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Orthodoc
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Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


« on: January 24, 2003, 11:24:50 AM »

The Syrian Orthodox Church of the Mother of God in Diyarbakir looted

SOLNews -¡- Diyarbakir (9.1.03). During the night of January 7th 2003,
the Syrian Orthodox Church of the Mother of God (known as "Meryem
Ana" in Turkish) in Diyarbakir was broken into by unknown Muslims and
vandalized. According to the information given to Suryoyo Online
(www.suryoyo-online.org) by Saliba A+ºis, the Syriac teacher who
belongs to this church, the burglars stole invaluable liturgical
items: among these were a large handwritten Gospel-Lectionary from
the 18th century with a silver cover placed in the altar room, three
silver crosses from the 17th century and a very old icon of the
Mother of God, placed above the grave of the famous Syrian Theologian
and Metropolitan Dionysios Bar Salibi (+ 1171), as well as two rare
18th century silk and golden liturgical veils covering the chalice
and paten. Iconographic pictures of saints were thrown to the floor.
The robbers broke into the church after climbing over the outer walls
and smashing open a church window with steel barriers. This was all
discovered early in the morning when priest Yusuf Akbulut arrived to
celebrate the morning service. Immediately, the authorities were
notified.

The small Syrian community of Diyarbakir and the Metropolitan of Tur
Abdin Timotheos Samuel Aktas from the monastery of Mor Gabriel were
shocked when they heard of the plundering in the church. They are
worried again about their future in an area that is nowadays
increasingly under the influence of radical Islamic activists. About
2 years ago the Syrian community of Diyarbakir was caught in a
political row, when the priest Yusuf Akbulut was tried before a
Turkish court. The priest had spoken about the genocide of 1915 in
Turkey that killed huge numbers of not only Armenians but Aramaeans
(Syrians) too. Journalists of the Turkish newspaper "H++rriyet"
recorded his discussion in secret and later they depicted him as
a "traitor among us". In this manner they fanned up hatred toward the
Syrian Aramaean minority amongst the Turkish people. After several
trials under the watchful eyes of foreign politicians and human
rights campaigners, the priest was finally acquitted. He is still
being watched by Turkish authorities and journalists. Every Sunday
(partly armed) members of the secret service attend the sermon of the
priest during the service. Moreover, the newspaper "Aksam" had named
the Syrian Aramaeans as separatists when they published the
ethnographic map of Tur Abdin (this is a Syriac term and known name
of the region in southeast of Turkey, where once only the Syrian
Aramaeans lived) from the pictorial book of the Austrian Professor
Hans Hollerweger. The newspaper "Aksam" on June 27, 2001 asserted
that the Syrian Aramaeans strive for a independent Tur Abdin. On the
complaint of the Syrian bishop of Tur Abdin, the radical
newspaper "Aksam" was convicted on 6th of September 2002 in Istanbul
under criminal law.

Diyarbakir, known earlier as "Amid", "Ameda" since the 13th century
B.C., was the capital of the Aramaic kingdom of Bet-Zamani, and in
the 12th century A.D. the seat of the Patriarch of Antioch and centre
of the Arameans, who are also known as Syrians. Many famous Syrian
theologians and patriarchs came from there and were buried in the
Church of the Mother of God, where their relics are kept. These
include those of the Apostle Thomas and of the Saint Jacob of Serug
(+ 512). The church is one of the oldest church buildings in
Mesopotamia having been a church as early as the 3rd century. It must
have been a large heathen temple in the pre-Christian era as
suggested by the two lion's heads still visible in the entry portal
to the Diakonikon. In the course of centuries this church was
plundered and ransacked time and again by foreign rulers and by
Muslims who came into the city. It was once an important pilgrimage
centre for the whole region. It is probable that the current name of
the city, Diyarbakir, is derived from the Arabic "Deir Bakira"
(Church of the Virgin). In this church there is a relic of the Holy
Cross and a rare 6th century Bible manuscript on parchment.

The Syrian city of Diyarbakir lost more and more of its original
Syrian Aramaean citizens gradually over time. In 1870, Diyarbakir
with its surrounding villages had a recorded population of 13,500
Syrians. 5379 persons were killed in the "Year of the Sword", as the
year of the massacre in 1915 is known. In 1966 there were still 1000
families. However, presently there are only 4 families and their
priest, who serves all Christian denominations. The rest had to flee
to Istanbul and to the Diaspora further west. The persecution of the
Syrian Christians has extended even to the dead; a road was
constructed through the Syrian cemetery in Diyarbakir. The protests
of the Syrian community have remained unheeded.

Source: Suryoyo Online
For pictures see: http://www.suryoyo-
online.org/news/motherofgodchurchlooted.html
For German text: http://www.suryoyo-
online.org/news/muttergotteskirchegeplundert.html

====

Orthodoc

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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2003, 07:01:59 PM »

if im not mistaken that was the same town where a syriac priest (some reported he was a syriac orthodox priest, some he was a syriac catholic priest) was arrested and imprissioned. Several Armenian Apostolic christians are in gaols accused of "terrorism", and in 1997 three Kursish jesuits were brutally tortured and killed.

The Turkish government is one of the worst violators of human rights, specially against christians, but it's ok because it is part of the western capitalist world, and agrees with the policies of the IMF.  Angry
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2003, 06:11:05 PM »

Forget what ya heard, the Ottoman Empire is alive and kicking in Anatolia!  I know that its folly to induldge in  an "I wish" but......too bad things didn't proceed as planned after WWI.  We'd have an Armenian state in Eastern Anatolia, and a Greek state in Western Anatolia/Constantinople.  I think that the Ottoman Empire/Turkey is one of the most diabolical powers ever to have existed on the Earth, right up there w/ Stalin's USSR, Hitler's Germany, Diocletian's Rome, and anyplace that patterns its laws on the shar'ia.
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2003, 07:23:21 PM »

Forget what ya heard, the Ottoman Empire is alive and kicking in Anatolia!  I know that its folly to induldge in  an "I wish" but......too bad things didn't proceed as planned after WWI.  We'd have an Armenian state in Eastern Anatolia, and a Greek state in Western Anatolia/Constantinople.  I think that the Ottoman Empire/Turkey is one of the most diabolical powers ever to have existed on the Earth, right up there w/ Stalin's USSR, Hitler's Germany, Diocletian's Rome, and anyplace that patterns its laws on the shar'ia.

The thing is, Turkey is a member of NATO so all of the crimes they commit are not "that bad compared to Stalin."  Wink  Plus, the US needs them for the war against Iraq.

P.S.  I am being sarcastic, please forgive me.
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2003, 01:19:19 PM »

You are absolutely right.  Since the West needed Turkey's cooperation to secure the Eastern Mediterranean/Black Sea during the Cold War, and now needs their help against Iraq, they (the Turks) will never be forced to so much as acknowledge their genocidal acts commited against Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians in Eastern Anatolia.  They are, in the mind of the West, the "lesser of two evils".  Meanwhile, we Eastern Christians, who in the eyes of the West are neither fish nor fowl, will always remain stuck in the crossfire between Islam and the West until Our Lord comes again.  Ah well, I guess its been that way since the Crusades.  What can ya do? Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: January 29, 2003, 01:21:59 PM by AntoniousNikolas » Logged

“Nothing is better than to realize one’s weakness and ignorance and nothing is worse than not to be aware of them.” - St. Peter of Damascus
Tags: Syriac Orthodox persecution Islam Arameans 
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