During the year surrounding World War I, more than half of the Assyrian population in the Ottoman Empire was systematically murdered. The majority of those that remained were either slaughtered, deported, and forced to leave their homeland. That genocide of over half a million Assyrians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 is a fact but has largely been forgotten by the world. The Assyrian Genocide is still a dark shadow over the Assyrian People.
This pain and suffering continue in the collective memory of the Assyrians, as Turkey continues to deny and publicly denounce responsibility for this largely forgotten crime during the First World War. Being ignored is being killed twice.
Genocide denial and the right of recognition.
Monday, March 26th of 2007.
Conference room PC7C050
Meer is an Assyro-Chaldean Village in the South East of Turkey. It was part of the 8 main Christian villages of the region. The village survived the genocide in 1915.
Ever since Meer kept seeing its inhabitants leaving the place. In the 1980s and 1990’s the continuous violence in the region between the Turkish Government and the PKK (Kurdish Worker’s Party) resulted in the desertion of the village.
Today, there is just one house left in Meer, out of the hundreds that were there at the beginning of the 20th century. The Diril Family is the last one living in Meer.
Bedri Diril’s parents decided to move back to Meer during the first peace process in the mountains of Hakkari and Sirnak, thinking life will be easier than how it used to be. They started to build the village again. Little by little. Giving it back the feeling of paradise lost in the mountains far from everything.
On a snowy day in January 2020, when Meer is completely cut off from the rest of the world, Simoni and Hurmuz disappeared. No way to reach out to the elderly couple. An eye witness reported that he saw the couple being kidnapped by armed militants. Two men and a woman. However, it is known that the person who made the statement bore a grudge against the family.
Bedri and his family directly came to the Village to look for his parents. The area is immense, and even with the help of the army to search the area, it is almost impossible to cover all the mountains. Unfortunately, the lifeless body of Simoni Diril was found by the river after a few days of investigation. As you are writing those words, Hurmuz Diril is still missing.
Bedri’s Family is still actively looking for Hurmuz Diril. They are also still looking for the person who committed such horrible acts. Even though there is one witness, this man cannot be trusted and the low effort from the official authority is not helping solve the case at all.
The area is too wide for the Turkish Government to send soldiers on the ground. The Turkish army decided to finance a new UAV Drone. Every day they scan the mountains without any way for the Diril family to know about it. When night comes, it is very hard to identify if that dot of light in the sky is a drone or a star.
A Tribute to Simoni and Hurmuz Diril. Special Thanks to Bedri Diril, for his support, strength and trust. All my love and support towards the Diril Family.