Qudshanis[1][2][3][4] or Kochanes[5] (Syriac: ܩܘܕܫܢܝܣQūdšānīs, Syriac pronunciation: [quˈt͡ʃɑ.nɪs];[6] Kurdish: Qoçanis, Turkish: Konak or Koçanis[7]), is a small village in Hakkâri Province, Turkey. The village is situated about 20 km northeast of the provincial capital Hakkâri in the southeastern corner of Turkey, near the borders of Iran and Iraq, in the Upper Barwari region. In 2018, the population was 19.[8]

Residence of the Patriarch of the Church of the East in Qodshanis
A sketch of the interior of the Patriarchal Church of Mar Shalita, from Wigram's The Cradle of Mankind: Life in Eastern Kurdistan. The church is still somewhat intact (although abandoned) to this day.

It was significant in the history of the Church of the East (whose continuation is at the head of what since 1976 has adopted the name of Assyrian Church of the East[9][10][11]) in that it was the seat of a line of patriarchs for many centuries up until the early 20th century.[3][12] One of the only buildings still standing is the Patriarchal Church of Mar Shalita.



The name of the village means "sacred".[citation needed] The village was founded in 1672 by Chaldean Catholics from the city of Amida who, upon settling here, broke off with the Catholic church and founded a new branch of the Church of the East in 1692, ruled by the Shimun line. From that point on the village functioned as the de facto capital of the Assyrian tribes in the region. The government of the Hakkari mountains was that of a tribal confederation, with Assyrian tribes such as the Tyari and Nochiya living in villages across the region, with their own leaders known as maliks (Syriac: ܡܠܟ‎). The tribes were subservient to the patriarch based in Qodchanis and paid him taxes, which the patriarch then gave to the Ottomans.[a] Therefore, the patriarch functioned as a king of sorts for the Assyrians of the mountains, and his See in Qodchanis functioned as the capital of their confederation. The confederation was in effect almost like a vassal state ruled by the Ottoman Empire, and even then the Assyrians were not subservient to the Sultan, but rather the Patriarch. Upon his declaration of war in 1915, the tribes of the region immediately went into open rebellion against the Turks.[13] Three years into this war in 1918, they were forced off of their ancestral lands in the Assyrian Genocide.

In a relatively isolated area, Qodshanis was for many years cut off from the outside world up until 1829, when a German traveller discovered it. Visitors from the West began arriving as emissaries.[12] One of these emissaries, an Englishman known as William Ainger Wigram, described it in his book The Cradle of Mankind: Life in Eastern Kurdistan (1922):

The village of Qudshanis, which is the residence of the Nestorian or Assyrian Patriarch, Mar Shimun, and the headquarters of his Church, has a marvellous situation. It lies on a sloping alp of rugged pasture, between two mountain torrents which spring from the towering snow-fields to the west of it; and which descend in gradually deepening gorges, enclosing the tongue-shaped plateau on which the village stands. They meet beneath the point of the tongue at the base of a lofty wedge of rock; and thence the united stream flows on, joined by others on its way, till it falls into the Zab some two hours below the village. Nestorian tradition regards the Zab as the Pison [or Pishon/Uizhun], one of the four rivers of Paradise; and the Patriarch will occasionally date his official letters from my cell on the River of the Garden of Eden.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The wild Christian tribes of Hakkiari, whither no Government of any sort has ever extended, still pay tribute to their Patriarch for transmission to the Sultan; and not taxes through the tax-collector"[citation needed]



  1. ^ Maclean, Arthur John; Browne, William Henry (1892). The Catholicos of the East and His People. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. p. 11.
  2. ^ Perkins, Justin (1843). A Residence of Eight Years in Persia, among the Nestorian Christians with Notices of the Muhammedans. Andover, Massachusetts: Allen, Morrill & Wardwell. p. 18.
  3. ^ a b c Wigram, William Ainger; Wigram, Edgar T. A. (1922). The Cradle of Mankind: Life in Eastern Kurdistan. London: A. & C. Black, Ltd. p. 264.
  4. ^ Wilmshurst, David (2000). The Ecclesiastical Organisation of the Church of the East, 1318–1913. University of Virginia: Peeters. ISBN 9782877235037.
  5. ^ https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.31826/9781463211448-018/html
  6. ^ Maclean, Arthur John (1901). Dictionary of the Dialects of Vernacular Syriac. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 272a.
  7. ^ https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/egetid/issue/50768/661583
  8. ^ "Hakkari Merkez Konak Köyü Nüfusu: 19" (in Turkish). Türkiye Nüfusu İl ilçe Mahalle Köy Nüfusları. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  9. ^ Baum, Wilhelm; Winkler, Dietmar W. (2003). The Church of the East: A Concise History. London and New York: Routledge. p. 4. ISBN 9781134430192.
  10. ^ Joseph, John (2000). The Modern Assyrians of the Middle East. Leiden: Brill. p. 1. ISBN 9789004116412.
  11. ^ Aprim, Frederick A. (7 March 2008). "Assyria and Assyrians Since the 2003 US Occupation of Iraq" (PDF). Fredaprim.com. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  12. ^ a b Verheij, Jelle (2005). "Patriarchal Church of the "Church of the East", Hakkari". History and historical geography of Turkey and the late Ottoman Empire & Ottoman-Armenian-Kurdish relations before the First World War. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  13. ^ Stafford, Ronald Sempill (2006) [1935]. The Tragedy of the Assyrians. Piscataway, New Jersey: Gorgias Press. ISBN 978-1-59333-413-0..


External linksEdit

Coordinates: 37°38′34.44″N 43°47′21.84″E / 37.6429000°N 43.7894000°E / 37.6429000; 43.7894000