The Gospel Road

Paul of Tarsus

The port city of Tarsus on the Gulf of Iskenderun, which maintained trade relations with Phoenicia and Egypt, was originally located two to three kilometers from the Mediterranean and was accessible via the navigable river Berdan Cayi. The harbor is now silted up and the town is now about 16 km inland.
A strong religious syncretism developed in Tarsus. Deities such as Santa, Baal and Zeus merged to form the city god SANDAN. Judaism also had a firm position in Tarsus. It is assumed that the Jews of Tarsus were deliberately settled in the city since its re-founding in 171 BC and enjoyed a privileged position and civil rights.
The apostle Paul was such a Jew and had Roman citizenship from birth, which he also asserts in the course of the Acts of the Apostles when he was imprisoned in Jerusalem.

Today, Tarsus has around 350,000 inhabitants and is a friendly, lively, lovable city.

Roman road

Gulf of Iskenderun

Earthquake zone from 2023

Although most of the destroyed buildings have now been cleared away, people are still living in tents and container settlements and damaged buildings still bear witness to the destruction. Here we meet a young family with three beautiful little children, who we immediately take to our hearts.

Pepper farmers

This young farming family was fortunately spared from the earthquakes. Nevertheless, the situation is causing them great difficulty. The earth does not calm down and shakes again and again. The loss of neighbors and fellow villagers is immense. The older daughter has lost her teacher and all her classmates. This leaves deep scars.


Abraham is the forefather of the Arabs through his Egyptian maid “Hagar” and of the Israelites through his wife “Sarah” and of other peoples and tribes through his wife “Keturah”.

Abraham’s lineage
Adam & Eve > Seth > Noah >>>>>>>>> Sem > Therach > Abraham
Abraham’s brothers were Nahor and Haran. From Nahor arose the peoples of the Arameans, who settled in northern Mesopotamia(Iraq and Syria). Haran died and through his son Lot, who traveled with Abraham to Canaan, the Ammonites and Moabites emerged, who settled in what is now Jordan. The name of the Jordanian capital Amman is still reminiscent of the Ammonites.


lies on the north-western edge of the Mesopotamian Plain, through which the Euphrates and Tigris rivers flow (Mesopotamia). The name Harran still echoes the name of Abraham’s brother Haran, who died prematurely.

God called Abraham when he was still living with his clan in Ur in Chaldea (modern-day southern Iraq). Abraham and his clan then moved to Haran, today’s Harran. Here in Haran, Abraham became wealthy for the first time and received his second call from God to go forth:

But the LORD had spoken to Abram: Go out of your country and from your kindred and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make you a great nation and bless you and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing.

Abraham moved from Haran to the land of Canaanabout 2100 years after the creation of Adam, or about 400 years after the Flood, or about 2100 years before the birth of Christ. He was 75 years old at the time. .

Today’s Harran is only 20 km from the Syrian border and about 50 km from Sanliurfa. It is not known whether Abraham and his people lived in such honeycomb houses. However, the construction method originates from Mesopotamia. Because of the summer heat, each room has a hot air extractor chimney to provide cooling in summer. The “honeycombs” can be assembled in countless ways to create settlements for large clans.

In the early Middle Ages, Harran had a strong city wall that protected the settlement from raids.


is our starting point for sightseeing. A modern, pleasant city with excellent transport links. We are parked in the parking lot of the archaeological museum, which is within walking distance of the old town and the Piazza shopping mall.

A walk takes us to “Balikli Göl” – a romantic fish pond in a large park and along the residential courtyards of Sanliurfa, which are illuminated at night.

Noah and the ark

Did Noah’s Ark really land on the 5,000-meter-high Mount Ararat on the border with Armenia?
In earlier times, there was also a Mount Ararat in Mesopotamia. Today, this mountain is called “Cudi Dagi” and is also located in south-eastern Turkey, on the edge of the Mesopotamian plain. With an altitude of 2300m and the geographical conditions, it would be better suited for the landing of Noah’s Ark than the traditional Mount Ararat.

The Sinth Flood took place between 1600 and 1700 years after the creation of Adam bw. about 2400 to 2500 years before Christ, or about 4000 to 4500 years ago.

Cudi Dagi seen from Silopi

Circumstantial evidence

The following evidence suggests that Mount Cudi could have been the landing site of Noah’s Ark:

  1. The ruins of a monastery dedicated to Noah’s Ark still exist on the mountain
  2. Mount Cudi was demonstrably a sacred mountain. Christians and Muslims make a pilgrimage to Cudi Dagi
  3. Noah and his descendants, as well as the animals they brought with them, could easily descend into the fertile Mesopotamian plain
  4. After the Ark experience, Noah was a farmer and cultivated wine. Wine is still grown in the region today
  5. Noah’s grave is not far from Mount Cudi
  6. The world’s oldest places of worship are located in the vicinity of Cudi Dagi

As Cudi Dagi has been occupied by the Turkish army for many years, more recent research is unfortunately not possible. Unfortunately, that’s why we can’t drive up the mountain.

Noah’s Ark

Noah’s Ark was as big as a medium-sized cruise ship of today, namely over 150 meters long, 25 meters wide and around 15 meters high.

If you are interested in the topic, here is a link to further information:

Noah’s Ark on Mount Cudi Dagi

Göbekli Tepe

On Göbekli Tepe, close to Sanliurfa, lies the excavation site of the World’s Oldest Shrine. Not much is known about the function of the various rooms. However, as described above, these could be places of worship of the descendants of Noah and his sons who settled in the Mesopotamian plain.

Mor Evgin Monastery

Tucked away on a mountainside with a view of Mesopotamia is the Aramaic monastery “Mor Evgin”. The path up to the monastery is very steep. Two monks currently live in the monastery. Unfortunately, the monastery is closing soon, which is why we can only visit the ancient church. We ended up here because the founder of the monastery, the Aramaic monk Evgin (Eugene), is said to have used a beam from Noah’s Ark in the monastery when he founded the monastery around 340 AD. Various ancient writers confirm that remains of Noah’s Ark could still be seen at this time.

The tomb of Noah

Noah’s grave is located in Cizre, very close to Mount Cudi. The sarcophagus is very long, which could indicate that Noah must have been a tall man. In fact, humans seem to have been taller and stronger before the Sinth Flood, as human skeletons measuring 3 meters and more have been found in various places (e.g. in the USA, also in Hamadan, Iran).

Cizre with the river Tigris


We make a stopover in Mardin. Fill up with water and do laundry. There are some beautiful and ancient cities in this corner of Turkey. Mardin is just one of them. From Mardin you also have a wonderful view of the Mesopotamian plain and far into Syria, if only it weren’t for the thick haze.

About the Hakkari Mountains

From Sirnak, a strenuous mountain road leads over high passes to Esendere, the customs post to Iran.
Due to the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, we think more than twice about entering Iran.

Sirnak and Mount Cudi from the north side

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