Turkey makes no progress in investigating abduction of elderly Christians

Turkish authorities have failed to move forward with an investigation into the disappearance of an elderly Christian couple from Turkey’s southeastern province of Şırnak, Persecution.org website reported on Monday, citing the International Christian Concern (ICC).

 Syriac Christian couple Hurmüz and Şimoni Diril, residents of the only Christian village of the town of Beytüşşebap, Kovankaya (Mehri), went missing on Jan. 7, 2020.

 Turkish authorities launched an unsuccessful search and rescue operation. It was not until two months later, on March 20, 2020, that the dismembered body of Şimoni was found. But the whereabouts of Hurmüz remain unknown.

Authorities never opened a new search into the whereabouts of Hurmüz, the site cited a representative from the Diril family as saying, while paperwork of the autopsy of Şimuni’s death remains incomplete with large pieces of information missing.

The family is urging authorities for commitment in finding the guilty parties, while asking for "opening of an investigation into any procedural failures involving the autopsy report and an investigation into possible negligence of the authorities,’’ Persecution.org said.

“There has been much trauma inflicted on the children of Hurmuz and Simoni. We are requesting the Turkish authorities to treat this case with urgency and care and provide the grieving Diril family with much-deserved answers,” it quoted Juliana Taimoorazy, founder and president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, as saying.

 The village of Mehr has been caught in the crossfire of of various conflicts and was evacuated in 1989 and 1994 due to the conflict between the Turkish army and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for Kurdish self rule for almost 40 years.