Seen from the moon, Diyarbakir must look small, like every other city on Earth must look small.
Located in southeastern Turkey, a little more than 900 miles from Istanbul, the ancient heart of Diyarbakir has a wall around it — a relatively famous wall in fact, as far as city walls go. It stretches 5.8 kilometers, and was first built in the early fourth century during the reign of Roman Emperor Constantius II.
Things blow up in and around Diyarbakir, sometimes. The stone used to construct the wall is black basalt, the product of a long-ago volcanic eruption and accompanying lava flows. In 2015 and 2016 — not long ago at all — political tension between the Turkish government and Kurds within the city erupted. Months of fighting caused significant loss of life and property damage, and when I visited in 2017, a part of the old city, including the Surp Giragos Armenian Church, was still off-limits to residents and visitors alike.
Diyarbakir is known for its un-calm, and I felt it in the afternoon as I walked around the old city, where several kids tried to pick my pocket, and some adults railed to me against the policies and person of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. And so it was with some irony that at sunset I watched this man on the city walls try to fly a kite and fail. The evening air was too calm to take it aloft.