|• Elected Mayor||Ahmet Türk (deposed) (HDP)|
|• Acting Mayor (Governor of Mardin Province)||Mustafa Yaman|
|• District||969.06 km2 (374.16 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,083 m (3,553 ft)|
|• District density||140/km2 (370/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (TRT)|
Mardin (Kurdish: Mêrdîn, Arabic: ماردين, Syriac: ܡܪܕܝܢ, romanized: Merdīn) is a city in southeastern Turkey. The capital of Mardin Province, it is known for the Artuqid architecture of its old city, and for its strategic location on a rocky hill near the Tigris River that rises steeply over the flat plains. The old town of the city is under the protection of UNESCO, which forbids new constructions to preserve its façade.
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Antiquity and etymology
The city survived into the Syriac Christian period as the name of Mt. Izala (Izla), on which in the early 4th century AD stood the monastery of Nisibis, housing seventy monks. In the Roman period, the city itself was known as Marida (Merida), from a Neo-Aramaic language name translating to "fortress".
Byzantine Izala fell to the Seljuks in the 11th century. During the Artuqid period, many of Mardin's historic buildings were constructed, including several mosques, palaces, madrassas and khans. Mardin served as the capital of one of the two Artuqid branches during the 11th and 12th centuries. The lands of the Artukid dynasty fell to the Mongol invasion sometime between 1235 and 1243, but the Artuqids continued to govern as vassals of the Mongol Empire.
During the medieval period, the town (which retained significant Assyrian and Armenian populations) became the centre for episcopal sees of Armenian Apostolic, Armenian Catholic, Church of the East, Syriac Catholic, churches, as well as a stronghold of the Syriac Orthodox Church, whose patriarchal see was headquartered in the nearby Saffron Monastery from 1034 to 1924. In 1451 the Kara Koyunlu besieged the castle of Mardin, damaging the city after their failed attempt to take the stronghold. About half a century later, in 1507, Ismail I of the Safavids succeeded to capture the city and the castle.
A few years later in 1515, the city yielded to the Ottomans, who were bitter rivals of the Safavid dynasty, though the castle still remained under the control of Ismail I. One year later, the Ottomans under the leadership of Selim I besieged the city anew and eventually annexed it in 1517. During this time, Mardin was administered by a governor directly appointed under the Ottoman Sultan's authority.
The city experienced a relatively tranquil period under Ottoman rule, without any significant conflicts or plights. This period of peace was finally halted when the Ottoman Empire came into conflict with the Khedivate of Egypt. During this time the city came under the rule of insurgents associated with the Milli clan. In 1835, the Milli tribe was subdued by the military troops of the Wāli of Diyarbekir Eyalet, Reşid Mehmed Pasha. Between 1847 and 1865 the city's population suffered from a notable cholera epidemic, with the exact number of fatalities not known. During World War I Mardin was one of the sites affected by the Armenian genocide. On the eve of World War I, Mardin was home to over 12,000 Assyrians and over 7,500 Armenians. During the armed conflicts and plights caused by the war, many were sent to the Ras al-'Ayn Camps, though some managed to escape to the Sinjar Mountain with help from local Chechens. Kurds and Arabs of Mardin typically refer to these events as "fırman" (government order), while Syriacs call it "seyfo" (sword). After the Armistice of Mudros Mardin was one of the Turkish cities that was not occupied by the troops of the Allied Powers.
In 1923, with the founding of the Republic of Turkey, Mardin was made the administrative capital of a province named after it. Many Assyrian survivors of the violence, later on, left Mardin for nearby Qamishli in the 1940s after their conscription in the Turkish military became compulsory. As the Turkish Government subdued the Sheikh Said Rebellion in 1925, the first and the fourteenth cavalry division were stationed in Mardin.
It eventually became part of the Catholic Church in the late 17th century AD following a breakaway from the Assyrian Church, and is the (nominal) seat of three sees of the Catholic Church: the current Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of Mardin and two (now) titular sees under the ancient name of the town : former Armenian Catholic Archeparchy of Mardin, now Titular see of Mardin only, and former Syriac Catholic Eparchy of Mardin and Amida, now titular see (initially as mere Eparchy).
Mardin has often been considered an open-air museum due to its historical architecture. Most buildings use the beige colored limestone rock which has been mined for centuries in quarries around the area.
- Meryemana (Virgin Mary) Church- A Syriac Catholic Church, built in 1895 as the Patriarchal Church, as the Syriac Catholic see was in Mardin up until the Assyrian genocide.
- Red (Surp Kevork) Church- An Armenian Apostolic Church renovated in 2015
- Mor Yusuf (Surp Hovsep; St Joseph) Church - An Armenian Catholic Church
- Mor Behnam (Kırk Şehitler) Church - A Syriac Orthodox Church built in the name of Mor Behnam and Mort Saro, the son and daughter of a ruler; dates back to 569 AD.
- Mor Hirmiz Church - A Chaldean Catholic Church in Mardin- It was once the Metropolitan cathedral of the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of Mardin, prior to it lapsing in 1941. Nevertheless, One Chaldean family remains to maintain it.
- Mor Mihail Church -A Syriac Orthodox Church located on the southern edge of Mardin.
- Mor Simuni Church - A Syriac Orthodox Church with a large courtyard.
- Mor Petrus and Pavlus (SS. Peter and Paul) Church - A 160 year old Assyrian Protestant Church, recently renovated.
- Mor Cercis Church
- Deyrü'z-Zafaran Monastery or The Monastery of St. Ananias is 5 kilometers southeast of the city. The Syriac Orthodox Saffron Monastery was founded in 493 AD and is one of the oldest monasteries in the world and the largest in Southern Turkey, alongside Mor Gabriel Monastery. From 1160 until 1932, it was the seat of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch, until the Patriarchate relocated to the Syrian capital Damascus. The site of the monastery itself is said to have been used as a temple by sun worshipers as long ago as 2000 BC.
In the 2014 local elections, Ahmet Türk of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP) was elected mayor of Mardin. However, on 21 November 2016 he was detained on terror charges after being dismissed from his post by Turkish authorities. A trustee was appointed as mayor instead. In the Municipal elections in March 2019 Türk was re-elected. But he was dismissed from his post in August 2019, accused of supporting terrorism. Mustafa Yaman, the Governor of Mardin Province was appointed as acting mayor.
Mardin has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa, Trewartha: Cs) with very hot, dry summers and chilly, wet, and occasionally snowy winters. Mardin is very sunny, with over 3000 hours of sun per year. While temperatures in summer can easily reach 40 °C (104 °F), because of its continental nature, wintry weather is still somewhat common between the months of December and March, and it usually snows for a week or two. The highest recorded temperature is 42.5 °C (108.5 °F).
|Climate data for Mardin (1991–2020, extremes 1941–2020)|
|Record high °C (°F)||19.4
|Average high °C (°F)||6.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||3.7
|Average low °C (°F)||1.3
|Record low °C (°F)||−13.4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||95.4
|Average precipitation days||10.53||10.17||10.47||10.27||7.30||1.73||0.80||0.30||0.90||5.77||7.23||9.90||75.4|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||142.6||144.1||192.2||231.0||306.9||369.0||390.6||362.7||312.0||238.7||180.0||136.4||3,006.2|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||4.6||5.1||6.2||7.7||9.9||12.3||12.6||11.7||10.4||7.7||6.0||4.4||8.2|
|Source: Turkish State Meteorological Service|
- Nabia Abbott 1897–1981, scholar of early Islam, papyrologist and paleographer
- Februniye Akyol, Syriac Co-Mayor of Mardin (2014-2016)
- Zeynel Abidin Erdem, businessman
- Muammer Güler, governor
- Malak Karsh, photographer
- Yousuf Karsh, photographer
- Sultan Kösen, the world's tallest living man since 2009.
- Ignatius Maloyan (1869 - 1915), Armenian Catholic Archbishop, Christian martyr
- Murathan Mungan, poet and writer
- Aziz Sancar, scientist, 2015 Nobel prize winner in Chemistry
- Mümtaz Tahincioğlu, head of TOMSFED
- Bülent Tekin, poet and writer
- Masum Türker, former Minister of Finance
Twin towns — Sister cities
Mardin is twinned with:
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- Mardin (Chaldean Diocese)
- Mardin Province
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mardin.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Mardin.|
- Mardin Guide and Photo Album
- GCatholic - former & defunct Catholic sees in present Turkey, each linking
- The Spoken Arabic of Mardin
- Mardin Weather Forecast Information
- First International Symposium of Mardin History
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