Syriac community celebrates Akitu in Tur Abdin, Turkey

ARKAH, TUR ABDIN, Turkey — Around 300 Syriacs (Arameans–Assyrians–Chaldeans) from various villages in the historic Tur Abdin region of southeastern Turkey gathered at Izla Restaurant in Arkah village to celebrate Akitu 6774, the Babylonian Syriac-Assyrian New Year.

Fathers Elio Çelik and Afram Kurkunj led a special prayer for Akitu and expressed their immense joy at participating in the event. They extended their congratulations to all Syriac (Arameans–Assyrians–Chaldeans) people, both in the homeland and the diaspora, on the occasion of Akitu.

Syriac MP in Turkish Parliament George Aslan attended the event and delivered a speech addressing the conditions of the Syriac (Arameans–Assyrians–Chaldeans) people in Turkey. He urged Syriac (Arameans–Assyrians–Chaldeans) expatriates to consider returning home, emphasizing the risks of assimilation in the diaspora.

The celebration featured performances by four Syriac singers from Tur Abdin: Shamoun Qaplo, Gabriel Bahho, Alexander Ishaq, and Kima Ishaq, who presented national and folk songs in both western and eastern Syriac dialects.

Sardar Ordak, a singer from Merdo (Mardin), also participated as a guest of honor, performing the Bagiyah song in both Syriac dialects.

Additionally, a team of Syriac youth performed a song dedicated to Akitu during the event.