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Eastern Anatolia Region

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Eastern Anatolia Region
Doğu Anadolu Bölgesi
Region of Turkey
Location of Eastern Anatolia Region
 • Total165,436 km2 (63,875 sq mi)
 • Total6,513,106

The Eastern Anatolia Region (Turkish: Doğu Anadolu Bölgesi) is a geographical region of Turkey. The largest city in the region is Van Province. Other big cities are Malatya, Erzurum and Elazığ.

It is bordered by the Black Sea Region and Georgia in the north, the Central Anatolia Region in the west, the Mediterranean Region in the southeast, the Southeastern Anatolia Region and Iraq in the south, and Iran, Azerbaijan and Armenia in the east.

The region encompasses most of Western Armenia (Armenian: Արեւմտյան Հայաստան) and had a large population of indigenous Armenians until the Armenian genocide. The Anatolia peninsula never encompassed what is now called "Eastern Anatolia", which has been seen as an attempt by Turkey to erase the Armenian history of the region.[1][2]

It has the highest average altitude, largest geographical area, and lowest population density of the seven Turkish regions.

Substitution for the name Armenia

Following the Armenian genocide and establishment of the Republic of Turkey, the territory known as the Armenian Highlands (or Western Armenia) were renamed "Eastern Anatolia" by the Turkish government.[3][4][1]

Beginning in 1880, the name Armenia was forbidden to be used in official documents of the Ottoman Empire, in an attempt to play down the history of Armenians in their own homeland.[1][5][2] The government of Sultan Abdul Hamid II replaced the name Armenia with such terms as "Kurdistan" or "Anatolia". The Sublime Porte believed there would be no Armenian question if there was no Armenia. The process of “nationalization” of toponyms was continued and gained momentum under the Kemalists after the foundation of the Republic of Turkey. In 1923, the entire territory of Western Armenia was officially renamed "Eastern Anatolia" (literally 'Eastern East').[3][4][1][2]

The word Anatolia means 'sunrise' or 'east' in Greek. This name was given to the Asia Minor peninsula approximately in the 5th or 4th centuries B.C. During the Ottoman era, the term Anadolou included the north-eastern vilayets of Asia Minor, with Kütahya as its center. Numerous European, Ottoman, Armenian, Russian, Persian, Arabic and other primary sources made clear distinctions between Anatolia and Armenia.[3] The Armenian Highlands have historically been considered to be east of Anatolia, with the border between them located near Sivas (Sebastia) and Kayseri (Caesarea).[5]

In the 17th century the terms "Anatolia" or "Eastern Anatolia" were never used to indicate Armenia. The Islamic world map of the 16th century and other Ottoman maps of the 18th and 19th centuries also indicate Armenia (Ermenistan) in a specific territory, as well as its cities.[3]

Armenia, together with its boundaries, was mentioned in the works of Ottoman historians and chroniclers until the ban at the end of the 19th century. Kâtip Çelebi, a famous Ottoman chronicler of the 17th century, had a special chapter titled “About the Country Called Armenia” in his book Jihan Numa. However, when this book was republished in 1957, its modern Turkish editor H. Selen changed this title into “Eastern Anatolia”. Osman Nuri, a historian of the second half of the 19th century, mentions Armenia repeatedly in his three-volume Abdul Hamid and the Period of His Reign.[3]


Eastern Anatolia Region has four subdivisions:

  • Upper Euphrates division (Turkish: Yukarı Fırat Bölümü)
  • Erzurum-Kars division (Turkish: Erzurum-Kars Bölümü)
  • Upper Murat-Van division (Turkish: Yukarı Murat-Van Bölümü)
  • Hakkari division (Turkish: Hakkari Bölümü)


Provinces that are entirely in the Eastern Anatolia Region:

Provinces that are mostly in the Eastern Anatolia Region:

Location and borders

The Eastern Anatolia Region is located in the easternmost part of Turkey. It is bounded by Turkey's Central Anatolia Region to the west; Turkey's Black Sea Region to the north; Turkey's Southeast Anatolia Region and Iraq to the south; and Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia to the east, where Eastern Anatolia overlaps and converges with the South Caucasus region and Lesser Caucasus mountain plateau.

The area of the region is 164,330 km², which comprises 20.9% of the total area of Turkey.

Panoramic view of Ani in Kars


The total population of the region is 5,966,101 (2019 estimate), down from 6,100,000 at the 2000 census. The population density (40 person/km²) is lower than the average for Turkey (98 person/km²).[citation needed] The region has the second most rural population in Turkey after the Black Sea region. Migration, especially to Marmara Region, is high. Migration to other regions and abroad is higher than the natural population increase. Until the Armenian genocide, the region also had a large population of indigenous Armenians, when it was also known as Western Armenia, and in addition had significant minorities of Georgians, Pontic Greeks and Caucasus Greeks.[6][7][8]


The average altitude is 2,200 m. Major geographic features include plains, plateaus and massifs. There is some volcanic activity today.

Lakes And Rivers

  • Located in the Eastern Anatolia Region Aras and Kura rivers flooded the shed outside the territory of Turkey to the Caspian Sea. Euphrates, the Tigris and the Zab river waters are poured back onto the Persian Gulf Turkey outside.
  • The regime of the streams of the region is irregular. This is because; the irregularity of the precipitation regime and the fall of winter precipitation in the form of snow. As the snow falls on the ground for a long time without melting, the flow rates of the rivers decrease. The snow melting in spring and summer causes streams to increase their flow rates and flow enthusiastically. On the other hand, the rivers of the region have high hydroelectric energy potential. The reason for this is that it has high elevations and slopes.
  • Lakes were formed on the fault lines throughout the region. Turkey's largest lake, Lake Van along with Lake Çıldır, Lake Nazik, Lake Erçek, Lake Hazar, Lake Balık and Lake Haçlı are located within the region.

Massifs and mountains

Plateaus and plains



Climate and nature

Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Turkish State Meteorology[9]

Since most of the region is far from the sea, and has high altitude, it has a harsh continental climate with long winters and short summers. During the winter, it is very cold and snowy, during summer the weather is cool in the highlands and warm in the lowlands.

The region's annual temperature difference is the highest in Turkey. Some areas in the region have different microclimates. As an example, Iğdır (near Mount Ararat) has a milder climate.

The region contains 11% percent of the total forested area of Turkey, and it is rich in native plants and animals. Oak and yellow pine trees form the majority of the forests.

The region has high potential for hydroelectric power.[10]



  1. ^ a b c d Cheterian, Vicken (2015). Open Wounds: Armenians, Turks and a Century of Genocide. Oxford and New York City: Oxford University Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-1849044585. As a result of policies such as these, the expression Armenian Plateau, which had been used for centuries to denote the mountainous highlands around Lake Van and Lake Sevan, was eliminated and replaced by the expression 'eastern Anatolia'.
  2. ^ a b c Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies. Vol. 14–16. Los Angeles. 2005. p. 55. Most of historical Armenia presently constitutes a part of Turkey (renamed "Eastern Anatolia"), which conducts a policy of minimizing the role of the Armenians in history
  3. ^ a b c d e Sahakyan, Lusine (2010). Turkification of the Toponyms in the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey. Montreal: Arod Books. ISBN 978-0969987970.
  4. ^ a b Hovannisian, Richard (2007). The Armenian Genocide: Cultural and Ethical Legacies. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers. p. 3. ISBN 978-1412835923.
  5. ^ a b Galichian, Rouben (2004). Historic Maps of Armenia: The Cartographic Heritage. London and New York City: I.B. Tauris. pp. 8–9. ISBN 1860649793.
  6. ^ Holslag, Anthonie (2018). The Transgenerational Consequences of the Armenian Genocide: Near the Foot of Mount Ararat. Springer. p. 26. ISBN 9783319692609.
  7. ^ Hovanissian, Anush (2016). "Turkey: a Cultural Genocide". In Chorbajian, Levon; Shirinian, George (eds.). Studies in Comparative Genocide. Springer. p. 149. ISBN 9781349273485.
  8. ^ Bloxham, Donald (2003). "The Armenian Genocide of 1915-1916: Cumulative Radicalization and the Development of a Destruction Policy". Past & Present (181): 148. JSTOR 3600788. Though no ethnicity comprised an absolute majority of the inhabitants of eastern Anatolia, Armenians formed a plurality, alongside Kurds.
  9. ^ "İl ve İlçelerimize Ait İstatistiki Veriler- Meteoroloji Genel Müdürlüğü". Archived from the original on 2011-06-20. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
  10. ^ C, Aykut (2020-05-01). "Hidroelektrik Üretimi En Fazla Hangi Bölgede?". (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-10-08.

External links