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Diyarbakir

sunny

It wasnt so far to Diyarbakir so we arrived off the night bus at 5 to be welcomed by yet more lentil soup and more remarkably, sunshine. Yoshi was travelling fast so it was as quick as we could dump our bags and head off round the city walls, 6 miles long and in excellent condition. Though perhaps a local tourist authority jibe they are reputed to come second only to the Great Wall of China. Inside lay the ramshackle but very colourful old city where we soon met some of the locals and were invited into their homes for tea. Despite the language difficulties we learned that Sultan, a girl of 18 had been to the States for an operation, she showed us pictures of herself with the Disney characters, most unexpected since these people were of very humble means. She lived here with her 10 little brothers and sisters and her mum, she had no dad for reasons we couldnt establish. Yoshi was relying on me translating Turkish to English which was certainly a challenge! Neighbouring Talat, a nice boy in his 20s took a shine to me and wanted a piece of the action, we ended up going next door and sharing more tea with his parents, they had a family of 15! They were all Kurds. Later we stumbled upon local women baking bread, they had communal ovens here much as the Ozzies have public barbies, large spherical urns surrounded by cement to which the dough was stuck on the inside and heated from underneath. They gave us some to try, as fresh as it comes.

Yoshi was a man on a mission and he wanted to split up so I left him to his devices. I went on to explore the outside of the city walls where I found a very nice built in motif of lions, an eagle and an inscription around one of the towers. The number of towers was too many to count and the walls were so thick that many dark chambers lurked inside, some of the more accessable ones were big enough to house palaces or houses of worship and were connected by a network of tunnels. Later in the city I found the Virgin Mary church hidden behind a wall but didnt bother the caretaker, and later found the Four Legged Minaret, it stood somewhat precariously on four narrow close set pillars like stilts and I had never seen another like it. I came across a couple of the mosques too, here they were an unusual black and white stripe pattern using 2 different types of stone and I finished off the day with a completion of the tour of the walls.

Posted by andyhay 00:00 Archived in Turkey

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