Syriac Christian couple missing in southeast Turkey

A Syriac Christian couple in Turkey’s southeastern province of Şırnak have been missing since Jan. 11, Agos newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Hurmuz and Şimoni Diril, residents of  Kovankaya (Mehri), the only Christian village of the town of Beytüşşebap, were last heard from on Jan. 7, Agos said citing the couple’s son.

Their son Remzi Diril, a priest of the Catholic Chaldean Church in Istanbul, notified authorities when he could not find them at home during a recent visit, it said. 

"Last weekend their son and two villagers wanted to pay them a surprise visit, but couldn’t find anyone at home. Security forces and search and rescue team members are looking for them in the region, but nobody has heard from them," Agos quoted family member Ferit Idil as saying.

Turkey's Syriac community has made headlines this month with the arrest of a Syriac priest along with two other members of the community on Jan. 9 for sharing food with a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Priest Sefer Bileçen was released on Tuesday.