Day 14  September 13, 2010                                Day 15   Table of content for Eastern Turkey Turkey tour Journal
Monday Mardin Diyarbakir
Submitted by Diane Mitchel

Traveljournal – Diane Mitchell Mardin Day 14 Monday September 13

Leisurely Turkish breakfast till 10 am and then everyone off to explore Mardin in his/her own way till 12:30 pm Already very hot and sunny, but alleys shady. Susan and Barbara strolled through the bazaar and adjoining streets, looking at and pricing jewelry. Jennifer and Victoria wandered through streets, amassing evil eyes; making friends and posting their pictures at the international juice bar; buying stamps; and riding a local donkey.

Barbara and Owen ambled around with a pharmacy as the ultimate destination. Nori, Doris, Rick, Ken and Diane lost themselves in the chaos of the bazaar, looking for soap and a pharmacy with a multitude of items such as witch hazel. Meli went off in search of a delightful old world style copper box for her new remodeled bathroom.

Nori and Doris had a rewarding experience at a pharmacy thanks to a helpful young attractive English speaking policeman. Meanwhile Ken and Diane negotiated the Monday morning crush at the post office, lining up at the counter which was more than three deep of mostly Arabic style scarf wrapped gentlemen. Behind there was a multitude of traditionally dressed older women in nondescript dresses and scarves sought the comfort of air conditioned chairs. Reserved smiles and greetings were exchanged until the gorgeous stamps (large with a boat design) were bought. Continuing on, we relaxed at a coffee shop with a wonderful veranda overlooking a lovely panoramic view of Mesopotamia, a fabulous cool breeze, and traditional pillows on benches. Refreshed and revitalized we uncovered additional interesting bazaar sights including donkey saddle making and a donkey parking lot.

The first stop for soap was unsuccessful because we could not communicate a desire for pistachio soap. Brilliantly we found someone selling pistachios, obtained a few, and then we could show the soap dealers, our yielded clear expectations. One shop keeper explained that the light green soap was made from the husk of the pistachio and the bright yellow colored soap was from the seed. A light lunch back at the restful Tatli Dede Butik Otel included heartwarming chicken and rice soup, fresh baked homemade bread, salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and mint; lovely white melon and cool sweet watermelon. Then on the bus for Diyarbakir, it was a tight squeeze and a polite adventure for our driver, Genghis to get out of the public parking lot with vehicles sandwiched every which way.


Not much to see before Diyarbakir except for scrubland, some trees, and extensive agricultural tracts farmed in a feudal manner. Just outside the city we stopped to see bricks being made by hand and foot in the traditional way. One fellow showed us how he stomped the mud pile to the right consistency. Bricks were formed, dried in the sun, stacked with coal, smeared with mud, and then fired the entire stacked brick structure. These bricks are mostly used for chimneys.

Across the street a restored 12th (?) century bridge spanning the Tigris framed the black city walls of Diyarbakir in the distance. A quick WC stop at a rehabilitated former caravanserai, then a walk through crowded streets with small shops and views of an extensive bazaar. We gaped at the exterior of the Great Mosque (being renovated) with its mixture of Byzantine and Ottoman motifs, mostly square minaret,
and intricately carved columns and walls. Further walking took us to the Turistik Hotel. And ah… yes; it was still hot; in the 90s easily.

Our group welcomed the respite. Ken and Diane decided to venture forth to see the city walls before dinner.
Wall entrances seemed dark and hazardous, so they settled for a stroll through the park siding the thick, restored walls and gates. Many people were about as young men lounged in groups, fathers entertained children, mothers herded
families. There were groups of kids about the business of play; many women
in scarves or all black.



The evening meal by the pool was pleasantly cooling with tomato soup, salad, chicken kebob, and delicious bread. Later we were “lulled” to sleep by Turkish (pop?) music radiating from the vibrant crowded restaurant below.  

City Walls of Diyarbakir

Market place on the main street of Diyarbakir

The "Big Mosque" - Ulu Camii built on the foundations of the Byzantine Palace

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