Jesus Christ and the Sacred Handkerchief

The legend begins as Edessa (Urfa) King V. Abgar becomes plague-stricken.

According to Abgar legend, V. Abgar Ukkama is the first Christian King. After a while later the notification of Jesus Christ, he accepted Christianity and he made his own people adopt it. Edessa King V. Abgar Ukkama catches the hansen disease at those times and he suffered from it much. The King hears that Jesus Christ heals the patients and he could not go to Jerusalem since he was extremely sick. He sends one of his envoy named Hannan to Jesus Christ with a letter by writing that he believes in him and that he wants to learn the new religion, and invites him. This envoy was also a painter. Hannan brings the letter to Jesus Christ and tries to draw his picture but could not. Jesus Christ likes this and washes his face and wipes his face with a handkerchief and gives Hannan the handkerchief. The copy of his face was printed on the handkerchief. Hannan takes this handkerchief with a letter and goes back to Edessa. V Abgar recovers from the illness thanks to this handkerchief. Then the handkerchief was hidden somewhere in one of the entrance gates of the city. After Islam dominated the region, sacred handkerchief was earned to Muslims. Some of the Muslims were captured in a war against Byzantines. Byzantines sets the condition of receiving the sacred handkerchief in return for releasing the prisoners. Finally, they deliver the sacred handkerchief and the prisoners were released.

Some people believe that this handkerchief went to Vatican, Italy by way of İstanbul and some people believe that it is in the well hole in Grand Mosque, who knows...


Halil al-Rahman

According to a rumour, there was a tyrant king named Nemrut. This tyrant emperor has dream one day. He has someone interpreted the dream and learns that one of the children to be born in that year will kill him. Nemrut commands his soldiers to kill all the children to be born in that year.

Sara, who was pregnant for Prophet Abraham, escapes and hides in a cave, and gives birth. However, she left her child there and comes back to home. A female gazelle breastfeeds the child. After a while, the soldiers found Prophet İbrahim in the cave and brings him to Nemrut. Nemrut, who could not have baby, takes him and raises.

Nemrut says that these cult figures, which are made with by human being cannot be god. People stays silent because of fear. One day Prophet Abraham enters into the section where cult figures are placed and breaks them, gives the axe to the hand of the largest cult figure. Officials inform Nemrut about the fact that Prophet Abraham did it. They interrogate Prophet Abraham and he says "The axe is in the hand of the largest cult figure, can't you see it? He probably did it."

Nemrut gets angry and says "How can a piece of stone grab an axe and break these cult figures?" Then, Prophet Abraham handles a piece of stone can protect you without doing this job by grabbing an axe. Nemrut seems to be surprised and commands to throw Abraham into fire.

A bulk of wood that has been obtained for days, are accumulated on the square and fired, then Abraham was thrown to the fire by catapult.

The fire does not burn Prophet Abraham, the place he fell down transforms into a lake, and the woods turn into fish. This is the legendary formation history of Balıklı Göl that is mentioned in several rumours and that is believed to poison and kill the people who eat the fish of the lake, and whose fishes are regarded as sacred.  


Ayn Zeliha

According to rumours, Zeliha, daughter of Nemrut falls in love with Prophet Abraham. Zeliha begs her father to forgive İbrahim, but Nemrut does not change his mind. Zeliha throws herself into fire. The place she falls down turns into a lake.

The lake in which Prophet Abraham fell down is called as Halil al-Rahman Lake. The place in which Zeliha fell down is called as Ayn Zeliha Lake.

According to another myth, Ayn Zeliha cries so much for Prophet İbrahim and Ayn Zeliha Lake is composed accordingly.         


Mem U Zin

Mir Zeynuddin, lord of Cizre, son of Ebdal, has two beautiful sisters named Zin and Siti. Zin is pale and very intimate to the lord. Siti is a brunette and tall girl. Tacdin is the son of Divian Vizier of the lord. Memo became popular with the nickname of Memialan and son of Divan clerk, eternity fellow and friend of Tacdin.

Entertainment and festivals were organized on March at those days. At the time, residents of Cizre climb to mountains and garnish including children, and the youngsters see and like each other in accordance with Islam and find partner for each other. Memo and Tacdin garnish like girls and disguise and go to the bazaar. While having a look at the people living in the bazaar, they see people in male clothes. They faint as they see these men. Siti and Zin see these two men and approach to them.  Both of them take out the ring on their fingers and put the rings to their fingers and leave the place.

Memo and Tacdin seem to be exhausted when they regain consciousness. Then they realize the rings on their fingers that are written as "Zin" and "Siti". Memo's ring is ruby and is written "Zin". Tacdin's ring is diamond and is written "Siti". Both of them realize that these two girls having the rings, actually disguise in these kinds of fests and organizations.

Heyzebun, nanny of Siti and Zin, who is in the shape of witch and magician, see them with faded face and asks why they are unhappy. Then, they tell everything they lived to the nanny. The nanny takes the rings and goes to a fortune-teller in order to learn who these two men are. Then, masquerades as doctor and goes to Cizre streets with the purpose of healing the patients. She takes a couple of lancets, book, bottle, sac and some medicines and tours in the neighbourhoods, the youngsters who saw her, brings her to patient Tacdin and Memo. Heyzebun tells Tacdin and Memo that both of two girls also fall in love just like them, and wants to change the rings again. Tacdin gives his ring but Memo does not.

Memo and Tacdin who are in a great love, tell what they lived to their friends. They appear before Cizre Bey Mir Zeynuddin in order to ask for Siti with a group of scholars in Cizre and specialists in Judicial affairs. They ask for Siti for Tacdin. Bey accepts and wedding ceremony is held for 7 days and 7 nights.

There is a hatemonger man named Merguverli Bekir (Beko). This man is both doorman and coffee maker of Bey. Tacdin knows the malignancy of this man. Although he informs Bey about the situation, Bey does not send him. He discredits Memo and Tacdin to Bey. Gossiper Bekir has an impact upon Bey within time and prevents Bey to allow Zin to get married with Memo. Therefore, he imprisons Memo. Memo stays one year in dungeon.

Bey wants Memo to die. Gossiper Bekir wants Bey to send Zin to imprison, and says him that Memo will die anyway when he sees Zin. Then, Bey decided to send her sister Zin to the dungeon.

Entering in the dungeon, Zin sees Memo in chained and says that she received the permission to get married. But Memo dies after saying he found the divine love. Tacdin kills Bekir who caused all these issues.

Memo was buried in Abdaliye Madrasah. Zin always cries at the head of Memo's grave and dies at his grave after a while. Memo who found the divine love, comes together with Zin.



He was a very handsome son of a King who reigned in the region. He used to go for hunting with a great self-indulgence.

When he went for hunting, a grave he saw and pieces of a skeleton that went out from the grave paved the way for him to confront with reality of death. He realizes that any reign cannot exist against wealth or poverty, and that he will also turn into a skeleton one day, and swears that he will give up from all blessings of god and that he will walk only in the way of god. He leaves behind the palace he lived in and splendour, and takes to the road with his wife.  They travel a lot, he makes woven basket and sells it, in this way they maintain their lives. He is now a ZEMBİLFİROŞ... As a fellow of God, he travels in the villages and small towns with his children and wife by carrying bags on their backs, with their worn out clothes.

Destiny brings him to the latest station Farkin while traveling. Zembilfiroş arouses the attention of Hatun Han, wife of Farkin Beg (Ruler). She calls him to the palace under the pretext of buying woven basket. The lady falls in love at first sight. Being a wife of a Bey and falling in love with at first sight at the same time... She is in very difficult situation but cannot resist, and tries to tell her love with lines of poetry...

Zembîlfiroş zembîla tine

Dikan bi dikan di gêrîne

Hiş li Xatûnê namîne

Serî li zeman di gerîne

Gazi dike ku bibîne

Were ser doşeka mîr e

Li te helal, herama mîr e

Bidime te zulfî harîr e

Çavê min ê xezalan e

Sîngamin wek zozana ne

Bejna min wek rihane

Çiqa bêjî hêjan e…

(Zembîlfiroş brings woven baskets

Walks around the shops

The lady loses her mind

Searching with his head to buy time

Shouting to see him

Come Bey, above the mattress

Harem of Bey is halal for you

Let me present my lovelocks for you

My eyes are the eyes of gazelles

By embrace is like highlands

My stature like basil

It is beautiful and convenient as you wish...)

But Zembilfiroş is a dervish who waived from all worldly matters. The most importantly, he sweared to give up. He is sworn to serve only for God and eliminated the concept of unlawful. He also responses the love call of the lady negatively with lines of poetry.

Xatûnê ez tobedar im

Delalê ez tobedarim

Zarok birçîne li malin

Ji rebbê jorî nikarim…

(Lady, I am a penitent

Beautiful lady, I am a penitent

Children are hungry at home

I cannot do it for the sake of God...)

Zembîlfiroş refuses the love of Lady Hatun with these lines. Hatun, wife of Farkin cannot accept the answer of refusal. She is in a deadly love with Zembilfiroş. Her only single aim is to be with Zembilfiroş. Zembilfiroş is obliged to escape against the persistence of Hatun. Hatun follows him, she learns the tent that Zembilfiroş lives. Hatun begs to the wife of Zembilfiroş to stay in the tent only for one night. She tells him that she will donate all her property holdings and jewels, she just wants to stay with Zembilfiroş for one night. Against this persistence of Hatun, the wife of Zembilfiroş leaves there by taking her children with her. Hatun wears the clothes of the wife of Zembilfiroş and enters in the bed and starts to wait for Zembilfiroş. As darkness descends, Zembilfiroş comes back to the tent after selling his woven baskets. He lies down on bed as unaware of Hatun. However, he realizes that the woman in the bed is not his own wife because of the sound made by the silver bangle of Hatun. He leaves the tent as he realizes it.

Some people claim that Zembilfiroş realizes that he cannot escape from Hatun and throws himself down from the bushes of the palace. Some people say that Zembilfiroş becomes helpless at this point and begs to God to die. When Zembilfiroş dies, Hatun also makes the same wish and both of them die.