TUR ABDIN, Turkey — Desecrated graves and missing bones. That was the scene Syriacs (Arameans–Assyrians–Chaldeans) of Anhil (Yemişli), Mardin, Turkey, were presented with on Wednesday, 29 June, when they arrived at Mor Fetrus and Mor Favlus Chapel to pay homage to the dead saints.
Villagers of Anhil – which is located in Tur Abdin, a historically Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) region in southeast Turkey, told Yeni Yaşam Newspaper that they were saddened to see the desecration of the graves. “They do not leave us alone, even in the grave.”
It is not known who desecrated the graves. The crime was reported to the local authorities.
The Chapel housing the graves was constructed in 1967 but the tombs of the saints are said to be approximately 1,00 years old.
Head of the Yezidi Village Council in Turkey Mr. Aziz condemned the blatant vandalism of the graves. “We condemn the vandalism on the graves of the Syriacs, and we reject any such aggression or violation,” he said.
Aziz stated that they, as Yezidis, stand against anyone who violates the sanctity of Christian cemeteries in Turkey.
“The Yezidi Village Council in Turkey stands in solidarity with the Syriac people, side by side,” said Aziz. “We will do our best to work towards a Turkey where such violations against the Syriacs and other minorities are not repeated.”
Independent Syriac Member of Turkish Parliament Tuma Çelik strongly condemned the repeated vandalism of Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) cemeteries in Turkey and demanded an urgent investigation into the desecration of the graves in Anhil.