ArmInfo.The chairman of the religious assembly, Archbishop Aram Ateshyan, congratulated Bishop Sahak Mashalyan on his election as the 85th head of the Diocese of Constantinople of the Armenian Apostolic Church (AAC). Ateshyan on his Facebook page wished Mashalyan success in his new mission. At the same time, he expressed hope that these elections will ensure unity and fraternity between the Armenian community of Constantinople and the Church.
To note, early in the morning in the Constantinople diocese of the AAC, the elections of the 85th patriarch were held. 103 secular and 17 clerical delegates took part in the elections. Sahak Mashalyan and Aram Ateshyan fought for the place of the patriarch. As a result of the vote, Sahak Mashalyan was elected patriarch.
It should be added that in the first round of elections held on December 8, Mashalyan also enlisted the support of the majority of voters who took part in the electoral process. Then only 13,704 members of the Armenian community took part in the elections, which is about 30% of voters with the right to vote. Many did not come to the polls, considering the elections to be unfair, since the election qualification established by the Turkish state limited the possibility of nominating a number of clergymen as candidates.
It should be noted that since 1998, Mesrop Mutafyan held the position of the First Hierarch of the AAC in Constantinople. However, after the operations and several assassination attempts carried out by members of the Ergenekon terrorist organization, the 53-year-old Patriarch's health worsened, and then the doctors diagnosed him with incurable amnesia, and later he fell into a coma. From 2004 to March 8, 2019 (on this day Mutafyan passed away), the Turkish leadership did not give permission to the Armenian community (the head of the national community according to Turkish laws should at the same time be the spiritual head) to announce the election of a new Patriarch or at least his co-ruler. All this time, the locum tenens of the diocese of Constantinople was Aram Ateshyan, the attitude of the community towards whom was rather mixed. The community has repeatedly appealed to the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II with the request to remove Ateshyan because he is not engaged in his direct duties, does not protect the interests of the community and is engaged in self-enrichment.