Istanbul (Agenzia Fides) – The process to elect a new Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople is again at a stage of stalemate, due to episodes of silent boycotting on the part of Turkish institutions as well as persisting divisions registered within the Armenian community.
Since the election last year 15 August 2016 of Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian as Patriarch locum tenens to replace Archbishop Aram Ateshyan, and following the constitution of a work group to promote the electoral process, official letters sent by the Armenian Patriarchate to the Turkish authorities asking for procedures for the election of the Patriarch to be resumed, remain unanswered. Bagrat Estukian, head of the Armenian section of the bilingual Armenian newspaper Agos published in Istanbul – told Armeniapress that the Armenian Patriarchate had received no invitation to take part in official Victory commemoration acts on 30 August attended by all the other Churches and religious communities in Turkey. In the Armenian community this non invitation was seen as a sign of aversion towards the present locum tenens of the Patriarchate. Furthermore Estukian highlighted the negative role played by leading members of the Armenian community eager to be accredited as “intermediaries” between the community and the Turkish authorities, boasting high level connections with national institutions.