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Diyarbakır (KurdishAmed‎)[3][4][5] is one of the largest cities in southeastern Turkey. Situated on the banks of the Tigris River, it is the administrative capital of the Diyarbakır Province. With a population of about 930,000 it is the second largest city in Turkey's south-eastern Anatolia region, after Gaziantep.

Diyarbakir is also a major cultural and economic center in Turkey and as such has been a focal point for conflict between Turkey's government and its Kurdish population.

The name Diyarbakir (Arabic دیار بکر "Diyaru Bakr which means the land of Bakir;ArmenianՏիգրանակերտ Tigranakert;[6] Ancient GreekΆμιδα, AmidaOttoman Turkishدیاربکر‎ Diyâr-ı BekrSyriacܐܡܝܕ‎) is inscribed as Amid on the sheath of a sword from the Assyrian period, and the same name was used in other contemporary Syriac and Arabic works.[7] The Romans and Byzantines called the city Amida.[7] Among the Artukid andAkkoyunlu it was known as "Black Amid" (Kara Amid) for the dark color of its walls, while in the Zafername, or eulogies in praise of military victories, it is called "Black Fortress" (Kara Kale).[7] In the Book of Dede Korkutand some other Turkish works it appears as Kara Hamid.[7]

Following the Arab conquests in the seventh century, the Arab Bakr tribe settled in this region,[7] which became known as the Diyar Bakr ("landholdings of the Bakr tribe", in Arabic: ديار بكر Diyar Bakr).[8][9] In 1937,Atatürk visited Diyarbekir and, after expressing uncertainty on the exact etymology of the city, ordered that it be renamed "Diyarbakır", which means "land of copper" in Turkish after the abundant resources of copperaround the city.[10]

The earliest reference to the city comes from Assyrian records which identify it as being the capital of the Aramean kingdom of Bit-Zamani (ca. 1300 BC). In the ninth century BC, the city joined a rebellion against the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III. The city was later reduced to being a province of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

From 189 BCE to 384 CE, the region to the east and south of present Diyarbakır came under the rule of the Hellenistic kingdom of Corduene.

Later, the Romans colonized the city and named it Amida, after the earlier Assyrian name Amid. 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 Constantius II. 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 Diyarbakır, which was derived from the abundance of copper ore that exists here.

After a few centuries, Diyarbakır came under the Ottoman Empire 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. Diyarbakır faced turbulence in the 20th century, particularly with the onset of World War I. The majority of the city's Syriac and Armenian population were massacred and deported during the Armenian Genocide in 1915. In 1925, the Kurdish population rose in a rebellion against the newly established government of the Republic of Turkey, which was crushed by Turkish forces. Thousands of Kurds were killed in this attempt.