Turkish Authorities Stopped Investigations Regarding The Kidnapping Of Elderly Christians, Report Says

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BY LEAH NABLO YECLA(Photo : Verity Cridland/Flickr/CC) US pastor Andrew Brunson was jailed in Turkey for ‘terrorism-related’ offenses.
Turkish authorities stopped the investigations regarding the kidnapping of two elderly Christians for an unknown reason, reports say.

Recent reports reveal that Turkish authorities stalled the investigation on the case of the two elderly Christians abducted at the Turkish village of Mehr. The family remains clueless about the reason why there was no progress on the investigation, one year after the couple was kidnapped.

On Jan. 11, Hurmüz and ?imuni Diril, two elderly Assyrian-Chaldean Christians, disappeared from the Turkish village of Mehr, located near the Iraqi border. The couple was believed to be kidnapped by abductors allegedly affiliated with the PKK, a Kurdish militant group, according to International Christian Concern (ICC).

Father Remzi (Adday) Diril discovered what happened to his parents and sought the assistance of the authorities. Turkish police conducted search and rescue operations to find the couple believed to be abducted by a group that the U.S. department categorized as a terrorist organization.

The authorities ordered the search operation to stop due to the challenging winter weather conditions. However, the police officers did not continue the search even after the winter.

In March 2020, Simoni’s mutilated body was found floating in a nearby river. Authorities conducted an autopsy yet months passed and they are still unable to issue a report on the results. Sources say that important pieces of the test were still missing and that the information on Simuni’s death remained incomplete thus the procedural system did not advance.

The family also did not hear any update on the investigation about Hurmüz, they remained clueless if she was still alive or not, ICC reported.

The Diril family now seeks clarity on the case of the abducted couple and the details on the progress of the investigation as well as the update on the search and rescue operation for Hurmüz.

They demanded an opening investigation looking into the possibilities of the negligence of the authorities handling the investigation. They would also like to look at the possibilities of any procedural failures regarding Simuni’s autopsy report.

The bereaved family demands for the forensic report as well as the report gathered in the criminal investigation to be completed. They are also requesting that all the documents relevant to Simuni’s death be released to them.

Furthermore, the Dirils seek a serious commitment from the authorities in finding out the people responsible for the abduction and the death. They are asking for a serious investigation to find out what really happened to Hurmüz.

From 1989 to 1994, residents evacuated the village of Mehr due to a conflict between the PKK militant group, which the U.S. designated as a terrorist group, and the Turkish army. The conflict put the lives of the community at stake. Ten years ago, in spite of the ongoing risk, the Dirils returned to the village to rebuild.

Various religious groups joined the family in their call for a thorough investigation about the couple’s fate.

“There has been much trauma inflicted on the children of Hurmuz and Simoni,” said Juliana Taimoorazy, founder and president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council. “We are requesting the Turkish authorities to treat this case with urgency and care and provide the grieving Diril family with much-deserved answers,” Taimoorazy added.