Turkey: Fire devours orchards and agricultural land in Syriac village of Zaz in Tur Abdin

ZAZ, Turkey – Fires devoured orchards and agricultural land in the Syriac village of Zaz, in the ancient southeastern Syriac region of Turkey – which Syriacs call Tur Abdin.

According to the information our news desk obtained yesterday, strong winds made the fires spread from orchards and agricultural land around Zaz and surrounding villages like Derıkfan. The fired also threatened some village houses but fortunately did not reach the village and no damaged was done there.

In summer in Tur Abdin it is not uncommon for fires to kindle and spread quickly in dry grass- and crop land. Often fires are also set on purpose. This summer land and orchards belonging to the centuries-old Syriac Orthodox Mar Hananyo monastery or Dayr al-Zafaraan were burned by four persons. Workers of the monastery saw a car with the persons drive away from the fire. Last year several hectares of the monasteries’ olive grove went up in fire.

Because of the recurring fires and negligence by the authorities to take proper measures against the fires, Syriac organizations in July held a fundraising in the diaspora to collect funds for fire extinguishers. 42 mobile fire distinguished were bought with the funds raised and distributed over Syriac villages and monasteries in Turkey’s southeastern Tur Abdin region.

Read article in Syriac here