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07/29/2019 Turkey (International Christian Concern) –  Successive fires over the weekend burned in southern Turkey, specifically threatening six Syriac Christian villages. Most of the fires have since been controlled. Local activists claim that the fires were intentionally started to eliminate the Christian heritage in the region. The authorities say that an official investigation will begin once all fire remnants are under control.

This part of Turkey borders both Iraq and Syria. In these two countries, arson has become a recognized insurgent tactic which targets the agricultural resources of villages. In Turkey’s case, these fires also targeted agriculture, as an estimated 7-800 olive trees were damaged. It is these kinds of similarities between this situation and the fires in Iraq / Syria that have caused concern that these fires were also started by arson.

The Turkish Christian villages which suffered from the fires are: Elbeğendi, Güzelsu, Dibek, Üçköy, Üçyol and Dağiçi. Some of these villages are close together, others are several miles apart. Some citizens reported health issues as a result of smoke inhalation.

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