ANKARA: Referendum Postpones Service At Armenian Church


Today’s Zaman
May 17 2010

A religious service scheduled to be held at the Akdamar Church
in Lake Van on Sept. 12 has been postponed until Sept. 19, as the
originally scheduled date coincides with a referendum on Parliament’s
constitutional amendment package.

According to a statement issued by the Van Governor’s Office, Van
Governor Munir Karaoglu called Armenian Orthodox Archbishop Aram
AteÅ~_yan to offer to change the date of the religious service at
the church to Sept. 19.

Noting that the Armenian community reacted positively to the
suggestion, the statement read, "Recalling that the referendum will
take place on Sept. 12 and the votes of Turkish-Armenian citizens would
be jeopardized [in the event the service was held on the scheduled
date], Karaoglu conveyed his suggestion that the service to be held
the following week, on Sept. 19. While noting that re-scheduling the
service would not cause any problems, AteÅ~_yan said Sept. 19 would
be suitable for them." The statement also noted that Governor Karaoglu
thanked AteÅ~_yan for his positive response.