Encouraged by the recent apology to Armenians by thousands of Turkish intelectuals and disissidents, a Turkish citizen has done the unprecedented: Berzan Boti (not his real name) of Siirt is giving all the land he inherited to an Assyrian organization. Along with Armenians, indigenous Assyrians were also victims of the WWI genocide at the hands of Ottoman Empire’s government during WWI:
Boti’s letter to Sabri Atman, founder and director of the Assyrian Seyfo Center in Europe who will now be responsible for the returned land (south of the Lake Van), states:
“When I found out that the properties that I and my brothers inherited from our father wasn’t our own, but properties taken from the murdered Assyrians in 1915 I felt an indescribable feeling of guilt and shame. I’ve been thinking long and hard before I have come to this decision. I tried to put myself in their position. I have personally apologized to every Assyrian and Armenian I’ve met. But this does not get rid of the crime our ancestors committed. Even if I am personally not responsible for what happened in 1915, I felt as I had to do more than just to apologize. Finally, I came to the decision to give back all properties that I inherited from my forefathers to Seyfo Center, which works for the recognition of the Seyfo (Assyrian) genocide in 1915” (slightly edited – Blogian).
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