Midyat, Southeastern Turkey

Midyat is a small town in southeastern Turkey, just an hour’s drive from better-known Mardin.

The old part of Midyat offers many of the same attractions as Mardin, although without the hillside setting or colorful bazaar.

Ringed by modern development, the old town consists of a network of narrow streets framed with huge old sandstone houses with decorative façades.

Finest and most elaborate is the lovely Konukevi at the highest point in town. It’s a great favorite with Turkish television film crews. At other times it may be possible to stay here.

The steeples of nine Syrian Orthodox churches peep up above the houses, although services are no longer held in most of them.

A short walk out of town is the Mor Abrohom Monastery, but more interesting is Mor Gabriel, 20 km (12.5 miles) to the east, where church services are still held in Aramaic, the language of Jesus. The monastery was founded in 397 AD.

Midyat is famous for its filigree silver jewellery. There are plenty of shops selling samples at the edge of the old town.

An attractive restored han (caravanserai), the Tarihi Midyat Geluske Hanı, makes a great place to stop for a quick lunch.

There are two hotels in Estel, the modern part of Midyat. Otel Matiat is a large new four-star hotel, while the Demirdağ Hotel is far simpler and less expensive.

There are frequent minibuses from Mardin to Midyat; make sure to get off in the old part of town.

Distances & Travel Times

Mardin: 59 km (37 miles) W, 1.25 hours

Hasankeyf: 39 km (24.5 miles) N, 45 mins

Diyarbakır: 156 km (97.5 miles) NW, 3 hours

Batman: 71 km (44.5 miles) NW, 1.5 hours

Nusaybin (Syrian Border): 32 km (20 miles) N, 30 mins


Southeastern Turkey

Eastern Turkey

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