giovedì 26 febbraio 2015

Yezidi: per saperne di più

Gli Yezidi sono tra le vittime dell'ISIS, per saperne di più.

The Ezidis and Ezidism (Yazidism)

This has been a subject for scientists and historians to study for a long time.  Unfortunately the issue has been complicated for several reasons.  The scientific truth has been exchanged with political interests.  This of course is related with the Kurdish and Kurdistan problem.

What is Yazidism?

In Kurdish and in most languages in Mesopotamia means, Ezd, Ezda and Ezata means “God”.  According to the belief of Yazidism Ezid is the name of one of the Gods.  This is clearly mentioned in most of the Yazidism verses.
“Sultan Ezidin is the pariah himself.  He has given himself different names.  The largest name is xwenda” […]

Yazidism is an old and historical religion.  Born in Mesopotamia and developed there.  Almost all Yazidis are Kurds.  There are no Ezidis from any other nationality.  This religion believes in only one God and prays for that God only.  They also believe that God has seven angels.  They are; Ezrail, Cibrail, Mikail, Dirdail, Simkail, Ezazil and Esrafil.

The Yazidi Pantheon has God on top, but he is only the creator and is no longer an acting force.  The acting forces are represented by Malak Ta’us (the peacock angel).

Who are the Ezidis?

Those who believe in one God and that he is the one and the only without any partner and believe to his seven angels and that they adhere the rules and regulations of Yazidism are called Ezidis.  After massacres and killings only a few of the Ezidi population remains.  According to unofficial estimates the population of Ezidis is 1.5 or 2 millions.  This population has dispersed to every part of the world.  They are in south Kurdistan (Iraqi), North Kurdistan (Turkey), Southwest (Syria), in exsoviet Union Countries (caucasusu).  Some of them immigrate to European countries most of those who immigrate to Europe are in Germany.

The start of Yadisim

As a religion Yadisim history is not very clear.  When and how it started is not clear. The historians and scientist have studied the old Mesopotamian beliefs and tried to establish links with Yadisim.  But they have not managed to reach to a clear and satisfactory conclusion.  The only thing that is clear and definite it is its links with Mithraism and relation to Zoroastrianism.  Some of the researchers takes the Saykh Adii movement as the beginning of Yadisim.  This view is wrong.  Because Ezidis were already in existence before Saykh Adii.  During the period of Sayhk Adii without changing the principles of the religion some formalistic changes were carried out.  Sayhk Adii took the main religion principles of Yadisim and applied them with his Soffisism.  It is assumed that Sayhk Adii obtained the permission of Semsani Leaders (those leaders of Ezidis at that period – infact some of the researchers argues that Yadisim actually it is the Zoroastrianism which includes some previous beliefs in it.  For example like the Mitraism.

The main principles of Yadisim

·       One and only one God.

·       God’s power cannot be reduced and cannot be fragmented.

·       Both good and bad comes from God.

·       There is no other bad powerful force than the one God prossess.  In another word Ezazil has never been a bad force on its own.  Never thrown out from God’s courtiers.  Never symbolized as the bad.

·       Ezazil is the head of the angels and he was present when Adam and Eve were created.  He always supported the singleness of the God and he has never bowed for any other force.  He has never kneeled in front of any force.

Sacred elements for Ezidis

In accordance with Yadism sun, fire, water, air and the moon are the most sacred elements.  Further more animal farming and farming (to get the most from the nature) were considered good things as well.  Being brave also was considered as sacred.

Further more every Ezidi should posses the following 3 qualities;

1.    Rasti (Truthfulness): Every Ezidi should be truthful, should protect himself/herself from lies.  He/she should stand behind his/her word and decision.  Should always see the truth must say the truth and must defend the truth.

2.    Nasin (to know/himself/herself): This is to be conscious.  In other word every Ezidi should know himself, his environment and should have a strong belief.

3.    Sermi (shame, shyness): This means to stay away from bad doings.  For instance a person who is bashful does not enter into wrong doings which will bring shame on him.  To hold their head high to live clean Ezidis gives importance to this feeling.

The main religious obligations

·       Every Ezidi should have a Shaykh, a Peer (spiritual guide), a hosta, a mentor and a friend (brother) for the next world.

·       Every Ezidi should be “Gerivanlipesirli”.

·       Ezidis prays 3 times a day facing the sun.  Mornings, lunch time and evening.  After they complete their prayer they kiss the soil.

The sacred triangle in Yadisim:

Ezid, Malak Ta’us and Shaykh Adii

Ezid, is one of the names of the God.  Malak Ta’us is the head of the angels who is called Ezazi.  According to Ezidi belief it is the power of working miracles.  He carries secrets from Malak Ta’us and God.  Shaykh Adii and his nephew came from the village Beytilfar in Lebonon and settled in Lalis.  Some historians stated that his father and grand father came from  Hakkari and were members of Hakkari’s Zoroastrians and they immigrate to Lebonan.  The return of Shaykh Adii and his nephew back to Mesopotamia and their settlement in the Lalis temple should be considered of returning back to old beliefs.  Because after settling in Lalis he gathered the Ezidi’s around him and reincarnated Zoroastrianism and some of the old beliefs such as the sun worship.

Ezidis and the other religions

Ezidis believe that every religion reflects a truth.  Therefore everybody should cater for their own religion and should be free for their beliefs. According to Ezidis a person who do not cater for his own religion he will never cater for any other religion.  It is for this reason that Ezidis do not accept anybody from other religions.  Ezidis respects all religions and they expect the same from the other religions.

Here we could see the humanistic nature of Yadisim.  The philosophy of Yadisim based on humanity.  Here is a verse to prove the humanism in Yadisim:

“My God, give to seventy two nations give to eighteen thousand beings and to Ezidis too.”

Composition of Ezidis

There is two main stratum in the Ezidi Community.

a)    Even names (dunav)

b)   Odd names (yeknav)

The odd names are the majority of the people and that they are the followers.

The even names are subdivided into two categories: The Pirs and the Shaykhs.  During the period of Shaykh Adii there were only the “Pir” and “the followers”.  Shaykhlism was created during Shaykh Adii’s period.  In other word the society was based on different caste and people could only be owned to his/her own caste.

Here are the castes:

1.    Adani
2.    Katani
3.    Semsani
4.    Pirani
5.    Murit

The fasting and religious festivals of Ezidis

1.    Carsema Sor (Carsemasere Nisane):  It is the first Wednesday of April.  It is celebrated as the New year and Malak Ta’us Festival.

2.    Cile Havine:  Carries on for 5 days.  Celebrated between 11th and 16th July.

3.    The Feast of the Sacrifice.  The date changes in accordance to the moon’s calendar.  This festival goes back to Mithraism.

4.    Cimayi:  Carries on for 7 days between 23rd September to 1st October.

5.    Cejna Ezda:  It is held on the first Friday of December.  But people fast for 3 days before the Festival day.  Two weeks before Cejna Ezda in three days of each week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) people are fasting and they celebrate the Cejna Xwedana and Cejna Sesims on the following Friday.

6.    Pir Ali:  This Festival (Feast) is for 7 days.  Starts on Sunday and ends on the following Sunday.  At least one day has to be taken from the new year.  Therefore the last day of the Festival has to end on the 1st day of the new year.

7.    Xidir Elyas and Xidir Nebi:  It is celebrated every year on the 1st Thursday of February.

Yadism in Islamic Era

Arabs started to attach the Mesopotanian area in the seventh century (BC 636-641) in the name of Islam.  With the occupation of land, massacres and mass killings started and very harsh declarations (Firmans) announced against the local people.

Arabs enforced their religion and language by force.  Although the local people put up a fierce fightings and strongly objected the Arab invasion unfortunately there was nothing else that they could do against the terror.  Those who wanted to escape from this persecution had no alternative but to accept the Arab and Islam domination.  Those however who refuse to bow against Arab domination and rejected Islam have fled to the mountains.  They continue to live their lives away from civilisation.  They managed to protect their language, religion and their culture.  Most of the Ezidis too escaped to the mountains and protected themselves from the terror of Arabs.  But those Ezidis who escape to the mountain had to face a double trouble.  They were massacred and persecuted because their National identity.

Yadisim was representing the roots of Kurdishness.  Therefore Yadisim was a Kurdish religion.  Kurdishness was forbidden and therefore Ezidis were subjected to very cruel treatment by the Arabs due to the fact that they were Kurdish.

The Arabs were trying to assimilate the Kurds in the name of Islam.  The Kurdish Culture and language was melting under the hegemony of Arabs.  On the other hand Ezidis were protecting this language and culture.  This of course was annoying the enemy and was attracting more killings and persecution of Ezidis.  As this was not enough, Arabs were using those Kurds who were converted into Islam to attack on Ezdi Kurds.  Through Muslim Kurds, Arabs were succeeding more masskillings and massacres.  It was at that time that Saykh Adii came to Lalis and started to organize the Ezidis through dervish beliefs.  Taking into consideration the new conditions of the era he managed to reform the Yadisim.

Persecution and mass killings of Ezidis continued during the era of Ottomans.  The only thing that was changed, was the name and address of the oppressor.  The core of the persecution remained the same.  The Arabs were replaced by Turks but the nature of the Firmans remained the same.

Some examples taken from the declaration of some Historians about the Arab and Ottoman Practices against Ezidis-

Name of the Historian: Ethem Xemgin
Name of the book: Kurdish History (volume3):

The position of Ezidi or Yezidi Kurds

Those Kurds in Kurdistan who are Yezidis are not a separate Nation from Kurds neither are they part of the Kurdish Nation except their religion.  They share every bit of the Kurdish culture

Whatever method you can use to evaluate and comment on the Yezidis .  It could be seen that, it was only them who have protected the Zoroastrianism which was the main religion of the Kurdish people before the Arab enforcing Islam by force.  Despite some changes due to the conditions of different eras it is obvious that the main thinking of their religious beliefs remains same as the principles of Zoroastrianism.

Yezidis in real terms are very local to the Kurdish religion and it is for this reason that they conduct all their religious ceremonies in Kurdish.  Infact both sacred books were written in real Kurdish.

After the expansionist and oppressive actions of the Arabs who have used Islam to hide their real intentions continue to persecute the Kurdish people who insistently wanted to protect their religious beliefs.  They have carried out massacre, lootings and oppression against the Kurdish people.  From time to time the Muslim Kurds were used by the imperialist powers to annihilate the Yezidis, and accusing them to be atheists.  And from time to time the imperialist powers have used their own armies to eliminate the Yezidis.  Yezidi Kurds defended themselves against such attacks.  Although they have put up a strong resistance to unbalance power and unsuitable conditions they have suffered heavily and had to leave the fertile land and to escape to the mountains in order to be able to protect themselves.

From time to time those who were converted into Islam were agitated by Islamic circles that Yezidis were “Zindik” – of being devil worshiper.  The Yazidis have never been regarded as Ahlu I – Kitab, people of the book, and they have suffered much hardship from their Muslim oppressors.  Yezidis were presented of being devil worshipers who brought misery and ill omen to humanity.  They were also presented worse than the Christian and Jewish dogs.  The imperialist local powers always have used an anti Yezidi propaganda against the Kurdish Yezidis and they have always encouraged and rewarded those Muslims who tried to eliminate the Kurdish Yezidis.

In the town of Sincar, Seyhkan and Tur Abidin where the Yezidi Kurds were populated have seen the cruelest atroscities by the Muslims who were agitated by Mufties and Hodjas by using the following motives against Yezidis;

·       Atheist

·       Enemies of the God (Zindiks)

·       Any action against Yezidis is in the name of Allah in order to convert them into Islam.

·       War for the benefit of Allah

·       Under these motives Yezidis’ homes were burned down and demolished.  Their belongings were looted, women and children were captured and sold them in slave markets.  Some of them, after they were taken prisoners were sentenced to dead because their fanatic views.  In short the Yezidi Kurds were subjected to cruelty beyond the borders of Mesopotamia.

Relying on the evidence of some documents we could summarise some of the events against the Yezidi Kurds;

·       13th Century.  The Leader of Yezidis was abducted in Musul.  After he was executed his body was never recovered.  As a result of this incident a war started in the area which lasted for several years.  Due to unbalance in power the Yezidis had to abandon their towns and temples and to escape to the mountains.  Their cities and temples were burned and erazed to the ground and all their belongings were looted.

·       In the year 1414 Yezidis has suffered heavily in the wars between Muslims and Yezidis.  They were massacred.

·       1640/1 - Yezidis of Sincar Area looted several villages near Musul.  After this incident the Ottoman Governor of Diyarbakir Ahmet Pasha attacked on Yezidis with a mighty Ottoman and supported force of 70 thousand.

·       1647/48 – The Amir of Seyhan Seyhk Mirza revolted against Ottomans in order to capture Musul.  As a result of this revolt the Ottoman Governor in Van Semsi Pasha attacked with a large force under his command.  The Yezidi forces lost the battle and Seyhk Mirza was captured.  Later he was hanged by Ottoman Van Governors.

·       1715 – The Bagdat Ottoman Governor Hasan Pasha attacked the Sincar area to punish the Yezidi Kurds in the area.  Hasan Pasha committed a massacre in the area and handed the administration of this area to the leader of Bedouin Arab Tayy tribe.  This Arab Tayy tribe was later used against the Kurdish Yezidis in this region.

·       1733/34 – All the Yezidi Kurdish villages on the Zab river were destroyed and mass killings committed by the Ottoman Ahmet Pasha.

·       1752/53 – Yezidis in the Sincar area were attacked by Ottoman Suleyam Pasha.  This Pasha continued with his mass killings for two years and killed many Yezidi Kurds.

·       1767/68 – The Ottoman Governor of Musul Amin Pasha sent his son with a strong army to loot the Sincar area.  He ordered Yezidis to give one thousand sheep.  When only eight hundred was given the Ottomans the army attacked and a large number of Yezidis were killed.

·       1770/71 – When the Yezidis Seyhan Amir revolted against Ottoman administration the Ottomans put down the revolt by massacre of Yezidis.

·       1773/74 – Ottoman Governor of Musul attacked to Sincar area.  The area was looted and destroyed.

·       1779 – Ottoman Governor of Musul sent a Muslim army to loot and destroy Sincar once more.

·       1785/86 – Ottoman Governor of Musul Abd el Baki attacked to the area to punish the Yezidi Kurds of Sincar.  In the same period Sincar was also attacked by the Arab tribes.

·       1786/87 – The Amir of Seyhan Colo Bey lost the battle with Amadia Pasha.

·       1789/90 – The Bedouvin Arab Tayy tribe attacked took over the administration of the area (Seyhan) and they killed the Colo Bey.

·       1790/92 – The Bedouvin Arab Tayy tribe attacked Sincar area.  Ismail Pasha clashed with Kancar Bey in Seyhan.  Kancar Bey put in prison.  Later Colo’s son Hesen Bey managed to get back the administration of the area.  But the Amir of Amadiye hanged him.

·       1792/93 – Ottoman Pasha the Governor of Musul Muhammed burned eight Yezidi Villages in Sincar area.

·       1793/94 – Again Musul Governor attacked to the Sincar area in order to punish the Yezidis.  However this time he lost the battle.

·       1794/95 – Ottomans send Suleyman Pasha to Sincar area.  The whole area was burned down and destroyed.  He looted the area and abducted 60 women and stole 600 animals.

·       1799/1800 – Abd el Aziz Bey sent from Bagdat and with the support of Tayy Bedouvins 25 Yezidi Village in the Seyhan area destroyed.

·       1802/03 – The Governor of Musul Ali Pasha decided to take over the administration of Sincar area.  He attacked from the North with his own army.  The Arab Bedouvins attacked from the South.  The fighting continued months.  Several villages were destroyed.  The forestry burned down.  When the Yezidi Kurds lost the battle they accept the authority of Ottomans.

·       1809/10 – The Ottoman Governor of Bagdat Suleyman Qatil attacked Sincar area.  He looted Balad, Sincar, Mihirkan and some other villages beyond the region and killed manyYezidi Kurds.

·       1832 – The Amir of Botan (Cizre) Bedirhan bey attacked the Yezidis in Seyhan.  The forces of Bedirhan Bey captured the Yezidi Kurdish settlements.  The leader of Yezidis Ali Bey was taken prisoner.  He was later tortured and killed.  After the captured of Seyhan area by Muslim Kurds all Yezidi settlements in the area was looted and burned down.  They massacred their Kurdish brothers who called them atheist.  The Seyhan Yezidis started to escape to Sincar in order to save their lives.  They were followed by the Muslim army. In order to avoid capture they throw themselves into the raising waters of Tigris near Musul.  Those who managed to swim they were safe but those who were unable to throw themselves into river were all captured by the Muslim Kurds.  Later they were all killed.

·       1832/33 – Mir Muhammed Revanduzi attacked to the Yezidi Kurds in Akra area.  After committing mass killings in upper Zab River against Yezidi Kurds he captured Akra.  The Akra Administrator ismail Pasha had to withdraw up to the Zikar Mountains.  After capturing part of Botan, Mir Muhammed attacked and killed many of them Sincar’s Yezidi Kurds in 1833/34. 

·       1838 – The Ottoman Diyarbakir Governor attacked against Yezidi Kurds in Sincar area.

·       1838 – The Ottoman Musul Governor Tayyar Pasha attack Cebel area in order to punish the Yezidi Kurds.  The Yezidi Kurds were paying heavy taxes.  When they complaint the Pasha decided to visit the area and assess the situation on site.  He was accompanied by a large Muslim army.  When they arrived near Mihirkan he sent his mediators to explain his intentions.  His mediators were killed.  He then destroyed the area in revenge.  After this incident the Yezidi Kurds were left alone.  But in 1890 Yezidi Kurds revolted against the Ottoman’s demands for asking young Yezidi men for  Ottoman  army.
After several attacks by the ottoman forces the Ottoman Administration stop calling Yezidi men for Ottoman Army.  But unfortunately this peaceful era did not last long.

In 1892 Ottomans started to oppress the Yezidi Kurds again.  Under the Muslim Ottoman Army headed by Omer Vehbi Pasha the Yezidi Kurds subject to a new persecution Omer Vehbi Pasha sent a message to Yezidis in Seyhan area either to accept to be converted into Islam and pay your taxes or face destruction.  The leader of Yezidi Kurds refuse the demands.  Omer Vehbi Pasha with his skillful propaganda managed to take the Bedouvin Arab tribes and the Muslim Kurds on his side against Yezidis.  The Ottoman army they entered into Sincar and Seyhan areas.  It is argued by some Historians that upto 14.000 Yezidi Kurds accepted Islam to avoid massacre.  After entering into the Yezidi settlements Omer Vehbi Pasha and his allies committed mass killings.  He looted Saykh Hadi Pilgrimate (Lales) and transferred all Yezidi sacret materials into Musul.  He then converted the Saykh Hadi Temple into an Islamic school.  This school kept open for 12 years.

As a result of these crimes the Christian people and the ambassadors protested to Ottoman State.  Omer Vehbi Pasha was recalled back to Ottoman Capital in 1893. 

·       1914/18 – The Yezidi Kurds find the 1st World War as an opportunity to escape from the terror of the Ottomans Muslims.  It was the time that the Armenians were experiencing massacres.  Yezidi Kurds opened their arms and gave protection to their Armenian brothers.  They have help approx 20.000 Armenians who were running away to escape from killings. Despite the Ottoman authorities pressure to hand over the Armenians not a single Armenian has been handed back to Ottomans.  With the support of Bedouins Arabs and the Muslim Kurds the Ottoman Army once more attack to Yezidis areas.  The Yezidis lost the battle due to unbalance of the fighting forces.

Few Exracts from a German book

Written by writer/researcher Johanns DUCHTINES about Yezidis: 

There were only few evidence/record written about Yezidis up until 15th Cenrury.  The Yezidis shares the same desting or the Kurds who were squashed between Arab and Persian Empires and the Turkish tribes.  Most of the attacks against the Kurds in the region more of less were all due to their religion.  Because the Kurds refused to give up their religion they were oppressed, attacked and killed.

The Arab Islamic wars against Kurd started in the 30’s of 7th Century.  In 637 the Arabs went into Kurdistan through Musul area.  They burned and destroyed the area.

Here is a chronological events list showing the mass killings (massacres) against Kurds:

·       In the year 906 AC– The Governor of Musul Hamadani starts his persecution of Five thousand Kurdish families who revolted against Islam.

·       In the year 980 AC– The Islamic Union attacked to punish the Kurds of Hakkari who were on revolt.  The Kurdish forces were surrounded from all direction.  They were promised to be forgiven if they were to surrender.  But the Islamic Union did not kept their promise and they crucified the Yezidis along the 25th kilometer of Musul – Malatya Road.  The whole area witnessed blood and pain for days.  The Islamic Union committed the worse crimes against humanity.  Thousands of Kurds were massacred.  These terrible mass killings affected the resistance of Kurds and thousands choose Islam.

According to the book “Farsname” during the era of Islamisation around 1107 AC approx 500 thousand Kurdish families were killed.

Specially in the leadership of Hulagu Khan* (1217 – 1265) the Mongolians were very cruel against the Kurds.  Because the Kurds have put up a strong resistance and did not surrender as the Persians did in “Hakkari”, all captured Kurds were put to the sword (were massacred).  (4) The Mongolians destroyed Sehrizor in 1245 AC, Diyarbakir in 1252 and Bagdat in 1258 AC.  More or less everybody was killed.

·       In 1254 AC The Amir of Musul Bedrettin Lulu started a punishment campaign against the Adavi Kurds (Ezidi).  “After a fierce battle the Adavi Kurds (Ezidi) were forced to leave the area and some of them were killed.  Some were arrested.  One hundred were crucified and about same amount of them were hanged by Lulu.  He also send people to open the grave of Saykh Adii, and burn his remainings.”

*Translator’s addition

·       In 1761/67 – The German – Dutch Land measures Engineer Carsten Niebuhr visited the area several times.  In his travel book Niebuhr recorded how Muslim majority was oppressing the Yezidis.  The following extract taken from Niebuhr’s book;
“The Muslims hates the Yezidis so much that, one of their theologian confirmed that “killing a Yezidi is not a crime”.

·       In 1838 Hafiz Pasha attacked to the Yezidis in Sincar.  After a long struggle Hafiz Pasha accomplished his ambition to beat and control the Yezidis.  The Prussian General Helmut Von Molthe who was training the Turkish soldiers against the Kurdish freedom fighters – this German – Turkish Co-operation still in existence –  has written;

“after the occupation, terrible things happened.  More or less all the male population were killed.  Women and children taken away, all together to be slaves.  Because they were Yezidis or devil worshipers.”

“….they brought prisoners and spoils of war.  There were wounded men and women, babies and children of all ages, heads and ears.  They were paying from 50 to 100 Kurus (Ottoman money)* for per item as award.  Silence and sad Kurds, helpless women and heart breaking situation.  It was a terrible seen.”

·       In 1844 The Amir of Botan Bedirhan Bey attacked to Yezidis in Turabdin.  He used force to convert them into Islam.  Those who rejected Islam were arrested and killed.  All together seven villages were surrender and accept to be converted into Islam.

“…. The executioners suddenly appear like thunder and under the cry of the people they push the wooden pegs so hard that it came out from the back of their Yezidi victims.  The bodies had to lay on soft ground for several days with pegs still stack in them.”

*Translator’s note

·       In between 1832/46 – Yezidi population suffer another wave of destruction.  Already reduced in numbers ¾ of Yezidis reduced further.

·       “Although the Turkish state did not persecuted directly but allowed the local authorities to oppress the Yezidis and turned a blind eye on their destructive actions.  The state fail legally to protect the Yezidis.

Those who abducted the Yezidi women and girls, those who shaded the Yezidi blood gone without punishment.  They had no protection against protection against burglary, assaults or humiliation.  On the other hand when Yezidis tried to retaliate they were severely punished by the authorities.

Attending religious classes became compulsory.  The Christian and Yezidi children too force to attend religious classes (Religious classes was to teach Islam)*  Even where there were no Muslims living they build mosques.  Their strategy was to transfer Muslim population into Yezidis villages in order to seed hate between Yazidism and Islam.  The most rich landlords were expecting that the Yezidis will abandoned their land and homes and that they were going to take over their land and properties.  Therefore they too were exerting pressure on Yezidis.  The only people who left behind was the elderly Yezidis who wanted to “die in peace on their own land”.  Now days only five thousand Yezidis remained within the borders of Turkey’s Kurdistan.  It is not too far that the last Yezidi will abandone his home and land.

Mosul – Kerkuk problem

Book published by the League of Nations Section : The Yezidis –

Those nations involved in this matter have presented opposite views to each other.  According to the English and Iraqi sources (The Yezidi population) is between 21 to 30 thousands and according to the Turkish authorities this number is 18 thousands.  For several reasons (the League) decided to investigate the case.  Why we needed to carry out an investigation?
*Translator’s note
·       The devil worshipers as known to many nations have created an interest to find more about them.
·       Yezidis are very different fabric of the population in that region.
·       Well-organized people.
·       It is a current problem which waiting to be resolved.  Because; they are the only organized and settled population in the West of the desert.

According to the British notes/presentations probably the Yezidis are Kurd and that they are not Muslims.  In contrary, Islam is a sin for them.  According to British documents an ethnic map has been produced and the Yezidis settlements were shown on that ethnic map.  The Yezidis area was shown in separate colour than the areas of Kurds.  On the contrary the map which was produced by Turkey, Yezidis and Kurdish areas where shown in the same colour.

We asked to the representative of the British Government to explain the reasons of this difference.  The British explanation is not satisfactory.  They say that they are two different populations.  (Two different work)*.  The Turkish Government, argues that the Yezidis openly are from the Kurdish race they have the same traditions as the Kurds, they share the same culture.  The only thing that separates the Yezidis from Kurds is their religion.  According to the Turkish argument the Yezidis religion is a “new Muslim sect” and to be a member of a different sect does not warrants separating Yezidis from Kurds.  The Turkish Government argued that the difference between Yadisim and Islam is the same as the difference of Catholics and Protestants.  The roots of this peculiar people are even worst than the roots of Kurdish uncertainty.

The Yezidis themselves claim to have roots going back to centuries.  More older than any community in the world.  According to myths Yezidis came from Adam alone.  Rest of the world came from Adam and Eve.

Note from FEKA about the population of Yezidis and their origin:

The information given by the Turkish and English Government is false.  Both information does not reflect the truth.  Because the current population is between 1.5 and 2 millions.  If the numbers is at least 1.5 millions today. 

                   *Transletor’s Note: Turkish presentation,English presentatio
It has to be higher at the time that, those information was produced.  Because thousands of Yezidis were killed or were forced to convert into Islam.  Therefore the numbers were reduced ever since.  Similarly claiming that Yezidis came from Adam alone is not true.  Because there are no evidence to that effect in our fables.  Yezidis believe that they came from Adam and Eve too.  As far as the argument that Yadisim is an Islamic sect is concern, is absolutely nonsense.  Yasidism is not sect is a religion by itself.  

An Article by Ragip Zarakolu
(Ozgur Politika daily newspaper 5/6/2001)

When Kofi Annan the General Secretary of UN presented his annual report to the 55th General Assembly his main topic was to “end all kind of religious discrimination” in the world.  Added to his report were the findings of Abdel Fateh Amor the special reporter who visited Turkey in December 2000.

One of the most important findings in this short but equally important report was his assessment that Turkey did not meet his obligations under the Treaty of Lausanne.

The special reporter Mr. Amor went to Turkey under the Turkish Government invitation when the UN General Council took a decision to send a special reporter in 1999.  This is how the UN mechanism works.

According to Mr. Amor’s report the religious minorities in Turkey are;

·       Armenians = Between 50 to 93 thousands

·       They have 51 churches, which Armenians constitute 65% of the total non-Muslim religious minorities.  They have 17 cultural welfare and Health Organizations.  There are 40 Thousands students and 300 Teachers in 19 Armenian schools. 

·       25 Thousand Jew of which 22 Thousands live in Istanbul.  They have 18 open Synagogues.  25 religious centers in Anatolia.  7000 students in 3 schools.  They have 8 Hospitals and several Trusts.  They also publish a Newspaper.

The position of the Greeks is more dramatic:

73 Churches, 19 Schools, 65 Trusts yet their remaining population is 30000 Thousands.  Only 297 students attend schools in another word 15 students for each school.

These 3 groups are under the special protection of the Treaty of Lausanne.  The position of the other none-Muslim minorities whish are not mentioned in the peace Treaty (Lausanne) are:

·       4000 Arab Orthodox (they use the Greek schools) they also work in the Greek Orthodox Churches.  They are actually maintaining these schools and it is them that they keep them open.
·       17 Thousand Surani
·       1000 Keldani
·       600-800 Bulgarian Orthodox
·       100 Catholic Levantine

According to this report the 99% of Turkey’s population is Muslim.  Out of this percentage 20% are Alivites.  Just to remind you that even the name of Yezidis is not mentioned here.

As we know the peace Treaty Lausanne is an international document setting up the legitimate foundation of the Republic of Turkey.  It is more important document than the Turkish constitution.

The clauses 37-45 of the Treaty do not just guarantee the religious and just the creeds of the 3 religious minorities but it does guarantee the language and religious beliefs of all citizens of the Republic.  In other word thinking that the Treaty of Lausane guarantees only 3 minorities is misleading.  It is also arguable how much the religious rights since signing this Treaty 75 years ago, allowed to be freely exercised.

According to the clause 39 of this Treaty - well before the Copenhagen Criteria’s.  The Republic of Turkey is under the obligation to give freedom to mother tongue, Media facilities (press) in their own language, right to publish materials in their own language, Freedom to use their own language in Public Services.  Clause 40 of the same Treaty Turkey is under obligation to give religious freedom to the minorities.

Clause 42 stresses the importance of the cultural and organizational freedom of these groups.

Despite the high feelings raised by the Turkish officials about Lausanne it is ironic that it was Turkish Governments who have violated its obligations since it was signed.

It is also our duty to remind those states that they put their signatures under this treaty to stand with their own obligation and insist of its implementation.

Lausanne did not fully implemented in 75 years.  What is worth even if they sign ten “National Programme” with their current mentality?

The position of the Kurdish Ezidi Community within the context of Turkish – European Union Relations:

Despite the shortcomings of the Turkish and EU relations, it seems that in the long run it will put certain obligations on Turkey.  In relation to our own subject we have to make the following observation;

Turkey today have prepared a “National Programme” as a response to the conditions that EU has put on Turkey’s path entering EU*.  In this Programme, which is an undertaking - para 1.2 (11) says that;

“…steps will be taken to allow and facilitate practical solutions for those who are living in our country but are not Turkish Citizens to practice their religions.  This will be allowed within the context if the state security (protect the system).  These steps and practical solutions will be developed within the current Law and Practice…” 

We want to comment on this point of view on behalf of Yezidis.

We could see that it is the same approach as it was written in the Book published by the League of Nations on the subject of Mosul Kerkuk Problem and sharing out of Kurdistan
*Translator’s addition
This was a report prepared by an special commission which was set up on the 30.9.1924:

According to that document;

“The Turkish Government openly states that, the Yezidis are part of Kurdish people, they share the same habits and traditions.  The only thing that is different is their religion.  It is a Muslim Sect.  Being a member of a different Sect does not warrants to consider them different than the Kurds.”  The Turkish Government drows up a similarity between the difference of Catholics and Protestants to the one of Yadisim and Islam.

Although the Turkish attempt to show the Yezidis and Kurds as same is natural.  The real intention however is very much different.

Here the real intention is, to deny the religious nights and by considering Yadisim as part of Islam is to refuse to accept the existence of the Ezidis.  Yazidism still not accepted as a religion.  This constitute a violation of the International Law.

When Ezidis are issued a Turkish ID, the authorities puts “atheist” or an “x” under the column “religion.”  In most cases they enter the word “Islam”.  This of course is an example of the denial policy of Turkey.  On the other hand with the assistance of the state, the reactionary forces who are in fact the enemies of the Kurdish people still attacking, oppressing and kiling the Ezidis.

Under this very complicated situation the starting point should be to recognize and give a legal status to Ezidis religion.  This legal status should be international.  If there is no recognized legal status it does not matter how strong is its foundations.  Soon or later it will be violated again and again.  Looking back into the history it will be seen that, the Yezidis will not vanished but will received a heavy blow.

The Turkish state has inherited the reactionary practices of Ottomans’. The conqueror mentality and attacks villages and temples belonging to Yezidi people.  The Yezidi people experienced mass killings and force immigration (expulsion) between   1900-1936.

After the establishment of the Turkish Republic thousands of Ezidis were killed in Agri, Van, Kars, Mus, Cudi, Silopi, Uludere, Sirnak, Siirt, Urfa, Antep and Mardin.  Especially during the massacre of the Armenians the Ezidis were targeted and killed as well.  The gangs controlled by Turkish State committed these killings.  Those who escaped from massacres immigrated into Armenia and Georgia.  Thousands of them went to shelter into South Kurdistan and Syria.  Killings and forced expulsions continued in the following years.  Their villages were burned down and destroyed women abducted, personal belongings were confiscated and people subjected to inhuman treatments.  As a result of this policy the heads of the village guards in partnership with the state occupied the villages of Ezidis.

With the commencement of the “Turkish” National liberation struggle oppression and killings was increased against Ezidis.  The Local Administrators and the neighboring Muslim Villagers feeling the support of the Turkish State behind them has blockaded and harassed the Yezidi settlements.  They were encircled and branded as “atheist”, “not a believer” and were shown as targets to the Muslim population.  For example in 1988 Dervis Sevgat and Ali Agirman in 1995 were killed in Viransehir.  The head of the village guards confiscated the property of Ali Agirman in Midyad.  Today more or less all Ezidis are forced to immigrate some other places.

The state policy is to separate them from Kurdistan and to assimilate them into Europe.  It will be a tragedy for Kurdish people if Ezidis are assimilated and lost.  There will be no other community to take their place in the life of Kurdistan.  Because their prayers to God is in Kurdish.  Within the vast Kurdish culture and traditions, their place will never be replaced.

The problem is not the Turkish State’s behavior against to a belief.  The real intension of the (Turkish State) is to destroy the Kurdishness by hiding behind religious opposition.  It is a policy of chauvinistic nature to destroy Kurdish culture and history.  Because Ezidis are symbolizing the thousands of years of Kurdish culture and traditions.  For this reason Ezidis targeted by the Turco-Islamic reactionaries.

One of the other reason why the existence of Ezidis is denied, is because the minority rights given to those none-Muslim communities under the Peace Treaty Lausanne.

The Treaty give guarantee “a status” to the non-Muslim communities to be able to teach their religion in their own language.  This is a legal binding.  This Treaty also allows these groups to form their own organizations and carry out activities towards the improvement of their communities.  But unfortunately only the Christians are mentioned.  The Ezidis religion is only belongs to Kurds.  It is a Kurdish religion.  Therefore by accepting the Ezidis religion and because its language and teachings is in Kurdish this clashes with the official denial Policy of the Turkish State.  Accepting the Ezidi religion means to accept the Kurdish education.

One other important aspect is this:  After 1960 the Turkish Republic have engaged in the implementation of a force immigration policy.  As a result of this policy there are only few Ezidis left in North Kurdistan.  Villages and settlements belongs to Ezidis has been destroyed.  Those Ezidis who were forced to leave have immigrated into Germany and into other European Countries.  Some of them went to Canada and as far as United States.  What do you expect from a community that their language, their religion, their culture and traditions are forbidden?  They have been subjected to an inhiliation policy.  They had no other alternative but to leave their loved homes and land.  This is why they had to immigrate into other countries to save their lives.  As we have seen the latest “National Programme” of the Turkish State, even those who are not Turkish citizens have given an undertaking to be free to practice their religions but there is nothing even in the long run for the Ezidis or Yadisim.  Under these conditions we demand that the sacred places, temples of Ezidis and Yadisim is put under international protection.  We also demand that the same protection and freedom to be given to Ezidis to organize to be free to worship, repair their temples as “the other religious” under the auspices of European Union.  We also demand that those imperialist powers such as United Kingdom, France, Germany who in the past occupied our country and as they are still in partnerships with the Oligarchic – Militarist Turkish State, Iraq, Iran and Syria to hand over the historical and religious sacred materials which are kept in museums and libraries.  For this an International Commission to be set up to deal with the matter.

We call upon all Kurdish and International Lawyers to give their support in this matter.

Examples of Ezidis Treatment by the Republic of Turkey

1.    The Turkish soldiers attacked Xarik Village in 1973.  The village population beaten up and Huseyin Aba was killed.  Sabri Yusun, Dervis Sis, Eziz Yalak, Nayif Korkmaz, Himedi Korkmaz were seriously wounded.

2.    Kiwex (Magara) Village of Mardin’s Idil province was attacked by the Turkish soldiers in 1940.  29 People including women and children were forced to enter into a cave.  They were all burned alive.

3.    Again in the same year Kiwex village attacked again by the Turkish soldiers.  Cindo Huseyin, Hawike and Seyh Omer Huseyin Huti were killed.

4.    In later years Kiwex village attacked again by soldiers.  Xelef Qewto and Teter Hinis Ibrahim Miste were killed.

5.    The soldiers attacked Denvan Village in 1993.  Yusif Cakar was killed during the attack.

6.    The Xirabiya Village (Yenice) of Midyad soldiers and their associates attack to a minibus.  Xelil Debe and Nure Kaya were killed.  Four other people from the same family were seriously wounded.

7.    Mezre Village of Nusaybin attacked by the State forces in 1995.  Resit Yildiz abducted.  His where about is not known until today.

8.    The forces belonging to the state attacked Denwan Village of Midyad.  Siloye Mala Semdin and Xelil Kurt were killed.  One woman seriously wounded.

9.    Akcayi (Kocan) Village was attacked by the soldiers and their associates in 1978 two young men Hayat Gunay and Nizamettin Gunay were killed.  Reason: of being a member of Ezidi community.

10.           Bacin Village of Midyad attacked by soldiers and their associates on the 26.8.1995.  Ali Agirman and his son Nezedin Agirman were killed.  Makso Agirman seriously wounded.

11.          The soldiers and their associated gangs on the 17.3.1952 murdered Ibrahim Aslan from Asine Village of Diyarbakir.  Again in the same village the same forces on the 21.6.1964 killed Ahmed Aslan.

12.          Emin Balik from the Village of Haydar Qule of Diyarbakir was murdered in 1976.  In the same year Ibrahim Okce and Huseyin Guden were murdered in Dorequle village.

13.          Serif Akkus from Asine village was murdered in 1981.

14.          Rizgo Kesen from Besiri village was murdered.

15.          Dervis Toprak from Feqira village of Besiri was murdered.  Again from the same village Huseyin Pamukcu was murdered in Batman by state forces.

16.          Mustafa Bulut from Texeriye village of Besiri was murdered in 1989.

17.          Two brothers Cemal and Yasar Goksel from Giresirt village of Viransehir were murdered by the state gangs in 1995.  Reason: Because they were Ezidis.

The list of Abducted Ezidi Women and Girls:

1.    Gulan from Kemina village

2.    Hayata Dik from Xamika Sexa she was married and abducted by force.

3.    Sewqiya a married woman from Takka village abducted by force.  Despite her family’s repeated demands she was not handed back.  It was during this incident that two Ezidi brothers Hayat and Nizamettin were murdered.

4.    Adla Agirman a young girl from Bacin village abducted by force.

5.    Two young girls were abducted by force from the village called Feqira.

6.    Two young sisters from Dusa village were abducted by force. (These two girls belong to a Ezidi Saykh family)

7.    Two Turkish teachers who were working in the village school abducted Hezar Yarsan from Hemduna village.  Despite a complaint to the authorities, the where about of the woman is unknown?

Further to all this information given above abductions and murders as a result of state oppression thousands of Ezidis from Nusaybin and Midyat had no alternative but to immigrate to South Kurdistan.  Those are Hevera Ezidi, Kiwex, Evse and Geliye Sora Ezidis who are the members of Dasini Ezidi community had to abandoned their willages and properties in order to save their lives.  As a result of the Turkish inhiliation policy against Ezidis Tens of Ezidi villages were taken over by Muslims.

List of Ezidi villages and towns which were converted into Islam by force:

Geliye Piran
Geliye Kelihe
Susaniya Jer
Xirbe Cinata
Xirbe Beduriyan

List of Ezidi Village and settlements that escape from the Turkish Islamisation Policy but forced into the assimilation Process:

Kiwex (Turkish name: Magara village)
Kevnas (Turkish name: Cayirli village)
Taka (Turkish name: Oyuklu)
Mezre(Turkish name: Cilesiz)
Xanika Sexa (Turkish name: Magaracik)
Evse (Turkish name: Kaleli)
Kunar (Turkish name:Arpacik)
Fisqine (Turkish name: Kaydibi)
Geliye Sora (Turkish name: Guneli)
Qulika (Turkish name: Degirmencik)
Birguriya (Turkish name: Beleban)
Qorix (Turkish name: Ugurca)
Eynap (Turkish name: Inpinar village)
Kelhok (Turkish name: Kuscukur village)
Texeri (Turkish name: Ugrak village)
Dusa (Turkish name: Kumgecit village)
Simze (Turkish name: Oguz)
Cinerya (Turkish name: Yolveren village)
Geduk (Turkish name: Deveboyu)
Zewra (Turkish name: Isikli)
Minminik (Turkish name: Ucgul)
Isxane Bicuk (Turkish name: Kucuk Altinbasak)
Qori (Turkish name: Ditgen)
Gele Naso (Turkish name: Dinckor)

Xirbe Belek (Turkish name: Guven village)