The biggest region in Turkey is an area of 163.200 sq.km in the east of the Anatolian peninsula. It has borders with Georgia, Armenia, Nahçıvan, Iran and Iraq. There are 15 provinces in the region: Ağrı, Ardahan, Bingöl, Bitlis, Elazığ, Erzincan, Erzurum, Hakkari, Iğdır, Kars, Malatya, Muş, Şırnak, Tunceli and Van.
The region is subdivided into four parts as Hakkari, the Upper Murat-Van, Erzurum-Kars and the Upper Euphrates. The highest plateau of the country is broken by the gigantic mountain ranges The average elevation is 1.800 m and the mountains of Süphan and Cilo and Mt. Ararat (5.165 m), the highest mountains in Turkey, are in this region. These mountains are all extinct volcanos. There are high plateaus in Erzurum and Kars and in low lands-Erzincan, Pasinler, and the İğdır plains between the parallel mountain ranges.
The Eastern Anatolian region has rich water sources because the Euphrates, the Tigris, the Çoruh, the Aras and the Kura rivers originate in the country and flow into the seas abroad.
Lake Van, the largest lake in the country, is regarded as an inland sea. And also the dams of Keban and Karakaya occupy a large area. Because the region is inland and so mountainous the climate is typically continental; and the fauna is mainly steppe although it is possible to Irdahan see forests along the streams and in some high lands.
Many civilizations have settled in the region all f through history because of its strategical location. The diversity and variety of the monuments surviving to the present time show the cultural wealth of the region. The Assyrians, Hittites, Urartians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Anatolian Seljuks, Armenians, Georgians, Ottomans and some local communities left their traces in the region. Some of the finds are exhibited in the museums, but the region, itself, is an open-air museum.
Eastern Anatolia Destinations