Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   22 January

Istanbul Governor’s Office responds late to letter over election of Armenian Patriarch

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 6, ARMENPRESS. Istanbul Governor’s Office eventually 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, Agos reports.

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.

In the letter it is stated that all decisions adopted by Archbishop Bekchyan are also considered as invalid.

It is expected that the Armenian Patriarchate will soon release a statement on this letter.

Moreover, it’s also known that the Istanbul Governor’s Office invited the leaders of the Armenian community of Turkey to a meeting which will be held on February 7. The meeting will discuss the issue of the election of the patriarch. It will be attended by the interior minister.


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