Second Leg of AHEPA Overseas Visitations,
After Success in Nicosia, the Delegation
Heads to Turkey, Patriarchate

Nicosia, CYPRUS — The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), the leading association for the nation’s 1.3 million American citizens of Greek ancestry, and Philhellenes, arrived in Istanbul from Cyprus today to commence the second leg of the 79th Annual AHEPA Family Excursion.

“Our visit to Cyprus was a productive and emotional one for our entire delegation,” said Supreme President Gus J. James, II, a native of Cyprus. “Even though we visit regularly, Cyprus is always an eye-opening experience for our members and their families.”

Upon their arrival, the delegation had an informal dinner with former Nicosia Mayor Michaliakis Zambelas. Early the next morning, the delegation begin their set of meetings with Ambassador Alexandros Zenon, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mayor of Famagusta Alexis Galanos; Ambassador Erato K. Markoulis, Head of the Cyprus Question and Euroturkish Matters Division; Mayor of Nicosia Eleni Mavrou; Minister of Education and Culture Akis Cleanthous; President of the House of Representatives (Cypriot Parliament) Demetris Christofias and dinner with Ambassador Stavros Epaminonda, Head of the Service for Overseas Cypriots.

A small delegation was privileged to meet with President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos. At the meeting, President James presented President Papadopoulos with the AHEPA 2007 Socrates Award and the AHEPA Hellenism Award to the people of Cyprus.

“In keeping with our goal for the excursion, we wanted to honor the Republic of Cyprus for its contributions to Hellenism and its ability to perpetuate the principles and values of Hellenism through very challenging periods of the island’s history,” said James. “AHEPA is a great organization and I accept both of these honors on behalf of the Cypriot people,” said Cypriot President Papadopoulos.

Moreover, before leaving, a small AHEPA delegation met with U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus Ronald L. Schleicher. Later that evening, the U.S. Embassy hosted a reception for the entire AHEPA Family.


Today, the delegation arrived in Istanbul and toured the city, including visits to Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome. Tomorrow, the delegation will meet at the Ecumenical Patriarchate and have lunch with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. President James will then present His All Holiness with AHEPA’s annual contribution.

Before departing Turkey for Greece on Saturday 19 May, the delegation will attend a reception at the residence of U.S. Consul General.

(Posting date 20 May 2007

The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) is the largest and oldest American-based, Greek heritage grassroots membership organization. Its scope is international with chapters in the United States, Canada, Greece, and Cyprus, and "sister" chapters in Australia and New Zealand under the auspices of AHEPA Australasia. AHEPA was founded on July 26, 1922 in response to the evils of bigotry and racism that emerged in early 20th century American society. It also helped Greek immigrants assimilate into society. Today, AHEPA promotes the ideals of ancient Greece, which includes philanthropy, education, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism. The AHEPA family consists of four organizations: AHEPA, Daughters of Penelope, Sons of Pericles and Maids of Athena. For more information about the organization or how to join, contact AHEPA Headquarters (202-232-6300) or visit the organization's newly redesigned website at

HCS maintains an extensive archives of AHEPA articles and press releases which readers are invited to browse under the AHEPA Family Releases section of the site archives at

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