Diyarbakir Turkey is situated in Southeastern Anatolia, west of the Things River, on a depressed plain. The city’s name in the Scythian language was “Amawanda”, meaning “the Mother Goddesses People”. This name later became Amanda, Aminda and Amed. After the Arab invasion of the local area, the name was changed by the Arabs to Diyarbekr, Bakr.
Diyarbakır Turkey region has become a place for many civilizations for being a natural passage between Anatolia and Iran, Irag and Syria. One of the oldest settlements of Anatolia was found in Çayönü near Ergani. Çayönü as a settlement since 7500 lived all the phases of the Neolithic Age following first village settlements.
History of Diyarbakir Turkey
The region has been inhabited in northern Mesopotamia since prehistoric times. The Pelags, who came from beyond the Caucasus and reached the fertile lands of Mesopotamia, first established o fort city near Eğil/ Ingila, and built their graves in the region known today as the Eğil Caves. Later, during the period of peace with the Assyrians, they moved from south from the fortress city and settled on the banks of the Tİgris, where modern day Diyarbakir Turkey is situated. Later, the region entered the rule of the Hurrians, Mitanni, Babylonians, Assyrians, Meds, Persians, Macedonians, Seleucids, Parts, Georcians and the Romans. The city which later joined the Byzantines, was then first invaded by the Sassanids, and then by the Arabs in 639. After the Abbasids, the region was governed by the Artukoğulları Turks from 1096, followed by the Inaloğulları, Zengi and Ayyubid dynasties. In the 1400s it became the capital city of the empire built by the Akkoyunlu Turkmen. The Safavi took the city in the 15th century, which when joined the Ottomans in 1515. Top of the most important monuments in the city are the walls. They are 5km long, on 3 storeys, and have 72 bastions, and are the world’s second longest city walls. They have 4 walls known as the Mountain Gate, New Gate, Mardin Gate and Urfa Gate. Inside the castle there are the remains of 2 churches, one mosque and a water cistern. The most important works in the city are the 11th Century Grand Mosque, the Seljuk work İçkale Mosque, Husrev Pasha Mosque, the Prophet Mosque, Hasan Pasha Cervanserai, Mesudiye Madrasa and Zincirli Madrasa. On Silvian Road, the pointed arched Malabadi Bridge remains from the Artukoğlu Turkmen period. The Çermik thermal spa and hotel is close to the Atatürk Dam on the west of the city.
Today’s Diyarbakır Turkey
Diyarbakir is most important works are the Diyarbakır walls surrounding the old city. Exact establishment date of the city is unknown. The city was surrounded by walls in Roman Emperor Constantius II period. Western walls of the city were demolished between 367 and 375, and they were rebuilt by extanding. The walls were built from greyblack basalt stone which is basic construction metarial of the region.
The walls are 5 km long and they have 82 bastions. Evli Beden and Seven Sublings bastions as the most beautiful architecture examples of Artuqid period are located in the southwest of the walls. Reliefs on these bastions are very interesting.
İçkale of Diyarbakir Turkey which was surrounded by walls forming the oldest parts is located in the northeast of the castle. A palace of Arquid period from the begining of 13th century was discovered during the excavations in Virantepe. İçkale is used as a cultural center after a great restoration.
Great (Ulu) Mosque of Diyarbakir Turkey, located in the center of te city, was converted from a church by Muslim Arabs in 639 after conquering the city. It had a major restoration by the order of Great Seljuk emperor Malik Sinan in 1091.
Many inscriptions belonging to later periods reveal that states ruling Diyarbakir Turkey showed a great importance to the mosque. Great Mosque of Diyarbakir Turkey resembles Umayyas Mosque in Damascus which was built between 705 and 715.
Diyarbakir Turkey Known For:
The largest city walls in the world after the Great Wall of China, the Diyarbakır city walls are 5 km long. It is also famous for its watermelon.
Must – See Places of Diyarbakir Turkey
Diyarbakı City Walls, Great Mosque.
Don’t Return Without Doing
Food: Barries, Cartlak (Liver) Kebap, eggplant Meftune, the Stuffled Meatballs, raw meatballs.
Shopping: Handmade carpets, rugs and other various items.