Tunceli Province, formerly Dersim Province, is located in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. The least densely-populated province in Turkey, it was originally named Dersim Province (Dersim vilayeti), then demoted to a district (Dersim kazası) and incorporated into Elâzığ Province in 1926. The province is considered part of Turkish Kurdistan and has a Kurdish majority. It is moreover the only province in Turkey with an Alevi majority.
Tunceli means the land (el) of bronze (tunç) in Turkish, a partial calque of the city’s archaic name “Dersim” (or Dêsim), means silver (sim) door (der) in Kurdish. Whether the name of the town is Tunceli or Dersim has been a reason for political quarrels. The local authority decided to call it Dersim in May 2019, while the Governor said it was against the law to call it Dersim.
Tunceli is situated just to the north of the intersection point of two rivers, Munzur and Pülümür, both flowing southwards. The city is founded in the valley of Munzur which is known for its picturesque appearance. It is surrounded by high mountains called Munzur mountains. The city has a limited means of transport to other cities.