morkir1Around 15km north-east of Batman the remains of the huge Suryani monastery of Mor Kiryakos stand forgotten in the tiny agricultural village of Ayrancı (Dera Qire).

The buildings were mainly constructed from local basalt stones although there is some facing in limestone as well, particularly on one side where gently curved windows that wouldn't look out of place in Savur run along one side. The main entrance, however, is decorated with caz (plaster) very much as you'd see in Siirt and Tillo

The remains of the monastery were fenced off when I visited in May 2014 but it was possible to clamber over the stones and look down into what appeared to be a huge caravanserai at the back. It looked as if the church opened off through a pointed arch on one side but there were several inscriptions in Arabic/Osmanlı which also suggested that there was a mosque here, as well, perhaps, as a hamam. In the absence of any information at the site it was hard to be certain about anything.morkir2

Ayrancı itself is a dirt-poor settlement where most people seemed to be living from animal husbandry although the surrounding fields were a sea of yellowing wheat. 

On the way here you pass through the even smaller village of Danalı (Zercil) where the remains of a smaller, simpler church can be seen behind one of the houses.

Transport info

You are unlikely to find public transport to either village but taxi drivers in Batman town centre will be happy to run you there and back as the road is good.


morkir3Zercil Kilisesi (church)

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