On the banks of the life-giving Tigris river, man discovered the magic of the earth in the northern Mesopotamia 12,000 years ago. They abandoned their weapons to hunt and adopted the seed to plant. They dressed the stone and built the civilization. Kingdoms were born, wars have been made. However, a city taking its vitality from the Tigris resisted against all the destructions and survived until today. Once which had become a residence to majestic civilizations from Assyrian to Persian, from Roman to Ottoman, the city of Diyarbakır turned out to be a universal heritage of all humankind beyond the borders.
Shortly after the exploration of an archaeological site in the 1960s, the name of Diyarbakır has started appearing in almost all of the books of history of humanity. Located 60 km northwest of the city centre, Çayönü was found as one of the oldest examples of an agricultural village settlement which dates back to 7,500 BC. Apart from witnessing momentous steps of humankind, Diyarbakır has remained as a testimony of antique cultures. As an important centre of commerce and a regional capital, the city embraced the values and beliefs of numerous civilizations and protected them inside its monumental fortress with great determination.
In result of this determination of preserving its historical, cultural and religious diversity, Diyarbakır has been able to attract the attention of the global world. Ultimately, the impressive 5.8 km long city walls which guarded the richness of this ancient city for more than 2,000 years was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2015. Following this development, international as well as the nation-wide awareness of Diyarbakır’s touristic value has been increasing rapidly. Moreover, the authorities of the city have made significant efforts and accomplished to raise the city’s tourism to a higher level. And today, another remarkable event is at the door. The World Federation of Tourism Journalists and Writers (FIJET) awarded Diyarbakır with its prestigious Golden Apple on 27 October 2018. FIJET given this reward not only for the city’s recent advancements in the tourism industry, but also to honour Diyarbakır’s profound historic and cultural heritage.
As a consequent of being supported by the well-respected international organizations such as FIJET and UNESCO, Diyarbakır will more confidently continue handing down its universal heritages for the next generations of the humanity. The ancient spirit of the city is now freer than ever, travelling to the greater distances to invite people to discover the antiquity.