Located on the South side of Zap Valley, this mountainous city, Hakkari; is the furthest point in Anatolia. At the end of circular road going to the city, Sumbul Mountain welcomes visitors with its snow-capped hills. It is one of the cities in Turkey neighboring two countries with its 343-km-border on Iran-Irak
Situated in the triangle of Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Iran, Hakkari has attracted attention of many communities in history for its location and geographical structure. The first knowledge about the region was acquired from Assyrian tablets. Hakkari was dominated by Meds, Persians, Selevkos, Abbasids, Seljuks, Mongols, Karakoyunlu state (Black Sheep), Akkoyunlu state (White Sheep) and Ottomans. The region was ruled as a principality, in general. The history of Cukurca district can be traced back to Urartus. Later, this district became an important center for Abbasids.
The districts of Hakkari are; Cukurca, Semdinli and Yuksekova. The largest plain of the city is Yuksekova. There are many lakes on the top, and on the places close to the top of high mountains. The most significant of them is Gelyana Lake.
Typically, continental climate is seen in Hakkari. Therefore, winters are cold and harsh and summers are hot and dry in this city.www.hakkari.bel.tr
Few works relating to region’s history have reached today. Some of the important artifacts are introduced below.
It is understood from the inscription that this madrasah taking place in Bicer Neighborhood in provincial city was built in 1700-1701 A.D. Meydan Madrasah is the most significant monumental building in Hakkari for its clear-cut hewn stone work, arched courtyard inside and decorations on the door.
The basic plan is that of rectangular shape resembling a square measuring 23.40 m by 18.25 m from outside. The arches were doubled on four sides of the courtyard. In the west side of the building, there are four rooms close to each other both on the first and second floor each. To the east, there are three rooms on the bottom and two rooms on top. These rooms were designed larger than other rooms and their north parts were used a classroom and a masjid.
It is recognized from the inscriptions that this two-storied artifact was built in 1909- 1911. The inscriptions were written on marble in two lines by sulus (Arabic Thuluth) calligraphy. Although there isn’t any name relating the master of building, it is assumed that the building was built by Seyit Abdullah, son of Seyit Ubeydullah.
The walls to the north and the west have mostly survived today, however the east and south walls are partly in good condition and their cover collapsed completely. The ground and first floors of the building are identical in terms of the plan. It is composed of two rectangular halls in the middle and four rooms situated to the west side of the halls. To the north frontage, a sharp vault spanned door and on both sides of the door four windows were constructed into a sharp vaulted recess. The windows were placed in a recess. The frontages of the palace were made of clear-cut hewn stones and the walls of the rooms inside were made of debris.
Kırmızı Kumbet (Red Cupola) Graveyard
In Guleres Baba Neighborhood, located on a slope ridge, this graveyard is considered to holy and visited by public. The action is taking for protecting the graveyard, which have ruined so far.
Tas (Stone) Bridge
It was built on Semdinli Stream, 15 km to the county town and 1.5-2 km to Nehri. Among high mountains, in a deep valley, the feet of the bridge fit on rocks. It has a measure of 10.80 m height, 21.20 m length, and 2.90 m width. It is classified as a one-eyed pitched way bridge. The sharp vaulted span of the bridge, made of clear-cut hewn stones, is fairly high. The bridge, which has still been used today, is supposed to be an artifact of Ottoman period.
Stone Age Rock Drawings
These rock drawings, in Gevaruk Valley and dated back to at least 5000 years ago, are the most important historical treasure of Hakkari. In the specified place, 1179 rock drawings, made by engraving, have been found so far. Most of the illustrations here were stylized.
Generally, the subject of the drawings are; chamois, bison, various game animals and traps, motifs related to magic, stylized shapes and emblems used by old half-nomadic Turkish tribes.
Hırvata Village Ruins
Buyuk Ciftlik (Hırvata) Village Ruins; is a great city and castle ruins at the estuary of Avis Stream to the west of Yuksekova. These ruins are thought to be the Musasir city of Urartus.
Steles of Hakkari
The common feature of these steles, engraved on stone tablets of the region, is that they have human figures on the front. Although it could not be identified that to which period they belong, some human figures on the steles hold such kind of tools as daggers, axes and lances in their hands.
Derav Rock Churches
Near Gegevran Village of Derav Valley, churches remained from 11th century exist. Inside of its walls, there are frescos depicting life of Jesus Christ.
Located in Halil site which is on the main roadside and 10 km away from Hakkari, the construction date and by whom the church was built, are not known exactly since it does not have an inscription. However it is supposed to be belonging to Nasturis. The church’s outside measurements are 6.70m x 13.70m. Having a rectangular plan and composed of two parts, cabinet niches were carved out on the church’s walls. Whole building was made of stone materials and covered by an earthen roof.
OTHER CULTURAL AND TOURISTIC ASSETS
Among Hakkari’s natural beauties, Sumbul Mountain is undoubtedly on the first place. However the plateaus in the region also display fairly interesting natural beauties. One can come across tribes living in goat-hair tents on plateaus. Adorned with wild tulips, the plateaus are used by local people. Local youths fish in Zap Stream. To the southeast of Hakkari, Cilo-Sat Mountains are in the east of Taurus Mountains ranging from east to west on south border of Turkey. This mountain chain forms the west part of Himalayas Mountain Range.
The highest hills are Uludoruk (Resko) summit of Cilo Mountains with 4136 m height and Catalkaya (Samdi) of Sat Mountains with a 3794 m-height. Resembling to Alps in both general outlook and glacier topography, Cilo-Sat Mountains are among the places affected by glaciers most. High hills of these mountains contain the most interesting examples of glacier formations and water erosion impacts. The greatest of ten glaciers, formed by different glaciers, İzbırak is 5 km long, 500-600 m wide and about 100 m deep. The dry wide field extends to the north skirts of mountain range. Mountainous areas are rainy during winter months at most. In the green and fertile valleys, rural settlements take place and there is an ideal temperate climate for vineyards and orchards between the hills.
On low valleys, alpine flora covers the top of 2000 or 3000-meter- high mountain hills, The major means of living in the region, flock of domestic animals are put out to pasture on these fields.
Stiff and high summits, high glaciers, glacial rivers and rapidly flowing streams have made Cilo-Sat Mountains a well-known geographical and geologic landform worldwide. The most convenient period for summer tours is June, July, August and September. For climbing in winter, the most appropriate months are February and March.
To reach Cilo-Sat Mountains, one can travel from Ankara to Van by air, train or land. From there to Hakkari, 245-km-land route is followed. One of the routes for climbing Uludoruk is Serpil Village and the other is Dezkoy Village.
An extensive plateau culture has developed on Cilo and Sat Mountains. The image of local people, in colorful clothes migrating to high lands to find new pasture fields, is superb. Mountain glaciers, rapidly flowing rivers with fishes inside them, and fascinating glacial lakes are only some of the wonderful natural beauties of the region.
Famous karakovan (black hive) honey of Hakkari should be tasted and it is sold in the provincial center. Also, among local dishes; Hakkari sarması (hot dish made of grape or cabbage leaves stuffed with meat and rice), kiris (a hot dish made of meat and chickpea), aside and kunefe are fairly delicious. Regarded as a symbol of district’s culture, wool kilims (rugs) dyed with madder, carpetbags and wool socks are among the giftware that can be bought from Hakkari.