Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   24 November

Turkish authorities have no jurisdiction to intervene in locum tenens elections – Bagrat Estukian

YEREVAN, MARCH 16, ARMENPRESS. The locum tenens elections are internal affairs of the church, and Turkey’a authorities have no jurisdiction to intervene in them, Bagrat Estukian – editor of Armenian section of “Agos” daily, told “Armenpress”, commenting on the statement by Istanbul authorities which said they don’t recognize the results of the locum tenens elections held on March 15.

“I think this was a planned action. At 15:00 the meeting of clergymen started, and when it became known that Archbishop Garegin Bekchian was elected as locum tenens, immediately that statement was issued on non recognizing the results. This process creates many doubts”, he said.

He informed that a day before the elections, Archbishop Aram Ateshian convened a meeting with the presidents of the Armenian structures and told them that the government opposes to this process, and the elections should not be held. However, the presidents insisted that it is necessary.

“Putting aside these developments, I can say that this was an initially planned action, it is a conspiracy, and Archbishop Aram Ateshian, as well as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Armenian hospital of St. Savior in Istanbul Bedros Sirinoglu are involved in this. The general belief is that if Ateshian was elected, this statement would not be issued”, Bagrat Estukian said.

He stated that now it is necessary to explain the Istanbul authorities that the locum tenens elections are  internal affairs of the church and the state must not intervene.

Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Germany Archbishop Garegin Bekchian has been elected locum tenens of the Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul based on the results of March 15 election. 30 clerics who are the members of Clerical Assembly voted in the election. 


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