FRESNO — Dr. Ohannes Kiliçdagi, Kazan Visiting Professor in Armenian Studies at Fresno State, will give a Zoom presentation on “The Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul Under the Light of the Last Crisis of the Patriarchal Election” at 7:00PM on Monday, November 16, 2020. The presentation is part of the Fall 2020 Lecture Series of the Armenian Studies Program and is supported by the Leon S. Peters Foundation.

The Armenian Patriarchate and Patriarch of Istanbul have had an ambivalent status in the Turkish Republic. De jure, there are no such existing institution and office, as there is no legal codification that describes the rights and responsibilities of the Patriarchate as well as regulates the election method of the Patriarch; de facto, on the other hand, the Patriarch is still recognized as the representative of the whole Armenian community as he is invited to official meetings with state officials. This legal vacuum, deliberately created by the Turkish state, was used as a tool to control, and manipulate the Patriarchate and the whole Armenian community. This talk, after explaining this historical-legal background, examines the last crisis of the Patriarchal election between 2009 and 2020. It describes the emergence and development of the crisis step-by-step and situates it in the general framework of the official Turkish policy on minorities.

Dr. Kiliçdagi was the Nikit and Eleanora Ordjanian Visiting Professor at Middle Eastern South Asian and African Studies (MESAAS) at the Columbia University for Spring 2020. He was accepted between 2017 and 2019 as a post-doctoral fellow by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University and completed a pre-doctoral fellowship (2011-2012) at the Armenians Studies Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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