A total of 87 Syriac families who returned from living in Europe spent 600,000 Turkish Liras to repair, restore and upgrade two historical churches in Mardin. Photo: DHA.
Syriac churches in Turkey hold first ritual in 30 years MEHMET HALİS İŞ MARDİN - Radikal Thursday, August 5, 2010
The return of Syriac Christians who fled terrorism and violence in Southeast Turkey in the 1980s has prompted the refurbishment and reopening for prayers of two churches that had been closed for three decades.
Eighty-seven Syriac families who returned from living in Europe spent 600,000 Turkish Liras to repair, restore and upgrade the historical Mor Eşayo and Mor Kuryakuş churches in Midyat’s Yemişli village, part of the southeastern province of Mardin.
Both churches had been closed to religious ceremonies since the last rituals were performed there 30 years ago. They were repaired according to their original plans, using regional Midyat stonemasonry and decorative techniques.
The opening ceremony for the 4th-century Mor Eşayo and 6th-century Mor Kuryakuş churches was carried out by Mor Timetheos Samuel Aktaş, the Turabdin Metropolitan bishop.
“The Syriacs living far away from their countries are actually living on this land mentally and spiritually. They want to continue the rest of their lives on this land,” Tuma Çelik, the vice president of the European Syriac Syriac Association, said at the ceremony.
“The existence of Syriacs is not recognized concretely within the Constitution. During the government’s democratic initiative process, Syriacs should be defined in the Constitution, too,” Çelik said. “There is infrastructure the state needs to build to improve social, cultural and economical conditions. If these can be completed, then the return of Syriacs will swiftly increase.”
The ritual in Midyat hosted hundreds of Syriacs coming from Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Iraq, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria and the United States. Midyat Gov. Fatih Akkaya, Deputy Mayor Mehmet Tevfik Baysal and Mehmet Ali Aslan, the head of the Mıhellemi Association, participated in the ceremony.
\ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)
1: an ancient empire of Ashur
2: a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern
Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)
a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of
its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender
4: a democratic state that believes in the freedom of
religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the
principles of the United Nations Charter —
Ethnicity, Religion, Language
Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
\ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)
1: descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur
2: the Assyrians, although representing but one single
nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now
doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle
ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding
hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the
East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.
These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the
Christian Era. No one can coherently understand the Assyrians
as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church
from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly
difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for
in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control,
religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a
criterion of nationality.
the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya,
Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean,
Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu,
Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye,
Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. —
1: a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of
the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.
2: has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical
Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.