Turks maintain protests over Assyrian monument

9415830454dac670ef1b10ea3bacea3e_resized1.jpgFairfield’s Turkish community took its protest against the erection of a monument recognising genocide against Assyrians under the Ottoman Empire during World War I to State Parliament. Picture: Phil Rogers

See photos of the protest over the Assyrian monument outside Parliament House

Related: The group behind the Assyrian genocide monument is asking the community to donate funds to build the $70,000 memorial.

MUSTAFA Karabay just wants to be able to walk down the main street of Fairfield and say hello to everybody.

The problem is, he no longer wants to speak to anyone from the Assyrian community.

And neither do his friends at the Bonnyrigg Turkish mosque.

He believes the approval of the Assyrian genocide monument has divided the city. He says it has caused offence to the Turkish community, who are widely believed to be responsible for the genocide under the Ottoman Empire.

“There are a lot of Turkish people that hate Assyrians now,” he said.

Mr Karabay joined a group of 150 people who gathered at State Parliament to protest against the monument last Thursday.

The Smithfield resident said the group was made up of Turkish people who believed there was no evidence to prove their ancestors carried out the genocide against the Assyrians.

“I guarantee you that the moment the monument gets approved and erected, a day will come where certain groups or people will demolish it,” he said.

“We don’t want this kind of terror to emerge from a beautiful country.”

As well as the approval of the monument, the group was also protesting against Smithfield State Labor MP Ninos Khoshaba’s motion to have State Parliament recognise the genocide.

Mr Khoshaba said the motion would recognise all acts of genocide carried out against the Assyrian people from the early 1900s, and not just from one select group. The motion is expected to go before State Parliament soon.