Mesopotamia, the place where everything started, promises its visitors thrilling experiences. You can watch an amazing sunset, see nothern bald ibises which are on the brink of extinction, or visit the “End of the World” on these soils.
Greet the sun at the peak of Mount Nemrut where the Commagene King Antiochus I built himself a tomb-sanctuary at a height of 2,150 meters. This is one of the places in the world where the sunrise and sunset can be seen in their fullest glory...
The best place to admire the Euphrates, the largest river giving life to Mesopotamia, is between Şanlıurfa and Adıyaman. You can wet your feet in the water at the nearby Bozova (Euphrates) Waterfalls and touch this sacred river which has given life to so many civilizations. This is the perfect spot to photograph the Euphrates.
Would like to see how olive oil is extracted with traditional methods in Kilis, where the land is covered in never-ending olive groves?
Olives, which mature at the end of fall, are collected and brought to the factories to be ground in Kilis. However, in order to extract olive oil using traditional methods, the olives are brought to olive workshops called mahsara. These olives are ground by millstones continuing a millenia-old tradition. The only difference is that in the past people used to use horses, donkeys, or mules, while today, this duty is undertaken by engine power.
Beginning in mid-November, you can visit olive mills and see for yourself how the olive oil is extracted.
The Islamic Science History Museum in Gazianntep shines a light on the Golden Age of Islam. Artifacts from the fields of medicine, chemistry, physics, astronomy, cartography, and the maritime sciences are exhibited at the museum. There are 103 inventions by 54 scientists in the museum, some of which are also interactive.
It is believed that Prophet Ayyub prayed by saying: "My God! My body is surrounded with weakness and debility because of illness. I have no strength left for invocation and I am deprived of mercy. I sheltered to you. You are the most soft-hearted of those compassionate ones, my God!"
God accepted the pray of Prophet Ayyub, who is a beloved servant of the God. God urged him to stomp his heel, to wash his body with the water to extract, and to drink this cold water. Prophet Ayyub fulfilled the order and stomped. The miraculous cold water squirted right away.
Prophet Ayyub had a bath in this cold water and drank the water, in this way, he cleaned both interior and external parts of his body. Thereby, he recovered from the illness.
In Urfa, it is possible to visit several locations closely linked to the life of Prophet Ayyub (Job). Job was a righteous servant of God, who despite being afflicted by suffering for a lengthy period of time never lost his faith. The story goes that God ordered Job to stomp the ground with his foot, and, after doing so, healing water gushed up from the Earth. The cave where the prophet suffered his illness and the well are believed to be in the city center of Urfa, and are open to visitors. Furthermore, Prophet Job’s tomb is located in the village of Eyyub Nebi about 20 kilometers outside of Urfa.
The old residents of Birecik say, "The sky gets dark when the northern bald ibises appear." Nowadays, there are 150 nothern bald ibis left in the world. These birds only live along the Euphrates River in Birecik district of Şanlıurfa. You can see examples of this rare bird species at the Bald Ibis Breeding Center located 3 km north of Birecik district center. Experts and volunteer guides at the center are waiting to tell you all about these amazing birds?.
Keçi Burcu (Goat Tower) is the oldest and largest tower of the Diyarbakır City Walls, and is near Mardin Kapı. The Hevsel Gardens are 700 hectares of cultivated, fertile lands near the Tigris River where in the past all of Diyarbakır’s produce was cultivated. The Dicle (Tigris) Brigde, which is known locally as “On Gözlü Köprü” (Ten Arches Bridge) dates back at least 1,000 years. The nearby Kırklar Mountain is trully magnificent.
The Grand Mosque, one of Diyarbakır’s symbols, is one of the rare mosques in which the four sects of Islam pray together. The mosque is one of the oldest in Turkey and was built by the Seljuk Sultan Malik Shah in the 11th century.
In the garden of the Grand Mosque of Diyarbakır there is a sundial designed by Ismail al-Jazari (1136-1206). Al-Jazari was a polymath and a scholar who is considered a prime representative of the Golden Age of Islam. Al-Jazari was the first scientist and engineer to carry out work on cybernetics. He was the chief engineer at the Artuqid Palace, the seat of the eponymous dynasty inside the Diyarbakır City Walls. His book The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (1206) was later translated into several European languages and became a source and inspiration for many later mechanical inventions throughout the world.
When the Assyrian King Tiglath-Pileser I and his army reached the Birkleyn Cave or Tigris Tunnel, 80 km north of Diyarbakır, during the Northern Mesopotamia Campaign he declared that he had reached the “End of the World.” Rock reliefs and cuneiform inscriptions are craved into the walls of the Tigris Tunnel. Are you not intrigued by the “End of the World” and the possib liity to witness written records from 3,000 years ago?
The art of filigree is an intricate engraved tale. The history of this fine craft is as old as Mesopotamia itself, dating back to approximately 3000 BC. Filigree is the detailed metalwork of twisting fine threads of silver or gold, knot by knot. Today, most filigree workshops are in Mardin city center and Midyat.
While here, would you like to participate in a Assyrian service? Assyrians pray five times a day like Muslims. You can attend an Assyrian service in Mardin. The hymns will move you and, if you wish, after the service you can learn more about this ancient church and the community’s culture from the friendly and helpful staff.
The history of unique light event dates back to 1734. İbrahim Hakkı His Holiness once said "What good could I expect from the sun that does not shine upon the gravestone of my master?" following the death of his master İsmail Fakirullah, and he paved the way for great scientific wonders in terms of astronomy and architecture.
İbrahim Hakkı His Holiness, who built an 8-angled tower with a height of 10 meters right next to the tomb his master was buried in, also built a dry stone wall on Eastside of the tomb. On equinox days in which duration of the day and of the night are equal (March 21st and September 23rd), sunlight rising from the valley behind the castle, hits the wall. Since sunlight cannot penetrate through the castle, it cannot reach the city of Tillo. Sunlight only enters through the window on the wall and it refracts on the prismatic structure on the tower. Then, the light passes through the window of the tomb, and lightens the gravestone of the sarcophagus of İsmail Fakirullah His Holiness. It is possible to see this extraordinary event each year on March 21st and September 23rd.
Another unique story is that of an illumination that dates back to 1734. Following the death of his master İsmail Fakirullah, the Turkish Sufi philosopher, encyclopedist, and astonomer Ibrahim Hakki Erzurumi stated, "What good could I expect from the sun that does not shine upon the gravestone of my master?" To remedy this, Ibrahim Hakki built an 8-angled, 10-meter-tall tower next to his master’s tomb and a dry stone wall east of the tomb – the tomb is in Tillo in the privince of Siirt.
On the Equinoxes (March 21 and September 23), when the duration of the day and the night is equal, sunlight rising from the valley behind the castle, hits the wall. Since sunlight cannot penetrate the castle, it cannot reach the city of Tillo. Sunlight only enters through the window on the wall and refracts on the tower’s prismatic structure. When this happens, the light passes through the window of the tomb, and lightens the gravestone of the sarcophagus of Hakki Erzurumi’s beloved master.
Mesopotamia calls all visitors to experience unforgettable moments and leave with lasting, powerful memories.