Assyrians’ tombs desecrated in southeastern Turkey

Assyrians’ tombs desecrated in southeastern Turkey
Update: 04 July 2022 17:29
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Two Christian chapels’ graves have been attacked and the saints’ bones thrown out in the latest of a series of assaults on an already dismantled minority in Turkey

An attack on the ancient graves of two Christian chapels in Turkey’s southeastern city of Mardin made hearts bleed in a minority neighborhood. 

The Assyrian worshippers have visited the chapel on a sacred day on Wednesday, only to realise that the graves have been desecrated and the saints’ bones have been thrown out, Yeni Yaşam reported. The culprits or the timing of the raid are yet to be identified.

 The graves were at least 1000 years old, the worshippers said. 

“We got all torn up when we saw that they destroyed our tombs in a barbaric way. They don’t even leave our dead alone. This brutal behavior is a great insult to our religion and culture.” Yeni Yaşam cited a member of the community as saying. 

The Assyrians were once a large ethnic minority in the region but following the Armenian and Assyrian genocide in 1915, most were murdered or forced to emigrate to northern Iraq, northeast Syria, and northwest Iran.

Some 25.000 Assyrians currently live in Turkey, according to unofficial figures.