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DEREİÇİ

The Syriac Orthodox Kelith (Killit)                           Population: negligible

400 DSC03699View from roof of Mor Yuhanon churchA wonderful seven-kilometre drive east of Savur along the old route from Mardin to Midyat takes you along a beautiful road almost arched over with greenery before emerging suddenly into the open at Dereiçi (Inner Valley), a small, virtually abandoned village that once boasted a population large enough to justify three churches, one Syrian Orthodox, one Syriac Catholic and one Protestant. 

The lushness of the surroundings meant that this was once a village that thrived on market gardening. It was also home to the sole privately-owned winery in southeast Turkey. 

The village hugs a hillside and its abandoned houses will remind those who've seen it of better-known Cappadocia.

Today the 7th-century Church of Mor Yuhanon has been restored despite the absence of a congregation, and the caretaker will be happy to show you into its immaculate interior draped in colourful clothes made in Mardin by the Şimes Hindi family. In front of the door a huge stands a huge, elaborately carved sarcophagus.200 DSC03694Tomb of murdered muhtar (headman) in Mor Yuhanon cemetery.

With you own car you might want to track down the ruins of the Monasteries of Mor Abay and Mor Dimet, and of a monastery known to the Arabic-speaking locals as Deir Waja Ras (the Monastery of the Headache since a stay there was supposed to be of benefit to migraine sufferers).

Sleeping

There's nowhere to stay in Dereiçi. The best base is Savur.

Transport info

There is no public transport to Dereiçi but Savur taxi drivers all know the way. 

 

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