TUR ABDIN: Syriac Church Foundation chairman and former deputy mayor Anto Beth Bisse passes away in Midyat

MIDYAT, Turkey – The chairman of the Syriac Church Foundation in Midyat Anto Nuay Beth Bisse died Friday of a heart attack in his hometown of Midyat, reports Syriac newspaper Gazete Sabro. Rushed medics were unable to save 80-year-old Bisse.

Anto Beth Bisse was born in 1941 in Midyat, Tur Abdin, father of four sons and five daughters, and a leading member of the Syriac community in the former all-Syriac town.

During his long career in public service, he served as a municipal official, city councilor, and deputy mayor for many years until his retirement. He also chaired the Syriac Church Foundation in Midyat for more than 20 years.

A vigil for the deceased will be held at the Syriac Orthodox Mor Barsaumo Church in Midyat. The extended family in the diaspora will hold a vigil at the Mor Ephrem Church in Södertälje, Sweden.

There are still some 120 Syriac families in Midyat from what was once a thriving all-Syriac city. The majority of the current Midyat residents are Kurds. The Syriac Midyat diaspora runs into the tens of thousands with large communities in Germany and Sweden.