A monastery in Southeastern Turkey was assaulted by a group of Muslims on Sunday. The altercation began when a group was trying to visit the monastery but arrived after the close of visiting hours. The group of visitors started to threaten and abuse the staff at the monastery. It is unclear if this was just a simple argument or if there will be more severe repercussions.
8/12/2013 Turkey (AINA) – A group of Muslims attacked the staff of the Saint Abraham monastery on Sunday, August 11 in the city of Midyat in the south eastern part of Turkey. The attack started when the staff explained to the group that visiting hours had ended for the day. The Muslims then started to threaten and curse the Assyrians. According to a witness who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, the Muslims said “We are PKK and we own this land, obey us or you will be sorry.”
PKK is the Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, the Kurdistan’s Workers Party.
A fistfight ensued as the Assyrians refused to let the visitors enter the monastery. When police arrived they confronted the Assyrians with pepper spray and left the attackers untouched.
The circumstances of the attack are odd, as the Muslim men had their women and children waiting nearby in their cars, who had non Turkish number plates. It is not yet known who they are or their motive for the attack on a religious institution.
“The monastery was attacked two months before this incident by young Kurds from the town of Batman, but we decided not to go public about it, this time we decided it’s enough,” said an Assyrian from the monastery.