James of Sarug
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.
In Turkey, the Arameans are called: Süryani. In Arabic they are called Al- Suryan.
Centuries Old Aramean church of St. Jacob of Nisibin in Tur Abdin in Turkey is plastered with racist, anti-Aramean and antichristian slogans.
It is again at it in Turkey! From time to time a incident takes place to remember the remaining Arameans and the Diaspora Arameans not to make any illusion regarding their indigenous lands or ancient cultural/spiritual buildings. Harassments, causing feelings of discomfort, intimidations, and general sense of being a stranger in their own homelands with the goal to expel all of them.
Few example to explain what we mean:
- Law suits against the Aramean monastery St. Gabriel in the Aramean heartland Tur Abdin.
- Various incidents around the Aramean St. Mary church in Diyarbekir and the priest of the church.
- Ritual slaughtering of catholic bishop Luigi Padovese on 3rd of June 2010.
More on the systematic persecutions, discriminations and killings of the Arameans in Turkey:
On 14th of July 2010 the centuries old Aramean church of St. Jacob in the village of Nisibin, south-eastern of Turkey, situated in the Aramean enclave Tur Abdin, has been plastered with racist , ant-Aramean and antichristian slogans. On the walls of the church slogans in Turks were written as “Ignoble ones clear off”, “By God cursed godless ones, clear off”, “Zionist powers clear off”, “Zionists clear off”, “godless ones clear off”, “Zionist dogs”. And in Arabic the walls of the church were plastered with slogans “Allah and Muhammad” and “Prophet Muhammad, fight against apostates and hypocrites”
The Arameans of Aram-Naharaim Organisation is extremely concerned about these anti-Aramean and antichristian utterances. There is no any reason whatsoever for these provocative and intimidating slogans. The Arameans do not consider anyone as their enemy and want to live in peace and harmony with other peoples in these region. For this reason, this shocking and paralysing slogans are a mystery to us. The mayor of Nisibin, madam Ayşe Gökkan, has condemned the plastering of the church.
On the other hand, we do not believe that this is the work of “naughty boys” or “lunatics’. On the contrary, such hateful utterances are meticulously chosen to convey a clear message to the remaining Arameans in Tur Abdin and to cause them a feeling of discomfort so that they may live their indigenous homelands. Forty years ago there were 40.000 Arameans in Tur Abdin. Because of continued harassments, killings and discrimination the vast majority of the Arameans left behind the lands of their forefathers for the West. The number of Arameans living in Tur Abdin is reduced to but 2.000 persons. It seem that they want to clean Tur Abdin completely of the Aramean presence.
It is possible that the racist plastering of the Church is tied up with the increasing tension between Israel and Turkey. It is not unusual in Turkey when the country is in odds with a non- Islamic country, they vent their rage by targeting the Arameans and other Christians in Turkey. For example, when in the 70’ties tensions arose between Turkey and Greece on Cyprus, the Arameans and other Christians were harassed and targeted. To vent their rage, it seems even that they had put a cross to the neck of a dog to demonstrate their dismay towards bishop Makarios of Cyprus.
Of course one cannot rule out that some forces in Turkey misuse the weak position of the Arameans to create a negative atmosphere in Turkey. One also cannot exclude the involvement of some foreign forces. But even if that would be the case, the central government cannot be cleared of responsibility. It does not explain the centuries old systematic discrimination, killing and exclusion of the Aramean nation in Turkey.
Furthermore, the Arameans are not recognized as distinct ethnic minority in Turkey and that simply means that they are without rights. Taking in consideration the systematic persecutions, discrimination and killings of the past centuries, usually attributed to “invisible” forces, one gets the impression that the intimidating and hateful plastering of the St. Jacob church probably again is carried out by the same “invisible” forces and probably not by those powers who wish to discredit Turkey.
The first university in the world…..
Appeal to the world community…..
We call upon the world community to notice this hateful, racist and unnecessary provocative plastering of the Aramean St. Jacob Church of Nisibin and pressure Turkey to track down as soon as possible the perpetrators and bring them to trial. The last months Turkey was busy with political campaign called “Opening/ explanation Kurdish (question)” to promote democratic process. This process was later also to be extended to other nations in Turkey. Well then, if Turkey really has the intention to improve the democratic process towards other nations within its boundary, it should act immediately and track down the perpetrators and put them in jail.
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Fake News on the Aramean nation:
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.