Iğdır Province

Iğdır Province
Iğdır ili
Province of Turkey

Location of Iğdır Province in Turkey
Country Turkey
Region Northeast Anatolia
Subregion Ağrı
  Electoral district Iğdır
  Total 3,588 km2 (1,385 sq mi)
Population (2010-12-31)[1]
  Total 184,418
  Density 51/km2 (130/sq mi)
Area code(s) 0476
Vehicle registration 76

Iğdır Province (Turkish: Iğdır ili) is a province in eastern Turkey, located along the borders with Armenia, Azerbaijan (the area of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic), and Iran. Its adjacent provinces are Kars to the northwest and Ağrı to the west and south. It occupies an area of 3,587 km² and population of 184,418[2] (2010 est.), it was 168,634 in 2000 (up from 142,601 in 1990). It was created from southeastern part of former Kars Province in 1993.

Turkey's highest mountain, Mount Ararat (Ağrı Dağı) is in Iğdır, but much of the land is a wide plain far below the mountain. The climate is the warmest in this part of Turkey, cotton can be grown in Iğdır. Iğdır is where Noah is said to have thrived following the flood. The closed border with Armenia follows the Aras River.

The provincial capital is the city of Iğdır. The majority of the province's population is Kurdish, with Azerbaijanis making up the remainder.[3] However, the majority of the population was historically Armenian. According to the Russian Empire Census in 1897 Iğdır had a population of 4,680, of which 3,934 (84%) were Armenians, and 559 (12%) were Russians.[4]


Iğdır province is divided into 4 districts (capital district in bold):


Urartu Cuniform Argishti

Archaeological research has uncovered Hurrian settlements in the Iğdır region going back to 4000 BC. The area was part of the Urartu kingdom circa 800 BC. There is a Urartu statuary in the area. It remained under Urartian control until its transition to the Median Empire, Persian Empire, Alexander The Great, Orontid Dynasty of the Kingdom of Armenia. Seleucid, Parthian, Roman, Sassanid and Byzantine forces were prominent from the 4th century BC, followed by the Arab armies of Islam in 646. Turks, Georgians and Mongols fought through here for 400 years from 1064 onwards until the area was settled by Kara Koyunlu and then Ak Koyunlu Turkic tribes in the early 15th century.

For centuries, a constant warfare ensued between the two arch rivals, the Ottoman Empire and the Persian Empire from 1534 until 1746. The region, most of the time remaining in Persian hands, was officially ceded once again in 1746, when subsequently most of its land within the province of Iğdır today became part of the Erivan khanate, a Muslim principality in Persia. The northern part of the province remained in Persian hands until after the Russo-Persian War, 1826-1828 when it became part of the Russian Empire under the Treaty of Turkmenchay. Under Russian administration, the area became the Surmali uyezd (with its capital at the city of Iğdır) of the Armenian Oblast and later the Erivan Governorate. The southern half of the province remained in Ottoman hands through most of the 19th century but was also brought within the Russian Empire by Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78.

By the end of World War I, the whole area was under Russian control and Iğdır came under the administration of the First Republic of Armenia as part of the Ararat province but upon the arrival of the newly founded Turkish army, Iğdır was ceded to Turkey by the Soviet Union in the Treaty of Kars. A substantial Armenian population remained in the area throughout this history of struggle between great powers. Armenians formed the ethnic majority in the city of Iğdır itself until 1919–1920 when most either died or fled due to starvation and Turkish–Armenian War.[5] It was part of Beyazıt Province between 1922 and 1927, part of Ağrı Province (created after moving center of Beyazıt one from Beyazıt to Karaköse) between 1927 and 1934, and finally part of Kars Province between 1934 and 1993 before becoming separate province.[6]


A street in Iğdır City

Today, Iğdır has a mixed population of Azerbaijanis and Kurds, both of whom comprise roughly half of the population, the former primarily inhabiting the north and east of the province and the latter inhabiting the south and west of the province. Political scientist Nicole Watts suggests a majority of the province's population are Kurds (as of 2010).[7]

The Kurds are Sunni Muslims belonging to the Shafi school while Azerbaijanis are Shia Muslims belonging to Ithnā‘ashariyyah school. The rural areas of Iğdır province have a higher population density (30 inhabitants/km²) than those of neighbouring provinces.

Year People
1927 34,840
1935 45,648
1940 46,669
1945 49,115
1950 56,882
1955 70,951
1960 85,041
1965 96,652
1970 112,256
1975 130,338
1980 127,438
1985 141,490
1990 142,601
1997 145,411
2000 168,634
2007 181,866

Places of interest

Karasu River from Igdir

See also


  1. Turkish Statistical Institute, MS Excel document – Population of province/district centers and towns/villages and population growth rate by provinces
  2. Statistical Institute page
  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. (Russian) Первая всеобщая перепись населения Российской Империи, 1897 г. (Erivanskaya Guberniya), N. A. Troynitskii, Saint Petersburg, 1904, p. 144.
  5. VirtualAni – An account of Igdir from National Geographic, 1919
  6. http://www.diyadinnet.com/Bolgemiz-17&Bolge=do%C4%9Fubayaz%C4%B1t-tarihi-bilgileri
  7. 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.
  8. "Her Yönüyle Iğdır", Ziya Zakir Acar, 2004
  9. VirtualAni – The Caravanserai of Zor
  10. "Introduction of Iğdır", Iğdır Municipality Publishing, 2003
  11. "www.kuzeydoga.org

Coordinates: 39°53′37″N 43°59′52″E / 39.89361°N 43.99778°E / 39.89361; 43.99778

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