Summary Information About Van

Van Province is a province in the Eastern Anatolian region of Turkey, between Lake Van and the Iranian border. Its adjacent provinces are Bitlis to the west, Siirt to the southwest, Şırnak and Hakkâri to the south, and Ağrı to the north. The capital of the province is the city of Van. The province is considered part of Western Armenia by Armenians and was part of ancient province of Vaspurakan. The region is considered to be the cradle of Armenian civilization. Before the Armenian genocide, Van Province was part of six Armenian vilayets. A majority of the province’s modern day population is Kurdish.


Van  and historically Armenian-populated city in eastern Turkey’s Van Province. The city lies on the eastern shore of Lake Van.


Van has a long history as a major urban area. It has been a large city since the first millennium BC, initially as Tushpa, the capital of the kingdom of Urartu from the 9th century BC to the 6th century BC, and later as the center of the Armenian kingdom of Vaspurakan. Turkic presence in Van and in the rest of Anatolia started as a result of Seljuk victory at the Battle of Malazgirt (1071) against the Byzantine Empire.

Van is often referred to in the context of Western Armenia and Northern Kurdistan


Van has a continental climate with cold, snowy winters and very warm, dry summers. Precipitation can be observed for the majority of the year, with a slight peak during spring and autumn, and a brief dry summer from July to September.




19069.00 km 2










History of Van

This area was the heartland of Armenians, who lived in these areas from the time of Hayk in the 3rd millennium BCE right up to the late 19th century when the Ottoman Empire seized all the land from the natives. In the 9th century BC the Van area was the center of the Urartian kingdom. The area was a major Armenian population center. The region came under the control of the Armenian Orontids in the 7th century BC and later Persians in the mid-6th century BC. By the early 2nd century BC it was part of the Kingdom of Armenia. It became an important center during the reign of the Armenian king, Tigranes II, who founded the city of Tigranakert in the 1st century BC


With the Seljuq victory at the Battle of Malazgirt in 1071, just north of Lake Van, it became a part of the Seljuq Empire and later the Ottoman Empire during their century long wars with their neighboring Iranian Safavid arch rivals, in which Sultan Selim I managed to conquer the area over the latter. The area continued to be contested and was passed on between the Ottoman Empire and the Safavids (and their subsequent successors, the Afsharids and Qajars) for many centuries until the Battle of Chaldiran which set the borders till this day. During the 19th century it was reorganized as Van Vilayet.


In 1927 the office of the Inspector General was created, which governed with martial law. The province was included in the first Inspectorate General (Umumi Müfettişlik, UM) over which the Inspector General ruled. The UM span over the provinces of Hakkâri, Siirt, Van, Mardin, Bitlis, Sanlıurfa, Elaziğ and Diyarbakır. The Inspectorate General were dissolved in 1952 during the Government of the Democrat Party.


Between July 1987 and July 2000, Van Province was within the OHAL region, which was ruled by a Governor within a state of emergency.


According to the 2012 Metropolitan Municipalities Law (Law No. 6360), all Turkish provinces with a population more than 750 000, will have a metropolitan municipality and the districts within the metropolitan municipalities will be second level municipalities. The law also creates new districts within the provinces in addition to present districts


Districts of Van

  • Bahçesaray
  • Başkale
  • Çaldıran
  • Çatak
  • Edremit
  • Erciş
  • Gevaş
  • Gürpınar
  • İpekyolu (created from Van)
  • Muradiye
  • Özalp
  • Saray
  • Tuşba (created from Van)

Point of Interests in Van

The modern city is located on the plain extending from the Lake Van, at a distance of 5 kilometres (3 miles) from the lake shore. Reports have appeared over the years of a certain Lake Van Monster said to live in the lake. Lake Erçek is the second largest lake in the region and lies just east of Lake Van.


Van has often been called “The Pearl of the East” because of the beauty of its surrounding landscape. An old Armenian proverb in the same sense is “Van in this world, paradise in the next”. This phrase has been slightly modified in Turkish as Dünyada Van, ahirette iman or “Van for this world, faith for the next”.


The city is home to Van Yüzüncü Yıl Üniversitesi (Van 100th Year University) and recently came to the headlines for two highly publicized investigations initiated by the Prosecutor of Van, one of which was focused on accusations against the university’s rector, Prof. Hasan Ceylan, who was kept in custody for a time. He was finally acquitted but lost his rectorate. He is a grandson of Agop Vartovyan, an Ottoman Armenian who is accepted as the founder of modern Turkish theatre. Prof. Hasan Ceylan is also the department chairman of Environmental Engineering at Van 100th Year University.


Van stands on Highway D300, which runs from the Iranian border 100 km east at Kapikoy through Van then along the south lake shore to Tatvan (100 km), and westwards to the rest of Turkey. Highway D975 runs north to Dogubeyazit and south towards Hakkari. Frequent buses and dolmuses ply these highways.


Van is the western terminus of the railway line from Iran, with freight and passenger trains (suspended between 2015 and 2018). There is a train ferry (upgraded in 2015) across the lake to Tatvan. There is no railway around the lake; it is intended eventually to build one but to date there are no plans. This would actually create an unbroken rail link between Europe and the Indian subcontinent, as Tatvan is the terminus of the line to Ankara and Istanbul.


Van has daily flights to Istanbul, Ankara and other major Turkish cities from Ferit Melen Airport.


The Van Cat is a breed of cat native to this town and named after it. It is noted for its white fur, and having differently colored eyes.

Let's see the cuisine of Van

  • KADE

For more information about Van



For more information, you may visit the official government website of VAN


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