Mardin is a city in southeastern Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

. The capital of Mardin Province
Mardin Province
Mardin Province is a province of Turkey with a population of 744,606. The population was 835,173 in 2000. The capital of the Mardin Province is Mardin...

, it is known for its Arabic-like architecture, and for its strategic location on a rocky mountain overlooking the plains of northern Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....



The name of the city is derived from the Syriac-Aramaic
Syriac language
Syriac is a dialect of Middle Aramaic that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. Having first appeared as a script in the 1st century AD after being spoken as an unwritten language for five centuries, Classical Syriac became a major literary language throughout the Middle East from...

 word "" meaning fortress. Most Syriac Orthodox churches and monasteries in the city were built on ancient Assyrian-Babylonian temple sites and some are still active today. The Syriac Orthodox Saffron Monastery was founded in 439 AD and is one of the oldest monasteries in the world and the only one that is still functioning in southern Turkey. From 1160 until 1932, it was the seat of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch, until the Patriarchate relocated to the Syrian capital Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

. The site of the monastery itself is said to have been used as a temple by sun worshipers as long ago as 2000 BC. Mardin is likely the Maride
Maride was a castle or fortified town in Mesopotamia, mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus , in his account of Constantius II. There can be no doubt that it is the same as the present Mardin, Turkey which is seated on a considerable eminence looking southward over the plains of Mesopotamia....

 and Marida
Marida is a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church. Its last bishop was Jean Hermil. It is in the ecclesiastical province of Osroene, under the metropolitan of Edessa. It likely represents the now-suppressed bishopric formerly seated at Mardin, Turkey....

 of the Greeks and Romans.
Another important church, Kırklar Kilisesi (Church of the 40 Martyrs), originally built in the name of Behnam and Saro, the two sons of the Assyrian ruler who executed them because they chose to become Christian, dates from 569 AD , and even during its use as a capital by the Artukid Turkish
Oghuz Turks
The Turkomen also known as Oghuz Turks were a historical Turkic tribal confederation in Central Asia during the early medieval Turkic expansion....

 dynasty which ruled Eastern Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

 and Northern Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. The 12th century Sitti Radviyye Madrasa, the oldest of its kind in Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

, dates from this period.

The lands of the Artukid dynasty fell to the Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

 who took control of the region in 1394, but the Mongols never directly governed the area. Mardin was later controlled by the Turkic tribes who came from Central Asia Akkoyunlu kingdom. The Kasımiye Madrasa was built by Sultan Kasım, son of the Akkoyunlu Sultan Cihangir, between 1457 and 1502. In 1517, Mardin was conquered by Ottoman Turks. During 1915-1916, Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

, Assyrian/Syriac and Armenian Christians of all denominations were massacred or driven away. After the genocide in 1916, the Christian survivors fled mostly south to Syria and Iraq. The most common destination was either Al-Kamishli or Al-Hasaka, Syria; there is even a Mardin Club in Detroit, MI today.


Melikşah Grand Mosque

Melik Mahmud Mosque

Abdüllatif Mosque

Şehidiye Medresse and Mosque

Selsel Mosque

Necmettin Gazi Mosque

Kasım Tuğmaner Mosque

Reyhaniye Mosque

Hamidiye Mosque

Süleymanpaşa Mosque

Secaattin and Mehmet Mosque

Hamza-i Kebir Mosque

Şeyh Abdülaziz Mosque

Melik Eminettin el-Emin Mosque

Sıtra Zaviye Mosque

Şeyh Salih Mosque

Mahmut Türki Mosque

Sarı Mosque

Şeyh Çabuk Mosque

Nizamettin Begaz Mosque

Kale Mosque

Dinari Mosque


Meryemana (Virgin Mary) Church

Mor Yusuf (Surp Hovsep) Church

Mor Behnam Church

Deyrü'z-Zafaran Monastery

Mor Mihail Church

Mor Semune Church

Mor Petrus and Pavlus Church

Red (Surp Kevork) Church

Mor Cercis Church

Mor Efraim Monastery


Mardin has a semi-arid climate with very hot and dry summers and cold, wet, and occasionally snowy winters. Temperatures in summer usually increase to 40°C - 50°C (104°F - 122°F) due to Mardin being situated right next to the border of Syria. Snowfall is quite common between the months of December and March, snowing for a week or two. Mardin has over 3000 hours of sun per year. Mardin hold Turkey's heat record of +48.8°C.

Notable people

  • The world's tallest living man since 2009, Sultan Kösen
    Sultan Kosen
    Sultan Kösen holds the Guinness World Record for tallest living male at .His growth has resulted from a tumour affecting his pituitary gland. His stature is such that he must use crutches in order to walk....

    , lives nearby.
  • The Turkish poet Murathan Mungan
    Murathan Mungan
    Murathan Mungan is a Turkish author, short story writer, playwright and poet.- Biography :His family originates from Mardin. After receiving his BA degree from the Faculty of Letters and Drama department at Ankara University, he worked as a dramaturg before devoting all his time to write poetry,...

     hails from Mardin.
  • Blessed Ignatius Maloyan
    Ignatius Maloyan
    Blessed Ignatius Shoukrallah Maloyan was the Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Mardin between 1911 and 1915. In the summer of 1915, the Vali of Diyarbekir, Reşit Bey, commenced the Armenian Genocide in Mardin. Archbishop Maloyan was force marched into the desert with almost all of the clergy and...

     was the Armenian Catholic Church
    Armenian Catholic Church
    |- |The Armenian Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic Church sui juris in union with the other Eastern Rite, Oriental Rite and Latin Rite Catholics who accept the Bishop of Rome as spiritual leader of the Church. It is regulated by Eastern canon law...

    's Archbishop
    An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...

     of Mardin. After refusing to convert to Islam
    Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

    , Archbishop Maloyan was murdered as part of the Armenian Genocide
    Armenian Genocide
    The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

  • Birthplace of photographer Yousuf Karsh
    Yousuf Karsh
    Yousuf Karsh, CC was a Canadian photographer of Armenian heritage, and one of the most famous and accomplished portrait photographers of all time.-Biography:...


Twin towns — Sister cities

Mardin is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...


Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and its largest city. It is the centre of the City Municipality of Ljubljana. It is located in the centre of the country in the Ljubljana Basin, and is a mid-sized city of some 270,000 inhabitants...

, Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

, since 2003

External links

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