In Turkey even if I was there more than two months here and there, I left pending few things to see but this one bothers me especially. As I explained in this other post, I had to leave early from the Turkish Kurdistan region due to the PKK and ISIS terrorist attacks, causing me to lose the most exotic and different area of Turkey: the South East.
Being so, of Turkey’s Kurdish area I saw Dogubayazit, Van and its surroundings, but left pending the following places:
This city, that all it is a World Heritage site by UNESCO, is known for its strategic location on a rocky hill near the Tigris River and for having been a meeting point of various religions. For this reason, it is full of churches, mosques, madrasas, ruins, a monastery, a former arabic architecture old town, with very narrow cobbled streets, and what probably is the most known of Mardin: the wonderful view of the old town at the base of the mountain.
Hasankeyf is a small village located along the Tigris River, which is close to Mardin but in the province of Batman already. This place is known in the region due to the archaeological evidence of many races and religions that passed through there. Although there are plenty of things to see, the highlights are two: the old bridge over the river built in the mid-twelfth century, that even if today there is not more than a pair of pillars is considered the largest in medieval times. The second highlight would be the citadel, which is 100 meters above the river, and seems to provide great views to both the old bridge and the city of Hasankeyf.
Amed, which is the Kurdish name of the city and how is usually called, with almost two million inhabitants is the largest and most populated area of the Kurdish region in Turkey. Diyarbakir’s old town is surrounded by an impressive construction of a 5.5km long wall, founded in 297BC to protect the city from the constant attacks. As in other cities, you can find as many churches as mosques, with the difference that here there is also an old Armenian church.
This city, also known as Urfa, is very important for Christians, Jews and Muslims because supposedly here the prophet Abraham was born. In the same city you can enjoy a beautiful old town as well as a huge bazaar that even today is still used. About 15km away from the city you will find Gobekli Tepe, supposedly the world’s oldest sanctuary, as was constructed about 12.000 years ago.
This last city, also known as Antep, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Like all the other cities, it is known for its archaeological wealth, not only for the citadel and the old covered bazaar, but by the Zeugma museum and its big and beautiful mosaics exposed.
And by the way, since you are passing by there you should definitely try their pistachios!