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Total population
Regions with significant populations
   Turkey 60,000
   Lebanon 50,000
   European Union 25,000
   Germany 15,000[1]
North Mesopotamian Arabic
Syriac, Kurdish & Turkish
Sunni Islam
Related ethnic groups
other Semitic peoples

The Mhallami, or Mhalmites, (Arabic: محلّمى‎, Mḥallamī; Syriac: ܡܚܠܡܝ̈ܐ, Mḥallmāye/Mḥallmoye; Turkish: Mıhellemi) originate from the Arab tribe of Banu Hanifa. Banu Hanifa's homeland was Najd (central Arabia), but they were settled by the Umayyad caliph Marwan II to this region. They are now primarily speakers of North Mesopotamian Arabic (qiltu variant) and Sunni Muslims of Shafi`i madh'hab.[2]


Arab people are living in the modern Turkish province of Mardin since the mid-eight century. After the expansion of the Umayyad caliph Marwan II into north Mesopotamia, many families from the Arabian Peninsula got settled to this region. Families of the Arab tribe of Banu Hanifa were especially settled to the region of Mardin.[3][4][5][6][7]

Al´Yaqubi says that a number of villages were settled by Banu Hanifa or people from Yamama. .... It includes Mardin, Sinjar, Raqqa, Qinnasrin and Quarqisiya.

— Fahd Al-Semmari, A History of the Arabian Peninsula

Mhallami of Lebanon[edit]

Lebanon had a population of 70,000 to 100,000 Mhallami prior to Lebanese Civil War.[8] Their origin and legal status became a particular concern when they started to seek asylum in Western European countries en masse in early 1980s.[9]

Mhallami association[edit]

The first Mhallami cultural association of Turkey was founded in February 2008 in Hapsınas (Mercimekli) village of Midyat[10] where the people still speak fluent Syriac.[11] The association, jointly with the Syriac Cultural Association of Midyat, had organised the first international Mhallami conference in August 2008.[12] Most of Mhallamis in Turkey live in Mardin and their famous place is Yerköy. It is a village that well known by the other name is Binardke. There are also 25 villages like that in the region.