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History Engraved onto Stones: Diyarbakır

Area: 1.516.200,00 Km²

Population: 1.654.196

# of Districts: 17

Districts: Bağlar, Sur, Kayapınar, Yenişehir, Bismil, Çermik, Çınar, Çüngüş, Dicle, Eğil, Ergani, Hani, Hazro, Kocaköy, Kulp, Lice and Silvan

Elevation: 650 Meters

Primary Resources: Tourism, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Energy, Mining, Petroleum

Handicrafts: Jewellery, Sericulture and Coppersmith are very popular. Other Important Handcrafts are Earthworks, Saddlery, Felting, Rug, Weaving such as Saddlebags, Towel Stitchery, Waistclothing, Prayer Clothing and Hand Woven Carpet Businesses.

Diyarbakır has highway connections from all across Turkey.

Brought into service in 1952, Diyarbakır Airport receives regular flights.

Kurtalan Express Railway also passes through Diyarbakır.

Saj Tava

Liver kebab

Nutty and garlicky lahmacun (Turkish pizza)

Kibe-mumbar

Stuffed lamb ribs

Ribs with quince

Burma (twisted) Kadayif

Dried nuts & fruits

Traditional carpets and rugs

Local types of pekmez (Grape molasses)

Straw bracelets of Diyarbakır

Listen to the dengbej in dengbej house

Lay eyes upon Hevsel Gardens from Keçi Burcu.

Drink liquorice root sherbet and turpentine coffee at inns.

Visit Grand Mosque and tombs of Eğil Prophets.

Take a tour in Diyarbakır museums, have a look at Çayönü Kafatasli house.

Lose yourself on the streets of Suriçi.

Go to the end of the world! (Birkleyn)

The places and special structures where pigeons are fed and their fertilizers are collected, are called as "boranhane" in Diyarbakır. The boranhane in Tilelo Village on the road of Silvan can be given as the best example for that. Fertilizers of pigeons make a great contribution to the cultivation of famous Diyarbakır watermelons.

Boğazkere and Öküzgözü grape kinds that are regarded to be top quality wine grape in Turkey, are cultivated in Çermik and Çüngüş districts.

Dengbej and Dengbej tradition are the oldest oral literature of Kurdish culture. The Dengbej compose ballads and vocalize them with their inborn voices themselves. It is a kind of expression of legends, stories and oral literature which was called by Yaşar Kemal as "Homeros of the Kurdish." Being a Dengbej for that matter is the unwritten memory of the Kurdish society.

 

Diyarbakır is a unique city of Mesopotamia, in other words the 'Fertile Crescent,' decorated with culture and history... This is the place where "history is engraved onto stones" with its city walls containing epigraphs belonging to 12 civilizations, stone bridges and such, lying on the fertile soils irrigated by Tigris River.

The name of this proud city that stood for almost 7000 years within its shield-shaped walls all along the Tigris River providing abundance for centuries, is mentioned as "Amed" in a hilt belonging to Adad-Nirari, an Assyrian sovereign. Which is written as "Amed, O'mid, Emit, or Amide" in Roman and Byzantine sources, the name then became "Kara Amed" due to black colour of the city walls and finally transformed into "Diyar-ı Bekr" due to the name of Arabic tribe that ruled here.

Diyarbakır, one of the most important thresholds of human history, hosted a period in which a transition took place from nomadic life to permanent settlement, from hunter-gatherer life to agricultural production. Defined to be Neolithic Revolution, remnants from this period can be seen at Ergani Çayönü archaeological site. Kortik Hill is also located in Diyarbakır (Bismil), which has the most beautiful findings of graves from the Neolithic Period in addition to Çayönü archeological site which is one of the oldest village settlements of human history.

How many civilizations have made this lovely city their home: the Roman Empire, Akkoyunlus, Mervanis, Artuqids, Umayyads, Abbasids, the Ottoman Empire and many others? Diyarbakır not only became a home for each of them, but also flourished them, and was flourished by them.

No dicrimination was ever seen in Diyarbakır. Muslims speaking in Turkish, Arapic and Kurdish; Yezidis, Jewish people, Orthodox and Catholic Armenians, Orthodox and Catholic Assyrians, Protestants, Nestorians, Keldanis and Greeks lived brotherly in this paramount city. Unfortunately at present, there is no diversity anymore but it is still possible to encounter the traces of those days in some parts of the city. 

The city stands still as the capital city of the East with its frequently organized cultural activities and artistic dynamism as it was in the past. In the city parks that are increasing in numbers each day, concerts of domestically and internationally important artists such as Fazıl Say, Goran Bregoviç and Sezen Aksu are organized in front of the city walls; panels, symposiums, theatre performances, plastic art exhibitions, diverse workshops; activities such as short film days in newly opened cinema halls… all colourise this city by ensuring the necessities of modern life.

Diyarbakır promises a dreamlike adventure with its city walls surrounding the city like a mother; Hevsel Gardens reminding the gardens of Eden as described in sacred books, abundance, Tigris River infusing life into Diyarbakır, luscious food, temples, bridges and streets visited by people for thousands of years.

Points of Interest

When it comes to Diyarbakır, the city walls come to mind first. Historical city walls at 12 meters of height and 5,700 metres of length that remind of an outdoor museum with its inscriptions, epigraphs and embossments on them. You are strongly recommended to not leave Diyarbakır without watching the sunset in the evening over these city walls surrounding the city.

Hevsel Gardens have been hosting and protecting a diverse flora and fauna for thousands of years, putting extra beauty on these unique soils. These two unique heritages of humanity have been taken into UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.

Together with the Castle and gates, the walls of Diyarbakır; described as 'paradise on earth' the Hevsel Gardens, mosques, churches and bridges... An entire history buried in every narrow street of Diyarbakır; life and abundance springing out from those streets and the sense of eternity... Seductive pleasure of forgetting or even losing track of time. You may have visited numerous places before. Diyarbakır promises you an unprecedented adventure that is very different from the previous ones.

Diyarbakır calls you for a dream in which you will be the hero and that you would not want to wake up from. Hearken to this call…

This call is not only for the city center but also for Eğil with its Assyrian rock graves and tombs of prophets; for Silvan that is the city of Zembil Froş; for Ergani including Çayönü archaeological site that is one of the best places to lay eyes upon the period when permanent settlement of humanity took place; as well as for Lice, the end of the world, and for all other districts.