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The Zhamanak (Time) daily of Istanbul published an article on January 18 informing that the Armenian Patriarch of Turkey, archbishop Mesrob Mutafian, applied to the Californian court to bring an action against the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU). The Patriarch assumes that the AGBU has violated a paragraph of Melgonian’s testament signed in 1926 saying that the Armenian Patriarchy of Constantinople should receive 1000 English coins from the AGBU.

The Patriarch reminds in the article that the Melgonian brothers, who handed all their wealth down to the Armenian nation and who founded a number of important establishments, guaranteed the future of these national establishments. The Patriarch thinks that the Central Administration of the AGBU appeared to be very shortsighted if it wants to sell the Melgonian Educational Institute (MEI). The trilateral agreement signed in 1926 by the Patriarchy the AGBU and Karapet Melgonian, one of the brothers, handed the will over to the AGBU. Following this document, the AGBU has been successfully sponsoring the MEI for years now. The constructive usage of the testament was questioned last year when the Central Administration of the AGBU decided to close the MEI. The prudent circles of the Armenian Diaspora tried to shield AGBU’s activity from all-out criticism and concentrated on the issue of MEI. But the AGBU remained inflexible. In the created situation the Melgonians’ will appeared in the spotlight. Those opposing to the closure of the MEI were fairly fingering that the AGBU has no right to take such a decision. AGBU is not the owner of the MEI but it was only sponsoring the institute as the heir of the will.

Besides, the Patriarch reminds that the will supposes that the AGBU distributes 3000 golden English coins (at the price of the date the document was signed) to the Yerevan State University, and 1000 golden English coins to the Armenian Patriarchies of Jerusalem and Istanbul. He notes that the Patriarchy of Istanbul did not receive anything during these 79 years.

Apparently, the last fact was the reason why Patriarch Mesrob Mutafian instituted the lawsuit. But it is uncertain if the lawsuit will include the MEI case or not.

Extract from daily Zhamanak, Istanbul

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