BEYOĞLU, ISTANBUL, Turkey — During its news, the Beyoğlu-based Bianet Press Agency highlighted the 108th anniversary of the Sayfo Genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against the Syriac (Aramean-Chaldean-Assyrian) people and other peoples in 1915.
The Genocide was recalled during an interview conducted by the Agency with representative of the European Syriac Union (ESU) Shleymun Rhawi.
“Until today, the Syriac people has been targeted by obliterating their national identity. The 15th June is the annual day of the Sayfo Genocide Remembrance, ” said Rhawi. “Syriac people, who are considered among the first peoples to convert to Christianity, were targeted by all forms of inhumane crimes in 1915.”
Rhawi shed light on the period before the Sayfo including the betrayal that Syriac people were subjected to, the systematic killing of Syriac people’s women, children, youth and elders, as well as the effects left by those atrocities that have been continuing to this day.
He stressed that the Genocide barbarism claimed the lives of millions of Christians, led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of them, and forced others to convert into Islam and change their names and identities.
“In addition to the Syriac people massive cultural and historical losses, Syriac people in Turkey have become refugees in their homeland. Their lands and property have been confiscated,” Rhawi declared, emphasizing the importance of Sayfo Genocide recognition in order not to be repeated.
Rhawi demanded the Turkish government to go back to its past and recognize the Genocide committed by its ancestors against Syriacs, Armenians and Greeks.