Mardin: Candidate for UNESCO’s List of ‘Cities of World Heritage.’
Mardin used to be an important center of the Western Asia for both its strategic location and commercial richness. Excavations in Girnavaz Tumulus at the crossing point of Assyrian royal roads indicate that the place was continuously settled from 4000 to 700 BC. Yielding many finds including potteries, bottles, ceramic sculptures, cylinder shaped bulla as well as architectural remains from the late Assyrian period, Girnavaz reflects all characteristics pertinent to the upper Mesopotamian culture. The tumulus is believed to be the place where genies live together and visited for heal to those with mental problems.
Mardin was once a very important center for Christianity. Architectural structures belonging to different epochs have reached out time in a unique architectural integrity. One can find unique Mardin houses; churches of Kýrklar, Mar Mihail, Behrimiz, Virgin Mary, Mar Yusuf and Mar Bitris; medresses of Kasýmiye, Zinciriye and Marufiye; monasteries of Deyr’ul Zafaran and Deyr’ul Umur; mosques of Ulu, Çubuk and Molla Hari and the castle as important buildings in this integrity.
Extending over a territory of 12,760 km2, the province of Mardin lies between the Southeastern Taurus Range to the north and the Arabian Platform to the south. Most of this territory covers the area known as “Mardin-Midyat Threshold.
The population of the province is 705,098 (Census of 2000). Dargeçit, Derik, Kiziltepe, Mazidagi, Midyat, Nusaybin, Ömerli, Savur and Yesilli are Mardin’s districts in the periphery.
The culture of Mardin bears the imprint of various antique civilizations flourishing in the area. Mardin has an enormous historical, cultural and architectural richness. It is apparent that this richness has the potential of contributing much to the development of the province and national tourism if mobilized and managed properly.
Mardin enjoys a privileged status in the sense that it is able to make people live the past and to present what is old and valuable to present generations. Mardin’s cultural diversity is further enriched by the deep-rooted culture of various communities including the oldest Christian community, the Suryani. Who can refuse to see a city of tolerance where ezan from mosques lives in brotherhood with church bells?
In recent years Mardin has become a center of attraction for many people from different parts of the world. It is a candidate for UNESCO’s List of ‘Cities of World Heritage.’ Submitting, protecting and transferring cultural richness for the next generations require a big importance. In our city and its provinces we have 665 buildings registered by protection of culture and nature values committee directorate.