Are you ready for a unique experience?
Mesopotamia, which is "the place where everything started", promises thrilling experiences for its visitors. You can watch the best sunset of the world, participate in the making of baklava, and see bald ibis birds which are on the brink of extinction or visit the end of the world on these soils.
Greet the Sun in Nemrut on the place where the tumulus grave, which is located at the peak of Mt. Nemrut at 2,150 meters height, and which was built by Commagene King, Antiochus I for himself, which is one of the places of the world where sunrise and sunset can be seen the best...
The place where you can watch the Euphrates the best, which is the largest river giving life to Mesopotamia, is located between Şanlıurfa and Adıyaman. You can wet your feet in water nearby Bozova (Euphrates) Waterfalls and touch this sacred river that animates this civilization. You can also take the best pictures of the Euphrates from here.
You can get on the vessels from Kızılin Village nearby the Euphrates, and travel along the Euphrates until reaching Göksu Stream.
Do not leave Mesopotamia without meeting with the Euphrates River that animates these fertile lands.
Would like to see how olive oil is squeezed with traditional methods in Kilis where the land is covered with endless olive orchards?
Olives which maturate at the end of fall, are collected and brought to the factories to be squeezed in Kilis. However, the olives that are squeezed with traditional methods are brought to olive workshops called as “mahsara”, but not to factories. The olive oil that is extracted from the olives crushed by stone called dink stone, is the oldest olive oil that is made up of traditional method. The only difference is that in the past, people used to use horses, donkeys or mules but today, this duty is undertaken by engine power.
You can visit mahsara in Kilis at the dates beginning from mid of November, and see how the olive oil is extracted.
Have you ever wondered how they make worldwide famous Antep baklava? You can watch this unique combination of filo pastry, plain butter, peanut and fermented juice at Tarihi Millet Hanı (Historical National Inn) in Antep at 2 pm every day except Monday.
The process takes approximately half an hour and starts with rolling dough thin until the baklava is put in the oven. If you wait to see its cooking and casting of fermented juice, you need to spend an hour. You can also taste and buy baklava here as well as watching the making of baklava.
Maybe you can make baklava for the people you love after this delicious experience, who knows!
Islamic world was in an enlightenment period and it was the center of science when Western world was living in the darkness of Middle Ages. Islamic world displayed a great breakthrough in Middle Ages with the help of literary works that were translated from Arabic to Ancient Greek. There were also breakthroughs in various parts of Mesopotamia.
Islamic Science History Museum in Antep sets light to that golden era of Islam. The artefacts from medicine, chemistry, physics, astronomy, cartography and maritime categories are exhibited in the museum. It is possible to see 103 inventions of 54 scientists at that period and to experience some of the inventions by yourselves in the museum.
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.
This water source is the place that is known to be a "Curative Wellhole" in the tomb of Prophet Ayyub in city centre.
Visit this place and do not come back from Urfa without listening to the story of Prophet Ayyub and drinking healing waters and praying.
There are so few places in which the natural sources of Mesopotamia can be converted with human intervention. One of these places is Traditional Handcrafts Center in Şanlıurfa.
You can meet with these arts such as wood whittling, weaver, silk weaving, felting, filigree, mosaic, fur farming, kazazlık (silk spinning), carpet / rug weaving in this centre, which met all needs of Mesopotamia people with handcraft at one time.
As well as seeing how these handcrafts are made, you can buy these handcrafts, drink tea or coffee and listen to the story of these arts from their masters, in this centre.
You need to visit Mesopotamia to meet with the handcrafts resisting against time.
Would you like to taste a liver or meat pieces in wrap that you prepare yourself? You can prepare your own wrap in all liver shops that are in Haşimiye Square in Urfa.
People sit on stools in these shops and there are tables at the height of coffee tables. Products such as onion, parsley, mint, pepper, sumac are presented on the tables that you can inside your wrap.
A chopping board and knife are given to you. You can chop the onion and parsley that you will put inside your wrap while your liver is cooked, you can also add spicy and prepare the salad of your wrap.
An open bread is submitted to you when your liver is cooked, and you can prepare your wrap depending on your palatal delight and you roll it and eat it with pleasure. It will definitely be more delicious since you prepare your wrap yourself.
Bon appetite in advance!
Would like to be caravan merchant by going back to thousands of years? You can get on camels with traditional clothes next to traditional Harran Houses in Harran, and you can feel yourself like a medieval merchant.
We invite you to Mesopotamia for this fabulous experience...
Old residents of Birecik say "Sky gets dark when hermit ibises appear". Nowadays, there are 150 bald ibis left in the world. These birds only live along the Euphrates River in Birecik district of Şanlıurfa. You can see these Bald Ibis Breeding Centre located 3 km north of Birecik district centre, and you can listen to the stories of bald ibis from Mustafa Çulcuoğlu, who is the volunteer guide of the station.
Pigeon is a passion in Urfa. Various kinds of pigeons are fed, they fly every evening, they are adorned with various jewels, and they are bought and sold.
The birds are sold via tender in Bird Bazaar that is in the historical bazaars of Ancient Urfa, at 19.00 every evening. The entrance is 1 Turkish Liras and tea is free of charge in such tenders. Price offers are heavily made depending on the beauty, kind and abilities of the pigeons.
Pigeon tenders are unique experiences that you cannot experience anywhere else.
Keçi Burcu is the oldest and largest bush of Diyarbakır city walls that is near to Mardin Kapı. Hevsel Gardens is the place in which all vegetables of Diyarbakır was produced at one time, Tigris River shaped the history of Mesopotamia, On Gözlü Bridge that dates back to at least 1,000 years and Kırklar Mountain that is said in Suzan Suzi folk song are seen magnificent. Keçi Burcu makes people feel that they are a part of a great history.
Visit Keçi Burcu and watch this unique view.
Grand Mosque that is one of the symbols of Diyarbakır, is one of the rare mosques in which 4 sects of Islam pray together.
Grand Mosque that is a belief centre for thousands of years, brings 4 sects of Islam that is one of the beliefs of Mesopotamia together in Friday prays. Grand Mosque that is the symbol of peace and tolerance, is one of the scarce places for believers to pray.
Al-Jazari (1136-1206) is a scholar who is one of the symbols of Islam Renaissance and he is known to be the father of robotics.
Al-Jazari who is originally from Cizre and who reigned in Diyarbakır, made various inventions during the Artuqid period and he produced a literary work named the "Book Involving Utilization from Mechanic Movements in Engineering". This work later was translated into Western languages and became a source for machine inventors of the industrial revolution.
A sundial exists in the yard of Grand Mosque of Diyarbakır that was designed by Al-Jazari. Do not leave Grand Mosque without estimating the time by looking at this 800 years of design.
Rotate the moving pillars! Don't ask "How can I do that?" Mesudiye Madrasa is located at the northern wing of Grand Mosque, adjacent to the eastern half of the mosque. This is the first madrasa that was built in Diyarbakır. According to the oldest epigraphs, foundation of the building was laid in 1198 during the period of Artuqid Malik (King) Ebu Muzaffer Sökmen II (1200), and was completed in 1223 after 32 years during the period of Mevdud whose nickname was Malik Mesud due to the deaths of Muzaffer Sökmen and Melik Salih Nasırüddin Mahmud who took the crown after. Construction of this madrasah is known with the name of Mesudiye since it was completed in Malik Mesud period.
There are two rotating stone pillars that are placed next to the mihrab in the yard of the madrasa. These pillars were placed for the purpose of identifying a collapse in the building that may occur due to an earthquake. You can rotate with your hands the pillars of this structure that has been standing for approximately 800 years, and examine this static and magnificent work of art of the structure.
The word of dengbej was formed from the combination of deng (voice) and bej (narration) in Kurdish language and it means "verbal narration". Kurdish poets who are masters in verbal narration are called as dengbej.
You will probably feel sad, be sprained, be slackened, think and go to distant lands when you listen to dengbej in company with a harmonious small oboe and narration style that requires an extraordinary voice to use. Dengbejs generally mention the pains, grieves and tragedies of the Kurdish people.
"Dengbej House" is the place where you can listen to these stories sung in Kurdish mode, and where you can talk to dengbejs.
Go to faraways by listening to dengbej in Diyarbakır, listen to these unique works of art of private local artists.
Assyrian King Tiglath Pileser I came to Birkleyn water that is close to Lice, with his army during Northern Mesopotamia Campaign and stated that he reached the end of the world at the end of the Tigris. Rock reliefs and cuneiform inscriptions belonging to Assyrian Kings Tiglath Pileser I (1114-1076 B.C.) and Shalmaneser III are written on the walls of the cave. On one of the inscriptions, it reads "Scripted mine name upon source of Tigris". Tiglath Pileser I named here the "End of the World" when he reached the source of Tigris.
There is another giant cave located approximately 200 meters away from the rivers in which the waters of Tigris come from. The river passes through 300-400 metres inside the mountain.
Have a look at Birkleyn that is the 'End of the World' in order to freshen your mind and most importantly, to witness a history having at least 3,000 years of past.
A tale engraved onto ores, filigree is. The history of this fine craft is the same age as Mesopotamia, dating back to 3,000s B.C.
Filigree is twisting the fine threads, which are made up of silver or golden, knot by knot. Generally, Assyrians are the people who engraved filigree, and most of the filigree workshops are in Mardin city center and Midyat.
Suphi Usta just next to Mardin Museum, is one of the oldest people who performs this art, and he still trains apprentices. If you happen to pass by, you can visit the workshop of Suphi Usta and examine this art on-site, which requires patience and elegancy.
Syriac people, the ancient folk of Mesopotamia, transform the grapes that they produce in vineyards into wine, the nutrition value of which is quite high at home environment by means of traditional methods without using any additional agent. Syriac people have been protecting this culture for thousands of years.
Wine is sacred for Syriacs who are quite attached to Christianity. Since they have been dwelling with Muslims, they did not improve their production techniques of wine and remained on a traditional level. A unique taste is provided by keeping these wines in the storehouses for about 45 or 60 days, which are filled in custom made earthenware jars.
Especially the wines with mahleb aroma, a kind of wild cherry, are very popular. Do not leave Mardin without tasting and buying scrumptious Syriac wines.
The word “Sikke” is used to describe historical metallic coins. You can see the Sikke production tool in return for only 1 Turkish Lira in Mardin Museum and produce some Sikke of various Mesopotamia civilizations by yourself to keep them as a memory from Mardin.
Latifiye Mosque or Abdullatif Mosque was built in 1314 with the order of Abdullatif ibn al-Abdullah who was one of the men of Malik Salih and Malik Muzaffer of the Artuqids. The mosque that is located at the Western part of Mardin city square, is one of the symbols of Artuqids architecture and art.
Tea is served to the visitors who come to the yard of this mosque. You can have a talk with the imam and other people of the mosque by drinking tea, obtain information about Latifiye Mosque, Mardin and the Islamic philosophy, then take a rest in the yard of the mosque to retreat from Mardin's heat.
Emüneddin Külliye in Marıstan (Mesken) neighbourhood that is closer to 2. Cadde, is a structure that is composed of a mosque, a madrasah, a Turkish bath and a fountain. This place is called 'Marıstan' by the residents. This place is the first structure that was built as Külliye in Anatolia and it is one of the earliest medical hospital centres.
It is like an oasis with its yard surrounded with very green trees under very hot weather of Mardin. Temperature goes down at least 5 or 6 degrees when you enter into the yard. You may want to take a seat for hours in this cool atmosphere provided by trees. Built as a mosque for Friday prayers, it has a rectangular shape. There is a terrace above the mosque in the front part of the Külliye. A magnificent Mardin landscape can be enjoyed there. You may also chat with the imam and the community of this Külliye.
Participate in a Syriac service... Syriacs also pray 5 times a day just like Muslims. You can attend and watch one of these services in Mardin. You can also listen to hymns, and obtain information from the church staff about Syriac belief and culture after the service. Women are required to cover their heads with headscarves and should not wear clothes such as very short skirts in Syriac churches as a sign of respect. Attention should be paid to not talk aloud, to switch phones off and not take any photo without the permission of the church 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.
Mesopotamia calls you to a collection of unforgettable memories.