Sur, Diyarbakır

Sur is one of the central districts of Diyarbakır Province in Turkey. It is a historic place situated inside the Diyarbakır Fortress. The district takes its name from the castle walls (Turkish: sur).[3]

Walls of Diyarbakır.
Walls of Diyarbakır.
Location of Sur in Diyarbakır.
Location of Sur in Diyarbakır.
Sur is located in Turkey
Location of Sur in Turkey.
Coordinates: 37°54′38″N 40°14′09″E / 37.91056°N 40.23583°E / 37.91056; 40.23583Coordinates: 37°54′38″N 40°14′09″E / 37.91056°N 40.23583°E / 37.91056; 40.23583
Country Turkey
RegionSoutheastern Anatolia
 • MayorFeyme Filiz Buluttekin (HDP)
 • Urban
 • District
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Area code(s)412
Licence plate21


Sur district was founded in Diyarbakır Province in 2008 as the central historic settlement. It is situated at the Tigris bank, on the felsic lava of the shield volcano Karaca Dağ at an elevation of 600 m (2,000 ft) above mean sea level. Many historic buildings and structures in the district are witness of several civilizations and rich cultures, which were hosted in the location in the history.[3]

The background of Sur goes back to 7500 BC. Archaeological excavations showed that world's oldest settlement was located in the region. Civilizations ruled here are Hurrians (Bronze Age), Mitanni (c. 1500 BC–c. 1300 BC), Hittites (c. 1600 BC–c. 1178 BC), Assur (early Bronze Age), Persians (early 10th century BC), Alexander the Great (356 BC – 323 BC), Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Kurdish Marwanids, Kurdish Ayyubid Empire and Ottoman Empire.[3]


The current Mayor is Feyme Filiz Buluttekin.[4] As Kaymakan was appointed Abdullah Çiftçi.[5]

Visitor attractionsEdit

Sur is a historic and cultural center. It features historic Diyarbakır houses, Diyarbakır Archaeological Museum, Cahit Sıtkı Tarancı Museum, East Syriac Rite St. Mary's Cathedral, Syriac Orthodox St. Mary Church, St. Giragos Armenian Church, Dicle Bridge, Deliler Inn, Hasan Pasha Inn, Hazreti Süleyman Mosque containing graves of 27 companions of Muhammad, Nebi Mosque, Sheikh Matar Mosque and its Four-legged Minaret, Great Mosque of Diyarbakır and Diyarbakır Fortress as well as caravanserais, madrasas, shadirvans and inscriptions of various historic periods.[3]

2015 conflict and rebuilding of the districtEdit

In 2015, militants linked to the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) entered Sur district, erected barricades and dug ditches in the streets.[6][7] The local authority banned public gatherings and imposed a 24h curfew in Sur on the 11 December 2015, and the Turkish Army deployed about 200 troops of the Special Forces Command to conduct house-to-house searches.[8][9] The conflict resulted in most residents abandoning their homes.[10] Abandoned houses in various neighborhoods of Sur district were occupied by militants, and clashes between the PKK and Turkish Army and Special Forces continued until early 2016.[11][12]

Amnesty International has estimated that 300,000 people were displaced by the conflict, and branded the government's response 'collective punishment'.[13] International Crisis Group has estimated that around 1,700 people have been killed in the resulting conflict and estimates the number of displaced people at 350,000.[14] Human Rights Watch criticized the Turkish government for 'blocking access for independent investigations into alleged mass abuses against civilians across southeast Turkey'.[15]

Many houses were destroyed and registered historic buildings were seriously damaged. In March 2016, the government launched a project for the restoration of all the damaged historic structures and the rebuilding of destroyed houses in accordance of their original style.[10] However, the project was criticized by the Turkish Union of Architects and Engineers Chambers, who claimed that the project would take “a defense-centered approach”, which would require the destruction of some historic structures.[16]


  1. ^ "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  2. ^ "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
  3. ^ a b c d "İlçenin Kuruluşu ve Kısa Tarihçesi" (in Turkish). Sur Kaymakamlığı. Retrieved 2017-05-18.
  4. ^ "Diyarbakır Sur Seçim Sonuçları - 31 Mart Diyarbakır Sur Yerel Seçim Sonuçları". (in Turkish). Retrieved 2019-11-08.
  5. ^ "Diyarbakır Sur Kaymakamlığı". Retrieved 2019-11-08.
  6. ^ "Sur'da hendek ve barikatların yüzde 95'i temizlendi". Sabah (in Turkish). 2016-02-15. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  7. ^ "Army: 279 PKK militants killed in Sur operation - LOCAL". Hürriyet Daily News | LEADING NEWS SOURCE FOR TURKEY AND THE REGION. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  8. ^ Ergan, Uğur (2016-01-18). "Diyarbakır Sur'a özel ordu birlikleri girdi". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2017-05-25.
  9. ^ (, Deutsche Welle. "Death and destruction in Diyarbakir | Europe | DW | 28.01.2016". DW.COM. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  10. ^ a b "Sur nasıl yeniden inşa edilecek?". BBC (in Turkish). 2016-03-26. Retrieved 2017-05-25.
  11. ^ "Hürriyet Sur'a girdi teröristler mermi yağdırdı". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 2015-12-29. Retrieved 2017-05-25.
  12. ^ "Diyarbakır Sur'daki çatışmaların sıcak görüntüleri". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 2016-02-02. Retrieved 2017-05-25.
  13. ^ "Turkish Kurds are heading back to the war-ravaged city of Diyarbakir as a curfew is lifted". The Independent. 2016-03-19. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  14. ^ "Turkey's PKK Conflict: The Death Toll | Crisis Group". Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  15. ^ "Turkey: State Blocks Probes of Southeast Killings". Human Rights Watch. 2016-07-11. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  16. ^ "Reconstruction work brings more gloom to southeast Turkey". Al-Monitor. 2017-01-24. Retrieved 2017-05-30.