Photographer's Note

Mardin is a city in southeastern Turkey. The capital of Mardin Province, it is known for its Arab-style architecture, and for its strategic location on a rocky mountain overlooking the plains of northern Syria. Mardin has a very mixed population, including Turks, Assyrians, Arabs and Kurds. Mardin is an Aramaic word (ܡܶܪܕܺܝܢ) and means "fortresses."
The earliest settlers in Mardin were Assyrian Christians, arriving in the 3rd century AD; in fact, the old Assyro-Babylonian religion existed in Mardin until the 18th century. Most Syriac Orthodox churches and monasteries in the city, which are still active today, date from the 5th century AD, such as the Deyrlzafarn Monastery. Another important church, Kırklar Kilisesi (Church of the 40 Martyrs), originally built in the name of Benham and Saro, the two sons of the Assyrian ruler who executed them because they chose to become Christian, dates from 569 AD. Mardin remained a heavily Christian area during its control by Muslim Arabs between the 7th and 12th centuries, and even during its use as a capital by the Artukid Turkish dynasty, which ruled Eastern Anatolia and Northern Mesopotamia between the 12th and 14th centuries. The 12th century Sitti Radviyye Madrasa, the oldest of its kind in Anatolia, dates from this period. The lands of the Artukid dynasty fell to the Mongols, who took control of the region in 1394, but the Mongols never directly governed the area. Mardin was later controlled by the Turkish Akkoyunlu kingdom. The Kasımiye Madrasa was built by Sultan Kasım, son of the Akkoyunlu Sultan Cihangir, between 1457 and 1502.

This is Ulu Mosque, who used to have two minarets until 1885, when an erthquake destroyed one of them.

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Mardin and its towns are definitely worth seeing. The entire city is like an open museum and although it is relatively small, you may need at least one week to explore all the monasteries, churches, houses and ruins. Apart from its beautiful architecture, I've also fallen in love with the local people and the local food.

DzULA, Floydian, cemsultan, salvator, Graal, rigoletto, bostankorkulugu has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Fusun Konyali (tehanu_f) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 769 W: 134 N: 1085] (6896)
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