Bitlis Province

Bitlis Province (Turkish: Bitlis ili and Kurdish: Parêzgeha Peniyan‎) is a province of eastern Turkey, located to the west of Lake Van. The majority of the province's population is Kurdish.[2]

Bitlis Province

Bitlis ili
Location of Bitlis Province in Turkey
Location of Bitlis Province in Turkey
RegionCentral East Anatolia
 • Electoral districtBitlis
 • Total6,707 km2 (2,590 sq mi)
 • Total349,396
 • Density52/km2 (130/sq mi)
Area code(s)0434
Vehicle registration13


Bitlis was formed as an administrative district in the 17th Century. The administrative center was the town of Bitlis (Kurdish: Bidlîs‎, Armenian: Բիթլիս), which was called Bagesh, in old Armenian sources.[3]


Bitlis Province is divided into 7 districts (the capital district is in bold):


As of 1920, the province was producing small amounts of iron, copper, lead, and sulphur. Even smaller amounts of gold and silver were found in the areas of Sairt and Khairwan. Salt made up the largest mineral industry in the province, so much that it was exported to surrounding provinces. The salt was produced in pans, using evaporation, and taking 8 to 10 days to mature. The technique and trade was mainly run by local Kurds. [4]



  1. ^ "Population of provinces by years - 2000-2018". Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  2. ^ Watts, Nicole F. (2010). Activists in Office: Kurdish Politics and Protest in Turkey (Studies in Modernity and National Identity). Seattle: University of Washington Press. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-295-99050-7.
  3. ^ Britannica: Bitlis
  4. ^ Prothero, W.G. (1920). Armenia and Kurdistan. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 71.

External links

Coordinates: 38°23′13″N 42°07′00″E / 38.38694°N 42.11667°E


Adilcevaz,Արծկե arm.Arcke, (Also known as 'Elcevaz') is a town and district capital of the same-named district within Bitlis Province of Turkey. The city is on the shore of Lake Van. The ancient name of the city is "Artske" or "Artsike," which is in the Armenian language. Its mayor is Necati Gürsoy (AKP).

Because of numerous civilizations which have had settlements in Adilcevaz, the city has many ruins and historical artifacts from different eras. Urartians, Persians, Assyrians, Macedonians, Arabs, Byzantines, Armenians have lived in Adilcevaz in different periods. According to today's statistics related to Adilcevaz's population, people living here are mostly Turkmen.

The famous Kef castle built by the Seljuk Turks lies 10km west of Adilcevaz on a mountain. Monastery of the Miracles, also known as Monastery of Ardzgue (Armenian: Սքանչելագործ վանք), is 2.18 miles northwest of Adilcevaz in the hills to the north of Lake Van.

Adilcevaz is famous for its special kind of walnuts (ceviz in Turkish). There are many types of regional foods, fruits and herbs. Adilcevaz has developed into an enhanced city that attracts tourists due to its peaceful environment and newly constructed sports complexes. A watersports complex includes waterskiing and wide swimming areas.

Aghperig Monastery

Aghperig monastery (variously Aghperga, St. Aghprig Monastery (Աղբերկայ or Ս. Աղբերիկ Վանք)), also known as Beyaz Kilise, is a medieval Armenian monastic complex in the Sasun Mountains of eastern Turkey. It is located 56 kilometres West of Lake Van in the north of the Sassun mountains in the Sason district in the province of Bitlis. The monastery was built above a natural spring from where it gets its name Sourp Aghperig (Holy Spring).


Bitlis (Armenian: Բաղեշ Baghesh/Paghesh; Kurdish: Bidlîs‎; Classical Syriac: ܒܝܬ ܕܠܝܣ‎ Beṯ Dlis; Ottoman Turkish: بتليس‎; Medieval Greek: Βαλαλης Balales) is a city in eastern Turkey and the capital of Bitlis Province. The city is located at an elevation of 1,545 metres, 15 km from Lake Van, in the steep-sided valley of the Bitlis River, a tributary of the Tigris. The local economy is mainly based on agricultural products which include fruits, grain and tobacco. Industry is fairly limited, and deals mainly with leatherworking, manufacture of tobacco products as well as weaving and dyeing of coarse cloth. Bitlis is connected to other urban centres by road, including Tatvan on Lake Van, 25 km to the northeast, and the cities of Muş (Mush), 100 km northwest, and Diyarbakır, 200 km to the west. The climate of Bitlis can be harsh, with long winters and heavy snowfalls. Summers are hot, and often humid.

Bitlis (electoral district)

Bitlis is an electoral district of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. It elects three members of parliament (deputies) to represent the province of the same name for a four-year term by the D'Hondt method, a party-list proportional representation system.

Bitlis Vilayet

Bitlis Vilayet (Armenian: Բիթլիսի վիլայեթ Bit'lisi vilayet' Ottoman Turkish: ولایت بتليس) was a first-level administrative division (vilayet) of the Ottoman Empire. Before the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) it had been part of the Erzurum Vilayet, it was then made a separate vilayet by the Porte. It was one of the six Armenian vilayets of the Empire.

At the beginning of the 20th century it reportedly had an area of 11,522 square miles (29,840 km2), while the preliminary results of the first Ottoman census of 1885 (published in 1908) gave the population as 388,625. The accuracy of the population figures ranges from "approximate" to "merely conjectural" depending on the region from which they were gathered.Bitlis and Muş were formerly included in the Eyalet of Erzurum. In 1875 they were detached and made a separate vilayet. The sanjak of Siirt was joined to the vilayet of Bitlis in 1883–84.

Governor of Bitlis

The Governor of Bitlis (Turkish: Bitlis Valiliği) is responsible for the implementation of government legislation within Bitlis Province, Turkey. The governorship is a civil service office appointed by the government of Turkey. The Governor is also the most senior commander of both the Bitlis provincial police force and the Bitlis Gendarmerie.


Güroymak (Kurdish: Norşîn‎, from Armenian: Նորշեն, Norshen) is a district of Bitlis Province, Turkey. The mayor is Mehmet Emin Özkan (BDP).


Hizan (Kurdish: Xîzan‎) is a district of Bitlis Province, Turkey. The mayor is İhsan Uğur (BDP).

Lake Arin

Lake Arin (in Turkish: Arin Gölü; also Sodalı Göl) is a soda lake in Turkey. It is a part of Adilcevaz ilçe (district) of Bitlis Province. The mid point of the lake is at 38°48′35″N 42°59′20″E. The lake is to the east of Adilcevaz and separated from Lake Van, the biggest lake of Turkey by alluvial deposits of only 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) width. The elevation of the lake is 1,650 metres (5,410 ft).

The area of the lake is about 13 square kilometres (5.0 sq mi). Gadwall, red-crested pochard and ruddy duck are among the birds of the lake.

Lake Nazik

Lake Nazik (Turkish: Nazik; Armenian: Նազիկ) is a freshwater lake in the Bitlis Province, eastern part of Turkey. It is located at 38.855547°N 42.286783°E / 38.855547; 42.286783, close to Lake Van. Lake Nazik is located in the elevation of about 1,816 m. It has an area of 44.5 km² and maximum depth of about 50 m.

Lake Nemrut

Lake Nemrut (Turkish: Nemrut Gölü) is a freshwater crater lake in Bitlis Province, eastern Turkey. It is part of Nemrut Caldera (Turkish: Nemrut Kalderası), a volcanic caldera atop Volcano Nemrut. The caldera is a registered natural monument and the wetlandsis registered as a Ramsar site of the country.

List of populated places in Bitlis Province

Below is the list of populated places in Bitlis Province, Turkey by the districts. In the following lists first place in each list is the administrative center of the district.

Mount Süphan

Mount Süphan (Turkish: Süphan Dağı, Kurdish: Sîpanê Xelatê‎, Armenian: Սիփան, Sipan) is a stratovolcano located in eastern Turkey, immediately north of Lake Van. It is the second highest volcano in Turkey, with an elevation of 4,058 metres (13,314 feet), and has the second highest prominence of the Armenian Highland, after Mount Ararat.


Mutki or Motkî is a town and district of Bitlis Province, Turkey. The mayor is Özcan Birlik (BDP).

Sökmen el-Kutbî

Sökmen el-Kutbî (also spelled al-Qutbi) was a Turkmen military commander, a former slave amir in the service of the Seljuks, who became the founder of the Shah-i Arman dynasty, also known as the Shah-Armens or Ahlatshahs.


Tatvan (Armenian: Դատվան Datvan, Kurdish: Têtwan) is a city on the western shore of Lake Van. It is the chief city of Tatvan District within Bitlis Province in eastern Turkey, and has about 96,000 inhabitants. The mayor is Fettah Aksoy (AKP).

Tatvan railway station

Tatvan railway station is located in the town of Tatvan, Turkey in eastern Anatolia. It is one of two railway stations serving the town, the other one being Tatvan Pier.

Opened in 1964 by the Turkish State Railways, it is serviced by a twice-weekly intercity train, the Van Lake Express to Ankara, as well as a daily regional train to Elazığ.

The Tombstones of Ahlat the Urartian and Ottoman citadel

The Tombstones of Ahlat in Turkey are famous for their dimensions and design.

Ahlat is a ilçe (district) center in Bitlis Province at the Lake Van shore. The tombstones are in and around the citadel of Ahlat at about 38°45′N 42°30′E.The history of the city dates back to 900 BC, the Urartu era but the tombstones are from the medieval age. Although the tombstones are known as Seljukid era, according to the governorship of Ahlat they belong to the era of the Shah-Armens, Ayyubid dynasty era, the Mongol era and the Safavid era. These periods correspond to the 12th-15th centuries. The most important tombstones are in the cemeteries known as Harabe şehir cemetery, Taht'ı Suleyman cemetery, Kırklar cemetery, Kale cemetery, Merkez cemetery and Meydanlık cemetery. Among these, only the Kale cemetery has Ottoman tombs.

Togan Arslan

Togan Arslan was a bey of the Beylik of Dilmaç

Bitlis Province of Turkey


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