In this program we discuss three main issues:
a) the closure of Assyrian schools in Turkey
b) the actors behind the then anti-Assyrian propaganda
c) a special case of land grab in Zaz village by the state, after a mineral was found there.
Aydin Aslan, resident of Brussels, originating from Zaz in Turabdin, shares with us his personal experience at the time when Assyrian monastery schools of Mor Gabriel and Zafaran were closed by Turkish authorities 40 years ago. It was done under the pretext that these schools inhabited “Armenian terrorists”. In reality no Armenian pupil has ever studied at these monasteries.
The real reason was, according to Aydin Aslan, that the Assyrian national Movement in Diaspora had become active and gain terrain within the Assyrian community. This put the regimes of the Middle East in action against it, by using Assyrian clergymen and other agents. The divisions within the Assyrian Movement in Sweden also affected the decision of school closure because some of the members who were expelled from the Movement falsely informed the Swedish and Turkish authorities about Assyrian activists, he says.
A land of 8 Hectares of the family Aslan was recently confiscated by the state after it appeared that a special stone mineral was found there. A road building company, who needs the mineral in the foundation of the road, offered the family 80.000 Euros. But the local court decided to expropriate the land and confiscated it when members of the family disputed over ownership. The higher court in Ankara approved the confiscation.
In Zaz there are no Assyrians except a nun in Mor Dimet Church, which we interviewed a few months ago. But now when the peace slowly returns to the region, some 7 families are restoring their houses or building new ones, Aydin says.