Let’s get right to the point – Diyarbakır is best known as the town that, since the 1980s, has been the centre of the Kurdish resistance movement. This speaks volumes. Nowhere else in eastern Turkey will you hear people priding themselves so much on being Kurdish. Diyarbakır remains the stronghold of Kurdish identity and tenacity. Fortunately, the situation has improved considerably; walking down the streets of this animated city on a sunny day, you wouldn’t think it was the centre stage of pitched battles between the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Turkish army. Sure, it’s not entirely stabilised, but this doesn’t mean you should give Diyarbakır a miss.
With its narrow alleyways, its countless historical buildings, its Arab-style mosques and its uniquely unforgettable ambience, the old walled city will make you feel like you’re floating through another time and space. Some travellers think it’s a bit rough around the edges; others regard it as a veiled, self-contained city that doesn’t easily bare its soul. Whatever your perspective, Diyarbakır is undisputably filled with character, soul and energy. Be sure to squeeze it into your Anatolian trip.