Diyarbakir is the 12th most populous city in the country. The city has a history that dates back centuries as it has been an important location throughout history due to its proximity to the passage from Europe to Asia and from Anatolia to Mesopotamia. Therefore, it has a very rich cultural heritage. In the past, the city was called by different names such as Amid, Amida, Kara-Amid, Diyar-Bekr, and Diyarbekir. According to excavations done in some parts of the city, people lived in caves during the Neolithic period. The remains of the era were found in Hilar caves.
The Çayönü Hill in Ergani has a great significance in terms of the history of humanity and civilization. The first stage of the development of modern humans, who evolved from hunter-gatherers to their current form, took place in Çayönü. The first humans of the Neolithic Revolution lived in these lands, and nomadic communities settled in this region and transitioned to settled life and agriculture. According to research, animals such as sheep and goats were domesticated here, and some wild crops were cultivated.
Another historical excavation in different parts of Diyarbakir was carried out at the Üçtepe Mound. Centers belonging to the Hellenistic and Roman periods were revealed in these excavations. In Lice, remains belonging to the Assyrians were found. The Hurri-Mitanni people, also known as Kurds, migrated to the region in 3000 BC. Later, many civilizations, big and small, were dominated by emperors in the region. Therefore, traces of the Roman, Abbasid, Seljuk, and Ottoman empires can be seen in the city. At the same time, the city represents a cultural and religious harmony with many concepts such as Arab, Armenian, Syriac, Kurdish, Turkish, Christian, and Muslim.
Historical Places in Diyarbakır
The Diyarbakır Walls are one of the longest architectures in the world along with the Great Wall of China. They are not a standard wall, but instead have traces of different civilizations. The walls have motifs, reliefs, and inscriptions. The walls are five kilometers long and can be seen spreading over a vast area from the air. They are the symbol of Diyarbakır and their beauty and uniqueness have been crowned with the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is thought that the walls were first built by the Hurrians in the 3rd millennium BC. However, no walls from that time have survived to this day. The remaining walls were built by Emperor II. Constantinius. The walls contain traces of Byzantine, Roman, Seljuk, and Ottoman empires, making them the second-longest walls in the world. The basic material of the walls is basalt stone. The most magnificent of the towers on the walls are the Evli Beden Tower built by Melih Salih and the Yedi Kardeş Tower built by Mimar Yahya.
The Assyrian Castle, as its name suggests, is a legacy left by the Assyrians. The castle, which was carved into the rocks, is located in Eğil. The castle contains tombs built to honor the kings. The castle's impressive appearance is due to its location surrounded by valleys. Tunnels were opened in the castle to escape during battles. The three-story inn is currently used for tourists to rest and spend time.
Natural Beauties of Diyarbakır
The Hevsel Gardens are magnificent and have survived from centuries ago to the present day. They are rare beauties that can only be seen once in a lifetime, located on a vast area of lush green gardens. In order to preserve and promote this beauty, an application has been made to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The gardens, which are intertwined with the walls, live in great harmony there. If you own a drone, we strongly recommend taking aerial footage as well. The Hevsel Gardens are also mentioned as Efsel Gardens in some written sources. The gardens, which cover a total of 250 hectares, stand by the Tarihi On Gözlü Bridge, next to the Tigris River, as if posing for a photo.
The Tigris River is a source of abundance for mysterious lands like Diyarbakır. The river, which is 1,900 kilometers long, passes through nearly half of Turkey's territory. The river has great significance in history as civilizations found this region attractive. The Birkleyn Caves in Lice had mystical importance in ancient times. It was believed to be the entrance to the underworld for the dead. Therefore, reliefs and inscriptions are found in many parts of the cave.
What to Eat and Drink in Diyarbakır?
You can't leave without trying the cuisine of these mysterious and vast lands where different people live together in brotherhood. Meftune, which is prepared with meat, eggplant, and zucchini, is one of the most famous dishes. Pıçık, which is made by rolling bulgur into a ball and serving it with garlic yogurt and sauce, and nardanaşı, which is made with bulgur, meat, and a special herb, are also delicious local dishes. Imagine a feast where minced meat and almonds are combined with rice. This feast is called duvaklı pilav in Diyarbakır. Let's not forget about the feast called kaburga dolması. This feast is perfect for large tables. Serbizer, made with black lentils, paluze dessert, which is a grape molasses dessert with walnuts that was also consumed heavily during the Ottoman era, kibe mumbar, and habenisk are all flavors that will make you plan to return to Diyarbakır. And finally, watermelon, which is not mentioned without the name Diyarbakır. The watermelon you eat here has no chance of being unripe.
How to Get to Diyarbakır?
It is quite easy to come to Diyarbakır from the surrounding cities. Transportation is usually provided by buses. However, transportation by bus from cities such as Istanbul and Ankara can be long. It takes about 12 hours from Ankara to Diyarbakır and about 17 hours from Istanbul. Therefore, especially for distant cities, it makes sense to come to Diyarbakır by plane to Diyarbakır Airport. Rental cars are available for city tours. The airport is located 6 kilometers away from the city center. Another transportation option is the railway. The Adana-Elazığ line Fırat Express also stops at Diyarbakır Train Station.