Barwar (Syriac: ܒܪܘܪ, Kurdish: بهرواری ,Berwarî) also known as Barwari and Barwari Bala, is a region situated in northern Dohuk Governorate of Kurdistan Region and Hakkari Province in southeastern Turkey (Upper Barwari). The region is mostly populated by Assyrians and the Kurdish Berwarî tribe. Despite straddling two countries and two provinces, Barwar was historically situated in the single Assyrian and Kurdish region of Hakkari.
The mountainous region was part of the diocese of Beth Nuhadra (current day Dohuk) since antiquities and have seen a mass migration of Nestorians after the fall of Baghdad in 1258 and Timurlane's invasion from central Iraq.
Its Christian inhabitants were little affected by the Ottoman conquests, however starting from the 19th century Kurdish Emirs sought to expand their territories at their expense. In the 1830s Muhammad Rawanduzi, the Emir of Soran, tried to forcibly add the region to his dominion pillaging many Assyrian villages. Bedr Khan Beg of Bohtan renewed attacks on the region in the 1840s, killing tens of thousands of Assyrians in Barwari and Hakkari before being ultimately defeated by the Ottomans.
Many Assyrians who survived later suffered in the Assyrian Genocide by the Ottoman Army during the First World War; others took refuge in Urmia led by their patriarch, Mar Shimun XIX Benyamin. Later attempts for their resettlement in Barwar were largely successful however, and Assyrians still live in the region.
In addition to the Assyrian population, an Aramaic speaking Jewish population existed in the region for thousands of years, living mainly in Barwari. However, they all left for Israel shortly after its creation in 1947. The region was heavily affected by the Kurdish uprisings during the 1950s and 60s and was largely depopulated during the Al-Anfal campaign in the 1980s, although some of its population later returned and their homes were subsequently rebuilt.
List of settlements
Lower Barwari is located in Kurdistan Region.
- Ain Nuni (Kani Masi)
- Totha Shmiaee
- Cham sayde
- Bethanure (depopulated Jewish village)
- Shukho (depopulated Jewish village)
Upper Barwari is situated in what is now southeastern Turkey, with the villages centered in around the Hakkari Province.
- Berwari (East Syrian Diocese)
- Assyrian homeland
- Nahla plains
- Tur Abdin
- Alqosh, Tel Keppe and Batnaya – Assyrian tribes also in Northern Iraq
- Tyari, Jilu, Gawar, Nochiya – Assyrian tribes to the north, in Hakkari province, Turkey
- Çığlı, Çukurca, formerly known as Ashita
- Islamic Desk Reference, E. J. van Donzel
- A Modern History of the Kurds, David McDowall
- Gaunt, David; Beṯ-Şawoce, Jan (2006), Massacres, Resistance, Protectors: Muslim-Christian Relations in Eastern Anatolia during World War I, Gorgias Press LLC, p. 32, ISBN 978-1-59333-301-0
- Stafford, Ronald Sempill (2006), The Tragedy of the Assyrians, Gorgias Press LLC, p. 41, ISBN 978-1-59333-413-0
- Khan, Geoffrey (2008). The Neo-Aramaic Dialect of Barwar. ISBN 9789004167650.