Diyarbakir in south east Turkey is a city with a bad reputation for violence and ethnic conflict. A few years ago it was a “no go area” for tourists as muggings, kidnapping and murders were frequent. Today things are a lot different and the city is well on the way to being a tourist destination. The Turkish Government is pouring money into regeneration of the city and restoration of ancient historical sites.
We have found the people of Diyarbakir to be just as friendly and generous as in other parts of the south eastern region. Every day during our travels we meet people who offer us food and drinks and invite us into their space and even their homes. Today just after leaving the Great Mosque we saw a door to a small backyard lying open. I looked in and was immediately greeted with smiles and invitations from a group of pigeon fanciers. We spent a very pleasent half hour, as the men proudly showed off their birds and everyone sat down for tea.
In Diyarbakir, raising pigeons has at least 500 years of history.