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LITTERAE COMMUNIONIS •2016-2017

TURKEY ATTEMPTED COUP D’ÉTAT In the night between Friday 15 and Saturday 16 July 2016, some Turkish military attempted a coup d’état against the Government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The coup failed, even if not all the rebel military gave up or surrendered to the police. The day after Turkey’s longest night, with 265 deaths and hundreds of wounded, 2,839 soldiers had been arrested, 2,745 judges removed and about ten magistrates detained. The rendering of accounts has already begun. DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP TCHOLAKIAN After 48 years of devotion to the Church of Christ as Archbishop, and after the acceptance of his resignation, at the age of 95, from the pastoral care of the Archeparchy of Istanbul for the Armenians, on 16 September 2016, at the age of 97, His Grace Mgr Hovhannes Tcholakian, Archbishop Emeritus of the Armenian Catholics of Turkey, died. CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM The Constitutional referendum of 16 April 2017 brought presidency to the country. In the voting, the “Yes” votes came to 51.2%, the “No” votes 48.7%. The 18 Articles accepted will modify the current Constitution and give to the President the power to govern by decree: the President will assume the tasks of Prime Minister, will appoint the Government, the senior military officials, the rectors of the universities, the head of the security service, some senior leaders and magistrates, and the judges of the Constitutional Court. There will no longer be a true division between the executive, legislative and judiciary power. Parliament will have a secondary role and will no longer be able to vote motions of no-confidence. NEW PATRIARCHAL EXARCH From 2 July 2017, Fr (Abuna) Orhan Çanli has become the new Patriarchal Exarch of Turkey for the Syro-Catholic Church. Fr Çanli is married, with a son and a daughter, and succeeds the Chorepiscopus Mgr Yusuf Sağ. PLENARY ASSEMBLIES The Ordinaries of the ecclesiastical jurisdictions present in Turkey have been very involved in

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PRESIDENT HIS GRACE MGR. LÉVON BOGHOS ZÉKIYAN ARCHBISHOP OF THE ARCHEPARCHY OF ISTANBUL OF THE ARMENIANS SECRETARY GENERAL FR ANTON BULAI OFMCONV.

responding to current challenges. In fact, they have met twice in Ordinary Plenary Assemblies, once in an Extraordinary Plenary Assembly, and once, at the request of the Apostolic Nuncio, His Grace Mgr Paul Russell, in an Assembly of just the Latin-rite bishops. At this last meeting, the bishops reflected on the following questions: what are the perspectives for the Church in Turkey? And how to tackle the question of the legal personality of the Church in Turkey? The resolution of this last question would mean certain gaps could be filled, allowing, in particular, greater and more eloquent mobility in pastoral and administrative activities. To mark the 50th anniversary of the approval of the first Statutes of the Turkish Bishops’ Conference (Prot. No. 315/74, Rome 30 November 1987), in the Extraordinary General Assembly held Tuesday 18 April 2017, there was discusssion of and movement towards the revision of some articles of the Statutes of the Turkish Bishops’ Conference. Approval is awaited from the Holy See. CULTURAL ACTIVITIES 2016 - 2017 Dr Rinaldo Marmara continues to highlight the cultural dimensions of the work of the Holy See, through conferences, colloquia and publication of books. On 15 September 2016, at the offices of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Dr Marmara presented his book “Les Levantins de Smyrne XIX siècle”, supported by Mr Lucien Arcas. In this publication, Dr Marmara highlights the importance of the Church Archives in Turkey. Of note among the church and diplomatic figures present at the event were His Grace Mgr Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States; and His Excellency Mehmet Paçacı, Turkish Ambassador to the Holy See. Also present were two Latin bishops from Turkey, Mgr Lorenzo Piretto and Mgr Rubén Tierrablanca Gonzalez. The Mayor of Beyoğlu (Istanbul), Mr Ahmet Misbah Demircan, inaugurated the first conference on the Levantines of Pera (now Beyoğlu), on 23-24 September 2016. In his address opening the conference, Dr Marmara highligted tolerance and hospitality in the Ottoman Empire. On 21 November 2016, Dr Marmara gave a

Litterae Communions 2017 (English version)  

CCEE Litterae communionis contains the annual report (June 2016 - June 2017) of Bishops' Conferences in Europe.

Litterae Communions 2017 (English version)  

CCEE Litterae communionis contains the annual report (June 2016 - June 2017) of Bishops' Conferences in Europe.

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