ASIA/TURKEY - The legal battle over the ownership of the Armenian Catholicosate continues. Waiting for the pronouncement of the Constitutional Court

Thursday, 23 June 2016 oriental churches  


Antelias (Agenzia Fides) - A lawsuit filed last year by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of seeking the return of the historic Sis Catholicosate was not taken into consideration by Turkey’s Justice Ministry, but the decisive pronouncement of the Turkish Constitutional Court is still pending. As reported last week by the Catholicosate communication organs, in a May 11 letter, the Turkish Justice Ministry, through rationalizations and other justifications, urged the court to drop the case, at which time the court gave the Catholicosate 15 days to present an appeal.
The Catholicosate legal team, on May 26, presented its appeal, in which it deemed the Justice Ministry’s reasoning and rationale baseless and reasserted the demand to return to the Sis Catholicosate to its rightful heir, the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, which now awaits the final pronouncement of the Turkish constitutional Court.
Sis, the ancient capital of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, corresponds to the current Turkish town of Kozan.
The intention to file an appeal, in April 2015, had already been announced on several occasions by the Catholicos of Cilicia between September and October 2014. "We cannot remain apathetic with regards to the violated rights of our nation", said Aram on 19 September, in Yerevan, at the 5th Conference of the Armenian Diaspora. As already reported by Agenzia Fides (see Fides 01/10/2014), the Catholicos himself had already said that, if his appeal is rejected by the Turkish Constitutional Court, the appeal will be addressed to the European Court of Human Rights.
The current seat of the Armenian Apostolic Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia is located in Antelias, Lebanon. The seat of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople in Istanbul, is currently governed by the Armenian Patriarchal Vicar Aram Ateshian in lieu of Patriarch Mesrob II, who is suffering from an incurable disease. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 23/06/2016)