Syriac family from Germany returns to their homeland of Tur Abdin in Turkey

BOTI, Turkey — Like most families from the villages of the historic Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) region of Tur Abdin in southeastern Turkey, the Syriac Yohanin Bilen family, immigrated from Boti village to Germany in 1979 due to the dire living conditions.

After finishing his studies in Turkish schools, Malfono (Professor) Issa Yohanin Bilen was sent by his family to Dayro d’Kurkmo (Saffron Monastery / Deir Zafaran) and then to the Monastery of Mor Gabriel.

In 1987, he was sent to teach in Bsorino village, where he married Khatun from the village of Yardo.

In 1997, the Yohanin Bilen family immigrated to Bremen, Germany, where they experienced many difficulties, according to Issa Bilen.

In 2019, they were able to visit their homeland of Tur Abdin.

“After 15 years, I managed to visit my hometown and I was very touched upon returning,” he said. “As a family, we decided to return to our village, build a house and settle here. We are very happy to return after 43 years in the diaspora.”

“We must not forget the history of our ancestors, but preserve their heritage and values,” he concluded.