Oil town with sideline in tourism                       Population: 225,000400 DSC03389

Market day: Wednesday

A largely modern town that makes its living out of oil with a sideline as an alternative base to Kahta for those wanting to visit the Commagenian heads on the summit of Nemrut Dağı, Adiyaman still has enough of interest to fill at least a half-day, more if you want to visit the archaeological site at Perre (Pirin) too.

Around town

The museum sits in a rose-filled garden right by the square in the town centre. It contains a small, not especially exciting collection of finds from local tumuli along with some costumes and carpets.

Old Adiyaman is huddled around a central mound surmounted by slight remains of a castle. At the time of writing (May, 2011) this was a disappointing mix of the poorly rebuilt and the still to be landscaped but work on the site was ongoing, so things should improve.

At the foot of the mound the spacious Ulu Cami is an attractive stone building dating back to 1863 and designed by a Christian architect, hence perhaps the neo-Gothic carvings around the doorway. The lovely wooden doors may have been taken from an older version dating back to the Dulkadiroğulları period (1137-1522).

Nearby, the colourful bazaar is well worth exploring. Here you can see copper-beaters at work and find stalls selling the giant wooden paddles used to slide pides into ovens.

The Hısnı Mansur Çay Evi is housed inside an attractive stone building like a cutdown version of the Taş Kahve on Cunda. The Çarşı Cami dates back to 1550, although its minaret fell down fairly recently.

The Eski Saray Cami dates back to 1639. The attractive minaret aside, its most appealing feature is its tree-shaded courtyard.

adi1Hidden in the back streets the Church of Sts Peter and Paul (Mor Petrus ve Mor Paulus Kilise) belongs to a Syrian Orthodox (Syriac) community down to its last 150 families in the province. Built in 1905, it stands on the site of an older church of St Mary which may have been the oldest building in town. The extraordinarily colourful decoration of the apse is mainly the handiwork of Urfalı craftsmen; note the symbols for alpha and omega in Syriac in the top corners.

The high street is lined with models of the terslale (fritillaria imperialis), a dramatically beautiful flower that grows around Gerger although it's more common in the Hakkari/Şırnak area.


Bozdoğan Hotel, Adiyaman. Tel: 0416-216 3999

Hotel Grand İskender 

Transport info

Adiyaman airport (ADF) is km of town. THY provide a transfer into town.

The intercity bus station is in the town centre, near the museum.

Dolmuşes to local destinations including Şanlıurfa, Gaziantep, Malatya and Kahta leave from a separate terminal on the road to Perre; get there on the “Kolej” bus from near the Grand Hotel İskender.

Day trip destinations 

Atatürk Gölü (Lake Atatürk)

Nemrut Dağı (Mt Nemrut)



Read more about Adiyaman as a base for visiting Nemrut Dagı: http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?newsId=245432

Read more about visiting Adiyaman itself: http://www.turkeyfromtheinside.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=9&Itemid=218


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