Diyarbakir is one of the largest cities in eastern turkey, about 120 north from the Syrian border with a population of 843.460 being predominantly kurdish inhabitants. The city is located on the right side of the river Tigris. Today it’s a modern industrialised city, most of the cities income results from marble. Nevertheless daily life is very traditional. Diyarbakir hosts a few hotels mostly for business travellers. The cultural heritage of Diyarbakir is immediately visible: the city is surrounded by a nearly intact set of city walls: 6 km long, 20 m high and 3 meters wide. The walls are made of black basalt which is typical for the region. In Diyarbakir you will see Arab-style mosques, Chaldean churches and historic houses. From the city walls the milling mass of old houses, minarets and people will give you an impart knowledge of how life must have been in ancient times. Outside the city walls is the modern Diyarbakir were wide avenues, modern hotels and offices are located. Along the river Tigris are parks and gardens with benches, teagardens and restaurants.
It is not a known tourist destination, foreign visitors should dress appropriate: knees and shoulders should be covered. Do not walk alone in the night, especially in the old quarter.
Due to political instability in neighbouring countries please make sure that there is no travel warning issued. Check with the Department of Foreign Affairs.
History of Diyarbakir
The first settlement was called Amida; it was the capitol of the Aramean kingdom from 13th century BC onwards. It was later an Assyrian stronghold and the seat of the Church of the east Patriarch. In the 1st century BC the region was under roman rule, followed by Byzantine Empires. During 1534 it became part of the Ottoman Empire.