Antelias (Agenzia Fides) - Aram I, Armenian Apostolic Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, in Antelias, Lebanon, announced that today, December 6, the request for the return of the ancient residences and properties belonging to the Catholicosate and located in Sis, in Turkish territory, will be submitted to the European Court for Human Rights - based in Strasbourg - after the Constitutional Court of Turkey did not accept the request to discuss and resolve the dispute on the properties of Sis within the Turkish legal system .
"This - remarked Catholicos Aram I in the video message in which he announced the initiative - is the first legal action taken against Turkey after the Armenian Genocide of 1915, is the result of long and serious discussions, studies and consultations, and is based on international legal provisions, including the decisions of the Treaty of Lausanne of 1932, regarding the minorities living within the boundaries of the Turkish Republic".
The cause to obtain the restitution of the Catholicosate’s historic buildings located in the city of Sis, started by Catholicos Aram I in 2015, had not been taken into account neither by the Turkish Ministry of Justice nor by the Turkish Constitutional Court. Both Turkish institutions had not recognized any legal basis to the cause.
Sis, the ancient capital of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, corresponds to the current Turkish town of Kozan. The intention to 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 September 19, 2015 in Yerevan, on the occasion of the 5th Conference of the Armenian Diaspora. As already reported by Agenzia Fides (see Fides 01/10/2014), the Catholicos himself had predicted that, in the event that the Turkish institutions would take the matter into consideration, the appeal would be submitted to the European Court of Human Rights. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 06/12/2016)