20:44, 24 Apr 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Surp Badarak mass in memory of April 24 has been held at the Turkey
Armenian Patriarchal Church. Led by Deputy Patriarch Aram AteÅ~_yan,
the ceremony was also attended by EU Minister Volkan Bozkır. Yirkish
President Erdogan's message was also read at the ceremony where white
doves symbolizing peace were released and bells were rung 100 times.

In a statement to the press at the entrance of the church, Minister
Bozkır said he was greatly honored to take part in the mass to be led
by Armenian Deputy Patriarch Aram AteÅ~_yan, adding, "This is the first
mass to be held officially since 1916. A representative of the Turkish
government is taking part in such a ceremony for the first time".

AteÅ~_yan said: "We believe that the days will come when we meet
the dawn of fraternity between Armenian and Turkish peoples. We also
believe that God will light the torch of mutual understanding. It is
that torch that symbolizes good will that will incessantly burn as
a response to our prayers".

AteÅ~_yan commemorated those who died in Gallipoli as well as the
victims of the genocide, saying "we reserve a part of our prayers from
our hearts for the souls of Ottoman army soldiers who lost their lives
in the Dardanelles wars" and added: "Our heartfelt prayers are for the
end of destructive wars, and for the conclusion of fights that threaten
human rights. May the love, mercy and grace of God prevail over all
humanity with no distinction between religion, nation or race."

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew also attended the mass. The ceremony
continued with the performance of Surp Badarak hymns by the unified
choir formed of members of church choirs of Istanbul.

White doves symbolizing peace were released at the end of mass, and
bells were chimed a 100 times in the same manner that they were last
night (April 23) at 19.15 in all Armenian churches across the world.


From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress