Aramean monk kidnapped in Tur Abdin (Turkey)


Dutch Version

Monk Daniel Savci


Midyat (Tur Abdin, Turkey)- On Wednesday 28-11-2007 the Aramean monk Daniel Savci was kidnapped around 15.00 hour on his way back from Midyat to the monastery of St. Jacob in the village of Salah (Tur Abdin). The kidnappers are unknown. The car of Savci was found on the road between Midyat and Salah with broken glasses. 


Daniel Savci is a monk of the Syrian Orthodox St. Jacob monastery in the village of Salah in southeathern of Turkey. The village of salah is situated 10 km northern of Midyat (see detailed map).


The kidnappers are unknown. After the abduction of Daniel Savci, the kidnappers contacted via his mobile phone various Aramean persons in Tur Abdin in which they told they had kidnapped Daniel and asked a ransom of 300.000 Euro for his release.

The Monastery of St. Yakob in Salah is known in the tradition of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch because it had been served as the resident for the patriarchate of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.


The Aramean people, sometimes falsely presented as "Assyrians" or "Chaldeans"- because of the intervention of the Western colonial  spiritual activities in the middle-east in the 16th and 19th centuries, are the indigenous people of the middle-east and are present since thousands of years in this part of the world, the cradle of civilisation.


Tur Abdin means in Aramaic "mountains of the servants of the Lord", this because of overwhelming presence of monasteries and churches since the advent of Christianity in Mesopotamia. Tur Abdin is a part of the Biblical Paddan-Aram where people like Jacob and Abraham have lived and walked.


Thirty years ago there were around 40.000 Arameans living in Tur Abdin. Unfortunately, because of continued discrimination, persecution and killings, the Aramean nation was forced to leave behind the sacred lands of their forefathers and went into Diaspora.


Today there are approximately 2000 Arameans in Tur Abdin. In Turkey there are about 17.000 Arameans of whom the majority lives in Istanbul.