814) Karekin Blesses Turkeys Armenians

The head of the Armenian Orthodox Church, Karekin II, yesterday led a Sunday service at the Armenian Patriarchal church in Istanbul

Karekin II has been in Turkey since Tuesday for a week-long visit to the Armenian community. He held talks with both Fener Greek Patriarch Bartolomeos and Turkish Armenian Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan.

Karekin blessed worshippers yesterday of the Armenian community in Istanbul who formed a long queue at the church in the Kumkapi district, following the three-hour "Divine Liturgy or Holy Mass (Soorp Badarak)," which is the main service in the Armenian church on Sundays, starting at 10:30 a.m.

High security precautions were taken near the church, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Police tightened security to protect the visiting cleric from Turkish nationalists who protested his arrival on Tuesday night, prompting the police to accompany Karekin out of the airport through a separate entrance

On Thursday, a group led by Kemal Kerincsiz, president of the Turkish Lawyers' Union -- which describes itself as a "nationalist" organization -- protested Karekin during his visit to the currently closed Heybeliada (Halki) Greek Orthodox Seminary.

Jun 26, 2006 Copyright 2006, Turkish Daily News


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