Patriarchal Vicar of Constantinople, Archbishop Aram Ateşyan spoke about the postponement of the ceremony at Akhtamar. Stating that the ceremony was cancelled due to security concerns, Ateşyan made a call: “Government should conclude this process with peace in all conscience.”
Armenian Patriarchal Church had declared that the ceremony that was planned to be conducted on September 6 at The Church of the Holy Cross on Akhtamar Island is cancelled. Patriarchal Vicar of Constantinople, Archbishop Aram Ateşyan spoke after the cancellation decision. Making a statement via İhlas News Agency, Ateşyan said that the ceremony will be held in future.
Pointing out that lots of organizations were cancelled due to clashes, Ateşyan said, “After the bookings were cancelled, there is only 3 ecclesiastics left here, including me. We didn’t want to conduct such an important ceremony only with 3 ecclesiastics; it wouldn’t be appropriate. Because of the recent events, our congregants are naturally afraid and hesitate to go to these regions. So, we decided to cancel the ceremony, because of our security concerns regarding ceremony and the people who will attend it. This doesn’t mean that we will never hold this ceremony. When an environment of peace and trust is established, we will hold the ceremony in future. However, it would have been better, if we could have hold this ceremony as planned, because many countries made organizations for high level of participation.”
This Problem Should Be Concluded
Stating that they informed the ministry about the cancellation, Ateşyan said, “This is a loss both for Turkey and Van in terms of tourism. I would like to repeat my call that I made in the recent weeks. Both sides should come together with a reciprocal understanding and conclude this issue. Government should conclude this process with peace in all conscience. Ceasing the fire is for the benefit of our country. If the situation goes on like this, every ethnic group in Turkey will suffer.”