Archbishop Mesrob II Mutafyan, the Armenian patriarch of Constantinople, was laid to rest on March 17 as many political and religious figures and Armenian nationals from overseas bid their final farewells to him, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.
At a ceremony in St. Mary Armenian Church in Istanbul’s Kumkapi neighborhood, many prayed for Mutafyan’s eternal rest.
The archbishop’s coffin was rested on a catafalque for mourning visitors to pay him their respects after the prayers and was referred to the Sisli Armenian cemetery in an area designated for patriarchs for burial.
Many senior officials from ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) including the party’s spokesperson Omer Celik and its Istanbul mayoral candidate Binali Yildirım, along with the presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin attended the funeral service.
Archbishop Mesrob II Mutafyan died at age 62 in the Surp Pirgic Armenian Hospital in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu district on March 8 where he was receiving treatment.
He had been incapacitated since 2008 with an early onset of dementia.
Preparations for the election of a new patriarch for Turkey are expected to begin after a 40-day mourning period.