European Syriac Union hosts seminar on 1915 Sayfo Genocide in Switzerland

MELS, Switzerland — The European Syriac Union (ESU) held a seminar on the 1915 Sayfo Genocide to mark its 109th anniversary at the Syriac Club in Mels Sarganser, Switzerland.

The seminar featured Tuma Çelik, a former member of Turkish Parliament and a representative of the Bethnahrin National Council (Mawtbo Umthoyo D’Bethnahrin, MUB), and Circis Işık, a priest of Mor Gabriel Church in Switzerland. The event began with a prayer for the souls of the Sayfo martyrs.

Işık discussed the Church’s role in advocating for the Sayfo cause and emphasized the importance of preserving the religion and identity of the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people.

Çelik stated that 109 years have passed since the Sayfo Genocide, which he described as one of the most heinous genocides in modern history, perpetrated against the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people during World War I by the Ottomans. “The Syriac people have suffered immense cultural, human, and economic losses. Their existence and language were nearly eradicated due to the genocide,” he added.

Joseph Lahdo, an official of the Syriac Union Party (SUP) in Europe and a representative of the Democratic Autonomous Administration of the Region of North and East Syria (DAARNES) in Europe, spoke about the long-term effects of the 1915 Sayfo Genocide on the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people, including widespread displacement.

The seminar concluded with a broad discussion of interventions and questions from the audience.