Bethnahrin National Council issues statement on 1915 Sayfo Genocide

On the 107th anniversary of the 1915 Sayfo Genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against the Syriac, Armenian, and Greek peoples, the Bethnahrin National Council (Mawtbo Umthoyo d’Bethnahrin, MUB) issued the following public statement:

“During the decline of the Ottoman Empire, signs of Turkish-Islamic fanaticism and extremism began to dominate the region. On 24 April 1915, a campaign was launched to gather all Armenian, Syriac, Melkite (Rum), and the Pontic-Greek thinkers, intellectuals, and leaders, leaving the community vulnerable and with little means of defense. The annihilation began under the leadership of the Committee of Union and Progress.

The Sayfo Genocide continued for several years, during which millions of people were brutally and barbarically slaughtered. The people who survived the genocide were forced to change their religion and convert into Islam or be forcibly displaced from their lands.

The census that was conducted before 1914 indicated that approximately one-third of the total Ottoman population was Christian. The number of the Armenian, Syriac, and Greek people was roughly five million. That is why the Ottomans tried to obliterate their culture, identity, historical roots, and material and moral values in the region, In addition to confiscating their money and property, including churches and monasteries, which were converted into mosques.

Due to the policy of denial, annihilation and extermination, the number of Muslim citizens in Turkey increased from 9 million to 84 million from 1914 to 2022, while the number of Christians decreased from 5 million to less than 100,000.

We hope that the rest of the countries will do the same. We also hope that they do not evade confronting themselves and face their dark history. Due to the long MUB struggle and the political movements of the Syriac people, they were able to document those atrocities through those who survived the Sayfo Genocide. We hope that all the peoples of the world will recognize this heinous crime.

We strongly condemn the Sayfo Genocide and anyone who has this chauvinistic mentality.”