Turkish-Armenian journalist-politician Markar Esayan, who was being treated for a stomach condition, was mourned in a religious ceremony attended by President Erdogan.
Turkish Armenian politician Markar Esayan has died at the age of 51 in a hospital where he was being treated for a stomach condition.
He was mourned in a religious ceremony in Istanbul. The ceremony took place in Kumkapi at the Holy Mother of God Patriarchal Church on Thursday and was attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Mustafa Sentop and head of Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey Sahak Mashalian.
Sahak Mashalian, head of Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey, speaking at the ceremony said Esayan was a great friend who used all of life's twists and turns to build himself an unwavering character.
"As a member of the Armenian community, which co-existed with Muslims for 1400 years, Markar Esayan embraced the wisdom of centuries," said Mashalian.
"He served his state and nation loyally, experienced his joys and sorrows under the same flag, and devoted himself to building a better country," he added.
Mashalian also thanked President Erdogan for attending the eulogy and funeral, saying "It is a meaningful message that you have shared our pain today at an Armenian church at the height of the conflict in Karabakh. This saddening war in the Caucasus is not a religious conflict. It is a fight over land and a knot left behind by the imperialist mindset."
Deputy Chairman of Turkey's governing AK Party, Numan Kurtulmus, spoke to Anadolu Agency after the ceremony, lamenting Esayan's passing.
"Indeed Markar Esayan was a very valuable friend of ours, who fully demonstrated democracy, protected the will of the nation, protected the nation's culture and traditions. We will really feel his absence," Kurtulmus said.
Kurtulmus also highlighted the historical significance of the event by noting the attendance of President Erdogan and First Lady Emine Erdogan.