Some places have legends. And children will tell those legends with the same enthusiasm every time… Hasankeyf invites you to a story that is thousands of years old, as you said. The hero of this journey is 10 thousand years old and the narrators are fearless and enthusiastic children who speak different languages. Welcome to Hisn-ı Keyfa, which means beautiful stone. Hasankeyf, which is said to have taken its name from the Syriac word kifa meaning stone and rock, has been known as Kipas, Cepha and Hısnkeyf since the Ottoman period. Hasankeyf is a district that has hosted many civilizations such as Med, Persian, Assyrian, Byzantine, Artuqid, Ayyubid and Ottoman before and after Christ. It has always been popular because it is located in an area where important commercial roads intersect. It lost its importance after it was captured by the Ottomans. It will soon lose all its authenticity. Because this multi-storey area will be flooded with the Ilısu Dam. So there is very little time left before you become the hero of the story.
Cave houses on the banks of the Tigris River in Hasankeyf, 37 kilometers from Batman, draw attention. The interior of the “Kaya Kale”, which is identified with this place, is actually full of cave houses. Cave houses were evacuated on the grounds that they were not safe. Most of the people living in the district “forced” to move from here. According to rumors, then President Cevdet Sunay, who visited the region, was surprised to see a large crowd in front of him. Surprisingly, there were no houses around. “Where do all these people live?” When you asked him about it, he got the answer “in the caves”. “Is it possible to live in a cave at this time?” With the directive of the President, residences started to be built in the region. But no one had such a desire. This is how the forced evacuation of Hasankeyf residents began. Visiting the castle, which has about 5 thousand caves, is not allowed today for security reasons. But the naughty children of this place will surely find a way to get you there. Listen to them because they have more stories to tell.
Exploring Hasankeyf Accompanied by Legends
On the way from Batman to Hasankeyf, Zeynel Bey Tomb welcomes you first. The tomb, which was built for the son of Akkoyunlu ruler Uzun Hasan, draws attention with its cylindrical exterior and octagonal interior. The names of Allah, Ahmet, Muhammed and Ali are written on the arches of the tomb, whose cylindrical body is made of turquoise and dark blue glazed bricks. This work is the only example in Anatolia of the classical architectural ornamentation style that was dominant in Central Asia since the middle of the 14th century. We said a town with plenty of legends… The biggest of these legends is about the minaret of the Sultan Süleyman Mosque, which was built during the Ayyubid period. During the construction of the minaret, there was a disagreement between the master and the journeyman and he was fired by the foreman. Unable to be proud of this, the journeyman began to build the minaret of the El Rizk Mosque, located on the rocks overlooking the Tigris River. At the same time, the master is busy completing the minaret of the Sultan Suleyman Mosque. When both minarets are finished, the journeyman first asks his master to go to the minaret of the El Rızk Mosque, which he built with the technique he kept a secret. Its purpose is to be appreciated. The master climbs the minaret. He meets the journeyman at the top of the minaret. “How did you came here?” The journeyman shows the second way of the minaret to his master. There are two separate stairs to the minaret, the purpose of the journeyman is to ensure that those who go up and down do not see each other.
The master is very impressed by this technique used by his journeyman, but is not proud to congratulate him. He commits suicide by jumping from the minaret. According to legend, the proverb that the horn passes through the ear was born here. The bridge seen from the top of this mosque, which was built with a magnificent technique by Kalfa, is said to be the largest bridge of the Middle Ages. Built in 1116 at the request of Artuklu Fahrettin Karaaslan, there is a 40-meter wooden entrance gate in the middle of the bridge built to prevent enemy attacks. There was also the phrase “A bridge this big cannot be built” on the bridge, which was made of impressive cut stones. The construction date of Hasankeyf Castle, which is the most important symbol of the district, is 363. It is said that the castle, which consists of natural rocks, has 7 separate gates, four of which are visible and the other three are hidden. it is hidden. bewitched. Namely: There were scorpion and snake reliefs at the entrance gate of Hasankeyf castle. The purpose of these two reliefs was to protect those who entered the castle from scorpion and snake bites. However, the scorpion charm was broken when the scorpion relief was stolen by an Egyptian tourist… But you are still safe from snakes here! A rock mass located outside the big castle, in the place called Small Castle by the people, was used as a mint during the Artuqids and Ayyubids period. A ladder carved into the rocks was used to reach the mint, which was destroyed by the attacks of the Mongols. You can see the samples of the coins extracted from here in the Mardin Museum today. Do not return to Hasankeyf without soaking your feet and drinking milk instead of water, honey instead of sugar, walnut chips and hilve coffee.