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Bingöl, Turkey.

Bingöl, Turkey.

Floating islands near Bingöl, Turkey.
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Floating islands near Bingöl.

Town in eastern Turkey with 35,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate), on the Gönuk River, a tributary to the Murat River. The area has mountains reaching heights of nearly 3,000 metres, and many lakes. It is the capital of Bingöl province with 255,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate).
The economy of Bingöl is basic, relying on livestock raising and some agriculture from the surrounding area. Due to the harsh nature, the agriculture produce mainly grain.
A majority of the population are Kurds.
There is a medieval fortress inside town, representing its major landmark.
Bingöl is somewhat isolated, but has fair road connections with Elazig 145 km west and Mus 70 km east.
Bingöl was formerly known as Çapakçur. The present name is taken from the surrounding nature, Bin, “thousand” and göl, “lakes”.

2nd millenium BCE: The history of the region begins with the Urartians.
Around 1000: The region of modern Bingöl comes under Assyrian control.
Early 16th century CE: Falls to the Ottomans, and is incorporated into the empire.
1966: Heavy earthquake destroys large parts of the town.

By Tore Kjeilen