Total population
Regions with significant populations
   Turkey 60,000
   Lebanon 50,000
   European Union 25,000
   Germany 15,000[1]
North Mesopotamian Arabic
Western Aramaic, Kurdish & Turkish
Sunni Islam
Related ethnic groups
other Semitic peoples

The Mhallami, or Mhallami Kurds[2][3], also Mhalmites, (Arabic: محلّمي, Mḥallame; Syriac: ܡܚܠܡܝ̈ܐ, Mḥallmāye/Mḥallmoye; Turkish: Mıhellemi) is an Arab tribe, most of whom are living in and around the city of Mardin, Turkey. Outside of the region, they are also known as Mardinli.

Originating from the Arab tribe of Banu Bakr, their homeland was Najd in central Arabia, but they were settled by the Umayyad caliph Muawiyah I to that region. They are now primarily speakers of North Mesopotamian Arabic (qiltu variant) and Sunni Muslims of Shafi`i madh'hab.[4]


After the Umayyad expansion into north Mesopotamia, many families from the Arabian Peninsula were settled to the region of Al-Jazira, Mesopotamia, wrote Yaqubi, who lived around that time, in his book Kitab Futuh Al-buldan[5] about the resettlement to the region of Mardin.[4]

Mhallami of Lebanon

Lebanon had a population of 70,000 to 100,000 Mhallami prior to Lebanese Civil War.[6] Their origin and legal status became a particular concern when they started to seek asylum in Western European countries en masse in the early 1980s.[7]

Mhallami of Turkey

Most Mhallamis in Turkey live in Mardin, and at the village of Yerköy.

The first Mhallami cultural association of Turkey was founded in February 2008 in Mercimekli village of Midyat. In 2015, the founding chairman Mehmet Ali Aslan became the first Mhallami to be elected a member of the Turkish Parliament.[8]

Further reading

See also


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