General Vicar of Armenian Patriarch of Turkey Archbishop Aram Ateşyan announced that he resigned in a meeting with some foundation executives and benefactors. Ateşyan also sent an official letter to Değabah Bekçiyan, informing that Bekçiyan has the responsibility to carry out the election process and he will hand over the administrative duties. It is expected that the process will accelerate now.
On May 24, Archbishop Ateşyan held a meeting with former and incumbent foundation executives. Melkon Karaköse, Dikran Gülmezgil, Murat Öğer, Aret Ergan, Rober Haddeciyan, Ara Koçunyan, Hrant Moskofyan attended the meeting. On the same day, Surp Pırgiç Hospital Foundation Chair Bedros Şirinoğlu held meetings with several administrators.
In the meeting, Ateşyan said that he is tired of reactions and announced his resignation.
Ateşyan wrote letters to Değabah Bekçiyan and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II.
In the statement released on patriarchate’s website, Ateşyan stated that he will keep his duty as lusarabed, which was given him by Patriarch Mutafyan.
Bekçiyan: I will be in Istanbul within 10 days
Bekçiyan is currently in Germany. He spoke to Agos concerning the recent developments:
“They sent a letter to me and to Vehapar, inviting us to Hamparsum dinner. However, I have scheduled meetings in Germany. I will be in Istanbul within 10 days start working. I will decide what to do after considering our demands and those of state’s.”
Maşalyan: He should have done this earlier
Bishop Sahak Maşalyan also assessed the developments:
“Let’s hope for the best, a new era has begun. His Eminence Aram left his mark on the last decade. He managed the patriarchate for better or for worse. We shouldn’t blame him, he wasn’t the patriarch after all; this was the best anyone can do without being the patriarch. Paving the way for the election is what was important. We weren’t discussing whether His Eminence was a good vicar or not, we criticized him because he constituted an obstacle to the election. Now, there is no obstacle. It is a favorable development, but it should have been done earlier.”