On 19 August, Turkey’s Interior Ministry removed from office the democratically elected metropolitan mayors of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van without just reason. This unilateral, undemocratic decision by the Interior Ministry is again clear evidence of the AKPs lack of respect for election results. The three metropolitan mayors from the Democratic Peoples Party (HDP) were elected by the people to serve all citizens of their respective cities and offer services to all segments of society. Less than 6 months after the elections, the removal by state authorities of the mayors and the detention of hundreds of HDP members is another setback on the path to an inclusive political system in Turkey and a blow to all Turkish citizens craving for freedom, equality and democracy.
Every year on August 7 our Syriac (Chaldean-Aramean-Assyrian) people commemorate the Assyrian martyrs of Simele (Duhok province, Iraq). This day reminds us of yet another bloody massacre on the indigenous Christian population of Mesopotamia. In the preceding weeks up to and including August 7, 1933, Iraqi troops and local allies attacked Assyrian Christians – most of them members of the Church of the East - in Simele and dozens of neighboring villages. They killed more than three thousand men, women and children in those weeks, six hundred of them in Simele on August 7 alone. Thus, less than 2 decades after the Christian Genocide of 1915, Assyrians once again became victims of brutal mass killings.
Following the taking of the city of Mosul by ISIS in August 2014, the Nineveh Plain and the Shingal region sadly underwent the same fate again when, with ISIS in eyesight, Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces unexpectedly retreated. This led to the massive exodus of our Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people from the Nineveh Plain and the Yazidi people from Shingal. Christians fled Mosul by the ten-thousands. The Nineveh Plain Christian towns and villages followed shortly after.
Today, June 15, Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people commemorates Sayfo genocide perpetrated by Ottoman-Turkish rule between 1914-1918 leaving back tremendous human loss, tradegy, suffering and destruction of millennial cultural, social heritage.
Today May 19, we remember and commemorate the victims and martyrs of Pontic Greek genocide perpetrated under Ottoman-Turkish rule which led to the demographical, cultural, social and economic destruction of the ancient Pontus Greek people in the Black Sea region.
On May 18, 2010, exactly nine years ago, founding President of European Syriac Union, ESU Iskender Alptekin passed away in Zurich, Switzerland leaving behind him valuable heritage of struggle and brotherhood.
On May 12, the news of the departure of HH Cardinal Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir saddened us and ESU wants to convey its condolences to the Maronite Christians of Lebanon and around the world. HH Cardinal Sfeir held the holy seat amid immense turmoil in Lebanon and in the whole Middle East region by being a voice of justice, peace and equality. We salute his memory.