ISTANBUL (Agos)—An application to Istanbul Court of Peace has been submitted for the appointment of a guardian for Patriarch Mutafyan.
The request of Tatyos Bebek, Artin Mezedur, Nazaret Binatli and Harut Ozer was presented to the court by lawyer Arin Manca. In the petition, there are three explanatory items. The petition which stated that Patriarch Mutafyan has been under incapacity for 9 years because of his illness is accepted by the court.
A medical report certifying that the Patriarch is suffering from “Frontotemporal dementia” is also presented to the court. This development was covered by the international media and resonated with the Armenian community. We asked Tatyos Bebek what the purpose of this demand is and he said that they have been considering it for a long time.
Bebek said: “The lawyers say that a guardian should have been appointed when our Patriarch was diagnosed with this illness. We don’t know why this hasn’t been done so far. Lately, people began to say that if a patriarch cannot perform his duty for 7 years, the seat should be considered as vacant and this set us in motion to make this application which we have been considering for a long time. With this application, the health condition of our Patriarch will become official.”
In 2010, Archbishop Ateshyan applied for a “co-Patriarch” election and the Ministry of Interior rejected it on the grounds that “there cannot be an election as long as the Patriarch is alive.” Reminding this incident, Tatyos Bebek said, “First of all, when a guardian is appointed, this argument become invalid, because a person with a legal guardian cannot be considered as alive.” He also added: “Of course we are not happy with this situation, but an action should have be taken, because this concerns the future of our community.”
In the petition, Mutafyan’s mother is pointed as the most eligible guardian and if she doesn’t accept it, the court appoints a guardian. Tatyos Bebek also stated that a guardian and a trustee are two different positions and a guardian can have a right of disposition if only there is a court order.