Siirt, Turkey

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Siirt, Turkey

Region: Siirt

Geographic Coordinates: 37.925000, 41.945800
Climate: Seasonal climate and weather patterns in Siirt, Turkey are characterized by hot and dry summers, mild and rainy winters, and occasional snowfall.
Population: 166332
Language: Turkish

Siirt is a city located in southeastern Turkey, Situated on the banks of the Tigris River. It is the capital of Siirt Province and has a population of around 120, 000 people. The city has a long history dating back to ancient times and has been inhabited by various civilizations throughout its history. One of the most notable landmarks in Siirt is the historic Ulu Mosque. This mosque was constructed during the Artukid period in 1157 AD and features beautiful Seljuk-style architecture with intricate carvings and decorations.

Another important site in Siirt is the Şirvan Castle, Which sits atop a hill overlooking the city. The castle dates back to at least the 4th century AD and offers stunning views of Siirt and its surroundings. Siirt also boasts several natural attractions that are worth visiting. One such attraction is Lake Garzan, Which lies just outside of town and offers visitors opportunities for boating, Fishing, Hiking, And picnicking. Another natural wonder near Siirt is Mount Uludoruk, Which stands at an impressive height of over 3, 500 meters above sea level.

The local cuisine in Siirt is known for its unique flavors that are influenced by Kurdish cuisine as well as Turkish cuisine. Some popular dishes include çiğ köfte (raw meatballs), Kuzu tandır (roasted lamb), Pırasa çorbası (leek soup), Baklava (sweet pastry), And ayran (yogurt drink). In addition to its cultural heritage sites and natural attractions, Siirt also plays an important role in Turkey’s economy due to its location on major trade routes between Turkey’s eastern regions with Iraq-Iran-Syria border regions. The city serves as a hub for transportation between these areas.

Overall, Siirt offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into Turkey’s rich history while also providing ample opportunities for outdoor recreation and exploration. Its unique blend of cultures, Stunning natural beauty, And delicious cuisine make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to southeastern Turkey.

Important Landmarks

  1. Cizre Ulu Mosque: A historic mosque built in the 12th century.
  2. Siirt Castle: An ancient castle located on a hill overlooking the city.
  3. Botan River: A beautiful river that runs through the city and offers scenic views.
  4. Eruh Underground City: An underground city dating back to the Roman era.
  5. Aydinlar Cave: A natural cave with stunning rock formations and stalactites.
  6. Mount Gabar: A mountain range popular among hikers and nature enthusiasts.
  7. Kurtalan Train Station: A historic train station dating back to Ottoman times, now serving as a museum.
  8. Siirt Museum: A museum showcasing local history, culture, and artifacts from ancient times to present day.
  9. Hasankeyf Ancient City: An ancient city with ruins dating back thousands of years, currently at risk due to dam construction in the area.
  10. Dicle Bridge (Kizil Bridge): An Ottoman-era bridge spanning across the Tigris River near Siirt city center.

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture
  2. Livestock farming
  3. Mining
  4. Small-scale manufacturing
    • Textiles
    • Carpets
    • Leather goods
    • Handicrafts
  5. Service sector
    • Tourism infrastructure
  6. Renowned for production of:
    • Pistachios
    • Apricots
    • Other fruits
  7. Livestock farming involves:
    • Sheep
    • Goats
  8. Mining activities comprise:
    • Copper mining
  9. Historical sites:
    • Ancient city of Eruh
  10. Natural attractions:
    • Lake Garzan

Noteable History

  1. Siirt was an important center of the Assyrian Empire, which ruled the region from the 14th to the 7th century BCE.
  2. The city played a significant role in the spread of Islam in Anatolia during the early Islamic period.
  3. Siirt was also an important center of Kurdish culture and history, with many notable figures hailing from the region.
  4. One of Siirt’s most famous sons is Mullah Krekar, a controversial Kurdish Islamist leader who founded Ansar al-Islam, a militant group that fought against US forces in Iraq.
  5. Another notable figure from Siirt is Abdullah Öcalan, founder and leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an outlawed separatist group that has been involved in a long-running conflict with Turkey.
  6. In recent years, Siirt has been hit by several devastating earthquakes, including one in 1976 that killed over 5,000 people and another in 2003 that killed over 170 people and left thousands homeless.
  7. Siirt is also known for its rich culinary traditions, including dishes such as kebabı tava (a type of lamb stew), çemen (a spicy red pepper paste), and baklava (a sweet pastry made with layers of phyllo dough).

Museums and Things To See

  1. Siirt Museum: The museum showcases ancient artifacts from civilizations that once occupied the region, such as Assyrian, Roman and Ottoman artifacts.
  2. Ulu Mosque: This historical mosque was constructed in the 16th century and is considered one of the most significant religious sites in Siirt.
  3. Botan River Bridge: A popular tourist attraction, this bridge dates back to the 12th century and provides an excellent photo opportunity.
  4. Hasankeyf: Situated an hour’s drive away from Siirt, this ancient city has been inhabited for over 10,000 years and boasts numerous historical structures and ruins.
  5. Şirvan Castle: Built by a local Kurdish ruler during the 14th century, this castle offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
  6. Baykan Dam Lake: Located just outside of Siirt, this man-made lake is perfect for fishing, boating, hiking or picnicking.
  7. Zernek Castle: Positioned atop a hill overlooking Siirt city below; this castle dates back to the 13th century and provides panoramic views of its surroundings.
  8. Karahan Mosque Complex: Constructed by local rulers during early-17th-century; featuring several buildings with intricate tile work & carvings
  9. Ahlat Cemetery: Located around two hours away from Siirt; showcasing elaborate tombstones dating back to medieval times
  10. Gökçebağ Cave: A cave system located about an hour’s drive from Siirt; features stunning rock formations shaped over millions of years by water erosion

Cultural Events

  1. Siirt Culture and Art Festival celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Siirt, featuring traditional music, dance performances, art exhibitions, and local cuisine.
  2. International Sifir to Sekiz Film Festival showcases independent films from around the world and brings together filmmakers, actors, and producers to celebrate the art of cinema.
  3. Siirt International Folk Dance Festival brings together folk dance groups from different countries to perform traditional dances and exchange cultural experiences.
  4. Hıdrellez Festival is celebrated throughout Turkey marking the beginning of spring with traditional rituals such as bonfires, dancing, singing and feasting.
  5. Ramadan Festivities in Siirt host various events during Islamic holy month such as iftar dinners (the breaking of fast), religious ceremonies at mosques, charity events for those in need & cultural activities.
  6. Kurban Bayrami (Eid al-Adha) is an Islamic holiday celebrated with prayer services at mosques followed by feasts with family members & friends where a sacrificial animal is slaughtered according to Islamic tradition.
  7. Newroz Spring Festival marks arrival of spring in Kurdish culture through music performances by local musicians along with dancing around bonfires in public parks or city squares.


  1. Siirt kebabı: A famous dish made with lamb meat and special spices.
  2. Tandır kebabı: Another popular lamb dish cooked in a traditional oven called tandır.
  3. Kelle paça çorbası: A soup made from sheep’s head and feet, served with garlic and lemon.
  4. Ayran: A refreshing drink made from yogurt, water, and salt.
  5. Kervansaray Restaurant: One of the most famous restaurants in Siirt serving traditional Turkish dishes like kebabs, soups, salads, and desserts.
  6. Mavi Bahçe Restaurant: Located near the Tigris River, this restaurant offers delicious seafood dishes as well as other Turkish specialties.
  7. Yeni Kaplıca Restaurant: Known for its hot springs and thermal baths, this restaurant serves local dishes like siyez bulgur pilaf with lamb meat or chicken stewed with vegetables.
  8. Şirvan Sofrası Restaurant: This family-run restaurant is known for its homemade baklava dessert as well as traditional Turkish breakfasts featuring cheese, olives, honeycomb, eggs cooked to order and freshly baked breads.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Botanik Park: Located in the city center of Siirt, this park has a variety of trees, plants, and flowers. It also offers walking paths, seating areas, and a playground for children.
  2. Siirt Castle: A historic castle that provides visitors with stunning views of the city and surrounding mountains. Visitors can explore on their own or take a guided tour.
  3. Ataturk City Forest: Popular for hiking, picnicking, and camping. It also has a small lake where visitors can fish or rent paddle boats.
  4. Seyit Riza Park: Named after a local hero from the Kurdish independence movement. The park has several statues honoring his legacy as well as walking paths and green spaces.
  5. Rafting on the Tigris River: Adventure seekers can go rafting on the Tigris River which runs through Siirt province with experienced guides available for tours.
  6. Traditional Handicrafts Market: Located in the city center, this market sells handmade carpets, kilims (traditional rugs), pottery, and jewelry made by local artisans.
  7. Mount Gabar Hiking Trail: Near Siirt, this trail offers several hiking trails with stunning views of waterfalls and natural springs along the way.
  8. Korucuk Recreational Area: Perfect for nature lovers who want to relax surrounded by trees, picnic tables, playgrounds, etc.


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