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Ghibrahayer- Armenian agency


The very first day that the Turkish side borders opened, I crossed to the Turkish side, walked by the house where I was born and which was used for many years by the Armenian Bretheren Church (Biraderler, under Khatcher Yeghpair), visited the Armenian Melikian-Ouzounian Varjaran that I attended for 9 years, walking daily, like all the other students, the length of the Victoria Street and passing by almost exclusively Armenian shops and houses.
One of the places I visited was the "lost and found" Armenian Protestant Church you refer to, (known as the Armenian Reformed Presbyterian Church), built right behind the building for the boarders of the well known American Academy for Girls, which had started with only 12 students, under the directorship of the then very young and much loved Miss Raed and Miss McCrea (spelling!), where many Armenian girls had their education, who are now senior citizens.
I went in and visited the inside of the church that I and my parents had attended for many years. I knew all the members of that church, most of whom went overseas and many have passed away.
I told the manager there that I was present when that church was built. Thinking I was one of the owners, he said kindly and rather apologetically, "You see how we are keeping it in good shape. We did not use it for anything questionable, since we knew it was a church, and when things will be normalised we will hand it over to you".
I was present when the cornerstone of that Church was officially laid, probably about 65 years ago. Before building that Church, the Protestant congregation held their meetings, for many years, in the old American Academy building on the main street, by the boarding school, all on the same plot.
There is another Church building, very near to the Ledra Palace, (opposite the houses of Vorsganian and Kouyoumdjian), which had mostly Armenian members, that is now converted to a Turkish Old Peoples Home. It is the Seventh Day Adventist Church (Shapatabah Kalestakan Yegeghetsi).
I thought some of your readers may be interested.
In closing, may I thank you, Simon, for sending me and my relatives overseas the Gibrahayer. We appreciate it very much.
Movses Elmadjian - Nicosia


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