Suruç,(pronounced [ˈsuɾut͡ʃ], Kurdish: Pirsûs) is a rural district and city of Şanlıurfa Province of Turkey, on a plain near the Syrian border 46 kilometres (29 mi) south-west of the city of Urfa (36° 58' 33.9" N, 38° 25' 32.8" E).
|• Mayor||Orhan Şansal (BDP)|
|• Kaymakam||Mehmet Sinan Yıldız|
|• District||735.19 km2 (283.86 sq mi)|
|• District density||140/km2 (360/sq mi)|
The modern Turkish name "Suruç" is derived from Serugh (Syriac: ܣܪܘܓ, Sĕrûḡ, pronounced as if Sıruğ in Modern Turkish orthography, but present pronunciation influenced by Arabic: سروج, sarūj meaning: "saddle"), the pre-Islamic name for the area. The name literally means "woven" (Hebrew: סרוג 'sarug' meaning: "knitted") or "latticed", and either refers to weaving or saddle making, both of which are traditional in the district. Alternatively, the name is associated with Serug (Hebrew: שרוג, śərûḡ) the great-grandfather of Abraham (Genesis 11:20–23; I Chronicles 1:26; Luke 3:35).
The main town of the district is also called Suruç. However, the older name for the town is Batnan or Batnae (Syriac: ܒܛܢܢ, Baṭnān; Greek: Βάτναι, Batnai; Latin: Batnae). The site of the Ancient city is still called Tell-Batnan. Today, Suruç is an agricultural district, famous for pomegranates.
In antiquity the Sumerians built a settlement in the area. The city was a centre of silk-making. They were succeeded by a number of other Mesopotamian civilisations.
The Roman Emperor Constantine I brought the town under the control of the city of Edessa (modern day Şanlıurfa). One of the most famous residents of the district is its 6th century Syriac bishop and poet-theologian Jacob of Serugh. The Roman Catholic Church hold the bishopric as a titular see of that church, though they had little presence in the area, while the Syriac church holds a separate Bishopric in the town.
Suruç was occupied in 1918 by British and in 1919 by French troops, but was freed by a local resistance struggle. Today, Suruç is inhabited mostly by ethnic Kurds.
On 19 October 2014, journalist Serena Shim was killed in Suruç. This was considered suspicious[by whom?] since a couple days earlier Shim was accused of espionage connected with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and two days earlier she talked on air about how MIT (Turkish Intelligence) threatened her.
Like most Kurds in Turkey, the vast majority of the residents of the Suruç district are adherents of Sunni Islam. However, there is a significant presence of Shia Muslims especially in northern areas.
Ecclesiastical history of BatnaeEdit
Batnae (or Batnæ) was important enough in the Lat Roman province of Osroene to become a suffragan bishopric of its capital Edessa's Metropolitan, yet was to fade. The most famous Bishop of the city was Jacob of Serugh – The great Syriac Christian hymnographer born around 431 at Kurtam on the Euphrates and educated at Edessa becoming a priest at Hawra in the Serugh district, as a wandering pastor of several villages. At the age of 67 he was made bishop of Batnan, where he died around 521. Jacob avoided the theological controversies of his age, and is claimed with equal eagerness by Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian Christians as one of their own. He wrote several Hymns, 760 homilies and the Syriac translation of Evagrius.
The bishopric would be nominally restored in two different titular bishoprics, for different Catholic rite-specific particular churches.
Latin titular seeEdit
Established in 1933.
Is vacant since decades, having had only two incumbents, both of the lowest (episcopal) rank :
- Gabriel Naamo (1938.09.30 – 1957.06.28)
- Simeon Kokov (Kokoff), Capuchin Franciscans (O.F.M. Cap.) (1958.04.20 – 1974.07.11)
Syriac titular seeEdit
Established in the early 20th century, under repeatedly changed names: 'Bathna(-Jarug), Bathnan(Sarugh), Bathnae). Suppressed in 1933, restored under its present name in 1965.
It has had the following incumbents, all of the lowest (episcopal) rank :
- Teofilo Gabriele Tappouni (Dionisio) (1913.01.19 – 1921.02.24), as Auxiliary Eparch of Mardin and Amida of the Syrians (Turkey) (1912.09.14 – 1921.02.24); previously titular bishop of Danaba-orum (1912.09.14 – 1913.01.19); later Archeparch of Aleppo of the Syrians (Syria) (1921.02.24 – 1929.06.24), Eparch of Mardin and Amida of the Syrians (1929.06.24 – 1962), Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians (Lebanon) ([1929.06.24] 1929.07.15 – 1968.01.29), created Cardinal-Priest of Ss. XII Apostoli (1935.12.19 – 1965.02.11), promoted Cardinal-Patriarch (1965.02.11 – 1968.01.29)
- Atanasio Behnam Kalian (1921.02.26 – 1929.08.06) as Auxiliary Bishop of Antioch of the Syrians (Lebanon) (1921.02.26 – 1929.08.06), Auxiliary Bishop of Mardin and Amida of the Syrians (Turkey) (1921.02.26 – 1929.08.06), later Archeparch of Baghdad of the Syrians (Iraq) (1929.08.06 – death 1949.02.17)
- Bishop-elect Basile Pierre Habra (1963.05.01 – 1963.07.06)
- Gregorios Elias Tabé (1995.06.24 – 1996.05.25) as Auxiliary Bishop of Antioch of the Syrians (Lebanon) (1995.06.24 – 1997), later titular bishop of Mardin of the Syrians (1996.05.25 – 1999.05.08), Bishop of Curia of the Syrians (1997 – 1999.05.08), Coadjutor Archeparch of Damascus of the Syrians (Syria) (1999.05.08 – 2001.06.24), succeeding as Metropolitan Archbishop of Damascus of the Syrians (2001.06.24 – ...)
- Grégoire Pierre Abdel-Ahad (1996.06.29 – 2001.02.16) while Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem of the Syrians (Palestine and Jordan) (1978–1991 and 1991–2000), later Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians (Lebanon) ([2001.02.16] 2001.02.24 – 2008.01.25), President of Synod of the Syriac Catholic Church (2001.02.24 – 2008.01.25)
- Grégoire Pierre Melki (2002.02.25 – ...), Patriarchal Exarch of Jerusalem of the Syrians (Palestine and Jordan, see in the Holy Land)
- Suruç Water Tunnel, Turkey's longest water tunnel
- "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
- "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
- Basil Watkins, The Book of Saints: A Comprehensive Biographical Dictionary (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015).
- Titular Episcopal See of Batnæ at GCatholic.org.
- Michael H. Dodgeon, Samuel N. C. Lieu, The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars AD 226-363 (Routledge, 2002) p362.
- "Suspected ISIS bombing kills 27 in Turkish border town". 20 July 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- St. Jacobus of Sarug, Bishop of Batnæ .
- NPNF2-08. Basil: Letters and Select Works.(CCEL)
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