Nun Urges U.S., Europe to Care About Christian and Yazidi Refugees, Too
Said Sertac Okay, a member of the Health Assembly of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Congress (DTK):
Iraqi Yazidis in Turkey are faced with grave problems. And the greatest problem is health issues. Many seriously ill Yazidi patients staying at the camps have not been admitted to hospitals although they have chronic, life-threatening diseases such as cancer, cardiac disease, diabetes, and asthma.
The Diyarbakir Bar Association issued a report early this year about Yazidis, stating:
The Yazidis that ran away from the IS massacres in Shingal are exposed to discrimination in Turkey.
We have learned that according to the circular note the Ministry of Health sent to hospitals, those who come from Syria are treated for free in line with the patient transferal system, whereas Yazidis from Shingal are to be treated for money.
Said Muhip Ege Caglidil, an immigration expert researching Yazidis:
Newborn babies are the ones that suffer the most due to a lack of legal status as they don’t have legal documents and cannot be taken to hospitals when they become seriously ill.
Victims of rapes are also suffering greatly. Some of those who did not have access to hospitals had to abort their babies with their own techniques. And those who had to give birth have difficulty taking care of their babies. They are so deeply traumatized.
The Christian and Yazidi asylum seekers in Turkey are largely dependent on the help they are provided by NGOs and churches. Said Hatune Dogan:
There are some NGOs -- like our Hatune Foundation -- and churches from outside, who distribute food, clothes and other necessities to the asylum seekers. Without this help they would starve. But it is not enough. The UNHCR, now operated by local staffs, claim they have run out of both money and possibilities for resettlement.
The Hatune Foundation also tries to bring the Christian and Yazidi asylum seekers to Europe:
We have, during this period, succeeded to bring several asylum seekers to safety in Europe. However, in the last year it has been very difficult. Sometimes it seems like Europe has been turned into another Fort Knox.
Although the doors of the West seem to be closed to many of them, the number of persecuted Christians is increasing rapidly. The Open Doors Organization reported the following this year:
[T]he persecution of Christians has increased across every region in which Open Doors works. And never before have so many Christians been on the move.
[T]he main engine of persecution is Islamic extremism, [which aims to] bring the country/world under the ‘House of Islam’ through violent/non-violent actions.
Sister Hatune stressed that she cannot understand why Western governments have taken in so many Muslim immigrants from the Middle East but have excluded their Christian and Yazidi victims:
I just wonder how it can be that Muslim immigrants seem to have much broader options to get out of the Middle East to Europe than people from other faiths. But of course, that is a very politically incorrect question.
Christians and Yazidis, who have been oppressed and exterminated in majority-Muslim countries, desperately need to be cared for because they are the real victims of Islamic jihad and Islamic supremacism, added Sister Hatune:
It is not only the authorities that harass Christians and Yazidis in Turkey. It is their neighbors, it is in the schools, everywhere. You know that in a Muslim country, Muslims are more worthy than everybody else. Those who think otherwise do not know about living in a Muslim country.