Universal Syriac Union Party: Erdogan continues to target Christians

BEIRUT — The Universal Syriac Union Party (USUP) in Lebanon issued a statement today in which it states that Christians in general and the Syriac people in particular are still being systematically targeted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and the Turkish government. According to the USUP statement:

“This time they fabricated despicable accusations against the only Syriac Member of Turkish Parliament Tuma Çelik, accusations which resemble the foul and criminal actions throughout the history of the Turkish Republic. The accusations are done because MP Tuma Çelik opposes Erdogan’s AKP party and government and they come after numerous attempts to physically attack and discredit him in Turkish Parliament and in front of the media.”

The USUP asserts that MP Çelik demonstrated great courage during debates and in speeches in Turkish Parliament in demanding rights and recognition for the Syriac people and exposing the practices of authoritarian regimes throughout Turkish history. The most important of his demands was for the Turkish Republic to recognize the Genocide of 1915 against the Syriacs, Armenians, Pontic Greeks, and others and to compensate these peoples. The USUP claims in the statement that President Erdogan’s AKP, his government, and the Turkish intelligence services constantly weave conspiracies against every independent voice and continue the confiscation of lands, properties, and churches of the Syriac people, arrest clerics, and kill villagers to frighten those who remain steadfast in their historical homeland in an effort to make them emigrate.

The USUP statement continued by stating that President Erdogan’s government has proven at all levels of power that it is a government that supports and sponsors terrorism and extremism inside and outside Turkey and that it is strange that some institutions, associations, and TV-stations that claim to represent the Syriac people and defame a Syriac MP by promoting the charges against him:

“These ‘dummies’ did not support our MP’s struggle when he was leading demonstrations and on platforms claiming the rights of our people and the rights of the oppressed peoples seeking their freedom and dignity in Turkey. The reason behind that is clear; these ‘pro-government outlets’ are linked to Turkish intelligence and support it for personal benefit that fall under the category of treachery on their people and their rights.”

The USUP statement ends with a call to all Syriac people, the international Christian community, human rights organizations, Arab and Western countries, and international media to pressure Turkey to stop its continuous violations of people’s rights and freedom. The Universal Syriac Union party emphasis that:

“Targeting the struggle of our people by targeting our Syriac MP Tuma Çelik, will not deter us from pursuing our struggle by all legitimate means to obtain our rights in our historical lands. All dictatorial regimes, no matter how severe their injustice and unfairness against the free opinion is and no matter how long they last, are transitory.”