The views expressed in this op-ed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SyriacPress.
By an anonymous submitter
We are the people who from past to present have suffered hundreds of thousands of righteous Martyrs, slaughtered and persecuted because they were the rightful owners of truth and ancient land. The Martyrs were wronged and massacred at a time when the rule of law was absent; otherwise the brightness of the Martyrs’ civilized faces would have blinded the eyes of their bloodthirsty killers; brightness would have wiped the brutal killers from history books.
Know that our people were always present in their homeland Beth Nahrin (Mesopotamia). The were never refugees and never absent. Our Syriac people constituted 30% of the Ottoman Empire’s population at the time they were defenseless victims of genocide. Our people were massacred under the umbrella of religion and without differentiation to sectarian or national affiliation, only because of our ethnicity. They dealt with our people as if they were onions, and for them there was no difference between red and white onions. They mastered killing using various types of tools until humanity stopped them, since those monsters had hunted us without upholding any human values or moral standards.
That is why, dear reader, you need to learn the truth, the truth about history and about the fact that truth and history are intertwined. In history, people meet and a person can enter the arenas of consciousness, perception and truth.
Truth exists in our revival and our national awakening. Our then national awakening was seen at the time as a grave danger and threat to the state of the “sick man”, i.e. the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire began issuing unfair decrees against all non-Turkish nationals by directing serious political accusations ranging from endangering the Empire by dealing with the Empire’s enemies to division, secession, and betrayal. All pretexts to use events during World War I in 1914-1918 as the appropriate opportunity to put their monstrous teeth in our people’s flesh. The result were barbaric attacks in which the sounds of canons and guns were loud, women cried hard, and children wailed harder. Our good and blessed Land between the Rivers turned into a battleground where evil forces gathered to decimate our defenseless Syriac people.
We paid a heavy price with nearly half a million Martyrs. The Turkish state must recognize the Sayfo Genocide. Turkey must give back our legitimate rights according to internationally recognized human rights standards and laws.
And let the Turks know that our people are committed to obtain all their rights as a people in their homeland and country.
Below a list of the numbers of members of the Syriac Orthodox Church who were martyred between 1914-1918. The list was sent to the English Prime Minister by Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Mor Aphrem Barsoum.
The number of martyrs of the Syriac people (Chaldeans-Arameans-Assyrian) who were killed between 1914-1918, according to the report presented to the Paris Peace Conference by the Assyrian-Chaldean delegation.
Above lists do not include those who were martyred on the roads during displacement, deportation, forced conversion of religion or marriage – canceling their cultural and religious identity – or as a result of hunger deaths and other crimes. This number reaches more than 300.000 people.
So far, the following countries have recognized the Sayfo Genocide of 1915 on the Syriac people: Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Australia, Armenia, Netherlands, Vatican, Czechia.
Disclaimer: translated from the original Arabic. For the original see SyriacPress Arabic