As you head out of Gaziantep towards Adana on the main road, you will pass Sakçagözü and before you reach Nurdağı, you will see on your left in the distance a hill surrounded by green fields. At the top of this hill lies the tomb of Ökkeşiye, one of the chosen sahaba (disciples) who were given the promise of paradise by the prophet by proclaiming “Whoever wants to see who will be my companion in paradise, look at this man”.
The hill where the tomb is located lies to the south of the village of Durmuşlar, and is reached via a 5 km-long narrow, winding road. As you climb the hill, the breath-taking view of the colourful blanket of wild flowers is enhanced by the thrill of the cliff edges at the side of the road.
The tomb of Ökkeşiye is at the top of this hill. Whichever direction you look in, a magnificent view greets you. Next to the tomb, which has been restored recently, stands the Ukkaşe Mosque. Within the complex, there is a place for sacrificing animals, a gift shop and a cafeteria. The tomb sees many visitors, particularly on Fridays.
WHO WAS UKKAŞE BİN HASENE?
It is thought that Hazret Ökkeşiye was one of the five sahaba who died during the conquest of Gaziantep and its surrounding area during the time of the Caliph Umar.
Following the farewell sermon of the prophet Mohammed, Hazret Ökkeşiye says “Master, during the Battle of Uhud, you struck me with your whip. I can only settle the score by taking revenge”. The prophet hands his whip to Hazret Ökkeşiye and tells him to strike his back. When Hazret Ökkeşiye complains “But Master, you struck my back when it was naked”, the prophet bares his back. Hazret Ökkeşiye, seeing the prophet’s ring, kisses it, saying “This was my intended retaliation.”