Located in south-east Turkey, being one of the largest in the region it also shares its name with the province, with the Tigris river running through the city. A popular location and the unofficial capital of the Turkish Kurdistan.
The Diyarbakir region has been home to settlements of people since the Stone age with tools having been discovered in nearby caves. In Diyarbakir, the museum offers a look into collections of settlements dating back about 10,000 years.
One of the earliest large civilisations was Mitanni specifically the Hurrian Kingdom, however, there are mentions by the Assyrian in their tests as the capital of the Semitic Kingdom. Following this, the region was controlled by almost every type of people that controls upper Mesopotamia. Between the 1st and 4th centuries AD the Syriac Christianity. Following wars and losses, the Byzantine Emperor split the region in two, with Diyarbakir becoming known as Amida and the capital of Mesopotamia Prima as well as a place for bishops to meet.
The religious centre continued throughout both the Assyrian and Byzantine Empires. The city eventually became a See, commonly known as the office of the Bishop, for the Armenia Christians 1650 to 1785 in which a long vacancy followed with 3 more Bishops until 1915 when the current and 600 followers were killed. Today there are two Chaldean Churches and three Armenian Churches as well as many Mosques.
History of the City
During the Middle Ages, the city was captured in Muslim conquests which introduced the Islamic religion. The city then fell under two caliphates, a state under an Islamic steward, first the Umayyad followed by the Abbasid, however, fragmentation with the Abbasid caliphate allowed local independent dynasties to rule.
During Ottoman rule, a government asserted its authority over the whole region during the early days of the 19th century. Due to its Kurdish principalities and distance from Constantinople, religious orders rose within the region spreading their own influence, creating instabilities in the region for both Ottoman and Qajar rule.
Between the 16th and mid-17th century saw the Eastern Anatolia region under pressure and constant competition from both the Ottoman Turks and the Safavids with control passing back and forth. Today the city and region are part of the Republic of Turkey, however, during the reorganisation of provinces, Diyarbakir was made a province capital.