The Assyrians call it the Sayfo, the Aramaic word for "sword". Many Assyrians were considered unpure by the Turks and were massacred for not giving up their Christianity and becoming Muslims. Assyrians lost their homes and possessions to the sultan, Adulhamed the Red. Even before the genocide, they had been persecuted and forced to pay high taxes.
Under the Arabs and the Turks, they were oppressed and forced assimilated to the empires, and many lost their independence. Those who have survived keep their common unity, especially in their deep Christian faith.
Personal experience quoted from the Assyrian VoiceEdit
|“||"One day the Moslems assembled all the children of from six to fifteen years and carried them off to the headquarters of the police. There they led the poor little things to the top of a mountain known as Ras-el Hadjar and cut their throats one by one, throwing their bodies into an abyss." ||”|
Overview of the massacreEdit
The Assyrian genocide (also known as Sayfo or Seyfo) was committed against the Assyrian population of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War by the Young Turks. The Assyrian population of northern Mesopotamia included the Tur Abdin, Hakkari, Van, Siirt regions of present-day southeastern Turkey and the Urmia region of northwestern Iran. They was forcibly relocated and massacred by Ottoman (Turkish) and Kurdish forces between 1914 and 1920 under the regime of the Young Turks. Scholars have placed the number of Assyrian victims from 300,000-750,000.
The Assyrian genocide took place in the same context and time-period as the Armenian and Greek genocides. But unlike these, no official national or international recognition of the Assyrian genocide has been made, and many accounts discuss the Assyrian genocide as a part of the larger events subsumed under the Armenian genocide.
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