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Diyarbakir

(3.8/5 based on 550+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, religious sites, sightseeing
Diyarbakır is one of the largest cities in southeastern Turkey. Situated on the banks of the Tigris River, it is the administrative capital of the Diyarbakır Province. With a population of about 930,000 it is the second largest city in Turkey's south-eastern Anatolia region, after Gaziantep.Diyarbakir is also a major cultural and economic center in Turkey and as such has been a focal point for conflict between Turkey's government and its Kurdish population.EtymologyThe name Diyarbakir is inscribed as Amid 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. Among the Artukid and Akkoyunlu it was known as "Black Amid" for the dark color of its walls, while in the Zafername, or eulogies in praise of military victories, it is called "Black Fortress" . 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 occupied this region, which became known as the Diyar Bakr . In 1937, Atatürk visited Diyarbekir and, after expressing uncertainty on the exact etymology of the city, ordered that it be renamed "Diyarbakır", which means "land of copper" in Turkish after the abundant resources of copper around the city.
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