US court requesrs Turkey's defense in lawsuit filed by Armenian-Americans
A United States court has granted Turkey 21 days to respond to a lawsuit filed by Armenian-Americans demanding compensation for property allegedly seized by the Ottoman government from its own Armenian subjects during the events of 1915. The case worth $64 million concerns properties located near and under a U.S. airbase located in Incirlik in the southern province of Adana. “This case is important, not only for the Armenian community but also the international one. It will set a precedent on the basis of the lawsuit that revolves around the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, or FSIA. The Government of the Republic of Turkey is benefiting from the exploitation of these properties. As such they are to be held accountable for the consequences of their actions,” lawyer Vartkes Yeghiayan told Hurriyet Daily News by e-mail. The lawsuit was opened in 2010, to seek compensation from the Turkish state, Turkish Central Bank and the Ziraat Bank. Yeghiayan, the Armenian-American lawyer who took over the case on behalf of Rita Mahtesian, Anais Harutyunyan and Alex Bakalian, is also known for having filed a lawsuit that resulted in the French firm Axa and Oyak Insurance, a Turkish firm with links to the Turkish military, breaking off from a joint deal in 2005.