BRUSSEL – On Saturday, the European Syriac Union (ESU) launched a campaign to bring the issue of the 1915 Ottoman genocide of Syriac-Assyrian Christians, or Sayfo, before the European Parliament. Signatures will be collected via an “e-petition” hosted at change.org hoping to show the European Union that there is sufficient popular support for them to address the issue seriously.
The Sayfo, commemorated on 15 June of each year, was carried out by the Ottoman Empire. Beginning in 1915, between 1.5 – 2 million Armenians, 650,000 – 750,000 Syriacs (Chaldeans-Assyrians-Arameans), and upwards of 300,000 Pontic-Greeks were brutally massacred in a serious of genocides against Ottoman Christians. Hundreds of thousands were exiled from their homes and tens of thousands were forced to convert to Islam and deny their identity.