Traditional Easter Celebration in Southeast Turkey (30 April - 7 May 2013)

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Third Annual Traditional Easter Celebration in Southeast Turkey from 30 April till 7 May 2013

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1. Celebrating Traditional Easter Celebration in Tur-Abdin, Southeast Turkey: 30 April – 7 May 2013

After the extremely successful journeys home in 2011 and 2012, for the third time in a row the World Council of Arameans [Syriacs] (WCA) and its Member Federations provide 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 the memorable event will take place from 30 April till 7 May 2013.

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 Southeast Turkey, including Urfa (Urhoy), Adiyaman, Harran, Diyarbakir (Omid), Midyat, Mor Augin, Mardin and more historical places. For most Arameans who originate from this ancient region, these Journeys Home have turned out to be no less the experience than the pilgrimage to the Holy City of Jerusalem in Israel!

2. Among others, participants may expect from the World Council of Arameans [Syriacs]:

  • Tour guides through ancient places, monasteries and churches in Urfa (Urhoy), Mardin, Diyarbakir (Omid), Midyat and its surroundings in Tur-Abdin.
  • 30 April – 1 May: Urfa (Urhoy) & Harran. Visit to Harran university, the Pool of Abraham and the ancient Citadel in Urfa. We offer participants spare time in Urfa city. In the evening there is a special program for our participants!
  • 2 May: Maundy Thursday in Adiyaman (Washing of the Feet/Shyoghto da raghle); on Thursday we will visit Mount Nemrut (2,134m or 7,001ft high!), attend the Holy Service: washing of the feet in Adiyaman with H.E. Archbishop Mor Gregorius Melke Ürek and afterwards dinner and a social gathering in the Church with the local community. 
  • 3 May: Good Friday in Diyarbakir (Omid), commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His death at Calvary/yawmeh d-'ruwto di zqifutho). There is spare time to visit Diyarbakir City. In the afternoon we will go together to the St. Mary church to attend the Holy Service with Fr. Yusuf Akbulut, afterwards a joint dinner at the courtyard of the church. 
  • 4 May: Visiting Mor Augin, Maye Hewore (conditional) and the Monastery of Mor Gabriel in Midyat. In the evening we will have dinner at Mor Abrohom and an evening program is set for the participants with guest speakers and a dialogue about the future of Tur-Abdin. 
  • 5 May: Easter Sunday celebration in Midyat (‘Edo di qyomto), with H.E. Archbishop Mor Timotheus Samuel Aktas; visit Mor Melke Monastery; an Easter Gala (hago marduthonoyo) free of charge and moderated by the famous Suryoyo Sat host Shlemun Ego from Sweden and the famous Aramean music group Daniel Josef from Germany. Once again the Gala will be broadcast LIVE on Suryoyo Sat!
  • 6 May: Easter Monday celebration at the church of the 40 Martyrs (‘ito dan arb‘i sohde) in Mardin (yawmo di thnahto), with H.E. Mor Philoxenus Saliba Özmen from Mardin. There will be spare time in Mardin City, we will visit the Monastery of Dayro d-Za‘faran, in the evening there is a Mardin Sira Gecesi (traditional folk music) with folkloristic music, dances and food. Daniel Josef from Germany will also sing a few songs in Aramaic.
  • Further included in the program: luxurious 4/5 star hotels in Urfa (Urhoy), Midyat and Mardin; 2 nights stay at Mor Abrohom Monastery and the local Tur-Abdin Hotel; transport and fare, food and drinks, and more.
  • After the journey: participants will receive a DVD-set containing the documentary and unique photos of this lifetime experience and journey which will also be broadcast on Suryoyo Sat.

3. Departure and Arrivals, 30 April & 7 May 2013: 

Consult your flight times HERE! with Turkish Airlines or Pegasus Airlines.

Note however that:
If you fly with Pegasus Airlines or Turkish Airlines, you are allowed to bring 20 kg.

4. The total price for this complete package:

Only 1100 EUR or 10,000 SEK or 1.350 CHF!

If you wish to participate in this unique journey home, kindly email your details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. :
- Copy of your Passport or ID card,
- telephone number, and
- city and country of residence.

Note, however, that

  • participants can register for this Journey Home until Monday 15 April 2013;
  • there are limited seats available;
  • your registration will only be confirmed after your payment has been received (there is no refund available!), with the description "WCA Tur-Abdin Trip, 30 April-7 May 2013", to WCA’s bank account at the following details: 

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


Maria Isleyen: 0049 – (0) 176 9677 9106
Deutsche Bank in Heidelberg: 0492942, BLZ 672 700 24

Linda Can or Shlemun Uney: 0046-(0)8-550 161 71
Plusgiro Nordea i Södertälje: 432 01 15 - 1

Melki Toprak: 0041 – (0) 792 401 206
Use the WCA Bank Account!

Musa Danho: 0043 – (0) 13281402
Bank Austria: 50561842200

Gabriel Gecer: 0032 – (0) 474 619 311
IBAN: BE09 0013 9524 4057
BIC number: GEBA BE BB
Bank: BNP Paribas Fortis

Maria Kara: 0031 – (0) 619 914 814
RABOBANK in Enschede: 3967.30.620





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