Armenian Genocide Lawsuit Church Takes Legal Action Against Turkey
A lawsuit in Turkey filed by the Armenian Church to recover its ancient headquarters, seized a century ago during the “Armenian genocide”,it is the “first legal step” of a goal to reclaim all Armenian property seized by the Turks, a worldwide leader of the church said Monday.
The leader, Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, also said that if the Turkish legal authorities rejected the lawsuit, it would “deepen the divide” between Turkey and the 10-million-member Armenian diaspora.
The lawsuit, filed in Turkey’s Constitutional Court last month just days after the centennial of the start of the genocide, is an unprecedented step by the Armenian Church to use the Turkish legal system to recover the property. There are already indications that the legal proceedings might not yield the outcome church leaders are seeking. The mayor of Kozan, the town where the church’s historic headquarters is located, has rejected the idea of restoring the site to Armenian ownership, saying that “not even an iota of land is to be handed over to anyone.”
The lead lawyer in the suit has said, however, that if Turkish courts reject the case, he is planning to take it to the European Court of Human Rights, which requires that all domestic remedies be exhausted before hearing cases.