "Eco-Artists" Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison.

"UCSD was a great fit for me, because no one ever told me I had to work in any particular medium," Katchadourian said. "We were required to have people from outside the art department on our thesis committee. They didn't want us just talking to artists."

In the subsequent years, Katchadourian has taught at Brown, the Rhode Island School of Design and Parsons and been the subject of exhibitions around the world, including a 10-year survey recently organized by the Tang Museum at Skidmore College in upstate New York. She also has a thriving career in music, writing and recording songs independently and with a folky Brooklyn-based group, the Wingdale Community Singers. And she works part time at the Drawing Center in Manhattan's SoHo district, managing and curating shows from its registry of 1,200 contemporary artists.

With her attention honed by so many different endeavors, she doesn't necessarily look to art for her ideas or inspiration.

"Art has become the best alibi I've found for exploring different things in the world," she said. "It's the perfect excuse. You get to talk to people who are interesting to you. You get to travel to places you want to see, investigate subjects that have you enthralled and obsessed. It's just a fantastic vehicle for all these things."

In her newest installation, "Zoo" (2007), also at the San Diego museum, she portrays a familiar environment as something fragmentary and disjunctive, using footage shot at zoos around the world over the last seven years. Images of animals, enclosures and signage are projected on four walls and dispersed among 15 monitors splayed at different angles and heights around the exhibition space. Several tight close-ups of animal parts are tricky to identify, and sometimes the sounds don't match the accompanying images. Jellyfish pulse against a glass enclosure to the rhythm of chittering birds. Soothing classical music accompanies footage of a bird maniacally pacing its space.

"In some ways," the artist said, "this is the least funny piece I've made in a while. There are funny moments, and there are moments that are odd and awkward and quirky. What happens for me overall, largely as a result of the sound, is that it becomes a place you don't feel that good in after a while. It's an unsettling and unsettled environment. The animals don't seem entirely comfortable, and neither does the viewer.

"I haven't set out to make a piece that's anti-zoo. What I'm really interested in is this complicated relationship that is contained in zoos and that I certainly have to them. On one hand, I love going to zoos and I love seeing animals up close. But there are also always moments when I feel saddened and guilty.

"Sometimes I make projects as a way of thinking through the questions. I'm making this piece about zoos to figure out what I think about them."

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Plane Crash Victims

NICOSIA, Aug 15, 2005 (Reuters) - The German pilot and a family of four Armenians (Hagop and Hilda Tutunjian and their two sons Ara and Baret were killed) were the only non-Greeks or non-Cypriots among 121 people killed when a Cyprus airliner crashed near Athens on Sunday, the Cypriot government announced on Monday.

See also

  • Gibrahayer - electronic newsletter based in Cyprus