Top left: Ali Pasha Mosque, Top right: Nebi Mosque, 2nd: Seyrangeha Park, 3rd left: Dört Ayakl? Minare Mosque, 3rd upper right: Deriyê Çiyê, 3rd lower right: On Gözlü Bridge (or Silvan Bridge), over Tigris River, Bottom left: Diyarbak?r City Wall, Bottom right: Gazi Kö?kü (Veterans Pavilion)
|o Mayor||Münir Karalo?lu (state-appointed)|
|Elevation||675 m (2,215 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (FET)|
Diyarbak?r (Kurdish: Amed,Zaza: Diyarbekir,Syriac: ?, romanized: ?m?d) is one of the largest cities in Turkey. Situated on the banks of the Tigris River, it is the administrative capital of the Diyarbak?r Province of southeastern Turkey. It is the third-largest city in Turkey's Southeastern Anatolia Region, after ?anl?urfa and Gaziantep.
The city's name (Kurdish: Amed; Turkish: Diyarbak?r; Arabic: ? , Diyaru Bakr, which means the Land of Bakir; Armenian: , Tigranakert;Ancient Greek: , Amida; Ottoman Turkish: ?, Diyâr-? Bekr; Syriac: ?) is inscribed as Amed on the sheath of a sword from the Assyrian period, and the same name was used in other contemporary Syriac and Arabic works. The Romans and Byzantines called the city Amida.Amit is found in Empire of Trebizond official documents from 1358. Among the Artukid and Akkoyunlu it was known as "Black Amid" (Kara Amid) for the dark color of its walls, while in the Zafername, or eulogies in praise of military victories, it is called "Black Fortress" (Kara Kale). In the Book of Dede Korkut and some other Turkish works it appears as Kara Hamid.
Following the Arab conquests in the seventh century, the Arab Bakr tribe settled in this region, which became known as the Diyar Bakr ("landholdings of the Bakr tribe", in Arabic: ? , Diyar Bakr). In November 1937, Turkish President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk visited the city and, after expressing uncertainty on the exact etymology of the city, in December of the same year ordered that it be renamed "Diyarbak?r", which means "land of copper" in Turkish after the abundant resources of copper around the city.
The area around Diyarbak?r has been inhabited by humans from the Stone Age with tools from that period having been discovered in the nearby Hilar cave complex. The pre-pottery neolithic B settlement of Çayönü dates to over 10,000 years ago and its excavated remains are on display at the Diyarbak?r Museum. Another important site is Girikihaciyan Tumulus in E?il.
The first major civilization to establish themselves in the region of what is now Diyarbak?r were the Hurrian kingdom of the Mitanni. The city was first mentioned by Assyrian texts as the capital of a Semitic kingdom. It was then ruled by a succession of nearly every polity that controlled Upper Mesopotamia, including the Arameans, Assyrians, Urartu, Armenians, Achaemenid Persians, Medes, Seleucids, and Parthians. The Roman Republic gained control of the city in 66 BC, by which stage it was named "Amida". In 359, Shapur II of Persia captured Amida after a siege of 73 days which is vividly described by the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus.
Syriac Christianity took hold in the region between the 1st and 4th centuries AD, particularly amongst the Assyrians of the city. The earliest documented bishop of Amida was Simeon of the Assyrian Church of the East, who took part in the First Council of Nicaea in 325, on behalf of the Assyrians. In the next century, Saint Acacius of Amida (who died in 425, and is included in the Roman Martyrology) was noted for having sold the church's gold and silver vessels to ransom and assist Persian prisoners of war.
Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II (408-450) divided the Roman province of Mesopotamia into two, and made Amida the capital of Mesopotamia Prima, and thereby also the metropolitan see for all the province's bishoprics. A sixth-century Notitia Episcopatuum indicates as suffragans of Amida the sees of Martyropolis, Ingila, Belabitene, Arsamosata, Sophene, Kitharis, Cefa, and Zeugma. The Annuario Pontificio adds Bethzabda and Dadima.
The names of several of the successors of Acacius are known, but their orthodoxy is unclear. The last whose orthodoxy is certain is Cyriacus, a participant in the Second Council of Constantinople (553). Many bishops of the Byzantine Empire fled in the face of the Persian invasion of the early 7th century, with a resultant spread of the Jacobite Church. Michael the Syrian gives a list of Jacobite bishops of Amida down to the 13th century.
At some stage, Amida became a see of the Armenian Church. The bishops who held the see in 1650 and 1681 were in full communion with the Holy See, and in 1727 Peter Derboghossian sent his profession of faith to Rome. He was succeeded by two more bishops of the Armenian Catholic Church, Eugenius and Ioannes of Smyrna, the latter of whom died in Constantinople in 1785. After a long vacancy, three more bishops followed. The diocese had some 5,000 Armenian Catholics in 1903, but it lost most of its population in the 1915 Armenian Genocide. The last diocesan bishop of the see, Andreas Elias Celebian, was killed with some 600 of his flock in the summer of 1915.
An eparchy for the local members of the Syriac Catholic Church was established in 1862. Ignatius Philip I Arkus, who was its first bishop, was elected patriarch in 1866, and kept the governance of the see of Amida, which he exercised through a patriarchal vicar. The eparchy was united to that of Mardin in 1888. Persecution of Christians in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War brought an end to the existence of both these Syrian residential sees.
In 1966, the Chaldean Catholic Archeparchy of Amida, with jurisdiction over all Chaldean Catholics in Turkey, was revived in Diyarbak?r, with the city being both episcopal see and location of the diocesan cathedral of St. Mary Church, Diyarbak?r.
As of 2015, there are two Chaldean churches and three Armenian churches in at least periodic operation. Three other churches are in ruins, all Armenian: one in Sur, Diyarbak?r, one in the citadel that is now part of a museum complex, and one in another part of the city.
No longer a residential bishopric until 1966 (Chaldean rite), Amida is today listed by the Catholic Church as a multiple titular see, separately for the Roman Rite and two Eastern Catholic particular churches sui iuris.
Amida of the Romans was suppressed in 1970, having had many archiepiscopal incumbents with a singular episcopal exception :
The diocese of Amida, in 1650, was suppressed in 1972 and immediately nominally restored as Armenian Catholic (Armenian Rite and language) titular bishopric of the lowest (episcopal) rank, Amida of the Armenians.
So far, it has had the following incumbents, of the fitting episcopal rank with an archiepiscopal exception:
Established in 1963 as Titular archbishopric of the highest (Metropolitan) rank, Amida of the Syriacs.
It has been vacant for decades, having had the following incumbent of Metropolitan rank;
In 639, the city was captured by the Muslim conquests, and introduced the religion of Islam. The city passed under Umayyad and then Abbasid control, but with the progressive fragmentation of the Abbasid Caliphate from the late 9th century, it periodically came under the rule of autonomous dynasties. Isa ibn al-Shaykh al-Shaybani and his descendants ruled the city and the wider Diyar Bakr from 871 until 899, when Caliph al-Mu'tadid restored Abbasid control, but the area soon passed to another local dynasty, the Hamdanids. The latter were displaced by the Buyids in 978, who were in turn followed by the Marwanids in 983. The Marwanids ruled until 1085, the Seljuks took the city from the Marwanids in 1085, the city came under the rule of the Mardin branch of the Oghuz Turks and then the Anatolian beylik of the Artuqids. The city came under the Ayyubid Sultanate in 1183 and ruled the city until it was taken over by the Mongols in 1260, the city was taken over by the competing Turkic federations of the Kara Koyunlu (the Black Sheep) first and then the Aq Qoyunlu until the rise of the Persian Safavids, who naturally took over the city and the wider region.
The Ottomans charged against the Safavids and during Ottoman rule, the government began to assert its authority in the region in the early 19th century. Concerned with independent-mindedness of the Kurdish principalities, the Ottomans sought to curb their influence and bring them under the control of the central government in Constantinople. However, removal from power of these hereditary principalities led to more instability in the region from the 1840s onwards. In their place, sufi sheiks and religious orders rose to prominence and spread their influence throughout the region. One of the prominent Sufi leaders was Shaikh Ubaidalla Nahri, who began a revolt in the region between Lakes Van and Urmia. The area under his control covered both Ottoman and Qajar territories. Shaikh Ubaidalla is regarded as one of the earliest leaders who pursued modern nationalist ideas among Kurds. In a letter to a British Vice-Consul, he declared: the Kurdish nation is a people apart... we want our affairs to be in our hands'.' The breakup of the Ottoman Empire after its defeat in the First World War led to its dismemberment and establishment of the present-day political boundaries, dividing the Kurdish-inhabited regions between several newly created states.
Between the early 16th century the city and the much wider Eastern Anatolia region (comprising Eastern Anatolia and Southeastern Anatolia) was being heavily competed between the rivaling Safavids from Persia and the Ottomans, who counted on the support of the Kurdish chieftains around Idris Bitlisi. It was firstly conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1514 by the campaigns of B?y?kl? Mehmet Pa?a under the rule of Sultan Selim I. Muhammad Han Ustaclu, the Safavid Governor of Diyarbakir, was evicted from the city and killed in the following Battle of Chaldiran in 1514. Following their victory, the Ottomans established the Diyarbekir Eyalet with its centre in Diyarbak?r. The Ottoman eyelet of Diyarbak?r corresponded to Turkey's southeastern provinces today, a rectangular area between the Lake Urmia to Palu and from the southern shores of Lake Van to Cizre and the beginnings of the Syrian desert, although its borders saw some changes over time. The city was an important military base for controlling this region and at the same time a thriving city noted for its craftsmen, producing glass and metalwork. For example, the doors of Jal?l ad-D?n Muhammad R?m?'s tomb in Konya were made in Diyarbak?r, as were the gold and silver decorated doors of the tomb of Imam-i Azam Ebu Hanife in Baghdad. Ottoman rule was confirmed by the Peace of Amasya of 1555 which followed after the Ottoman-Safavid War (1532-1555). However, a recapture of the city followed by Safavid Persia, ruled by shah Abbas I, during the Ottoman-Safavid War (1603-1618). Diyarbak?r was retaken by the Safavids once again in 1623-1624, during the Ottoman-Safavid War (1623-1639).
In 1895 an estimated 25,000 Armenians and Assyrians were massacred in Diyarbak?r vilayet, including the city. At the turn of the 19th century, the Christian population of the city was mainly made up of Armenians and Syriac Orthodox Christians. The city was also a site of ethnic cleansing of Armenians and Assyrians in 1915; nearly 150,000 were deported from the city.
In January 1928, Diyarbak?r became the center of the First Inspectorate-General, a regional subdivision for an area containing the provinces of Hakkari, Van, rnak, Mardin, Siirt, Bitlis and ?anl?urfa. A Inspectorate-General had wide ranging authorities over all civil, military and educational matters. The post of the Inspectorate-General was abandoned in 1948. But its legal framework was only abandoned in 1952 under the government of the Democrat Party. In a reorganization of the provinces, Diyarbak?r city was made the administrative capital of the Diyarbak?r Province. In 1993 Diyarbakir was established as a Metropolitan Municipality. Its districts are Ba?lar, Bismil, Ergani, Hazro, Kayapinar, Çermik, Çinar, E?il, Dicle, Kulp, Kocaköy, Lice, Silvan, Sur, Yeni?ehir and Hani.
During the 1980s and 1990s, at the peak of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) insurgency, the population of the city grew dramatically as villagers from remote areas where fighting was serious left or were forced to leave for the relative security of the city. After the cessation of hostilities between the PKK and the Turkish army, a large degree of normality returned to the city, with the Turkish government declaring an end to the 15-year period of emergency rule on 30 November 2002. Diyarbak?r grew from a population of 30,000 in the 1930s to 65,000 by 1956, to 140,000 by 1970, to 400,000 by 1990, and eventually swelled to about 1.5 million by 1997.
The 41-year-old American-Turkish Pirinçlik Air Force Base near Diyarbak?r, known as NATO's frontier post for monitoring the former Soviet Union and the Middle East, closed on 30 September 1997. This closure was the result of the general drawdown of US bases in Europe and the improvement in space surveillance technology. The base housed sensitive electronic intelligence-gathering systems that monitored the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Russia.
Diyarbak?r has been the victim of terror attacks in recent years. In 2008, a car bomb exploded in the city, killing five people, a blast for which nobody claimed responsibility. In 2015, a political rally of the People's Democratic Party was targeted, killing three people and injuring over 100. And in 2016, two separate attacks in February and March, each killing six people. In November 2016 ISIL perpetrated an attack that killed 9 people and wounded more than 100. In January 2017 another attack was perpetrated against the police, in which 4 police officers died.
A 2018 report by Arkeologlar Derne?i ?stanbul found that, since 2015, 72% of the city's historic Sur district had been destroyed through demolition and redevelopment, and that laws designed to protect historic monuments had been ignored. They found that the city's "urban regeneration" policy was one of demolition and redevelopment rather than one of repairing cultural assets damaged during the recent civil conflict, and because of that many registered historic buildings had been completely destroyed. The extent of the loss of non-registered historic structures is unknown because any historic building fragments revealed during the demolition of modern structures were also demolished.
In the 2014 local elections, Gültan Kanak and F?rat Anl? of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) were elected co-mayors of Diyarbak?r. However, on 25 October 2016, both were detained by Turkish authorities "on thinly supported charges of being a member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)". The Turkish government ordered a general internet blackout after the arrest. Nevertheless, on 26 October, several thousand demonstrators at Diyarbakir city hall demanded the mayors' release. Some days later, the Turkish government appointed an unelected state trustee as the mayor. In November, public prosecutors demanded a 230-year prison sentence for Kanak.
In January 2017, the Turkish government appointed unelected state trustee ordered the removal of the Assyrian sculpture of a mythological winged bull from the townhall, which had been erected by the BDP mayors to commemorate the Assyrian history of the town and its still resident Assyrian minority.
Historically, Diyarbak?r produced wheat and sesame. They would preserve the wheat in warehouses, with coverings of straw and twigs from licorice trees. This system would allow the wheat to be preserved for up to ten years. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Diyarbak?r exported raisins, almonds, and apricots to Europe.Angora goats were raised, and wool and mohair was exported from Diyarbak?r. Merchants would also come from Egypt, Istanbul, and Syria, to purchase goats and sheep.Honey was also produced, but not so much exported, but used by locals. Sericulture was observed in the area, too.
Prior to World War I, Diyarbak?r had an active copper industry, with six mines. Three were active, with two being owned by locals and the third being owned by the Turkish government. Tenorite was the primary type of copper mined. It was mined by hand by Kurds. A large portion of the ore was exported to England. The region also produced iron, gypsum, coal, chalk, lime, jet, and quartz, but primarily for local use.
At the turn of the 19th century, the Christian population of the city was mainly made up of Armenians and Assyrians. The Assyrian and Armenian presence dates to antiquity. There was also a small Jewish community in the city.
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According to a November 2006 survey by the Sûr Municipality, 72% of the inhabitants of the municipality use Kurdish most often in their daily speech due to the overwhelming Kurdish majority in the city  with small minorities of Assyrians, Armenians, Turks and Yazidis still resident. After World War II, as the Kurdish population moved to urban centres, Diyarbakir's Kurdish population continued to grow. There are also several Alevi Turkmen villages around Diyarbak?r old city, however there are no specific official data about the population numbers.
Some jewelry making and other craftwork continues today although the fame of the Diyarbak?r's craftsmen has long passed. Folk dancing to the drum and zurna (pipe) are a part of weddings and celebrations in the area.
Diyarbak?r is known for rich dishes of lamb which use spices such as black pepper, sumac and coriander; rice, bulgur and butter. The most famous specialty dish from Diyarbak?r is Meftune which is made up of lamb meat and vegetable laced with garlic and sumac. Another known dish is Kaburga Dolmas? which is a baked lamb's ribs stuffed with rice, almonds and many spices. Diyarbak?r is also known for its watermelons; one of the events in the city is the annually held Watermelon Festival.
The core of Diyarbak?r is surrounded by an almost intact, dramatic set of high walls of black basalt forming a 5.5 km (3.4 mi) circle around the old city. There are four gates into the old city and 82 watch-towers on the walls, which were built in antiquity, restored and extended by the Roman emperor Constantius II in 349. The area inside the walls is known as the Sur district; before its recent demolition and redevelopment this district had 599 registered historical buildings.
Diyarbak?r has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa). Summers are very hot and very dry, due to its location on the Mesopotamian plain which is subject to hot winds from the deserts of Syria and Iraq to the south. The highest recorded temperature was 46.2 °C (112.64 °F) on 21 July 1937. Winters are cold with moderate precipitation and frosty nights. Snowfall is quite common between the months of December and March, snowing for a week or two. The lowest recorded temperature was -24.2 °C (-10.12 °F) on 11 January 1933. Highest recorded snow depth was 65 cm (25.6 inches) on 16 January 1971.
|Climate data for Diyarbak?r (1960-2012)|
|Record high °C (°F)||16.9
|Average high °C (°F)||6.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||1.8
|Average low °C (°F)||-2.3
|Record low °C (°F)||-24.2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||68.0
|Average rainy days||12.2||11.8||11.8||12.0||8.9||2.9||0.5||0.3||1.2||6.1||8.0||11.5||87.2|
|Average relative humidity (%)||75||72||67||65||59||43||31||31||35||51||69||75||56|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||120.9||134.4||173.6||207.0||300.7||366.0||387.5||362.7||297.0||229.4||162.0||117.8||2,859|
|Source 1: Devlet Meteoroloji leri Genel Müdürlü?ü |
|Source 2: Weatherbase|
The city that later generations of Armenians would call Dikranagerd was actually ancient Amid or Amida (now Diyarbekir or Diyarbak?r), a great walled city with seventy-two towers...
It was thus only in recent times that Diyarbak?r, the unofficial capital of Turkey's Kurdish area, became a predominantly Kurdish town.
Aetius: A Greek from Amida (in Mesopotamia), who wrote on philosophy in the mid- sixth century AD in Alexandria.
Aetius of Amida, who lived in the sixth century A.D. and was the first Greek physician who was a Christian, had a chapter on aneurysms in his book on surgery.