Assyrian priest arrested during military operation in southeastern Turkey

Assyrian Christian priest Sefer Bileçen, the sole caretaker of Mor Yakup Monastery, a 1,500-year-old church in Turkey’s southeastern city of Mardin, was arrested on Friday after detained in Turkish army’s operation in the region.

“Assyrian priest Bileçen, who was detained yesterday, was arrested,” journalist Sedat Sur said on Twitter. But, he did not mention the reason behind the priest’s arrest.

Bileçen, alongside with two other Assyrians Joseph Yar and Musa Taştekin, were detained on Thursday during a raid by Turkish soldiers in and around the Assyrian settlement Üçköy, Gazete Duvar said.

“We still do not know why Father Sefer, Joseph, the village headman, and others were detained. The lawyers are involved but no information was given, saying there was a secrecy decision on the file,” the news site quoted Yuhanna Aktaş, the president of Mardin Assyrians Union, as saying.

“We do not understand why a priest is detained,” Aktaş said.

Source: Ahval News