Between 1970 and 2007, more than 70 Assyrians were murdered in Turkish-occupied Assyria. In most cases, no one has been convicted for the murders.
In many cases, the killers were known but no one was arrested for these systematic killings. In some cases, it was Turkish police or the military that killed Assyrian civilians. But the overwhelming majority of the murders were committed by members of Kurdish clans from nearby villages.
This is a recurring pattern that is recognizable from the Seyfo genocide. The emergence of the Kurdish terrorist organization PKK in the late 1970s meant a much worse security situation for the Assyrians. The PKK has systematically operated in Assyrian villages in Turabdin, Hakkari and Şırnak. The terrorist group had several strategic intentions in transferring the conflict to Assyrian areas.
A primary goal seems to have been to politically enslave the Assyrians for their own agenda. Another goal was to physically place the Assyrians in the crossfire between the PKK and the Turkish military. The more Assyrians and Christians killed, the better for the PKK’s propaganda goal to single out Turkey as a rogue state and portray the Kurds and the PKK as the good guys. The PKK’s strategy put the Assyrians in a dilemma and made them part of a conflict that had nothing to do with them. The result of this strategy is the dramatic demographic change we have witnessed. The oppressed Assyrian population fled or were forced to leave and Kurds moved in. The PKK thus changed the demographics in Kurdish favor by deliberately moving the war and conflict to Assyrian areas.
With the result in hand, we can see that the Assyrians in the Hakkari and Şırnak regions were almost completely wiped out. The villages were burned several times by the Turkish military on the pretext that the PKK was hiding in the area. Even in Turabdin, many villages were emptied and areas dominated by Assyrians have demographically changed drastically in favor of Kurds since then. Without this demographic change, the number of Assyrians in this region today would be between half and one million, instead of today’s approximately five thousand Assyrians.
Assyria TV recently broadcast an interview with the author Abrohom Mirza who has documented a large part of these systematic murders and the resulting expulsion of Assyrians from their areas of origin. The two-and-a-half-hour interview describes most of the murders that had been committed against Assyrians by the Kurds in the neighboring villages.
An example of one of the more bestial murders took place in the village of Arnas. An Assyrian couple was attacked in their home and shot several times at close range. The murderers aimed at the couple’s eyes and hit but they did not stop there. They are said to have taken the time to bet on the sex of the pregnant woman’s fetus. According to what is known, the killers cut open the woman’s stomach and took out the fetus, a scene that was common during the Seyfo genocide.