Southeastern Anatolia

Southeastern Anatolia Images - Travel Information - Turkey Photo Guide

Southeastern Anatolia is a unique part of Turkey with a predominantly Kurdish population, which is very welcoming to the Western traveller. Apart from the Kurds, some areas, such as the region around Urfa, are inhabited by Arabs. The region is known for its religious diversity, with of course the obligatory Sunni Muslims, Kurdish Alevites, and a large variety of Christian cults.

As a part of Upper Mesopotamia, Southeastern Anatolia has a long and rich history that goes back to biblical times of which there are several remains and testimonies in the historical cities. To name a few, there are mysterious Şanlıurfa birth-place of Abraham, basalt-walled Diyarbakır on the bank of the Tigris river, and golden Mardin, where one has the opportunity to meet the last Syrian and Armenian Christians and visit their churches and monasteries. In Harran, the prophet Abraham spent some years and people still live here in beehive houses. You should taste the Antep Mezesi at Gaziantep where the museum displays the Roman mosaics excavated in Zeuma. To close the tour, there is the unbelievable Nemrut Dağı (Mount Nemrut) in the Adıyaman province, where the tomb-sanctuary of Antiochos of Commagene adorns the top of the 2,500 m high summit overlooking the river Euphrates. 

There's also some bad news. Like in Eastern Anatolia, from 2015 onwards, the region cannot be considered to be safe for travel anymore. The security situation is unpredictable and there is a significant threat of terrorism and kidnapping. We can only hope that it will turn for the better in the near future.

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