"The Tur Abdin Region" Mardin Ili by MM212

Mardin Ili Travel Guide: 156 reviews and 592 photos


طور عابدين


With its numerous villages crowned by ancient churches and monasteries, the Tur Abdin region is considered by Suriani (Syriac Orthodox) Christians the holiest area after Jerusalem. It is a remote plateau in northern Mesopotamia, with a picturesque, semi-arid landscape of undulating agricultural terrain. Its name means "Mountains of the Servants (of God)", both in Arabic and the Syriac language, in reference to the monasticism which had characterised religious activity here since the earliest days of Christianity, and which has left us with a handful of the world's oldest monasteries and churches. Historically, geographically, culturally, and ethnically, the Tur Abdin had been inseparable from Greater Syria and Mesopotamia, but as the Ottoman Empire collapsed during WWI, the region found itself in modern Turkey, just north of the new border drawn by France and Britain. Turbulent events and contentious politics in the past century have altered the demographics (along with the names of most of the villages) of the region, greatly disadvantaging the native Suriani population, who have since struggled to maintain their ancient traditions and culture.

The fascinating Tur Abdin region lies in southeastern Turkey, just north of the Syrian border. It is most easily accessed from Diyarbakir, Mardin, or Midyat (the unofficial capital of the Tur Abdin region).

  • Last visit to Mardin Ili: Dec 2012
  • Intro Updated Mar 25, 2013
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Reviews (20)

Comments (1)

  • xaver's Profile Photo
    Feb 15, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Thanks, I did not know anything about this area, before ending up on your page.

    • MM212's Profile Photo
      Feb 16, 2013 at 5:15 AM

      It's such a fascinating area whose history and culture are inseparable from Greater Syria and Mesopotamia. I highly recommend visiting.

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