Şırnak was until recently a small region lying near the border with Syria on one side and Iraq on the other. Though its location remains the same, it has been elevated to the status of a province some years ago. Its most important tourism centre is the district and town of Cizre, founded on the banks of the Tigris River, and the nearby Cudi Dağ (Mountain). We have already mentioned that the south east was a region of prophets and legends. However, the legend of Cudi Mountain is directly related to the Holy Books. It is believed, at least by some, that the second greatest father of humanity after Adam, Noah, grounded his Ark on this mountain after the great flood, rather than on Ağrı Dağı (Mount Ararat) further to the north. It is also written in that the first settlement of the Prophet Adam and his sons was in the Cizre of today. Locals strongly believe both these legends. Thanks to its association with Noah, the city was long known as “Şehr-i Nuh” (City of Noah) and in time this became “Şernah”. Later, during the time of the Guti Empire, the Zend cuneiform style of writing was invented in the region. Most of the remains from the Gutis can be seen in the historical site of Kasrik,
67 km from Cizre. There you can see inscriptions, reliefs and frescoes. While Sirnak is surrounded by mountains on the two sides and by the plateaus on the other two, it is Cudi Mountain that draws the most attention. With its peaks of more than 2,000 metres, one is known as “Nuh Peygamber Ziyareti” (Prophet Noah’s Visiting Place). Of course, despite all the associations with Noah, it is Ararat to the north of Cudi where many researchers come to seek the Ark. Let us add that researchers have published photographs from Ararat purporting to be shots of the famous vessel.

According to legend, the walls of Cizre, built by the Gutis, were made to look like Noah’s Ark, with the northern part of the walls designed to resemble the bows, the southern walls the stern and the gates of Tor and Dest – which no longer exist – were to represent the oars.
Cizre’s fortress is still standing, retaining its ancient glamour. At various times it has been restored by different rulers. Both the walls on the bank of the Tigris River and three storied- fortress with its 360 rooms are impressive. Inside the fortress you can see inscriptions, the Aslanlı Kapı (the Lion Gate) with its lion motif, the black and white Belek Burcu (Tower) made of basalt stones, the Emir Seyfettin Cami (Mosque) and maybe the most impressive part of the fortress, the Mem-u Zin zindan (the dungeons).

The Ulu Cami (Mosque) in the centre of Cizre was converted from a church. There is also the Mem-u Zin Türbesi (Tomb), the Nuh Peygamber Cami (Mosque) and, in the courtyard of the mosque, the tomb of the famous Islam physician Ismail el Cezeri. Among other sites to be seen in Sirnak region, there is a painting of a figure mounted on a horse from the Assyrian period in the village of Meseiçi in the Kasrik Passage. In Beytülşebap there are various figures carved into the rocks from the Neolithic Era and dated to 7000 BC, the Meme Fortress and the Kaletivuru Fortress. In the Kasrik Passage there are bridges that serve as an example of the height of Selçuk workmanship and the Meryem Ana Kilisesi (the Church of the Virgin Mary) in Cizre that are worth visiting.

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