There are no loud nightclubs or entertainment centers in Mesopotamia. Instead, there are genuine traditions of hundreds of years that provide authentic entertainment that can be found nowhere else in the world.
Sira nights (sira geceleri) in Şanlıurfa are definately authentic and traditional. People sing songs, dance, and eat during sira nights.
Mırra coffee is served at sira nights, then çiğ köfte which is the main dish, and şıllık is offered as dessert. During sira nights, which are peculiar to Şanlıurfa, two groups of people sit in opposing positions, sing folk songs, and make çiğ köfte. If you visit Şanlıurfa, we recommend that you do not to miss this unique form of entertainment.
If you set your route towards Mardin, you will have the chance to witness leyli nights in which Reyhani dances are performed. In Reyhani dances, people dance individually accompanied by music; they fall on their knees and keep their palms open signifying the "invocation of God’s blessing." Reyhani music involves various emotions such as rejoining with a loved one, separation, grief, and happiness.
The eating and drinking habits of the region also have an influence on these nights. Çiğ köfte is prepared and is served together with cevizli sucuk (ıkudi), grapes, fruit leather, walnuts, almonds, pekmez halva, fruits, and other appetizers. The lyrics, folk dances, and dishes that are sung at leyli nights pave the way for maintaining and passing on the traditions of Mardin to the next generations.
Eyvan nights are also among the options for entertainment that are peculiar to the region – these are organized in Diyarbakır. Similar to sira nights, people eat çiğ köfte and other types of foods, have fun, take pictures, and smoke nargile or drink coffee.
Another entertainment option in Diyarbakır is the dengbej tradition that dates back centuries. Dengbej is the name of the singer who sings kilam (a type of poem) and stran (folk song). At the Dengbej House in Diyarbakır you can hear the duets of dengbejs. Listening to dengbej bards while drinking your tea is a truly unique experience.
If you are searching for something further removed from tradition, the music at Diyarbakır’s rock bars in is perhaps for you!