Ağrı Province

Ağrı Doğubayazıt Turkey
Ağrı Province

Ağrı ili
Location of Ağrı Province in Turkey
Location of Ağrı Province in Turkey
RegionNortheast Anatolia
 • Electoral districtAğrı
 • GovernorOsman Varol
 • Total11,376 km2 (4,392 sq mi)
 • Total539,657
 • Density47/km2 (120/sq mi)
Area code(s)0472
Vehicle registration04

The Ağrı Province (Turkish: Ağrı ili, Kurdish: Parêzgeha Agiriyê[2]) is a province in eastern Turkey, bordering Iran to the east, Kars to the north, Erzurum to the northwest, Muş and Bitlis to the southwest, Van to the south, and Iğdır to the northeast. In Turkish Kurdistan, it has an area of 11,376 km² and a population of 542,022 (2010 est). A majority of the province's population are Kurds.[3] The region also has a sizeable Qarapapaq minority.[4][5][6]

The provincial capital is Ağrı, situated on a 1,650 metres (5,410 ft) high plateau. Doğubayazıt was the capital of the province until 1946.[7] The current governor is Süleyman Elban.[8]


Districts of Ağrı Province

Ağrı province is divided into eight districts (capital district in bold):


Ağrı is named after the nearby Mount Ararat, a 5,137 metres (16,854 ft) high stratovolcano, the highest mountain in Turkey and a national symbol to Armenians (see Western Armenia). It can be climbed from here and can be seen from parts of Azerbaijan, Iran, Georgia, and Armenia. The nearest town to the mountain is Doğubayazıt.

46% of the province is mountainous, 29% is plain, 18% is plateau, and 7% high meadow. As well as Ararat there are many other peaks over 3,000m, including Aladağlar and Tendürek. The plains are fertile, being covered in volcanic deposits, and are used for growing grains and grazing. Various tributaries of the Murat River (which later feeds the Euphrates) flow through the area and water these plains. The high meadows are used for grazing.

The weather here is very cold (temperatures as low as -10 °C (14 °F) in winter) and the mountainsides are mainly bare. There are a number of important passes and routes through the mountains.


The plateau of Ağrı was controlled by the Kingdom of Urartu until its transition to the Kingdom of Armenia. The area was coveted by many as a gateway between east and west. It was conquered numerous times by Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Georgians, Mongols, Persians, and finally by the Seljuq and Ottoman Turks.

The first Muslims in the area were the Abbasids in 872. The Turkish tribes began to pass through in huge numbers following the defeat of the Byzantine armies at Malazgirt in 1071, sometimes pursued by Mongols. The land was brought into the Ottoman Empire by Sultan Selim I following the Battle of Chaldiran. The region was part of the Erzurum Vilayet during the Ottoman Empire.


In the late 1920s, in an attempt to curb the Ararat rebellion,[9][10], the province was included into the First Inspectorate-General (Turkish: Birinci Umumi Müfettişlik)[11] comprising the provinces of Mardin, Diyarbakır, Van, Elazıĝ, Bitlis, Hakkari, Şanlıurfa and Siirt.[12]

In September 1935 the province was transferred into the third Inspectorate General (Umumi Müfettişlik, UM).[13] The third UM span over the provinces of Erzurum, Artvin, Rize, Trabzon, Kars Gümüşhane, Erzincan and Ağrı. It was governed by a Inspector General seated in the city of Erzurum.[13] [14] The Inspectorate General was dissolved in 1952 during the Government of the Democrat Party.[15]

Recent events

On August 19, 2006, the Tabriz–Ankara gas pipeline exploded in the province. Turkish authorities suspect Kurdish rebels were behind the incident.[16]

Ağrı today

The economy is mainly agricultural. People also live by breeding animals. Ağrı attracts tourists to the mountains, for climbing and trekking in summers, and skiing in winters. Places of interest include:


The population of Ağrı is stable around 550,000 since 2000. Ağrı has the second highest total fertility rate in Turkey, with 3.69 children per woman (only Şanlıurfa province has a higher fertility rate). The crude birth rate is 28.3% in 2016, down from 31.1% in 2011. The crude death rate is 3.4%, down from 4.7% in 2011. The natural growth rate is 24.9%, down from 26.4% in 2011. Ağrı has a slightly higher infant mortality rate at 14.1% (compared to the Turkish average at 10.0%), down from 22.0% in 2011. Many people leave the remote rural areas of the province Ağrı in search for a better life in the metropolitan areas (such as Istanbul and Ankara). That is the reason why the population growth is very minimal.[citation needed]

A majority of its population, approximately 315,000 people, live in urban areas (59%) up from only 53,000 people in 1965 (22% of its population). That means a sixfold increase of the urban population. The urbanization rate is still increasing. However, Ağrı remains predominantly agricultural because a large minority lives in rural areas and works in agriculture. The rural population grew from 193,000 in 1965 to 221,000 in 2017. Three districts with the largest populations have urban majorities, while the other five districts with the smallest populations, have rural majorities.[citation needed]

District Total Urban Rural
Ağrı 149,581 117,431 32,150
Patnos 120,654 65,530 55,124
Doğubayazıt 120,320 79,349 40,971
Diyadin 42,340 20,387 21,953
Eleşkirt 33,940 16,042 17,898
Tutak 30,699 6,741 23,958
Taşlıçay 20,490 6,129 14,361
Hamur 18,261 3,198 15,063
Province 536,285 314,807 221,478


  1. ^ "Population of provinces by years - 2000-2018". Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Li Agirî û Wanê qedexe hat ragihandin" (in Kurdish). Rûdaw. 25 November 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  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. ^ "Ağri,karapapak".
  5. ^ "Ağrı'da 'Şah Bezeme' Geleneği Yüz Yıllardır Devam Ediyor". m.haberler.com.
  6. ^ https://www.sondakika.com/. "Ağrı'da 'Şah Bezeme' Geleneği Yüz Yıllardır Devam Ediyor". m.sondakika.com.
  7. ^ Law, Gwillim (2015-05-20). Administrative Subdivisions of Countries: A Comprehensive World Reference, 1900 through 1998. McFarland. p. 372. ISBN 978-1-4766-0447-3.
  8. ^ "Ağrı Valiliği". www.agri.gov.tr. Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  9. ^ Strohmeier, Martin (2003). Crucial Images in the Presentation of a Kurdish National Identity: Heroes and Patriots, Traitors and Foes. Brill. pp. 95–99. ISBN 978-90-04-12584-1.
  10. ^ Cagaptay, Soner (2006-05-02). Islam, Secularism and Nationalism in Modern Turkey: Who is a Turk?. Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-134-17448-5.
  11. ^ Cagaptay (2006), p.24
  12. ^ Bayir, Derya (2016-04-22). Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law. Routledge. p. 139. ISBN 978-1-317-09579-8.
  13. ^ a b "Üçüncü Umumi Müfettişliği'nin Kurulması ve III. Umumî Müfettiş Tahsin Uzer'in Bazı Önemli Faaliyetleri". Dergipark. p. 2. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  14. ^ Bayir, Derya (2016-04-22). Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law. Routledge. pp. 139–141. ISBN 978-1-317-09579-8.
  15. ^ Fleet, Kate; Kunt, I. Metin; Kasaba, Reşat; Faroqhi, Suraiya (2008-04-17). The Cambridge History of Turkey. Cambridge University Press. p. 343. ISBN 978-0-521-62096-3.
  16. ^ "Gas pipeline explodes in Turkish rebel region". CNN. 2006-08-19. Archived from the original on 2006-08-24. Retrieved 2008-04-04.