Turkey: Society for Threatened Peoples International (STPI) has just started an on-site vigil for the monastery of Mor Gabriel in southeastern Turkey*

27801.gifThe Society for Threatened Peoples International (STPI) had started a vigil in front of the Assyrian-Aramaic monastery Mor Gabriel in Tur Abdin – in the region of southeastern Turkey. Supporters of the STPI and their expert on questions regarding the Middle East, Dr. Kamal Sido, had set up a a large banner with the slogan “Save the convent Mor Gabriel” to show support for the Aramaic-speaking Assyrian Christians who still live in Turkey. The STP demands that the Turkish government will put an end to all legal proceedings against the monastery and finally acknowledge, that the monastery owns the surrounding land property since centuries.

Any further attempt to seize the estate is damaging Turkey’s reputation, impairs the religious freedom of Christians living in Turkey and must therefore be seen as an act of discrimination against the Aramaic and Assyrian minorities. The election of the 47-year-old Assyrian Lawyer Erol Dora as an independent candidate in the Turkish parliament can be seen as step in the right direction. Dora was supported by the Kurdish DTP party. He sees himself as a “Turkish citizen campaigning for democracy in his country”.

Around 100.000 Assyrian Aramaic refugees from Turkey are now living in the Federal Republic of Germany.

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