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Foundation of a new organization
Posted by bethil (Guest) - Sunday, May 30 2004, 19:09:34 (CEST)
from - Sweden - Windows XP - Internet Explorer
Website title: news-june-04

Closing declaration of the foundation convention of the
European Syriac Union
On May, 14th and 15th 2004 the foundation convention of the European Syriac Union (ESU) was held in Brussels, the Belgian capital.

242 delegates representing the following institutions participated in this convention: Syrianska-Assyriska Riksförbundet i Sverige and the magazine Renyo Hiro from Sweden, the Union of the Syriac Associations of Switzerland, the Union of the Assyrian-Syriac Associations from Germany, the Bethnahrin Information Bureau from the Netherlands, the Institut Mésopotamie de Bruxelles and the Centre de Peuple de Mésopotamie from Belgium, the Assyrian-Syriac Culture Club Vienna from Austria and the international acting Institutions of the Assyrian-Chaldean-Syriac Union (ACSU), the Bethnahrain Free Women’s Union (HNHB) and the Union of the Youth of Mesopotamia (HCB).

On the first day of the convention the draft of the constitution was presented to the delegates and was accepted democratically by election. According to the constitution the name of the new institution is “European Syriac Union” (ESU). Then the chairman and the managing board of the union were elected. The chairman was elected first and then 18 members of the board as well as 12 deputy members of the board, altogether 31 members of the board, were elected in the board of directors of the ESU in separate ballots. Later the managing board committee determined six of the members of the board as executive organ. The executive organ consists of following persons and their tasks:

Chairman: Mr. Iskender ALPTEKIN (Switzerland)
Deputy Chairman and responsible person for foreign affairs: Mr. Fikri AYGUR (the Netherlands)
Secretary: Mrs. Rima TÜZÜN (Germany)
Cashier: Tuma ÇELIK (Switzerland)
Responsible person for women and youth: Mrs. Neriman KÜÇÜKASLAN (Sweden)
Responsible person for culture and education: Mr. Fuat OYAL (Sweden)
Responsible person for media: Mr. Lahdo HOBIL (Switzerland)

The second day of the convention besides the delegates numerous guests and representatives of the press participated. Mr. Iskender Alptekin, the chairman of the European Syriac Union, started the second day with an inaugural address. After explaining the goals of the ESU he presented the managing board to all participants. Afterwards following speaker presented their important viewpoints to the auditors: Professor Dr. Herman Teule, director of the Institute of Christian Orient from the University of Nijmegen (Netherlands), Mr. Ayad Mossad, the chairman of the Union of the Christians from the Middle East (Netherlands), the flemish-christian democratic member of parliament, Mrs. Brigitte Grouwels and Mr. Walter Van Den Bosche, Senator John Nimrod, the Secretary-General of the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA), Mr. Eshaya Isho, the Secretary-General of the Assyrian National Organization (ANO) and the priest Daniel Chammoun, the deputy of Mar Odisho Avraham, the archbishop of the Assyrian Church of the East in Europe.

The motives for the foundation of the European Syriac Union (ESU)

The Syriacs are one of the oldest people of the middle east. The Syriacs appeared already in the year 4000 before Christ with different names at different times. Starting from 2350 before Christ they formed political states, empires and kingdoms under the names Akkad, Assyria, Babylon, Aram and Osrohene (dynasty of Abgarits) and formed history. The Syriacs are one of the first peoples who converted to Christianity. Due to their special civilization and Christian characteristics they spread their culture in the whole middle east.

For more than 1600 years the Syriacs are persecuted due to their Christian faith. Although they had no political power they could retain their existence. The events during the First World War, which took place within the borders of the Ottoman Empire, was a heavy cut in the development of this people. At that time hundreds of thousands of Syriacs were massacrated and were disseized from their homes. Afterwards they were excluded from the political re-organization in the middle east. In the period between the First World War and the end of the Cold War the Syriac people was confronted with complete extermination. The policy of the forces, which directed and determined the Cold War, was driven by oil and led to the non-consideration and isolation of the Syriacs people. While in the region the rulers were determined, there were no democratic conditions for the Syriacs in the whole middle east, which could ensure their future existence. Due to the unstable and uncertain situation and the constant suppression they had to leave their homeland into all four directions.

In the last 40 years an active emigration took place into the Western European countries. Particularly in Europe the Syriacs people could develop and become active in social and cultural fields, and found numerous associations and federations. Due to the political and social movement, which takes place for 10 years, the consciousness of the search of an ethnical identity was again conceived and concretized. Furthermore innumerable demonstrations, hunger strikes, political, cultural and social events and actions were organized, in order to refer to the persisting suppression for hundreds of years of the Syriac people and to terminate the current discrimination and persecution. Therefore the demands for democratic rights could develop within the Syriac people.

On the other hand the demands of our people were published on the agenda of the European parliaments and other platforms. Therefore a necessity became apparent. Because the legitimately entitled rights of our people had to be transmitted more professionally to the responsible international authorities. Due to this challenge and due to the global change process which take place current, and their requirements to the Syriac people, the European Syriac Union (ESU) was founded. The scope of the ESU will be in the context of the European right terms.

The goals of the European Syriac union (ESU):

1. To represent the Syriacs in the homelands of the middle east and in the Diaspora.
2. To promote the integration in the European states and to maintain the own identity.
3. To develop the social and cultural points of view of the Syriacs coming from the middle east and to
create possibilities for teaching the Syriac (Suryoyo) language.
4. To create bridges between the Syriacs living in the European states.
5. To publish the requests of the Syriacs of the middle east on the agenda of the national and international political platforms.
6. To promote the return of the Syriacs from the Diaspora to the homeland.
7. To promote, develop and strengthen the position of the Syriac women within the society.
8. To solve the problems and questions of the Syriac youth.


We believe that the Syriacs could play an important role in the democratization of the Middle East because the Syriacs are an integral component of the middle east and Europe. The Syriacs living in Europe since 40 years are integrated in the European society and could therefore act as a bridge between the culture of the east and the west. This point of view and confidence rely on the historical experiences and values, which could be won in the last years of our movement. Additionally the Syriacs could participate due to their peaceful and friendly relations to all denominations in the middle east in the construction of a democratic environment. Therefore we are convinced that in this way the understanding of friendship, brotherliness and the mutual confidence between the Orient and Occident could grow and could be spread widely.


Iskender Alptekin

Chairman of the European Syriac Union (ESU)


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