Final farewell to Archbishop Mesrob II Mutafyan of Armenian Patriarchate in Turkey
Archbishop Mesrob II Mutafyan, the top religious leader of Orthodox Christians Armenians in Turkey, was laid to rest on March 17 as many political and religious figures and Armenian nationals from overseas have bid their final farewells to him.
As the Christian churches’ formalized Sunday service took place before the ceremony in St. Mary Armenian Church in Istanbul’s Kumkapı neighborhood, many prayed for Mutafyan’s eternal rest.
The archbishop’s coffin was rested on a catafalque for mourning visitors to pay him their respects after the prayers and was referred to the Şişli Armenian cemetery in an area designated for patriarchs for burial.
Many senior officials from ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) including the party’s spokesperson Ömer Çelik and its Istanbul mayoral candidate Binali Yıldırım, along with the presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın have attended the funeral service.
Furthermore, Ekrem İmamoğlu, Istanbul’s mayoral candidate of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Mustafa Sarıgül, the mayoral candidate for Şişli district of Demoratic Left Party (DSP) were among the attendants.
Archbishop Mesrob II Mutafyan died at age 62 in the Surp Pirgic Armenian Hospital in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu district on March 8 where he was receiving treatment.
He had been incapacitated since 2008 with an early onset of dementia.
Preparations for the election of a new patriarch for Turkey are expected to begin after a 40-day mourning period.