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Hasankeyf
 

Being adjacent to the Dicle River, Hasankeyf with its madrasas, observatory, health asylum and other educational organisations was the science and culture centre of the region in past.
The district, due to its historical assets, has been declared as a natural conservation area since 1981. These historical assets will probably have been under water due to Ilısu Dam in the scope of GAP project in time. Therefore, the rescue excavations for movable historical and archaeological works of art are still being carried on.

History

The foundation date of Hasankeyf is not known exactly. The geopolitical situation in the city strengthens the possibility of its being a very ancient settlement area. There are lots of caverns some of which are being used even today as residences. In the Christian Era, Hasankeyf experienced the rule of the Sasanis and Byzantines. Due to a safe castle having been built by the Byzantines in the 4th century BC, the region had been defended by them for a long time. Hasankeyf was conquered by the Emevis in 639 AD. Later on, the Abbasids, Hamdanis, Mervanis, Artuks, Eyyubis and Ottomans ruled the region respectively. The Artuks period was the golden era of Hasankeyf. There are many historical works remaining from this period.

Climate

Dicle River, which gives life to the region, also effects its climate. It makes winter much more temperate. Average temperature is 25° C, and highest average temperature varies between 40 – 43° C, and lowest average temperature varies between 6 – 8° C.

Where to Visit

Hasankeyf Castle

According to the historical records, it was built by the Byzantines in the middle of the 4th century. In the following periods, the castle was the most important settlement place of the region due to its safety characteristic. Besides hundreds of residences, there are also historical pieces of art such as Big Palace, Small Palace and Ulu Mosque in the castle.

Castle Door

It is at the beginning of the stairs on the east side, leading to the castle. Due to the inscriptions on the door, it is understood that it belongs to the Eyyubis. Other door in the upper part of the road has been partially collapsed.

Bridge

It is the biggest stone bridge of the Middle Ages. It is not known for certain but it is said that the bridge was built by the Artuks in 12th century.

Big Palace

The Palace is under subsidence on the north side of the castle. It is not known definitely when and by whom this palace was built due to the lack of inscription in the palace, but it is supposed to be of the Artuk art because of its characteristics.

Ulu Mosque within the Castle:

It was built over the remains of an ancient construction during Eyyubi Era in the first period of 14th century. From the inscriptions on the Mosque, it is understood that it was repaired, and underwent some changes in the following periods.

El-Rızk Mosque

It was built by Eyyubi Sultan Süleyman in 1409, but only its minaret and north face where the portal door took place have partly survived up to the present.
The inscriptions on the minaret and the portal door, vegetal ornaments and minaret with double-way access are the charming characteristics of the Mosque.

Koç Mosque

It is supposed that the mosque belongs to the Eyyubis. Due to the remains of the buildings around the mosque, it is believed that the mosque is within a külliye (a complex of buildings consisting of madrasa, soup kitchen (imaret), library, hospital, etc.)

Kızlar Mosque

It is in the east of Koç Mosque. Being used as a mosque today, it was a monumental tomb in past. The ruins of the tombs have survived to the present day.

Tombs:

The tombs in Hasankeyf are İmam Abdullah Tomb and Zeynel Bey Tomb.

Zeynelbey Tomb:

Akkoyunlular Principality had this tomb built. The cylindrical main part of the tomb was covered with turquoise and dark blue tiles, which formed belts. On these belts, the names of ‘God, Muhammed and Ali’ was written quite aesthetically. It is one of the beautiful examples among the tombs which have the similar characteristics in Anatolia.

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