It seems that Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, Mesrop II Mutafian, is getting into the habit of ascribing his own opinion to the Armenian community and making grim conclusions and prognosis in Turkish printed media. Still in mid-June when Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II was getting ready for Istanbul visit, he suggested Turkish papers that "the Armenian community of Constantinople thinks that the Supreme Patriarch does not know the proper place for his statements," thus trying to forecast "possible unrest during his visit" and to let the world know about the Armenian communitys "concern.
"Patriarch Mutafians gloomy forecast did not though hit the target. According to Armenian press of Istanbul, the community not only warmly welcomed His Holiness and enjoyed his presence but also was surprised at Mesrop Mutafians conclusion that "some fears in the community came true." The Armenian community strongly criticized Patriarch Mutafian "for casting shadow on the Catholicoss visit" and emphasized: "When His Holiness was still in Istanbul, in his interview with Hurriyet Patriarch Mutafian showed that he can hardly follow a logic worthy a religious leader.
"It was the interview with Sefa Kaplan published on June 28 in Hurriyet that Patriarch Mutafian provided "clarification" to the Catholicoss press conference. In August 6 issue of Hurriyet answering the question of the same correspondent, the Patriarch made public his attitude to his compatriots in Armenia not forgetting to speak for the whole community. . .
Asked by Kaplan "what kind of relations do you have with your compatriots in Armenia? Do they turn to you with requests?", Patriarch Mutafian answers: "Two-three years ago they used to turn to us for money. Seeing that they were in desperate need we would help them paying for their ticket to Armenia. Then we saw that they return to Istanbul from Samsun or Trapizon but do not return to Armenia. Thats why we decided not to fund anymore. But the church still remains a meeting place for the latter. On Sundays Surp Astvatsatsin church is full of Armenians speaking Eastern Armenian. The Ethiopians and Africa-born Armenians also come. So when preaching you may think that people do not understand you.
"Asked "whats the education level of those people", the Patriarch says: "Almost all of them are university graduates but they found no jobs at home. There are even doctors among them who attend patients at home but earn more than in Armenia.
"Answering a question about the relations between the Turks and the Armenians of Armenia, Patriarch Mutafian says: "Relations are rather good. I think if there were exchange programs of students, intellectuals, artists and media representatives, Turkey-Armenia relations would improve.
" The most exciting in the interview were perhaps the last two questions. The correspondent asked: "Are there cases when the Armenian residents turn to you complaining of bad treatment?", to which the Patriarch answers: "As far as I know, they get along very well, and there were even marriages with the Turks.
"Asked "if the local Armenian community is worried because of the Armenian residents", the Patriarch says: "Unfortunately, there is more distrust than worry towards them. The local community is slow to trust those people for unknown reasons. There is a firm opinion in the community that they are untrustworthy and do not keep their word. This is an inglorious phenomenon.
"Firstly, it should be said that not all job seekers in Turkey are university graduates. The Patriarch simply lies fanning the fires of those who want to see Armenia ruined. As to the community, if they really consider their compatriots in Armenia untrustworthy, then it goes against the Patriarchs words that the Armenians get along with the Turks and even marry them. If Patriarch Mutafian ascribes distrust to the Armenian community, then he carelessly sticks a label of untrustworthy on the Turks who trust the Armenian residents to the extent of marrying them.
In this case the Armenian community of Constantinople takes the stance of distrust to Turks because of its Patriarchs wishful thinking.
Its obvious that in order to "get well along with the Armenians" the Turks have to be at least equally bad, therefore the Patriarchs suspicion towards his countryman should refer to Turks as well. We can only remind him the inscription that Lraber, the patriarchys newspaper, carries: "The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates."
By Hakob Chakrian
AZG Armenian Daily
From: Sukru Server Aya
I read the above article, which reminded me of the Murphy’s Law:
“Never argue with a fool, the people may not know the difference.”
Mr. Hakob Chakrian, seems to suffer from the flu of find something to criticize, if it is good news, make it sound doubtful… Now, this fanatic person tries to discredit Mutafian, and upgrade Karekin as if in a political competition. My short notes to this negative incurable person would be:
1.Mr. Chakrian’s capacity cannot even accept that “
2. There is a visible effort, to downgrade Mutafian and the peaceful relations he could maintain, in spite of outside agitations like of Hrant Dink (ANCA), Dashnaks, AGBU, and Etchmiadzin etc.
As it was in the past the “Russian Armenians” are trying to “save their compatriots” and divert simplest words of a friendly conversion. Like one of the women had said at Kumkapi, you do not have a bad, good, royal, or wise etc. nation… You have “humans” with such qualities and this cannot be generalized as Ahbarik Chakrian argues. Of course, there are crooks, liars, hard working or lazy people among Armenians or Turks or any group of people… Why does he try to make a racist observation? In this country, we do not like racists at all.
- Karekin was a guest of Bartholomeos, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch (now without community left) and of course antagonistic to
, because he wants to re-open a theology school for non-Turkish priest candidates, and defy the secularism of Turkish NATIONAL education. Turkey
Sorry Barthelemeos or Karekin, we had enough of calamities because of theology, and don’t need it again Divinity and the impact on bigotry and anarchy justifies itself even in this example a century later… The old stale stew…
- Regarding the welcome Karekin had from the Armenian community, even our usual hospitality and manners for a visiting guest are criticized… Mr. Chakrian is totally lost in his logic, he mixes patriotism, with racism, nationalism, and World Affairs with ETERNAL matters.
It seems that even the courtesy of the people and filling up the churches, can be criticized. If the Church was to be empty then it would have been because of Mutafian did not want to be it so.
5. As regards the inscription on Patriarchy’s newspaper, I think that he should at least have understood from this normal behavior that it is not that our souls love violence and hates… Mr. Chakrian sounds more like it. He is totally ignorant of the commandment Love thy neighbor.
Last advice to Mr. Chakrian, come to Kumkapi, famous for small taverns and fish restaurants, sip a glass of raki and try to learn and share love with other people, even if you have not met them!
Or follow Karekin’s advice and add some firewood to turn this world into hell. His prayers for
Sukru Server Aya
From: British European Turks
Constantinople!!! who is stuck in a time warp then?
Dear Mr Chakrian,
We think you are stuck in a time warp.. Constantinople was called Constantinople 500 years ago ??!!! ..wake up please.. It is now called Istanbul and you should not generate cheap propaganda on the run.
Furthermore, His Eminence Patriarch Mesrob II has as much right to speak his mind as you are, so please respect his views and comments. The subject of Turkish Armenians, Diaspora Armenians and Turks is an issue that requires sensitive handling in these difficult times for these communities. So, please be constructive and avoid propaganda. There are a lot of ordinary folks who would read and listen to a balanced once presented as such.
British European Turks
Many thanks to the lady from Damascus, Dimashq, Syrian Arab Republic for prompting us to add the following 2 links as a lively piece to our site as well as to David, Brentwood, TN who plays this song as an energizer at his presbyterian church camp. We appreciate your contributions very much
Here they are:
- Istanbul (Not Constantinople) by They Might Be Giants
- Why some people with ulterior motives want to call Constantinople, not Istanbul