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Turkey Guide

Teomida Hotel Burhaniye

Boutique Hotel

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Serinn House Ürgüp

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Diyarbakir

Diyarbakir
This old city is on the edge of the Tigris flood-plain protected by huge ancient walls made of black basalt and inside has a maze of cobblestoned streets and alleyways with wonderful mosques, massive hans, stately mansions and fascinating churches.  Inside the Mardin Gate there are shantytown (gecekondu) houses some of which have been demolished to make way for a pleasing strip of parkland and the city’s atmosphere is lively and energetic with over 2 million residents. 

Diyarbakır is the capital of the upper Tigris valley and also one of the oldest settlements in the world and existed during the Hurrian Empire 5,000 years ago.  It has been host to Urartians, Assyrians, and Persians, fell to Alexander the Great and was then taken by the Seleucids.  The Romans came in 115 AD and they and the Byzantines fought continuously with the Sassanid Persians for control.  The Romans built the city walls in 297 AD they were repaired by the Byzantines and then completed by the Arabs.  In 1925 the new Republican government squashed any hopes of Kurdish autonomy which caused a rebellion and many Kurds were executed and other continued to rebel and it is believed up to a million Kurdish villagers died in these reprisals.  

Diyarbakır’s main attraction are its city walls that are 6km long, it has 4 huge main gateways and a few smaller ones,
72 defensive towers and most of what you see today dates back to the 11th century.  There are so many city sights and monuments visitors should allow at least 2 days to explore them and they include the Nebi Camii ( Mosque of the Prophet ), the late 16th century Hasan Paşa Hanı that is still in use today, the first great Seljuk mosque and city’s most important, the Ulu Mosque, there are many other mosques and churches worth viewing and also an archaeological museum and visitors will find everything they need within the old city great walls.  

The train station is 1km west of town, the old bus station is 2km northwest and the new one is further out of town, and there are many taxis and dolmuş minibuses available.  

For accommodation there is something for everyone from budget, business and upmarket hotels in various locations in the city.  There are many grill restaurants here and one of the food specialities of the city is the lamb kuburga (ribs stuffed with rice) with a large variety of other places offering good food at reasonable prices.

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Turkish Food Recipes

Gozleme with Beef Filling - Pastries

Tea Time Pastry

Aubergine & Beef Moussaka - Red Meat Courses

Main Course

Lamb Shank Kebab with Vegetables - Red Meat Courses

Main Course

Stuffed Kale Rolls with Minced Beef - Red Meat Courses

Main Course

Uncured Cheese Pastries or Lor Cookies - Cakes & Cookies

Tea Time Pastry

Carrots with Yogurt - Yogurt Mezes

Cold Meze

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