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04/17/2020 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – An Assyrian Christian journalist currently living in Istanbul, Isa Karatus, has reported that gunshots were fired at his house in Mardin on the morning of April 14th. He does not regularly live at the Mardin house, and thus was not home when the attack occurred. An investigation is ongoing.

Karatus said to the media, “When we consider the increasing attacks and provocations against the Assyrians recently, this attack is likely to be scaring and intimidating for Assyrians who are considering returning to their villages.”

This follows a recent and ongoing investigation into the disappearance of the Diril couple, who were abducted by the PKK (a terrorist organization) in Eastern Turkey earlier this year. The elderly wife’s body was recently discovered. They had returned to their village in an attempt to rebuild the Assyrian Christian presence after the violence had forced them to leave several years ago. This incident has also been interpreted by the community as an attempt to scare Assyrian Christians from returning home.

Assyrian Christians were victims of the Ottoman-era genocide conducted against ethnic Christians a century ago. This genocide has never been recognized by the authorities, and the policies which facilitated the genocide have not been addressed. Journalists are also highly targeted by the current government.

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