ISTANBUL — The Istanbul Governor’s Office sent a letter to the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople on February 5, noting that it does not recognize Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian as Locum Tenens, but recognizes Archbishop Aram Ateshian as General Vicar, Agos daily reported.

The letter signed by Istanbul’s Deputy Governor Ismail Peltek, also notes that there are no conditions for holding new patriarchal elections, considering that Patriarch Mutafyan is alive. It is mentioned that health issues are not enough to consider the patriarchal seat vacant and that Aram Ateshyan keeps his position as Vicar General.

Patriarch Mutafyan has been unable to perform his duties due to health problems since 2008. In 2010, Archbishop Aram Ateshian was appointed as Vicar General.

The letter indicates that all actions that led to the election of Archbishop Bekdjian as Locum Tenens are invalid.

On the other hand, the Governorship of Istanbul invited the foundation managers of Armenian society to a meeting to be held in the Governorship on Wednesday which was to be attended byTurkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu.

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