Assyrians living abroad visit home village in Turkey 30 years later

Assyrians living abroad visit home village in Turkey 30 years later
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"Our village was with us all the time because we are the children of this land, our ancestors lived here for thousands of years," one of the visitors has said.

A group of Assyrian Christians who had to leave Turkey in 1990s to live abroad came back to visit their home villages in the southeastern district of Silopi.

Members of the group with their families were compelled to move abroad 30 years ago when conflict between Turkish forces and Kurdish fighters saw an escalation and as hundreds of thousands of people were forced out of their villages by troops.

The group participated in a religious ceremony held in the village of Herbol (official name Aksu) that was attended by Sabri Anar, the Bishop of the Chaldean community in Diyarbakir.

Noting that the village has ancient roots and has been the home of many prominent religious figures throughout history, Anar expressed his gratefulness for the opportunity to revisit it and hold the ceremony.

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The village's mayor Pitrus Karatay said:

"We are around 150 people here, with 90 coming from France. This is a great honor for all of us and I hope this visit will be a start."

One of the visitors named Ilhan Yavas said: "We are so happy to be in our home village again. Our village was with us all the time because we are the children of this land. Our ancestors lived here for thousands of years."