A lawsuit was filed with the request of appointing a guardian for Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople Mesrob II Mutafyan and during the first hearing, his mother Diramayr Mari Mutafyan stated that she accepts to be appointed as the guardian.
The first hearing of the lawsuit, which was filed with the request of appointing a guardian for Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople Mesrob II Mutafyan, was held on February 9. What happened during the hearing was surprising. Patriarchal Vicar of Constantinople Aram Ateşyan requested to be an intervening party to the trial through his lawyer Ali Elbeyoğlu. It was also surprising that Patriarch’s mother Mari Mutafyan was present at the hearing and Diramayr stated that she accepts to be appointed as the guardian.
Claim of “proxy”
Along with Ateşyan’s lawyer Elbeyoğlu, his assistant Simon Süleyman was also present at the first hearing. In the petition that is presented to the court by Elbeyoğlu, it is claimed that the complainant party is unauthorized. In the petition, there are statements like: “The fact that 4 people came together and filed such a lawsuit shows that they are malevolent and have ulterior motives.” They also implied that Ateşyan also serves as the guardian: “Requesting a guardian is improper, since the Patriarchate operates with a Patriarchal Vicar, who is approved by our state.” It is also requested that Father Dırtad Uzunyan, who is a board member of Hovakim 1461 Foundation, is heard as a witness.
Diramayr contradicted the Patriarchate
Mutafyan’s mother Diramayr Mari Mutafyan’s statements were the most striking development of the hearing. Stating that Mesrob Mutafyan is his son and she has been taking care of him for 5 years, Diramayr said that she accepts to be appointed as the guardian.
As it can be remembered, Patriarchate released a written statement, which was claimed to be written by Mari Mutafyan, when the discussions about appointing a guardian was started. In this statement, it was claimed that Mari Mutafyan disapproves the lawsuit and Archbishop Ateşyan is the only liable person.
The case adjourned
The court approved Ateşyan’s request of being an intervening party and declined the witness, since it is not related to the appointment of a guardian. The court demanded a report approved by the medical board and the next hearing will be held on March 8.
Tatyos Bebek, one of the complainants, assessed the first hearing. “In the case of appointing a guardian for our Holy Patriarch, there are important developments. Venerable Diramayr was present at the hearing and stated that she wants to be the guardian; this was the most important message. Thanks to her, the written statements published in the newspapers went by the board. Appointment of a guardian is also a legal matter. Thus, it will also have legal consequences. After the appointment of a guardian, hopefully, we will be able to elect a new patriarch.”
From Agos’ perspective
Reflections on the request of being an intervening party
The statements that Archbishop Ateşyan has been making since the discussions about the appointment of a guardian was started and his request of being an intervening party show that he is very concerned by this case. Moreover, it is also revealed that Diramayr Mari Mutafyan was under pressure. There is no other explanation for the recent development: Diramary was present at the hearing and stated that she wants to be the guardian, and this development contradicts the written statement published in the newspapers. We wanted to talk to Diramayr, but Ateşyan was in our way. We are informed that the Archbishop called the hospital and said: “You shouldn’t speak to Agos only. You may hold a press conference which all newspapers can attend.” We would like to address our question to Diramary, when this press conference is held, but we have to state that we don’t approve Ateşyan’ behavior, which aims restricting the freedom of expression.
There is another issue. Archbishop Ateşyan said that many of the cases that are opened by the people who live abroad but have confiscated properties in Turkey are about to be concluded and one of these people will donate their property to Hovakim 1461. It is known that Archbishop Ateşyan acts as a commission agent in such cases. The fact that he is the only one who knows about those cases is curious.
Now, at this juncture, we want to address two important questions to Ateşyan, who doesn’t accept to speak to Agos, though he appears on the other newspapers of Armenian society.
1- What happened to the petition for electing a new patriarch, which you handed to Istanbul Governorship personally? You blamed the “Entrepreneur Board” by saying that “Some meddlesome people made an application, that is why we cannot hold an election”, though the only duty of this board is to make application for election. Well, who is responsible for not holding an election now?
2- The Patriarchate under your administration is an institution that has no accountability. Can you guarantee that Hovakim 1461 Foundation, which is founded by you, will be any different than Beyoğlu Üç Horan Foundation? Can you guarantee that the land of Beykoz Armenian Cemetery won’t be rented by an underestimated price like Tokatlıyan Inn?