Midyat Travel Guide

  • Syriac cross & script, Mor Gabriel, Dec 2012
    Syriac cross & script, Mor Gabriel, Dec...
    by MM212
  • Suriani Children go to school, Midyat, Dec 2012
    Suriani Children go to school, Midyat,...
    by MM212
  • Inside the church.
    Inside the church.
    by June.b

Midyat Things to Do

  • The Clock Tower of the Old Town

    You know that you’re already at the center of the old part of Midyat once you see this monument standing right at the roundabout of Mardin Simar Yolu, Batman Yolu and Cumhuriyet Blv. The clock tower is engraved with images of a minaret representing the muslim population of the town , church tower representing the Christians, and a peacock for the...

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  • Nehrozler Camii

    This is a small mosque located very near to Kasr-i-Nehroz Hotel. Nothing fascinating about it but it’s ok to peek in.It is a relatively new mosque built in 1974.

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  • The Streets of Midyat

    The old city of Mardin may have an interesting and an edge on its location on top of the mountain, but in comparison, Midyat offers the same type of old houses albeit on plain grounds. The streets of old Midyat are wider and not much elevated so less strenuous to navigate.Similar to Mardin, the old houses in Midyat are of the same architectural...

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  • Ulu Camii

    The new part of the town of Midyat has a grand mosque (ulu camii) located the new town center surrounded by local houses.The stone arched entrance is elaborately carved with some form of plants and grapes and mostly geometric shapes. On the top, it has an engraving that says 1130 Hicri, so I converted that to Gregorian calendar and it corresponds...

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  • Estel Hani Halk Evi

    This is a caravanserai located in the new part of Midyat called Estel. The han has just been restored and houses some antique shop, a telkari (metalwork shop) and coffeehouses with small low tables and chairs where locals bide their time.

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  • Midyat Beledeyesi Kultur Evi

    I passed by this stone mansion in Estel, the new part of Midyat and I thought it’s a municipal building, so the second time I passed by there I asked the guy at the gate if it’s a museum, he said yes and he called his colleague to guide me inside the gorgeous house. I’m glad I inquired because I almost missed this beautiful cultural house (kultur...

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  • Cevat Pasha Mosque

    This mosque is probably the first sight that you will encounter when you start your tour of the town from the very center – the clock roundabout. The mosque is built in 1925 by Cevat Pasha – where it derived its name of course.The single minaret is made up of Midyat rock, and has cylindrical shape. It has two balconies decorated with vegetables and...

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  • The Old Houses of Midyat

    Roam around the back streets of the town and you’ll immediately have that ancient - or medieval? -feel to the place. The picturesque houses of Midyat beams golden honey color especially during the sunset. Most of them are inhabited but some are derelicts. Some of them are under the preservation order of the municipality.You’ll find several children...

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  • Churches of Midyat

    There are several other churches in the old town of Midyat - I think they are more than the mosques as it dominate the skyline of the town.Sadly most of them are all closed for visitors. They no longer function, no masses being held, padlocked and empty.No signs either so it's hard to get an idea of the name of the churches, but I’m posting their...

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  • Midyat Devlet Konuk Evi

    This mansion became more popular when it was used for the setting of the action-romance Turkish soap opera “Sila”.This Konuk Evi (guest house) is a gorgeous architectural example of the town. Considered as the finest of all the grand stone houses in Midyat, it is also called the Governor’s Guesthouse.It is situated on a high elevation and dominates...

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  • Mor Abraham & Mor Hobel Monastery

    This monastery is located at the back of the old town about a kilometer walk from the edge of the town, take the road in front of the Kasr-i-Nehroz Hotel. The Turabdin Hotel is almost beside the monastery, few steps from its entrance.The 1,700 year-old church was established by two monks from Mar Gabriel on 5th century. The monastery can be visited...

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  • Mor Barsawmo Syriac Orthodox Church

    The Mor Barsaumo church is located near the center of the old town of Midyat. The 1,500 year-old church is full of kids playing on its courtyard every afternoon as classes for local Assyrian children is being thought for those who want learn how to read in Aramaic. Reconstructed in 1943 and made mostly of cut stones. Visitors are welcome to enter...

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  • Estel

    Located at the western end of town, Estel was, until less than a century ago, a separate town. Sometime since then, as the modern sprawl of both towns converged, the two officially merged under Midyat's name. Much like Old Midyat, Estel is ancient and consists of winding alleys and centuries-old, richly decorated stone mansions, but unlike Midyat,...

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  • Midyat's Clock Towers

    Midyat has two clock towers, one just outside Old Midyat, and the other just outside the Old Estel neighbourhood. Both are built using the local yellow stone and are decorated with stone carvings similar to local mansions and churches. The one outside midyat has a haut-relief of a church tower, a mosque minaret, and a peacock, to represent the...

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  • Suriani Church of Mor Akhsnoyo

    Located at the south-eastern edge of Old Midyat (near Kasr-ı Nehroz Hotel), this church is the oldest surviving in Midyat. It is thought to have been built in the 4th century AD on the site of an older pagan temple. The church is dedicated to Mor Akhsnoyo (Mor = Saint) who is known in the West as Philoxenos of Mabbug (Mabbug is modern Manbij,...

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Midyat Hotels

See all 5 Hotels in Midyat
  • Shmayaa Hotel

    I did not stay in this hotel, I just happen to pass by it while wandering around town, and for...

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  • Kasr-i Nehroz Hotel

    This hotel is a little out of the old town but it’s almost beside the entrance to the Mor Abraham...

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  • Turabdin Hotel

    Isiklar Mah.Manastir Cd No:17, 47500

    Satisfaction: Excellent

Midyat Restaurants

  • Tea, Pastry, and Dessert

    Located just south of the Clock Tower, next to Cevat Pasha Mosque, Ali Baba is a café that serves desserts and pastries. It was open early in the morning, so we decided to stop here for tea and some börek pastry. Cheap and cheerful!

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  • Dining in a historical caravanserai.

    This – as the name suggests – used to be a han (caravanserai) with inns for travelers during the old times. It is beautifully restored and it is now a restaurant and café serving delicious and affordable local cuisine. I took my lunch here at the big square courtyard, the delicious Iskenderun kebab with drinks cost me only TL18 I think. You can...

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  • Exquisite

    Because we were staying at Shmayaa Hotel, dining at the hotel's restaurant was an easy option. We did so on our first evening in Midyat, and intended to try Kasr-i-Nehroz on the following evening, but it was closed for the winter season. Without any regrets, we had our second dinner also at Shmayaa Restaurant. The hotel's kitchen offers a wide menu...

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Midyat Transportation

  • Midyat Old Town Bus Station

    The old bus station of old part of Midyat is located at the corner of Mardin Simak Yolu and Golbasi Cad., almost at the northern edge of the old town.Although the bus that I took from Mardin stopped at the old part of town, it dropped all the passengers near the clock tower but did not make a call at the small bus station. This bus station serves...

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  • Midyat New Bus Terminal (Estel)

    The new town bus terminal of Midyat is located at the back of Hotel Demirdag along Seyfettin Gunestan Cad.Both the big provincial buses call on this small bus terminal and the minibuses and dolmush that travels to nearby towns and cities. You can catch the bus going to Istanbul and other provinces here as well as the smaller transports to Batman or...

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  • Transport around Midyat.

    The old town of Midyat and the new town is connected by minibuses. Take the minibus right around the clock tower roundaabout to get to the new town. And from the new town, wait for the bus a little past the fountain roundabout opposite the Grand Estel Hotel. Fare is TL1.30. A side note: I found the slowest bus in the whole wide universe here,...

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Midyat Shopping

See all 2 Shopping in Midyat
  • Bazaar shopping at the old town.

    The old part of Midyat has its own bazaar area or market starting from the back street of the clock tower where most of the jewelry stores can be found.There are a lot of shops inside covered bazaars or pasaji (passage) selling clothing, shoes, bags, cosmetics, household appliances and furnitures. The old town also has its discount supermarkets...

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  • Local shopping at Estel (New Midyat)

    If you want to observe more local scene, go to the market of Estel (the new town). A lot of buying and selling takes place there. An old lady selling her live sheeps, vegetable sellers, spices, crops, clothing shops, jewelries, and all stuff.The street near the Estel Hani is where you’ll find a lot of fresh produce and spices. Fresh produce,...

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  • Midyat Hotels

    5 Hotels in Midyat

    2 Reviews

Midyat Local Customs

  • The Suriani People

    Suriani Christians consider the Tur Abdin region their homeland, and Midyat their capital. It is in fact the last stretch of land they claim from vast domains that were once dominated by adherents of the Syriac Orthodox (or Suriani) Church, namely all of Greater Syria, extending from Gaza to Diyarbakir, and from Antioch to Damascus. Byzantine rule...

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  • The Aramaean Question...

    For the past several centuries, the Suriani were generally accepted by the greater powers as Christian Arabs, one of many Arab-speaking Christian communities that continue to exist in the Middle East today. Because of where borders were drawn (erroneously many claim), the Syriacs in the Tur Abdin accidentally ended up as Turkish citizens after the...

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  • The Kurdish Quandary

    Much like the Armenians of Turkey, the Suriani suffered terribly in WWI (whether one calls it genocide or not) when most of the Syriac Orthodox Christian population of the Tur Abdin and surrounding towns either perished or was forced out. Many of the descendants of the survivors of that period are now in modern Syria, where they were welcomed and...

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Midyat Warnings and Dangers

  • June.b's Profile Photo

    by June.b Written Mar 28, 2013

    I decided not to stay in Mardin so I just made a day trip while I was staying in Midyat.

    From Midyat I took a dolmush to Mardin. It’s still winter (March 2013) and I don’t have any idea or actually I have not thought about the schedule of the dolmush going back to Midyat after wandering around Mardin.

    I've reached Mardin before noon. After a long day of walking around the old town up the mountain I went back down to the new part of Mardin city. I don’t know exactly if the dolmush will be waiting at the same spot where people were dropped off - along the highway beside a huge electronic video ad. No dolmush there.

    So walked until the gas station and asked the store guy, he told me to wait for the bus at the same bus stop that goes up the old town. I’ve waited there for almost half an hour and it’s around 5pm already. I walked again and bought a pack of cigarette and the old man at the store said go to the other side of the road, so I did and it’s dark there, with some bushes, a bit creepy but there’s one or two guys waiting there too. So I’ve waited until I was the last man standing. It’s so cold already so I walked back to the busy street as I was already getting worried. A man inside a car who speaks english well asked my if I need help so I talked to him and he said that I may no longer find a bus back to Midyat at that time of the day (or night).

    There was a taxi parked near the Bilem Hotel and I inquired about the fare from Mardin to Midyat, he told me 100TL and lowered it down to 80. I backed off and walk a bit far to ponder on it as my worry is getting high. I approached the taxi driver again and he said how much do I want to pay and insisted that 80 is already cheap, I almost took the bait until looking at the taxi, although it’s dark inside the car, I saw a man at the back seat who peeked on the front. Red flag! I immediately walked away, or a run, or a walk that is fast like a run? Whatever, but he followed me to the other side of the highway and he told me not to worry, I did not understand what he said but maybe the guy is sleeping at the back or something. I don’t know but I don’t want to take the risk. I stood to my decision and walked away fast.

    Until I reached the gas station again where there is a small booth of security or police or sumthin’, and there was a taxi parked there. I asked the guy and I think he misunderstood me and he said TL15, since he speaks in Turkish, I have to ask him to write the taxi fare to Midyat on my Tab. He said 70TL, I bargained for TL60 – after all I know that it’s far – and it’s dark already.

    So he drove me to Midyat, talking a bit every now and then in Arabic as I understand and talk a bit of the language. My stress is strong still as we drove the dark road. That previous taxi driver stressed the hell out of me that it didn’t go.

    We reached Midyat and since it’s dark I can’t figure out where my hotel is and I told him the name but he either seemed to not know where it is or maybe he doesn’t know. So he dropped me at the roundabout. I think it’s the new town so walked around again looking for people to ask and I hand-picked an old man, suddenly the wife behind him and then 2 children. I was relieved it was a family. And I remember I have the hotel’s business card on my wallet and I handed it to the old man (middle aged actually). He said it’s about 5kms away and then right at the end of his last word I spotted a taxi about to go around to where we’re standing. But the man suddenly said, “I’ll take you there” that’s what I understood in his local language. And the kids too hopped in in the car. I was so totally relieved. We’ve reached my hotel and told him how grateful I was. I’m sure he did understood it, after all I did understand his words that indeed I cannot understand.

    In Turkey, it’s kinda odd that two people speaking to each other in different languages but there’s this hard-to-explain phenomenon (if I may call it that way) that in the end, people seemed to comprehend each other in certain degrees or understand each other a hundred percent. Nice bizarre, right?

    The highway bus stop, that goes to the old Mardin. The highway where I saw the creepy taxi driver.
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Backpacking
    • Historical Travel

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Midyat Off The Beaten Path

  • The Tur Abdin

    With its numerous villages crowned by ancient Suriani (or Syriac Orthodox) churches and monasteries, the Tur Abdin is considered by this ancient Christian sect the holiest area after Jerusalem. Midyat is the unofficial capital of this remote rural region in southeastern Turkey and the best place from which to explore these villages. One full day...

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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 as Deyrulumur (or Deir...

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  • Mardin

    Though Midyat and the nearby Tur Abdin merit a trip of their own, it would be a shame not to include Mardin on the same visit too, especially given the proximity and the shared history. It is located about an hour west of Midyat, on the edge of the Tur Abdin plateau before the landscape makes a dramatic descent into the flat endless Mesopotamian...

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Midyat Favorites

  • Recommended Reading

    For further information on the Tur Abdin, I recommend reading the following:* From the Holy Mountain, by William Dalrymple.* Turabdin, Living Cultural Heritage, by Hans Hollerweger* Syriac Monasticism in Tur Abdin: A Present-Day Account, by Mark DelColgiano (an essay that can be found on the internet).* Tur Abdin: Réflexions sur l’état présent des...

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  • City of Religion and Languages

    BRIEF INFORMATION ON MIDYATMIDYATThe cultural heritage, left by people of different culture and religion who still live in harmony today, is revealed through the stone carving and decoration of its elegant houses, public buildings, churches and mosques that make the old town of Midyat a small treasure of architecture. The town is also reputed for...

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  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

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