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Suruç (pronounced [ˈsuɾutʃ], 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).

Suruç (Srūḡ)
Suruç (Srūḡ) is located in Turkey
Suruç (Srūḡ)
Suruç (Srūḡ)
Coordinates: 36°58′35″N 38°25′37″E / 36.97639°N 38.42694°E / 36.97639; 38.42694Coordinates: 36°58′35″N 38°25′37″E / 36.97639°N 38.42694°E / 36.97639; 38.42694
Country Turkey
 • MayorOrhan Şansal (BDP)
 • KaymakamMehmet Sinan Yıldız
 • District735.19 km2 (283.86 sq mi)
 • Urban
 • District
 • District density140/km2 (360/sq mi)
Post code



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.[3] The Roman Catholic Church hold the bishopric as a titular see of that church,[4] though they had little presence in the area, while the Syriac church holds a separate Bishopric in the town.

Tell-Batnan was visited by emperor Julian on his march from Antioch to the Euphrates in 363.[5]

The town was surrendered to the Rashidun Arabs in 639. It was later controlled by Crusaders (in 1098), and Muslims again (in 1127).

The city was then destroyed in the Mongol invasions, and in 1517 the area was brought into the Ottoman Empire by Selim I.

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.

21st centuryEdit

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.

On 20 July 2015, at approximately 12:50 GMT, the 2015 Suruç bombing occurred, killing 32 people and injuring others outside the Amara Cultural Center.[6]

Ahead of the June 24th anticipated 2018 Turkish elections, four people were killed in Suruç while a AKP candidate toured the city's market.[7] According to pro-kurdish sources, AKP Ibrahim Halil Yıldız went to local shopkeeper Hacı Esvet Şenyaşar where a brawl started.[8]

  • Celal Şenyaşar, son of Haci Esvet Şenyaşar, during the initial brawl at the shop, was shot and killed there.[8]
  • Mehmet Şenyaşar, son of Haci Esvet Şenyaşar, visiting the hospital following the brawl, was attacked and hit on the head repeatedly with an oxygen tank and killed.[8]
  • Haci Esvet Şenyaşar, the shop keeper, was lynched at the Suruç hospital.[8]
  • Mehmet Ali Yıldız, brother of MP Yıldız, died at the Mehmet Akif Inan Hospital in Urfa.[8]
  • One of his bodyguards of Mehmet Ali Yıldız, died at the Mehmet Akif Inan Hospital in Urfa.[8]

The Suruç hospital camera were damaged.[8] This events happened days after Erdogan was filmed encouraging identification and intimidation of opposition voters on sites.[9]


The majority of the area's residents are Kurdish and are adherents of Sunni Islam.

Ecclesiastical history of BatnaeEdit

Batnae (or Batnæ) was important enough in the 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 451 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.[10]

Another Bishop was Abraham of Batnae[11] a contemporary of Basil of Caesarea. fl373

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 :

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
  2. ^ "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.
  3. ^ Basil Watkins, The Book of Saints: A Comprehensive Biographical Dictionary (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015).
  4. ^ Titular Episcopal See of Batnæ at
  5. ^ Michael H. Dodgeon, Samuel N. C. Lieu, The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars AD 226-363 (Routledge, 2002) p362.
  6. ^ "Suspected ISIS bombing kills 27 in Turkish border town". 20 July 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  7. ^ BBC News
  8. ^ a b c d e f g What happened in Suruç?
  9. ^
  10. ^ St. Jacobus of Sarug, Bishop of Batnæ .
  11. ^ NPNF2-08. Basil: Letters and Select Works.(CCEL)

Sources and external linksEdit