Turkish Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II recalled that this year is the 1,700th anniversary of the recognition of the Armenian Church by King Tiridates III and stated that the reason so many American Armenians visit Turkey is not related to the Turkish-Armenian question or business. “They come to Turkey to celebrate the jubilee of the recognition of the Armenian Church,” he said.
Before the ceremony, performed in the Surp Krikor Lusavoric Church in Kayseri, Mesrob II stated that Kayseri, the city of Saint Krikor who is the official founder of the Armenian Church, is of special importance to Armanians, the Anatolia news agency reported.
“Every year a program of celebrations is included in church bulletins all over the world. This year many more American-Armenians will visit Kayseri compared to last year, as this is the jubilee and Armenians will celebrate with more enthusiasm,” Mesrob II indicated.
The New York Armenian Church Archbishop Barsamyan, said the 1,700th anniversary celebrations would open a new period in the Turkish-Armenian relations. “American Armenians visiting Turkey will tell of your hospitality when they turn back to the United States,” Barsamyan added.
When asked about “so-called” Armenian genocide allegations, Barsamyan stated that the issue should be discussed face to face without fear. “We all believe in the same God, and that God wants us to live in peace,” Barsamyan added.
In a statement issued by the Turkish Armenian Patriarchate, it is recalled that King Tiridates III accepted Christianity, was baptized and recognized it as a national religion with the help of Surp Krikor Lusavoric.
According to the statement, the Mesrob II conducted a ceremony on June 8 in the Kayseri Armenian Church, as part of the anniversary celebrations.
Today, a ceremony will be performed in the newly-restored Surp Karasun Manuk Armenian Church in Iskenderun. Antakya Saint Pierre Cave will be visited on the same day.
In the village of Vakifli, in Samandag, a ceremony for the anniversary will be performed on June 10