New developments in Syriac Chaldean Diril case, Turkish law enforcement authorities detain three suspects

MEHR, Şırnak, Turkey – In the case of the murdered Shmuni Diril and her missing husband Hirmiz Diril, Turkish law authorities have detained three suspects. Among the suspects is the couple’s relative Apro Diril. According to a tweet by the head of the Şırnak Bar Association Rojhat Dilsiz, today 3 people have been taken into custody in the case.

Among those detained is Apro Diril. Apro Diril is a relative of the couple and lives in the same Syriac Chaldean village of Mehr as the couple did after their return from Istanbul to rebuilt their house and village. Apro Diril was previously suspected of having more knowledge or being involved in the case and questioned before by Turkish authorities.

The Syriac Chaldean Diril couple went missing in January 2000. The mutilated body of Shmuni Diril was found 2.5 months later near their village of Mehr. Hirmiz Diril has been missing since and there has been no knowledge or trace of his whereabouts. His children, who have conducted a systematic media campaign to urge Turkish authorities to do more in the case, fear the worst for his fate.

It is not known whether the arrest of the three suspects was made on the basis of new evidence in the 1.5-year-old case or whether it concerns window dressing by Turkish authorities. Turkish law enforcement authorities have been heavily criticized in the case for failing to conduct a thorough investigation.

Suspicions of a new “faili meçhul” or “murderer / perpetrator unknown” case circulated in the media. “Faili meçhul” or “murderer / perpetrator unknown”, a term used in Turkey referencing the many unsolved murder cases, especially in the second half of the 1980s and throughout the 1990s. According to a report by the European Syriac Union, there were 45 of such Syriac unsolved murder cases between 1987 and 1998.