Perceptions of Justice and Identity among the Suryoyo (Assyrian/Aramean) Community

In his dissertation project, Kadir Eryilmaz examines how underrepresented ethno-religious groups perceive and make sense of the concepts of identity, law, and rights. To achieve this, he focuses on the discourses of Assyrians/Arameans, an exiled community that is persecuted in its traditional homeland in south-eastern Turkey and dispossessed by law.

Eryılmaz's research is twofold. First, he focuses on how the law and legal regulations have played a role in the subordination of non-Muslim minority groups in Turkey. Within this framework, he investigates how the members of the community understand, perceive, and disseminate legal concepts.

The second layer of his research is to understand how Assyrian/Aramean identity is represented and manifested by various actors in ongoing legal conflicts, such as unlawful property seizures, legal requests for permission to conduct education in their mother tongue, discrimination on the basis of ethnic/religious background, etc. In doing so, he focuses on the community’s legal mobilization efforts in order to understand how they make use of the law to tackle their grievances. 

In order to answer these questions, Eryılmaz is currently carrying out ethnographic research in Germany, which hosts one of the largest Assyrian/Aramean diasporas in Europe.

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