An ancient Syriac Orthodox Monastery of Mor Augen on the southern slope of Mount Izlo in Trurabdin is reopened and it will remain as the spiritual centre of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Ankara, Turkey.
Mor Augen Monastery was founded in the 4th Century and it had more than 350 monks in those periods. It was one of the main spiritual centres in Turabdin. In the last century, there were more than 20 monks and the last monk passed away in 1975. Due to the persecution of Christians in Turkey, Syriac Orthodox Christians had to flee to Europe and other countries and others moved to nearby villages of Turkey itself. As a recent development, two - three weeks earlier Raban Joachim who used to live in Patriarchate, started living there again and offered Holy Qurbana. H.E. Mor Themotheos Samuel Aktaz, the Archbishop of Turabdin was the chief celebrant of the Divine Liturgy and Raban assisted
Patriarch of Antioch, H.H Ignatius Zakka I, appointed Very. Rev. Fr. Joachim Raban as the abbot of Mor Augen Monastery in April 2010. However, Rabban had been staying in famous Monastery of Mor Gabriel in Turabdin which is very close to Mor Augen Monastery. With the help of the Rambans and other employees of Mor Gabriel Monastery, Very Rev. Fr. Joachim has restored the Monastery buildings. Now they are trying to restore the main church and vital parts of the monastery.
Mor Awgen is the traditional founder of Syrian monasticism. He originated from Qlysma (modern Suez) in Egypt, and started off as a pearl diver who gave pearls to the poor and needy. In mid-life he decided to become a monk at the monastery of St. Pachomius, and from there he set off to Mesopotamia, settling in the region of Mount Izla (the remains of the monastery dedicated to his name still stands on the slopes of Izla, overlooking the Mesopotamian plain). One account speaks of Awgen as one of the three great pillars of the monastic world, the other two being St. Antony in Egypt, and St. Hilarion in Palestine. Awgen is also said to have had two sisters, Thekla and Stratonike, both of whom founded convents. In the course of time the details recounted of his life took on legendary proportions; thus, for example, the number of his disciples became 70, in imitation of Luke 10:17. He is commemorated on the 20th April.