Mehmet Aktarli’s Diyarbakir

We asked businessman and collector of Ottoman-period artifacts Mehmet Aktarlı about his native Diyarbakır, where he was born and grew up.

What sort of a city is Diyarbakır?
 Diyarbakır is a city of culture and love, where you can find traditional values as well as the comforts of the modern world. The city abounds in treasures to be explored, treasures that preserve vestiges of the great civilizations. Just tour and examine closely its majestic walls and battlements, and you’ll immediately appreciate the city’s splendor. Diyarbakır is at the same time the city of the Companions of the Prophet Mohammad.

 What should one be sure to see in Diyarbakır?
 The area inside the city walls, the Great Mosque, the Mosque of the Prophets, the historic churches, Gazi Mansion, the Ten Arch Bridge, Hevsel Gardens and Diyarbakır Museum are must-see’s. The historic narrow streets of the old walled city convey the spirit of the place and are eminently photographable to boot. Apart from that, the small towns in the surrounding area also offer visitors a whole wide world. Silvan is an open air museum unto itself, and one should not return without seeing it.

 What should one buy and eat?
 Kilims, carpets and copper handicrafts are good buys. The local breakfasts at Hasan Paşa Han are excellent. And don’t forget that liver kebab and kadaif naturally spring to mind at any mention of Diyarbakır!