Authorities in Turkey have been reclaiming the buildings in the country’s southeast, from the Assyrian community, also known as Syriacs.
Around 50 Assyrian church properties have been seized by officials.
The Assyrian Confederation of Europe has slammed the move, calling it “a grave violation of the human and cultural rights of one of Turkey’s most exposed and vulnerable indigenous nations.”
It has called on Turkey’s government to introduce measures excluding Assyrian religious properties from municipal reforms.
The organisation has threatened to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights if nothing is done.
The redesignation of the city of Mardin as a “greater municipality” saw nearby villages lose their legal status, Turkish parliamentarian Erol Dora, who is also a Syriac, told the Al-Monitor website.
A liquidation committee was then set up to redistribute the properties, which according to Mr Dora included houses of worship, cemeteries and other religious buildings.
Among the seizures is the 1600-year …