Sahak Maşalyan becomes the new patriarch of the Armenians of Turkey


ISTANBUL

Sahak MaÅŸalyan became the 85th Patriarch of Armenians in Turkey on December 11 after winning elections held in Gregorian Armenian churches across the country.

MaÅŸalyan won the elections after securing 102 out of 119 votes against his rival Aram AteÅŸyan, who served as interim patriarch in the absence of Mesrob II.

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The elections came after a long period of uncertainty and mourning over the death of Mesrob II, the revered leader of the Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey, who died on March 8 after an 11-year struggle with dementia.

Archbishop Mesrob II Mutafyan died at the age of 62 at the Armenian Surp Pirgic Hospital in Zeytinburnu District in Istanbul on March 8, where he was being treated.

Born in the BayrampaÅŸa district of Istanbul in 1962, MaÅŸalyan graduated from the philosophy department of Istanbul University and decided to become a priest in 1982. After becoming high priest (vertaped) in 1984, he was subsequently promoted deacon (sargavak) in 1986 by the then patriarch. Åžnork Kaloutsyan.

After earning a master’s degree in spirituality in 1999 from the Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology in Dublin, MaÅŸalyan returned to Turkey and began serving as a preacher and spiritual advisor in the Kınalıada, Kumkapı Dışı Surp Harutyun, GedikpaÅŸa and Galata churches in Istanbul. .

Following the process of mourning the death of Mesrob II, the absence of the new head of the church has sparked unrest and controversy within the community.

Even long before Mesrob II’s death, when his health problems began in 2008, many called for elections, including AteÅŸyan and his dissidents.

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