Places to Visit in Mardin


Mardin is a unique city rising like a stone monument on the edge of the Mesopotamian Plain, which feels like it stretches out to infinity. The city, where religions and cultures have lived together for centuries in Anatolia, has a charm that permeates the soul. The meeting point of civilizations, Mardin is a unique paradise for culture and history buffs.

It is one of the fascinating travel routes of our country with its cultural values ​​of thousands of years, climate of tolerance, historical architectural structures and rich archaeological treasures. The city, where different beliefs and cultures live together, is one of the most magnificent places in Anatolia with its rich historical past, fertile lands, atmosphere of tolerance and impressive stone structures. It is possible to see many holy structures such as mosques, churches, monasteries and tombs side by side in the city.

Mardin is among the cities that look like an open-air museum in Turkey , bearing the traces of many civilizations from the Sumerians to the Ottomans . Neighboring Batman and Diyarbakır in the north, Syria in the south, Şanlıurfa in the west, and Şırnak in the east, Mardin is still one of the most important settlements in the region, although it suffered heavy losses in population and culture due to the trade routes that changed direction in the 20th century.

To understand and get to know Mardini, a few days is not enough, it takes weeks. I think I’ve been there 4-5 times so far. It hurts me to see daily tours from Diyarbakir. This is a city where mass tourism should be avoided and where you need to stay at least 2 nights. Take the time to wander around and explore.

I am sure that when you wander through its labyrinth-like streets, you will be amazed by the art that Syriac masters embroidered like lace. The entire city center, which dazzles with its unique cut stone work, has been declared a protected area. It is a pity that Mardin, the third protected area of ​​the world after Venice and Jerusalem, still cannot be a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage city despite all efforts.


Mardin Travel Guide

Mardin has a great history. It is a city like poetry, where many civilizations flourished and faded in its history stretching back to 8000 BC, blending very different cultures and beliefs. The Persians called these lands Marde , the Romans Maride, the Byzantines Mardia

The Arabs ascribed the name Maridin to this geography, while the Suyanis called it Merdo or Merdi . It is thought that the origin of the word comes from Merdin, which means castles in Syriac. Mardin is a city that has its name written on many historical sources in the world.

Many archaic beliefs and religions lived in the region. Umbrella, Yezidism, Judaism, various Christian and Islamic sects. In addition to this, various ethnic groups such as Armenians, Nestorians, Chaldeans, Yakubis, Jews, Assyrians, Gypsies, Chechens, Mihellemi, Arabs and Kurds have made their homeland.

In terms of its geographical location, the region has been a ‘battlefield’ throughout history, constantly changing hands and under domination by various communities. Assyrians, Persians, Romans, Abbasids, Byzantines, Seljuks, Artuks, Ottomans and Turks are just a few of them.

It is the only indicator of our country’s ‘cultural mosaic’. In the city, Syriac churches, madrasas and mosques were placed back to back. Once upon a time, Kurds, Christians, Assyrians, Sunni Arabs, Turks, Yazidis and Armenians lived here together in fraternity as a cultural mosaic.

Until 1932, Mardin was the center of all Christian Assyrians in the world. The Assyrians, who form the spirit of the ‘ancient’ history of Mardin, the city of mystical cultural embrace, where Muslim, Armenian and Assyrian monotheistic religions meet, are ‘colors that should not fade’. Assyrians are not a minority, they are the owners of this country, the wealth of Mardin and our country.

Today, Sunni Arabs and Kurds and Christian Syriac Orthodox live in the center of Mardin. Assyrian Orthodox, who live mainly around Midyat and in the center of Mardin, speak the Tûrôyo language, a language belonging to the Eastern Aramaic branch of the new Aramaic language belonging to the Semitic language group.

Sunni Kurds are currently the most populous ethnic group in the region. The largest Sunni (Hanafi) Arab community in our country also lives in this region. There are also the Chaldeans, another Christian community living in İdil, Silopi, the center of Midyat and the center of Mardin, and Armenian Catholics and Protestants represented by several families in the city center.

This cultural diversity has revealed today’s unique ancient city overlooking the vast lands of Mesopotamia. As soon as you enter the old Mardin, this atmosphere of togetherness surrounds you. It is possible to see an old aunt praying in Syriac, a shopkeeper opening her shop with basmala, and a young person singing in Kurdish in the same frame.

Those who want to see more about this unique architecture should take a long walk in the streets of Mardin. Every time I go to the city, the walks I take between the houses built with yellow stones and the bazaars give me the feeling of being in an old time. I think this is the best way to live in this city.

Artuklu is the central district of Mardin, which gained metropolitan status in 2014 with the Metropolitan Law. Dargeçit, Derik, Kızıltepe, Mazıdağı, Midyat, Nusaybin and Ömerli are other districts of Mardin. The total population of the city is 810 thousand.


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