US Law Firm Files Lawsuit to Seek Return Armenia’s Property in Turkey


One of the manuscript pages illustrated by Toros Roslin, which is currently at the Getty

One of the manuscript pages illustrated by Toros Roslin, which is currently at the Getty

LOS ANGELES (Armenpress) — A lawsuit to return the properties confiscated from Armenians in Inçirlik has been filed. The case on landed properties in Inçirlik, formerly belonging to Armenians and confiscated during the 1915 Genocide, is pending before the 9th Circuit Court.

Lawyer Vartkes Yeghiayan said during an interview with Armenpress, “Its progress is contingent on another, similar case that is awaiting a ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States.” Yeghiayan added that the case against the Getty Museum, filed in 2010 on behalf of the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia, for the return of seven pages from an illustrated Gospel, illuminated by medieval Armenian illustrator Toros Roslin, known collectively as Canon Tables, is in the final negotiations stage.

With regards to landed properties in Turkey, he stressed that talks with Turkish attorneys are currently under way in order to negotiate the claims of over a hundred clients whose families once owned property in Turkey. Yeghiayan said that his law firm has also been asked to investigate property claims made by Protestants and Catholic churches. He also noted that a lawsuit has been filed against the Romanian government, for its role during the Communist period in seizing a Romanian/American film production company that once belonged to an Armenian. Another lawsuit is being filed against the State of Israel, in Israel, for its role in confiscating Armenian properties during the 1948 War.

He added that his firm has worked closely with the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation’s Center for Advanced Genocide Research, which just recently accepted receipt of the files from the case on New York Life in which he participated.

Since 2004, Eghiayan’s firm has been able to reach agreements with two insurance companies to secure compensation for the heirs of genocide victims. This includes the $20 million reached in the case against New York Life for the Armenians in 2004, as well as an additional $15 million for the descendants of those Greeks who held policies with that company. Another $20 million was settled in an agreement reached with France insurance company AXA in 2005.