The Assyrian Genocider- Seyfo

16 / 07 / 2018

Most people are aware of the Armenian Genocide which reached it’s height in 1915. What many do not realize is that other Christian communities in the Ottoman Empire were massacred as well. This small 60 page booklet document the Genocide of the Assyrians . David Gaunt is a neutral historian who has published a few books on the Seyfo, the Assyrian Genocide. Published by a group called “Without Borders” I am hoping it will get widespread circulation so others can become aware of the vicious crimes the Ottoman Turks committed against the Assyrian people

The Ottomans rose to power in around the 1400’s. From their capital in Bursa they conquered several lands in the Middle East, Europe and in the Caucasus. As their empire expanded they found themselves a Muslim minority’s ruling over people who by and large had a different religion. The Christians under their rule were supposed to be left alone to run their affairs as they were people of the book. In exchange for taxes they could live in their villages, worship as they pleases and make repairs to their churches. In reality though they were treated like second class citizens subject to being physically attained at any given moment, having their women raped and their property confiscated

In the 1800’s when the winds of fortune turned against the Ottomans, they became known as the sick man o Europe. They began losing military conflicts and they also lost territories. Around this time it was recognized that reform was needed. The Young Turks spear headed this reform by recognizing the rights of Christians, tax reform and changing the way things were run. Eventually Sultan Abdul Hamid lost power and the Young Turks took power. They were progressive on the outside yet their inner Committee of Union and Progress harbored some deep nationalist feeling

As things seemed to be getting better for Christians many of the Turks were not happy about this. Sultan Abdul Hamid rallied his Islamic allies and stirred up the massacre of Adana where many Christians lost their lives. Thing started to ge5t worse

For the Assyrians it started in 1840 with Badr Khan massacring their villages in the Hakkari region. Persecution would culminate in 1915 as they were massacred alongside the Armenians and Greeks. Turkey planned this genocide by dehumanizing the Assyrians, confiscating their weapons and forcing he men into labor battalions. Later the Turks would try to wipe them out one villages at a time. Some were able to fight back and others fled

Scholarship is only recently discussing this tragedy . More people must become aware ,especially in light of recent events

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