Six Syriac institutions release statement condemning persecution of Syriacs in Tur Abdin in Turkey’s southeast

TUR ABDIN, Turkey — Under the slogan ‘Syriacs Are Not Without Support’, six Syriac institutions in Europe issued a joint statement condemning the crimes and violations committed against the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people in Tur Abdin in southeastern Turkey. The institutions called on regional powers to stand by the Syriac people in Tur Abdin and ensure they can live in peace and security in their ancestral land.

“With sadness, we witness the recent violations against our people in Tur Abdin and Merde, including marginalization and rights violations,” read the statement.

The statement declared that it is necessary for the international community, who supposes to stand for democratic values and human rights, to pay closer attention to the situation of minorities, particularly the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people, in Turkey.

The statement highlighted the premeditated killings, perpetrators of which remain “unknown,” indicating that these incidents contributed to the mass emigration of the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people.

In 2001, the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people began to return to their homeland after the Turkish Minister of Interior at the time called on them to return for Turkey.

“The Syriacs have renovated their homes, but they again faced problems, including the confiscation of their land,” read the statement.

The Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people are again subjected to persecution and criminality, the statement gives the examples, “The case of the Diril family, the murder of the Syriac Yusuf Kurt, the court conviction against the Syriac Orthodox monk Sefer (Aho) Bileçen, and the killing of the Syriac Gavriye Sari.”

“The Syriac people, whose culture and history are ancient, have become a bridge between cultures and civilizations in the region.” But now, “In most cases, the attacks and killings against our people remain without answers or attention.”

The Syriac institutions warned of the violations that are taking place, calling on Turkey to stop these violations against the indigenous Syriacs (Arameans–Assyrians–Chaldeans), and let them live in peace and coexistence with peoples of the region.

The statement closed:

We, the below signed institutions, are ready for anything that enables our Syriac people to live in safety and peace in their historical homeland.

Dachverband der Entwicklungsvereine Turabdin (DETA)

European Syriac Union

Föderation Suryoye Deutschland (HAS)

Kano-Suryoyo e.V.

Turabdin Föreningamas Forbund i Sverige (TFFS)

Zentralverband der Assyrischen Vereinigungen in Deutschland und Europaischen Sektionen e.V (ZAVO eV)