Stylite village of the Tur Abdin

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The pretty village of Mercimekli lies due north of Midyat in the area called the Tur Abdin.

The Church of Mor Shemun dates back to the mid-seventh century when it was founded by a monk who went on to introduce thousands of olive trees to the surrounding area, thereby bringing it considerable wealth.

More interesting is the Monastery of Mor Lozoor (St. Lazarus), which stands in splendid isolation some way away from the village.

Founded by the same monk on the site of an earlier church, this monastery is one of only two sites in Turkey where you can still see the base of a stone column on top of which a stylite saint chose to live his life (the other is at Karaçay near Antakya). It stands forgotten in the centre of a courtyard where once church festivals were celebrated with much communal feasting.

Transport info

Without your own car you will need to hire a taxi in Midyat to get to Mercimekli.

There is a path from the village to Mor Lazoor but with a car you will need to take a longer route round. 

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