European Syriac Union holds symposium on Sayfo Genocide in Baden, Switzerland

BADEN, Switzerland — On 16 June, a prayer service was held for the souls of the martyrs of the 1915 Sayfo Genocide in the Catholic Church in the Swiss city of Gebpenstorf. Following the service, a number of community members gathered at the Syriac Cultural Club in Torghe, located in the city of Baden. At the invitation of John Hubbell, the attendees observed a minute of silence in honor of the martyrs.

The European Syriac Union (ESU) organized a symposium at the Syriac Club in Baden, featuring hymns performed by children’s and women’s choirs. Father Michael Aziz, accompanied by deacons, led a prayer for the martyrs.

The event was graced by the presence of Talita Bazu, Co-Chair of the municipality of Beth Zebday, and Tuma Çelik, a former member of Turkish Parliament and a representative of the Bethnahrin National Council (Mawtbo Umthoyo D’Bethnahrin, MUB).

They discussed the political situation of the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people and the broader context in Turkey, emphasizing the community’s ongoing defense of their homeland and historical values. Çelik highlighted the systematic Ottoman plan targeting the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) population with orchestrated massacres.

Armenian academic and journalist Toros Korkmaz also attended the symposium. He provided a historical overview of the massacres, detailing their objective to eradicate the indigenous Christian populations of Beth Nahrin (Mesopotamia) and Anatolia.