Blogs from Diyarbakir, Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey, Middle East

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Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Diyarbakir November 26th 2014

With a reputation like that Diyarbakır would certainly not seem like an inviting place although I'm almost certain that the slogan was not self-conferred. It's had a bad reputation nation wide going back to the bad old days of the 80s and 90s and many Turks were shocked and chagrined that I ventured there without incident. Contrary to what many will say, it is perfectly fine to visit and definitely not to be missed if traveling in the southeast. After 2 weeks in the southeast and short stops in Antalya and Konya, I'm back in İstanbul for a couple of days, my 5th time here since 2011. Its appeal is timeless and never gets boring even though I don't really do much more than walk around taking in the sights and incredible views. Tomorrow flying to ... read more
Mardin Kapısı, Bastion On the Right
Café On the Bastion
Can Drink Tea Anywhere In Turkey

Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Diyarbakir September 18th 2011

After breakfast back down beside the Tigris, we loaded up the trusty Fiat and hit the road again. After passing through the town of Batman (had to stop and take a photo of the sign), we continued on to the city of Diyarbakır. This place has a bit of a tough reputation, as the centre of the Kurdish resistance, and there have been riots and uprisings there from time to time. No sign of that today though. As usual, we made our way to the old part of the city, which is invariably the most interesting part. Diyarbakır has very impressive city walls, built of basalt and in fairly good condition. We parked the car and were pleased when Omer said he would accompany us today. Eva who we had met on the homestay had returned ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Diyarbakir October 9th 2010

Time to move on. From the Ataturk Dam we continued our journey to Diyarbakir. This part of the trip was the one with the longest distance and after three hours in the bus, we finally arrived to Diyarbakir. We entered the new town and slowly were moving to the old town area within the city walls. We entered the old town through the famous "Mardin Gate". Good to know that the famous Mardin Gate is located in Diyarbakir and not in Mardin as many people think. (Including me until this moment :)) A part of the trip was a walk on the city walls. Diyarbakır is surrounded by a dramatic set of high walls of black basalt forming a 5.5 km circle around the old city. There are four gates into the old city and 82 ... read more
Diyarbakir Great Mosque
Diyarbakir Cahit Sitki Taranci s house
Diyarbakir


Waking up early is no longer a problem; thus it seems that a semblance of normalcy has been restored to this summer. The bus to the airport took a little over an hour, as we were slowed by the fact that our driver got a ticket for speeding AND using the apparently illegal far right lane on the highway. I say that we were slowed, but in truth we only lost a good five minutes, as it seems that in Turkey driving tickets only necessitate a quick exchange of paper and information -- it would be nice if this one thing held true back west. Nevertheless I arrived at the airport with only an hour to spare, and was thanklessly greeted by a monstrous Pegasus Airlines check-in line that screamed "you shall not leave this city". ... read more
KURDISTAN WAHOO
old trade route markets
... and camel barns underground

Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Diyarbakir March 28th 2009

Although I haven't written in about a month I have been working and playing like crazy. I believe the last time I wrote I was in Antep staying with 4 Muslim university students and getting a better picture of what life is like for religious women trying to lead a public life in this country so devoted to secularism. After spending almost a week with them I decided I wanted to skip all of the touristic sights and instead went straight to my friend's village in Mardin on the Syrian border. I spent a little over a week with a wonderful family getting to know what village life was like in the Kurdish region of Turkey. The family I stayed with consists of a matriarch and patriarch, their three daughters, one son, his wife and their ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Diyarbakir December 8th 2008

I decided to take the trip to South East Turkey during the Bayram holiday that precludes the end of Ramazan in the Muslim calendar, and was to be held from the 14th december to the 18th in 2008. I was currently studying in Turkiye at this time, but unlike my fellow Turkish students I was not going to be visiting family during the weeks celebrations, so i headed off on my own expedition. The trip started with me getting a 24 hour train journey from Turkey's capital city Ankara to the South Eastern Anatolian city of Diyabakir. The train left very early in the morning, and had started its journey in Istanbul the previous night. Very few passengers were boarding the train in Ankara and i noticed that it was pretty much alredy full with ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Diyarbakir August 22nd 2008

I hadn't planned to visit the city of Diyarbakır but I'm glad that I did. Being the centre of Kurdish identity as it has the highest population of Kurds in the country, it felt like I was venturing into new territory. Even though you can't really tell if someone is Turkish or Kurdish the vibe in the air is definitely different. And they speak a different language. I'm now onto my 6th language in as many weeks and my brain is starting to slow down so I was happy enough just to learn how to say hello and thank you in Kurdish. The old walled city is only second in length to the Great Wall of China even though the walls are only 6km in length. It was great to be able to ascend the walls ... read more
man praying at Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque)
getting dressed for prayer time
working women

Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Diyarbakir December 7th 2004

Greetings to my loyal following. The past few weeks have found me extremely lazy and/or too busy to sit down and blog. Now that I finally find time to do so I don't have any pictures with me (left them all in Istanbul), so this will be a boring blog without pictures (which means Beybora won't be reading it). Since I last blogged I have: Been to Cappadocia Cappadocia was awesome: Goreme, with deserted valleys full of phallic towers with houses and churches carved into them, trudging through knee-deep snow all day long, occassionally taking refuge in a cave (which, I may add, are surprisingly warm). Ihlara Valley, in striking contrast to the plain and barren surroundnig countryside, the walls of which are full of deserted monasteries with vandalized awe-inspiring frescoes and paintings. Those monks really ... read more




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