Artvin Province

Artvin Province
Artvin Province
Artvin ili
—  Province of Turkey  —
Location of Artvin Province in Turkey
Country Turkey
Region Black Sea
Capital Artvin
 - Total 7,436 km2 (2,871.1 sq mi)
Population (2010-12-31)[1]
 - Total 164,759
 - Density 22.2/km2 (57.4/sq mi)
Area code(s) 0466
Vehicle registration 08

Artvin Province (Turkish: Artvin ili ) is a province in Turkey, on the Black Sea coast in the north-eastern corner of the country, on the border with Georgia.

The provincial capital is the city of Artvin.




Artvin is an attractive area of steep valleys carved by the Çoruh River system, surrounded by high mountains (up to 3900 m) and forest with much national parkland including the Karagöl-Sahara, which contains the Şavşat and Borçka lakes. The weather in Artvin is very wet and mild at the coast, and as a result is heavily forested. This greenery runs from the top all the way down to the Black Sea coast. The rain turns to snow at higher altitudes, and the peaks are very cold in winter.

The forests are home to brown bears and wolves.

The Çoruh is now being dammed in 11 places for hydro-electric power, including the 249 m Deriner Dam and others at Borçka and Muratlı.

In addition to the vast majority ethnic Turks, the province is home to communities of Laz people. In particular, there is a prominent community of Chveneburi Georgians many of them descendants of Muslim families from Georgia who migrated during the struggles between the Ottoman Turks and Russia during the 19th century. With such diverse peoples, Artvin has a rich variety of folk song and dance (see Arifana and Kochari for examples of folk culture).

Local industries include bee-keeping.

Artvin is traversed by the northeasterly line of equal latitude and longitude.


Artvin city from Mamacimla district, 1905-1912
Hopa mines, 1900's

The area has a rich history but has not been studied extensively by archaeologists in recent decades. Artifacts dating back to the Bronze Age and even earlier have been found. The Hurri settled in the Artvin area in 2000 BC and were succeeded by the Urartu civilisation, based in Lake Van. Later, the area was part of the kingdom of Colchis but was always vulnerable to invasions, first the Scythians from across the Caucasus, then the Muslim armies led by Habib, son of Caliph Uthman who controlled the area from 853 AD to 1023 when it was conquered by the Byzantines from the Sac Emirate linked to the Abbasids.

The Seljuk Turks of Alparslan conquered the area in 1064 AD; but after his death, it was briefly recaptured by the king of Georgia with the help of the Byzantines, but by 1081 was in Turkish hands again when Saltukoğlu Beylik managed to take it back with the aid of Melikşah. With the collapse of the Seljuks, the Artvin area came under the control of the Ildeniz tribe of the Anatolian Turkish beyliks.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Fighting for control between various Turkish clans continued until the Safavids taking advantage of this infighting, were able to conquer the area in 1502.

The Ottoman Empire under Mehmet II defeated the Empire of Trebizond to bring the eastern Black Sea coast and the mountanous hinterland under their control. Subsequent expeditions into the mountains by Selim I and Mehmed Han Yusufeli gave them control of a number of castles and thus the whole district. Kara Ahmet Pasha, the vizer of Suleiman I formed the first Livane Sanjak with the name Pert-Eğekte. In 13 July 1551, with İskender Pasha's Ardanuç castle , the Ottoman control of Artvin was secure. Ahmed III's vizer Hasan Pasha founded the city of Batum in the newly acquired lands of Ajaria and it became the hub of the area.

This lasted 250 years until the area was ceded to the Russians by the Ottoman Empire following the Russo-Turkish War (1828–1829), and recovered and again ceded at the conclusion of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. Artvin was in war zone and continuously changing control between Russia and Turkey with the Treaties of Brest-Litovsk, Moscow, and Kars. All this fighting and uncertainty between Russia and Turkey in the late 19th century caused the people of Artvin to suffer terribly, with much of the population moving westwards away from the Russian-controlled zones.

The Russians withdrew from Artvin following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917; but when the First World War ended with the Ottomans on the losing side, British troops moved into the area in 1918, followed by the newly independent Georgians. The Treaty of Sèvres of 1920 granted Georgia control over eastern Lazistan including Rize and Hopa. There were moves to incorporate Artvin into Georgia but a referendum was called in 1920, the nascent Democratic Republic of Georgia was unable to reclaim it's historical land including Ardahan and Rize. Fearing occupation from Turkey and ratification of Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the Russian SFSR forced the Georgians to withdrew their claim on Artvin in 1921 by the Treaty of Kars.

In 1924, the Liva Sanjak was abolished and the Artvin Vilayet was created. Artvin Vilayet was combined with Rize to form Çoruh Vilayet with the capital at Rize. It was separated into Artvin Province with the districts of Ardanuç, Arhavi, Artvin, Borçka, Hopa Murgul, Şavşat and Yusufeli at 4 January 1936.[10]

Places of interest

  • The city of Artvin has an ancient castle and a number of Ottoman period houses, mosques, and fountains.
  • Every June, there is a "bull-wrestling" festival in the high plateau of Kafkasör
  • The Parekhi monastery, a Georgian monastery

Popular places for walking and outdoor expeditions.

  • The Kaçkar Mountains are among the most-popular venues for trekking holidays in Turkey.
  • Macahel Valley on the Georgian border, is another popular location for walking holidays.
  • Papart forest in Şavşat
  • Genciyan Hill in Şavşat, overlooks the border and the Binboğa lakes.
  • The lakes of Şavşat and Borçka and the crater lake of Kuyruklu.
  • The Çoruh River is excellent for rafting and championships have been held here * There are a number of Georgian churches in the valleys of Yusufeli.
  • Bilbilan Yaylası - a typical Turkish high meadow.
  • Savangin pre-historical cave with an inscription written unknown or unsolved alphabet

Well-known residents

  • The singer and politician Zülfü Livaneli was born into a family from Yusufeli.
  • Folk rock singer, guitarist and composer Kazım Koyuncu was born in Artvin's Black Sea town of Hopa.
  • The bard of Artvin, poet Turgut Çelik
  • Folk singer Şükriye Tutkun
  • The father of TV personality Beyaz was from a village in Ardanuç.


Artvin province is divided into 8 districts (capital district in bold):

Sister cities

See also


  1. ^ Turkish Statistical Institute, MS Excel document – Population of province/district centers and towns/villages and population growth rate by provinces
  2. ^ The Turks: Middle ages, Hasan Celāl Güzel, Cem Oğuz, Osman Karatay, 2002
  3. ^ Les Origines de l'Empire ottoman, Mehmet Fuat Köprülü, Gary Leiser, 1992, page 82
  4. ^ European and Islamic trade in the early Ottoman state: the merchants of Genoa and Turkey, Kate Fleet, 1999, page 49
  5. ^ Turkey, Verity Campbell, 2007, page 35
  6. ^ Turkey, James Bainbridge, 2009, page 33
  7. ^ Eastern Turkey: The Bradt Travel Guide, Diana Darke, 2011, page 77
  8. ^ The Turks: Early ages, Hasan Celāl Güzel, Cem Oğuz, Osman Karatay, 2002
  9. ^ The sons of Bayezid: empire building and representation in the Ottoman civil war of 1402-1413, Dimitris J. Kastritsis, 2007, page 2
  10. ^ Artvin

External links

Coordinates: 41°08′N 041°51′E / 41.133°N 41.85°E / 41.133; 41.85

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