Şırnak Province

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Şırnak Province
Şırnak ili
Province of Turkey
Dilopkê, Şırnak Province
Dilopkê, Şırnak Province
Location of Şırnak Province in Turkey
Location of Şırnak Province in Turkey
Country Turkey
Region Southeast Anatolia
Subregion Mardin
 • Electoral district Şırnak
 • Total 7,172 km2 (2,769 sq mi)
Population (2010-12-31)[1]
 • Total 430,109
 • Density 60/km2 (160/sq mi)
Area code(s) 0486[2]
Vehicle registration 73

The Şırnak Province (Turkish: Şırnak ili, Kurdish: Parêzgeha Şirnex‎) is a Turkish province in southeastern Anatolia. As of 2013, the province had an estimated population of 475,255 people.[3] The majority of the province's population is Kurdish.[4]



The province borders Siirt Province to the north, Van Province to the northeast, Mardin Province to the west, Batman Province to the northwest, Syria to the southwest, and Iraq to the southeast.[5] Şırnak Province has some mountainous regions in the west and the south, but the majority of the province consists of plateaus, resulting from the many rivers that cross it. These include the Tigris, and its tributaries Hezil and Kızılsu, and also Çağlayan. The most important mountains are the Cudi (2089 m),[6] the Gabar, the Namaz and the Altın. Şırnak is the poorest province of Turkey with an average of 508 TL per capita.


Şırnak province is divided into 7 districts (capital district in bold):[3]

Alleged Turkish Government Massacre[edit]

In an attempt to wipe Şırnak off the map on 18 August 1992, Mete Sayar, Turkish brigade commander, attacked the city, killing 54 people, mostly children and women in a massacre. For three days, homes were burned, livestock were killed, people were brutally massacred and Şırnak was turned into a dead city. 20,000 out of 25,000 residents fled the city, Amnesty International reported.

During the massacre, a curfew was imposed in the town and when it finally ended, the whole city was in ruins.

While the town was under bombardment, there was no way to get an account of what was happening in the region as journalists were prevented from entering the city centre which was completely burned down by the security forces. For that reason, the massacre could only be exposed after some of the residents managed to approach reporters in secrecy. Sırnak was under fire for three days and tanks and cannons were used to hit buildings occupied by civilians, survivors of the massacre said.

On 26 August 1992, Amnesty International sent requests to then Prime Minister, Süleyman Demirel, Interior Minister Ismet Sezgin, Emergency Legislation Governor Ünal Erkan and Şırnak province governor Mustafa Mala, to immediately initiate an independent and impartial inquiry into the events, to ensure no-one was mistreated in police custody and to make their findings public. But this call was never heard.

Even though 21 years have passed after the massacre, none of the state officials responsible for this war crime has been brought to court despite the irredeemable damage they have done to the city.

Moreover, then Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel and İsmet Sezgin, Minister of Interior, manipulated the Turkish people, alleging that the PKK raided Şırnak. “When the dust settled, and guerilla numbers were revised steadily downwards and locals started to talk, it became clear that there had been no PKK force, not even a small one [present in the town]. The battle of Sirnak had not been a battle but a drawn out punitive spasm, a two-day spree by vandals wearing the colors of the Turkish state and trashing anything they saw,” British journalist Christopher de Bellaigue, stated in his book Rebel Land: Among Turkey’s Forgotten People. [citation required]


  1. ^ Turkish Statistical Institute, MS Excel document – Population of province/district centers and towns/villages and population growth rate by provinces
  2. ^ Area codes page of Turkish Telecom website (Turkish)
  3. ^ a b "Şırnak". Citypopulation.de. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Google (20 September 2014). "Şırnak Province" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Siirt 1973 (in Turkish). Ajans-Türk Matbaacilak Sanayii. 1973. p. 102. 

Coordinates: 37°26′58″N 42°34′28″E / 37.44944°N 42.57444°E / 37.44944; 42.57444