There are not any loud night clubs or entertainment centres in Mesopotamia that host crazy parties. Instead, there are genuine entertainment ways with traditions of hundreds of years past, so genuine that you cannot find nowhere else in the world.
One of the most important of such ways is certainly "sira nights" in Şanlıurfa. People sing songs, dance and eat at sira nights.
Mırra coffee is served at sira nights, then çiğ köfte which is the main dish of sira nights, and şıllık as dessert are served, respectively. At sira nights, which are peculiar to Şanlıurfa, two groups of people sit in opposing position, they sing folk songs and make çiğ köfte, and drink their beverages. If you visit Şanlıurfa, we recommend you not to miss this entertainment that you cannot find in anywhere else.
Şanlıurfa is one of the six provinces in Turkey where official horse races are organized. Approximately 1,500 of 3,000 pure-breed horses of Turkey are in Şanlıurfa where the noblest Arab horses are raised. If you're looking for an alternative entertainment in Şanlıurfa, you can watch the horse races on Monday and Thursday to have fun.
Furthermore, you can also participate in vessel boat trips in Rumkale, Halfeti, and Birecik, then get rest and have fun by having your meal in barge restaurants with live music located on the Euphrates with the peaceful atmosphere of the river and Halfeti.
If you set your route towards Mardin, you can see "Leyli" nights in which "Reyhani" dances are performed. In Reyhani dances, people dance individually in company with music, by falling down to their knee and by keeping their palms open signifying the "invoking God’s blessing". Reyhani music involves various emotions such as re-joining with the loved one, separation, grief and happiness. This music is the mixture of Turkish, Kurdish and Syriac music types.
Eating and drinking habits of the region also have an influence on these nights. Çiğ köfte gets prepared together with fruit leather sausage (ıkudi), grape, fruit leather, walnut, almond, pekmez halva (halevet-il dıps), fruits, and appetizers are served. The lyrics, dances, folk dances, and dishes of the folk songs that are sung at Leyli Nights pave the way for maintaining and conveying traditions of Mardin to next generations.
We also recommend for people looking for a different type of entertainment to go to the Aqua Park that is located at the provincial entrance of Mardin. Mardin aqua park has 6 different swimming pools. Recreation areas, cafeterias, ice-cream houses, and vitamin cafés are also other details which have been designed for the visitors in addition to water slides and pools. If you are planning to visit the Mardin, you can keep the Aquapark in your mind as an alternative entertainment complex where you can spend joyous times on hot Mardin days.
“Eyvan Nights” are also among the options for entertainment, peculiar to the region that is organized in Diyarbakır. Similar to sira nights, people eat çiğ köfte and other types of foods, have fun, take pictures, and smoke nargile or coffee depending on their wishes at Eyvan Nights.
Another entertainment option in Diyarbakır is the continuation of dengbej tradition dating back to centuries ago. Dengbej is the name of the singer who sings "kilam" (a type of poem) and "stran" (folk song) in Kurdish oral literature. You can visit Dengbej House if you would like to see and feel the duets of dengbejs in Diyarbakır. Rest assured that listening to dengbej bards while drinking your tea in Dengbej House, will be a unique experience for you.
If you say "These activities are not convenient for me, I need more action", then you can listen to rock music at rock bars in Diyarbakır.
You can also attend boat trips in Eğil district of Diyarbakır, and watch the historical places near lakeside on boats.
There is a zoo in Gaziantep that is one of the largest zoos of Europe. Gaziantep Zoo has a bird cage containing 3,720 birds from 90 species, an aquarium hosting 2,950 fish from 74 species, a monkey house comprising of 64 monkeys from 10 species, a reptile house composed of crocodiles and snakes, and other special sections allocated for other animals. The animal zoo is one of the centres drawing the attention of children, locals and foreign tourists.
There are activities in Gaziantep Erikçe Adventure Park in which children can have great fun. Camping sites, climbing spots, running tracks, and the dry ski slope all offer activities for children that will make them gain new abilities, confidence and condition.
Gaziantep Aqua park water slide is an ideal place for everyone to spend time and have fun. You can also have a great fun with activities such as giant water slides, black holes, multiple sliding platforms, twisted slide, upright kamikaze water slide, water tubes, and wave pools.
Gaziantep Wonderland (Park Antep) is the ideal place for people who would like to have a good time at an amusement park, water train, horror tunnel, go-kart, model ship sailing area, table tennis, mini golf field, basketball field, astro-pitch for football, water coaster, mountain coaster, skyscraper, rafting, flying dragons, rotating planes, rotating duck, jumping car, cowboy car and other adrenaline tools.
If you want to have fun in the evening in Gaziantep, you can go to Beyazhan and have a great time in SPR Pub or Beyazhan Meyhane, and let your children play at the "Children Game House". We also recommend you to go to Gaziantep Terminal Restaurant where you can feel the real meyhane culture, eat all kinds of appetizers, scrumptious icy almonds, have a chat and listen to music with your friends.
Lastly, do not miss the opportunity of attending boat trips with or without a meal, in the region where stone houses and mosques located on the coast of the Euphrates in Halfeti.