News in Bet-Nahren, Assyria

Not only the Armenians but also the Suryani(Assyrians) have been massacred
by Raman Yavuz - Turkish newspaper Hurriyet (04.10.2000)/ HRWF International Secretariat
Posted: Monday, November 27, 2000 07:42 pm CST


The traitor among us

Throughout the whole 2O th century, the Turkish state has refused to recognize the Genocide of 1914. This is a taboo issue in Turkey and anybody raising this issue is considered a traitor. This is what happened quite recently to a Syrian-Orthodox priest.

Turkish newspaper Hurriyet (04.10.2000)/ HRWF International Secretariat (27.11.2000) - Website: - Email: - The clergyman of the Syrian-orthodox (Suryani) parish of Diyabakir, priest Yusuf Akbulut, is supporting the draft of the alleged genocide of the Armenians, which was accepted by the subcommission of the US-House of Representatives. The priest of the Suryani Meryemana Church (Mother Maria) declared that the assertion about a genocide of the Armenians are correct and that also his fellow believers have been victims.

As a pure invention the priest stated: "Not only the Armenians, also the Suryani [Syrian Christians] have been victims of the genocide, with the only reason that they are Christians. The Suryani have been massacred in great numbers (droves). And in this genocide the Kurds were used.

The priest of the Meryemana church belonging to the Suryani parish in the quarter of Alipasha, Diyabakir, claims that 1914 there has been a genocide on the Armenians. And together with the Armenians the Suryani living in great numbers in Diyabakir and Mardin, have also been victims of the genocide for the reason that they are Christians. Priest Akbulut gave the following reasons for his assertions:

"The homeland of the Suryani is Mesopotamia, and for the Armenians the provinces of Mush, Erzurum, Van, Erzincan and Sivas. The Armenians were settling in this areas. Why today there are no more Armenians, they have been a very big population at that time? In our area one remembers this time as "kafle". What means "kafle"? It means genocide. All people of this area are knowing the truth. I don't say this just for supporting the Armenians. What I am saying is that the fact of the genocide is correct. Nobody can deny it. I am a religious person, I am saying what is true."

The priest Yusuf Akbulut is further claiming that the Kurds living at that time in the areas of Armenians and Suryani, have been used, he declares:

"They [the Turks] promised the Kurds, that who would kill 7 Christians, he will go to the paradise. And therefore also the Kurds who believed this, took part at this genocide. The Kurds which sometimes are visiting today our church are realizing this and feel sorry about it. In Mesopotamia, the real native country of the Suryani their numbers today are very reduced. But in the states of Europe they are very numerous. They have been forced to emigrate. Today there are no more repression against us. We feel more or less good, no more under pressure. We are content with our life. But we cannot deny history."

Priest Akbulut made it clear that independent of the results of the discussions in USA the Suryani will raise their voices and will obtain a hearing to the world about what terrible times their forefathers went through."

SBS telephone interview with Fr. Yusuf.

Archive: audio file

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