European Syriac Union calls on European Parliament to recognize Sayfo Genocide and stop Turkish aggression against North and East Syria 

BRUSSELS — In a letter, the Brussels-based European Syriac Union (ESU), addressed 753 representatives in the European Parliament and French National Assembly, calling on them to recognize the 1915 Sayfo Genocide.

The ESU’s letter sheds light on the far-reaching consequences of the Sayfo and provides harrowing statistics on the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean), Armenian, and Greek victims.

Highlighting Pope Francis’ characterization of these atrocities as the first genocide of the 20th century, the ESU emphasized the gravity of the term “genocide”. It underscores the systematic nature of the Ottoman-era campaign of extermination, which specifically targeted the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people and other Christian communities. The objective was to obliterate their national, religious, and cultural existence while coercing the remaining Christians into adopting Islam and identifying as Turks.

“The Turkish government, as the heir to the Ottoman Empire, continues to deny the 1915 Genocide,” states the ESU’s letter. “The ESU considers the ongoing propaganda campaign by the Turkish government as a new threat, characterized by its persistent violations and efforts to deprive future generations of their rightful heritage.”

The ESU emphasized the imperative for the international community to exert pressure on Turkey to confront its blood-stained history. The letter cites Turkey’s continued occupation of regions in northern Syria, its support for terrorist groups in Libya, strained relations with Greece, attacks in northern Iraq, hate speech against Israel, and its backing of Azerbaijan to the detriment of Christians in Karabakh.

In a call to action, the ESU highlighted the vital significance of resolute opposition to genocides and other grievous crimes to prevent future tragedies and ensure accountability for the perpetrators. This, in turn, will facilitate the healing and recovery of oppressed communities, allowing them to rebuild their lives, the group stated.

The ESU reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to the pursuit of justice and equality for the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people and its aim to restore their rights and security within their homeland of Beth Nahrin (Mesopotamia).

“We call on the European Parliament to recognize the Sayfo to stop the persecutions targeting the Syriac people, which in turn will constitute an important historical turning point towards consolidating the values of justice and equality among peoples,” the ESU concluded.