Turkey as a problem case for Christians in the Middle East
Recently, reporting on the situation of Christians in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria, but also in Turkey, has fallen out of focus. But Turkey continues to try to assert its
claim to hegemony in these areas. This has consequences for the religious minorities.
By OTMAR OEHRING
Exactly 2 years ago, Chaldean couple Shimuni and Hurmüz Diril have been abducted/disappeared in their native village Meer/Kovankaya in Şırnak province in south-south Turkey. Two months later, family members found the lifeless and tortured corpse of Shimuni Diril during their search with their own efforts while the whereabouts of Hurmüz Diril remains unknown up to today.
On this day of Christmas and as we approaching to the end of the year, Christmas period is a moment of reflection, solidarity and hope for the world and people in need. Christians around the world belonging to various churches and traditions celebrate the miracle of Bethlehem as a saviour and new life.
Son dönemlerde Mardin ve civarı, Turabdin’de Süryanilere karşı yaşanan hak ihlalleri, saldırılar ve engellemelerin artarak devam etmekte olduğunu üzüntü ile takip etmekteyiz. Aşağıda imzası bulunan Arami-Asuri-Keldani-Süryani diaspora kurumları olarak, bu gelişmeler karşısında Türkiye kamuoyunu ve halkımızı bilgilendirmenin önemli olduğunu, bu süreçte dost, müttefik, insan hakları ve demokrasiyi savunan bütün kesimlerin halkımızın yanında olacağını umuyoruz.
On this day of August 7, Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people around the world remember and commemorate martyrs of Simele Massacre in the of 1933 by Iraqi army and their local allies killing around 5000 Assyrian civilians, destroying more than 60 villages in the region of Dohuk city, currently in KRG. On the other hand, on these days of August, our people also remember their forced exodus from Nineveh Plains with the arrival of ISIS leaving behind genocide, killings and destruction of social, cultural and religious heritage.
During the tumultuous of conflict in Iraq and arrival of ISIS and other jihadists groups to the battle scene, after short time these groups reached historical homelands of ancient minority and ethnic and religious groups. During the year of 2014 following seizure of Mosul city, forcing Christians to leave, ISIS took control of Nineveh Plains and Sinjar region home of ancient Yazidi community.
In our struggle for existence as an ethnic identity and a people in its own right, we, the Presidency of the Bethnahrin National Council, have resolved since the outset to make our Syriac people rise and let the world know about the SAYFO Genocide of 1915. Since 1994, we have worked hard to introduce the systematic commemoration of SAYFO, and our efforts have led to the acceptance and internalization of commemoration within all segments of our people. These commemorations continue in an organized manner today by the various organizations within our people to inform the general public and international institutions.
In the 1914-15 period, the Christian peoples living under the Ottoman-Turkish rule were subjected to genocide and destruction in their historical lands, their centuries-old cultural, social and economic richness, assets and savings were destroyed and forcibly changed hands. Armenians, Greeks and Syriacs, as Christian peoples, were driven from their lands as a result of the violence and genocide they suffered.
During World War I the Ottoman Turks carried out one of the largest genocides in the world’s history, killing over 1.5 million Armenians, 500 000 Chaldeans-Syrian-Assyrians and 350 000 Greek Pontiacs. His Holiness Pope Francis declared it “the first genocide of the 20th century” and Syriac Christians commemorate this day on June 15, Armenians on April 24 and Greek Pontics on May 19.
1914-15 döneminde, Osmanlı-Türk yönetimi altında yaşayan Hristiyan halklar soykırıma uğrayarak tarihsel topraklarında imha edildi, yüzyıllık kültürel, sosyal ve ekonomik zenginlikleri, varlıkları ve birikimleri yok edildi ve zorla el değiştirildi. Hristiyan halklar olan Ermeniler, Rumlar ve Süryaniler uğradıkları şiddet ve soykırım sonucu topraklarından sürüldü.