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KIZILTEPE

Largely Kurdish town                                                          Population: 130,000

ktepe1Old name: Dunaysır

The largely Kurdish town of Kızıltepe (Red Hill) lies 25km southwest of Mardin in southeast Turkey.

The main reason to break a journey there would be to visit the early 13th-century Ulu Cami, also known as the Koçhisar Cami, started by the Artukid ruler Yavlak Aslan in 1200 and completed by his brother Artuk Aslan in c.1204.

A sturdy, low building similar in design to Selçuk mosques, it is unusual mainly for the elaborate designs carved around its door and windows which were presumably influenced by Mardin fashion although they have an exuberance which hints at the originality of Divriği's famous Ulu Cami, albeit in much watered-down form.

You will probably find it locked outside prayer times.ktepe2

Behind the mosque the five surviving arches of the Dunyasır bridge are probably contemporary with the mosque.

The ruins of the 19th-century Armenian Church of Surp Kevork stand beside the Tell Ermen mound. 

Sleeping

Kızıltepe is best visited on a day trip from Mardin. 

Transport info

Regular buses link Kızıltepe with the new part of Mardin

 

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