ISTANBUL (ArmInfo)—Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Armenian hospital of St. Savior in Istanbul Bedros Sirinoglu met President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan in light of the elections of Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, reported Agos news. The meeting took place in the presidential residence in Ankara.
In an interview with Agos, Sirinoglu said that the Armenian community in Istanbul has an impression that he hinders the elections of the Patriarch, due to what he had to ask Erdogan. “I told Erdogan that some members of the Armenian community blame me for delaying the Funds and Patriarch elections. I demanded holding the elections. The president noted that the reason of delay of elections is the flaws of the Armenian side, as the authorities do not interfere in this process at all,” he said.
Sirinoglu added that Erdogan promised him to see about Constantinople Patriarch’s and Funds elections immediately after the constitutional referendum.
The leader of the Spiritual Council of the Patriarchate of Constantinople Bishop Sahak Mashalian noted in his interview with Agos that there is no need to wait for the referendum for submitting an application for the patriarch’s elections. “If we submit the application for the patriarch’s elections now, the process will go on faster after the referendum than if we submit it after the referendum,” said Sirinoglu.
The Armenian community has long been experiencing discrepancies because of the Patriarch elections. Due to health problems, Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan was recognized incapacitated. According to the charter of the Patriarchate, the Patriarch is elected for a lifetime period. The majority of the community demanded new elections, while the rest stressed that the church law bans new elections before the Patriarch’s death. Patriarch functions have been carried out by Patriarchal Vicar Aram Ateshyan.