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Traditional clothing from the district of Ţyāré

Ţyāré (Syriac: ܛܝܪܐ‎, Kurdish: Tîyar) is an Assyrian tribe of ancient origins, and a historical district within Hakkari, Turkey. The area was traditionally divided into Upper and Lower Ţyāré - each consisting of several Assyrian villages. Today, the district mostly sits in around the town of Çukurca.[1][2][3]

Before 1915, Ţyāré was home to Christian Assyrians from the Ţyāré tribe as well as a minority of Kurds. Following the Assyrian Genocide, Ţyārāyé, along with other Assyrians residing in the Hakkâri highlands, were forced to leave their villages in south east Turkey and fled to join their fellow Assyrian brethren in northern Iraq, and also to northwestern Iran, northeastern Syria, Armenia, Georgia, and to western countries.

Very few Assyrians now live in Turkey, and the Hakkâri region has been empty of Assyrians since 1924. The number of Assyrians in Turkey today is less than 30,000.


Ţyāré may be a variation of the ancient "Autiyara".[4] An inscription by the Persian King Darius (521-486 BC) states that his forces defeated one of his enemies in the Assyrian district of "Autiyara" which is probably the Christian Assyrian "Ţiyāré" in the mountains a short distance form Nineveh where Assyrians known as "Ţyārāyé" meaning the people of Ţyāré live.

In Classical Syriac the word Ţyāré is the plural form of a sheepfold, or grazing area. Indeed, the Assyrians of Ţyāré were renowned even amongst neighboring Kurds and Armenians for their yogurt, cheese and other dairy products mostly made from sheep or goat's milk. They were also famous for their textiles, which again were spun and woven from sheep's wool. They also made woolen felt for their characteristic pointed caps, and felt was also used for bedding.

These industries have continued to some extent in their rural settlements in Northern Iraq and North East Syria. One anecdote mentions that on the flight of Assyrians from Urmia (Iran) to Bakuba (Iraq) in 1918, the Ţyāré Assyrians reached the end of the thousand mile trek with more sheep than when they had originally set out.


Like Jīlū, the Tyari dialect is a very distinct Assyrian Neo-Aramaic dialect. Unlike the Jilu, Baz and Gawar dialects (which are very similar to each other), this one is more 'thick'. It is, in a way, a sort of a "working class" accent of the Assyrian dialects. Dialects within Tyari, and especially the Western group, have more in common with Chaldean Neo-Aramaic than with Standard Assyrian (similar to General Urmian)

Many Tyaris can switch back and forth from Tyari to Assyrian Standard (or Iraqi Koine) when conversing with Assyrian speakers of other dialects. Some speakers tend to adopt a form of verb conjugation that is closer to the Iraqi Koine or Urmian Standard. This is attributed to the growing exposure to Assyrian Standard based literature, media, and its use as a liturgical language by the Assyrian Church of the East.

English Assyrian Standard Tyari dialect
To come tāyā tháyā
To go brəkhshā or bikhāshā bizālā
Come shā or hāyo
What is it? moodileh? motheeleh?
House betā bethā
Boy brū bro
Girl brātā brāthā
Assyrian Female sūretā sūrethā
Village tâ thâ
They went xəshlun xishlun
For ţlā
Drink (imperative) (plural) shtin shtemū
Afterwards (or 'and then') bexaɾta bega


The Tyari dialect generally turns the [t] in Assyrian standard vocabulary to [θ]. So, for example, Mātā in standard Assyrian (meaning 'village'), will be māthā (like 'math' said in Received Pronunciation, but with an 'a').


The schwa, heard in standard Assyrian pronunciations of the words like khəshka (English for 'dark') and bərqa ('light') is switched to the close front unrounded vowel or /i/ in the Tyari dialect. This distinct vowel shift gives the dialect a stronger, 'uneducated' sound to the outside ears. The [u] in the standard Assyrian pronunciation, like moody (English for 'what'), is turned to [o] (i.e. mothy).


Both Upper and Lower Ţyāré consisted of several villages, thus providing the names of the various clans that resided there.[5]

Some Lower Ţyāré clans:

Some Upper Ţyāré clans:


  • About the national dress worn by the Ţyāré men in the Bakuba camp Brigadier-Gen Austin wrote; "Fine upstanding fellows they are, ...their legs, encased in long loose baggy trousers of a greyish hue originally, but so patched all over with bits of blue, red, green and other colors that their pants are veritable patch work. A broad cloth, "Kammar band," or waist band, is folded several times round the trunk of the body, and a short cut-away jacket of amazing colors, worn over a thin cotton variegated shirt. The head-dress consists of conical felt cap as depicted in frescoes of Assyrians of thousands of years ago, and which has survived to this day."[6]
  • "There are 115 guests today. Among them are a number of Tyari men, whose wild looks, combined with the splendour of their dress and arms, are of great interest. Their jackets are one mass of gold embroidery, their shirts, with hanging sleeves, are striped satin; their trousers, of sailor cut, are silk, made from the cocoons of their own silkworms, woven with broad crimson stripes on a white ground, on which is a zigzag pattern; and their handsome jackboots are of crimson leather. With their white or red peaked felt hats and twisted silk pagris or head-cloths, their rich girdles, jewelled daggers, and inlaid pistols, they are very imposing." [7]

Famous Ţyāré Assyrians

Bishops and priests

  • H.H. Mar Addai II, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Ancient Church of the East - Ashitha, Lower Tyari
  • H.H. Mar Gewargis III Sliwa, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East - Ashitha, Lower Tyari
  • Mar Narsai Toma, Metropolitan of Kirkuk of the Ancient Church of the East - Lagippa, Lower Tyari
  • Mar Toma Giwargis, Metropolitan of Nineveh of the Ancient Church of the East - Matha D'Qasra, Lower Tyari
  • Mar Daniel Yakob, Bishop of California of the Ancient Church of the East - Ashitha, Lower Tyari
  • Mar Yacoub Daniel, Metropolitan of Australia and New Zealand of the Ancient Church of the East - Ashitha, Lower Tyari
  • Mar Emmanuel Elia, former Bishop of North America of the Ancient Church of the East - Ashitha, Lower Tyari
  • Mar Zaia Khoshaba, Metropolitan of North America of the Ancient Church of the East - Ashitha, Lower Tyari
  • Mar Aprem Daweed, former Bishop of Dohuk of the Ancient Church of the East - Ashitha, Lower Tyari
  • Mar Gewargis Younan, Bishop of Chicago of the Ancient Church of the East - Minyanish, Lower Tyari
  • Mar Odisho Oraham, Bishop of Western Europe of the Assyrian Church of the East - Rumta, Upper Tyari
  • Mar Aprem Natniel, Bishop of Syria of the Assyrian Church of the East - Sarespido, Upper Tyari

Assyrian Singers

See also


  1. http://www.aina.org/maps/eastern/map_assyria_amadiya.jpg
  2. http://www.aina.org/maps/chevalier/chevalier8.htm
  3. Assyrian villages in Hakkari Assyrian villages in Hakkari
  4. Olmstead, History of the Persian Empire, University of Chicago Press, 1970, p. 114
  5. Assyrians Of The Van District During The Rule Of Ottoman Turks. M.Y.A . Lilian. 1914.
  6. Brigadier-Gen. H.H. Austin, "The Baqubah Refugee Camp", The Faith Press, london 1920.
  7. Bird, Isabella. "Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan, including a summer in the Upper Karun region and a visit to the Nestorian rayahs". John Murray, London. 1891.