By Walid Shoebat and Theodore Shoebat
A site of Christian antiquity was destroyed in northeastern Syria by Turkish air raids, adjacent to the city of Afrin, which was just conquered by Turkey days ago. The site is called Brad, and according to the Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums:
“Turkish regime planes bombed the archaeological site of Brad, 15 kilometres (about nine miles) south of Afrin city”
Within Brad there are many ancient churches and monasteries whose origins go all the way back to the Byzantine empire. Its no surprise to us that the Turks would bomb this holy site of the eastern Roman Empire, since their aspirations are to bring back the Ottoman Empire, the very empire that destroyed the Byzantine Empire when Mehmet II conquered Constantinople in 1453. Syrian antiquities chief Mahmoud Hamoud said that “The bombing destroyed many important archaeological buildings”, including the tomb of Saint Maron of the Maronite Catholic Church (the church of Lebanon which is under the authority of the See of Rome).
Also destroyed was “the Julianus Church, which includes the mausoleum and is one of the oldest Christian churches in the world, built at the end of the 4th century,” he added. Syria’s former antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim told AFP:
“This site is one of the most beautiful pages of the history of Christianity. It is home to three churches, a monastery and a five-metre-high tower”
In January, Abdulkarim expressed concern for forty villages in Afrin, which UNESCO calls “Ancient Villages of Northern Syria” and includes on its world heritage list. According to UNESCO these villages in Afrin are “an exceptional illustration of the development of Christianity in the East, in village communities”.
Turkey is expanding itself in the Middle East, and is no longer just a mere republic, but is transforming into an empire. Back in 2012, shoebat.com wrote a report on how the Syrian Ambassador to Tehran Hamed al-Hassan, warned that Turkey was working to bring back its empire. Here are his words:
Turkey is trying to reconstruct the Ottoman Empire in the region … When Turkey’s Justice and Development Party won the Turkish parliamentary elections, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan presented his party’s victory to the people of Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Central Asia, and the Balkans which were once parts of the Ottoman Empire
This was all a very real prediction. Erdogan is setting his eyes not only on the rest of the Middle East, but on the Balkans as well. With Erdogan expressing his support for Macedonia against Greece (which has been have tensions with Macedonia because it believes that the true Macedonia is in northern Greece), and with Turkey supporting Kosovo and Albania against Serbia, one can see how the Turkish government is supporting sides in conflicts in the Balkans with the purpose of building partnerships to assist in some sort of possible interventionism on the part of Turkey.
Germany has also been helping Turkey, with its selling of tanks to the Turkish military for the battle that it had over Afrin. Although Germany said that it had halted its selling of tanks (after the media made a raucous over it), the reality still remains that Germany has been an ally of the Turks since its country’s unification under Bismarck, who hated Catholics so much that he wanted to force the Polish people through a process of ‘germanification,’ which consisted of them leaving their Catholic faith and becoming protestant, just as the Ottomans — Germany’s ally — tried to force the Armenians to go through a brutal process of ‘Turkification’ and become Muslim, a tyrannical policy now known as the Armenian Genocide.
With this we are reminded of what happened to the Armenian Christians in the town of Cermik Hamambasi, in 1915. When a large amount of Armenians were brought to this town after being deported, a mob of local inhabitants surrounded them, looking for healthy children to take into their own families. A gendarme, mounted on his horse, arrived and wanted Heranus, a very young Armenian girl, while another man from a neighboring village wanted her brother Horen. Their mother resisted their demands, crying out: “No one can take them from me. I’ll never give them up”. But Heranus’s maternal grandmother tried to convince her to give up the children, saying: “the children are dying one by one. No one’s going to come out of this march alive. If you give these men your children, you’ll save their lives.” While they were arguing over this, the men came and simply seized the children.
The gendarme seized Heranus, and the other man took Horen her brother. Heranus’ mother held onto her daughter, but her grip was not strong enough. She let go and her daughter was taken from the man on horseback. Heranus was taken to an orchard where there were eight other Armenian girls, all snatched from the Turkish death march. The policeman took Heranus to his home where she was very well treated. The policeman and his wife were childless and wanted a daughter, so they adopted Heranus and gave her a Turkish name: Seher. Heranus’ mother actually survived the death march to Aleppo where she would live for the rest of her life. (See Rogan, The Fall of the Ottomans, pp. 180-181) Although her daughter was taken in and was well taken care of, the story is a reflection of how the genocide orchestrated by the Ottoman Empire led to a system of the Turkification of the Armenian population.
Turkey’s expansionism has to do with power, and at the same time with an ideology that consists of both Islamism and Turkish nationalism. If Turkey is already destroying Christian holy sites, then do not be surprised at they will do next and that is genocide: the killing of Christians, and atrocities against other Muslims as well. We are witnessing the inchoate stages of the recreation of the Ottoman Empire.