Tunceli Province

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Tunceli Province
Dersim in Turkey.svg
Location of Tunceli Province in Turkey
Country Turkey
Region Central East Anatolia
Subregion Malatya
Foundation25 December 1935
Government
   Electoral district Tunceli
  GovernorMehmet Ali Özkan
  Mayor Fatih Mehmet Maçoğlu
Area
  Total7,774 km2 (3,002 sq mi)
Population
 (2018) [1]
  Total88,198
  Density11/km2 (29/sq mi)
Area code(s) 0428 [2]
Vehicle registration 62

Tunceli Province (Turkish : Tunceli ili, [3] Kurdish : Parêzgeha Dêrsimê [4] ), formerly Dersim Province, is located in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. The least densely-populated province in Turkey, it was originally named Dersim Province (Dersim vilayeti), then demoted to a district (Dersim kazası) and incorporated into Elâzığ Province in 1926. [5] The province is considered part of Turkish Kurdistan and has a Kurdish majority. It is moreover the only province in Turkey with an Alevi majority. [6] [7]

Contents

Geography

Pertek Castle Pertek Kalesi.jpg
Pertek Castle

The adjacent provinces are Erzincan to the north and west, Elazığ to the south, and Bingöl to the east. The province covers an area of 7,774 km2 (3,002 sq mi) and has a population of 76,699. Tunceli is traversed by the northeasterly line of equal latitude and longitude.The Munzur Valley National Park is also situated in the province. [8]

History

The history of the province stretches back to antiquity. It was mentioned as Daranalis by Ptolemy, and seemingly, it was referred to as Daranis before him. One theory as to the origin of the name associates with Darius the Great. Another, more likely hypothesis, considering the region's Armenian background, says the name Daranalis or Daranaghis comes from the historical Armenian province of Daron, of which Dersim belonged.

They are named Daranaghi in what is today Dersim, that in Mamigonian times was part of Daron. Armenian regions-expansion of the House of Mamikonian.gif
They are named Daranaghi in what is today Dersim, that in Mamigonian times was part of Daron.

The area that would become Dersim province formed part of Urartu, Media, the Achaemenid Empire, and the Greater Armenian region of Sophene. Sophene was later contested by the Roman and Parthian Empires and by their respective successors, the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires. Arabs invaded in the 7th century, and Seljuq Turks in the 11th. [9]

As of the end of the 19th century, the region, called Dersim, was included in the Ottoman sancak (sub-province) of Hozat, including the city and the Mamuret-ul-Aziz Vilayet (now Elazığ), with the exception of the actual district of Pülümür, which was in the neighboring sancak of Erzincan, then a part of the Erzurum Vilayet. This status continued through the first years of the Republic of Turkey, until 1936 when the name of the province ("Dersim") was changed to Tunceli, literally 'the land of bronze' in Turkish (tunç meaning 'bronze' and el (in this context) meaning 'land') after the brutal events of the Dersim rebellion. The town of Kalan was made the capital and the district of Pülümür was included in the new province.[ citation needed ]

Inspectorate General

Following the Tunceli Law 1935, which demanded a more powerful Government in the region, the Fourth Inspectorate-General (Umumi Müfettişlik, UM) was created in January 1936. [10] The fourth UM span over the provinces of Elaziğ, Erzincan, Bingöl and Tunceli, [11] and was governed by a Governor Commander. Most of the employees in the municipality were to be filled with military personnel and the Governor-Commander had the authority to evacuate whole villages and resettle them in other parts. [11] Also the juridical guarantees did not comply with the law in the other parts in Turkey. The trials were at most 15 days long and sentences could not be appealed. For a release, the Governor Commander had to give his consent. The application of the death penalty was under the authority of the Governor-Commander, while normally it would be the authority of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to approve such a punishment. [11] In 1946 the Tunceli Law was abolished and the state of emergency removed but the authority of the fourth UM was transferred to the military. [11] The Inspectorates-General was dissolved in 1952 during the Government of the Democrat Party. [12]

Demographics

It has the lowest population density of any province in Turkey, just 9.8 inhabitants/km2.

Alevis

They have been practicing a branch of Alevism before the Ottoman Empire came to the Middle East and many believe Munzur, Dersim to be the heartland of the Alevi. Where holy places, all of which are natural features of the landscape, are found in abundance, and where the region's isolation has insulated it from the influence of Turkeys' dominant Sunni sect of Islam, helping to keep its unique Alevi character relatively pure. [13]

Kadir Bulut, one of the few remaining "dedes" in Tunceli, stated that "If you really call yourself Alevi, there is not really room for it in Islam". [14] On Prime Minister Davutoğlu's visit to Tunceli, Engin Dogru, head of the Kurdish Democratic Regions Party, stated that "Davutoglu's visit was an attempt at assimilation, he tried to define a Muslim, and we do not want this." [14]

Armenians of Tunceli

Many of the region's Armenians were living among the Alevi Zazas of the region, with whom they had good relations. [15] This allowed the Armenians to avoid deportation because their Alevi neighbors didn't have any negative affinity towards Armenians. The Armenians lived quietly in their mountain villages until 1938, when Turkish Armed Forces soldiers invaded the region to put down a Dersim rebellion, and in the process blew up St Karapet's Monastery and killed around 60,000-70,000. [16] [17]

Name changes

It is said that ancient Greek historians and geographers named the Dersim region Daranis and Derksene. Baytar Nuri includes this information at the entrance of his book Dersim in Kurdistan history. [18] After the Dersim rebellion, any villages and towns deemed to have non-Turkish names were renamed and given Turkish names in order to suppress any non-Turkish heritage. [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] During the Turkish Republican era, the words Kurdistan and Kurds were banned. The Turkish government had disguised the presence of the Kurds statistically by categorizing them as Mountain Turks . [26] [27]

Nişanyan estimates that 4,000 Kurdish geographical locations have been changed (both Zazaki and Kurmanji). [28] The people of Tunceli have been actively fighting to get their province reverted to its old Kurdish name "Dersim". Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) claimed they are working on what it called a “democratization package” that includes the restoration of the Kurdish name of the eastern province of Tunceli back to Dersim in early 2013, but there has been no updates or news of it since then. [29]

Districts

Tunceli Province is divided into eight districts:

Tunceli was administered as part of Elazığ until 1947.

Cities and towns

Politics

In the municipal elections held in March 2019, Fatih Mehmet Maçoğlu won with 32% of the votes cast. [30] He ran as the candidate of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), making him the first communist mayor of a municipality in Turkey. [31] In his first year in office, he has established free public transport in parts of the city and the development of industrial and agricultural cooperatives, which are meant to tackle unemployment, have already begun. [32]

Education

Tunceli University was established on May 22, 2008. [33]

Places of interest

Tunceli is known for its old buildings such as the Çelebi Ağa Mosque, [34] Elti Hatun Mosque, [35] Mazgirt Castle, [36] Pertek Castle, [37] and the Derun-i Hisar Castle. [38] [39]

Related Research Articles

Tunceli Municipality in Tunceli Province, Turkey

Tunceli is a majority Kurdish city in Turkey. It is the capital of Tunceli Province, located in the middle of Eastern Anatolia Region. The city was the site of the infamous Dersim massacre.

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Van Province Province of Turkey

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Bingöl Province Province of Turkey

Bingöl Province is a province of Turkey in Eastern Anatolia. The province was known as Çapakçur Province until 1945 when it was renamed as Bingöl province. Its neighboring provinces are Tunceli, Erzurum, Muş, Diyarbakır, Erzincan and Elazığ. The province covers an area of 8,125 km2 and has a population of 255,170. The capital is Bingöl. As the current Governor of the province, Kadir Ekinci was appointed by the president on the 5 November 2018.

Zazas

The Zazas are a people in eastern Turkey who speak the Zaza language. Their heartland consists of Tunceli and Bingöl provinces and parts of Elazığ, Erzincan and Diyarbakır provinces. Zazas generally consider themselves Kurds, and are often described as Zaza Kurds.

Van Vilayet

The Vilayet of Van was a first-level administrative division (vilayet) of the Ottoman Empire. At the beginning of the 20th century, it reportedly had a population of about 400,000 and an area of 15,000 square miles (39,000 km2). Van Vilayet was one of the Kurdish Viyalets and held, prior to World War I, majority Kurds, as well as Armenians, Assyrian and Azeri minorities.

Turkish Kurdistan Kurdish inhabited area of Turkey

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The Koçgiri rebellion or Koçkiri rebellion was a Kurdish uprising, that began in the overwhelmingly militant Koçgiri region in eastern present-day Sivas Province in February 1921. The rebellion was initially Alevi, but succeeded in gathering support from nearby Sunni tribes. The tribe leaders had close relations to the Society for the Rise of Kurdistan (SAK). The rebellion was defeated in June 1921.

Dersim rebellion Kurdish and Zaza uprising against the Turkish government in Dersim, eastern Turkey

The Dersim rebellion was an Alevi Kurdish uprising against the Turkish government in the Dersim region of eastern Turkey, which includes parts of Tunceli Province, Elazığ Province, and Bingöl Province. The rebellion was led by Seyid Riza, a chieftain of the Abasan tribe. As a result of the Turkish Armed Forces campaign in 1937 and 1938 against the rebellion and the Dersim massacre, sometimes called the Dersim genocide, of civilians, thousands of Alevi Zazas died and many others were internally displaced.

Seyid Riza

Seyid Riza was an Alevi Zaza-Kurd political leader of the Alevi Zazas of Dersim, a religious figure and the leader of the Dersim movement in Turkey during the 1937–1938 Dersim Rebellion.

Mamuret-ul-Aziz Vilayet

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Place name changes in Turkey Overview of geographical name changes in the Republic of Turkey

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Nuri Dersimi Kurdish writer

Mehmet Nuri Dersimi also known as Baytar Nuri was a Kurdish writer, revolutionary and intellectual.

Kurdish rebellions during World War I

During World War I, several Kurdish rebellions took place within the Ottoman Empire. These revolts were encouraged by the western allies, particularly Britain, who promised the Kurds an independent state. The first Kurdish rebellion was launched in August 1914, before the Ottoman entry into World War I. From 1915 to 1916, further Kurdish rebellions took place in Botan, Dersim, and south of Kiğı. 1917 saw 2 additional rebellions, the latter of which received Russian military support. Shortly before the Armistice of Mudros in October 1918, Mahmud Barzanji broke away from the Ottoman Empire and established a quasi-independent Kurdish state under British supervision.

Hülya Oran is a leader in the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and is the co-chair of the Kurdistan Communities Union along with Cemil Bayik. She is the sixth member of the General Presidential Council, the most authoritative body in the PKK.

The Fourth Inspectorate-General refers to a regional administrative subdivision in the Dersim region.

Kurdish Alevism refers to the unique rituals, sacred place practices, mythological discourses and socio-religious organizations among Kurds who adhere to Alevism. Moreover, Kurdish Alevis consider their hereditary sacred lineages as semi-deific figures, practice nature veneration, and put more emphasis on Pir Sultan Abdal as their religious symbol, unlike Turkish Alevis who emphasize on Haji Bektash Veli. Kurdish Alevis argue that their beliefs are related to Ahl-e Haqq and Yazidism.

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Coordinates: 39°12′53″N39°28′17″E / 39.21472°N 39.47139°E / 39.21472; 39.47139