Mesopotamia Commagenes Kingdom

Mardin - Midyat - Diyarbakir - Adiyaman - Gaziantep - Sanliurfa


Day 1: Your airport - Mardin

After arrival to Istanbul airport, continue to flight to Mardin (Tk2676 15:30 17:35). Our local professional tour guide will meet the group before the flight at domestic terminal. Transfer to the hotel, welcome-cocktail on arrival. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 2: Mardin

Breakfast and departure for full day sightseeing tour of Mardin’s old city, balanced on the hillside between an ancient castle and the sweeping Mesopotamian plains, offers a stew of influences from Assyrian, Arab, Turkish, and Kurdish cultures, expressed in unique architecture, food, and handicrafts. At the end of the day, watching the sun sink into the distant horizon over a copper cup of Syriac wine or a strong murra coffee, it is hard not to feel transported to another world.

We start walking in the streets of this impressive medieval castle city. During the walk, Ulu Cami District, Abbaras, Şehidiye Mosque, House of the House (House of the Shah) will be seen. You will find yourself in another world while visiting the narrow streets of Mardin.

Afterwards, Mardin’s sightseeing gem is most definitely the Deyr-ul Zafaran Monastery. This Syrian Orthodox monastery was established over 1,500 years ago and you will see evidence of its sacredness and importance. Historical relics on display, saffron colored stone, rose gardens, and peaceful courtyards fill the enormous space. Also just outside the city center, the Artuquid-era Kasimiye medrese (Islamic school) is worth a stop not only for its gorgeously simple design but for more views over the plains. It is a great spot for watching the sunset and can be reached by a short walk through the old town.

Visit to the Great Mosque with its enormous, elaborate minaret; the Latfiye Mosque for its intricate carvings; and the Kirklar Church where, if you are lucky, the friendly priest will let you in for a quick tour. Another pretty sandstone building is the city museum, which is worth a visit for informative displays and artifacts dating back millennia. Half the fun of finding these sights is exploring the narrow streets, getting lost among the old houses, and seeing local life play out. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 3: Mardin - Midyat - Diyarbakir

Breakfast at the hotel and full day excursion to Dara, The Hidden Ancient Roman City of Anastopolis which is located 30 km Southeast of Mardin, and is one of the most glorious settlements in the region. The establishment date of the city is not known whose ancient name is Anastasiapolis. Dara has been one of the most important trade centres of Mesopotamia for centuries. The city witnessed wars of the Persian Emperor Darius and Alexander the Great. When Persians conquered Nusaybin in 363, this place became the border of the Roman Empire. littered with colossal statues. Lost to memory for 2000 years, the mountaintop south of Malatya and north of Adıyaman and Kahta (map), was rediscovered by a geologist in 1881. On it are two hierothesiums, open-air shrines to the gods, with huge limestone statues of Apollo, Fortuna, Zeus, Heracles, and Antiochus I Epiphanes, King of Commagene. His kingdom was no more than a minor buffer state between the Roman and Persian empires, but Antiochus believed he was definitely big-league stuff, so he had his own huge statue seated with ”his equals,” the gods. Than visit Arsemeia, cross over the still functioning Arsemia which was the capital city of Commagene Kingdom and you will visit Septimus Severus Bridge and The Karakus Tumulus where the Royal family is buried. departure for Gaziantep for dinner and overnight. Total 270 km, 4 hours 32 minutes drive.

Day 4: Diyarbakir - Adiyaman

Breakfast at the hotel. Than sightseeing of Diyarbakır, the old city containing many mosques and churches, is a little run down but enclosed in magnificent walls. The city walls are very old and certainly worth a walk around. Some of towers are restored by the municipality and are easy to reach from the center of the old city. One such is Kechi Burcu, which offers a nice view of Tigris river below

Day 5: Adiyaman - Gaziantep

Early departure from hotel, directly go to Mount Nemrut to visit the east terrace , west terrace , statues and watch sun set. Nemrut Dağı (Mount Nimrod) is one of Turkey’s most astounding sights: an artificial mountaintop framed by two great temples widely known it is one of the most important archaeological digs currently being undertaken anywhere in the world —this site represents a major shift in our understanding of man’s cultural evolution. Here at Göbekli Tepe (Potbelly Hill) lie the remains of the earliest religious structures built by man yet to be discovered. At about 11000-13000 years old this site pre-dates both pottery and writing and is far older that either Stonehenge in England or the great Egyptian Pyramids. In fact, less time separates us from the builders of Stonehenge than separates the builders of Stonehenge from the last known use of Göbekli Tepe. Göbekli Tepe may have been in use as a point of gathering for religious and ritual events for over 2000 years and it represents a major advance in our understanding of man’s early history. Arrival in Sanliurfa for dinner and overnight Total 260 km, 3 hours 57 minutes drive.

Day 6: Gaziantep - Sanliurfa

Breakfast at the hotel and visit the world famous Gaziantep Mosaic Museum. This museums becomes after the discoveries from Zeugma. We will also visit the old city castle, copper bazaar and the famous baklava shop (Baklava is originally from Gaziantep). Than we drive to Sanli Urfa. On the way we stop at Nizip (soap and olive oil district) to see the remains of the old city of Belkis or (Zeugma) by the River Euphrates. Importance of this settlement which demonstrates an uninterrupted inhabiting since prehistoric ages, is that it is one of the two points allowing the easiest passage across the River Euphrates with a bridge first built by Alexander the Great.

Continue drive for Harran. Harran is an ancient city in the Upper Mesopotamia, dating back to the Early Bronze Age in the 3rd millennium BC. Harran was established as a merchant outpost as it was situated along a trade route between the Mediterranean and the plains of Tigris river. Etymologically Harran means, in the languages of the ancient civilisations, “a junction of roads”, “and a crossroads”. In the Akkadian language of the ancient Near East, “Harranu” means “travelling” or “caravan”. In terms of the sociological and historical context it means, the city where civilisations are born and meet. Harran is not just a town, but should be considered together with the adjacent plains. Harran was a key staging post for the Assyrian trading caravans plying the Anatolian plain during the era of the Assyrian Trading Colonies. We will travel to the on-going archaeological dig at Göbekli Tepe. Although this site is not so

the city, and a great look over the city walls. There is extensive development outside including a pleasant park. It’s called Gazi Kösk and it contains many teahouses and traditional bed-like constructions, where you sink into cushions and drink tea while overlooking the Dicle river below. The Diyarbakir fortress has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. We will visit; Great Mosque of Diyarbakır, the oldest mosque in Anatolia and is the former St. Thomas Christian Church, one of the oldest churches in history. The mosque is considered by some to be the fifth holiest site in Islam. It can accommodate up to 5,000 worshipers and is famous for hosting four different Islamic traditions. The mosque as it is known today was built in 1091 by the Seljuk ruler Malik-Shah. The design influenced by the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, used the locally found black basalt rock. The mosque suffered extensive damage in a fire in 1155.

The Great Mosque of Diyarbakir is the oldest and one of the most significant mosques in Mesopotamia. Following the Muslim capture of Diyarbakir in 639, a mosque was built, but the building fell into disuse and ruin sometime later. Even after the conversion of the church into the mosque, it was used by both Muslims and Christians. In 1091 Sultan Malik Shah directed the local Seljuk governor Maidud Davla to rebuild a mosque on the site. Completed in 1092, the mosque is similar to and heavily influenced by the Umayyad Great Mosque in Damascus . The influence of the Damascus mosque brought Syrian architecture and decoration to Anatolia. Kervansaray, old caravanserai, now used as a place for cafes, bookstores, and souvenir shops. Meryem Ana Kilisesi, a Syrian Orthodox church founded in 3rd century. If you are lucky, the priest will sing you a fragment of the Bible in Aramaic. Surp Giragos Armenian church. As of May 2017, you can’t visit the church because of construction works. The largest Armenian church in the Middle East, this edifice was restored by municipality. The first inauguration for a long time was held in October 2011 and has since started to serve the local Armenian community. community. Thaninues by drive to Adiyaman for the sundown at Mount of Nemrut or accommodation at hotel for dinner and overnight. Nemrut tour will be switched by early morning sunrise tour. Total 300 km, 4 hours drive.

Day 7: Sanliurfa

Breakfast and full day in Sanlıurfa, with its wealth of biblical associations, is known as the ”Jerusalem of Anatolia” and regarded as a holy site by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. According to the Old Testament, the Prophet İbrahim (Abraham), ”the father of three monotheistic religions”, was born in the city of Ur and he, together with his family, migrated to Harran- the ”home of the patriarchs”.

Legend claims that Abraham (İbrahim), the Islamic prophet, was in old Urfa destroying pagan gods when Nimrod, the local Assyrian king, took offence. Nimrod had Abraham immolated on a funeral pyre, but God turned the fire into water and the burning coals into fish. Abraham was hurled into the air from where the fortress stands, landing safely in a bed of roses. Urfa’s picturesque Gölbaşı area of fish-filled pools and rose gardens is a symbolic re-creation of this story.

On the northern side of Balıklı Göl we will visit elegant Rızvaniye Mosque & Teological School, with a much-photographed arcaded wall, and at the western end is the Halilur Rahman Mosque. This 13th-century building, replacing an earlier Byzantine church, marks the site where Abraham fell to the ground. The two pools are fed by a spring at the base of Damlacık hill, on which the castle is built.

Urfa’s bazaar features everything from sheepskins and pigeons, to jeans and handmade shoes. It was largely built by Soliman the Magnificent in the mid-16th century. One of the most interesting areas is the bedesten, an ancient caravanserai where silk goods including colorful local scarves are sold.

Visit to Archeology and Mosaic Museum, Opened in late 2014, Şanliurfa’s spectacular new Archeology Museum forms the city’s Archeopark with the new Edessa Mosaic Museum. Across three massive floors, the region’s archeological heritage includes sculpture and art from Göbekli Tepe, and a stunning cavalacde of history from Paleolithc times.

Dinner and overnight in Sanliurfa

Day 8: Sanliurfa - Your airport

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Sanliurfa Airport for your back home flight. End of our services.


Contact Us

Address: Taksim 360, Tarlabasi Bulvari, No. 142, Ic Kapi No. 4, Kat 5, Daire 4, Beyoglu 34435 Istanbul, Turkey
Phone: +90 212 512 42 32 & 513 22 05
Mobile: +90 532 287 92 57

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