Mor Augin Assyrian Monastery in Turkey Seized by the “good Kurds”

The confiscation of Assyrian properties in Turkey is not limited to the Assyrian genocide. It is a process that continues to this day. The land of the Syriac Orthodox Mor Augin Monastery is located on Mount Izlo, in the region known as Tur Abdin (South East Turkey). Mor Augin Monasteries’ land has been seized by some “good” Kurds for more than forty years, despite several attempts by the Assyrians to gain back their land. The Kurds that seized the monastery land are connected to The People’s Democratic Party (HDP). Several promises were given to Assyrians by some well known Kurds such as Ahmet Turk, but nothing happened. Also the PKK leader, Öcalan declared from his prison, where he has been on death row since 1999, “ I am very furious that you are not able to solve these kinds of problems. You have to interfere in the villages where the Assyrian and Ezidi’s lands are seized. Already, these people were massacred and exiled. A handful of people are left. Now, those who do not want to stand with these handful of people and hold the attackers responsible are dishonest!” Despite this strong message from Ocalan to his fellow Kurds, nothing has happened and the land of Mor Augin Monastery is under the occupation of some so-called “good Kurds.”

The president of the Swedish-based Mor Augin Monastery Association, Iskender Gabrielsson, has declared that they have contacted many organizations and personalities in Turkey with the hope to receive their properties back. However, all promises have been empty thus far. According to Gabrielsson some Kurds have expressed regret that this has happened to the Assyrians. They’ve blamed and accused the religious and ignorant Kurds that were used by the Turkish state, but how about those “good Kurds” that have a position in the HDP, and who oppose the Turkish state? Should we only blame the Turkish state? Gabrielsson asks, “When will the Kurds take responsibility for their actions?”

Representatives of HDP and other Kurdish personalities were informed about these issues several times. Additionally, several commissions in Ankara and Istanbul were created in order to resolve the land problem, but when the delegates of these commissions went to the region, they remained powerless against the authoritative tribes and their interest in confiscating the Assyrian land.

According to Gabrielsson, “the occupant’s strategy is to tire the Assyrians and see them give up. But, this is our land and we will not rest until we have the Monastery land back. The only hope we have is that the ‘good people’ can hear our cry and start to support us with our struggle.” We don’t want Kurds to remain known as “dishonest and powerless people” towards a handful of tribes that seized Mor Augin Monastery land for the last forty year.

Sabri Atman

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