Turkish Banks Sued for Genocide Claims

LOS ANGELES (AP)—Armenian-American lawyers filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the Turkish government and two banks seeking compensation for the heirs of Armenians whose property was allegedly seized as they were driven from during the Armenian Genocide.

Lawyers were seeking class-action status for the suit, a process that attorney Brian Kabatek said could take as long as three years.

“We are rolling up our sleeves and are going forward,” he said.

The suit was filed on behalf of plaintiffs Garbis Davouyan of Los Angeles and Hrayr Turabian of Queens, N.Y. It alleges breach of statutory trust, unjust enrichment, human rights violations and violations of international law.

It seeks compensation for land, buildings and businesses allegedly seized from Armenians along with bank deposits and property, including priceless religious and other artifacts, some of which are now housed in museums in the Republic of Turkey.

Attorney Mark Geragos said it was the first such lawsuit directly naming the government of the Republic of Turkey as a defendant.

“All of the lawyers involved have relatives who perished or fled the Armenian genocide, which gives it a special poignancy for us,” he said.

Also named in the lawsuit were the Central Bank of Turkey and T.C., Ziraat Bankasi, the largest and oldest Turkish bank with origins dating back to the 1860s.

The lawsuit claims the government of Turkey agreed to administer the property, collect rents and sale proceeds from the seized assets and deposit the receipts in trust accounts until the property could be restored to owners.

Instead, the government has “withheld the property and any income derived from such property,” the lawsuit said.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs believe records of the properties and profits still exist, and they are seeking an accounting that could reach billions of dollars.

Geragos said the biggest issue in Armenian communities is seeking recognition of the Genocide.

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15 Comments

  1. ashot yerkat said:

    More power to you! Hit ’em hard in the pocket where it hurts and then hit ’em harder in the head where it hurts more, and then hit ’em again, … they are Turks!

  2. Areg Minasyan said:

    Put Turkey on trial for Genocidal Crimes against humanity. Armenians will not rest until Genocidal Turkey is awarded with a medal of barbarism.Turkey a nation desendant of Chingiz Khan and Atalla is a blood thirsty sick man of Asia. Is Genocide a matter of Turkish pride? The civilized world certainly knows that murdering is cultural habit of the Turks. Turks kill for pleasure!

  3. aruke said:

    yeah, right. the problem is that no court will listen and make Turks pay for any damages, because “the genocide” is not a historical fact.

      • aruke said:

        vatche: let’s wait to see. This is not a judicial issue, guys. It is political, and unless Turkey and 100 million Turks become less important than Armenia and 10 million Armenians to the rest of World, no country will impose sanctions and restrictions on Turkey for so-called genocide.

    • vatche said:

      The Armenian Genocide has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt.
      Only in delusional minds the subject is still for grabs.
      It has been proved a thousand times over.

      • aruke said:

        when? where? by whom? to whom?
        if it’s a proven fact, why Armenia refuses to discuss it with Turkey?

  4. john papazian said:

    Bring the case to America,it’ll be like we slipped in someones driveway

  5. ArdeVast Atheian said:

    Why would Turkey pay a dime to us the Armenians? What power do we have on them to demand such a thing from them?
    Unlike Germany they were not defeated in WWII. On the contrary their strategic importance to the world powers grew as a result of their occupation of other people’s lands.
    I say that they are not obligated to pay us a dime.

    I’d be very grateful if the Turkey just recognized the reality that they are a people that stormed down from the steppes of Mongolia upon the rest of the world and wrestled the lands that they now occupy from their original inhabitants who were too weak to fend for themselves.
    Turkey sits at the center of where world history happened. It would become the number one tourist attraction of the world. If they would only let us do the archeological excavations of the Armenian cites we could turn those places to reap the benefits of the unprecedented tourist dollars that would come in.
    There’s no reason on earth why they shouldn’t entertain this.
    It would benefit both Turks and us tremendously.

    • Heghapokhagan said:

      Wow you are so naive
      you sound like those helpless Armenians in Genocide
      “wakeup and smell the coffee Papazian”

  6. Heghapokhagan said:

    Serious Inquiries I have In This Regard!!

    1) Are the Plaintiffs Making their claims to “SELL THEIR [INHERITED] PROPERTY”???
    //OR// Keep them … if keeping them… My Question is
    “Which Country Owns That Land????”
    2) Are the Plaintiffs Making their claims “Only” The amount the United States Government has been paying to the Turkish Government for their base over the plaintiff’s land?
    3) Since Turkish Government stole that land… It stole from “Armenia”
    Then Armenia’s government must have claim over property taxes from Turkey!!

  7. Heghapokhagan said:

    “BE AWARE”
    TURKEY CAN CLAIM THIS LAND PERMANENTLY….
    Then There wll be No More Western Armenia

    Serious Inquiries I have In This Regard!!

    1) Are the Plaintiffs Making their claims to “SELL THEIR [INHERITED] PROPERTY”???
    //OR// Keep them … if keeping them… My Question is
    “Which Country Owns That Land????”
    2) Are the Plaintiffs Making their claims “Only” The amount the United States Government has been paying to the Turkish Government for their base over the plaintiff’s land?
    3) Since Turkish Government stole that land… It stole from “Armenia”
    Then Armenia’s government must have claim over property taxes from Turkey!!

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