Karadeniz International Scientific Journal

This is an internationally refereed social science journal that is published every three months (quarterly) in electronic-based and print-based since 2009. The journal publishes four issues each year (March, June, September, and December).

The publication language of this journal is Turkish, English, or Russian.

This is an open-access journal. Therefore, all issues and articles published so far can be accessed free of charge from the journal's website.



Mustafa GÜLER

As is the case in many medieval cities in Anatolia, Birecik also featured a citadel surrounded by city walls. Today, however, since the fabric of Birecik old city suffered extreme destruction, the citadel lies deserted and the city walls are in ruins almost entirely. Only a few traces of the city walls that used to surround the entire city, and only two of the four gates that provide access to the city on the city walls exist today. The two gates at the city walls that have survived to the present day are Urfa Gate and Meçan Gate.

Urfa Gate is located on the city walls on the east side of Birecik. The gate provides access from Urfa side. Kule Mescidi (Tower Masjid) stands adjacent to the city wall on the north side of the gate, while two rectangular spaces are present on the south side. Urfa Gate was constructed using ashlar masonry technique. The eastern facade of the gate features compositions made with large stalactites with ornaments in the form of segmented lancet arches, shell-shaped niches, rosettes and palmettes decorating the space in-between the stalactites. There are inscriptions written in extended letters on the round panels on the façade, and also at the kerb extending along the walls of the facade. The inscriptions on the gate reveal that construction of the fortification wall was completed on Ramadan 14, 888/October 16, 1483 during the reign of Kayıtbay, the Sultan of Egyptian Mamluks.

Meçan Gate is located on the southeast side of the city walls. The gate constructed using ashlar masonry technique has been partially demolished. The inscription in the kerb on the upper part of the gate traverses all along the gate. The peripheral inscription describes that the construction of the gate was completed in the last ten days of the H.889 / A.D. 1484 under order by Kayıtbay, the Sultan of Mamluks.

This study aims to evaluate, regarding the history of architecture, and to introduce two gates at the city walls from Mamluk period, Urfa Gate and Meçan Gate, in Birecik district of Urfa Province, from an architectural point of view, by discussing the history, the period, ornamental features as well as the original state of the gates.

Key Words: Birecik, Mamluk, Meçan Gate, Urfa, Urfa Gate, Rampart Gate.


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