TURKEY: CHURCH TO MARK ANNIVERSARY OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
Independent Catholic News
April 17 2015
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
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.