Garo Paylan: Istanbul-Armenians unable to elect patriarch for 10 years       

14:18 • 14.02.18



It is about ten years now that the Armenian community of Istanbul has been barred from any chances of electing its own patriarch, Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly, said Tuesday, commenting on the re-appointment of Archbishob Aram Ateshyan as Vicar General.


“Unfortunately, it was the Turkish authorities’ decision several years ago to install Aram Ateshyan as Vicar General . We then said we wanted to elect our patriarch,” he told Tert.am, adding that many community members sought to even stop the process by trying to contact the Turkish Government.


Paylan said he believes that the community could have taken a strong action at least this time to prevent Ateshyan’s return to his former post despite the government’s decision.


“By seizing power from the Government, you become a kind of hostage. All we need now is to derive power from the Armenian community. And the Patriarch too, must be elected by the Armenian community and derive power from it,” he added.

The politician said he treats Ateshyan as a kind of puppet in the hands of not only the Turkish Government but also defense, police and security forces. “They will use him to realize their desires,” he said.


Asked to comment on the recent developments’ possible impact on the community, Paylan noted that the local Armenians are in an atmosphere of constant fear, and very often - in the dark about the situation in the Patriarchate. “But the Armenian community needs empowerment by the Patriarchate. We need to be better organized, as this situation may potentially split the community apart,” he added.

 

 

Hripsime Hovhannisyan





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