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Fires Destroy Six Christian Villages in Turkey, Authorities Suspect Arson

Scott Slayton | Contributor to ChristianHeadlines.com | Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Fires Destroy Six Christian Villages in Turkey, Authorities Suspect Arson

Fires Destroy Six Christian Villages in Turkey, Authorities Suspect Arson


Fires ravaged six Christian villages in southern Turkey. Fires, which many believe were started intentionally, engulfed the villages of ELbegendi, Guzelsu, Dibek, Uckoy, Ucyol, and Dagici along the Turkey-Syria border, Faithwire Reports.

According to International Christian Concern, “arson has become a recognized insurgent tactic which targets the agricultural resources of villages.” 

Last week, insurgents in Turkey are believed to have burnt down between 700 and 800 olive trees last week.

In the most recent incident, authorities suspect arson because fire has been a common tool used against farmers in Syria and Iraq as well. According to The Telegraph, one official told The Guardian that 50,000 hectares have been burned in the region since May, resulting in a loss of $50 million. 

The fires make the nation’s food shortage even more dire. Experts believe that agricultural production had already fallen by almost one-third because of the violence. In addition, “an all-time low” food production immediately endangers the lives of 6.5 million people and could cause another 4 million into food insecurity as well.

A man named Fowaz lamented results of the fires to The Guardian, saying that the country was looking at the best harvest he could remember. He commented, “It’s been more than 60 years since the harvest was this good. The years before we were just planting, but the harvest didn’t come. This year was to be one of the best maybe of our lives.”

This is just the latest incident causing anxiety for Syriac Christians.

As Christian Headlines previously reported, Syriac Christians feel threatened by the build-up of the Turkish military at the border and they have requested that the United States assist them. The Syrian Military Council released a statement explaining the dire nature of their situation, saying, “The Turkish Army started to remove the wall between Turkey and Northern Syria in the Tal-Abyad area. Turkey has amassed its forces and its jihadist proxies at that point. It clearly aims to invade Northern Syria.” The statement continued, “Turkey aims to kill and destroy us and to finish the genocide against our people. {There} are still more than 100,000 Syriac Christians living in NE–Syria and they will be killed or driven away if Turkey invades.”

The U.S. has yet to publicly respond to the Syriac Christians call for help, but in Turkey, authorities say they will investigate the cause of the fires as soon as the flames die down.

Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”

Photo courtesy: Pixabay