Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party delegation visits Sweden

STOCKHOLM — A delegation from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) consisting of the Member of Turkish Parliament from Mardin Cengiz Demirkaya and Mayor of Midyat Veysi Şahin visited several Suryoye organizations in Sweden. A visit was also paid to Suroyo TV and a picture was drawn of the situation of the Suryoye in Turkey.

The delegation also met with church boards and Suryoye organizations in Sweden to be able to report on the activities and plans of the AKP and to discuss suggestions for the party.

The AKP delegation was received by Jacob Mirza, representing Suroyo TV, and representative of the Bethnahrin Women’s Union (Huyodo d’Neshe d’Bethnahrin, HNB) in Sweden Filiz Yeniay.

Mirza expressed his opinion on what needs to change on the part of the government in order to improve the situation of the Suryoye in Turkey. First of all, he criticized the Mayor of Midyat for not having contacted the Federation of Suryoye Associations in Tur Abdin (SÜDEF) for cooperation and not inviting SÜDEF to events or activities. Mayor Şahin replied that they are in contact with the church boards in such situations. Mirza appealed to the delegation that this should change and the Suryoye should be considered as a people beyond the churches.

Other topics of discussion were the cutting of electricity in the villages of Midin and Bsorino and the cutting of trees in Derqube. Tur Izlo and the crumbling road infrastructure there were also discussed. 

Furthermore, Mirza addressed the issue of the three soldiers of the Military Council of Suryoye (MFS) who are in prison in Turkey for supposed crimes committed against the Turkish state despite never having left Syria.

The situation of independent Member of Turkish Parliament for Mardin Tuma Çelik was also discussed. It was noted that according to the court decision he was allowed to leave the country, but the Ministry of Interior had a different opinion and allowed his arrest.

The exchange continued, moving on to the 1915 Sayfo Genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire. Another point of Mirza’s criticism was raised with regard to the opening of a church in Istanbul. According to him, this did not take place according to Christian values and tradition and there was also no prayer at the opening.

Various topics were dealt with and discussed. Mirza paid special attention to the fact that the Suryoye are an indigenous people in Turkey. 

The delegation also learned about the television station and was given a tour of the studio.