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Varto is located in Turkey
Coordinates: 39°10′10″N 41°27′15″E / 39.16944°N 41.45417°E / 39.16944; 41.45417Coordinates: 39°10′10″N 41°27′15″E / 39.16944°N 41.45417°E / 39.16944; 41.45417
Country  Turkey
Province Muş
 • Mayor Sabite Ekinci (BDP)
 • Kaymakam Mehmet Yıldız
 • District 1,365.44 km2 (527.20 sq mi)
Elevation 1,650 m (5,410 ft)
Population (2012)[2]
 • Urban 10,275
 • District 33,746
 • District density 25/km2 (64/sq mi)
Post code 496xx

Varto Zazaki : "gımgım" is a town in eastern Turkey. The inhabitants are primarily Kurds And Zazas .

Varto was the site of a major fighting during the Sheikh Said rebellion in 1924, and the 1966 earthquake that killed nearly 3,000 people.

In the 1990s Varto was one of the hotbeds of Kurdish militancy led by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Although the city did not see ongoing battles, it was the hometown of many fighters and leading PKK commanders. The Turkish military garrison stationed in the city is surrounded by barbed wire and sandbags. The garrison patrols the city in armored personnel carriers (cars), though there has been no fighting in or around the city since the 1990s. Most Kirmancki Zazaki language speakers are Alevis, whereas most Kurmanci Kurdish language speakers are Sunnis. The communities had a separate and quiet existence until the 1980s. The last three decades have seen significant intermarriage, partially aided by the advance of Kurdish nationalism. Varto consists of the main city and 99 villages.

The population of Varto city is around 13,000 with another 17,000 living in the villages. In summer Varto and its villages are filled by expatriates that swell the total population well past the 75,000 mark.

The largest population from Varto in Europe is in Berlin (Germany).

The current mayor is Sabite Ekinci (BDP).

The former mayor of Varto, Demir Celik, a pharmacist, is chairman of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).


  1. ^ "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  2. ^ "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 

Further reading[edit]

  • De Bellaigue, Christopher, Rebel Land: Among Turkey's Forgotten Peoples. London: Bloomsbury, 2009.

External links[edit]