Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
In continuation of the landmark case for the return of the historical Seat of the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia at the Monastery of St. Sophia in Kozan, Turkey, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I held a meeting with his legal team in Geneva on Saturday, March 5th, to discuss progress of the case filed before the Constitutional Court of Turkey on April 27th, 2015. The claim of the Catholicosate is that it retains ownership rights over its historic Seat and that under international law, the 1923 Lausanne Treaty, the Government of Turkey is under an obligation to return this property so that it may be restored and used for religious worship. In order to expedite the case, the lawyer of the Catholicosate in Turkey recently submitted a petition requesting a prompt hearing. If the Government of Turkey does not voluntarily return the Monastery, or if the Constitutional Court does not order its return, the Catholicos has previously indicated that the case will be taken to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, which has the jurisdiction to issue a legally binding decision against Turkey.