Yezidi migrants in Germany mull possible Turkey return
Mehmet Halis İş MARDİN - Doğan News Agency
The members of the Germany-based Yezidi association applied to Şırnak Governor’s Office to provide electricity and water to their houses and worship places. DHA photoA group of Yezidis who had left their villages in the southeastern province of Şırnak for Germany decided to return to their hometown and sent a 10-people group to make inspections there.
The group of ten arrived in Mağara village in Şırnak’s İdil district on behalf of the Yezidi families, who settled in Germany in 1985.
The Germany-based Kivah (Mağara) Village Development Association sent a commission to the village to examine the costs of damages in the old houses once used by the local Yezidis.
The Yezidis, also called Ezidi in Kurdish, are a religious group who represent an ancient religious sect linked to Zoroastranism and Sufism. Yezidis in Turkey worship the sun and say they mistakenly portrayed as worshipping devil.
The members of the association applied to Şırnak Governor’s Office and İdil district governor’s office to provide electricity and water to their houses and worship places in the Mağara Village, around 25 kilometers away from Mardin’s Midyat district.
Nurettin Genç, 58, one of the Yezidis who migrated to Bremen in 1985, said they were 92 households in Mağara village in 1985 but this number increased to 450 in Europe.
“We are hopeful of the recent peace process and we decided to return to our village. This is the first time I visit my village since the date I left. It’s been 28 years. I am really excited and I wanted to kiss the soil,” said Genç.
Yezidis are primarily Kurdish speaking, and most live in the Mosul region of northern Iraq. There are traditional communities in Georgia, Turkey and Syria, but these have declined since the 1990s with some of their members migrating to Europe, especially to Germany.
Osman Akbulut, another member of the 10-people Yezidi group, said that they would carry out a damage assessment in the village and then make repairs.
“The infrastructure, electricity and waterworks supply is needed here. We told our problems to governor’s office. We expect them to meet these needs. We have decided to return to our village for good. But this would take time because there is no electricity or water in our village now. Our houses are devastated,” said Akbulut.
He said they expected the neighbor villagers to support their decision to return.
“A new era is starting in Turkey. We are hopeful that everything will be better. We call on all Yezidis to return to their villages,” he added.
Hazal Genç, who left the village at the age of 19, said she cried when she first returned to the village.
“We trusted our state and decided to return. We want to make our city as beautiful as its old days,” she said.