km southeast of Van, is Hakkari, sits at an
altitude of 1700 m, with high mountains dominating the land, and wide
valleys separate the great peaks with heights exceeding 4000 m. Mounts
Cilo and Sat are two of the outstanding ones for mountaineering and winter
sports. The snow accumulating on the upper parts of these mountains form
beautiful glaciers. The Zap Valley, through
which the road to the city passes, offers fantastic scenery.
This land has witnessed the passing of tribes since
earliest times. The medieval fortress reflects the history of this small region and is
worth seeing, together with the Medresse standing nearby.
The city lies at an altitude of about 5,500 ft (1,700 m),
surrounded by mountains and overlooked by a medieval fortress, the former residence of its
Kurdish rulers. A market for local livestock and livestock products, Hakkari has road
links to Van to the north and Siirt to the west. Hakkari il, with an area of 3,817 sq mi
(9,885 sq km), is drained by the Great Zab River (Büyükzap Suyu). Iran borders it on the
east and Iraq on the south. Mostly mountainous, it is the most sparsely populated and
isolated il in Turkey. East of Hakkâri city rise the high ranges of the Cilo (13,700 ft)
and Sat (12,500 ft) mountains. Cropland is scarce, and the proportion of land under
cultivation is among the nation's lowest. Livestock raising is the main activity.