[suryoyo-online] Syriac diaspora reunites in southeast Turkey to mark Easter

Gabriel Rabo grabo at gwdg.de
Sam Apr 30 00:25:42 CEST 2011


Syriac diaspora reunites in southeast Turkey to mark Easter

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 / ISTANBUL - Daily News with Wires
 

Centered on the province of Mardin, the region of Tur Abidin is one of the
most important in the world for far-flung Syriac communities that were
forced to leave the area.
 
Centered on the province of Mardin, the region of Tur Abidin is one of the
most important in the world for far-flung Syriac communities that were
forced to leave the area.
Syriac Christians from the diaspora celebrated Easter in Mardin on Sunday in
an event that provided a chance for many to return to their homeland for the
first time in 40 years.
"This is your true homeland, never forget this," Mardin Mayor Turhan Ayvaz
told a community gathering while wishing visiting Syriacs a happy Easter.
"Rather than come here often, we wish to see you settling here permanently.
Turks, Kurds, Syriacs and Arabs have been living in fraternity for centuries
in Mardin and Midyat which have hosted many a civilizations [throughout
history.]"
Centered on the province of Mardin, the region of Tur Abidin [Tur Abdin,
SOL] is one of the most important in the world for far-flung Syriac
communities that were forced to leave the area through the years for a
variety of reasons.
"Participation was strong. We could say that joining in the ritual was a
first and a form of resistance. The Syriacs who came from Europe to perform
the Easter rituals said they had come to Mardin to support the Syriac
community in the Mor Gabriel case," Şabo Boyacı, a prominent figure in the
Syriac community, told the Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review,
referring to a lawsuit brought forth by some locals in an effort to claim
lands that are part of the area's famous Mor Gabriel Monastery.
"Our happiness is greatly increased because of our Turkish, Kurdish, Yezidi
and Mıhallemi brothers and sisters who did not abandon us [on this night]
and who have become partners in our celebration. We also express our
gratitude to the Turkish Republic for mobilizing all their resources for
us," said Johny Messo, the chairman of the event's organizer, the Syriac
Universal Alliance, or SUA.
"The true children of this land who have traveled from far corners of the
world to visit their heavenly soil have reminded us once more of the value
of our 5,000-year-old homeland," said Mehmet Ali Aslan, the chairman of the
local Akaddian Mıhellemis Association, which also emphasized the need to
protect cultural heritage.
Many visitors brought their children along to show them their ancestral
lands for the "Culture and Intermingling" night organized by the SUA, which
is based in the Netherlands. The visitors also met with their relatives in
the southeastern province even though some had difficulty recognizing each
other after decades of separation.
Participants expressed messages of friendship and brotherhood throughout the
night in Turkish, Syriac and Mıhallemi; celebrants also danced to music
provided by Syriac artists Sina Maravge and Aslan Togan for the event, which
was aired live on Suryoyo Sat TV, a Syriac community channel based in
Sweden, according to Doğan news agency, or DHA.
The Syriac expatriates journeyed to the Tur Abidin [Tur Abdin, SOL] area
from a variety of countries, including Austria, Germany, Belgium, Syria,
Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, France, Great Britain and the United
States.
During the event, Messo also presented Mardin's mayor with a plaque thanking
him for his efforts in helping Syriacs in the area.
hurriyetdailynews.com
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