Take the early morning flight to Batman. Upon arrival to Batman you will be met by your private guide and transferred to Hasankeyf which is about half hours drive from Batman Airport. Hasankeyf is probably the most popular area of the vicinity due to its historic wealth. The city stands as living evidence to the multifaceted cultural foundations of the Arabs, Seljuk’s, Mongolians and Ottomans and houses a plethora of valuable remnants from the past. The place is a major tourist attraction with its unlimited treasure of antique civilizations. Sadly, most of it will be lost under the flows of rivers after the completion of the GAP project for building dams in the region. Work is already on to salvage as much of historical evidence as possible. Hasankeyf`s origin as a settlement area probably dates back to prehistoric times. The city was the pivot of Turkish culture with its plentiful educational and scientific institutes. According to legend, it is named after Hasan, who escaped from the fortress with a miraculous jump over the high walls and into the Tigris.
After the amazing Hasankeyf visit you will drive to Midyat a province of Mardin, famous particularly for its Mor Gabriel Monastery.
The tour of Midyat will start with Mor Gabriel Monastery which is the oldest surviving Syriac Orthodox monastery in the world which is located on the Tur Abdin plateau near Midyat in the Mardin Province. Dayro d-Mor Gabriel was founded in 397 by Mor Shmu’el (Samuel) and his student Mor Shem’un (Simon) on the ruins of an ancient Zoroastrian temple. The monastery’s importance grew and by the 6th century there were over 1000 local and Coptic monks there. The monastery became so famous that it received contributions from Roman Emperors, such as Arcadius, Honorius, Theodosius II and Anastasius. Between 615 and 1049 the Episcopal seat of Tur Abdin was based here and from 1049 until 1915 the monastery had its own diocese.
After Mor Gabriel Monastery visit some free time will be given to explore the market place of Midyat and the site streets. In the afternoon return to Mardin and overnight in Mardin.
The tour of Mardin will begin with Deyrulzafaran Monastery also known as the Saffron Monastery because of its colour. Deyrulzafaran Monastery was originally built in 495 above a site which was used for sun worshippers which their –slab-ceilinged temple still exists beneath the monastery. From 1160 to 1932 it was seat of the Syriac Orthodox patriarch, which later removed to Damascus. The monastery is surprisingly small but very atmospheric.
After Deyrulzafaran visit, the next stop will be the Kasimiye Madrasa which is located on the outskirts of Mardin overlooking at the Mesopotamian Planes. Madrasa is a traditional Islamic School. The main building is rectangular. The entrance through an ornamented portal is from the south. In the courtyard there is a pool. The water source is a funnel in the wall which represents the birth. The water from the pool leaks away by a narrow slit which represents death and sirat (in Islamic belief a narrow bridge on hell which leads to paradise) . The classrooms are around the pool. The doors of the classrooms are low. That was made on purpose. While entering the classrooms the students had to bend down to show their respect to the teachers.
After Kasimiye Madrasa visit you will visit the Sakip Sabanci Ethnographic Museum which is the great way to understand the culture of this city many different religious groups living in piece together in a small town of Mardin.
After the museum visit you will have free time to explore the small side streets, alleys of Mardin by yourself and this is the best way to explore this castle town.
In the late afternoon transfer to Mardin Airport to fly back to Istanbul.