The history of Diyarbakir goes a long way back. Starting from the earliest period, the city had been successively ruled by the Hurri-Mithani, Hitites and the Assyrians and once, was also the capital city of the Aramean Bit-Zamani kingdom. From 189 BCE to 384CE, the region to the east and south of present Diyarbakir remained under the rule of a Kurdish kingdom called Corduene.
Later, the Romans colonized the city and named it Amida. During the Roman rule, the first city walls were constructed (297 AD) and later, the greater walls were built as per the command of the Roman emperor Caonstantanius-2. After the Romans, the Persians came to power and were succeeded by the Muslim Arabs. It was the leader of the Arab Bekr tribe, Bekr Bin Vail, who named the city Diyar Bakr, meaning “the country of Bakr”, i.e. Arabs. Much later, in the Republican era the city got its current name Diyarbakir, which was derived from the Copper ore that exists here.
After a few centuries, Diyarbakir came under the Ottoman Dynasty and earned the status of the capital of a large province. The city became the base of army troops who guarded the region against Persian invasion. Diyarbakir faced a lot of turbulence in the 20th century, particularly with the onset of World War-I. Majority of the city`s Syriac and Armenian population was moved out from the city.
In the dramatic city of Diyarbakir, the primeval and modern have a peaceful co-existence. The older part of the city, which is dotted with mosques, old houses, churches and madrassahs, dishes out a vintage charm whereas the modern town of the west with rows of modern apartments has a business-like air.