His Beatitude Patriarch Mesrob II of Istanbul and all Turkey received the newly appointed British Concul General Dr. Robert Short at the patriarchal summer residence on the Isle of Kinali, on 16 August.
Dr. Short, a Classics scholar, is well acquainted with masterpieces of Armenian architecture. He learned about the Armenian community in Turkey from the Patriarch and was interested about the state of church and community institutions.
His Beatitude congratulated Her Majesty’s Consul General and wished him success in his new position. Then, the Patriarch briefed the British diplomat about the Armenian religious, educational, social and charitable institutions in Turkey. He added that Turkish citizens of Armenian descent continue to live peacefully in this country and do their best to preserve
their spiritual and cultural heritage.
He explained that, as all other minorities, the Armenian community also has various issues, but said they should be resolved through a sound dialogue with the government. His Beatitude underlined that he does not approve of any attempts from within or outside of Turkey which aim to politicize the issues. He said the words of Jesus, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Mt. 5:9),” also provide guidance for dialogue.
Dr. Short was accompanied by Consulate press officer Ms Najma Khan and pastor of the Anglican Church in Istanbul, the Very Revd Canon Ian Sherwood. The Revd Dr Krikor Damatyan, Chancellor of the Patriarchate, was present as well.