The Armenian community in Turkey has not elected its patriarch for years. The elected Patriarch Mesrob II Mutafyan has been unable to work for 11 years due to his illness, a disability report was prepared for him.
The standard procedure in case of the death of a patriarch is for the Spiritual Assembly to elect a Deghabah [locum tenens] and prepare the community for elections. While the same process was expected for a patriarch with a disability report, a trustee was appointed to the office of the patriarch instead.
With a ruling by the Turkish Cabinet, Archbishop Aram Ateşyan assumed the seat as a “temporary solution” in 2010 under the title “General Vicar of the Patriarch.” Yet, he has continued to occupy the office for 8 years as an unelected official.
The Armenian community would be lead for many years not by an elected official but by someone appointed by the state. This is a clear blow against the Armenian community.
You may find here the memorandum by our Istanbul MP Garo Paylan regarding the historical process of the Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey and the contemporary problems it has experienced.
5 March 2018