Mardin: Grave robbers devastate historical mausoleum

In Mardin, a 700-year-old mausoleum was devastated by grave robbers. The residents are outraged and demand commitment from the state foundation administration. This is not the first time that grave robbing has taken place in the area.

In Mardin, the 700-year-old mausoleum of Tuba Hatun was devastated by grave robbers. The residents of the borough of Medrese in the old town of Mardin, where the tomb for the sister of the last Sultan of Artuq, Melik Necmeddin Isa, was erected in the late 14th century, are outraged. The criticism is directed in particular against the state foundation administration.

The borough of Medrese with its numerous Abbara, i.e. passages under the residential buildings that connect the alleys and represent the characteristic of the city, is not the first time that experiences grave robbing. But precisely in the area where, according to legend, Tuba Hatun is supposed to have been buried, there are no protective measures. Melik Necmeddin Isa also had the Mardin medrese named after him built in 1385.

A typical abbara in Mardin's old town

“The Tuba Hatun mausoleum was built in an abbara. The only protection is an iron door, the hinges of which were probably broken with a hammer. Most of the interior of the chamber has been devastated. The nameplate and the shroud in particular show severe damage,” explains Mehmet Kılıç, a resident of the neighbourhood. Kılıç points out that restoration work has only recently taken place on the mausoleum. He thinks it's a shame that the authorities are so “careless” about the city's cultural heritage. As a resident of Mardin, he would like to see more respect for history.