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Kasımiye Madrasah

The construction of the madrasa, which was started during the Artuqid period (13th century), was left unfinished due to the Mongol invasions under Timur's rule. Many sources state that the building was completed at the end of the 15th century, during the reign of Akkoyunlu Sultan Kasım İbn Cihangir (1487-1507). The lack of certain information is due to the fact that there is no construction inscription on the madrasa. Kasımiye Madrasa was established in the southwest of Mardin city center on a front overlooking the Mesopotamian plain. The monumental Crown Gate of the building, which is one of the most beautiful examples of stonemasonry in Mardin, has a composition in which vegetal and geometric motifs are harmoniously embroidered on the edges. The madrasa has a two-storey plan arranged around a cloistered courtyard and has a total of twenty-three rooms. Eleven of these rooms are downstairs and twelve are upstairs. At the entrance of the Crown Gate of the building, there is the head teacher's room opposite the hall, and the masjid, one of the largest parts of the building, is located in the south-west of the hall. There is an iwan with a fountain in the north of the courtyard and a square-shaped pool structure in the middle of the courtyard, where the fountain waters flow with transfer pools. In the south-west of the courtyard of the madrasa, there are two symbolic cist inside the room covered with a sliced dome. It is thought that the tombs of Kasım Bey and his sister are located in this place, which has the characteristics of a tomb. The door height of the classrooms in the courtyard is just over one meter. The reason for this is "When the student enters the presence of his teacher, he should bow his head and show no deference." It is thought that the symbols on the doors are the symbols expressing which area the lessons were given in the classrooms at that time. According to sources, the madrasa provided uninterrupted education until the First World War. It was used as a military mansion during and after the First World War. It is known that during the period when the madrasa was active, it provided not only religious education but also education in positive sciences (Medicine, Astronomy, Mathematics, Chemistry). According to sources, Kasımiye Madrasa was the institution with the richest foundations and the highest income in Mardin in the 16th century. According to various rumors, Kasım Ibn Cihangir was murdered by his uncle Uzun Hasan in this madrasa. It is believed that there are traces of Sultan Kasım's blood on the walls in the iwan section of the madrasa with a fountain. However, the samples taken by scraping from the stains believed to be blood traces on the wall of the madrasa were examined with Kastle-Mayer, Adler and Luminol reagents, and then the samples were examined with X-Ray diffractometry (XRD) to determine the mineral structure of the stone and the substance that formed the stain. As a result of the analysis, it was revealed that these stains were a dye of vegetable origin.

Fountain Section

In the arrangement of the fountain in the iwan with fountain in the courtyard of the madrasa, the human life from birth to death and the aftermath are symbolized by the flow of water according to the philosophy of Islamic mysticism. The water coming out of the fountain represents the womb of the mother. It is seen as the starting point of life. The first place where it spills is the infancy section, the childhood section, the youth section and the old age section, respectively, according to the flow direction. The pool, which is located in the courtyard of the madrasa and is seen as the last area where the water is poured, is considered as the “Last Judgement”.

Mehmet Taş

Mehmet TAŞ, who served voluntarily for many years with his smiling face, devoted work and sincerity in Kasımiye Madrasa, passed away in January 2014 at the age of 65.

T.C. Mardin Artuklu University Rectorate