Politics 15:15 10/05/2022 Armenia

Armenian Patriarch of Turkey spreads contradictory messages on April 24

By Harut Sassounian

Publisher, The California Courier

Ever since Archbishop Sahak Mashalian became the Armenian Patriarch of Turkey in 2019, he has made a series of questionable statements on the Armenian Genocide and bestowed lavish praise upon Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his denialist remarks.

It is understandable, to a degree, why Armenians in Turkey, especially those in leadership positions, are forced to go along with the Turkish government’s denials of the Armenian Genocide, since they are hostages in Turkey. However, there are red lines that no Armenian, let alone a clergyman, should cross regardless of circumstances or locality.

However, we should not ascribe all of the Patriarch’s declarations to threats or pressures from the Turkish government. He has made many subservient statements of his own free will in order to get elected as Patriarch or endear himself to the authorities.

The Patriarch’s most recent controversial statement came in a lengthy sermon he delivered in Armenian and Turkish on April 24, the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at Istanbul’s Kumkapu Sourp Haroutioun Church. While I welcome his desire to commemorate the Armenian Genocide, I question the accuracy of some of his statements. In my humble opinion, the Patriarch would have been better off giving a short sermon, simply expressing his sympathies to those who lost their lives in 1915. Given his mixed messages, he risked alienating both Armenians and Turks.

Let us now turn to the Patriarch’s sermon. He started by saying that April 24 commemorates Armenians who were killed during World War I. The Patriarch is thus copying the denialist words of Pres. Erdogan who misrepresents the Armenian dead as victims of war, not genocide. The Patriarch also capitalized on the fact that in 2015, Catholicos Karekin II declared all victims of the Armenian Genocide to be “saints,” which led the Patriarch to qualify April 24 as “no longer a day of mourning,” but “a day of remembrance for the consecrated saints.”

The Patriarch then came up with the following strange explanation: “The immortality of the victims of the Meds Yeghern began on the day of their death. We simply awoke to this truth after a hundred years of mourning!” He accused all those who continue to commemorate the Armenian Genocide of wanting “to sink in and remain forever in the inescapable nightmare of labyrinths of the Yeghern.”

While the Patriarch falsely represented the genocide as resulting from war, he also made some accurate assessments regarding the consequences of “Meds Yeghern” on the Armenian people, particularly the loss of their homes and lands:

“Today is April 24. It is the infamous day of remembrance of the terrible tragedy of our nation a century ago; a miserable date that symbolizes the start of one of the darkest chapters of our history.... which is familiar to us as ‘Meds Yeghern.’ …A nation was torn from its centuries-old settlements as a result of a policy cultivated and developed for reasons incomprehensible to us. The word deportation is embossed on our Armenian identity in its most painful shades. This unfortunate practice has led to the emptying of monasteries, the desolation of places of worship, the deprivation of schools of teachers and students, and in general, the settlements from their inhabitants. Families were left to mourn the loss of their parents and children. Men and women, old men and boys, young men and virgins were forced to follow a deadly path. In other words, a negative situation as a result of which hundreds of thousands of people were forced to bear in their wounded hearts the pain of irreversible and irreparable losses.”

The Patriarch continued his mixed messages by condemning the denial of the genocide, while criticizing its recognition by foreign parliaments, describing their actions as “provocations by distant countries.” On the positive side, he dared to use the term genocide once in Armenian and Turkish in his sermon: “It should be noted that the denial of the pain experienced by the Armenians on these lands wounds the conscience. We should also mention that we find contrary to moral principles the efforts that tend to use the pains of our fathers on the international stage as politicized theses against Turkey. Neither the denial nor the genocide resolutions adopted by the parliaments of various countries will bring honor to the pains suffered or to the people who lived through them on these lands. On the contrary, angry and defensive sides, by augmenting the shadows of the past, cause the peoples’ hopes to reconcile and develop natural relations to be dimmed and to block the present and future of the neighboring peoples.”

The Patriarch then suffered from a massive spell of amnesia by falsely describing “the events of the past 107 years… as a painful exception to the millennial common history” of Armenians and Turks. The Patriarch conveniently forgot the centuries of oppression suffered by Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, the Hamidian massacres of the 1890’s that caused the deaths of 300,000 Armenians, and the Adana massacre of 1909 that resulted in the killing of 30,000 Armenians.

The Patriarch, however, did not forget to praise Pres. Erdogan as the “unique figure” who issued sympathetic statements on April 24. The fact is that Erdogan’s statements should be condemned, not praised, for distorting the truth about the Armenian Genocide.

The Patriarch ended his sermon by supporting the ongoing diplomatic efforts for “rapprochement” between Armenia and Turkey. He must realize that without acknowledging the truth and establishing justice, there can be no reconciliation.



Source Panorama.am
Share |

Newsfeed

17:00
Rain, thunderstorms expected in parts of Armenia
Rain and thunderstorms are expected in some parts of Armenia from 6 to 8 August, the Hydrometeorology and Monitoring Center reports, adding...
16:45
Chinese military ignores US attempts to establish contacts amid Taiwan crisis
The US military command has made multiple attempts to establish contacts with Chinese colleagues amid the escalation of tensions around Taiwan...
16:35
Symphonic Yerevan Festival to open with bassoon and piano music
The opening concert of the Symphonic Yerevan International Music Festival will take place in the Arno Babajanyan Concert Hall on August 12. The...
16:28
World premiere of Mansurian's 'Hymn – The Good Captain' held in Brno
Within the framework of the Mendel Festival held in Brno, the Czech Republic, on July 22, at the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, the...
15:55
Mahindra Scorpio-N sets new sales record
The Mahindra Scorpio-N proved to be quite a hit in its home market in India, as the first 25,000 units were sold out in less than a minute,...
15:45
Manvel Paramazyan to top new bloc's electoral list in upcoming Kajaran elections
The incumbent mayor of Kajaran, a town in Armenia's Syunik Province, will top the electoral list of a newly formed alliance in the municipal...
15:12
Expert: Surrender of Berdzor, nearby villages brings enemy one step closer to our homes
Iran expert Vardan Voskanyan claims the surrender of Artsakh’s Berdzor (Lachin) town and the nearby villages of Aghavno and Sus to...
14:34
Twelve dead, 31 injured in Croatia bus crash
Twelve people have been killed after a bus carrying Polish tourists veered off a road in Croatia on Saturday, BBC News reported. All 31...
14:11
Chess Olympiad: Armenia keeps the lead after draw with US
Armenia defended its lead in the open section of the Chess Olympiad after drawing the favourites from the United States in round 7, ChessBase...
13:36
Rep. Schiff calls for immediate action to hold Aliyev regime accountable for attack against Artsakh
U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, condemns Azerbaijan's latest aggression against Artsakh and...
13:15
French mayor wants Mont Blanc climbers to pay €15,000 rescue and funeral deposit
Climbers attempting to reach the summit of Mont Blanc from a popular path in France will have to pay a €15,000 (£12,640) deposit to...
13:06
Artificial parity brings false legitimization of use of force in Artsakh, official says
Artsakh’s State Minister Artak Beglaryan calls out international institutions for again keeping artificial parity between the Azerbaijani...
12:45
Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson split after 9 months together
Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson have reportedly gone their separate ways, Vogue says. According to People, the pair split up after...
12:33
Sen. Menendez condemns Azerbaijan’s latest attacks against Artsakh
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has condemned Azerbaijan's latest attacks against Artsakh...
12:05
Azerbaijan violated ceasefire in some sections, Artsakh says
The situation on the contact line between Artsakh and Azerbaijan was relatively stable overnight and as of Saturday morning despite some...
11:55
UEFA punishes Turkish club for Putin chants
Fenerbahce have been handed a one-game partial stadium closure, suspended for two years, after their fans chanted Russian President Vladimir...
11:35
Armenia conveyed concerns over peacekeeping mission to Russian leadership in 2021 – Foreign Ministry
Armenia conveyed its concerns over the Russian peacekeeping activities in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) to the Russian leadership back in February...
11:15
Armenian Church commemorates 200 pontiffs of Ecumenical Council of Ephesus
The Armenian Apostolic Church commemorates 200 pontiffs participating in the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus on Saturday, August 6, Qahana.am...
11:06
Charles Michel holds phone calls with Pashinyan, Aliyev
President of the European Council Charles Michel has held phone calls with Nikol Pashinyan and Ilham Aliyev, he said in a tweet on Friday....
17:00
Warner Bros. announces release date for ‘Joker 2’
The Joker is set to return to the local multiplex on Oct. 4, 2024, The Hollywood Reporter says. The Joker 2 sequel likely to star...
16:45
Former MP: Armenian government meetings are held exclusively for Azerbaijan
Former MP Sofia Hovsepyan has reacted to Nikol Pashinyan’s statements at a cabinet meeting on Thursday. “Have you noticed that...
16:26
Brian May shares 'Bohemian Rhapsody' performed by Armenian children
Queen guitarist Brian May, a co-founder of the STARMUS festival, has shared on his Instagram page the song “Bohemian Rhapsody”...
15:58
Kevin Spacey ordered to pay $30 million to ‘House of Cards’ makers
 A judge on Thursday ruled that Kevin Spacey and his production companies must pay the makers of “House of Cards” nearly $31...
15:46
Ombudsperson: Azeri official confirms Artsakh Armenians' right to life is not guaranteed
Azerbaijani lawmaker Gudrat Hasanguliyev has confessed about Azerbaijan’s state policy aimed at the ethnic cleansing of the Armenian...
15:18
RPA: 'By surrendering Artsakh, we won't live' approach a guarantee for Armenian people's security
The Executive Body of the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) on Friday released a statement on the latest Azerbaijani attack on Artsakh, again...
14:15
Senator Reed: Azerbaijan's actions do nothing to further lasting peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijan’s actions do nothing to further a lasting and durable peace in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), Senator Jack Reed said in a tweet on...
13:57
'We have no right to leave our soldiers alone', says opposition MP
MP Tigran Abrahamyan of the opposition Pativ Unem faction has hailed Armenian soldiers for successfully performing their combat tasks in a...
13:35
Artsakh denies Azerbaijani claims of ceasefire violation
The Artsakh Defense Ministry has refuted Azerbaijan’s claims that the Artsakh military allegedly violated the ceasefire nine times by...
13:07
Aliyev has deceived Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday discussed the recent escalation of tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) in a phone call with...
12:13
Four people critically injured in lightning strike near White House
Four people have been critically injured after being struck by lightning near the White House, BBC News reports. The two men and two...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}