News about Assyrians

Assyrian Christians caught in Turkish-Kurdish crossfire the Times
Nov 18 2019

Assyrian Christians, one of the oldest communities in their region, have been severely affected by the conflict between the Turkish state and Kurdish insurgents fighting for autonomy, the Times said on Saturday

The Sur district in the southeast Turkish city of Diyarbakır is an ancestral home of the country’s Assyrians in the country and the location of the ancient Virgin Mary Church. Much of the district was destroyed during months-long armed clashes that started in 2015

Assyrian communities in Iraq and Syria have also been violently targeted by the Islamic State, The Times said. ,But the congregation at the Virgin Mary are caught in the crossfire of a different war: President Erdogan’s crackdown on Kurdish militants, and the Turkish state’s subsequent destruction of living history

In late 2015, leaders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) declared autonomous regions in several cities in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast after the collapse of a two-and-a-half-year peace process

PKK-linked fighters began digging trenches and establishing barricades to keep the security forces out. The government responded with massive military operations in urban areas with tanks, urban assault vehicles and heavy artillery

The historic fabric and cultural heritage of the city have been irreparably damaged and today there are only four Assyrian families left in Diyarbakır, according to the Times

The government now intends to rebuild the district through expropriation orders and urban renewal projects, it said

“The church and Sur’s myriad ancient monuments will remain, but everything around them will be razed, to be replaced with apartments,” The Times said

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