Sixteen Istanbul-Armenian girls are in Armenia within the frames of “Ari Tun” program of the RA Ministry of Diaspora. The future teachers are graduates of five Armenian schools and are currently studying at “Aydn” University of Istanbul. The purpose of their visit is to get acquainted with the reality in Armenia and establish cordial ties with their fellow Armenians. They will stay with Armenian families for two weeks and have already paid visits to Artashat, Khor Virap, Matenadaran, Sevan and other sites.
On July 15, they were received by Primate of Gugars Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Bishop, Father Sepuh Chuljyan. Before the meeting with His Holiness, the girls visited St. Harutyun Church of Spitak, St. Mary Church and St. Grigor Narekatsi Church of Vanadzor. His Holiness Sepuh presented the history of Gugars Diocese, spoke about the importance of strengthening relations between Armenia and the Diaspora and highly appreciated the programs and initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Diaspora and the Minister. His Holiness attached special importance to the role of the youth, stressing the need for their active involvement in national and church organizations which is also a need for Istanbul Armenians. His Holiness called on the youth to strengthen their relations with young Turks due to the fact that relations between the youth and friendship will further contribute to friendly relations between both nations. His Holiness called on the youth to unite around the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul as the only representative structure and to support the solution to issues concerning the Armenian community with love and solidarity. “The greatest guarantee for the preservation of a person’s identity is language and faith and all Armenians must carry these two values,” said Bishop Sepuh Chuljyan.
Of course, it is very fundamental and mandatory to know the history and culture of neighboring Turkey as well and making them aware of Armenian history and culture as well. Knowledge of the historical truth will make the friendly bilateral relations more sincere and not complex. By getting better acquainted with Armenia, you will also convey that to your Turk peers.
By keeping your language, culture and the memory of your ancestors alive, each of you will make a contribution to the friendship between two nations. Each of you is an ambassador that must represent Armenian heritage to different nations. I pray to God so that Armenian and Turkish nations live in peace, respect each other and live side-by-side by bearing in their souls the clear truth as a strong value.”
The future teachers also visited “Tsitsernak” camp of Gugars Diocese where they were introduced to the daily life at the camp and talked to the boys staying there. The girls were impressed by the interesting and meaningful meeting with His Holiness Sepuh, clergymen of the diocese and youth of “Tsitsernak” camp and will always remember the words of His Holiness when he said: “This is your country, your home and it is also your duty to build it.”