The South East of Turkey is that of many cultures, mostly bordering Syria and the Mediterranean, this boiling hot piece of Turkey will show you a side of the nation you cannot see anywhere else. Referred to often as the cradle of civilization, this region is home to two for the most significant rivers in history the Tigris and the Euphrates. The region is one of Turkeys best money makers, producing cotton, tobacco, Pistachio nuts and is home to the famous Maraş ice-cream, so dense you need to eat it with a knife and fork.
Places to visit in the South East
Adıyaman: One of the fastest growing cities in Turkey, Adıyaman is one of the world’s oldest provinces. Home to the small yet famous Commagene Kingdom founded in 69BC which ruled until the Roman invasion in 72AD, Adıyaman is the base from where you can reach the summit of Mt Nemrut. Mt Nemrut built by King Antiochus I for himself is an impressive man made mountain with huge statues at the top. The tomb for the King is visited mostly for the spectacular sunrise amongst giant head statues representing the ancestors from both his Greek and Persian lines. Other points of interest in Adıyaman are the Caves of Pirin and the Atatürk Dam.
Diyarbakır: Situated on the banks of the Tigris River, this large city surrounded by black city walls is one of Turkey’s most culturally colourful even further back to the Stone Age. Places of interest include; the black basalt City Walls, Great Mosque of Diyarbakır, Syriac Orthodox Church of Our Lady, the Four Footed Minaret and the Archaeological Museum.
Gaziantep: Another city which dates back well before Christ, this city is famous for Pistachio nuts and Baklava. Don’t miss the Archaeological Museum which houses outstanding mosaics from the Roman period.
Mardin: Becoming more and more popular each year after being re-opened to tourists after the PKK occupation of the city. The city sits at the edge of a plateau overlooking the Mesopotamian Plain well into neighbouring Syria. Most people travel to the ancient city to visit Deyrul Zafaran (the Saffran Monastery), formally the seat of the patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church. Mardin also has many Assyrian buildings along with the famous Sultan Isa Medresesi.
Şanlıurfa: Or Urfa as it is commonly known is possibly Turkey’s most historical city. Thought to be the birthplace of the Patriarch Abraham, the city is set around the religious and ancient landmarks such as Balıkgöl (Fish Lake), Abrahams Cave, the Covered Bazaar and the Throne of Nimrod Fortress. From Urfa you can easily visit Harran best known for its mud beehive houses.