|Re: genocide part 4|
- Monday, December 24 2007, 23:22:49 (CET)|
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The catholics had been working as missionaries in the region since the 16th century. Some of the Syriacs had become Catholics and were called Chaldeans. France considered itself as the protectors of Catholics in the Ottoman empire. The number of these Catholics before the war is believed to be 40 thousand.
Diyarbekir was the center of the Syriac Orthodox church. At the beginning of the century, the community consisted of apporximately 55 thousand people, 30 thousand of whom lived in the Mardin sanjak. The Syriac Orthodox people also lived in the state of Syria, but there is no relation between the state of Syria of that period and the country of Syria today. In the beginning of the 1890s, 6 thousand Syriac Orthodox people migrated to USA. According to the census held in 1914, in addition to the above mentioned populations belonging to the Syriac Orthodox church, 7 thousand syriac Catholics, 7 thousand Armenians and 3,500 Protestants were living in Mardin. 153 thousand people forming the majority of the population were Muslims(Karpat p176). 90% of them were Kurds. There were also Jewish, Arabian and gypsy minorities in the region.
Since the midst of the 19th century, Kurds Haverkan federation had been in Tur Abdin, which is in the eastern portion of the Mardin sanjak. This federation consisted of some members of the 24 Kurdish tribes left from the Botan Emirate. Syriac Christians and Yezidis received equal treatment in this federation. Christians living in Hakkari under Kurdish rule received a quiet opposite treatment. Kurds considered interests of the tribe much more important than difference in religion. Tribes also included Kurds who did not belong to any tribe. They did not receive equal treatment as the other members of the tribe. Kurdish tribes were at conflict with one another one one hand and with the Ottoman leadership on the other.
While the celeb tribe supported the Syriacs, Haco(it must be Elik, Hinno is wrong here)"cintributed actively in the murder of Syriacs as well as in the shedding of blood against them"(Hinno p32). That is to say, that these two Kurdish tribes protected "their own Syriacs", but put to the sword everyone who opposed their interest without any distinction between Syriac or Kurds.
Kurdish tribes regarded the Syriac villagers as more valuable than the abandoned Kurdish workers since they had a more advanced technology of agriculture.
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