Priest Yusuf Arrested in Front of Tourists
Diyarbakir--Just when the so-called Armenian genocide resolution passed by the International Relations Committee of the US House of Representatives has been causing tension between the United States and Turkey, the police arrested Yusuf Akbulut, the priest of the Syriac [Suryani] Holy Mary Church in Diyarbakir, for his statement that "Along with the Armenians the Syriacs too were subjected to genocide."
Yesterday, at around 0930, a team from the Public Order Department of
the Security Directorate went to the Holy Mary Church in the Alipasa
district. They told priest Yusuf Akbulut, in front of locals and
foreign tourists, to get ready and go with them. In the meantime the
DHA [Diyarbakir News Agency] correspondents Ramazan Yavuz and Ozgur Cebe,
who were waiting by the church door, were driven away from the street by
the police. After confiscating the camcorders and photograph cameras of
the journalists for a short time, the police took priest Yusuf Akbulut
out of the church and brought him to Melikahmet Street via the back
roads. Priest Akbulut was then put inside the police car waiting there
and taken to the Security Directorate.
SBS telephone interview with Fr. Yusuf.
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