ISTANBUL (Armenpress) — Garo Paylan, Istanbul-Armenian lawmaker of the Turkish Parliament, sent a written inquiry to Süleyman Soylu, minister of interior, regarding the interference of the governorate in the election of the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul.

The inquiry said: “What is the justification of such interference when there is an agreement within the Armenian community over the launch of the process on electing a Patriarch?

The Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul Mesrop Mutafyan is unable to hold office for already 9 years due to health issues.

In accordance to the 1863 National Consitution and the Treaty of Lausanne, Archbishop Garegin Bekchyan was elected locum tenens by the clergy on March 15, 2017, with the purpose of beginning the process of electing a new Patriarch.

Immediately after the election, a letter stamped “URGENT” and titled “Locum Tenens election” was delivered to the Patriarchate from deputy governor Aziz Merjan from the administration of the legal department of the Istanbul governorate. This letter was received with great surprise in the Armenian community and was labeled as interference to an already passed election.

What law was this letter based on and who gave the order?”

The governorate had said in the letter that it finds starting the process of patriarchal elections to be legally impossible.

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