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.
Son haftalarda Türkiye kamuoyunun ve medyanın geniş bir şekilde tekrardan konuştuğu 1990’lı yıllardaki faili meçhul cinayetler, gözaltında kayıplar ve hak ihlalleri konuları, adaletin sağlanmadığı ve ilgili şahısların bugün dahi güç ve iktidar odaklarının merkezinde olduğu bir kez daha açığa çıkmaktadır. 1990’lı yıllarda yaşanan 17 bine yakın faili meçhul cinayet ve kayıplar içinde Turabdin bölgesi Süryanileri de hedef alındı ve bu saldırılar neticesinde Avrupa’ya yoğun bir göç dalgası başladı. Yaklaşık 60 Süryaninin öldürüldüğü bu cinayetler aydınlığa kavuşmadı ve Meclis altında yapılan talepler de cevapsız bırakıldı.
April 24 is the Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day for the Armenian people and the world paying tribute and remembering one and half million innocent souls martyred during the 1915 genocide under Ottoman-Turkish rule and their allies in this period. One century later, Armenian people and native Christian communities of Mesopotamia and the Black Sea region continue to remember, commemorate and ask for the recognition of genocide perpetrated against Christian communities during 1915.
Active organizations among our people and respected politicians from Europe started a petition for the freedom of Abuna Aho, Sefer Bilecen. Please consider signing, support and spread this important petition.
In yesterday’s hearing, Syriac Christian monk Sefer (Aho) Bilecen of Mor Yakup Monastery in Turabdin region, southeast Turkey sentenced to 2 years and 1 month to prison by Mardin local court. Monk Aho was taken into custody briefly in January 2020, released later but an indictment was prepared upon his dossier. While the hearing held at the Mardin 4h Heavy Penal Court was not attended by priest Bileçen, his attorney was present in the courtroom.