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Excursions to the Far East and Black Sea Coast Travel Guide

Diyarbakır

As the region's commercial, cultural, and political center, Diyarbakır and its ancient basalt walls command a bluff overlooking the Tigris River. Despite past skirmishes that led to an unsafe reputation, relative peace and economic development are finally having an effect and the city is starting to creep back onto tourist itineraries.

In the 1980s and ’90s, Diyarbakır was

forced to absorb a large number of villagers fleeing the fighting in the countryside between Kurdish militants and Turkish security forces. Many villages were compulsorily evacuated, and this huge influx of mostly poor villagers taxed the already poor city's infrastructure and social services and has left lasting social problems. In more recent years, though, the local municipality has embarked on several restoration and beautification projects, such as renovating historic homes in the old city and opening them up to visitors, which is helping bring the city's charm closer to the surface.

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