The Syriac-Chaldean Diril couple had returned in 2011 to their village of Kovankaya, which Syriac name is Mehre. The Syriac-Chaldean village in the mountainous Hakkari region was evacuated by the Turkish state during the second half of the 1980s and throughout the 1990s during the armed conflict between the Turkish military and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Syriac-Chaldeans suffered forced evictions and displacement, their property was confiscated, their villages destroyed or burned.
The murderer(s) of Şmuni Diril remains at large, and her children are still waiting for the final result of the forensic report.
There is much consternation and anger among the Diril children about the way in which Turkish authorities have attached little importance to the couple’s disappearance and their unwillingness even now to investigate in depth. They feel abandoned by local authorities and left to search for their father on their own. Through an intensive media campaign and online petitions, the couple’s children and kin have tried to convince Turkish authorities to conduct a full investigation for their father Hurmüz Diril (71).
The Diril drama has a long history. On May 2, 1994, 12-year old İlyas Diril and 16-year-old Zeki Diril, nephews of Şmuni, were taken into custody on their way from Istanbul to Şırnak. They were never seen again or heard of ever since. İlyas and Zeki Diril’s family too had to move when their village was evacuated in 1989.
The investigation into the disappearance of İlyas and Zeki Diril resulted in non-prosecution after which Zeki Diril’s family applied to the European Court of Human Rights. The Court unanimously ruled that the Turkish state was responsible for the disappearance and condemned the Turkish state.