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Sason Armenians half-pleased with appelas court ruling


Sason Armenians half-pleased with appeals court ruling

With the Supreme Court of Appeals overturning a local court’s decision to not give local Armenians the right to use their churches and cemeteries, Sason Armenians are half-satisfied because they are also demanding the title deeds to those properties.
“We respect the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeals,” said Aziz Dağlı who chairs the Sason Armenians’ Association. “But as well as having a right to use those places, we also have a right to have the deeds to these properties.”The deed registry records in regards to the hundreds-of-years-old Armenian churches and cemeteries of Sason, a district in the province of Batman, state that those are “vacant land, forests and deserted homes.”

The association filed a case in the local court in 2008 asking to have those areas given “cultural value” status. However, Dağlı said that the local court disregarded their demand.

“This ruling was against the Lausanne Treaty’s articles regarding minority rights in Turkey. This was also against the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which Turkey signed and ratified. The local court did not care about our rights. Therefore, we appealed,” he said.

According to the appeals’ court’s decision, those properties should be considered “areas of cultural and natural values” and officially registered as belonging to the state.

However, Dağlı said that those properties belong to the Armenian community, and if they are not able to obtain their title deeds in Turkey, they will apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

2011-12-07
Muhabir: Yonca Poyraz Doğan

Today`s Zaman 08.12.2011

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