Lawsuit to Be Filed against Turkey over Sis Catholicosate

A view of the old Cilician Armenian capital Sis, in present-day Turkey


ANTELIAS, Lebanon (Armenpress)—His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Holy See of Cilicia will file a lawsuit against the Turkish authorities demanding the return of the historical center of the Catholicosate of Cilicia in Sis, in cooperation with international human rights lawyers.

His Holiness in convinced that this lawsuit will play a role of particular importance among the programs dedicated to the 100 anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Religious and political meetings of the central board took place in the cathedral of Antelias of the Holy See of Cilicia, where various national, ecclesiastical and administrative issues were discussed.

During the sessions, the pending lawsuit against Turkey over the claim of the historical Catholicosate of Sis was also discussed, the website of the Holy See of Cilicia reports. “The lawsuit aims to attract the attention of international community to the issue of returning Armenian estates in the context of the genocide remuneration,” Aram I noted.

The Catholicos mentioned that during the past 3 years he held a number of meetings with experts of international law concerning this issue. Previously it was reported that during the opening ceremony of the 5th Armenia-Diaspora conference, the Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia Aram I announced the intention to demand the return of the Catholicosate of Sis and apply to the Constitutional Court of Turkey. “If we win the trial, honor and victory will return to our nation, homeland and church. And if we lose it, we will win again, because we’ll have reminded the perpetrators of the genocide and the international community that the Armenian nation is claimant of its rights regardless of how many years have passed since the Genocide,” the Catholicos stated.

From 1293–1441 the Seat of the Armenian Catholicosate was in Sis, the capital of Cilician Armenia. In 1441, however, after the demise of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia (1375) and with the decision of the national- ecclesiastical meeting of Etchmiadzin, the Mother See was transferred from Sis and reestablished in Vagharshapat.

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