Mesrob Mutafian

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AZG Armenian Daily #163 13/09/2005


Turkish Yeni Safak published an article in its September 9 issue titled "Mother and Sisters of Mesrop Mutafian Muslims?". The same paper wrote an article about Archbishop Shnork Galustian in its previous issue where it stated that the late Patriarch's grandmother married a Turk, adopted Islam, and that the Patriarch was the brother of former head of department of religious affairs, Lyutfi Doga.

Milliyet newspaper joined Yeni Safak with a September 8 article. It's hard to say what made Turkish paper go down the genealogy of Armenian Patriarchs of Constantinople in search of Muslim relatives. It is evident though that the articles citing the example of Patriarchs Shnork Galustian and Mesrop II Mutafian aim at lessening the resistance of Turkey's Armenian community to mixed marriages with Turks.

Patriarch Mutafian replied to Yeni Safak's article about his grandmother and sister on the same day. His response was posted at, Armenian online edition, by the Patriarchate's press organ of Lraber. The Turkish paper claimed that the mother of Mutafian's mother, Mariam (Meryem) was married first time to a Muslim Turk and even made a pilgrimage and had children. But after her husband's death, she married second time to Mutafian's grandfather. The correspondent of Yeni Safak, Fatma Durmus, turned to the Patriarch's niece who refused to provide explanations but did not deny the paper's information. Moreover, an Armenian lady from Istanbul told the correspondent that Mutafian's sister, Azatuhi, is married to a Muslim.

To shed light on this matter, Patriarch told Yeni Safak's correspondent: "My grandmother's father was Armenian but her father was Greek. Her father was Poghos Qaraqashian and mother was Olympia. My grandmother's name was Verzhin Efzad Epraksi Qaraqashian. Her first husband was Artin Balkchian. They gave birth to my aunt Azat and my mother Mari. My aunt married to Nshan, Armenian Christian from Zara village of Sebastia. He is buried at the Armenian cemetery of Istanbul. My mother married to a native of Adabazar, Onik Mutafian, i.e. my father. As a result of their marriage my sisters Peruz and Azatuhi and I appeared".

The Patriarch's words display that the name of Mutafian's mother was not Meryem as Yeni Safak claimed. As to the Muslim relatives of the Patriarch's father, Mrs. Verzhin got acquainted with Mehmed Ali Varoler after Artin Qaraqashian's death. They married in 1944 giving birth to a daughter Sevim by name. Muslim Sevim Varoler married to Ersan Senqan and left for Germany where they gave birth to the Patriarch's niece Nilgyun Senqan. In 1995 she married to Ahmed Gyursen and gave birth to a daughter named Ozde.

Mutafian's sister Peruz wedded Ara Qamar and Azatuhi married Gilbert Malghasian. Peruz had a son Natan and Azatuhi a daughter Mane. In other words, Patriarch Mutafian has no other Muslim relatives but his aunt, her husband and her daughter and grandchild.

In his reply to Yeni Safak, Mutafian refutes Turkish paper's claims concerning Islamic roots of Archbishop Shnork Galustian's mother and that Lyutfi Doga was his brother. Patriarch Mutafian stated that Archbishop's father, Mihran Galustian, was from the village of Yazgati Igdeli and mother, Shushan, was from Bebek. Their marriage in 1908 gave birth to Anush, Shnorhik, Armen and Arshak - future Patriarch Galustian. The Turks killed Mihran Galustian and his 3 brothers during the massacre of 1915, Mutafian states.

Haji Ali Doga married to Archbishop Shnork's mother, Shushan but the woman with her children lived in the first floor of a ruined two-storied house of Mihran Galustian. Moreover, feeling that Turks will ill-treat her children, she handed them over to an orphanage. Appointed Patriarch's deputy in Jerusalem in 1956-60, the then Bishop Galustian moves to Israel, and her mother makes a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to see her son not to Mecca as the paper claimed.

Patriarch Mesrop II Mutafian's replies to the correspondent of Yeni Safak are very noteworthy as they prove false the rumors concerning the late and current patriarch of Constantinople and once again bring to surface the fact of the Armenian Genocide.

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Mutafyan Diagnosed with Early Alzheimer Thursday, July 31st, 2008

ISTANBUL-Istanbul Patriarchate Locum Tenens Archbishop Shahan Svadjian at a special meeting of the religious council Wednesday announced that Istanbul Patriarch Archbishop Mesrob Mutafyan has been diagnosed with early Alzheimer.

During the meeting, which was chaired by Arch. Svadjian and Arch. Aram Ateshian, Dr. Ardash Akdaghi read a medical report outlining the Patriarch’s condition. The report was the conclusion of a four-month intensive diagnosis process.

The two archbishops emphasized that the Patriarch will remain in office and all Patriarchate activities were running smoothly.

"There is no need to rush. At this point, excessive discussion on this matter will hinder the community," said Arch. Svazlian.

Archbishop Mutafyan has headed the Istanbul Patriarchate since 1998.

This article contains text from a source with a copyright. Please help us by extracting the factual information and eliminating the rest in order to keep the site in accordance to fair use standards, or by obtaining permission for reuse on this site..