Prayers at Akhtamar and in Ani

By Mark Gavoor, Glenview IL, 2 October 2010

Yesterday, October 1, 2010, the Armenian Internet media was abuzz with stories about some people praying in the ruins of church in the historic city of Ani just on the Turkish side of the Turkish-Armenian border. A few weeks ago on September 19, 2010 there was equal buzz regarding a religious service in another Armenian Church in Turkey; in this case on the island of Akhtamar in Lake Van. That’s nice, people praying in a church.

By Mark Gavoor, Glenview IL, 2 October 2010

Yesterday, October 1, 2010, the Armenian Internet media was abuzz with stories about some people praying in the ruins of church in the historic city of Ani just on the Turkish side of the Turkish-Armenian border. A few weeks ago on September 19, 2010 there was equal buzz regarding a religious service in another Armenian Church in Turkey; in this case on the island of Akhtamar in Lake Van. That’s nice, people praying in a church.

But this was not about praying in churches really. Both events were a mixture of politics, religion, emotion, and international relations.

The Akhtamar service was a Christian mass, an Armenian badarak. It was the first service in the renovated 10th century Surp Khatch church on the picturesque island. The Turkish government renovated the church and made it a museum a few years ago. Armenians around the world were of mixed emotions. It was good to see the church restored and preserved but sad that is was not an active functional place of worship. The Armenian Catholicoses of Antelias and Etchmiadzin were invited to participate but decided not to because among other things there was no cross on the church. The service proceeded with the celebrants being from Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul. The Patriarchate is less free or less inclined to insist on a cross being displayed on the church. It was the first badarak held in the church in just over 95 years.
 
"We believe that it is very important gesture towards freedom of faith," the provincial governor, Munir Karaoglu, told the BBC. "Also we believe that it is important to eradicate the prejudices between the Turkish and Armenian people. It could also help improve relations [between] Turkey and Armenia."  BBC
 
In Ani, it was not a badarak or any kind of Christian service. In this case, the service was one of the ritual prayers Moselms are obligated to offer five times per day. These prayers are called Namaz. This service was organized by Devlet Bahceli, head of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP). It was in homage to what Alp Aslan did in 1064 when he conquered the city of Ani. He had the cross taken off of the cathedral and prayed there.

So, this is not just about people praying churches. It is diplomacy and showing the world openness and a movement toward religious tolerance by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). It is a negation of that by the MHP. And, I am sure there are many more nuances of gray in Turkey than black and white. There seems to be quite a struggle in Turkey to determine what kind of country it will be moving forward.

It is not about people praying in churches. It is about Armenians attending the service because their parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents hailed from Van and Surp Khatch is even a more special place for them than it does for other Armenians. It is about Armenian church leaders and others who would not participate because the Turkish government had neither put a cross on Surp Khatch nor have they acknowledged the 1915 Genocide. Note: There were reports that a cross was erected on Surp Khatch on the same day Devlet Bahceli lead the group to Ani. At the time of this writing, I have not seen any confirming photos.

Did I mention that Surp Khatch means Holy Cross? Surp Khatch had no cross until yesterday.

I did mention Alp Arslan took the cross off of and then prayed in the cathedral upon conquering the ancient Armenian capital of Ani.

Can it be that both events ironically or purposely happened the same day? There is a lot going on in Turkey.

How is this not about religion? How is this not about two peoples with incredible overlaps in culture hating each other and small minorities trying to overcome that? I leave that to the blah blah of scholars, historians, sociologists, and politicians. I only know the shades of murky gray that shroud these issues.

I would love to read the sermon from the badarak in Surp Khatch. I wonder if any sermon like words were delivered yesterday in Ani?

What would the reaction have been if the Armenians had a service in the conquered mosque in Aghdam, Karabagh? Would it have been as benign as the Armenian reaction to the Namaz in the Ani Cathedral? I hardly think so.

Maybe the Turks should convert the cathedral in Ani and any other shell of an Armenian church left in the Armenian Highlands into mosques. Before I am labelled a heretic by Armenians, hear me out. Our churches have gradually disappeared as their stones have been used for less noble purposes. As mosques, at least they would be restored and maintained. I do not see these treasures being returned to Armenians any time soon.

Yesterday reminded me in no uncertain terms who is victor and who is vanquished in this long sad relationship of Armenians and Turks. It explains why an email from my daughter with a link to a video of the event in Ani had the simple subject “ugh…” It reminded of my college friend Halim. We discussed Armenian-Turkish issues back in the early 1980s. One time out of complete frustration with how to appease me, he snapped and said, “if you have the power, take it back [the lands]. If you can’t shut up.” Halim’s outburst made me think of Khrimian Hayrig’s yergateh sherep (iron ladle) speech.

Khirimian Hayrig’s words came to mind yesterday. Yet, I tried to take the high road and be happy someone was praying in the church. I felt less happy when I learned it was a repeat of and re-emphasis of Alp Aslan’s act upon conquering Ani.

So all in all, ugh, just another day of being a diasporan Armenian, a grandson of Kharpert and Shabin-Karahisar, looking for closure…

Megha Asdoodzo.

Other articles by Mark Gavoor

"The Lost Cyclist"
Our Last Name is Gavoor

Mark Gavoor’s Blog: This Side of Fifty
 

20 comments
  1. Cross on Surp Khac
    Yes, the cross was put on October 2nd per below article published on the web site of the Patriarch. See below.

    ԱՂԹԱՄԱՐԻ Ս. ԽԱՉ ԵԿԵՂԵՑՒՈՅ ԽԱՉԸ ԶԵՏԵՂՈՒԱԾ
    Kaynak: lraper.org Yer: İstanbul Tarih: 2.10.2010

    Աղթամարի Ս. Խաչ Տաճարի գմբէթի խաչը զետեղուեցաւ իր տեղը։ Ըստ նախապէս տրուած խոստումին, 19 Սեպտեմբեր 2010, Կիրակի առաւօտ մատուցուած Ս. Պատարագէն անմիջապէս ետք, Վանի Կւսակալութիւնը ձեռնարկած էր հարթելու Աղթամարի Ս. Խաչ Եկեղեցւոյ գմբէթին վրայ զետեղելի խաչի տեղադրման հարցը։

    1 Հոկտեմբեր 2010, Ուրբաթ, Վանի Կուսակալ Միւնիր Քարալօղլու կապ հաստատելով Պատրիարքական Ընդհանուր Փոխանորդ Բարձր. Տ. Արամ Ս. Արքեպս. Աթէշեանի հետ, տեղեակ պահեց որ խաչը այդ առաւօտ արդէն իսկ տեղադրուած էր։ Այս առթիւ Նորին Սրբազնութեան վերին տնօրինութեամբ ու, երեկոյին, ժամը 17.00-ի թռիչքով Վան մեկնեցան Պատկառելի Կրօնական Ժողովոյ Ատենապետ Գերպ. Տ. Թաթուլ Ծ. Վրդ. Անուշեան եւ Պատկ. Կրօնական Ժողովոյ Ատենադպիր Արժ. Տ. Գրիգոր Աւ. Քհնյ. Տամատեան։ Անոնք ժամը 19.00-ին վայրէջք կատարեցին Վան եւ դիմաւորուեցան Վանի Փոխ Կուսակալներ՝ Աթայ Ուսլուի եւ Մուրատ Ուզունփարմաքի կողմէ եւ Կուսակալութեան տրամադրած յատուկ ինքնաշարժով ուղղակի մեկնեցան Կէվաշ։

    Աղթամար Կղզիի հանդիպակաց ծովափի նաւամատոյցին անոնք դիմաւորուեցան Կէվաշի գաւառապետԵուսուֆ Կիւնիի եւ նորոգութեան պատասխանատու Ճահիտ Զէյտանլըի կողմէ ու անմիջապէս յատուկ մակոյկով մը անցան Աղթամար Կղզի։ Մութին մէջ իսկ կոթողային էր Աղթամարի Ս. Խաչ Եկեղեցւոյ պարզած նկարը եւ յատուկ լուսաւորման շնորհիւ աւելի աչքառու կը դառնար նոյնիսկ հեռուէն։ Հայր Սուրբն ու Տէր Հայրը տեսան թէ եկեղեցւոյ շուրջ կը գտնուէր խաչի տեղադրման նպատակաւ կազմուած յատուկ լաստերու դրութիւն մը։ Գերպ. Տ. Թաթուլ Ծ. Վարդապետ բարձրանալով մինչեւ կաթողիկէի գագաթը. Սրբալոյս Մտկռոնով օծեց տեղադրուած փառաւոր քաչը, մինչ Արժ. Տ. Գրիգոր Աւ. Քահանան ստորոտէն կ՚ընկերանար յատուկ շարականներու երգեցողութեամբ։

    Պահը թէ յուզիչ էր եւ թէ մութին մէջ փոխն ի փոխ կատարուած երգեցողութեամբ եւ աղօթքներով՝ տպաւորիչ։ Յետ օծման. Արդէն ժամը հասած էր 22.00-ին եւ Հայր Սուրբն ու Տէր Հայրը եկեղեցւոյ մէջ կատարեցին աղօթք ի հանգիստ հոգւոցն ի Քրիստոս ննջած հոգեւորականներուն, որոնք ծառայած են այս տաճարին մէջ եւ տեղւոյն աղօթասաց հաւատացեալներուն։ Հայր Սուրբը աղօթեց նաեւ, հայցելով Ս. Խաչի պահպանութիւնը ամբողջ Հայ Եկեղեցւոյ վրայ։ Ապա հաղորդեց Պատրիարքական Աթոռի շնորհաւալութիւնները ցուցաբերուած զգայնութեան, ընծայուած մօտիկ հետաքրքրութեան եւ բարեացակամ ոգիի դրսեւորման համար։ Ապա Հայր Սուրբը, Տէր Հայրը ու իրենց ընկերացող պաշտօնական անձերը մեկնեցան Կղզիէն։

    1. Cross on Holy Cross
      Thank you for sharing.

      It is odd in this day of digital internet everything, there have been no photos of Surp Khatch with the cross shown.
       

      It is not odd that it is probably being downplayed in Turkey?

      Mark

      1. Actually picture is available

        Actually the picture is available at "hye tert" site, an Istanbul based Armenian Internet site ( see below link). They have published the news along with the photo, the day after its completion. In my opinion it is being downplayed by Turkey for their internal political reasons.

        Unfortunately many in the Diaspora who comment on this or other sites, have no clue about the internal politics played in Turkey, and how the opposition parties are using the Aghtamar incident against the current Erdogan government. Without being engaged and following the news at the Turkish side it is very difficult to asses how everything is being exposed slowly but surely. Even the Armenian genocide issue is being openly  discussed.

        Now that he passed the Constitutional referendum to be able to amend the constitution, it is almost expected  that 301 will be removed shortly from the legal system, and we will all see what will happen next! 

        At the end of the day Erdogan-Gul duet want to show that, their opposition, today’s Kemailists are the continuation of yesterday’s Ittahadists which did no good for the country except hurting its subjects. Therefore you are absolutely correct in your judgement that, prayers both in Aghtamar and Ani are more politics than anything else. If internal politics in Turkey is going to serve its purpose and make Turkish people understand their history better, then it will help recognize the Armenian Genocide, so be it! 

        http://www.hyetert.com/haber3.asp?Id=36376&DilId=1

        1. Dear KYB

          Dear KYB

          I wrote " I am sure there are many more nuances of gray in Turkey than black and white. There seems to be quite a struggle in Turkey to determine what kind of country it will be moving forward."

          I did not write those words lightly.  I came to this realization, after visiting Turkey in April, and communicating with a few Armenian and Turkish journalists from Istanbul who read the blog posting of my visit.  Here are links to those postings:

          Part of me is stuck in 1915.  My perconceived notions of Turks, Armenians in Turkey, and the Turkish-Armenian relationships are hard to change.  The lands and churches are not awaiting our return in the same condition as when we were unceremoniously ushered out.  I do not think Cemal Average Turk walking the streets in Bolis gives much thought to this issue anymore than Joe Average American thinks about the American Indians and what this country did to them. 

          Read Pamuk’s Snow.

          There are dynamic issues facing Turkey, Armenian issues being but one.  There are many socio-economic issues that are being discussed, debated, and resolved.  It is odd, wierd actually, that the diaspora has really truly led the charge on the Genocide and that now in Turkey the discussion and their coming to terms with it however it may turn out is less in our control than we would like.  Will life improve for Armenians there?  Eh…. I am not so sure.  I hope so.

          I am absolutely certain, my understanding of the full depth and breadth of issues and looming change in Turkey is minimal.

          I seem to be writing about this a lot this year.

          Thanks again to Keghart for providing this forum and to everyone for their contributions, energy, ideas, and thoughts.

          Mark

  2. Mark Gavoor’s comments on Ani

    Here is another Armenian national-nihilist. I wish he could learn something from his daughter’s "ugh". Minas

    1. Clarification Due

      Minas, your one liner comment needs clarification, otherwise it’s dismissive.

      Wikipedia defines a nihilist as “ a person who believes human existence has no objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value” which is contradictory to being a nationalist. This is the first time I hear or read characterize someone as a “nationalist-nihilist”. I am curious to know what does the characterization really mean?

      I read Mark Gavoor’s article and I concur that the events held in a cathedral at the historic city of Ani and in the Sourp Khatch Cathedral on the Island in Lake Van named Akhtamar after the legendary Armenian girl Tamar were statements along being prayers. I will appreciate if you elaborate on the lessons to be learned from the namaz at Ani which you wish Mark or a reader concurring could have learned.

      1. Akhtamar-Ani Cathedral
        Dear Vahe, 

        Thank you for asking a clarification. I had to characterize the writer as a national-nihilist (typo), which means in this case someone who says "Maybe the Turks should convert the cathedral in Ani and any other shell of an Armenian church left in the Armenian Highlands into mosques. Before I am labelled a heretic by Armenians, hear me out. Our churches have gradually disappeared as their stones have been used for less noble purposes. As mosques, at least they would be restored and maintained. I do not see these treasures being returned to Armenians any time soon.

        I cannot characterize some with a better adjective but  nihilist when he prefers an Armenian church, like the Mother Cathedral of Ani to be converted into a mosque rather than disappear. Instead of going into a sort of compromise I was expecting from him to raise his voice and join thousands of Armenians protesting against this kind of cultural genocide.

        You can read my comments on this also in NOR OR weekly (Editor’s Note), Oct. 7 issue.

        Editor’s Note
        Whenever Oct.7 issue of NOR Or is received at this end, above Editor’s note will be appended to this comment for the sake of better understanding and completeness.
         

        1. Minas, Vahe   thanks

          Minas, thanks for the clarification. I see what kind of nihilist you thought I was now.

          Vahe, thanks for asking for the clarification.

          I wrote this yesterday as part of a long and satirical response to you:

          Perhaps you didn’t like that I wanted the few Armenian churches still standing in the interior of Turkey to be converted to mosques. Yes, save them. I would rather they be mosques than rubble. I would rather they be mosques waiting for a next Antranig Pasha or Dikran the Great to take them back either next year or one hundred years from now. It is easier to re-convert a standing preserved building back to a church than to find all the errant stones and put a historic church back together again." I will send you the whole piece, I had fun writing it, but it is not for public consumption. It resides in my journal.

          Absolutely: All lands, existing churches, all properties, net present value of wealth taken, and a hefty settlement for the crime of Genocide should be given to a new Cilician Republic of Western Armenia. This is what I want. Probability of occurance: Pretty low in the near term.

          I have seen the same photos of churches turned into mosques and barns. I have also seen photos of churches that were there in 1930, and less there in 1955, a mere pile of stones in 1995. This is a reality. Those churches are gone… their stones are used in local homes. The khachkars, and we have all seen the photos, are used as steps or worse as urinals. Would I rather have a church completely destroyed? No, that is very very sad. Do I really want it to be used as a mosque? NO… but, if the structure is preserved and saved, there is a chance that one day it can be restored. How is this nihilistic. Sounds rather practical. It is a most unappealing practicality, I will grant you that. It is no doubt offensive to Christians. I will grant you that. Better a mosque than a urinal, better a mosque than a pile of rubble.

          I am sure glad that Hagia Sophia was saved and turned into a mosque. I would hate to have only seen artists renderings of the place.

          Nihilists, I believe in the sense you used, believe in nothing. That is not the case. I want justice, compensation, I would love to be able to settle in our historic lands again. I want our churches back. But, if not, I want our churches preserved… this suggestion was a way.

          I floated an idea, a point of view out there. I am not sure it is a good idea. You and many others didn’t like the idea. Good. It is your right. I respect it. If I had written this piece on a different day, I might have suggested that we blow up the Ani Cathedral ourselves rather than have it turned into a mosque. This idea would have evoked others to label me as who knows what. Armenians need to learn to agree to disagree. We are not good at as a people. Turks, I believe, take advantage of it.

          These Akhtamar and Ani events were emotional for us all. We all react differently. In another comment, Paul chastised all Armenians who attend the Surp Khatch service and said Attaturk was their hero. Wow. And yet, no reaction against the offensive re-enactment of Alp Aslan’s conquering act in Ani?

          These are dynamic times in Turkey. The country is struggling with Islamification and democratization. It is unclear where it will all come out. I am not sure that Diaspora Armenians will have much influence.

          I look forward to seeing your thoughts, and feelings, ideas in the Nor Or piece. I will sign off using my Armenian name (it allows for some nice alliteration) With love and less indifference than you might think,

          Nishan the National Nihilist

        2. Coming to Grips
          Minas,

          I have entertained a much more extreme notion than Mark’s. I have envisioned Turkey obliterate all the still standing Armenian remnants and deface each and every stone so that there is no trace left for us to venture into Turkey.  It is extraordinarily hurtful to pay our way to visit what was once our forbearers’.

          I took a perverse satisfaction – if you will – when Azeris demolished our cemetery by bulldozing the countless intricately carved priceless cross stones in Nachichevan. It’s better that they did that, I thought, instead of promoting the site as a unique world wide tourist attraction, which I think, they could easily have done and from which we would have benefited no dime. These churches, cathedrals and what not, I reason, have served their purpose by enriching the lives our forbearers and assuring our long history. Simon Simonian said once, our history has been long in coming, and if there is a retreat for us, it will be long in the making.

          In the end though, whether one is for converting the one time cathedrals into mosques, or have them obliterated into bare stones I cannot ignore the fact that there is an underlying cry to console broken hearts and come to grips with what happened and move on with our present reality of a homeland and a vibrant and energized Diaspora.

          Vahe

  3. Akh Tamar !

    The Internet has buzzed with the Akhtamar lately. Here is a song dedicated to the that daring Armenian girl named Tamar and her daring lover who swam across the Lake Van to meet his lover Tamar who, in the cover of the night, beckoned her lover with the light of fire on the island. However, on that stormy night, things did not work as they did and the rest is now part of our Armenian legend in naming the Island in Lake Van Akhtamar after the last words uttered by Tamar’s lover  Akh Tamar! Enjoy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQlNR5oa5gY

  4. The naive

    The only Armenians who went to the Turkish-inspired church service at Aghtamar were the over-the-hill, the naive, the overly emotional, and those who don’t mind kneeling in front of pictures of their hero, Ataturk.
    1. Naivete’

      Having read the commentary I says – what an observant and "constructive" characterization, Paul ! Wow !

    2. Paul that is a very harsh
      Paul that is a very harsh description of those who attended , it must have meant a lot to them

  5. Akh Tamar ! Full Length Poem in English as Well.

    Only the rightful owners of the Island in Lake Van could have come up with the legend of naming it Akhtamar and those owners were and will always remain at heart, the natives of the region, the ARMENIANS!

    Here is the full length poem, both in Armenian and in English, by the eminent poet Hovhannes Toumanian who is bestowed with the title "The All Armenian Poet" – Amenayn Hayotz Panasdegts.

    It is said that Toumanian was in heated discussion with the All Armenian Catholicos of the day, who in an attempt to make his point come across reminds Toumanian that he is after all The All Armenian Catholicos, to which Toumanian responds – I am The All Armenian Poet and thus the monicker remains to this day in the annals of Armenian literature.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qAxHodoCMM&feature=related

  6. More than pawns and a footnote?

    So Akh Tamar was a political statement about international relations and Ani was a domestic rebuttal.  But, isn’t this an internal Turkish debate and a healthy sign of political dissent?  

    The fact that in all of this Armenians are reduced to the status of pawns or a footnote is, of course, unjust.  But ever since my grandparents told me that "there are bad Turks and good Turks," I have wondered about the collective Turkish conscience.  If somehow I could insert myself into this modern Turkish debate, I would point out that the cathedrals of Akh Tamar and Ani are world monuments and important for international relations.  I would also ask what can be done to preserve and promote them as such? 

  7. To Vrejouhi, Re: Paul´s post
    Dear Vrejouhi,

    Please  take note  that many – probably Paul inclusive – have  no idea whatsoever as to turkish "Yataghan"  now turned into more sophisticated methods of torture, whether physical or mental…

    When in Istanbul, years ago, I with my wife tried to find Armenian owned stores, such as apparel etc. We were lucky in finding one. Entered and greeted the owners -a couple- in Armenian…to which they replied  in turkish.
    Then by and by we got  them to speak with us further back into the store  in Armenian.

    I can assure  you that their suppressions  far exceed the KGB´s. Try to get hold of Hakop Oshagan¨s "Mnatsortas" and read it. He describes quite extensively the methods employed  by the ancestors of present Turks in dealing with the Ermenis.

    These are  the people we are dealing with now, albeit in light of their burning desire to enter EU. They are formulating ways and means to show to the outside world that they have changed.

    Hopefully, they will speed  up their old very old "yavash yavash (slowly slowly)  tactics and get more enchanted with desires to enter into EU …they will throw  in more Akdamar (akhtamar) shows, to which we should  be  non-committal  and wait for the next scenarios(s).

    So is their mindset  that even their European  rival(s), also admirers, cannot match up to..
     

  8. Dear Mark,  Thanks for your
    Dear Mark,

    Thanks for your reply and detailed explanation. Although as a reply to your post, I made a comment saying "Unfortunately many in the Diaspora who comment on this or other sites, have no clue about the internal politics played in Turkey", that part was not addressed to you. Hope I did not give you that impression, since that was not. However at the end of the day, as I am sure you can sense, many Armenians who post on these blogs, are very little engaged with the day to day developments of that part of the world, and follow the real-politics on the ground. Furthermore, it is sad to see Armenians insulting each other, simply because they don’t watch things from the same perspective, therefore do not share the same point of view. As you saw above, there are those who measure their patriotism by the degree of their insult on others. 

    There are many, still living in the dream world, hoping that one day Great Powers will do justice to us and bring Turkey to its knees in favor of the Armenian cause. I don’t think so, since West moves with only one value system, that is called "interest" which translates to money. In my mind, the odds are not in our favor when West is the decision maker, for the truth to come out about the Armenian Genocide, since their financial interests are more alligned with the 17th largest economy of the world. However, although moving very slowly, something is happening in Turkey since the 2005 Armenian conference in Istanbul.

    More and more Turks are finding the freedom to talk about 1915 and therefore helping others to wake up and start questioning the history they are taught.  In my opinion, when Aghtamar is one of the headlines on the main media in Turkey for days, due to all the issues – which we know about – prior to the September 19 Divine Liturgy, that is a win win situation. It is a win win, since not only an Armenian architectural marvel got resurrected, but also awareness about the region’s history reached to a new level.

    People are realizing that Armenian minority in the country are not migrant tourists who came there to work, but they have been on that land way longer than them. Maybe a small number, but so far 9 people converted back to their Christian Armenian roots because of Aghtamar. I do not know if you read Turkish or not, but if you can, it is well worth to read the Turkish papers after MHP’s namaz affair in Ani. Although this was not a win win, since the Mother Cathedral in Ani still is in shambles, but all that talk and awareness it has created about Ani could not be bought even if we spent millions of dollars. People, for the first time were seeing, the size and the grand shadow of this structure – which was built almost a millennium ago by Armenians – and they are saying Woo ! (Let alone the namaz affair totally back fired on MHP).

    I hope one day, we Armenians can discuss about this type of tactical issues on these blogs which is going to make a difference for the Armenian cause, rather than pumping up ideology by insulting others, let alone wishing every building built by our forefathers to be in shambles.

    1. Thank you
      KYB

      I in know way took offense at all to your comments.  I just thought I would agree and share my very recent coming to understand a little about the political currents within Turkey.

      Vahe and you both kind of said it best.  What is our current reality and what can we do to preserve our people around the globe and support our fledgling struggling nation?

      I agree with you also that Armenians need to see things from each others perspectives.  One thing I always say is that in 1915 the Turks did not care if one was Hnchak, Dashnak, Loosavortchagan, Protestant, Vanetsi, Garinsi, rich, or poor.  The only thing that mattered was if you were Armenian.  We need to apply the same standard to ourselves albeit in a postive way.  This is the true heart of unity.  Hai enk!

      Mark

  9. Armenian Monuments – Armenian Museums

    Being unfamiliar with the current Turkish media, I am glad to read comments on this website about changes in Turkey and the positive effects that recent events at Akhtamar and Ani MAY have had on Armenian history and culture. I am also sad to think that some Armenians would consider destroying these monuments rather than see them converted to mosques or risk further abuse. In my opinion, that would truly be a case of "cutting off the nose to spite the face."
     
    But, is it possible that these recent events might also turn attention toward the Armenian State Art & History Museum and the Matenadaran?  I understand from Wikipedia that these institutions are still new and growing.  Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if these Armenian institutions could generate an international buzz about the beauty of these Armenian monuments, their dramatic histories and their stunning landscape settings – perhaps in partnership with a major American institution?
  10. Prayers in Akhtamar and Ani.

    I want to congratulate Mark on his different views expressed in this article. They are thought provoking, pragmatic, and diplomatic.
     

    S.L.D.

Comments are closed.

You May Also Like
Read More

Յո՜ Երթաս Հայ Ժողովուրդ

Հեղինակ՝ Հրաչ Թուրիկեան, Թորոնթօ, 24 Նոյեմբեր 2009 Հայաստան-Թուրքիա Փրոթոքոլի ստորագրութեան նախօրեակին եւ յաջորդող օրերուն խառնաշփոթ կացութիւն տիրեց սփիւռքի…
Read More