By now, you will have set foot in a land that carries the traces of some 33 civilizations. In this most ancient city of Anatolia and Upper Mesopotamia, you will have the chance to enter a time tunnel of sorts, linking past, present, and future. From the Assyrians to the Urartu, from the Medes to the Persians, from the Romans to the Byzantines, and across history, through the Seljuks, the Artuqids, the Ayyubids and the Ak Koyunlu to the transcontinental Ottoman Empire—in this city steeped in the ancient past, you will, quite literally, ‘touch history’.
You’ll meet the descendants of Mesopotamia’s ancient people, and throughout your journey, this city will speak to you in Mesopotamia’s many languages, from Assyrian to Armenian, from Kurdish and Turkish to Arabic. In Diyarbakır, where different languages and dialects echo, and where the prayers of different faiths rise to the same sky, this city of tolerance, brotherhood, and peace will receive you with open arms. Awaiting you are many wonders. There are the ancient and magnificent city walls, the Ten-Arched Bridge linking past and present, the Tigris River that flows to heaven, the Hevsel Gardens stretched out along the banks of the Tigris, the Great Mosque, one of the five holy sites of the Islamic world, the Surp Giragos Armenian Church, the biggest in the Middle East, and the shrine of the Prophet Ezekiel in Eğil.
You will be enchanted by the sheer depth of human history when you visit Qotê Berçem, where humans are thought to have first permanently settled, the mounds of Kortik Tepe, the Bırkleyn
Caves, the tombs of ancient kings, or the cave city of Hasuni, once a key center of the Middle East. Visiting Diyarbakır, caretaker of so much of the shared wealth of
humankind, you will feel yourself a part of this flow of history.
Traveling, witnessing, and sensing the city will leave you with a new spirit and a new sense of the world. As you come to know the city, distances will seem to shrink as the feeling of friendship and brotherhood between us grows.
The streets of Diyarbakır call out to you, the city calls out to regale you with its boundless hospitality.
Welcome to Diyarbakır.
Osman BAYDEMİR, Esq.
Mayor of the Metropolitan
Municipality of Diyarbakır