The Istanbul Governor’s Office sent a letter to the Armenian Patriarchate in Turkey stating that the necessary conditions for the planned patriarch elections did not occur and that Archbishop Karekin Bekçiyan’s position is not recognized as the Patriarchate governor. The City Governor’s office stated that Aram Ateşyan will continue to serve as General Vicar of the Patriarch.
The Governor of Istanbul, Ismail Güntekin signed the letter on 5 February 2018, emphasizing that Patriarch Mutafyan was alive and noted that the conditions for the election of the new Patriarch did not occur. In the letter, it was argued that among the reasons for the release of the Patriarchate there are no health problems, and it was stated that Aram Ateşyan would continue to serve as General Vicar of the Patriarch.
According to the Agos newspaper, Archbishop Karekin issued a farewell message just before leaving Turkey. He said: “These circumstances which we live did not appear in a day, unfortunately, this result, which seemed to be targeted on me, is actually a product of a long and planned campaign to sabotage the 85th Patriarchate election. We, at the time of the baptism preach the faith and hope. Let’s never lose our faith and hope.”