Assyrians-Suryoye Occupy a Governmental Building in Lausanne-Switzerland

By Matay Arsan

July 24, 2000

(Beth Suryoyo Othuroyo-Europe): 
This afternoon, approximately a hundred members of the Patriotic Revolutionary Organization of Beth Nahrin (PROB) forced entry in a governmental building in Lausanne, Switzerland. 

The Assyrian-Suryoye activists aim to attract the attention of the media and the Swiss government on the following issues: 

  • In 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne denied the Assyrian-Suryoyo people in Turkey their national rights. This treaty has been the cause for the denial of their existence as a people.
  • The continuing oppression and injustice on the Assyrian-Suryoyo people in Turkey.
  • The international recognition of the Assyrian-Suryoyo people.

A document has been composed regarding the Turkish injustice and the Treaty of Lausanne. It will be presented to the Swiss government and the European Parliament. 

Furthermore, a lawsuit will be carried against the Treaty of Lausanne. According to the Assyrian-Suryoye activists of the PROB this treaty should be condemned by the international community for its denial of the Assyrian-Suryoyo people. 

The Assyrian-Suryoye demonstrators waited a month to be granted a permission for a peaceful demonstration through the streets of the city of Lausanne. Eventually, however, the Swiss government refused to grant the permission. This pushed the Assyrian-Suryoye activists to take action and to show that they can no longer tolerate the denial of the existence of their people. 

Recently, in the city of Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, the European Union presented Turkey with its requirements for entry in the European Union. The criteria focus on the protection of human rights and the improvement of the situation of minorities in the Turkish Republic. According to the historical 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, non-muslim groups were granted a few rights; even these rights were not given to the Christian Assyrian-Suryoye. The Assyrian Suryoye activists demand an increased improvement in the treatment of the Assyrian-Suryoye people by the Turkish Republic. They also want the "Treaty" of Copenhagen not go into the history books as another Lausanne Treaty in which their people are forgotten and denied. 

The activists are not thinking of leaving the building until representatives of the government have received the documents mentioned above. The occupation takes place in exactly the same building in which the meeting for the Treaty of Lausanne took place in 1923, and in which the Assyrian-Suryoyo people lost their national rights. 

Matay Arsan 

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