feet tigris town asiatic ancient
DIARBEKIR (or Kara Amid, the Black Amid), a city of Asiatic Turkey, the administrative centre of the pashalic of the same name, is situated 2050 feet above the level f the sea, on a mass of basaltic rock which riseP abruptly to a height of I00 feet from the western bank of the Tigris, about 100 miles north-east of .Aleppo, in 37° 55' 30" N. lat. and 39° 53' 39' E. long. It is about three miles in circumference, has a nearly circular form, and is encom-passed by ancient and dilapidated walls of a very remark-able character. They are built of basalt, have in most places a thickness of 14 feet, vary in height from 30 to 40 or 50 feet, and are strengthened by upwards of 70 towers, some square and some round, which communicate with each other by two passages formed in the heart of the masonry. There are four gates, which are closed at night : - the Pagh Kapi, or Mountain gate, on the N. ; the Rum Kapi, or Anatolian gate, on the ; the Mardin gate on the S. ; and on the E. the Ky5prii. gate, which takes its name from the stone bridge that spans the Tigris. Both the gates and the walls bear numerous ornamental designs and inscriptions in Arabic and Cufic characters relating to their erection or restoration. The citadel, or Itch Kateh., which stands in the north-east corner between the Dagh Kapi and the Kyoprii Kapi, commands the town ; and a, fine view of the valley of the Tigris is obtained from one of its towers, supposed to be the belfry of an ancient Christian church. Within the enceinte is the official residence of the pasha, but he has another mansion at some distance from the town in the vicinity of the military barracks. The interior of the town contrasts unfavourably with the massive and spacious character of its defences ; it has only one street about 20 feet in breadth, the rest being mere lanes from 4 to 5 feet across. The houses are built of basalt in the lower stories and of dark-coloured brick above ; and this, combined with the flat terraces of the roofs, gives a same-ness and gloominegs of aspect. The public buildings com-prise upwards of 50 mosques large and small, 9 Christian churches, a Jewish synagogue, upw-ards of 20 baths, about 15 khans or caravanserais, and a good military hospital; but only a few are worthy of individual notice, though some of the minarets are richly sculptured, and several of the mosques preserve interesting traces of ancient work. The Ulu-jami, or Great Mosque, which was formerly a Christian church, and perhaps originally the ancient palace of Tigranes, has an outer wall with two facades, each formed by a row of Corinthian columns surmounted by an equal number of a Byzantine type ; the interior is divided into three portions, appropriated to as many Mahometan sects. The Hassan Pasha Khan, in the im-mediate vicinity of the mosque, is a fine building con-structed of layers of white and black stone ; but it is exceeded in size by the Ali Pasha, Khan, which indeed is the largest in Asiatic Turkey. The town is supplied with water both by springs within the walls and by an aqueduct fed by a, fountain at Ali-punar about two miles to the west ; but in the heats of summer, which are sometimes exceedingly severe, these supplies become greatly- exhausted and the water impure. In the last century Diarbekir was one of the largest and most flourishing cities of Asia ; and as a commercial centre it still ranks second to Mosul, in the upper region of the Tigris and Euphrates. The principal trade routes are by Argana and Kharput to Samsun, by Sort, Bitlis, and Van, to Tabriz, by Mardin to Mosul, by Urfa and Aintab to Aleppo, and by means of kalleks, or inflated skins, down the river to Mosul and Baghdad. The bazaars are not much behind those of Baghdad, and display a rich variety of both Asiatic and European wares. Owing partly to the introduction of the latter, the manufacturing industry of the town has greatly decreased, and most of the 1600 cotton looms of which it could boast in 1816 hava disappeared. Red and yellow morocco of the greatest repute throughout Asiatic Turkey is still produced, as well as copper vessels, pipe-heads, and goldsmith-work. The population, which was reckoned at 400,000 in 1750, was in the latter part of the century greatly reduced by war, 9,nd famine, and pest Hence. In 1837 it was estimated by Southgate at from 13,000 to 14,000 souls ; in 1856 it was found to be 27,430 ; and in 1873 it was stated by Cernik at 40,000, and by another authority at 60,000. The principal nationalities in the polyglot community are the Kurds and Armenians, but there are also numerous Turkomans, Turks, and exiled Bulgarians. The Mahometans and Christians are now pretty equally balanced in numbers. Besides representatives of the Armenian, Syrian, and Greek churches, there are Roman Catholics enough to support a church and convent, and a mission is maintained by American Protestants.
Diarbekir is the city which, under the name of Amida, became a Boman colony in 230 A.D. and received a Christian bishop in 325. Fortified by Coustantius II. it was before long captured by Sapor the Persian king, after a siege of which a detailed account from his personal experience is given by Ammianus Marcellinus ; and in the later wars between the Persians and the Romans it more than once changed hands. On its capture by the former in 502, it is said that 80,000 of its inhabitants perished. After having been from about the llth century in the possession, by no meansuninterrupted, of several Turkoman dynasties, it was finally captured by &lint, the first Sultan of the Osmanli Turk-R, in the year 1515, and since that date it has remained under the Ottoman rule.
See Sandreczy, Reise ,netch Mosul itnd durch Kurdistan nach Urumia, 1857; It. J. Garden's "Description of Diarbekir," in Journal of Roy. Geogr. Soc., 1867 ; and Cernik, Technischc Studien Expe-dition durch die Gebicte des Euphrat und Tigris, 1875.