August 2, 1890
THE RIOTOUS ARMENIANS
RESIGNATION OF THE PATRIARCH
CONSTANTINOPLE, Aug. 1. — During the disturbances by Armenians in the Koomcapo (sic!) (Koomkapou) quarter of this city last Sunday the Sultan’s escutcheon at the Armenian Patriarchate was carried away and smashed. The examination of the prisoners who are held for taking part in the riot and the searching of their houses continues. It is reported that those on whom arms are found will be shot.
The Patriarch, in a document resigning his position as spiritual head of the orthodox Armenians, pardons all those who took part in the hostile demonstration against him. A mixed council, consisting of Armenian Bishops and notables, assembled at the Armenian Patriarchate Tuesday and expressed confidence in the Patriarch. It was decided not to accept the Patriarch’s resignation if it was tendered. The council also agreed upon the answer to be sent in reply to the Sultan’s note informing the Patriarch that he would be held responsible for any further outbreak that might occur and ordering him to write a letter expressing his gratitude for the aid rendered by Turkish troops in suppressing the disturbances Sunday and asking for the severe punishments of the rioters.
The reply says that the demonstration was not directed against the Patriarch, but was the outcome of the prevalent despair of the Armenians at the Porte’s failure to reply to the numerous memorials presented by the Patriarch regarding the Armenian Church. The Patriarch refused to sign the reply agreed upon by the council on the ground that he had resigned. He today officially resigned his office, assigning as his reason for doing so the condition of affairs in regard to the Armenian Church as set forth in the reply of the council to the Sultan’s note. In view of the condition of affairs induced by Sunday’s riots and the tenor of the note from the Sultan, he is no longer able to retain the position. His determination to resign the office, he says, is unalterable.
The Porte is preparing a circular note, to be sent to the Turkish Ministers abroad, explaining the events that occurred in the Armenian quarter Sunday. Dispatches from Erivan say that the condition of the Armenian peasant in the Alashgerd district is miserable beyond description. Petty Turkish officials urge the Kurds to harry the villagers. The Christians throughout the district are praying Russia to intervene and deliver them.