MP Garo Paylan launches petition for resuming election process of Istanbul’s Armenian Patriarch

YEREVAN, MARCH 2, ARMENPRESS. Ethnic Armenian lawmaker of the Turkish parliament Garo Paylan initiated a petition aimed at resuming the election process of the Armenian Patriarch which has been suspended by the Istanbul Governor’s Office, Diken reports.

“There are 12 million Armenians around the world and all of them are from Anatolia in their origins. They look at the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul, but at the moment the status quo is in the hands of powers with a status of hostage”, Paylan said.

As of now, 1336 people signed under Paylan’s initiative which is titled “Patriarchal elections right now”.

Istanbul Governor’s Office responded to the letter of the Armenian side sent months before in regards to the election of the Armenian Patriarch, stating that it doesn’t recognize Archbishop Garegin Bekchyan as a patriarchal locum tenens. In the letter, which was signed by Istanbul deputy governor Ismail Gultekin, it is stated that Istanbul’s Armenian Patriarch Mesrop Mutafian is still alive and therefore there are no necessary conditions for electing a new patriarch. The Istanbul Governor’s Office said health problems are not enough to declare the patriarchal position as vacant, thus, Archbishop Aram Atesyan continues his post of the patriarchal vicar, and all processes on Bekchian’s being elected as patriarchal locum tenens are declared invalid.

English –translator/editor: Aneta Harutyunyan

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