Catholicos Aram I said, “This is the time that we move from the stage of [Genocide] recognition to reparation.” In this lawsuit, the Armenian Apostolic Church seeks “the return of its historic seat and primary location in Sis, Turkey that was confiscated in 1921 during the Armenian Genocide.” They expect it to be rejected by Turkish courts, after which they will take it to the European Court of Human Rights.
The seizure of the historic seat of the Armenian Apostolic Church demonstrates the same contempt for the Christian history and heritage of Asia Minor that we see in the conversion of Hagia Sophia and the Monastery of Chora to mosques, and the conversion of other ancient churches to mosques as well. This contempt for Christianity and Christians in Turkey is also manifested in the ongoing denial of property rights and legal identity to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Turkey, see here.
“Armenian Church Seeks Reparation in Lawsuit Against Turkey,” International Christian Concern, April 30, 2021:
04/30/2021 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – After a six-year struggle for a court hearing, the Armenian Apostolic Church Holy See, known as the Catholicosate of Cilicia, successfully refiled a lawsuit against the government of Turkey. In 2015, the Catholicosate, currently headquartered in Antelias, Lebanon, filed a lawsuit for the return of its historic seat and primary location in Sis, Turkey that was confiscated in 1921 during the Armenian Genocide. The lawsuit is part of Armenian’s larger goal of returning all properties and assets confiscated by Turkey during the eight-year genocide.
Due to technicalities, the lawsuit bounced between local courts, Turkey’s Constitutional Court, and the ECHR. A pre-trial hearing finally took place on March 30, 2021 in the Kozan Civil Litigation Court. At that time a judge agreed to accept the lawsuit, which the Catholicosate’s lawyers consider a positive development. The next hearing is scheduled for May 6, 2021.
The team of lawyers suspects the lower Turkish court will reject the lawsuit, at which point an appeal will be made to the Constitutional Court. Rejection is also suspected at this point which will allow the Catholicosate to file with the European Court of Human Rights.
When the original lawsuit was filed in 2015, Catholicos Aram I said, “This is the time that we move from the stage of [Genocide] recognition to reparation….