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 the making of filigree silver jewelry called
“telkari”. Midyat is only located a few kilometers/
miles away from the beautiful Monastries and
Churches of Turabdin.
Turabdin is a plateau located in the east of Mardin.
From the end of the 4th century onward, it was a
Syriac Jacobite (also known as Syriac Orthodox)
religious center, which is still active today, where
many monasteries were opened. The most renowned
monastery is Mar Gabriel,
also know as Deyr Ul Umur, founded in 397 by Mar
Samuel and Mar Shemun. It was only in the 7th century
that the monastery began to be called the "Monastery
of Mar Gabriel" after its bishop Mar Gabriel
(+668). The monastery was and still is the seat
of the Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of the
Turabdin. The Monastery of Mar Gabriel is located
18 km/ 11 miles to the east of Mydiat along the
Another significant monastery is Mar Yakup
(Nusaybin). The monastery was built in 328 after
the death of Mar Yakup and was dedicated to him.
It is an important historical and architectural
property in Nusaybin.
The Turabdin Plateau with its monasteries was the
center of a flourishing community that spoke Aramaic,
the language spoken by Jesus.
Among the numerous churches of Turabdin, one of
the most beautiful and most interesting is the Church
of the Virgin Mary in Anitli,
40 km/ 25 miles to the east of Midyat on Dargeçit
Syriac-Jacobite priests today and in the past
The origins of Sanliurfa are very old considering
that the place is known as the “City of the Prophetes”
because it would have welcome Abraham, Job, Jethro
and St George. Its location in UpperMesopotamia,
at the point of confluence between different civilizations,
explains a rich and eventful past. The city, named
“Hurri” (which means caves) by the Babylonians,
maintained good relationships with the Mitanians,
the Hittites and
the Egyptians. Named “Osrhoe” by the Greeks and
“Orhai” by its Aramean population, the Macedonians
of Alexander the
Great finally called it “Edesse”. It
came under the sovereignty of the Seleucids,
of Armenia at the time of Tigrane, of the Parthians,
the Romans, the Sassanids
and the Arabs. The city was christianized
around 200, and it remained Byzantine
until it fell into the hands of the Seljuks
and later the Crusaders.
From 1098 and during fifty years the earldom of
Edesse with Beaudoin of Boulogne (Godefroy of Bouillon's
brother) plaid an important role in the fight of
the Frankish states against Islam. Taken back by
the Seljuks and the Mamelukes, the city was united
very late in 1637 to the Ottoman
After the War
of Independence, the city has acquired the distinguishing
which means "glorious" Urfa.
Sanliurfa is located in a plain in the heart of a fast-expanding
region since the construction of the Atatürk
stroll through the alleys of the old town is a good
opportunity to discover the traditional corbelled
houses opening on a courtyard.
The very hot and spicy culinary specialities of
Urfa are “Urfa kebab”
and “Çig köfte”(a very spicy raw meat
Atatürk Dam Sailing takes place every year in October
in the region.
is linked to Istanbul and Ankara by daily flights.
Places of interest:
Camii, the Great
Mosque, is the oldest mosque
in the city. It was built in the 12th century
by Nurreddin, the ruler of Aleppo in Syria,
instead of a previous church whose bell
tower was used as minaret where a clock
tower was added at an unknown period.
Göl is a large pool full of sacred carps
filled with the waters of the Callirhoe Pond.
According to Muslim tradition, this is where
Abraham rebuked King Nimrod and his subjects
for having whorshiped idols. For the insult
and his refusal to follow the king's practices,
Abraham was condemned to be catapult launched
from the city's citadel to fall into a pile
of burning wood. But God turned the fagots
of the pyre into carps and the flames into
water, creating the Sacred Pond composed of
View of the citadel and the "Throne of Nimrod"
The locals feeding the carps
Rizvaniye Mosque, Balikli Göl
and the carps
The second pool and the throne of Nimrod
The place where Abraham
is thought to have fallen
second pool is where Nimrod's daughter, Zeliha who
begged his father not to accomplish his act, plunged
in after Abraham.
Cruel Nimrod's catapult
is represented by two Corinthian
Columns standing atop the Citadel. The
columns are known under the name of "Throne
is the Ottoman mosque reflecting into the water
of the pool.
ür Rahman Mosque and Medrese are located at
the south-western corner of the Pool. This is also
the place where, according to legend, Abraham is
thought to have fallen when he was thrown into fire.
Caves: two caves exist on the northern side
of the Citadel of Urfa, and one of them, according
to the Muslim tradition, is where Prophet Abraham
was born. According to the Old Testament, Abraham
stopped at Urfa on his way from Ur to Canaan.
Firfirli Camii was the Church of the Apostles.
bazaar is a very busy and colourful place
(the traditional fabrics used by the women
of the region are sold here) just like the
(Gümrük Han, Barutcu Han...) where different
guilds are still working. Kilims
of good quality are sold at very good prices.
The old quarter and traditional houses.