ASIA/TURKEY – Mass influx of Assyrian Christians fleeing the Syrian conflict

Gaziantep – (Agenzia Fides) In the last 3 days more than 500 Syrian Christians of the Assyrian Church have crossed the Turkish border to seek safety from the tragic civil war in progress in their country. According to sources of the Assyrian Church of the East, relaunched by the Assyrian International News Agency, Assyrian refugees are now in Gaziantep, in the southeastern Anatolia region, 50 kilometers from the border with Syria. The Assyrian churches and monasteries, concentrated in the mountainous region of Tur Abdin already host a number of refugees beyond their capacity. To accommodate the new arrivals they are thinking about building a camp of tents.
In the chaos of the Syrian civil war, Assyrian communities concentrated in northern Syria have suffered violence, kidnappings and pillage of all kinds. Whole family clans were forced to leave their homes under threats of death. Groups as early as December and acronyms related to the Assyrian diaspora in the West, had mobilized to obtain by the Turkish authorities permission to set up refugee camps and shelters specifically for the Assyrian Syrian refugees fleeing war zones. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 09/04/2013).