Bethnahrin National Council rejects Treaty of Lausanne on its centenary

BETH NAHRIN — The Bethnahrin National Council (Mawtbo Umthoyo D’Bethnahrin, MUB) issued a public statement on the centenary of the Treaty of Lausanne firmly expressing their refusal to recognize the treaty, which denies the identity of the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people.

In the statement, the MUB highlighted the ethnic cleansing that targeted the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people in 1915 during Ottoman rule and the disastrous consequences that this tragedy had on successive generations.

The many massacres and suppression of Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) religious and political institutions led to their exclusion from the treaty discussions. Despite their repeated attempts for inclusion, the guarantor countries and great powers did little to ensure the voice of the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people was heard.

The MUB added that over the past hundred years, the Republic of Turkey has practiced a policy of displacement and discrimination against the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people, alienating them from their heritage and preventing all attempts to return to their ancestral land.

“Turkey sought to wipe our people out and expel them from their historical areas, obliterating their cultural and social values and erasing their native language,” read the MUB statement. “Syriac schools and social centers in Turkey have been closed, and any national activity of Syriacs in the country has also been banned.”

“Unfortunately, for the sake of their own interests, the signatory states of the Lausanne Treaty turned a blind eye to the Turkish violations against the Syriacs and other peoples.” the MUB stated.

The MUB called on all the signatory countries, especially Britain and France, to stand firmly against all attempts to marginalize the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people. Turkey has not applied any of the clauses contained in the 37 to 45 articles of the Lausanne Treaty on the rights of non-Muslim minorities, including those of the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people.

The MUB expressed its categorical rejection of the Treaty of Lausanne and strongly condemned the exclusionary policies that have been adopted against the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people.

“Our people must continue their struggle in international forums out of their strong will, in order to obtain all their rights as an indigenous people with a unique civilization and heritage, and reach a bright future in which their children enjoy national freedom,” the statement concluded.