World Bulletin / News Desk
The Citadel and the Walls of Diyarbakir, guarding the city for thousands of years, as if it was guarding a holy relic by surrounding the city magnificently, and 8,000 years old Hevsel Gardens are nominated as a candidate for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) World Heritage List.
With its length of 6 kilometers, Walls of Diyarbakir, is the second largest city walls in the world after the Great Wall of China. It is situated 100 m. above the valley of River Tigris. Diyarbakir still carries a medieval atmosphere with its walls encircling the city with its almost intact and impressive, 10-12 meters high and 3-5 meters thick, high walls.
Perfect examples of the military architecture of the Middle Ages
Although there were Roman and probably earlier walls here, the present walls, date back to early Byzantine times. It welcomes the visitors with relievos and figures on it by telling about the civilizations that lived neighbor on the walls throughout history. There are four main gates along the wall into the old city called as Dag Kapi, Urfa Kapi, Mardin Kapi and Yeni Kapi, each of which deserves a visit along with their inscriptions and reliefs. It also includes 82 watch-towers, which were built in antiquity, approximate 3,000 years ago, restored and extended by the Roman emperor Constantius II in 349.
Chief of the Diyarbakir Citadel and the Walls Department Nevin Soyukaya told AA that the Citadel and the Walls of Diyarbakir which is currently on the UNESCO's Tentative List of World Heritage Sites, and Diyarbakir's nutritional source since the city was established thousands of years ago Hevsel Gardens, with its seven hundred-hectare fields, will be worldwide known after they are added to the UNESCO's permanent list.
"The most magnificent city in the region, Diyarbakir is going to UNESCO with its sumptuous citadel and it should be registered as a world brand" said Soyukaya. "We have been carrying out the project for 2 years with the ministry of culture and governorship, and it is on final stage now. The file, named 'Diyarbakir Citadel and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscaping', will be presented to the UNESCO on the 15th of January. I hope we will get favorable outcomes".
It will make a great contribution in tourism of the region
Stating that the candidacy to UNESCO is a big prestige in promotion of Diyarbakir and Turkey, Soyukaya said, "It will make a great contribution in tourism of the region. These values are world heritages and they belong to all people in the world".
"We present the walls and Hevsel Gardens to UNESCO together because they are an inseparable whole. They exist since Diyarbakir was established thousands years ago", she added.
Number of visitors of the walls raises with "solution process"
Number of the foreign and domestic tourists increased noticeably after the “solution process” to Kurdish issue in the region, noted Soyukaya, saying, "Life returns to normal in the places, where clashes ended, so people can spend their energy for other issues, such as tourism."
As of 2013, the number of sites in Turkey which made it onto UNESCO's Tentative List of World Heritage Sites, has reached 41, while 11 Turkish sites are already included in its permanent World Heritage List.