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09/23/2020 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – Earlier this month, Turkish state media published an article series arguing that Turkey is the international ally needed by Iraq’s city of Mosul. The series also lamented Iraq’s official use of the name Nineveh, an Assyrian-Christian word, to describe Mosul. The article said that Mosul needs help and that “the only country that has the interest and ability to fulfill this roll… is, after all, Turkey.”

This national article now appears to have paved the way within Turkey domestically for an announcement made on Sunday. The Governor of Mosul stated that they will cooperate with Turkey to build a railroad between Mosul and Turkey. Minimal other details were provided, except that the railway project is one among many projects discussed between the Governor of Mosul and Turkey.

Historically, Mosul is an Assyrian-Christian city that was known for centuries as Nineveh (including within the Bible). Later, Mosul became a central hub in Northern Iraq when it was occupied by the Ottoman Empire (modern day Turkey). As the empire collapsed, Assyrian-Christians were the victims of a Turkish genocide. The 2014 genocide towards Christians perpetuated by ISIS, whom Turkey supports, was the final blow to Mosul’s Christians.

Turkey is pursuing a policy which expands into territory formerly controlled by the Ottoman Empire. It is a policy which includes an attempt at rewriting history, particularly Christian history, in these areas. For Iraq’s Christians, who have already experienced so much historical and ongoing trauma related to genocide, such actions further encourage their emigration from Iraq.

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