The surname Midyat is from the town Midyat (Tur Abdin), the homeland of my father, & maternal grandmother.
So far, in a life-time, I have been in Midyat for only 24 hours, afternoon-to-afternoon, but from within the family, I have points, food-for-thought, coupled with information that I gather from other (mostly internet) sources.
I gather that the Midyat attitude, is/was that of a tolerant, multi-ethnic, multi-religious town.
The tolerant attitude is thoroughly Islamic.
That was there in the first century of Islam, in the newly conquered lands.
That kept thus, afterward, too, in various Islamic states.
For example, the Jewish people who left Spain following the collapse of the Islamic state there, went to the Ottoman state, because of the persecutions they were facing in Europe.
Islam is the cause. For example, mainly because of the crime-rate, that was probably mainly because of alcohol, in the non-muslim sections of Istanbul, the Ottoman (king) Yavuz Sultan Selim ordered that all the non-muslims be converted to Islam. But the sheikh-ul-Islam of the state, opposed and told him that he would declare fatwa for killing him, if he would do such a non-Islamic thing. The non-muslims thus kept their religious freedom, thanks to the Islamic principles.
But then, in the last century, the Ottoman state was not so optimal. Why? How was Midyat different?
The ethnic battles within the Ottoman land, were targeted by the Ottoman government. Their "solution" was to migrate the non-muslims, to non-battle territories. Not only a battle is naturally lethal, where that happens, but the "solution" to migrate the masses, turned out to be an (inadvertent) killer, too. We know the wishful-but-incapable management of that Ottoman government in the case of the Sarikamis incident, too, losing the lives of tens of thousands of soldiers, only because of the cold, within the land, without having fought the Russians.
The Midyat angle was there, for a micro-level remedy. I am told, Suleyman aga, the father of my grandmother, protected the non-muslims. That is, presumably, he helped no criminal, but the civilian innocent people.
Well, the paternal grandfather of my mother (the Islamic sufi sheikh Khalid-i Zilî) is known to have opposed the oppressions, too. Thus, that is not only the Midyat agha, but the Islamic attitudes.
Islam values the ruler of a group (ulul-emr), but that is not to the point of violating what Allah forbids. A famous hadith is the "No obedience to what is opposing Allah." Thus, neither killing the innocent people of the "enemy" ethnicity, nor other abuses would fit, no matter who orders that.
From cases like how Yavuz Sultan Selim was told that keeping tolerant is not optional, we could expect that the Ottoman attitude would be exactly like the Midyat attitude. In 2006, an article was writing that, if there were slaughterhouses, all the people would save this/that minority person he/she knew, and no one would be left.
I could have believed that, if we could make sure that all the people there, were fully Islamic. But tribalism had crept in at the last times of the Ottoman state. If we may infer from how some tribalist people oppose Islamic values (for example, opposing the female tesettur), their bind to Allah/Islam is not firm. How would Islam provide the reference point to weigh/judge/support?!?
For relating to Media-tangle, the Midyat-angle is a fertile base, to discuss the issues of social-networking?