A cognate of the name Midyat is first encountered in an inscription of the Neo-Assyrian king Ashur-nasir-pal II (883-859 B.C.).This royal text depicts how Assyrian forces conquered the city and its surrounding villages. In its long history, the city of Midyat has remained politically subjected by various rulers - from the Assyrian Empire to the modern Turks.
Due to repeated marauding from invading Mongol and Turkish tribes into Tur Abdin culminating in the end of the 14th, 19th and beginning of the 20th century - the Assyrian population of Tur-'Abdin was severely decimated. The Assyrian Genocide of WW1 wiped out large numbers of ethnic Assyrian Christians in Turkey.
Gastarbeiter ('guest worker') era, though, commencing in the early 1960s, the city was soon to be nearly completely emptied from its native inhabitants who choose to leave for a better life offered in Western Countries. Soon other local Arabic and Kurdish inhabitants start building houses in the surrounding areas. The houses and churches belonging to Christians have been preserved although many of them are empty.