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Government Sponsored Terror Squad Killing Assyrians, Other Minorities in Turkey

By Dikran Ego

2/10/2010 Turkey (AINA) – Thousands of unsolved political and religious murders have been allegedly committed by the terrorist network Ergenekon in Turkey . Among these are the murders of up to 50 Assyrians during a ten year period between 1987 and 1997 in the Turabdin area, in southeastern Turkey . Assyrians have begun to speak openly about it for the first time.

In an interview with Cihan news agency, Gebro Tokgöz, an Assyrian living in Midyat has asked for an investigation into the unsolved murders of Assyrians.

“Ergenekon-prosecutors should investigate all killings committed against the Assyrians in Turabdin.” said Gebro Tokgöz. “At that time we often received anonymous threat letters and phone calls. Our villages had been attacked, the area’s most famous doctor, Edward Tanriverdi, was murdered when he was on his way home. Even a pregnant woman and her husband were brutally murdered. But in case after case, the police closed the investigation, citing ‘unknown perpetrators.'”

On November 1st, 1997, Varner Basoglu, the son of the Syriac Catholic Church Board director Can Basoglu, was found murdered. The murder came after the church had pursued a prosecution against the Turkish state, which had confiscated the church’s property. On February 5th, 2006, the 60-year-old priest Andrea Santoro was shot to death at his church in the city of Trabzon . The killer was a 16-year-old boy. On July 2nd, 2006, the Catholic priest Pierre Brunissen was stabbed in the city of Samsun . On January 19th, 2007, the Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was murdered on the streets at midday in Istanbul . Hrant Dink’s murderer was 17 years old. Hrant Dink’s murderer has since been treated as a national hero by the Turkish police, where police officers posed proudly with the murderer in front of cameras.

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