Restoration of Historical Memory and Dignity for Victims of the Armenian Genocide: A Human Rights Law Approach to Effective Reparations

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Richard J. Wilson
American University – Washington College of Law

2014

14 International Criminal Law Review 332, (2014)

Abstract:
This article argues that United Nations human rights principles and new developments in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights suggest a route to provide effective reparations through the restoration of historical memory and dignity for victims of the Armenian Genocide.
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Confiscated Armenian Properties

pillageofthecenturyBY UMIT KURT
Haytoug Summer 2016 Issue

On 27 May 1915 the Ottoman government, using the ongoing world war as a pretext, made the decision to deport its Armenian citizens to the regions of Syria and Iraq, which at that time were Ottoman provinces. However, the true aim was not to change the locations of the Armenians, but to annihilate them. This deportation and destruction also gives rise to an important question: What was going to happen to the properties the Armenians left behind? How would they be administered?

A series of laws and decrees, known as the “Abandoned Properties Laws” were issued in the Ottoman and Turkish Republican periods concerning the administration of the belongings left behind by the Ottoman Armenians who were deported in 1915. The best-known regulation on the topic is the comprehensive Council of Ministers Decree, dated May 30, 1915. The Directorate of Tribal and Immigrant Settlement of the Interior Ministry (İskan-ı Aşâir ve Muhacirin Müdiriyeti) sent it the following day to relevant provinces organized in 15 articles. It provided the basic principles in accordance with which all deportations and resettlements would be conducted, and began with listing the reasons for the Armenian deportations. The most important provision concerning Armenian properties was the principle that their equivalent value was going to be provided to the deportees.
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Legal procedures on Armenian Genocide issues brought to new level

New Armenian Legal Center for Justice and Human Rights Launched

International Institute to Seek Just Resolution of the Armenian Genocide; Defend Artsakh’s Right to Independence

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YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 28, ARMENPRESS. The legal procedures over the issues of the Armenian Genocide are brought to a new level, Chairman of the Board of the Armenian Legal Center for Justice & Human Rights (ALC) Kenneth Hachikian said, reports “Armenpress”.
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“Resolución con Justicia. Reparaciones por el Genocidio Armenio”

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Grupo de Estudio Reparaciones Genocidio Armenio. “Resolución con Justicia. Reparaciones por el Genocidio Armenio”, Karamanian, Alejandra (trad.). Fundación Consejo Nacional Armenio, Buenos Aires, 2015
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Judge Calls Erdogan ‘Crazy President’ In Court Hearing on Armenian Lawsuit

The Richard H. Chambers U.S. Court of Appeals, Pasadena, California
The Richard H. Chambers U.S. Court of Appeals, Pasadena, California

BY HARUT SASSOUNIAN
PUBLISHER
THE CALIFORNIA COURIER

AUGUST 9, 2016

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in Pasadena, California, on August 4, regarding two lawsuits on Armenian properties confiscated by Turkey in 1915-23: Bakalian and Davoyan vs. the Republic of Turkey and its Central and Ziraat Banks. A District Court had dismissed these lawsuits in 2013 on grounds that they dealt with a political issue which came under the purview of elected officials, not the courts.
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Traduction en français de l’introduction et du résumé du rapport du GERGA

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En septembre 2014, le Groupe d’Etude sur les réparations pour le génocide des Arméniens (GERGA) a rendu son rapport. Ce groupe composé à la demande de la FRA Dachnaktsoutioun de Henry C Thériault, Alfred de Zayas, Jermaine O McCalpin et Ara Papian propose une méthode, un contenu et une évaluation pour la demande en réparations du génocide des Arméniens, point central de la Cause Arménienne.
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Turkey’s Justice Ministry Urges Court to Reject Sis Catholicosate Lawsuit

Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia calls the decision ‘baseless’

The historic Seat of the Catholicosate of Cilicia in Sis (present-day Kozan, Turkey). The church complex was seized by Ottoman authorities in 1921.
The historic Seat of the Catholicosate of Cilicia in Sis (present-day Kozan, Turkey). The church complex was seized by Ottoman authorities in 1921.
ANTELLIAS, Lebanon—A lawsuit filed last year by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of seeking the return of the historic Sis Catholicosate has been rejected by Turkey’s Justice Ministry, the Cilician Catholicosate press service reported Thursday.
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If a US court acknowledges the Armenian genocide, the Government must follow suit

A US Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III large transport aircraft flies over a minaret after taking off from Incirlik air base in Adana, Turkey, on 12 August 2015 Reuters
A US Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III large transport aircraft flies over a minaret after taking off from Incirlik air base in Adana, Turkey, on 12 August 2015 Reuters

By ROBERT FISK
INDEPENDENT

There is no arcane historical legal argument but an embarrassing political case, in which three named Armenians – who are full US citizens – will assert their rights to land under the Incirlik Nato base in Turkey

Incirlik is America’s forward air base in Turkey, take-off point for the US air battle against Isis. But in less than two months, a group of Armenians, all descendants of the 1915 genocide of one-and-a-half-million Christians massacred by Ottoman Turkey, will claim in a US court that the land on which America’s jets take off to bomb Syrian and Iraqi targets belongs to them, and must be returned to their families.
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“Armenian Genocide: Recognition and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, Legal and Political Aspects” Conference held in the European Parliament

 (L-R) Cem Sofuoglu, Ove Bring, Dogan Ozguden, Hagop Der Khatchadourian, Guillaume Perrier

(L-R) Cem Sofuoglu, Ove Bring, Dogan Ozguden, Hagop Der Khatchadourian, Guillaume Perrier

Brussels, 31 May, 2016.- The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) organized a conference titled “Armenian Genocide: Recognition and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, Legal and Political Aspects” in the European Parliament, in Brussels; the conference was hosted by member of the European Parliament, Dr. Charles Tannock (UK, ECR).

Invited panelists to this conference were Cem Sofuoglu, Turkish human rights lawyer and local counsel, leading the lawsuit of the Catholicosate of Cilicia against the Turkish government, which seeks the return of the historic seat of the Catholicosate, located in Sis (currently Kozan), Dr. Ove Bring, Professor Emeritus of International Law, Stockholm University and the Swedish Defence University, Mr. Dogan Ozguden, Turkish journalist and publisher and Mr. Guillaume Perrier, French journalist and author, who was the correspondent of “Le Monde” in Istanbul, in the years 2004 – 2014. The moderator was Mr. Hagop Der Khatchadourian, Chairman of the Armenian National Committee-International.
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Turkish Scholar Discusses Armenian Genocide Reparations

Turkish scholar Sait Çetinoğlu
Turkish scholar Sait Çetinoğlu
YEREVAN (Armenpress)—It is hard to expect confrontation from Turkey, from a society which created its whole world through taking the neighbor’s wife, girl, work and fields. It is very difficult to overcome the moral and psychological situation which was created in 1915, Turkish scholar Sait Çetinoğlu said.

He stated that the Armenian Genocide was committed by the party-army-people cooperation, that’s why we deal with the issue of collective responsibility. “Besides the fact that Turkish people gained material interest from the Genocide, they declared the perpetrators of that crime as their heads which is another issue of responsibility. From this perspective, the recognition of the Genocide will mean destruction of paradigm of the country’s foundation,” he said.
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