Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Who Are the Kurdish People in Syria Being Attacked by Turkey?

  • Amanda Casanova
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2019 Oct 18
  • Comments

On October 6, President Trump ordered U.S. troops to leave the contested area of northeastern Syria. Just three days later, Turkey began an offensive on Syria displacing thousands of Syrians and Kurds living in the region. 

When violence broke out between the neighboring nations, President Trump sent Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Turkey to meet with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Erdoğan agreed to a 5-day ceasefire in exchange for a 60 mile “safe zone” being put in place and the promise that the U.S. would not place sanctions on Turkey. 

As a part of the ceasefire, Kurdish fighters are being forced to leave the “safe zone” and withdraw roughly 20 miles from the border. According to the Associated Press, the particular area dubbed the “safe zone” is the region where the Syrian Kurds population is concentrated. Some are calling the forced evacuation of the Kurds, ethnic cleansing.

Who are the Kurds

Wade Burleson, writer and historian, says the Kurdish people being attacked by Turkey soldiers are descendants of a grandson of Moses.

Burleson, a teaching pastor at Emmanuel Enid in Oklahoma, says the Kurds are what the Bible calls Medes, which are descendants of Madai. Madai was one of Moses’ 16 grandchildren.

“The Medes settled in Amida,” he said in a blog on his site. He said the city was renamed Diyarbakur in the 7th century AD by the Muslim Arabs during conquests of Persia.

“The Arabs called the ethnic Medes who lived in the Zagros Mountains by the Arabic name Kurds,” he said.

Burleson said that today, Divarbakir is now the largest city in southeastern Turkey with a majority of Kurds living in the area. He said as Turkish forces invade Kurdistan, the region of Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran where Kurdish people live, those civilians are facing violence.

“What we have going on during this October 2019 Turkish invasion of Kurdistan is an ethnic cleansing,” he said. “It's a holocaust. President Trump should know better than to allow it to happen.”

The Kurds and Persians are “from the same ancestral stock,” he said. He added that the Bible reveals the importance of Medes during ancient times.

He said Numbers 24:17 details that the prophet Balaam was a Kurd who prophesized about the coming of Jesus. In Isaiah 44 and 45, Burleson points to King Cyrus, who was called the “Messiah of the Jews” after freeing Jews of Judea from captivity in 539 BC. The three wise men who visited Jesus are also from Medes, having studied at the Mede/Persian School of the Magi.

“These Wise Men are what we’d call modern Kurds,” he said.

Throughout recent history, however, America has failed to follow through on its promises to officially create the country of Kurdistan, Burleson said in his post. 

“Pray for the modern Medes as they fight against an erratic Muslim leader named Erdogan,” he said. “Please, President Trump, do not abandon the Syrian Christians that need our help more than ever.”

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Burak Kara/Stringer



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