Bahçesaray (district)

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Central mosque in Bahçesaray
Central mosque in Bahçesaray
Bahçesaray is located in Turkey
Coordinates: 38°07′43″N 42°48′27″E / 38.12861°N 42.80750°E / 38.12861; 42.80750Coordinates: 38°07′43″N 42°48′27″E / 38.12861°N 42.80750°E / 38.12861; 42.80750
Country Turkey
 • MayorMeki Arvas[1] (AKP)
 • KaymakamMuhammet Öztabak[2]
 • District489.69 km2 (189.07 sq mi)
 • Urban
 • District
 • District density35/km2 (91/sq mi)
Post code

Bahçesaray (Armenian: Մոկս, romanizedMoks, Kurdish: Miks[5]) is town and district in Van Province in Turkey. It was a bucak in Pervari district of Siirt Province until 1964 and Gevaş district of Van Province between 1964 and 1987. It is at a distance of 110 kilometres (68 mi) from Van. The town is built at the Bahçesaray rivers' shores.[6]


The name comes from Persian باغچه سرای "bāghche-sarāy" which means "the Garden Palace". Its former name was Müküs, derived from Armenian Mokkʿ (Armenian: Մոկք) region. In Kurdish: Miks‎, derived from the Armenian. The word "Mokk'" in classical Armenian language means: "the place of the magic". According to the legend, Amenap'rkich ("Wholly Saviour") abbey that was nearby Moks, has the grave of a magician by name Gaspar. Probably name of "the place of the magic" or just "Mokk" is connected with this mysterious personality. But scientific sources say that in the Urartu era there existed the Moxene tribe and Moxoene, so the names Mokk' and Moks originated from this tribe's name.

The word Bahçesaray is compound of bahçe ("garden") and saray ("palace"). Bakhchysarai in Crimea has the same name.


The district corresponds to Historical Armenia's Mok Arandznak district, which was part of the greater province of Moxoene. The district has several ancient Armenian monasteries and churches.[7] The Aparank monastery is located in the vicinity of the town.[8]

In the 19th century Bahçesaray was the center of the Kurdish Emirate of Müküs,[9] until the emirate was defeated by the troops of Ottoman Empire in the 1846.[10]

2020 avalanches[edit]

On 4 and 5 February 2020, a pair of avalanches struck a highway in the district, leaving at least 41 people dead and 84 others injured.[11]


  1. ^ "BELEDİYE BAŞKANI MEKİ ARVAS GÖREVİNE BAŞLADI" (in Turkish). Retrieved 19 February 2020.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Bahçesaray Kaymakamı". Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  5. ^ Adem Avcıkıran (2009). Kürtçe Anamnez Anamneza bi Kurmancî (PDF) (in Turkish and Kurdish). p. 57. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 January 2020. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  6. ^ Sinclair, T. A. (1987). Eastern Turkey: An Architectural & Archaeological Survey, Volume I. Pindar Press. p. 234. ISBN 0907132324.
  7. ^ Sinclair, T. A. (1987), pp. 234–237
  8. ^ Sinclair, T. A. (1987), pp. 238–239
  9. ^ Aydın, Suavi; Verheij, Jelle (2012). Jorngerden, Joost; Verheij, Jelle (eds.). Social Relations in Ottoman Diyarbekir, 1870-1915. Brill. p. 27. ISBN 9789004225183.
  10. ^ Aydın, Suavi; Verheij, Jelle (2012). Jorngerden, Joost; Verheij, Jelle (eds.). Social Relations in Ottoman Diyarbekir, 1870-1915. Brill. p. 38. ISBN 9789004225183.
  11. ^ "Avalanche in Turkey wipes out rescue team; 38 dead overall". Associated Press. 5 February 2020. Archived from the original on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.