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Diyarbakır is the largest city in Southeastern Anatolia, on the banks of Tigris (Dicle), one of the greatest rivers of Middle East.
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Points of Interest in Diyarbakir
The old city containing many mosques and churches, is a little run down but enclosed in magnificent walls. The city walls are very old and certainly worth a walk around. Some of towers are restored by the municipality and are easy to reach from the center of the old city. One such is Kechi Burcu, which offers a nice view of Tigris river below the city, and a great look over the city walls—a teahouse offering traditional tea is nearby as well. However, be careful while walking on the walls and do not enter into all of the towers which looks fancy enough, as some of them are home to junkies.
The old city is like a village in the middle of the city with village mentality; goose running around, women having cay in front of their houses and kids shouting to foreigners the few English words they know.
To avoid problems, dress modestly. There is extensive development outside including a pleasant park. It's called Gazi Kösk and it contains many teahouses and traditional bed-like constructions, where you sink into cushions and drink tea while overlooking the Dicle river below.
- Ulu Camii (The Great Mosque), Gazi Cd (In the centre of the Old Town, near the main crossroad). The oldest mosque in Anatolia, built in the 11th century by Malikh Shah,the Emir of the Seljuk Turks. Free.
- Kervanseray, Gazi Cd (Opposite the Great Mosque). Old caravanserai, now used as a place for cafes, bookstores, and souvenir shops. Free.
- Meryem Ana Kilisesi (Virgin Mary Church), Ana Sokak 26, Suriçi (In the Old Town, close to Melik Ahmet Cd, signposts indicate where the church is). Limited visiting hours, posted on the entrance. A Syrian Orthodox church founded in 3rd century. If you are lucky, the priest will sing you a fragment of the Bible in Aramaic. Free.
- Armenian church (Next to the Virgin Mary Church, signposts indicate where the church is). The largest Armenian church in the Middle East, this edifice was recently restored by municipality. The first inauguration for a long time was held in October 2011 and has since officially started to serve the local Armenian community. Free.
Popular events in Diyarbakir in the near future
You can go for a walk on the old city wall. Get onto it at the northern gate and walk anticlockwise to Mardin Gate. Great views of the surrounding area and the city and it's free. Single tourists might be conspicuous, however, and should beware of pickpockets. The walls serve as home to drug addicts, criminals and poor children - don't wander alone.
The grill of lamb liver, ciğer kebabı, is a famous part of Diyarbakır cuisine.
Ekşili etli dolma, meftune, içli köfte are some other "must taste"s.
A mixture of wheat grain, chick-peas, and yoghurt called mehir is purpoted to be very good for stomach and is said to help healing stomach problems.
Diyarbakır is very famous with its desserts. Kadayıf, künefe are the two main types of desserts. They are acquired tastes, though, as they are very sweet and contain huge amounts of sugar. Saim Usta is perhaps the best place to have kadayıf in town, while for künefe, you should check out Levent Usta.
There are many teagardens in Ofis and along the Basalt city walls, where you can meet locals. People in Diyarbakir are very open towards foreigners and you'll have a hard time paying for your own tea.
- Mahya Kahve Evi (Mahya Coffee House), Dicle sokak 2a (In Ofis, just off the main street where buses run from bus station to city center), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Open till late at night. This coffeehouse, (a mahya ıs a message spelled out by lights strung between minarets) has over 70 varieties of coffee and a nice interior. The owners and customers are very friendly and easygoing.
- Tigris Cafe Nargile Salonu, Camii Sk. (now apparently called Sanat Sokak) Cüneyt Bey Apt Altı 16/B (In Ofis, near Yeşil Camii), ☎ +90 412 228 28 84. Apart from nargilas, you can drink there delicious menengiç kahvesi, which is a very sweet milk based drink, a local speciality. The Tigris also has European style toilets available if you should be desperate.
- Hasan Paşa Hanı, Kıbrıs Cd, e-mail: email@example.com. Besides coffee and tea, you can have an extremely rich breakfast and/or brunch here in the 500-year-old inn's nice atmosphere.
- Ninova Cafe, Sanat Sokağı (At Ofis, ask for the Sanat Sokağı; it's on the middle). 11:00-23:00. Coffee, tea, menengiç coffee, hot wine etc. cheap.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Diyarbakir on Wikivoyage.