Mardin’s mystic structures, abbaras

Mardin’s mystic structures, abbaras

Mardin’s mystic structures, abbaras

In the eastern province of Mardin, the chambers called “abbaras,” which are vaults located between two walls in the province’s historical streets, attract the attention of local and foreign tourists.

Stating that the abbaras are among the most important and extraordinary structures of the city, Artuklu Mayor Abdulkadir Tutaşı said that the number of abbaras, which was 106 until recently, has decreased to 57.

“These are the ones we can protect. Abbaras are very cold in summers and very hot in winters. These are also the gateways to our homes. They are like a foundation of our home, a terrace overlooking the Mesopotamia Plain. This is a completely different structure. They need to be protected,” he added.

Most of the abbaras have deteriorated over time and have collapsed. The number of abbaras, which are 1.5 to 5 meters in height, has dropped from 106 to 57.

Noting that many abbaras have terraces, Tutaşı said, “These terraces overlook the Mesopotamia Plain. This is a distinct beauty.”

“The city cannot get revenue from agriculture and transportation anymore. Therefore, we should turn to tourism now. Abbaras are among the most important architectural structures that will attract tourists to our city.” Tutaşı said, adding that they have been trying to protect them.

Emphasizing that the abbaras are among the most important and extraordinary architectural works of the city, Tutaşı said: “The history of these abbaras goes back to the foundation of the city. The Artukids or the Ottomans, whoever lived here, had a purpose for them. Abbaras were built as a gateway and for security to block a threat from a lower side. There is a terracing system here. They are lined up 3 to 5 meters below each other. We have abbaras ranging from 5 meters to 25 meters, and their height varies between 1.5 and 5 meters.”

Speaking of abbaras that they were 106 in number previously, Tutaşı said: “But unfortunately, we lost almost half of them as they collapsed over time, and we have 57 left. These are the ones we can protect. Some of these have been damaged over time. We are trying to prevent it. They are mostly located in Savurkapı, Şar and Şehidiye neighborhoods. These are also available in Şanlıurfa, but they don’t call it ‘abbara’ but ‘aba altı’ instead. The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality repaired 40 of the abbaras here.”