İşo Maroge Mesud is a 100 year old Assyrian, whose eight uncles were murdered by Ottoman troops during the last years of the Ottoman Empire. Survivors from his family settled in Til Cihan village in the Tirbespiyê district of Qamişlo. İşo states that the Turkish state has continued the massacre and genocide related policies of the Ottoman Empire.
Many scholars and investigative journalists (including İsmail Beşikçi, Hilmar Kaiser, Desmond Fernandes and Ragip Zarakolu) have documented the way in which Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Syriacs, Chaldeans and other peoples were subjected to genocide during the late Ottoman Empire period. According to a
Hawarnews report, one and a half million Christians were killed and hundreds of thousands of targeted peoples were displaced during this genocidal period.
İşo contends that the Turkish state has continued with these policies.
Assyrian villages located within the borders of Rojava (West Kurdistan) and Bakurê Kurdistan (North Kurdistan) have been exposed to the attacks of the Turkish state in our time. Assyrians have been subjected to massacres by the Turkish state and displaced.
Iso’s grandparents emigrated to the Hebrew and Medya regions to escape the Ottoman massacre. Til Cihan village in time began to be known as a Syriac settlement.
İşo and the residents of this village, who still suffer from the pain and trauma of the Ottoman massacres that took place, have faced massacres and attacks by the successor Turkish state. İşo talks about how the Turkish state has killed Syriac villagers on the border and Christians and Kurds over the past century.
‘Kurds were defending us’
Stating that the Turkish state had killed the Assyrians, including 5-year-old children, by raiding border villages, İşo said: “The Kurds in those border villages were trying to protect the Assyrians. In order to save the Syriacs from massacre, they were sending them away from the villages to secluded ‘safe places’. When the Turkish soldiers attacked the border villages, Kurds temporarily moved into the Syriac houses and said that they were Muslims and that the houses belonged to them.
“Thus, they would not allow Turkish soldiers to plunder these houses. The environment was secure, and until the Syriacs returned to their homes, they also protected their property”.
The same policies continue
İşo states that the Turkish state is trying to separate the Kurds, Arabs and Assyrians and create conflicts between them, and added: “They were issuing decrees for the Kurds to kill the Assyrians. They made them attack the Syriac people. When the Kurds did not accept this, they were killing the Kurds. So they raided Kurdish villages several times under the pretext of protecting the Assyrians and murdered them”.
Stating that the Turkish state has been bombarding the border villages for years, İşo adds that the Turkish state has attacked Til Cîhan village many times. In addition to this, he states that the Church of Mary was bombed during these offensives and these same state policies are continuing.