- Place or Religious Monument
- Place or Historical Monument
I travelled to Diyarbakir for Newroz, the most important Kurdish festival, which is celebrated on 21 March. As you will have realised, it is spring! But it is also the Persian New Year. And, though the event attracts more than a million people, it is because it is also—and most importantly—a symbol of Kurdish identity and resistance. In Turkey, it is sometimes a sensitive subject... But for travellers, it is the ideal opportunity to become immersed in the Kurdish culture!
I made the most of the opportunity to stay two more days in the city, which has a lot to offer: its architecture made of black stones, its market, its tea salons, its cabarets, its history, its welcoming inhabitants, etc.
I recommend that you go for a walk along the high walls of the city. After the Great Wall of China, it is—it seems—the widest and longest wall in the world (in good condition). If you have a sharp eye, you can observe the different symbols engraved there by the civilisations that came one after the other in Diyarbakir. From the top of some bastions, you can admire the Tigris Valley and—if the weather is clear—see the snow-covered peaks of the mountains.
The relationship between the Kurdish people and the Turkish government is strained, so steer clear of all the political demonstrations, which are sometimes put down with considerable force.