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Introducing Diyarbakır

Full of heart, soul and character, Diyar is finally tapping into its fantastic potential as a destination for travellers. While it's proud of remaining the symbol of Kurdish identity and tenacity, thanks to increasing promotion and restoration programs Turkish and foreign tourists are streaming back. Behind the grim basalt walls, the old city's twisting alleyways are crammed full of historical buildings and Arab-style mosques.

In past decades, Diyarbakır has witnessed pro-Kurdish demonstrations and riots, but with the recent and current rapprochement between the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) and the Turkish government, pride in being Kurdish is now more openly expressed.

Banned until a few years ago, the Nevruz festival takes place on 21 March and is a great occasion to immerse yourself in Kurdish culture. Another big Kurdish celebration takes place on May 1 for May Day, and apart from a few street kids on the walls, Diyarbakır is as safe as any other city in the region.