Old Mardin lies beautifully on the slope of a rocky hill just 20 km north of the Syrian border. Most buildings are made of the beige coloured limestone rock which has been mined for centuries in quarries around the area. As the old town is under UNESCO World Heritage protection, no new constructions are allowed. The new town stretches on the other side of the hill, preserving the skyline of the old town.
The population of Mardin today consists of Turks, Kurds and Arabs as well as the largest Assyrian minority in the country. In addition to Muslims and Assyrian Christians, several thousand Yazidi Kurds lived in the province of Mardin until a few decades ago.
From Mardin we were driving north again to reach Diyarbakir, the town inside a 5 km long city wall – more on our next post!