ISTANBUL – DemirÃ¶ren press agency
Armenian Patriarch Sahak II, center, surrounded by priests, delivers his speech during his enthronement ceremony in Istanbul on Saturday January 11. (AP Photo)
Sahak MaÅalyan (Mashalian), the 85th Patriarch of the Armenians of Turkey, was enthroned as Sahak II in a ceremony held at the Patriarchate Church of Surp Asdvadzadzin in Istanbul on January 11.
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Born in 1962 in Istanbul under the Turkish name of ahin MaÅalÄ±, he was ordained a priest in 1992, receiving the name of Sahak.
On December 11, Sahak II won the elections held among the Armenian Gregorian churches in the country after securing 102 votes out of 119 against his rival Aram AteÅyan, who had been acting patriarch in the absence of Mesrob II, the former patriarch who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease from 2008 until his disappearance on March 8, 2019.
The congregation included Greek Patriarch Fener Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, representatives of other Christian denominations in Turkey and foreign diplomatic missions in Istanbul.
Turkish Deputy Interior Minister Muhterem Ä°nce and Turkey’s Chief Rabbi Rav Isak Haleva also took part in the ceremony.