Mardin Castle to embrace tourists

Mardin Castle to embrace tourists

MARDİN- Anadolu Agency
Mardin Castle to embrace tourists

After the restoration works are done, Mardin’s historic castle wil be open to visits by tourists after 27 years. AA photo

The southeastern province of Mardin’s historic castle, which has been closed nearly for 27 years, will be restored and open to visits again. Within the scope of the restoration, the walls and the rampart of the 10th century castle will be fortified. The castle was partly restored at the time of the Ottoman Sultan Selim III.

Speaking about the restoration plans, Mardin Governor Ahmet Cengiz said Mardin was one of the rare cities vastly rich and diverse in terms of its cultural heritage. He said both city locals and tourists were excited for the reopening of the castle after many years, and it will open soon.

“Some incidents happened in the past and some dangers have been escaped. Pieces falling from the castle walls are dangerous for people. This is why they should be fortified in the first phase. There was a tender held for it and a world renowned firm started working,” the governor said.

Cengiz said after the work is finished, the risk dying in the castle will be eliminated and some parts of the castle will be open to tourists. “It is not okay to stroll around in the castle for the time until risk is eliminated.”

He said the process could take a few years, adding, “Tourists want to go to the castle and see Mardin, but it is not acceptable to open it right now and risk lives. They need to wait for the process to be finished.”

Mardin Artuklu University Archaeology Department member Associate Professor Güner Coşkunsu said archaeological work should be carried out in the castle after the restoration.

Coşkunsu said the department could conduct a surface survey and excavations in the skirts and slopes of the castle, and that there were many things to do in the castle. “Archaeological and laboratory studies will bring us the reliable information. Underground tunnels between the castle and city, fountains, water channels, cisterns, granaries and old settlements inside and under the castle are waiting to be unearthed,” she said.

Coşkunsu said the castle was now a military region, adding, “As soon as the castle is out of the military region, it will whet the appetite of treasure hunters. The castle should be protected with modern security technology from all sides; otherwise it can be seriously damaged. Necessary measures should be taken as soon as possible.”

The castle, known as “the eagle nest” because of its sheltering, is 1200 meters above sea level and 600 meters above ground, is the highest point overlooking the old town of Mardin, which rises out of the side of a hill.