Traditional Easter Celebration in Southeast Turkey (11-17 April 2012)

1. Celebrating Traditional Easter Celebration in Tur-Abdin, Southeast Turkey: 11-17 April 2012
After last year's extremely successful journey home, from 19-26 April 2011, the Syriac Universal Alliance (SUA) and its Member Federations again offer 100 Arameans from all over the world a unique experience to relive their childhood and bring up memories with fellow people in the place that gave birth to them and/or their (grand)parents. This year from 11-17 April. 

For 30-40 years, most Diaspora Arameans have not returned, let alone celebrated traditional feasts in their homeland. In celebrating Passion Week and Easter, participants can enrich themselves with the lifetime chance to experience a cultural and spiritual pilgrimage to Istanbul and Southeast Turkey, including Mardin, Tur-Abdin and Diyarbakir (Omid). For most Arameans who originate from this ancient region, this experience turned out to be no less than the pilgrimage to the Holy City of Jerusalem in Israel.

2. Among others, participants may expect from the Syriac Universal Alliance:
Tour guides through ancient villages, monasteries and churches in Istanbul, Mardin, Diyarbakir and Midyat and its surroundings in Tur-Abdin.
11-12 April: Maundy Thursday in Istanbul (Washing of the Feet/Shyoghto da raghle), by and dinner with H.E. Archbishop Mor Filoxenus Yusuf Cetin from Istanbul and the Board of the Diocese; on Thursday the participants are free to choose between spare time in Istanbul City (5-6 hours!) or take part of the tour programme which may include meetings with the Greek and Armenian Patriarchs and a visit to Hagia Sofia and Istanbul Museum which has ancient Aramaic objects from Urhoy (Edessa/Urfa).
13 April: Good Friday in Mardin (commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary/yawmeh d-'ruwto di zqifutho), by and dinner with H.E. Bishop Mor Filoxenus Saliba Özmen from Mardin and the local community.
14 April: Visiting the Monasteries of, and touring villages around, Tur-Abdin, including Mor Gabriel & Mor Jacob d-Salih.
15 April: Easter Sunday celebration in Midyat ('edo di qyomto), with H.E. Archbishop Mor Timotheus Samuel Aktas; you can choose between spare time to visit your village(s) alone or visit with the group a couple of other towns; an Easter Gala (hago marduthonoyo) free of charge moderated by the famous Shleimun Ego (Akgüc) from Suryoyo Sat in Sweden and the famous singers Yusuf Saliba and Daniel Afram from Germany. The Gala will again be broadcast LIVE on Suryoyo Sat !
16 April: Easter Monday celebration at Mor Abrohom & Mor Hobil Monastery in Midyat (yawmo di thnahto), with H.E. Archbishop Mor Timotheus Samuel Aktas; Tur-Izlo (incl. Mor Melke Monastery); travel to Diyarbakir (Omid) to visit the ancient St. Mary Church; in the evening a traditional Diyarbakir Sira Gecesi (traditional folk music) will be held with folkloristic music, dances and food. Special guests will be Yusuf Saliba and Daniel Afram (from Germany).
All-inclusive package: luxurious 4/5 star hotels in Istanbul, Mardin, Midyat and Diyarbakir; transport and fare, food and drinks, etc.
After the journey: participants will receive a DVD with unique photos & a documentary about this lifetime experience and unforgettable journey that will also be broadcast on Suryoyo Sat.

3. Departure and Arrivals, 11 & 17 April 2012:

1. For the 100 participants, on Wednesday 11 April 2012 the next airports have been arranged with Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines (meals provided!)

On the 13th of April 2012 all ca. 100 participants will travel together from Istanbul to Diyarbakir. The flight schedule will be received in Turkey.

2. On Tuesday 17 April, participants will fly from Diyarbakir Airport to Istanbul Airport (Sabiha Gökcen) at:

3. On Tuesday 17 April 2012, participants will fly back home via Istanbul Airport at:

4. The total price for this all-inclusive package:

Only 950 EUR or 8.500 SEK or 1.150 CHF!

If you wish to participate in this unique cultural and spiritual journey, kindly email us your details -- name, surname, age, telephone number and city of residence -- at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , and transfer the fee until Friday 30 March 2012, with the description "Tur-Abdin Easter Celebration, 11-17 April 2012", to SUA's bank account at the following details:

Account number: 3967.30.620
IBAN number: NL 71 RABO 0396 7306 20
BIC number: RABONL2U
Place: Enschede-Haaksbergen
Address: Postbus 115, 7500 AC Enschede, The Netherlands


Mathay Aydin: 0049 – 160 9039 2730
Deutsche Bank in Heidelberg: 0492942, BLZ 672 700 24

Jonathan Varli: 0046 – 762 063 548 & Salomon Uney: 0046 - 855 016 171
Plusgiro Nordea i Södertälje: 432 01 15 - 1

Melki Toprak: 0041 – 792 401 206
Use the SUA Bank Account!

Musa Danho: 0043 – 13281402
Bank Austria: 50561842200

Gabriel Gecer: 0032 – 474 619 311
ING in Bruxelles: 363-0799413-76

Maria Kara: 0031 – 619 914 814
RABOBANK in Enschede: 3967.30.620




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