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    Siirt

    Botan Valley National Park

    Set within the boundaries of Siirt province, Botan Valley (Botan Vadisi) is the deep valley formed by the western-flowing Botan River (Botan Nehri), which takes its source from the foothills of the high mountains in the south of Bitlis. Botan Valley, one of the steepest and deepest valleys in Türkiye, extends towards Siirt in the south. Starting from the mountains to the south of Bitlis province in the west, the Botan Valley passes between the 2,741-meter-high Doğruyol and the 2,631-meter-high Mount Kapılı and goes into the Tigris Valley during its trip to south towards Siirt.

    Remains of human civilizations from the Neolithic Era were found in the Botan Valley, which was later the site of the “Anabasisi (The Ten Thousand)”, written by Xenefon in 407 BCE Historical roads and some parts of the ancient Silk Road can still be seen in the area. Many of these roads date from the era of the Assyrian Trade Colonies and were built as stone-paved roads, depending on the topography; some of these roads were repaired and continued to be used during the Roman Period.

    Tomb of İsmail Fakirullah and İbrahim Hakkı, His Holiness

    In the Tillo district of Siirt, the light refraction mechanism created by İbrahim Hakkı to illuminate the tomb of his teacher, İsmail Fakirullah, was included in the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2015. The tomb for İsmail Fakirullah (İsmail Fakirullah Türbesi) was built by İbrahim Hakkı in the 17th century. The inscription reads: “What shall I do with the sun that does not rise for my master?”.  On the days of the equinox, March 21 and September 23, the first light of the sun hits the reflector precisely embedded in the tower of the tomb, and from a mechanism in the tower highlights the cenotaph of the tomb of Ismail Fakirullah.

    Gerra Inn Bridge

    There is no inscription on the bridge, thus its builder and its building date are unknown. However, the inn structure next to the bridge exhibits typical characteristics of the Ottoman inns; the bridge also has architectural and stylistic features of typical Ottoman bridges. Thus, the bridge and the inn structure are believed to have been built in the 17th century during the Ottoman period. The bridge is constructed by using cut-stone material, has a single arch and its path inclines to two directions. Since the road of the bridge is built in steps, it is impossible for wheeled vehicles to pass. There is a flood splitter on the river mouth side. A vaulted section was opened on the east side of the bridge to accommodate several passengers.

    Güsir Mound

    While Şanlıurfa is known for Göbeklitepe in our country, as the location of one of humanity’s oldest settlements, findings from the Güsir Mound (Güsir Höyük) have been dated to 300-400 years before Şanlıurfa. Therefore, it can be asserted that Siirt, in fact, has the oldest human settlement in the history of World Civilization.

    İncekaya Castle

    The ruins of this chateau-like castle are in İncekaya (Kormas) village, 10 km from the Şirvan district. The hilltop castle dominates the landscape of İncekaya village. While it has no inscription, it is believed that the castle is from the Byzantine period. The castle was later captured by the Seljuks and was used as a shelter for the Derebeys (overlords) during the Ottoman period.

    İrun Castle

    Built on the summit of the steep mountains, this castle is 40 km north of Şirvan. It is said that the castle was connected to the river passing through the foot of the mountain via an underground tunnel.

    Derzin Castle

    This castle, now in ruins, was built on a steep rock near the village of Adakale (Derzin), 8 km east of the Baykan District Centre. The castle’s watchtowers continue to present an imposing vision.