Mardin Ili Things to Do

  • Courtyard by night, Dec 2012
    Courtyard by night, Dec 2012
    by MM212
  • Restaurant, Dec 2012
    Restaurant, Dec 2012
    by MM212
  • Surur Hani, Dec 2012
    Surur Hani, Dec 2012
    by MM212

Mardin Ili Things to Do

  • Midyat

    Considered the capital of the Tur Abdin region, Midyat is an ancient town where church bell towers still dominate the skyline. Because it had been for centuries a majority Christian town, Old Midyat boasts nine churches, and fewer mosques. Six of these churches come with beautiful bell towers that rise from within the maze of winding alleys and...

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  • Hasankeyf

    Although Hasankeyf is not considered in the Tur Abdin region, its proximity makes it an obligatory stop when touring this region (it is in fact in the Batman Province, not the Mardin Province where this page is written). Its magical setting on the Tigris, long glorious history, magnificent mediaeval ruins, and precarious future, however, make...

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  • Deyrulzafaran Monastery

    Having served as the seat of the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox church for eight centuries, Deyrulzafaran is one of the most important sites in the Tur Abdin. It is located about 5 kms south-east of Mardin, and stands isolated on the side of the escarpment that forms the south-western end of the Tur Abdin plateau, camouflaged during the dry...

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  • Mardin

    Though most celebrated for its dramatic location and its Islamic monuments, Mardin is nevertheless inextricable from the Tur Abdin, both culturally and historically. It has several ancient churches, and nearby is the Monastery of Deyrulzafaran, one of the most important stops on anyone's itinerary. The city itself lies on the edge of the Tur Abdin...

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  • Mor Gabriel Monastery

    Located some 20 minutes south-east of Midyat, Mor Gabriel Monastery is one of the primary sites when visiting the region. The remote Suriani (Syriac Orthodox) monastery is one of the oldest still functioning monasteries in the world, founded in 397 AD, and one of the most important to the Suriani church. It is also known by two other names:...

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  • Gönüllü (Derdile)

    This little village was the first we encountered on the road we took from Hasankeyf to the Tur Abdin region. It is called Gönüllü (in the Batman province) and is situated on the edge of a mountain with breathtaking scenery and terraced farms. Its original name was Derdile, before the Turkish authorities changed the names of the villages in the Tur...

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  • Anıtlı (Hah)

    Nowadays nothing but a small neglected village amid farms and orchards, Anıtlı, whose original Syriac name is Hah, was historically one of the most important settlements in the Tur Abdin region. It was our main destination in the Tur Abdin on Christmas Eve 2012, specifically for its 3rd century Syriac Orthodox Church of Yoldath Aloho,...

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  • Altıntaş (Kfarze)

    The village of Altıntaş was known by its Syriac (Suriani) name Kfarze before it was renamed by Turkish authorities. In the early 20th century, its population was two thirds Syriac Orthodox Christian and one third Kurdish Yezidis. Much like elsewhere in Tur Abdin, the Christian population is probably extinct, but the town's main church -...

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  • Barıştepe (Salah)

    One of the most accessible of the Tur Abdin villages, Barıştepe is about 10 kms northeast of Midyat. The village was originally known by its Syriac name, Salah, before the authorities changed the names of villages in the region, and it has a long, important history. During the Seleucid period, the village had a Hellenistic temple...

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  • İzbırak (Zaz)

    Located 20 kms north-east of Midyat, just north of the road from Mardin to Dargeçit, İzbırak is one of many villages in the Tur Abdin area crowned by a church. It was the first such village we encountered soon after crossing the border from the Batman to the Mardin province as we drove south. Like other villages in this area,...

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  • Eskikale (Qala'et Mara)

    Located between Mardin and Deyrulzafaran Monastery, the tiny village of Eskikale was once known by its Arabic name of Qala'et Mara (قلعة مرا, also spelt Qaletmara, otherwise Kalıtmara in Turkish). It originally contained three churches, but only one remains: Mar Gergis (Mor Gewargis in Syriac and...

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  • Ömerli (Ma'asarte)

    Due its location halfway on the main road linking Midyat and Mardin, Ömerli has grown over the past decades into a fairly modern town, with a population consisting mainly of Moslem Kurds and Arabs. Although it has always had some sort of a mixed population, the village had been predominantly Syriac and Arab Christian before the many events in the...

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  • Bağlarbaşı (formerly...

    Located some 9 kms northeast of Midyat, Bağlarbaşı was formerly known by its Syriac (Suriani) name Arnas (sometimes spelt Urdnus). It had a mixed population of Syriac Orthodox Christians, a few Protestant families, and Moslem Kurds. The Christians suffered tremendously in the massacres of early 20th century and since then the...

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  • Gökçepınar (Ese)

    Gökçepınar is the second sizeable village we encountered en route to the Tur Abdin region from Hasankeyf. The road traversed the outskirts of the town and we did not stop. The village seems ancient with some ruins, but the mosque and its white minaret are definitely new, and the locals are probably Kurdish. Its original name was "Ese" before...

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  • Narlı (Ahlah)

    Located between Bağlarbaşı (Arnas) and Altıntaş (Kfarze), Narlı is yet another village in the Tur Abdin region with Syriac Christian origins. Although it seemed larger than its two neighbouring villages, I was unable to find the appropriate Narlı here on VT. The village's former Syriac name was Ahlah (sometimes...

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  • Kasimiye Medresesi

    This was an school in the old days. Construction begun during the Artukid reign, was completed by the Akkoyunlus in 15th century. Kasimiye can be categorized as a dome-style Medrese. in front there is a grand pool connected to the water comes from the wall and symbolize path of the life.. The second floor has small lecture rooms like at the...

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  • Midyat--Christian Quarter

    Midyat used to contain a sizable Christian population. It is mostly Kurdish today, and past persecutions have caused most of the Suriani Christians to leave. The old Christian quarter is the only part of Midyat of much interest--the rest is a modern and ugly. There are a number of interesting old mansions in the quarter, as well as 5 churches which...

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  • Meryama Kilesesi

    This is the most striking, and in my mind, the most beautiful of all the churches in the Mardin province. It is also one of the most ancient, dating back to the late 4th century. It is located east of Mardin in the village of Anitli (formerly Haho). If you visit one monastery in the area besides Mar Gabriel, this should be it. The

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  • Mar Abraham Monastery

    This is a Syrian Orthodox Monastery on the outskirts of Midyat. Like many in the area, it has undergone recent restoration.

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  • Mar Gabriel Monastery

    Mar Gabriel Monastery is one of the largest and most ancient of the Syrian Orthodox monasteries in the Mardin province. It is also the residence of the Metropolitan of Midyat. The complex, in a remote area southeast of Midyat, has undergone extensive renovation in recent years.

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  • Deyrul Zaferan Monastery

    Deyrul Zaferan Monastery is the largest monastery in the Mardin province, and should not be missed if in the Mardin area. The monastery and church date back to the 5th century, I believe. The entire complex has recently undergone extensive restoration, which includes a visitors center and gift shop outside the monastery. This is also the residence...

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  • Kirklar Kilesesi

    This part of Turkey once contained a sizable Syrian Orthodox Christian population. The Kurdish "troubles" of the late 1980s and early 1990s forced most of them to flee to Europe and Canada. There are a few remaining, however, and this is the largest church in Mardin. The church is hidden behind walls, but the belltower is visible from just about...

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  • Kasim Pasa Medresesi

    This beautiful building is just outside Mardin. An architectural treasure like many buildings in Mardin, this was a former theological school and boarding house, now a museum. It is empty but well preserved. A beautiful example of the delicate architecture of the area. Inside the building there is an open courtyard with a pool. Visitors throw coins...

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