Diyarbakir, Turkey

Situated on the banks of Tigris (Dicle), Diyarbakir still carries a medieval air with its walls encircling the city.

These black basalt walls are perfect examples of the military architecture of the Middle Ages. They are also very well known since they are the second largest (5.5 kms) and bestpreserved walls in the world after the famous Great Wall of China. Although there were Roman, and probably earlier walls here, the present walls date back to early Byzantine times. There are sixteen keeps and five gates, each of which deserves seeing along with their inscriptions and relief. There are four main gates along the wall called as Dag Kapi, Urfa Kapi, Mardin Kapi and Yeni Kapi.

You will have the chance to go back to bygone days at the Deliler Han by the Mardin Kapi of the City Walls. Now it is restored as a hotel preserving the original air of the old days when caravan travelers used to stop and rest.

Another fascinating sight in the city center, is the Ulu Mosque, notable for its original architecture and the ancient materials used in the restoration of the building at various times. Nearby the Ulu Mosque is the Mesudiye Medresse and Hasan Pasha Ham, a caravanserai now being used by carpet and souvenir shops. The Nebii Mosque is a typical example of the Ottoman style. The Church of the Virgin Mary is interesting and it is still in use.

The Kasim Padisah Mosque is also interesting, especially due to the engineering which built a large tower upon four tiny pillars about two meters high, called the Dort Ayakil Minare.

The location of noted mythological cave Eshab-ul Keyf, and Dacianus ruins are in the town of Lice. The holy Mount Zulkufil and Hilar Caves are in the town of Ergani. Within the environs of Diyarbakir are the Birkleyn and Hasun Caves, the Antak City ruins and the Cayonu Archaeological Site.

The city holds many mosques and buildings of long historical and archaeological importance. There are four museums in the city center. When you add to those the renowned watermelons of about 40 kilograms approximately, and its silver and copper artifacts Diyarbakir certainly stands as a destination to be visited. Gazi Kosku is a nice place for picnicking.

The town of Cermik is a spa center.