Tunceli Province
Province of Turkey

Location of Tunceli Province in Turkey
Country Turkey
Region Eastern Anatolia
Electoral district Tunceli
 • Total 7,774 km2 (3,002 sq mi)
Population (Template:Metadata Population Turkish province)[1]
 • Total 76,699
 • Density 9.9/km2 (26/sq mi)
Area code(s) 0428[2]
Vehicle registration 62
Per capita income 12,200 TL (41st; 2011)[3]

The Tunceli Province (Kurdish: parêzgeh Dêrsim, Zazaki: Dêsim, Turkish: Tunceli ili) is a Turkish province located in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. Its population consists of a majority of Zaza Kurds Alevis, with Sunni Turkish[4] and Crypto-Armenian minorities. The province was originally called Dersim Province (Dersim vilayeti), then demoted district (Dersim kazası) and incorporated into Elâzığ Province in 1926.[5] Finally it was changed to Tunceli Province in 1936, following the Dersim Rebellion.[6] with the "Law on Administration of the Tunceli Province" (Tunceli Vilayetinin İdaresi Hakkında Kanun), no. 2884 of 25 December 1935.[7][8][9] But some still call the region by this name. The capital city is Tunceli. The name of the provincial capital, Kalan, was then officially changed to match with the province's name.

Its 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. It has the lowest population density of any province in Turkey, just 9.8 inhabitants/km². Tunceli is the only province of Turkey with an Alevi majority.

Tunceli is known for its old buildings such as the Çelebi Ağa Mosque, Sağman Mosque, Elti Hatun Mosque and adjoining Tomb and impressive natural scenery, especially in Munzur Valley National Park, the largest national park of Turkey.


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


The history of the province stretches back to antiquity. It has been 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 the Persian Emperor Darius.

The area that would become Tunceli 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 Sassanid Empires. Arabs invaded in the 7th century, and Seljuq Turks in the 11th.[10]

As of the end of the 19th century, most the region (called "Dersim") was included in the Ottoman sancak (subprovince) of Hozat, part of the vilayet of Mamuret-ül Aziz (Elazığ today), with the exception of the actual district of Pülümür, which was part of the neighboring sancak of Erzincan, then a part of the Vilayet of Erzurum. This status continued through the first years of the Republic of Turkey, until 1936 when the name of the province was changed to Tunceli, literally 'the land of bronze' in Turkish (tunç meaning 'bronze' and el (in this context) meaning 'land') after the Dersim Rebellion. The center of the province has been fixed in the town of Kalan and the district of Pülümür has been added within the boundaries of the new province.


Tunceli province is divided into eight districts (capital district in bold):

Although a distinct province, Tunceli was administered from Elazığ until 1947.

Cities and towns


Ninety-eight percent of Tunceli's population has at least a primary school education, leading to one of the highest rates of literacy for a district within Turkey. In 1979/1980 Tunceli had the highest number of students attending universities as well as the top entry points until the only higher education school shut down and converted to a military base.

Tunceli University was established on May 22, 2008.[11] It has departments in international relations, economics, environmental protection engineering, industrial engineering, electronic engineering, computer engineering and mechanical engineering.


External links

  • Official Homepage of the Province Governor
  • Official Homepage of the Culture and Tourism head office
  • Official Homepage of the police head office
  • Official Homepage of the Education head office
  • Official Homepage of the health head office
  • Education

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

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