The presence of Armenians on the island dates back as early as the sixth century, while the number of Armenians in Cyprus significantly increased following the massive forced deportations from Ottoman Turkey and the massacres and genocide they suffered by the Ottoman Turks during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. According to the Constitution (Article 2 § 3), the Armenian Cypriots are recognised as a religious group, while the Western Armenian language is recognised and protected by the Cyprus government as a “minority language,” according to the provisions of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. The religious leader of the group, the Archbishop, is accountable to the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia in Antelias. Currently Armenian Cypriots, who number about 3,500 people, live mostly in the urban areas of Lefkosia (Nicosia), Larnaka and Lemesos (Limassol). Through their churches, schools, clubs, radio programme, monthly newspapers and websites, they try to preserve their very rich cultural heritage, language and religion. As a result of the 1974 Turkish invasion, the Armenians lost significant properties, such as the Sourp Magar Armenian Monastery in the Halefka area and the Ganchvor Sourp Asdvadzadzin Monastery in Ammochostos (Famagusta), a primary school and church in Lefkosia, and several other vital sites and assets.