Syriacs in Tur Abdin in southeastern Turkey emigrated not because of poor economic conditions but discriminatory Turkish policies, says David Vergili in Sabro Magazine

TUR ABDIN, Turkey — Member of the European Syriac Union (ESU) and writer for Sabro Magazine David Vergili stated that the forced displacement of the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people has become a clear reality.

Vergili said that during the rule of the Ottoman Empire, there were about 700,000 Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people in the territory that is now Turkey. Nowadays, their number has decreased to only 20,000, a devasting decline for the indigenous population.

Vergili talked about his life and the alienation that they have lived through, as well as the Sayfo Genocide of 1915 which saw the deaths of 300,000 Syriacs (Arameans–Assyrians–Chaldeans) and the displacement of nearly all the survivors.

He went on to state that the material and economic capabilities of the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people in Midyat and the surrounding areas were good in comparison with other peoples in the region. Thus, the economic condition was not the main reason for their emigration, but rather the fact that they did not have military forces to protect themselves. Ottoman and Turkish policies resulted in years of massacres and oppression.

The forced displacement experienced by the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people in 1915 was repeated in 2015 in Nineveh Plains in Iraq when they and the Yezidi minority were subjected to the same persecution in Shengal (Sinjar) at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS), he stated.