New attack on non-Muslim graves in Turkey. Yazidi graves destroyed in Nusaybin

Nusaybin, ܢܨܝܒܝܢ – Yazidi graves in the 300-year-old Yazidi Hesen Beg cemetery in the Bagok Mountain region of the Nusaybin district of Mardin were destroyed this week. Several tombstones and Yazidi religious symbols picturing the sun and the peacock were broken or smashed. The sun and the peacock play important sacramental and ritual roles in the Yazidi religion and are considered sacred by Yazidis.

Villagers were the cemetery belong to, said they did not have any information about the destructions. The village mayor blamed it on the wind; “Windy whether caused this”.

This is not the first time non-Muslim cemeteries are targeted. In 2015, 2017 and 2019 Yazidi graves in southeastern Turkey were also the target of destruction. And only last month was the Ortaköy Christian Cemetery in Ankara vandalized, destroying 20 tombstones. Six people were arrested but all were released shortly thereafter.

Cemeteries throughout Turkey have been targeted many times and make non-Muslim communities across Turkey feel unsafe and desperate. The increase in religious extremism in Turkey, and the government’s lax enforcement of such offenses is of great concern to the non-Muslim communities and makes them question the governments position on these matters. With Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan strong hold on power and increasingly voicing Islamist rhetoric, the situation for non-Muslims in Turkey is unlikely to change for the better anytime soon.