Stockholm, Sweden (AINA) -- Former head of the Assyrian Federation in Sweden, Simon Barmano, revealed in an interview today with Swedish paper Länstidningen that he received threats from Turkish officials.
The threat was delivered to Barmano during a meeting this summer he had with four Turkish governors who were on a visit to Sweden.
On 31 August he met the governors in their hotel in Täby, north of Stockholm.
"I wanted to discuss issues concerning Assyrian lands in south eastern Turkey, but the governors were only interested in one thing: The anticipated memorial monument on the Turkish genocide against Assyrians [to be erected in the Swedish city of Södertälje, hometown of some 20 000 Assyrians since the 70s], and our efforts for recognition of the genocide," says Simon Barmano.
The governors, from Mardin, Dyiarbakir, Giresun and one of Ankaras districts, told Barmano to stop the monument because it would "not serve any good purpose anyway". When Simon Barmano said that the monument is important and that the Turkey should acknowledge the genocide the Turkish governors changed their tone, telling Barmano to "stop highlighting the genocide or your people will get hurt".
"You have already hurt our people so much, in which more ways can you hurt us?" Barmano replied.
The strong objection Turkey has towards the anticipated monument was revealed when it recently became known that people with Turkish origin had influenced Swedish politicians to stop the monument. Assyrian groups in Sweden are however continuing to push for the installation of the monument.