What does it mean to be Yezidi in Turkey?

Today is the 9th anniversary of the Yezidi Genocide. This genocide was carried out by ISIS in the Shingal area of northern Iraq in 2014. The Yezidi community became victims of their beliefs. They have faced dozens of orders until now due to their beliefs. Everyone has an idea about them, but what do they say about themselves? […]

What does it mean to be Yezidi in Turkey?
What does it mean to be Yezidi in Turkey?
  • Yayınlanma3 August 2023 09:57
  • Güncelleme3 August 2023 11:26

Today is the 9th anniversary of the Yezidi Genocide. This genocide was carried out by ISIS in the Shingal area of northern Iraq in 2014.

The Yezidi community became victims of their beliefs. They have faced dozens of orders until now due to their beliefs.

Everyone has an idea about them, but what do they say about themselves?

Land, water, and cemeteries are sacred to Yezidis. They make an amulet from land and wear it on their neck. Every Yezidi certainly has an amulet from land. We call this amulet as ‘berat’. They bring together their land where they go. Three times a day they take that amulet out and kiss it. They are so attached to their land.

Eyüp Burç

On the 8th anniversary of the Shingal Genocide, the representative of the Yazidi Culture Foundation of Turkey, Eyüb Burç, explains with the above words how much the Yezidis are attached to their land.

“It’s not an enactment, it’s ‘Genocide’ of Shingal”

Eyüp Burç also points out that a group and a people like the Yezidis have suffered so many massacres and genocides that it is wrong to define these orders as a number, like the 73rd and 74th. These tragic events that happened to the Yezidis should be defined as the “Shingal Genocide,” which has been recognized as genocide by several states.

Yezidis who are spiritually connected to their land are still alone with so many genocides. They still cannot return to the their land.

Thousands of them still live in camps in the south and are far from Shingal. Those who live in the north cannot liberate their land from the hands of the guards.

What happened in the village of Zewra of Viranşehir district in Şanlıurfa was an example of this. Most of the people of Şanlıurfa are Kurds and also Turkish and Arabic people live there.

“This is a conclusion of state policy 150 years”

The Yezidis, who left their country and went to Europe in the 1990s due to oppression by the state, also handed over their land to their relatives. However, they cannot take their land from the hands of these people.

Eyüb Burç, Representative of the Yezidi Culture Foundation of Turkey

According to journalist Eyüp Burç, this is a conclusion of state policy 150 years.

This is a state policy from the Ottoman Empire that is keen on until today. Invasion of the property of non-Muslims is permitted for them. The state sees it that way as well. It started with the Armenians, then it was done with the Romanians, and then it was done with the Yezidi Kurds.

Eyüp Burç

“They say that Yezidis worship for devil”

The Yezidis are one of the oldest groups in this country. The Yezidi Kurds have believed in their religion for two thousand years.

Yezidis believe in Tawûsî Melek (Peacock Angel). Three times a day they turn to the sun and pray.

The Tawûsî Melek whom the Yezidis believe, was called “the devil” by their Muslim neighbors, and the Yezidis were excluded from society.

It is said of the Yezidis that they believe in an evil angel. They have changed their religion. They are apostates (people who have left Islam). They worship to the devil. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about Yezidis. Yezidis do not worship the devil. Unfortunately, these two major misconceptions caused the genocide of an entire people. This misinformation was the cause of our massacre.

Eyüp Burç

Despite these misconceptions about the Yezidis, they do not leave their land and try to return to their homes.

Those who confiscate the property of the Yezidis in the village of Zewra have now begun to destroy the Yezidi cemeteries.

Because they know that cemeteries are sacred to us, so they attack cemeteries”

Sociologist Azad Barış

The sociologist Azad Barış, who is also from this village, talks about the prevention of the return of the Yezidis;

Because they know that cemeteries are sacred to Yezidis, and they attack the cemeteries and destroy the graves of our ancestors.

These attackers are not alone. They have support from the state. Also, their tribe is big in the region. There is tribal brutality. They attack us and say you are Yezidis, you are infidels, you have not any support.

The trials for these attacks are continuing in court. However, I am not sure that will give a result.

Azad Barış

Before there were 28 Yazidi villages in the area between Karacadağ and Viranşehir. Now, there are not these villages.

In Turkey, there were more than 10,000 Yazidi Kurds living in Batman, Amed, Riha, and Mardin.

Now there are only 500 of them left.

Journalist Eyüp Burç gives details about the number of Yezidis: “The government did everything to reduce our number to this level. They even said, if you want, we can give your dogs passports and take them to Europe.”

This news was translated and edited by Yonca Sarsılmaz