Guide to SKOPJE

Pleasures of coffee in historical Hasankeyf


“This is by far the best Turkish coffee I have ever tasted in my life. You can take my word for it!” – a frank statement by our friend and photographer Arkan Cinetci after visiting a small coffee shop in the historic city of Hasankeyf in southeastern Turkey.

The city lies on the famous Tigris river which, together with the Euphrates, flow through the region once known as Mesopotamia. The Tiger rises in Turkey and flows through Iraq, eventually merging with Euphrates thus creating the Shat el Arab river or “Arab stream” which in turn flows into the Persian Gulf.


The rivers have given life to many civilizations from antiquity to modernity and coffee remains part of the tradition and the daily lives of local residents. It was prepared for centuries until the creation of a perfect cup of Turkish coffee.

“I think the secret is that they add some milk while making the coffee” – says Arkan trying to discover the secret of this aromatic, frothy coffee that he tried in this interesting place. This coffee has become his favourite memory and he will remember it all his life.

“Have a cup of delightful coffee in Hasankeyf” – the thought running through our minds as we listen to our friend Arkan and browse through the photographs he took of this town.

The best coffee according to him can be found at Yolgecen Hani, literally translated as “a place where passengers frequently stop by”.

Cinetci’s sincere admiration encouraged us to look for more information on this site with an interesting name – Hasankeyf. The historic city is the cradle of one of the oldest civilizations dating back 10,000 years ago. The limestone cliffs that surround the city hide thousands of caves carved by human hand, hundreds of archaeological monuments and other sites of historical importance. Hasankeyf was known in medieval times as a place through which the famous “Silk Road” used to pass. The place is now known for the Ilisu hydropower plant which is expected to be completed this year, and which may threaten these historic sites.

Many books and travelogues have been written about this city. It is assumed that the famous explorer Marco Polo passed over the bridge that spanned over the Tigris in Hasankeyf. The only remaining parts of the bridge are the stone columns and the stories of Marco Polo. See for yourselves, hear many more stories and drink the best coffee in Hasankeyf.

Arkan Cinetci