Turkey: Church to mark anniversary of Armenian Genocide

 Patriarchal Vicar Aram Ateshian

Patriarchal Vicar Aram Ateshian

The Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople, based in Istanbul, will soon commemorate the 100th anniversary of the systematic massacres of the Armenian people which began on 24 April, 1915 with the roundup and killing of hundreds of Armenian intellectuals, living in the metropolis on the Bosporus.

A Mass presided over by the Patriarchal Vicar Aram Ateshian, will be celebrated in the church of the patriarchal Seat to commemorate the victims of mass murder, which on this occasion will be commemorated as saints.

The Turkish press emphasizes that the celebrant will not use the word 'genocide' to remember the suffering experienced "from all sides" in the tragic events of a hundred years ago.

However, journalist and Turkish Armenian writer Etyen Mahcupyan, current first counselor of Turkish Premier Ahmet Davutoglu, acknowledged that the massacres of Armenians perpetrated in Anatolia in 1915 under the direction of ideological Young Turks, may legitimately be defined as 'genocide'.

"If one recognizes that those that occurred in Bosnia and Africa were genocide" - Mahcupyan said in an interview for an online site - ?it is impossible not to call genocide also what happened to the Armenians in 1915".

He added that the use of such term for the Armenians has a "more psychological than political" meaning.

Prime Minister Davutoglu, said that with his citation of the Armenian Genocide, the Pope has sided with the "face of evil" hostile to Turkey. While President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in statements relaunched by Turkish media said that Turkey "acts generously" by not expelling 100 thousand Armenian immigrants working in the country without being Turkish citizens, even if he "could do it".

Meanwhile, Pope Tawadros II, Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, will travel to Yerevan on April 20 to take part in the most significant events planned to commemorate the centenary of the Armenian Genocide.

Pope Tawadros' visit to Armenia will last about a week. Sources of the Coptic Patriarchate consulted by Agenzia Fides report that it will be the first participation of a Coptic Orthodox Patriarch in official commemorations of the Armenian Genocide.

The commemoration of the centenary of the 'Big Evil' will culminate in the liturgy for the canonization of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, scheduled for April 23 in Yerevan, at the Patriarchal See of Echmiadzin Catholicosate, governed by Patriarch Karekin II. About 40 Churches, ecclesial communities and ecumenical bodies, have already confirmed the presence of a delegation to the rite of canonization. On that same day, at 19.15 - the hour chosen to symbolically recall the year 1915 - all Armenian churches in the world, except those scattered on Turkish territory, will ring bells.

Source: VIS

Tags: Armenian Genocide, Patriarchal Vicar Aram Ateshian, Pope Tawadros II

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