Repatriating Yezidis ‘fight’ with Assyrians for road
Some 100 Yezidi families, who plan to repatriate to the southeastern province of Mardin from Europe after four decades, have found themselves in a “road battle” with Assyrians living in the nearby village.
According to Demirören News Agency, the first group of the Yezidis returned to the Kaleli neighborhood of the Nusaybin district recently to set preparations for the return of all 100 families from Belgium and Germany.
They had legal permission to construct 100 villas, a social complex and a place of worship. But, a bolt from the blue came a week ago from the neighboring Taşkale village, where the Assyrian community lives.
The Taşkale residents blocked the 4-kilometer road to Kaleli, saying that the region is their “private-registered land.”
Due to the blockage, the works to construct the buildings and the infrastructure could not start, and Yezidis, who park their vehicles some distance away, have to walk about 4 kilometers to reach the neighborhood.
Making a denunciation against Assyrian neighbors, the Yezidis asked the local officials to “clear the road” or “open a new one for them.”
“Even if it is private-registered land, closing a road is illegal,” said Ömer Demir, Yezidis’ lawyer. “Taşkale residents may have deeds, but when the cadastral surveying was performed, Yezidis were not here. They were living abroad, in Europe.”
“We just want to repatriate to our ancestors’ lands,” said Fayik Kaleli, a 52-year-old Yezidi who had to leave the region when he was 17 as his village was emptied due to terrorism back then.
İzzettin Yalçın, another Yezidi, said 100 families have decided to return, and “they will.”
“With the help of the state, we want to rebuild our village,” he said. “The state should back us, we are citizens too.”
Gevriye Aslan, an Assyrian from Taşköy, underlined that the land is “theirs.”
“Can I interfere in the land belonging to someone else?” Aslan asked and pointed to state officials to solve the case.
“The state makes roads, not me or you.”