A Turkish prosecutor’s office investigating the murder of 92-year-old Assyrian citizen Gevriye Akgüç in Mardin on Nov. 9 released all of the 15 suspects who were brought in for questioning. The investigation is still underway, according to reporting by Mesopotamia Agency.
Gevriye Akgüç died after being shot in front of his house in the Enhil (Yemişli in Turkish) village of the southeastern Mardin province, the historical residence of Turkey’s Assyrian minority.
The Head Prosecutor’s Office in Midyat opened an investigation into the murder and detained 15 people. Akgüç’s wife, rangers deployed in the Enhil village, and other Assyrian residents of the village were among those detained. The investigation deliberates on the possibility that the murder was the result of a land dispute.
Assyrian Associations Federation of Turkey head Evgil Türker said that they did not believe the murder was a simple or personal matter. He reminded of similar events that happened in Envil back in the 1990s and warned that the reignition of these anxieties negatively affected the return of Assyrian peoples to their homelands.
“Assyrians nevertheless persist to live in their homeland,” Türker added and expressed their wish for a transparent investigation.
Gevriye Akgüç was one of the Assyrians who recently returned to Turkey after living in Europe for years. On Nov. 6, he was shot in front of his house in the Assyrian village of Enhil and died in the hospital later that day.
There are approximately 25,000 Syriac Orthodox in Turkey. Approximately 17,000 of them live in Istanbul, and the rest in the southeastern provinces of Mardin and Hakkâri.