ISTANBUL (Armenpress) — Armenian-Turkish Member of Parliament representing the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Garo Paylan has sent an inquiry to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu regarding the Istanbul government’s interference and obstruction of the Armenian Patriarchal election, Agos reports.
In the inquiry, Paylan said that in 2017, before the constitutional referendum, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had promised the Armenian community of Turkey to deal with the patriarchal election issue.
Paylan mentioned that Patriarch Mesrop Mutafyan is incapacitated due to severe illness, which was the reason of Aram Atesian’s appointment as patriarchal vicar in 2010, however the appointment was against the rules of the Armenian Church. Although Archbishop Karekin Bekjian was elected as locum tenens on March 15, 2017 in accordance to the constitution and necessary procedures, the Istanbul Governor’s Office sent a letter on February 5, 2018 to the patriarchate, claiming they only acknowledge Atesian.
“In the case when the Armenian community was waiting for the patriarchal elections to which it is entitled, state interference in the process both ignores our church traditions and causes despair within the community,” Paylan said. In this context, he asked the interior minister on what grounds the state interfered in the patriarchal election process.
He also asked why the process was stopped and why the deputy governor used the term “so-called” when addressing the elected locum tenens.