Tuesday, June 27, 2017

More Assyrian land woes in Turkey

ASSYRIAN (MODERN SYRIAC) WATCH: Turkey Seizes Assyrian Monastery Property (Ygar Gültekin, http://www.agos.com.tr via AINA).
After Mardin became a Metropolitan Municipality, its villages were officially turned into neighbourhoods as per the law and attached to the provincial administration. Following the legislative amendment introduced in late 2012, the Governorate of Mardin established a liquidation committee. The Liquidation Committee started to redistribute in the city, the property of institutions whose legal entity had expired. The transfer and liquidation procedures are still ongoing.

In 2016, the Transfer, Liquidation and Redistribution Committee of Mardin Governorate transferred to primarily the Treasury as well as other relevant public institutions numerous churches, monasteries, cemeteries and other assets of the Syriac community in the districts of Mardin. The Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation appealed to the decision yet the liquidation committee rejected their appeal last May. The churches, monasteries and cemeteries whose ownerships were given to the Treasury were then transferred to the Diyanet.

Inquiries of the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation revealed that dozens of churches and monasteries had been transferred to the Treasury first and then allocated to the Diyanet. And the cemeteries have been transferred to the Metropolitan Municipality of Mardin. The maintenance of some of the churches and monasteries are currently being provided by the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation and they are opened to worship on certain days. Similarly, the cemeteries are still actively used by the Syriac community who visits them and performs burial procedures. The Syriacs have appealed to the Court for the cancellation of the decision.

Oh dear. I had thought that the complications regarding the lands associated with the Mor Gabriel Monastery (whose claim on them reportedly goes back many centuries) had all been resolved. I guess there is more to be sorted out.

The Turkish Government will want to take a close look at this one. They will want to ensure that everything proceeds transparently and according to the law and natural justice. The world, including the ECHR, is watching.

Background on this story is here and many links.

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