We Will Meet Again

Louis Delbarre tells the tragic story of the Diril family in Meer, Turkey. Highlighting the persecution Christian minorities in Turkey still face under the shadow of the Turkish government's denial of the 1915 Assyrian genocide.

This is the story of the lives and struggles of the Christian community in South Eastern Turkey, more precisely in the mountains of Sirnak and Hakkari. I decided to focus even more on the personal story of Bedri Diril, a man I met during my trip to the village of Meer.

The Diril family have lived in Meer for many years, lost in the mountains, completely cut off from the rest of the world. In January 2020 Simoni and Hurmuz Diri, Bedri's parents, were abducted.

Unfortunately, the body of Bedri's mother Simoni was found last February. The body of Hurmuz is still missing, giving Bedri and his family hope that he is still alive somewhere.

This is a quest for a father and a quest for the truth.

The Search for Hurmuz Diril

During World War I, more than half of the Assyrian Population in the Ottoman Empire were forcibly removed and massacred. The genocide of over half a million Assyrians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 is considered historical fact, but has largely been forgotten by the world. The Assyrian Genocide is still a dark shadow over the Assyrian People. This pain and suffering continues in the collective memory of the Assyrians, as Turkey continues to deny and publicly denounce responsibility for this largely forgotten crime during the First World War, being ignored feels like being killed twice.

The Valley of Meer

Meer is an Assyro-Chaldean village in the South East of Turkey. It was one of the eight main Christian villages of the region. The village survived through the genocide in 1915. However, Meer's inhabitants have been slowly leaving due to continuous violence in the region between the Turkish Government and the PKK (Kurdish Worker’s Party) in the 1980’s and 1990’s, resulting in the complete desertion of the village. Today, there is just one house left in Meer, out of the hundreds that were once there at the beginning of the 20th century. The Diril Family are the last ones living in Meer.

Kovankaya (The Beehive Cliff)

Meer’s Chapel