Turkey’s Justice Ministry urges Court to reject Sis Catholicosate lawsuit

Asbarez – A lawsuit filed last year by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of seeking the return of the historic Sis Catholicosate has been rejected by Turkey’s Justice Ministry, the Cilician Catholicosate press service reported Thursday.

The lawsuit, which was filed on April 27, 2015, in Turkey’s Constitutional Court detailed, with relevant documentation and archival materials, the critical role the Sis Catholicosate played in the lived of Armenians living under Ottoman rule, the forced deportation and exile of the His Holiness Sahag II, the Sis Catholicos and the entire clergy, as well as the eventual seizure of the property, whose ruins still stand in that city now renamed Kozan.

In August of last year, the Constitutional Court agreed to hear the case. However it decided to send the docket to Turkey’s Justice Ministry, which after reviewing the case urged the court to reject the lawsuit.

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.

Catholicos Aram I and the Catholicosate are awaiting a final verdict on the status of the lawsuit from Turkey’s Constitutional Court.

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