Concert held in Diyarbakir’s Armenian church, 97 years after Genocide

DIYARBAKIR. – Ninety-seven years after the Armenian Genocide, a concert was again held at Saint Giragos Armenian Church in Diyarbakir, Turkey, which is the largest Armenian Church in the Middle East.

Renowned Istanbul-Armenian pianist Raffi Bedrosyan—who now lives in Canada—performed at the Church, Armenian reporter informs from Diyarbakir.

The event brought together close to eighty American-Armenians—led by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of Armenian Church of America (Eastern)—, Istanbul Armenians—headed by Archbishop Aram Ateshyan, the Armenian Deputy Patriarch of Constantinople—, a small group of Armenians from Armenia, Mayor Osman Baydemir of Diyarbakir, Turkish MP Altan Tan, and other officials.

In his welcoming remarks, Baydemir addressed the Armenians who had arrived in Diyarbakir and noted that this city belongs to the Muslims and the Armenians alike. He once again called upon the heirs of those Armenians who had left Diyarbakir to return to their lands.

In his remarks, Raffi Bedrosyan recalled that monthly concerts were held at Saint Giragos until 1915, and on that year Diyarbakir’s then-provincial governor had also stolen the church’s piano and taken it to his home.

To note, the renovations at Diyarbakir’s Saint Giragos Armenian Church had finished last year, but the complete renovations of the church complex will come to an end this year, and the Holy Mass, which will be celebrated on November 4, will be held in the completely renovated church complex.

Mass turnout at Holy Liturgy celebrated in Armenian church of Akhtamar

VAN. – Ninety-seven years after the Armenian Genocide, the third Holy Mass was celebrated Sunday at the Holy Cross Church of Akhtamar Island on Lake Van, Turkey (PHOTOS).

The Holy Liturgy was offered under the guidance of Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of Armenian Church of America (Eastern), Armenian’s reporter informed from Van. During the mass, the faithful also prayed for those who lost their lives as a result of the ongoing developments in Syriaand the devastating earthquake in Van.

Even though the number of attendees was considerably less as compared with the previous years, more Armenians from Armenia were on hand at the event this year. In the case when nearly fifty Armenians fromArmenia had attended the mass in the first year, this year that number was well beyond three hundred. Also, approximately seventy Armenians from US were on attendance.

In addition, and following the Holy Liturgy, two children from Armenia were baptized at the Church, andArmenia’s “Akunk” Folk Dance Ensemble performed.

With the decision by the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople, the proceeds from this year’s sale of candles were allocated to the special bank account of the Provincial Hall of Van, to provide assistance to the survivors of the Van earthquake.

The Turkish authorities had dispatched close to 200 police officers—some of whom were in civilian clothes—toAkhtamarIsland in order for the mass to be celebrated safely.

Reasons to Support “Back to Gurun”

There are countless reasons to support filmmaker Adrineh Gregorian and producer Vahe Ohanyan’s award winning project “Back To Gurun” which was the winner of the 2011 Armenia- Turkey Cinema Platform (ATCP) award. ATCP’s mission is to build bridges between Armenian and Turkish filmmakers and producers. Indeed, Back To Gurun’s filmmaking and production team includes scholars, one of which has received a Fulbright scholarship and is currently studying in Armenia. The promise of this project is to shine the light of day on an untold story of genocide and in the process help Armenians and Turks around the world heal the wounds of the past.

Please view the attached clip about how you can support “Back to Gurun” as I have.

Harry Henien – Dubai, UAE