Diyarbakir Information

Diyarbakır , Turkey

Diyarbakır (Ottoman Turkish دیاربکر, Diyâr-ı Bekr; Kurdish ئامه‌د, Amed; anc. Amida; Syriac: ܐܡܝܕ, Amid ) is one of the largest cities in southeastern Turkey. Situated on the banks of the River Tigris, it is the administrative capital of the Diyarbakır Province and with a population of about 843,460 it is the second largest city in Turkey's South-eastern Anatolia region, after Gaziantep.
 

History
Antiquity

The area around Diyarbakır has been inhabited by humans from the stone age with tools from that period having been discovered in the nearby Hilar cave complex. The pre-pottery neolothic B settlement of Çayönü dates to over 10,000 years ago and its excavated remains are on display at the Diyarbakır Museum. Another important site is Girikihaciyan Tumulus in Egil.

The first major civilization to establish themselves in what is now Diyarbakır were the Hurrian kingdom of the Mitanni who made it their military and trade capital. The city was then ruled by a succession of nearly every polity that controlled Upper Mesopotamia such as the Assyrians, Urartu, Medes, Seleucids and Parthians.[7] The Roman Empire gained control of the city in 66 BC by when it was named "Amida".[8]

In 359, Shapur II of Persia captured Amida after a siege of 73 days which is vividly described by the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus
 

The Middle Ages


Great Mosque of Diyarbakır

In 639, the Ummayads arrived and introduced the religion of Islam. They were followed by the Marwanids in the 10th century. After the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, the city came under the rule of the Mardin branch of Oghuz Turks and then the Anatolian beylik of Artuqids . The whole area was then disputed between the Ilkhanate and Ayyubid dynasties for a century, after which it was taken over by the competing Turkic federations of the Kara Koyunlu (the Black Sheep) first and then the Ak Koyunlu (the White Sheep). It was also ruled by Sultanate of Rûm between 1241 and 1259.
 Culture

Some jewelry making and other craftwork continues today although the fame of the Diyarbakır's craftsmen has long passed. Folk dancing to the drum and zurna (pipe) are a part of weddings and celebrations in the area.
Cuisine

Diyarbakır is known for rich dishes of lamb which use spices such as black pepper, sumac and coriander; rice, bulgur and butter. The most famous specialty dish from Diyarbakır is Meftune which is made up of lamb meat and vegetable laced with garlic and sumac. Another known dish is Kaburga Dolması which is a baked lamb's ribs stuffed with rice and many spices.Diyarbakır is also famous for its watermelons which are exported internationally; one of the largest events in the city is the annually held Watermelon Festival.
Main sights

Diyarbakır is surrounded by an almost intact, dramatic set of high walls of black basalt forming a 5.5 km (3.4 mi) circle around the old city. There are four gates into the old city and 82 watch-towers on the walls, which were built in antiquity, restored and extended by the Roman emperor Constantius in 349. In addition, the walls of Diyarbakir in the world after the Great Wall of China is the second largest city walls.[citation needed]

Diyarbakır boasts numerous medieval mosques and madrassahs including:

    Great Mosque of Diyarbakır built by the Seljuk Turkish Sultan Malik Shah in the 11th century. The mosque, one of the oldest in Turkey, is constructed in alternating bands of black basalt and white limestone (The same patterning is used in the 16th century Deliler Han Madrassah, which is now a hotel). The adjoining Mesudiye Medresesi was built at the same time as was another prayer-school in the city, Zinciriye Medresesi.
    Beharampaşa Camii – an Ottoman mosque built in 1572 by the governor of Diyarbakır, Behram Pasha, noted for the well-constructed arches at the entrance.
    Dört Ayaklı Minare (the four-footed minaret) – built by Kasim Khan of the Ak Koyunlu. It is said that one who passes seven times between the four columns will have his wishes granted.
    Fatihpaşa Camii – built in 1520 by Diyarbakır's first Ottoman governor, Bıyıklı Mehmet Paşa ("the moustachioed Mehmet pasha"). The city's earliest Ottoman building, it is decorated with fine tilework.
    Hazreti Süleyman Camii – 1155–1169 – Süleyman son of Halid Bin Velid, who died capturing the city from the Arabs, is buried here along with his companions.
    Hüsrevpaşa Camii – the mosque of the second Ottoman governor, 1512–1528. Originally the building was intended to be a school (medrese)
    İskender Paşa Camii – a mosque of an Ottoman governor, an attractive building in black and white stone, built in 1551.
    Melek Ahmet Camii a 16th century mosque noted for its tiled prayer-niche and for the double stairway up the minaret.
    Nebii Camii – an Ak Koyunlu mosque, a single-domed stone construction from the 16th century. Nebi Camii means "the mosque of the prophet" and is so-named because of the number of inscriptions in honour of the prophet on its minaret.
    Safa Camii – built in 1532 by the Ak Koyunlu Turkmen tribe.

Famous churches include:

    St. Giragos Armenian Church – A disused and restored Armenian Orthodox church.
    The Syriac Orthodox Church of Our Lady (Syriac: ܐ ܕܝܠܕܬ ܐܠܗܐ `Idto d-Yoldat Aloho, Turkish: Meryemana kilisesi), was first constructed as a pagan temple in the 1st century BCE. The current construction dates back to the 3rd century, has been restored many times, and is still in use as a place of worship today.[citation needed] There are a number of other churches in the city.

Museums include:

    The Archaeological Museum contains artifacts from the neolithic period, through the Early Bronze Age, Assyrian, Urartu, Roman, Byzantine, Artuqids, Seljuk Turk, Aq Qoyunlu, and Ottoman Empire periods.
    Cahit Sıtkı Tarancı Museum – the home of the late poet and a classic example of a traditional Diyarbakır home.
    The birthplace of poet Ziya Gökalp – preserved as a museum to his life and works.

Historic bridges:

    The Dicle Bridge, an 11th century bridge with ten arches
 

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