Iğdır Province

Iğdır Province (Turkish: Iğdır ili) is a province in eastern Turkey, located along the borders with Armenia, Azerbaijan (the area of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic), and Iran. Its adjacent provinces are Kars to the northwest and Ağrı to the west and south. It occupies an area of 3,587 km2 and population of 184,418[2] (2010 est.), it was 168,634 in 2000 (up from 142,601 in 1990). It was created from southeastern part of former Kars Province in 1993.

Armenia’s highest mountain, Mount Ararat (Ağrı Dağı) is in now day Iğdır, but much of the land is a wide plain far below the mountain. The climate is the warmest in this part of Turkey, cotton can be grown in Iğdır. The closed border with Armenia follows the Aras River.

The provincial capital is the city of Iğdır. The majority of the province's population is Kurdish, with Azerbaijanis making up the remainder.[3]

Iğdır Province

Iğdır ili
Location of Iğdır Province in Turkey
Location of Iğdır Province in Turkey
RegionNortheast Anatolia
 • Electoral districtIğdır
 • Total3,588 km2 (1,385 sq mi)
 • Total197,456
 • Density55/km2 (140/sq mi)
Area code(s)0476
Vehicle registration76


Iğdır province is divided into 4 districts (capital district in bold):


Urartu Cuniform Argishti 1
Urartu Cuneiform Argishti

Archaeological research has uncovered Hurrian settlements in the Iğdır region going back to 4000 BC. The area was part of the Urartu kingdom circa 800 BC. There is a Urartu statuary in the area. It remained under Urartian control until its transition to the Median Empire, Persian Empire, Alexander The Great, Orontid Dynasty of the Kingdom of Armenia. Seleucid, Parthian, Roman, Sassanid and Byzantine forces were prominent from the 4th century BC, followed by the Arab armies of Islam in 646. Turks, Georgians and Mongols fought through here for 400 years from 1064 onwards until the area was settled by Kara Koyunlu and then Ak Koyunlu Turkic tribes in the early 15th century.

For centuries, a constant warfare ensued between the two arch rivals, the Ottoman Empire and the Persian Empire from 1534 until 1746. The region, most of the time remaining in Persian hands, was officially ceded once again in 1746, when subsequently most of its land within the province of Iğdır today became part of the Erivan khanate, a Muslim principality in Persia. The northern part of the province remained in Persian hands until after the Russo-Persian War, 1826-1828 when it became part of the Russian Empire under the Treaty of Turkmenchay. Under Russian administration, the area became the Surmali uyezd (with its capital at the city of Iğdır) of the Armenian Oblast and later the Erivan Governorate. The southern half of the province remained in Ottoman hands through most of the 19th century but was incorporated into the Russian Empire as a result of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78.

Towards the end of World War I, the whole area came under the administration of the First Republic of Armenia as part of Ararat province. After an attack into the territory by the Turkish army, Iğdır was ceded to Turkey by the Soviet Union under the Treaty of Kars. A substantial Armenian population remained in the area throughout this history of struggle between great powers. Armenians formed the ethnic majority in the city of Iğdır itself until 1919–1920 when most either died or fled due to starvation and Turkish–Armenian War.[4] It was part of Beyazıt Province between 1922 and 1927, part of Ağrı Province (created after moving center of Beyazıt one from Beyazıt to Karaköse) between 1927 and 1934, and finally part of Kars Province between 1934 and 1993 before becoming separate province.[5]


A view of Igdir city centre
A street in Iğdır City

According to 1886 census, Iğdır Province (not included Tuzluca and Karakoyunlu) had 30,647 people. 49.6% of them Armenians, 38.7% of them are Azerbaijanis and 11.7% of them are Kurds. Karakoyunlu (Dashburun) had 20,520 people. 11.0% of them Armenians, 63.5% of them are Azerbaijanis and 25.4% of them are Kurds. Tuzluca (Kulp) had 19,899 people. 23.3% of them Armenians, 47.5% of them are Azerbaijanis and 29.3% of them are Kurds.[6]

Today, Iğdır has a mixed population of Azerbaijanis and Kurds, both of whom comprise roughly half of the population, the former primarily inhabiting the north and east of the province and the latter inhabiting the south and west of the province. Political scientist Nicole Watts suggests a majority of the province's population are Kurds (as of 2010).[7]

The Kurds are Sunni Muslims belonging to the Shafi school while Azerbaijanis are Shia Muslims belonging to Ithnā‘ashariyyah school. The rural areas of Iğdır province have a higher population density (30 inhabitants/km2) than those of neighbouring provinces.

Year People
1927 34,840
1935 45,648
1940 46,669
1945 49,115
1950 56,882
1955 70,951
1960 85,041
1965 96,652
1970 112,256
1975 130,338
1980 127,438
1985 141,490
1990 142,601
1997 145,411
2000 168,634
2007 181,866

Places of interest

Karasu River from Igdir
Karasu River from Igdir
  • The caravanserai of Zor, believed to have been built by an Armenian architect in the 13th or 14th century, is located 35 km south-west of the city of Iğdır, and is named after the nearby village of Zor. It was one of halting places along the trade route between northern Persia and Georgia. Caravans used to stay over-here before passing over the Çilli pass. Restoration works have begun on the structure, which has been put under protection since 1988.[8] The ruins of an Armenian church was once located in the same area, but today nothing remains of it.[9]
  • Surmari castle, 25 km west of the city of Iğdır, on the road to Tuzluca, in the village of Sürmeli, is the site of the medieval Armenian town of Surmari. However, it is currently inaccessible due to border restrictions.
  • Statues with Ram Heads, Cementer stones with ram heads existing almost in all old cementers in Iğdır Plain are remnants from Kara Koyunlu period. These cementers of brave, heroic persons and young persons who had died in youth age.[10]
  • Aras Bird Research and Education Center, One of only four active bird research and banding (ringing) stations in Turkey. 204 bird species have been recorded so far in the wetlands along Aras River, Yukari Ciyrikli, Tuzluca. Bird enthusiasts can volunteer or visit to experience the diverse birdlife and traditional village life. From Kars to Igdir, turn immediately right 10 meter before the Aras bridge and drive 4 km to Yukari Ciyrikli village.[11]

See also


  1. ^ "Population of provinces by years - 2000-2018". Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Statistical Institute page". tuik.gov.tr.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Armenian Architecture - VirtualANI - A Description of Igdir in 1919". www.virtualani.org.
  5. ^ "Doğubayazıt Tarihi Bilgileri". Diyadinnet.
  6. ^ "население северо-восточной турции". www.ethno-kavkaz.narod.ru.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "Her Yönüyle Iğdır", Ziya Zakir Acar, 2004
  9. ^ "Armenian Architecture - VirtualANI - The Caravanserai of Zor, near Igdir". www.virtualani.org.
  10. ^ "Introduction of Iğdır", Iğdır Municipality Publishing, 2003
  11. ^ http://www.kuzeydoga.org

Coordinates: 39°53′37″N 43°59′52″E / 39.89361°N 43.99778°E


Aralık (Kurdish: Başan‎; Azerbaijani: Aralıq; Armenian: Արալիխ Aralikh; Russian: Аралык) is a town and district of the Iğdır Province in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. It is the location of the Aras corridor, which connects Turkey with Azerbaijan. Part of the district forms the international border between Turkey and Armenia, which has been closed since 1993, and the border between Turkey and Iran. The town of Aralık is mainly inhabited by Azerbaijanis.

Aras (river)

The Aras or Araxes is a river that starts in Turkey and then flows along the borders between Turkey and Armenia, between Turkey and the Nakhchivan area of Azerbaijan, between Iran and both Azerbaijan and Armenia, and finally through Azerbaijan to the Kura River. It drains the south side of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains and then joins the Kura, which drains the north side of Lesser Caucasus Mountains. Its total length is 1,072 kilometres (666 mi), covering an area of 102,000 square kilometres (39,000 sq mi). The Aras River is one of the largest rivers in the Caucasus and from the Treaty of Gulistan of 1813 it is political border between Europe and Asia

Armenian Oblast

The Armenian Oblast or Armenian Province (Armenian: Հայկական մարզ, Russian: Армянская область) was an oblast (province) of the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire that existed from 1828 to 1840. It corresponded to most of present-day central Armenia, the Iğdır Province of Turkey, and the Nakhichevan exclave of Azerbaijan. Its administrative center was Erivan (Yerevan).

Erivan Governorate

Erivan Governorate (Old Russian: Эриванская губернія; Armenian: Երևանի նահանգ) was one of the guberniyas of the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire, with its centre in Erivan (present-day Yerevan). Its area was 27,830 sq. kilometres. It roughly corresponded to what is now most of central Armenia, the Iğdır Province of Turkey, and the Nakhichevan exclave of Azerbaijan. At the end of the 19th century, it bordered the Tiflis Governorate to the north, the Elisabethpol Governorate to the east, the Kars Oblast to the west, and Persia and the Ottoman Empire to the south.

In 1828, the khanates of Erivan and the Nakhichevan were annexed from Persia by the Russian Empire in accordance with the Treaty of Turkmenchay. They were included into a single administrative unit named the Armenian Oblast. In 1850 the oblast was reorganized into a governorate, and by 1872, it consisted of seven uyezds. Louis Joseph Jérôme Napoléon (1864–1932), grandnephew of Napoleon I, was made governor in 1905 to help calm the governorate after the Armenian-Tatar conflicts.

Erivan Khanate

The Erivan Khanate (Persian: خانات ایروان‎ – Xānāt-e Iravān; Armenian: Երևանի խանություն – Yerevani khanut’yun; Azerbaijani: İrəvan xanlığı – ایروان خانلیغی), also known as Chokhur-e Sa'd, was a khanate (i.e. province) that was established in Afsharid Iran in the eighteenth century. It covered an area of roughly 19,500 km2, and corresponded to most of present-day central Armenia, of the Iğdır Province, Kağızman district of the Kars Province of present-day Turkey and the Sharur and Sadarak districts of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of the present-day Azerbaijan Republic.The provincial capital of Erivan was a center of the Iranian defenses in the Caucasus during the Russo-Iranian Wars of the 19th century. As a result of the Iranian defeat in the last Russo-Iranian war, it was occupied by Russian troops in 1827 and then ceded to the Russian Empire in 1828 in accordance with the Treaty of Turkmenchay. Immediately following this, the territories of the former Erivan Khanate and the Nakhchivan Khanate were joined to form the Armenian Oblast of the Russian Empire.


Iğdır (Turkish [ˈɯːdɯɾ] (listen); Armenian: Իգդիր Igdir, also Ցոլակերտ, Tsolakert), is the capital of Iğdır Province in the Eastern Anatolia Region of Turkey. The highest mountain in Turkey, Ağrı Dağı or Mount Ararat, is partly in Iğdır province.

Iğdır (electoral district)

Iğdır is an electoral district of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. It elects four 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.

Iğdır Airport

Iğdır Airport (IATA: IGD, ICAO: LTCT) (Turkish: Iğdır Şehit Bülent Aydın Havalimanı) is a public airport in Iğdır, located in Iğdır Province, Turkey. Opened to civil air traffic in July 2012, the airport is 16 km (9.9 mi) away from Iğdır city centre.


Karakoyunlu (Azerbaijani: Qaraqoyunlu) is a town and district of Iğdır Province in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. Part of the district forms the international border between Turkey and Armenia.

List of populated places in Iğdır Province

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

Saint Hakob of Akori monastery

Saint Hakob of Akori Monastery (Armenian: Ակոռիի Սուրբ Հակոբ վանք; pronounced Akori Surb Hakob Vank; also sometimes referred to as Saint James), was an Armenian monastery located in the southeastern part of the historic region of Surmali (today the Iğdır Province of modern Turkey). The monastery was located 4.7 kilometers southwest of Akori, a village at the northeastern slope of Mount Ararat. Destroyed by an earthquake and avalanche in 1840, Akori was later rebuilt. It is known today as Yenidoğan and remains a small Kurdish village.In 1829, Baltic German explorer Friedrich Parrot, Armenian writer Khachatur Abovian, and four others reached the top of Mount Ararat in the first recorded ascent in history. They used St. Hakob as their base.

State road D.080 (Turkey)

D.080 is a 295 km (183 mi) long state highway running from Horasan, Erzurum Province to the border with Azerbaijan near Dilucu. The route connects to Azerbaijan, via the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, and is the only crossing between the two countries. The route is mostly a non-divided, four-lane highway.

State road D.977 (Turkey)

The D.977 is a 6 km (3.7 mi) long state road in Iğdır Province in Turkey. The route runs from the closed border checkpoint with Armenia, south to the intersection with the D.080. The route originally continued into Armenia, via the Մ3, until 1993 when Turkey and Armenia closed their borders. After the border closing, the road continues to serve small settlements in the vicinity.

Surmalinsky Uyezd

The Surmalinsky Uyezd (Russian: Сурмалинский уезд) or Surmali (Armenian: Սուրմալու Surmalu; Azerbaijani: Sürməli; Kurdish: Sûrmelî‎; Russian: Сурмали) was a county of the Erivan Governorate of the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire. It bordered the governorate's Echmiadzinsky and Erivansky Uyezds to the north, the Kars Oblast to the west, Persia to the east, and the Ottoman Empire to the south. It included most of the Iğdır Province of present-day Turkey. As part of Russian Transcaucasia, Surmali was significant as the location of Mount Ararat and the salt mines of Kulp (modern Tuzluca). Its administrative center was Igdyr.

Treaty of Turkmenchay

The Treaty of Turkmenchay (Russian: Туркманчайский договор, Persian: عهدنامه ترکمنچای‎) was an agreement between Persia (Iran) and the Russian Empire, which concluded the Russo-Persian War (1826–28). It was signed on 10 February 1828 in Torkamanchay, Iran. By the treaty, Persia ceded to Russia control of several areas in the South Caucasus: the Erivan Khanate, the Nakhchivan Khanate, and the remainder of the Talysh Khanate. The boundary between Russian and Persia was set at the Aras River. These territories comprise modern-day Armenia, the southern parts of the modern-day Republic of Azerbaijan, Nakhchivan, as well as Iğdır Province (now part of Turkey).

The treaty was signed for Persia by Crown Prince Abbas Mirza and Allah-Yar Khan Asaf al-Daula, chancellor to Shah Fath Ali (of the Qajar Dynasty), and for Russia by General Ivan Paskievich. Like the 1813 Treaty of Gulistan, this treaty was imposed by Russia, following military victory over Persia. Paskievich threatened to occupy Tehran in five days unless the treaty was signed.By this final treaty of 1828 and the 1813 Gulistan treaty, Russia had finalised conquering all the Caucasus territories from Iran, comprising modern-day Dagestan, eastern Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, all which had formed part of its very concept for centuries. The area to the North of the river Aras, amongst which the territory of the contemporary nations of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the North Caucasian Republic of Dagestan were Iranian territory until they were occupied by Russia in the course of the 19th century.As a further direct result and consequence of the two treaties, the formerly Iranian territories became now part of Russia for around the next 180 years, except Dagestan, which has remained a Russian possession ever since. Out of the greater part of the territory, three separate nations would be formed through the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, namely Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.


Tuzluca (Armenian: Կողբ Koghb; Kurdish: Qulp‎; Azerbaijani: Duzluca; Russian: Кульп or Тузлуджа) is a town and district of the Iğdır Province in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. It was traditionally part of Kars until the creation of predominantly Kurdish Iğdır province in 1993, known as Kulp under Russian administration, prior to the Treaty of Kars. The northern portion of the district forms part of the international border between Turkey and Armenia.

Umut Bridge

Umut Bridge (Turkish: Umut Köprüsü, Azerbaijani: Ümid Körpüsü, English: Hope Bridge), historically known as the Boraltan Bridge, is a 286-metre-long (938 ft) deck-arch bridge crossing the Aras river on the Azerbaijan–Turkey border. The bridge was constructed between 1991 and 1992 and formally opened on 25 May 1992, along with the Dilucu customs checkpoint.

The bridge is historically known for an incident in 1945 between the Soviet Union and Turkey, known as the Boraltan Bridge massacre (Turkish: Boraltan Köprüsü faciası). The incident saw the return of 195 Soviet soldiers, convicted of fighting for Germany during World War II, back into the Soviet Union by the Turkish government. Due to rising tensions between the USSR and Turkey, the convicted soldiers were handed over in order to prevent any further escalation of tensions. Shortly after the soldiers crossed the border, they were summarily executed under charges of treason.

Yenidoğan, Aralık

Yenidoğan (Armenian: Ակոռի Akoři; Kurdish: Axurî‎; Russian: Ахури) is a village in eastern Turkey, on the northeastern slope of Mount Ararat, adjacent to the point where the borders of Turkey, Iran, and Armenia meet. It was formerly known as Ahora until 1965 and as Akhuri under Russian administration, before the Treaty of Kars. It was also known as Arguri. The village is a part of the Aralık district of Turkey's Iğdır Province, which largely corresponds to the historic region of Surmali. It is nearly 50 kilometers south of Yerevan, the Armenian capital.

Yervandashat (ancient city)

Yervandashat (Armenian: Երվանդաշատ), was an Armenian city and one of the 13 historic capitals of Armenia, serving as a capital city between 210 and 176 BC during the Orontid rule over Armenia and the beginning of their successors; the Artaxiad dynasty.

Iğdır Province of Turkey


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