Migration from southeast starts again

A group of Christians who were forced to leave their homes in Beytüşşebap, Şırnak, near the border with Iraq, in 1988 due to an escalation in acts of terrorism have once again decided to abandon their homes and move to Belgium.

Forty people from seven families first moved to Belgium in 1988 but decided to return in 2004 when the terrorism problem had somewhat abated.

The group belongs to a Christian sect called Keldanis, Chaldean Christians who recognize the pope but use Syriac language in their sermons.

They returned to their village of CevizaÄŸaç and built modern homes. However, with the escalation of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorism in 2005, they were forced to begin packing for Belgium once again.

One villager, Şenol Yaramış, said: “We lived in Belgium for many years but never forgot our country. We longed for our village. We returned in 2004. However, the escalation of clashes in the last year, especially in our region, kept us up at night. We are going to lock our homes and go to Belgium. If the tension subsides, we will return next summer.”