Bitlis Province

Bitlis (Kurdish Bedlis; Armenian Բաղէշ ) is a province in southeastern Turkey. It is bordered on the north by the province of Ağrı, Muş in the west, to the south of Siirt and on the east by the Lake Van and the province of Van. The province got its name from the largest city of Bitlis. In addition, there are no other major cities.


Bitlis is 70% of mountains that are higher than 2000 m in the rule. The highest mountains are the Suphan Dagi ( 4058 m) on the border of Ağrı, the volcano Nemrut ( 3050 m) and the Ziyaret Dagi ( 2540 meters ).

In addition to the Lake Van there is a crater lake on the summit of Nemrut volcano.


In 2010 lived in Bitlis 328 767 people in an area of ​​8582 km ². This gives a population density of 38 inhabitants / km ².


The colonization of Bitlis may date back to the Neolithic era, but there is no developed archeology in Bitlis. Bitlis first belonged to the kingdom of Urartu, then the Medes and the Persians. Alexander the Great built a castle in the town of Bitlis and baptized the castle and the town on the name Bedlis after a Macedonian commander. According to Alexander and the Diadochenreichen Bitlis fell to the Romans and remained until the 7th century under the rule of Byzantium. After the invasion of the Turks Bitlis fell only to the Ayyubid, then the Khorezm Shah. Bitlis was also the victim of the Mongol invasions. 1514, the province fell to the Ottomans. Since Bitlis was on the border between the Ottomans and Persians, the Sultan Kurdish rulers of the area granted extensive autonomy. Thus established in Bitlis, a Kurdish dynasty, under the Bitlis experienced a cultural flowering. In 1864 it was converted into the vilayet of Bitlis, which due to its high time the Armenian population proportion to the six Armenian vilayets ( Vilayat -ı Sitte ) was counted. After the decline of the Ottomans and brief occupation by Russia Bitlis fell to Turkey.


Bitlis consists of the counties of:

  • Ahlat (Kurdish Xelat )
  • Adilcevaz (Kurdish Elcewaz )
  • Bitlis (Kurdish bilis )
  • Güroymak (Kurdish Norsin )
  • Hizan (Kurdish Vestan )
  • Mutki (Kurdish Motki )
  • Tatvan (Kurdish Tetwan )