Far from cosmopolitan cities in the west and closer to ethnically and religiously uniform villages, Yemişli enjoys an enviable status as one of the most diverse places in Turkey. With a population of only 514, the village, in Midyat district of the southeastern province of Mardin, is home to Muslims, Assyrians and Yazidis, as well as four different languages. This is a place where you can hear Turkish, Kurdish, Assyrian and Arabic conversations on the streets, while the Muslim call to prayer (adhan) from two mosques can coincide with bells tolling in seven churches. Yemişli is almost like a small replica of greater Mardin, which historically has been home to ethnically and religiously diverse communities and is dubbed as the "city of tolerance." The village, also known as Nehile in Kurdish and Enhıl in Assyrian, is one of the rare places where locals can mark their six religious holidays together.
It is run by a committee of Muslim and Assyrian locals. It traces its name to Beth Nahle, an Assyrian name that means "between the valleys," fitting for its location on a hill surrounded by valleys. Its Turkish name, Yemişli or "place with fruits," refers to its rich pomegranate and fig orchards.
Assyrian and Muslim villagers run Yemişli together.
Village headman Lokman Acar, a Muslim, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they have lived as brothers and sisters for years and shared both their grief and celebrations, be it a funeral or a wedding. "Assyrians trusted us so much that they entrusted their houses and lands to us when they migrated to other places in the past. They returned in the 2000s, repaired their houses and started resettling here," he said. "We are inseparable. We have dinners together, we have our afternoon tea together," Acar added. Assyrian residents who migrated to other cities usually return to spend summers in Yemişli, and their number currently stands at 150. Acar said Muslims constitute about 70 households in the village.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.