Paylan Launches Inquiry to Turkish Interior Ministry for Interference in Patriarchal Election


ANKARA, Turkey—On March 20, Armenian member of Turkish Parliament Garo Paylan sent a written inquiry to Turkish Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylan regarding their interference of the election of the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul.

Paylan holding a photo of Krikor Odyan during a parliamentary address (Photo: Twitter)

After the election of the Locum Tenens on March 15, the patriarchate received a letter from the Turkish Deputy Governor Aziz Merjan of Istanbul that stated that the election was illegal.

Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Germany Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian was elected Locum Tenens of the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul on March 15.

“What is the justification of such interference when there is an agreement within the Armenian community over the launch of the process on electing a Patriarch?” a part of Paylan’s inquiry read.

“In accordance to the 1863 National Constitution and the Treaty of Lausanne, Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian was elected Locum Tenens by the clergy on March 15, 2017, with the purpose of beginning the process of electing a new Patriarch,” continued the letter.

Paylan’s inquiry stressed that the governate’s letter was a “huge surprise” to the Armenian community. In the letter, the governate had said that it finds the election process “legally impossible.”

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