Bitlis is an eastern province of Turkey. To see this eastern magnificent city you must obtain e visa for Turkey. All foreign nationals must check their eligibility for e visa for Turkey. It is highly recommended that those who are qualified for e-visa must apply for e visa for Turkey prior to their arrival. The validity of evisa is 6 months During this time travellers can go at anytime during the 6 months of validity period.

Bitlis Province

One of the greatest treasures owned by Turkey’s Eastern Anatolia Region is located in the province of Bitlis Nemrut Mountain and Nemrut Crater Lake. In addition, the city of Ahlat has witnessed many historical events. Especially at the entrance of Turks to Anatolia, Alp Arslan and his army were hosted. Apart from all these, distinctive dishes, historical places, museums, geographical structure add a distinct beauty to Bitlis.


Bitlis is located in Eastern Anatolia Region and lies in the west of Van Lake. The name comes from Bedlis, the commander of Great Alexander the Great, the king of Macedonia, who had made a fort in the city. When it was built in a valley where historical structures are dominant, it is called “The Beautiful City of Vadis”. Bitlis was the settlement area of the Urartians in 400 BC. It continued to be the homeland for Urartians for hundred years and the Assyrians until the 7th century BC. Until the 6th century BC under the rule of Medler, it was seized by the Kingdom of Persia under the 2nd Darius. Macedonian king Alexander the Great entered under the rule to Bitlis, which was seized by the Eastern Roman Emperor Trayan in the 7th century and remained under Byzantine rule until the 7th century BC.

Bitlis, which became an important stopping place during the Anatolian raids of the Turks in the 10th century and who hosted Alparslan and his armies in Ahlat at that time played an important role in opening the Turks to Anatolia. In the 13th century, the Eyyubiler and later the Ottomans under the Ottoman Empire the attacked the Harzemshahlilar and the Mongols during the Çaldıran War in 1514.  The province became the centre of knowledge, art and culture under the administration of the Ottoman Empire. During the first world war Bitlis was occupied by the Russian empire and after the Turkey republic the city became a province.

In Bitlis, which has embraced various civilisations throughout history, there are many castles, mosques, madrasahs, bridges and caravansary buildings belonging to these periods. For this reason, it is possible to live side by side with the cultural and artistic remains of the past civilisations. The Lake of Van, which is formed by the explosion of Nemrut Eruption is in the border of more than half of Bitlis Province. The Tatvan, Ahlat and Adilcevaz districts integrate the beauty of Van Lake shores with their historical features. Monumental tombs and grave stones known as world famous Kumbet in Ahlat were under the Seljuk domination for many years also Urartular artefacts in Adilcevaz District especially Kef Kalesi constitute the rings of the rich history of ancient times.


Located at an altitude of 1545 meters above sea level the cold weather comes early in winter and goes late spring. Winters are cold and snowy and summers are short and hot. The annual temperature average is 9.7 Celsius and the coldest month is January. According to the meteorological data the annual temperature difference is around 15.5 Celsius. The winter is more soft in places like Adilcevaz, Ahlat, Tatvan districts especially around Lake Van. The province of Yilandumuzun is the most snowy region.

The land is higher and more indented than the Anatolian highlands. 71% of the land is mountainous, 3% is plateau, 10.4% is plain, 15.6% is wavy and there is a different topography. It is understood from this that Bitlis Province is the most mountainous place of the Eastern Anatolia Region. In fact, there are no plains in Hizan and Mutki districts and the rate of mountainous land exceeds 90%. However, the Adilcevaz and Ahlat districts are relatively mountainous. The plains corresponding to this are especially more in Adilcevaz. In Bitlis, orogenic movements took place up to the Miocene Devrine for the third time in the field. The volcanic procession that started this epoch caused many faults and depressions to form large lakes. Nimrod Mountain at a height of 3050 meters, Suphan Mountain at a height of 4434 meters is the subject of the third time indifferent incidents. Surrounded by the Suphan and Nemrut Mountains, there are Fumaroles and hot springs. The fact that these lands were shaken by the last orogenic and volcanic events it ensured the disintegration of the land. In this case, the earthquake in Bitlis is quite excessive since earthquakes have prepared the conditions for existence. The waters have accumulated on the depression areas and have brought large lakes to the water.

Bitlis Local Foods

The most famous dish of Bitlis is Buryan Kebab and this meal is eaten in June, July and August. Because the Buryan kebab is made from Goat meat. Another meal is Avsor’s meal and you only have to sacrifice your sleep to eat this food. Because Avsor’s meal is eaten at 5 in the morning.

The local meals cooked in Bitlis are;

Stuffed meatballs
Sekalok Yemegi
Tutmanç Soup
Corti Koftesi
Buryan Kebabı
Stuffed Dolma
Gari Soup
Ayran Soup
Rye Beet
Kengerli Pilaf
Halim Soup
Chorty Soup
Bitlis Koftesi
Bitlis Meat Products


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