Aramean people: Aramean people (not to be confused with ‘Armenians’) speak Aramaic, the language spoken by Abraham, Moses and Jesus. They are the indigenous people of what was called in ancient times Aram- Nahrin, in our days it is called ‘Mesopotamia’.
Some Arameans today identify themselves with “Assyrians”, because of the spiritual colonial hate generating activities of the Western missionaries and diplomats in the Middle-East in 16th and 19th centuries. Other Arameans became known as “Chaldeans”. However all of them are Arameans.
Aram-Nahrin Organisation sends a letter to the Turkish minister of Interior Affairs on the plastering of the Aramean St. Jacob Church of Nisibin.
On 26th of July 2010 the Aram-Nahrin Organisation sent a letter to the minister of interior affairs of Turkye, Mr. Beşir Ataly. Aram-Nahrin organisation asks to start as soon as possible a investigation to track down the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Please find below the letter of Aram-Nahrin Organisation.
Netherlands, 26th of July 2010
Subject: The extremely offensive and shocking plastering on 14th of July 2010 of the Aramean St. Jacob Church of Nisibin in southeastern Turkey.
The Office of the Interior Minister of Republic of Turkey,
His Excellency Professor Dr. BEŞİR ATALAY
The Arameans of Aram-Naharaim Organization is an international human rights / cultural Organization which protects the interests of the Indigenous Aramean people of Mesopotamia, in ancient times called Aram-Nahrin in Aramaic and Aram-Naharaim in Hebrew.
The Aramean people (not to be confused with ‘Armenians’) speak Aramaic, the language spoken by Abraham, Moses and Jesus, through which they have made a very important contribution to world civilizations. In Turkey there are approximately 20.000 Arameans of which 2.000 are still living in Tur Abdin. The Aramean nation in Turkey is known as “Suryaniler”.
We write you to convey our deep concerns regarding shocking plastering on 14th of July 2010 of the Aramean St. Jacob Church of Nisibin in southeastern Turkey with extremely offensive phrases such as “Ignoble ones clear off”, “Zionist powers clear off”, “godless ones clear off”, “Zionist dogs”.
We have the reason to believe that the perpetrators of these shameful acts are not members of local communities, but rather forces of intolerance and fanaticism who wish to create discord and instability in the region in order to put Turkey in bad light. If an investigation would point out that the perpetrators do indeed originate from local communities, we are convinced that in that case they would have been directed by foreign forces of intolerance who wish to create chaos and problems in the region.
We say this, because we know that also in Iraq some foreign powers of fanaticism were involved to target our clergy and churches.
Your Excellency, it is of utmost importance to start an investigation as soon as possible to trace the perpetrators and bring them to justice. It is neither in the interest of Turkey, nor in the interest of the Aramean nation and other communities in Turkey that the perpetrators of this immoral and tasteless act would remain unpunished. Furthermore, we believe that a strong message should be send to these forces of fanaticism and intolerance, who wish to create discord and chaos by dishonoring places of prayer, to make sure that the region will not become a hotbed for their activities.
The Aramean nation of Turkey does not consider anyone as its enemy and wish to live in peace and brotherhood with other nations in the region. If others consider us as their enemy, we do not view them as our enemy. The Aramean people have a tradition and policy of peaceful cooperation and brotherhood which is not only based on pious words but applied in practice in daily life.
The plastering of the St. Jacob Church is particularly painful to us, because this church was build by the legendary scholar and bishop Jacob himself, a native of Nisibin and bishop of the city between 308-338 AD. It was also in Nisibin that a Aramean school was established by Jacob which later would become the first ever university in the world. The school of Nisibin gained fame, after the Aramean school of Urhoy (= Urfa), the centre of the Aramean Christianity, was closed in 489 AD and was transferred to Nisibin. One of the pupils of Jacob, and also a native of Nisibin, is the world-renowned St. Afrem the Aramean (306-373 AD).
We conclude our letter with the hope that you have noticed our sincere concerns and will take decisive measures to protect the faithful Aramean citizens of Turkey and demonstrate that Turkey is a democratic country with human rights standards and values for all its citizens, irrespective their faith, political orientation or ethnicity.
In addition we request that your Excellency will do everything possible to track down the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
Arameans of Aram-Naharaim Organization
Copy sent to:
Governor of Mardin
District Officer of Nusaybin
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20-5-2009: Aramean Organizations sent a letter to the President and Prime Minister of Turkey on the Aramean Monastery St. Gabriel and recognition of the Aramean indigenous people as a distinct ethnic minority.