822) Patriarch Mesrob II: I do not agree with Karekin II's comments on genocide

Patriach Mesrob II, the leader of the Armenian Orthodox community in Turkey, has commented on his differing views from those expressed last week by Catholicos Karekin II, the world leader of the Armenian Orthodox Church, who was in Istanbul last week for a visit.

Karekin, who came to Istanbul as the guest of Greek Fener Patriarch Bartholomeus and as well as of Patriarch Mesrob II, held a press conference at the Armenian Patriarchate on Sunday during which he called on Turkey to officially recognize the events of 1915 as a genocide against the Armenians. Mesrob II had subsequently commented to the press that his perspective on the matter differs from that of Karekin II's, and that the Turkish-Armenian relationship is not soley based on incidents which took place between 1890-1923.

Responding to reporters' questions about what he thought of Karekin II's statements about genocide, Mesrob II said: "How can I comment on those statements? I guess I could say 'They were as I expected they would be.'

At the press conference at which Katekin II spoke, TV cameras from the Armenian station Shoagat were present. All of the diaspora watches Shoagat TV. So Karekin knew the public he was addressing with his comments.

I think differently on the matter, as I have said many times in the past. The disaster of 1915 should be examined on separate platforms by politicians, historians, diplomats, and sociologists. This would be very helpful in terms of creating empathy and understanding, rather than enmity."



His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, having completed his first Pontifical Visit to Istanbul, returned to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin in the early morning hours of June 28. The seven-day visit included a two day fraternal visit to the Ecumenical Patriarch, followed by five days with the Armenian community of Istanbul and the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Although His Holiness' flight arrived in Yerevan in the middle of the night, waiting for him in the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin at 4:00 AM, were hundreds of faithful who had come to welcome him home. His Holiness' procession was escorted into the Mother Cathedral under the singing of the "Hrashapar" hymn. Standing before the Holy Altar of Descent, the Catholicos of All Armenians offered prayers of thanks to heaven and thereafter conveyed the unforgettable and warm impressions from his pontifical visit to all those present.

His Holiness Karekin II joyfully reflected on the enthusiastic reception he received from the Armenian community of Istanbul, as expression of their love and devotion to the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church and the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

His Holiness stated, "Glory and thanksgiving to God. We return from our pontifical visit to our sons and daughters in Constantinople with a content heart. Our soul was filled with joy to personally see and meet our faithful children, their enthusiastic devoted faith, and their patriotic spirit. We communed with 600 years of history and treasures of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople."

According to the press-release of the Information Services of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the Pontiff of All Armenians stated with contentment that the Armenian community of Istanbul, a community that lives, breathes and speaks Armenian, is active today with a vibrant national life. The community has 39 churches, 17 Armenian schools and many institutions, the largest of which is the Holy All-Savior National Hospital. His Holiness also fondly recalled his meetings with Armenian intellectuals and youth of Istanbul.

As the visit of His Holiness was widely covered by the Armenian and Turkish press and media in Turkey, His Holiness spoke of the press conference convened in Istanbul on Sunday, June 25, following the Pontifical Divine Liturgy, during which the Armenian Genocide was discussed. (The full text of the press conference will be available tomorrow on the website of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, www.armenianchurch.org). In reply to the concerns about the prospect that His Holiness' statements on the Armenian Genocide could negatively affect the attitude of the Turkish authorities towards the Armenians of Turkey, the Catholicos stated, "We do not believe that our thoughts and words can affect the attitude of the authorities towards our Armenians in Istanbul, because we never expressed hatred or enmity, we simply stated the reality and the truth. Taking into account the process of democratization, which the Turkish authorities desire to achieve in their country, we also do not believe that extremist nationalistic forces will succeed in sowing hatred and enmity toward the Armenians or other minorities living in Turkey."

His Holiness continued, stating that as many countries have recognized the Genocide of the Armenians, so too must Turkey recognize the Genocide, for which there exists no need for deliberations.

Regarding the protests that had been organized in Istanbul during his visit, noting that the Turkish authorities characterized them as the "actions of extremist groups", His Holiness emphasized that in no way did they diminish his impressions from the trip. Due to the unprecedented security measures which were implemented, they did not obstruct the activities of the Pontifical Visit and generally remained unnoticed by the delegation.

Just before daybreak in Holy Etchmiadzin, as His Holiness concluded his remarks, he once again expressed his appreciation to the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople and the faithful people of Istanbul for the warm reception, and offered his prayers for the stability and vibrancy of the Armenian Patriarchate. The Pontiff of All Armenians also warmly expressed his thanks to all those present who had waited all night long to greet him upon his return to Armenia.

Noyan Tapan
Armenians Today Jun 28 2006


Re: Patriarch Mesrob Not Agree with Karekin / Onc...

Patriarch Mesrop has no choice but to play to the Turkish tune. He lives in
Turkey and the world know what happens if you do not play the official
tune..it becomes right away "denigrating Turkishness"....

Come of it Turks...have you not heard the sword of Democleses??????When are
you going to stop fooling yourselves?????

by Macreau


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