Syriacs in southeast commemorate Muslim cleric as savior of ancestors
MARDİN – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotosSyriacs living in the southeastern town of Midyat have commemorated a Muslim cleric who saved a large number of Christians in 1915 through a church service.
Around 200 people, mostly Syriacs living in the southeastern province of Mardin’s Midyat district, commemorated Muslim Sheikh Fethullah Hamidi - the Muslim cleric who saved the lives of Syriacs attacked by conservative gangs and tribes in 1915 - at a service at the Mor Hadbşabo Church in the village of Ayınvert on Sept. 13, marking the 100th anniversary of Peace Day.
The service was organized by the Seyfo Committee, a committee formed by Syriacs living both in Turkey and Europe, and attended by the Diyarbakır St. Mary the Virgin’s Church Bishop Yusuf Akbulut, Federation of Syriac Associations Head Evgil Türker, along with people from Sweden, Germany and Netherlands.
Hamidi, who passed away 68 years ago and known with his tolerant attitude, was commemorated in the service moderated by Akbulut. Prayers were performed for Hamidi and his ancestors, as well as regional and global peace.
Speaking on behalf of the Europe Ayınvert Federation, the federation’s head, Sabri Yıldız, said their goal was only to celebrate “peace.”
“We want to contribute to the achievement of peace everywhere, especially in Turkey. We have no aim, but peace. [This celebration] bears importance for knowledge and awareness of history. We came here to express our gratitude to those who helped achieve peace and our friends as well,” Yıldız said.
Seyfo Committee member Tuma Çelik called for an end to oppressions, attacks and deaths in Turkey, saying “We want peace to embody today as we celebrate peace achieved 100 years ago.”
“We want oppressions, attacks and deaths to come to an end and we hope for a lasting peace,” Çelik added.