Kidnapped Christian man still missing in Turkey
A 71-year-old Assyrian Christian man, Hurmuz Diril, who lived in a village in southeast Turkey, has been missing since he and his wife Simoni were kidnapped on January 11.
In his article on International Christian Concern, Uzay Bulut reported about the kidnapping of a Christian couple in Turkey. He wrote the following:
“The decaying remains of Simoni (age 65) were found by one of her sons, Bedri Diril, in a river near their home in the village of Mehr, Kovankaya in Turkey’s province of Şırnak on March 20, two months after the abduction.
Their other son, Father Adday Remzi Diril, is a priest based in Istanbul. He is known internationally for his pastoral care of around 7,000 Iraqi Christian refugees displaced in Turkey.
The couple’s village is a historically Assyrian village located in Turkey’s southeast near the border with Iraq. It was evacuated in 1989 and 1994 because of the conflict between the Turkish army and the Kurdish PKK. The conflict included targeted kidnappings and disappearances.
Ten years ago, despite the dangers, the Diril couple returned. They hoped to rebuild their village and set an example for their fellow Assyrians in the diaspora of returning to their ancient towns and villages in southeast Turkey, historically referenced as Tur Abdin in Assyrian.
Assyrians are an indigenous people of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Iran who have inhabited those lands since antiquity. They are one of the first nations that converted to Christianity.”