Turkey, 2010

After decades in exile, Assyrians return to their abandoned homes in southeastern Turkey. They call the area TurAbdin - mountain of the servants of God - and they have lived here for thousands of years. It´s not far to the borders of Syria and Iraq, two other countries where the Assyrian people traditionally have lived. Due to unrest and conflicts in the area, many have left their homes during the last 100 years.

Ten years ago something happened. The emigrants started to return. Many of them build up their old houses, others choose to build completely new. Some of them split their time between TurAbdin and their new homes, others return completely.

The majority of the returners are old and retired. The great love for their homeland have grown to strong, and the area is safer now. Some don´t make it in time, they return only to be buried. And for many of them, this is the beginning of a new exile, far from children and grandchildren who choose to stay behind.

Copyright © Erik Abel.