By Edmond Y. Azadian
Many Armenians around the world may question why they should be interested in or bother with the election of a patriarch in Istanbul.
Well, any issue or a new development within the Armenian Church impacts on the global integrity of the church. Additionally, now that the Internet has reduced the world into a global village, Armenians are not left behind in networking, nor should they be.
The forthcoming election of a patriarch in Istanbul has its local and global dimensions. Church authorities in other spiritual centers can hardly effect the local forces or interests, nor they can counter the Turkish government’s manipulations, but they will be impacted adversely with the outcome of the election.
At this time, the Istanbul-Armenian community is in turmoil and factions are fighting each other about the modalities and candidates. And as Armenians know best how to insult each other, blames and counter-blames are being hurled against each other.
The irony is that in many countries the Armenian Church is organized and now on the local derivatives of the National Constitution (adopted in 1860 in Istanbul and approved by the Sultan in 1863), except in Istanbul. Elections and the organization of church depend on the whims of the Turkish authorities in violation of the Lousanne Treaty of 1923. That situation is fertile ground for personal ambitions and clannish interests to grow and to fester wounds in the community to the delight of the Turkish authorities.