22November2017

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION IN SPECIAL CONSULTATIVE STATUS WITH THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Call to support Aramean survival in Turkey

Six Recommendations to Turkey unaddressed by the UPR Report

With Turkey's native Aramean people facing extinction in the country, the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs) took the opportunity once more to stress the gravity of their situation during the UPR outcome on Turkey. The WCA again voiced its constructive recommendations to the Turkish government, which aim to ensure the implementation of minority rights in accordance with international law.

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Click here or on the photos to watch the speech!

Thank you, Mr President.

We welcome Turkey’s distinguished Delegation, its recognition of the importance of this UPR process and its acceptance of the Report’s recommendations regarding human rights, minority rights, anti-discriminatory measures and legislation to ensure equality for all citizens who try to integrate into Turkish society.

At the same time, however, we would like to stress that still much more can and should be done by the Turkish State concerning human rights and minority rights.

In particular with respect to the indigenous Aramean (otherwise known as Syriac) people who are struggling for survival in their ancient homeland in Southeast Turkey, but whose plight and struggle are unfortunately not addressed by the Report.

So although the Report does not call upon Turkey to consider the Aramean Question in Turkey, our NGO that represents the voice of the Arameans therefore asks Turkey to consider these 6 recommendations:

  1. To officially recognize the Aramean people and grant them legal status;
  2. To accept its responsibility in restoring, safeguarding, developing and promoting the endangered Aramaic cultural heritage in Southeast Turkey;
  3. To stop the ongoing expropriation of properties and huge amounts of land, historically and legally belonging to the Arameans, Greeks and Armenians;
  4. To take historic steps in funding schools that teach Aramaic in the Aramaic language, train teachers of this language and prepare textbooks and materials that will be used at such schools;
  5. To invest in its south-eastern region to improve the security, infrastructure, job employment and facilities for attractive life circumstances in the area;
  6. To ensure that Southeast Turkey continues to be populated by its original inhabitants and that measures are being taken to increase the present Aramean population of 3,000 souls who, again, are struggling for survival and a brighter future in Tur-Abdin.

As the remaining Arameans in Southeast Turkey keep fighting for survival in their homeland, they look eagerly forward to start a constructive dialogue with the Turkish Government on critical issues that need to be addressed both by Turkey and the international community.

Thank you, Mr. President.

 

Click here to view the statement in PDF 

Click here for the key document on "What Turkey's Aramean people want?"

 

UNOG 29HRC UPR outcome

 

 

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