Independent Syriac MP in Turkey Tuma Çelik: New law restricting purchase of property in Mardin, Kilis, and Hatay unfairly targets Syriacs, Alawites, and Kurds

ANKARA — In a move that will negatively affect the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) diaspora, the Turkish government issued a decision prohibiting the purchase of property in the cities of Mardin, Kilis, and Hatay for those who do not own Turkish identity cards. In other states, however, foreigners and non-citizens are allowed to buy property.

In a session of the Turkish Parliament, independent Syriac Member of Turkish Parliament for Mardin Tuma Çelik commented on the decision, saying it directly targets Syriacs, Alawites, and Kurds in Turkey.

He asked the government for an explanation as to why the decision only applies to those three cities and not others. It is well known that the affected cities are largely composed of Syriacs, Alawites, and Kurds, many of whom have emigrated, said Çelik. Their descendants will now no longer be able to buy property in their historic cities and villages, he added.

Çelik stated that the decision is not fair and demanded it be altered or annulled. The Syriac and other peoples who are expatriates and do not have Turkish identity cards should have the right to purchase property in their homeland, he concluded.