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Letter From 19,000 Assyrians to Turkey: Do Not Touch St. Gabriel Monastery

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.aina.org/news/20090204175247.htm Open Letter From 19,000 Assyrians to Turkey: Do Not Touch St. Gabriel Monastery Posted GMT 2-4-2009 23:52:47 The
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4, 2009
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      Open Letter From 19,000 Assyrians to Turkey: Do Not Touch St. Gabriel Monastery
      Posted GMT 2-4-2009 23:52:47

      The group "Aktion Mor Gabriel" in Germany, held a
      protest demonstration in Berlin (AINA 1-27-2009)
      against Turkey's attempts to confiscate the Mor
      Gabriel Monastery. According to official figures
      from the Berlin police, more than 19 000 people
      gathered. It is undoubtedly the largest Assyrians demonstration ever in Europe.

      Buses filled with young, old, men and women from
      Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, and from
      several cities in Germany emptied outside the
      magnificent cathedral, the Berliner Dom. In an
      hour the cathedral's park area turned to a
      meeting place for Assyrians from all over Europe.

      Just a stone's throw from the gathering is the
      Pergamon Museum. Inside the museum you can watch
      the impressive Babylonian procession street,
      built by the Assyrian king Nebuchadnezzar II
      (604-562 BC). Lions in the relief walking along
      the procession street's blue and ocher colored
      glazed walls towards the mighty gate of Ishtar.
      They are witnesses of a great past and have seen
      many generations of Assyrians come and go.

      The contrast in Berlin

      Inside the Pergamon Museum, you can watch the
      Babylonian procession street and the gate of
      Ishtar, one of ancient history's most unique
      remains from the great Assyrian empire, while
      outside, a stone's throw from the museum you are
      met by today's brutal truth, where the remains of
      the Assyrian empire protest against Turkey's
      attempt to confiscate the Mor Gabriel Monastery,
      which has become a symbol of the Christian
      Assyrians since it was built in 397 A.D.

      Before the protest march was moving towards its
      final destination, the Syriac Orthodox Church
      Archbishop of Germany, Julio Hanna Aydin, made a short speech.

      - I am extremely pleased to see so many young
      people involved in the Mor Gabriel issue. I am
      overwhelmed with joy to see all of our
      organizations, regardless of name, flags and
      colors. It is the day of unity, said Bishop Hanna Aydin.

      Under the leadership of Bishop Hanna Aydin the
      crowd prayed the lord's prayer, after that the
      demonstrators began to move towards the
      Brandenburg Tor, the arch of triumph that has
      become the symbol of a free, democratic and
      reunited Germany, where several demonstration speeches would be held.

      Berlin's main avenue, Unter den Linden, was
      closed for car traffic for the demonstration.
      This avenue which is Berlin's cultural and
      political center is heavily visited by tourists.
      Some curious tourists asked the organizers in yellow vests what it is about.

      The demonstration took the march from the
      Berliner Dom at Pariser Platz to the Brandenburg
      Gate in one hour. "Do not touch the Mor Gabriel" the crowd scanted all the way.

      The list of speakers consisted of representatives
      from various organizations, Assyrian, Armenian,
      German Evangelical Church representatives, other
      coreligionists and human rights activists. Also
      the authors Yelda Özcan and Recep Marasli showed
      their solidarity and gave speeches during the demonstration.

      The line of argument in the speakers' message was
      that Turkey should stop harassing the Assyrians.
      Most speakers noted that the feudal system is a
      problem and the village guards armed with
      government weapons are raging freely and
      terrorizing the Assyrians in the area. The
      Turkish State which has started this systematic
      state terror by using Kurdish clans and village
      guards has to immediately stop it if they want to
      belong to the civilized world, emphasized the majority of speakers.

      History is present

      A few hundred meters south of the Brandenburg
      Gate, where 19 000 Assyrians were assembled, the
      Holocaust Mahnmal, a monument to the Holocaust,
      which covers a 19 000 m2 area in the middle of
      Berlin's most central neighborhoods. The monument
      was built as an unforgettable symbol of the crime
      that Nazi Germany had committed against the
      city's once flourishing Jewish community.

      Turkey, however, does the contrary, and responds
      to its dark history in an entirely different way.
      Just a few kilometers from the demonstration site
      is Hardenberg Strasse, the street where the
      genocide architect of Seyfo, Talat Pasha, was
      killed in March 15, 1921 by an Armenian survivor
      of the genocide. Seyfo-genocide was staged by the
      young Turks under the direction of among others
      Talat Pasha. The current Turkish government
      continues its policies in the same spirit. With
      its aggression and its harassment of the
      Assyrians and other Christians in the country,
      the Turkish state shows that even today they follow in Talat Pashas footsteps.

      Turkey seems to have difficulties to put up with
      the fact that there are a couple of thousand
      Assyrians left in Turabdin, the origin area of
      the Assyrians, and that they have a monastery in
      the area, although they already have eradicated
      several hundred thousand of them during the Seyfo
      genocide. Turkey wants to erase the last remains
      and to complete the genocide that Talat Pasha and
      the young Turks began in the shadow of the First
      World War. A country which does not recognize its
      crimes and apologize for them is always prone to
      commit the same crimes against humanity. Learn
      from Germany, Turkey! Dare to face your dark history and make up with it!

      By Dikran Ego
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