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Soap Factory

Surrounded by pistachio and olive trees, Nizip is famous for its soaps made with olive oil. In the 1960s, 90% of the soap used in Turkey was made here.  Until the transition to modern production, soap was made in the Sabunhane, which is 300 m southeast of Fevkani Church, in Cumhuriyet Meydanı (Republic Square).

The shops in Sabunhane that open onto the street are in use today. The building is largely in a poor state, and awaiting restoration. 

Built in the 1880s, it was used as a soap factory for many years, as the town hall in the early years of the Republic, and later housed the courthouse on the top floor and the prison on the ground floor. 

It is a two-storey, ashlar building with an inner courtyard. Soap was manufactured on the first floor, and the product was left to dry on the second floor. The building surrounds the courtyard on 3 sides, forming a U-shape subdivided into rectangles, behind which are shops that open to the exterior. 

The courtyard is open on the north side. The east side has been closed off by an adjacent  building. There are 5 shops on the ground floor of the west side. They have barrel-vaulted ceilings and open onto the street. To the north of the shops is a doorway to the interior. It has pilasters either side and a round arch.

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Zeugma Tour and Alternative

  • Zülfü Siyah Tomb

    To visit the shrine of the female saint called Zülfü Siyah, from the Zeugma Mosaic Museum travel 20 km towards the east, and then northeast on the Nizip road to Küllü Village, where the shrine is situated on the hill called Ziyaret Tepesi.

    The entrance to the single-domed shrine is on the east side, via an arched door measuring 1.50 x 0.65 m. The shrine has a single, stone-masonary chamber containing a concrete sarcophagus. 

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  • Salkım Stone Bridge

    Continuing 13 km towards the northeast, you will come to Salkım Village.

    Salkım is a pleasantly green village, and the Stone Bridge is over the river of the same name: the Salkım Çayı. The bridge dates from the Mamluk period and has three pointed arches – a main arch in the center, with a smaller, relieving arch on either side.  It is still in use today.

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  • Adaklı Bridge

    Adaklı Bridge is surrounded by walnut trees in the green area in the west of Salkım’s  Adaklı District.

    To get there, go towards the northwest. The bridge is also called the “Pasha Bridge”. It is built of smooth-cut ashlar, and has two pointed arches. It is paved with asphalt and in current use. 

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  • Adaklı Church

    Adaklı Church is west of the Adaklı Bridge. The remains cover 30 m2 and are surrounded by pistachio trees on a hill.  It will take you about 10 minutes to walk up the hill, which is not very steep.

    The church is built of cut stone in the shape of a cross. The roof, and north and northeast walls have completely collapsed, but the west and south walls are intact. There is a late-period, east-west lying grave north of the church. 

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  • Alahacı Mausoleum

    Our route continues to the north. The Alahacı Mausoleum is located in the old village cemetery, 2 km along the paved road linking the villages of Güder and Alahacı.

    You will see the partly collapsed dome of the mausoleum at the end of the cemetery. It is square, measuring 4 x 4 metres x 5 m high. The interior is oval, and the remaining plaster on the walls is painted with red triangular and other geometric designs. The entrance is on the east side. The tomb was built of cut stone blocks erected on a foundation of irregular stones of mixed size. The inside corners have 3-tiered muqarnas – a type of corbel used as a decorative device.  The monument has suffered considerable damage from the elements in recent years.

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  • Observation Hill Facility

    Having visited some places of interest in the town, the final stop on our tour is about 10 km to the northeast: the ruins of ancient Zeugma. On the way, you can stop at Seyir Tepesi near the Birecik Dam to get a view of the river basin from a different angle.

    Part of the ancient city now lies beneath the water of the Birecik Dam Reservoir. The dam, the reservoir lake and the hydro-electric plant can all be seen from Seyir Tepe.  Inside the facility building are pictures of artifacts found at the Zeugma excavation site. 

    Although so close to Zeugma, this facility is not within the archaeological protected zone. The picnic area (called Belkıs Kavunlu Mesire Alanı) before Seyir Tepesi is a pleasant place for a picnic with a view of the lake.

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