ZALIN (QAMISHLI), Syria – Daoud Daoud, head of the Assyrian Democratic Organization (ADO) spoke with Syriac TV channel Suroyo TV about the Sayfo Genocides of 1915 committed against the Syriac people. The genocides began in the mid-19th century and lasted until the early 20th century.
Mr. Daoud urged the Turkish state to assume its political and moral obligations towards the victims of those genocides.
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“The 1915 Sayfo massacre which our people suffered constitutes a a Genocide under all international legal understandings, a deliberate attempt to exterminate a people. Our people constituted 30% of Turkey’s population. After the Sayfo Genocide no substantial Syriac-Assyrian presence remains in the villages and towns of the Syriac original living areas, other then a couple of thousands.
This constitutes a factual Genocide on the Syriac-Assyrian people and all the Christians living in Turkey. This was a decision decreed by the ruling İttihad ve Terakki Cemiyeti to kill all Christians in Turkey, the Syriacs-Assyrians, the Armenians, and the Greeks.
Of course, the Turkish state bears the biggest responsibility as Turkey is the real successor of the Ottoman Empire. It is imperative that the Turkish state takes up its political and moral responsibility to our people and recognize that it perpetrated this Genocide.
Turkey until now denies that it perpetrated genocide against our people.
And to our people, I want to say that it is imperative to demand justice and recognition from Turkey. We call on all our people, wherever they live in the world, to undertake all peaceful actions to urge the international community in general and the Turkish state in particular to recognize the Sayfo Genocide.
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ADO was established in 1957 in the Gozarto (al-Jazeera) region in Syria, as a secular organization advocating political, national and cultural rights for the Syriac people. The ADO espouses the Assyrian denomination for the Syriac people and is committed to the safeguard of the existence of the Syriac-Assyrian people and the realization of constitutional recognition in Syria.
Since the start of the Syrian war in 2011, ADO is a peaceful member of the Istanbul-based Syrian National Council (SNC) led by George Sabra and of which the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is the largest member. ADO has a delegation to the Geneva Constitutional Committee, i.e. the UN-led talks between the Syrian Baath Regime, the Syrian Opposition and civil society organizations.
The ADO’s (and SNC’s) relationship with the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) remains somewhat strained and cautious although ADO relations with Syriac parties in the DAA have gained positive traction by agreement on joint goals for the Syriac people in Syria.