Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

CATHOLICOSATE OF CILICIA TO SUE TURKEY OVER HISTORIC HEADQUARTERS IN S


  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#21 Yervant1

Yervant1

    The True North!

  • Super Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,084 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 December 2016 - 10:36 AM

Return of Sis Catholicosate Case to be Formally Submitted to the European Court of Human Rights
05/12/16
Catholicos_Aram_I-1a.jpg

His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia

Aram I: ‘Recognition and Reparation: This is Our Clear and Firm Position as a People and a Church.’

ANTELIAS, Lebanon (Armenian Weekly)—Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia announced on Monday that the Cilician Catholicosate will be submitting the legal case for the return of the Sis Catholicosate to the European Court of Human Rights on December 6.

“Tomorrow, the sixth of December will be an important day for the Armenian people in general and the Armenian church in particular,” Catholicos Aram I announced in a live video address from the current seat of the Catholicosate in Antelias, Lebanon.

The Catholicos said that the decision was made after Turkey’s constitutional court denied the request of the Catholicosate.

“This is the first legal action taken against Turkey after the Armenian Genocide of 1915. This legal action is the result of a long and serious reflection, consultation, and study, and is based on the provisions of international law, including the decisions of the Lausanne Conference of 1932 pertaining to the minorities living within the boundaries of the Republic of Turkey,” Catholicos Aram said in his December 5 address.

The Catholicos first announced that the Cilician See was preparing to initiate legal claims against Turkey to regain ownership of the historic headquarters of the Catholicosate of Sis back in September 2014.

On April 28, 2015, the Catholicosate of Cilicia submitted a brief to the Constitutional Court in Turkey requesting the return of its historic spiritual center in Sis.

The Catholicosate’s St. Sophia church and monastery, and their surrounding lands, are located in the city of Kozan, in the Adana Province of the present-day Republic of Turkey. The headquarters, a center of Armenian religious life for more than seven centuries, was confiscated by the Turkish Government during the Armenian Genocide.

Below is the Aram I’s English address as transcribed by the Armenian Weekly.

***

Tomorrow, the sixth of December, will be an important day for the Armenian people in general and the Armenian church in particular.

The lawsuit demanding the return of the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia in Sis will be formally submitted to the European Court of Human Rights. In fact, this is the first legal action taken against Turkey after the Armenian Genocide of 1915. This legal action is the result of a long and serious reflection, consultation, and study, and is based on the provisions of international law, including the decisions of the Lausanne Conference of 1932 pertaining to the minorities living within the boundaries of the Republic of Turkey.

This is a very important action—legal action—taken by the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia. In fact, for a hundred years, we laid the emphasis in our continuous efforts, within the framework of the Armenian cause, on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. I believe that this is the time that we move from the stage of recognition to reparation, of course, without undermining the pivotal importance of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

I do believe that this is the high time, and, in fact, our legitimate right and sacred obligation, to claim the restoration of the ownership of the centuries old seat of the Catholicoasate in Sis. We should not forget and the international community should know that besides the one and a half million victims of the Armenian Genocide, thousands of Armenian churches, monasteries, community and church properties, including the individual properties, were confiscated by the Turkish authorities. Furthermore, 48 hours were given to the Catholicos Sahak of Cilicia to leave the premises of the Catholicosate with his parishes.

These are not fictions; they are facts of history. And we never forget these painful experiences of our people a hundred years ago. And it goes without saying, that forceful confiscation of properties is against international law.

Tomorrow, in Brussels, a press conference will take place with the participation of four members of our legal team. And through this press conference, our representatives will explain the various stages and dimensions, and expectations pertaining to this lawsuit.

Dear fellow Armenians,

The Armenian cause is the case of justice. It is the cause of violations of human rights. It is the cause of our people. We never forget the Armenian Genocide.

Recognition and reparation: this is our clear and firm position as a people and a church.

Therefore, it is my firm expectation that our people will continue to support all actions, initiatives, and programs that are aimed at the restoration of justice.

Justice—we want justice from the international community. That is the clear and firm position of our people.

May God bless you all.

http://asbarez.com/1...f-human-rights/

 


#22 Yervant1

Yervant1

    The True North!

  • Super Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,084 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 24 October 2017 - 10:21 AM

Is Europe scared of Turkey again! Or is it Turkey Laundromat?

 European Court Finds Catholicosate’s Suit
        Inadmissible; and Could Not be Appealed
 
        By Harut Sassounian
        Publisher, The California Courier
 
The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia (headquartered in Antelias, Lebanon) filed a lawsuit on April 25, 2015, against the government of Turkey seeking the return of its historic seat in Sis (present-day Kozan district of the Adana Province) which was confiscated in 1921.
The first of its kind lawsuit was filed in the Constitutional Court of the Turkish Republic because the claim raised issues of property rights that lower courts would not have jurisdiction to overturn the maze of laws adopted by Turkey in 1915 and succeeding years. At the recommendation of the Justice Ministry of Turkey, the Constitutional Court referred the Armenian Church lawsuit to the lower courts. The lawyers for the Catholicosate of Cilicia, however, decided to appeal the case directly to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, France, on December 8, 2016.
The issue of sidestepping submission of the Catholicosate’s lawsuit to a lower court in Turkey is critical in view of the requirements of the European Court of Human Rights that before any case is brought to the ECHR, all local legal remedies must first be exhausted, starting with the lowest court and ending with the highest court of the country being sued.
On October 19, 2017, addressing the conference of the Armenian Cause in the European Parliament in Brussels, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia criticized the single judge from ECHR who had rejected the Armenian Church’s lawsuit finding it inadmissible. Until this announcement, there was no news about the status of the lawsuit. I contacted the ECHR headquarters in Strasbourg inquiring about the Armenian Church’s claim. I was informed that a single judge indeed has the authority to reject any lawsuit, which in this case was not first submitted to a lower court in Turkey in order to exhaust all local remedies, and that the letter of rejection was sent to the Catholicosate in March 2017. More ominously, I was told by ECHR that the judge’s decision could not be appealed!
I then contacted Payam Akhavan, a member of the Catholicosate’s legal team and Professor of International Law at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, inquiring why no announcement was made earlier by the Catholicosate regarding the rejection of the lawsuit six months ago. Prof. Akhavan explained that the ECHR judge had sent the letter to the wrong address! The Catholicosate then wrote to that judge “expressing serious concern on miscarriage of justice; that a single judge could throw out what was clearly a well-argued case, and waited until recently for a standard response that there is no appeal, and the decision is final.”
In his Brussels speech on Oct. 19, 2017, Catholicos Aram the First harshly condemned the ECHR for rejecting the Church’s lawsuit: “Why would the European Court of Human Rights so easily reject our case knowing that no lawyer would dare to bring such a case before the Turkish courts? How could a single judge throw out a 900-page Application, historically and legally well substantiated by some of the best international lawyers? Why was our legal team not given a chance for a hearing? Is everybody now afraid to confront Turkey’s appalling record of human rights violations? We are astonished and, in fact, deeply disappointed at this miscarriage of justice, particularly at this crucial juncture of modern history when Europe is expected, in faithfulness to its values and principles, to consider justice above geopolitical interests…. Europe is essentially a community of values, not merely political and economic interests. Therefore, I still hope that the European Court of Human Rights will reconsider the admissibility of the case on the basis of justice and human rights. In spite of the denial of justice, the Armenian people will continue to struggle for justice.”
Prof. Akhavan called the ECHR judge’s decision “scandalous.” He then added in his email to me: “By the measure of several highly experienced ECHR lawyers, this decision is totally unacceptable. It shouldn’t be forgotten that our counsel was Tim Eicke QC [Queen’s Counsel], who is now the British judge on the ECHR. He of course is conflicted from involvement in the case, but there is a sense among many that the Court is too afraid of confronting post-coup Turkey with such controversial cases.”
Prof. Akhavan also stated that the next steps for this lawsuit “are either to re-submit the case with some new facts such as the impossibility of going back to the Turkish courts under current circumstances, or to go back to the Turkish courts, waste a lot of resources, and come back to the ECHR once again. It is a ludicrous decision because everybody knows that is exactly what will happen. It is a hot potato the ECHR doesn’t want to handle….”
In conclusion, I would suggest that the Catholicosate of Cilicia make public the complete files of its lawsuit, including the 600-page submission to the Turkish Constitutional Court and its response, and the 900-page filing to the European Court of Human Rights and its response. After all, this is not a private lawsuit, but one dealing with the Armenian nation’s property demands from Turkey!
 

 

 






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users