|Re: THE TRAGEDY OF THE ASSYRIANS-1933|
- Saturday, September 25 2004, 7:32:48 (CEST)|
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They had as neighbors Kurdish tribes as savage and as uncivilized as themselves, while to the north in the direction of Van the Armenian settlements began, people who, if less warlike, were perhaps a little more versed in the arts of business and agriculture.
To the east runs the Persian-Turkish frontier, a series of high and desolate peaks culminating in Mount Ararat, some seventy miles to the north. To the west, also in broken mountainous country, lived Kurdish tribes, which, indeed, were to be found intermingled with the Assyrians even in Hakkiari. These Kurds, though by race and religion the opposite of the Assyrians, were in other respects not unlike them.
Besides the Assyrian mountaineers, who were Turkish subjects, other Assyrians lived in
the plains to the west of Lake Urmiyah. They too suffered in the war vicissitudes of the Assyrian people, but their position, as will be related in due course, is not that of the mountaineers. Other Assyrian elements lived in the lower country south of Hakkiari, within the frontier of what is now Iraq. These people were subject to Kurdish Aghas and were not independent like their kinsmen farther north, but during the war they suffered little less, and to day their fortunes are closely linked to those of the mountaineers.
*** The Kurds, like the Persians, are Aryans though, unlike them, belong to the Sunni and not to the Shia sect. The Assyrians, like the Arabs, are of Semitic descent.
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