ANTELIAS, Lebanon—Under the leadership of His Holiness Aram I, the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, the Catholicosate’s legal team has filed a case in the second Kozan Court of First Instance against the Kozan Municipality and the Turkish State Treasury for the return of the Monastery and Catherdral of St. Sophia, the historical center of the Cilician Catholicosate of the Armenian Church since 1297.
This follows a decision by the European Court of Human Rights in 2017 ruling that the 2015 claim by the Catholicosate must be submitted once again to the Turkish courts before the case can be brought to the European court.
In the current application, which follows the original claim submitted in 2015, Aram I is asking that the property in question be registered in the name of “the Sis Monastery, the Religious Center under the Authority of the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia” and that it be immediately returned to the legal owner.
The court has not yet decided on a hearing date. Should the Turkish courts give a negative response it will be possible once again to submit the Catholicosate’s claim to the European Court of Human Rights.