“Unfortunately Turkey has backtracked from the agreements. Not only has it refrained from ratifying the protocols, but Ankara has returned to the language of preconditions that it had used before the beginning of the process,” Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian has written in an op-ed published by the Wall Street Journal, adding: “One needs to prove one’s good intentions by deeds.”
A cross was erected on the dome of ancient Armenian Surb Khach (Holy Cross) church in central Turkey, in an attempt to offset likely Armenian anger at Muslim prayers staged by nationalists inside the ruins of another key Armenian cathedral in , located in northeastern Turkey near the border with Armenia. Continue reading
Armenians were allowed to conduct a religious service in the recently renovated Surb Khach (Holy Cross) church on Akhtamar island of Lake Van, in an event that Ankara intended as a show of tolerance toward its Christian minority. Meanwhile a protest action was held in Yerevan to protest “propaganda actions of Turkish authorities.”
Lake Van, the cradle of the Iron age Armenian empire, the Urartu (Van kingdom), has been a central part of the Armenian culture for thousands of years. The Ottoman-era Genocide of Armenians in 1915, however, cleansed the area of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Armenians, leaving orphan churches and broken khachars (cross-stones) behind.
Grammy-winning singer/song writer Serj Tankian has teamed with the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) in calling on President Obama to honor his pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide and take decisive action to end the genocide in Darfur. Continue reading