Things to Know

Sirnak was once a town in Hakkari province that is surrounded by high mountains and one of Turkey's main links to Middle Eastern countries. It houses 530,000 people living in an area of 7,172 square kilometers with 6 towns: Beytussebap, Cizre, Guclukonak, Idil, Silopi and Uludere.

It is believed that the settlement was originally called "Sehr-i Nuh" (the city of Noah) since it was near Cudi Mountain where Noah's Arc finally landed after the Flood (see Ararat). The original name later transformed into "Sernah". During the Guti Empire reigned in the region, a special inscription style called "civi zend" was invented.

Mount Cudi is a fertile land rich in history. Over 2000 meters tall on one of the peaks where it is believed that Noah's Arc landed—its "Noah's Visit"—is one of the tallest mountains in southeastern Anatolia.

Other valuable historical assets of Sirnak include a rock carving from the Assyrians describing a horseback rider (near Meseici village and Kasrik Pass); other rock carvings dating back to 7000 BC which corresponds to the time of Neolithic Age in Beytussebap; forts Kale, Meme Kale, and Kaletivuru; bridges of Kasrik Pass reflecting art stone working in Seljuk period. Virgin Mary Church in Cizre is not to be confused with that one in Ephesus.

Agriculture, animal husbandry and border trade form the backbone of economic life in Sirnak. Wheat, barley and lentil are the main crops. Cotton is grown as an industrial crop. Cizre and Silopi raise high quality pomegranate and grape. Animal husbandry is practiced by nomadic people who mainly breed sheep and various types of goats (ordinary goat, Angora goat, and brown haired goat specific to the area). Traditional handicrafts consist of carpets, kilims and bag weaving. Sirnak scarves are woven out of sheep wool. Beytussebap is well known for its kilims.

Places to Visit in Sirnak