Swedish Expert Wants to Examine Mass Grave in Turkey from April 23 to 25

YEREVAN (Yerkir Media)–Swedish historian David Gaunt, who is set to lead an international expedition to a mass grave discovered in October in Turkey, indicated that the excavation should take place between April 23 and 25. Gaunt has said that the remains in the grave in Nusaybin, Turkey belong to 270 Armenia’s or Assyrians who resided in the village and were killed under orders from the Young Turk government during the Armenian Genocide. Upon the discovery of the grave, which the Turkish government attempted to suppress, Swedish member of parliament Hans Dinden urged the legislature to further explore this discovery. In response chairman of Turkey’s scientific and historical association Yusuf Haladjoghly proposed a joint Turkish-Swedish expedition, to which Gaunt agreed but demanded complete freedom. Gaunt also asked for the opportunity to speak with anyone who might have further information about the mass grave. Villagers from Xirabebaba were digging a grave for one of their relatives when they came across a cave full of skulls and bones. The Xirabebaba residents assumed they had uncovered a mass grave of 300 Armenian villagers massacred during the Genocide of 1915. They informed local military unit in Akarsu about the discovered remains. Turkish army officers instructed the villagers to block the cave entrance and make no mention of the remains buried in it. The officers said an investigation would take place. Journalists, who had arrived to obtain more information, were denied access to the cave. As the mass grave became news, local military made another visit to the villagers, who were pressed to report the name of the person who leaked the mass grave discovery to the press. The villagers were warned not to show anyone directions to the cave. According to Gaunt, who is a history professor at Sodertorn University, the remains most likely are of the 150 Armenian and 120 Assyrian males from the nearby town of Dara (now Oguz) killed on June 14, 1915.

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